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idolatry. Such evident tokens of God's anger against sin are rarely given during this present life; but when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed at the great day, many sinners will be found to have died under some infliction which has been the consequence of offending God, although the connection of the offence and the judgment has not been traced by man. An humbling sense of sin, which keeps a sinner at the foot of the cross, can alone preserve us from the danger of being drawn into presumptuous offences, through the intoxication of personal vanity Circumstances in which we can be tempted to such blasphemous pride as that of Herod can hardly occur ; but temptations to sins of the same kind, though not the same degree, are of daily occurrence. The pride of talents, of high position, of personal attraction, and even of dress, prepares the heart to be intoxicated by those flattering attentions which are ever bestowed upon all and each of these ; and when the praise readily offered by the world is as readily appropriated for personal glory, the difference between the case of such a one and of Herod is only in degree, and in open acknowledgment: no one in a christian country could tolerate the language which would plainly pronounce him divine, though

many do in reality receive the world's homage as their due, and are to themselves their own god. This self-idolatry is too common; and by whatever death a person may die in this state, it will be found in the end that he was cut off in judgment, because he gave not God the glory.

QUESTION. What are the points in which I conceive myself to excel others, and expect applause? What effect is produced in me by the praise which I actually receive? To whom do I give the glory outwardly? with what sincerity inwardly?

THE PRAYER.

Thou gracious God, who art the author and giver of every good thing, send thy Spirit so to convince me of sin, that I may be truly humbled as one that deserves thy judgment; comfort me with the sense of the pardoning love of Jesus, that I may feel the blessedness of being one who has received thy mercy. I would give thee all the glory of every talent, or power, or gift, which thou mayest have bestowed upon me, and I praise thy name for all the providential mercies with which thou hast blessed me. Guard me, I beseech thee, from the effect of flattery from without, and of self-conceit within ; and grant that my whole life may give glory to the name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. AMEN.

TWENTY-THIRD PORTION. .
The first christian mission to the Gentiles.

PLACE.—Antioch.Paphos in Cyprus.
TIME.-From Summer, A.D. 43, to Spring, A.D. 44.

May God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, give me the Holy Spirit, that I may

understand this portion of His Holy Word, and profit by it.

AMEN.

THE SCRIPTURE. Acts, chap. XII, verses 24, 25; and XIII. 1–12. 24,25 But the word of God grew and multiplied. And Barnabas and

Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry

[or, charge), and took with them Jobu, whose surname was Mark. 13 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets

and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius

of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the 2 tetrarch, [or Herod's fosterbrother,) and Saul. As they ministered

tn the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, “ Separate me Barnabas 3 and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." And when they

had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them 4 away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto 5 Seleucia ; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were

at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the 6 Jews : and they had also John to their minister. And when they had

gone through tbe isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false 7 prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus : which was with the deputy

of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barna8 bas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the

sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking 9 to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called 10 Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, “ O full

TWENTY-SECOND PORTION.

The death of Herod. PLACE.—Cæsarea.

TIME.--- Summer, A.D. 43.

May God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, give me the Holy Spirit, that I may understand this portion of His Holy Word, and profit by it. Amen.

THE SCRIPTURE. Acts, chap. XII. verses 20 to 23. And Herod was highly displeased [or, bare an hostile mind, intending 20 war) with them of Tyre and Sidon : but they came with one accord to hin, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain (that was over the king's bedchamber] their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the country. And upon set day Herod, ar- 21 rayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration into them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, 22 and not of a man.” And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, 23 because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

EXPLANATION. When king Herod went to Cæsarea from Jerusalem, it happened to be the time when some very magnificent games, in honor of the emperor, were to take place there. The celebration of such games was a Roman custom, which Herod had adopted; and upon such occasions, all the princes and great people from a distance made it a point to pay their respects to the king; while vast multitudes crowded together to enjoy the amusements of every kind, which were afforded during a period of several days.

At this time, the commercial cities of Tyre and Sidon had offended king Herod very greatly. They were situated

upon the coast to the north of Herod's dominions ; and the merchants who lived there abounded in wealth. The population of these cities, which was very large, imported all their supplies of corn, and several articles of necessary consumption, from the fertile country of Judea and Galilee (Ezek. xxvii. 17. 1 Kings v. 11); and therefore it was greatly to their disadvantage, that the king of that country should be at enmity with them. They had bribed one of Herod's chief officers, or ministers of state, “ Blastus, the king's chamberlain ;” and having through his means prepared the way, they took the opportunity of the great games of Cæsarea to send ambassadors from both the cities to conciliate him, and to induce him to be at peace with them.

Herod determined to gratify his pride by receiving the embassy in public before all the assembled princes and great men. The historian Josephus gives a very particular account of this audience, which agrees with what is here described. Herod appointed the second day of the games to receive the ambassadors ; and then went into the amphitheatre, a most splendid building erected by his grandfather Herod the Great, and took his seat upon a raised throne in the middle of it, dressed in a robe of a peculiar kind used only by royal persons. The one worn by Herod upon this occasion was very remarkable : “it was made wholly of silver, and of a texture truly wonderful.” “ The silver of this garment, being illuminated by the reflection of the sun's rays, shone in a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to dazzle those who looked upon him.” Covered with this splendid dress, and surrounded by his brilliant court, in the presence of the multitude he addressed the ambassadors from Tyre and Sidon. When he had finished speaking, the crowd around him shouted with blasphemous expressions, calling him a god and not a man. Herod was a Jew, and unlike the ignorant heathen, he was acquainted with the one true God; yet did he not rebuke the people, nor give glory to Jehovah's name, but was pleased with the blasphemous flattery, and willingly received it. Therefore the angel of the Lord was sent forth to avenge this dishonor to God, and he was suddenly struck with a most agonizing and loathsome disease. His body was consumed by worms until he expired: the Scripture does not tell us in how short a time, and the Jewish historian informs us that he languished in this miserable condition five days.

APPLICATION.

1. This is a fearful account of God's immediate judgment on an excess of pride, leading to a blasphemous self

The pride

idolatry. Such evident tokens of God's anger against sin are rarely given during this present life; but when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed at the great day, many sinners will be found to have died under some infliction which has been the consequence of offending God, although the connection of the offence and the judgment has not been traced by man. An humbling sense of sin, which keeps a sinner at the foot of the cross, can alone preserve us from the danger of being drawn into presumptuous offences, through the intoxication of personal vanity. Circumstances in which we can be tempted to such blasphemous pride as that of Herod can hardly occur ; but temptations to sins of the same kind, though not the same degree, are of daily occurrence. of talents, of high position, of personal attraction, and even of dress, prepares the heart to be intoxicated by those flattering attentions which are ever bestowed upon all and each of these; and when the praise readily offered by the world is as readily appropriated for personal glory, the difference between the case of such a one and of Herod is only in degree, and in open acknowledgment: no one in a christian country could tolerate the language which would plainly pronounce him divine, though many do in reality receive the world's homage as their due, and are to themselves their own god. This self-idolatry is too common; and by whatever death a person may die in this state, it will be found in the end that he was cut off in judgment, because he gave not God the glory.

QUESTION. What are the points in which I conceive myself to excel others, and expect applause? What effect is produced in me by the praise which I actually receive? To whom do I give the glory outwardly? with what sincerity inwardly?

THE PRAYER.

Thou gracious God, who art the author and giver of every good thing, send thy Spirit so to convince me of sin, that I may be truly humbled as one that deserves thy judgment; comfort me with the sense of the pardoning love of Jesus, that I may feel the blessedness of being one who has received thy mercy. I would give thee all the

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