January 1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth"—Gen. 1:1.

What a sublime introduction to the inspired Scriptures! We know not when this universe came into existence. Scientists differ by millions, and even billions, of years when they attempt to fix the age of the world. But go back as far as the human mind can think and we come right up against God. The universe is not the result of blind chance or of certain unexplained laws of nature. It is the product of a Master mind. A personal God brought it into existence. "He spake and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33:9). And this God has been revealed in Christ Jesus, and is the Father of all who believe in His Son. His power is unlimited, His wisdom is infinite, and all His resources are at the disposal of His saints as they cry to Him in faith.

"The Maker of the universe

As Man, for man was made a curse.

The claims of Law which He had made,

Unto the uttermost He paid.

His holy fingers made the bough

Which grew the thorns that crowned His brow.

The nails that pierced His hands were mined

In secret places He designed.

He made the forest whence there sprung-

The tree on which His body hung.

He died upon a cross of wood,

Yet made the hill on which it stood.

The sky that darkened o'er His head

By Him above the earth was spread.

The sun that hid from Him its face

By His decree was poised in space.

The spear which spilled His precious blood

Was tempered in the fires of God.

The grave in which His form was laid,

Was hewn in rocks His hands had made,

The throne on which He now appears

Was His from everlasting years,

But a new glory crowns His brow,

And every knee to Him shall bow."

—F. W. Pitt.

January 2

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light"—Gen. 1:3.

Plato said, "The radiant light is the shadow of God." But David exclaims, "Thou clothest Thyself with light as with a garment." The declaration of the New Testament is, "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." It was His own brightness that, at His own command, illumined the darkness of that primeval earth. And the miracle of that first day of earth's recall from chaos and gloom pictures His present grace to the sin-darkened souls of men. For we are told that "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus." He is the vessel to display that light throughout all the ages to come. Of the heavenly city it is written, "The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." It was from His face that the light shone of old, and He is still the light of the world.

"God in mercy sent His Son

To a world by sin undone;

Jesus Christ was crucified—

'Twas for sinners Jesus died.

Sin and death no more shall reign,

Jesus died and lives again!

In the glory's highest height-

See Him, God's supreme delight.

All who in His name believe,

Everlasting life receive;

Lord of all is Jesus now,

Ev'ry knee to Him must bow.

Oh, the glory of the grace

Shining in the Saviour's face.

Telling sinners from above,

'God is light,' and 'God is love. '"

—H. K. Burlingham.