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And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldst thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.—2 Kings 4:13.

What an interesting account, though short, is here given of the Shunammite. The sacred historian calls her a great woman; and she here manifests that she had a great mind. What she had done for the prophet, she sought no recompense for. Neither the favours of the king, nor the captain of his host, were of any value to her and her husband. Dwelling with content in what she had, and “among her own people,” was in her view enough of earthly enjoyment. But is there not a spiritual improvement to be made of this passage?

Do not the people of our God dwell alone? And have they not been from everlasting so appointed, in the purposes of God their Father, and chosen in Christ, and called? They may, and indeed they ought, to desire to be spoken for to the King, the captain of the Lord’s host, as a people near to himself. Yes! I would say, let me be spoken for, that I may always live under an abiding sense of my Lord’s presence, and his love; and that my constant views of him, and his gracious tokens of kindness to me, may be my daily enjoyment. Methinks I would always be spoken for to him, in this point of view, and always myself be speaking to him; and tell my Lord that one smile of his, one whisper to assure me of my interest in him, and my love for him, and his love for me, will be more grateful than all the revenues of the earth.

Here, like the Shunammite, would I centre all my desires. And while living upon Jesus, it will be my happiness also to “dwell among mine own people,” who, like myself, keep aloof from all unnecessary acquaintance and connection with the world, to “enjoy fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ!”

Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Evening Portion, A New Edition., (Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1845), 58–59.

22 FEBRUARY (1857)

The blood-shedding

“Without shedding of blood is no remission” Hebrews 9:22

Here is a garden dark and gloomy; the ground is crisp with the cold frost of midnight; between those gloomy olive trees I see a man, I hear him groan out his life in prayer; hearken, angels, hearken, men, and wonder; it is the Saviour groaning out his soul! Come and see him. Behold his brow! O heavens! Drops of blood are streaming down his face, and from his body; every pore is open, and it sweats! but not the sweat of men that toil for bread; it is the sweat of one that toils for heaven—he sweats “great drops of blood!” That is the blood-shedding, without which there is no remission.

Follow that man further; they have dragged him with sacrilegious hands from the place of his prayer and his agony, and they have taken him to the hall of Pilate; they mock him; a robe of purple is put on his shoulders in mockery; and mark his brow—they have put about it a crown of thorns, and the crimson drops of gore are rushing down his cheeks! Ye angels! the drops of blood are running down his cheeks! But turn aside that purple robe for a moment. His back is bleeding. Tell me, demons, who did this. They lift up the thongs, still dripping clots of gore; they scourge and tear his flesh, and make a river of blood to run down his shoulders! That is the shedding of blood without which there is no remission.

Not yet have I done: they hurry him through the streets; they fling him on the ground; they nail his hands and feet to the transverse wood, they hoist it in the air, they dash it into its socket, it is fixed, and there he hangs the Christ of God. Blood from his head, blood from his hands, blood from his feet! In agony unknown he bleeds away his life; in terrible throes he exhausts his soul. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” And then see! they pierce his side, and forthwith runneth out blood and water. This is the shedding of blood, sinners and saints; this is the awful shedding of blood, the terrible pouring out of blood, without which for you, and for the whole human race, there is no remission.

FOR MEDITATION: Even with the shedding of Christ’s blood there is still no forgiveness of sins unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:53); that is by coming to him and trusting in him (John 6:35).

C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 1998), 60.


Being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.—1 Cor. 9:21.

Sit down, my soul, this evening, and ponder over this blessed distinction which the apostle makes between the lawless conduct of those, who, from a mere conviction of the truth in the head, but who never felt the influence of it in their heart, hold the truth in unrighteousness; and those who, while conscious of being under the law to Christ, are not without law to God. To thee, my soul, who hast been brought under the condemnation of God’s holy law, and hast been enabled, through sovereign grace, to take refuge in the person, blood, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ; to thee, justification by faith, so far from relaxing thine obedience to the law of God, has proved the best of all motives to the practice of it.

Thou knowest thyself to be bought with a price; and therefore, as the Lord’s property, both by his purchase, and thy voluntary surrender, it is thy desire above all things “to glorify God in thy body and in thy spirit, which are his.” It is thy glory, thy delight, thy joy, that thy God and Father hath accepted a righteousness for thee in Jesus, thy surety; and to him, and him only, the Lord hath respect for thy acceptation. But while thou art taught, and thy heart delights in the soul-reviving truth, that thou art never to seek justification by the deeds of the law, thy heart delights also, that thou art “not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.” For though the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made thee free from the law of sin and death, yet while through the law thou art dead to the law, the blessedness of it is, that thou mightst live unto Christ. And it is by the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling in thee, that the deeds of the body are mortified, and the soul lives.

Sweet consideration, my soul, to cherish, and ever to keep in view. Thou art not working for life, but from life. Not seeking to be justified by the deeds of the law, but from Christ’s justification; daily showing forth that thou art not “without law to God, but under the law to Christ.”

Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Evening Portion, A New Edition., (Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1845), 57–58.

21 FEBRUARY (1858)

How to keep the heart

“The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins into the depth of the sea, there cast your troubles also. Never keep a trouble half an hour on your own mind before you tell it to God. As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father.

Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God, the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts, the more thick the ponds will be frozen. Your frost will last till you go to the sun; and when you go to God—the sun, then your frost will soon become a thaw, and your troubles will melt away. But do not be long, because the longer you are in waiting, the longer will your trouble be in thawing afterwards. Wait a long while till your trouble gets frozen thick and firm, and it will take many a day of prayer to get your trouble thawed again. Away to the throne as quick as ever you can. Do as the child did, when he ran and told his mother as soon as his little trouble happened to him; run and tell your Father the first moment you are in affliction.

Do this in everything, in every little thing—“in everything by prayer and supplication” make known your wants unto God. Take your husband’s headache, take your children’s sicknesses, take all things, little family troubles as well as great commercial trials—take them all to God; pour them all out at once. And so by an obedient practice of this command in everything making known your wants unto God, you shall preserve that peace “which shall keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.”

FOR MEDITATION: If the God of peace is with you (Philippians 4:9), you have open access to the peace of God—but check carefully all the conditions in Philippians 4:6.

C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 1998), 59.


Now thou art commanded, this do ye: take you wagons out of the land of Egypt, for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.—Gen. 45:19, 20.

What effect must the first news of Joseph’s being alive, and his exaltation at the right hand of Pharaoh, have had upon the mind of the patriarch Jacob! And what a flood of overwhelming joy must have broke in upon the poor old man, when convinced of the certainty of the account! But what are all these feelings of nature, compared to the triumphs of grace when the poor sinner is first made acquainted with the wonders of redemption, wrought out and accomplished by one that is his brother, even our spiritual Joseph, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Yes! thou risen and exalted Saviour! by faith I behold thee on the right hand of the Majesty on high; and all power thine in heaven and on earth. I hear thee giving commandments to thy servants, to take the ordinances, and the several means of grace, in thy sacred word, and like the conveyances of the wagons of Egypt, to bring all thy kindred, thy redeemed ones, to thee. Yea, Lord! I would do as thou hast said, regard not the stuff, for gladly would I leave it all behind; for it hath already too long and too powerfully occupied my poor heart, and robbed my soul of thee. I would hasten to thy presence; for sure I am, the good of all the land of heaven itself is thy brethren’s, and what is infinitely more than even heaven, thou, even thou, thyself, blessed Jesus, art thy people’s.

But, Lord! how shall I look thee in the face? How shall I dare to draw nigh, conscious of my having, like the sons of Jacob, sold thee, parted with thee, denied thee, left thee, and as the Jews of old, preferred every Barabbas, every robber before thee? And wilt thou, dearest Lord, still own me, still love me, and still speak kindly to me? Oh! what praises will the realms of heaven resound with, when Jesus shall have brought home all his brethren into his Father’s house, around himself, in glory! How will then every knee (and my poor soul among the glorious number) bow before thee, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen and Amen!

Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Evening Portion, A New Edition., (Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1845), 56–57.


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