Is it not right, is it not wise to pull up at times and to look at our life, at what it has been, and at what it might have been? What about prayer? Has it been always earnest, heartfelt, true? What about our Bible reading? Has it been as regular, as profitable as it might have been? Do we not feel we have come short in the past, and that we should like to do better in the time to come?
What about sin, that besetting sin of ours, so often indulged in, so little fought against? Are we going on like this for ever, beaten by sin, overcome and defeated? Should we not like to leave the old careless days behind, and for the future to fight manfully against the world, the flesh, and the devil?
What about work for God? Have we done all that we could for His service? Have we given Him the tenth of our money? Have we consecrated to Him our time and our talents? Do we not feel we should like to do more for the Master in time to come?
It is a good plan to get alone and quiet for a time, and taking a piece of paper, to write down all we feel has been wrong in the past, all we mean to do in the future. Then let us sign our name to it, put the date at the bottom, fold it carefully up, put it away, let no one see it but God, it is a covenant between us and Him. He will give us grace to keep it if we only ask Him.
Will you try this plan this very night? Then you will open your eyes to-morrow morning with the recollection, ’I am the Lord’s; I have given myself to Him; I am His now by my own agreement; I am pledged to His service.’
Lord, make me faithful, keep me humble, keep me prayerful, give me grace and courage and strength!
For ’better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’
The Brave Volunteers.
‘Jerusalem, my happy home, Name ever dear to me.’
So we sing, and it is the echo of the song that went up from the heart of many a Jew in olden time.
We all love our native land, our dear old England, yet none of us love it as the Jews loved Jerusalem. We have only to open the Book of Psalms to see how dear the city of their fathers was to the heart of the Jews.
’Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King,’ Psalm xlviii. 1, 2.
’Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together. Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces,’ Psalm cxxii. 2-4, 6, 7.
These are just samples of countless expressions of love and devotion for Jerusalem, their happy home. And all the time of the captivity in Babylon the Jews were longing to be once more in Jerusalem! Oh, to see the city of cities again; oh, to tread once more the streets of the holy Jerusalem! They could not even think of their far-off home without tears.