2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Sermons
A Prayer for PeaceT. Croskery 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Benediction and InvocationD. Mayo.2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace from the God of PeaceW.F. Adeney 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace from the Lord of PeaceF. D. Maurice, M. A.2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace from the Lord of PeaceW. B. Pope, D. D.2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace of Conscience and Heart the Element of HolinessDean Goulburn.2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace Versus WarA. G. Brown.2 Thessalonians 3:16
The Jewel of PeaceC. H. Spurgeon.2 Thessalonians 3:16
The Lord of Peace and the Peace of the LordAlexander Maclaren2 Thessalonians 3:16
Concluding WordsR. Finlayson 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18
ConclusionB.C. Caffin 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18


Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way.

I. THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLESSING. "The Lord of peace himself" - Jesus Christ.

1. He is our abiding Peace. (Ephesians 2:14.)

2. He gives it as his legacy to the Church. (John 14:27.)

3. He guides into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79.)

4. He is the Prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6.)

5. Peace is preached by him. (Ephesians 2:17; Acts 10:36.)

II. THE PEACE IN QUESTION INCLUDES:

1. Reconciliation, with God.

2. Peace with one another.

3. Peace in all the relations of life.

4. Peace in the midst of speculative disturbances.

5. Peace in the midst of persecutions.

6. Peace in the prospect of death.

III. IT WAS A PRAYER FOR A CONTINUOUS PEACE. "Always." It was to be as uninterrupted as a river (Isaiah 48:18), with no breaks made in it by the world, the flesh, or the devil. None but the Lord of peace could sustain such a peace in power.

IV. IT IS PEACE TO BE ACQUIRED IN EVERY WAY - BY PRAYING, BY PREACHING, BY CONVERSATION.

V. THE PENDANT TO THIS HAPPY PRAYER. "The Lord be with you all." A comprehensive benediction upon the disorderly as well as the orderly brethren of Thessalonica. "Be with you all" - "by his presence to comfort and refresh; by his power to keep and preserve; by his grace to assist; and by his Spirit to counsel, advise, and direct." - T.C.







Now the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always by all means
There is another reading of this passage, which modern editors have preferred, and I think with good reason; for πρόπῳ they substituted πότῳ — "in every place" for "by all means." The expression in our version may, no doubt, have a good and important sense; but it sounds like a tame addition to the words which have preceded. The other suggests a new thought, which enlarges and completes the prayer. "May the Lord of Peace give you peace at all times and in all places." Such a petition must needs have a deep and solid ground to rest upon. "The Lord of Peace," he says, "give you peace." This he assumes as the very name of God. A god of war they had all heard of. He was said to have watched over the infancy of the greatest city in the world, to have been the father of its first king. Whithersoever the Roman Eagle had been borne, there were the tokens of his presence. The name Thessalonica testified that he had been on that soil. He knew that the heathens had never been satisfied with the idea of a god of war, however much it might have possessed them. They felt that the olive was a sacred emblem as well as the laurel. There must be some One from whom it came — of whom it testified. The quiet homestead, the growth of trees and flowers, the power and art of tillage, must have an origin, as well as the skill and feats of armies. Surely tempests did not witness of unseen power more than a still lake or an evening of clear starlight. All sweet notes and their intricate combinations told of some secret source of harmony. The heart which responded to these sights and sounds demanded a Lord of Peace nigh, and not afar off. Was He a different Being from the other? It was the misery of Polytheism to believe that He must be different. How could such opposite effects proceed from the Same Cause? It was the blessed privilege of the Jew to be taught in direct words, and by the whole course of his history, that the Lord his God was one Lord, that the God of armies was the same as the Lord of Peace. The acts of His power were the manifestations of His righteous will. He was the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy; therefore would He not clear the guilty; therefore was all evil, everything unmerciful and oppressive, hateful in His eyes; therefore was He pledged to destroy it. There was no actual or implicit contradiction in His nature.

I. The words are very EMPHATIC. May He HIMSELF give you peace. As if he had said, "I know and am persuaded that no one else can give it you; not I, not all the preachers and doctors in the universe. Properly speaking, you do not even receive it at second hand through us. He gives you the thing itself; we present you with the seals and sacraments of it. He opens a direct communication with your hearts; he conveys into them that which we only stand offering to them from without. "May He," says the apostle, "Himself give it you! Be not content to take it from any other."

II. And be sure also that He GIVES it. You do not purchase it by prayers or faith or good deeds. He receives the gift of a higher life, or he sinks into death. In other words, God gives him peace, or he continues in a state of perpetual war.

III. THIS PEACE the apostle desires for the Thessalonians. Not some image or shadow of peace, but peace itself, in its full meaning. Not a peace which depends upon pacts and bargains among men, but which belongs to the very nature and character and being of God. Not a peace which is produced by the stifling and suppression of activities and energies, but the peace in which all activities and energies are perfected and harmonized. Not a peace which comes from the toleration of what is base or false, but which demands its destruction. Not a peace which begins from without, but a peace which is first wrought in the inner man, and thence comes forth to subdue the world. Not a peace which a man gets for himself by standing aloof from the sorrows and confusions of the world into which he is born, of the men whose nature he shares, choosing a calm retreat and quiet scenery and a regulated atmosphere; but a peace which has never thriven except in those who have suffered with their suffering kind, who have been ready to give up selfish enjoyments, sensual or spiritual, for their sakes, who have abjured all devices to escape from ordained toils and temptations; the peace which was His who bore the sorrows and infirmities and sins of man, who gave up Himself that He might become actually one with them, who thus won for them a participation in the Divine nature, an inheritance in that peace of God which passeth understanding.

IV. St. Paul could then say boldly, "The Lord give you peace is ALL TIMES." He was living in a time of exceeding restlessness. All about him were wars and rumours of wars. The Jewish commonwealth was breaking to pieces, from the hatreds of its sects, from its mad desire to measure its strength with its Roman masters. St. Paul was the object of the fiercest spite of those fighting sects. They did not abhor each other so much as they abhorred him. And he knew that the end was coming — that God Himself had pronounced the doom of the city of David; that if he did not witness the fall of that nation, to save which he was willing to be accursed, it would be only because some violent death would take him sooner than it out of the world. In this time, which affected all his disciples as well as himself, which had caused great sufferings to the Thessalonian Church, both from present Jewish persecutions and from the dim feverish apprehension of some day of the Lord which was near at hand; in this time, he could ask the Lord of Peace to give himself and them peace. He could ask it confidently, nothing doubting that the petition would be heard and answered, nay, that the very tumults in the world and in themselves were intended to awaken it and to accomplish it. He knew that easy and comfortable circumstances do not impart the peace which men want. He knew that the most disastrous may drive them to that centre where it dwells and Where they may possess it.

V. He prayed also, if the reading I have spoken of is the true one, that they might have peace IN EVERY PLACE. He had some experience of different places, of Greek cities and Jewish, if he had not yet seen Rome, as he purposed to do; and all his experience hitherto had been of strifes, tumults, persecutions. He had come to Thessalonica because he had been thrown into prison at Philippi. He escaped from Thessalonica to Beraea, thence to Athens. In Corinth the continued Jewish opposition was trifling compared with the struggle in his own spirit, which made him despair even of life. At Ephesus he was destined to fight with men who assailed him as the beasts assailed those who were exposed in the Amphitheatre. At Jerusalem voices cried, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! it is not fit that he should live." Bonds and imprisonments awaited him in the capital of the world. And yet he could say, "The Lord of Peace give you peace in all places." In the prison he had found it; in that infinite tumult and despair of his own spirit he had found it. And this, he was certain, was not because he was an apostle — because he had Divine revelations — because he had singular gifts. It was because he was a man, sharing the temptations of men, experiencing in himself the redemption which had been wrought out. for men.

VI. DO WE NOT NEED TO HEAR AT THIS TIME, IN THIS PLACE, THE SAME MESSAGE?

VII. But is not THE WEEK THAT WITNESSES OF THE SACRIFICE OF THE VICTIM ONE THAT BRINGS PEACE, IF IT FINDS BUT LITTLE? Is not the week that commemorates the completion of the sacrifice one that carries peace even into the midst of war? Yes! this, and nothing less, is what these days signify. "The Lord of Peace Himself give you peace in all places." You want a Lord of Peace, One in whom Peace dwells always, under all conditions, amidst all turmoils. Here, in the agony of the garden, on the cross of Calvary, behold Him!

(F. D. Maurice, M. A.)

I. THE LORD OF PEACE is Jesus. St. Paul habitually calls Him Lord, and brings His name into special relation with peace. This is an apt compendium of His other titles and gives in one perfect phrase the whole sum of His mediatorial work.

1. The appellation is only another form of the title by which His coming was fore-announced. It was declared that He should vanquish Satan, turn aside the Divine displeasure, and establish a government of peace. Isaiah makes all His glorious names merge into "The Prince of Peace." His mediatorial obedience is bearing "the chastisement of our peace." The increase of His kingdom would be the "abundance of peace" (Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 72:7).

2. The manner of His coming was a token of peace. "God with us." "Peace on earth." These announcements declared that the world's Peace was born, and that the alliance of God with our nature was the reconciliation which had been preached. This was the "everlasting sign that should not be cut off" (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 55:13).

3. But He who brought that sign was Himself cut off that it might be everlasting. Though the reconciliation was virtually effected from the beginning, for the "Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world," yet it required the atonement of "the blood of the Cross" (Colossians 1:20-22).

4. The title, however, is a glorious one, and directs our thought to Christ's exaltation. Our Melchizedek became King of Salem, i.e. peace, by virtue of the sacrifice which He first offered as Priest of the Most High God. But the Royal title tells us that He has achieved our peace with the power of an endless life. Yet, like His ancient type, He was never other than a King.

5. Whilst this is true, it must not be forgotten that the term "Lord" is for the most part applied to Christ in respect of the jurisdiction He obtained in death (Romans 14:9; Matthew 28:18; Acts 10:36). Everything became Dominical from that time: the Lord's "house," "supper," "day," and so "peace."

6. Christ is Himself the Publisher of His own peace. The terms on which the sinner may make his peace with God are prescribed by the Lord Himself; nor does He permit any human authority to interfere with them.(1) Repentance; no peace that was ever pronounced upon those who are careless of this condition was ever ratified by Him.(2) But when this condition is complied with He demands only a supreme reliance upon Himself; and those who encumber the sinner's approach by any human inventions have Do sanction from Him.

II. THE BESTOWMENT OF PEACE.

1. Our Saviour Himself administers His own government by His Spirit, and imparts with His own hands the blessings of His peace. As He presents His atonement in heaven He imparts it on earth (Romans 5:11). He dispenses the forgiveness of sins, permitting none to interpose between Himself and the penitent save as the simple ambassadors of His will. He commanded His apostles to preach and to utter the salutation of peace, but the assurance of remission He reserved for His own lips. But in proportion to the restraint upon them was the freedom with which He dispensed it to the penitent. And still "the Lord of Peace" speaks the word that tranquillizes the conscience and gives the heart rest.

2. "Give you peace always." This means —(1) At the Outset, that the humble petitioner may expect a permanent assurance of acceptance. The prayer for forgiveness which ascends "without ceasing" is heard and answered "always."(2) But the peace of Christ is larger and deeper than reconciliation; it includes all spiritual prosperity (John 14:27; John 15:11).

3. "By all means." We must expect it to come through strange and seemingly discordant methods. He who is "Lord of Peace" shows His supremacy in this, that He can make all things contribute to His servants' prosperity. We pray not merely that the Redeemer may shed peace through His Word and ordinances, but in tribulation, and make that minister to the profound communion of the soul with God; that He may preserve to the spirit interior peace, whilst the surface is harassed by temptation; that the very turbulence of the world may be made not only to heighten our peace by contrast, but to confirm it by driving us to more perfect fellowship with Him (John 16:33).

III. THE GUARANTEE OF THIS PEACE. ''The Lord be with you all." Where He dwells there must be peace, but this indwelling is only secured by prayer. He commanded His disciples to pronounce their peace in every house they entered. Much more does He observe His own law. Entering our hearts, He speaks His "peace"; abiding in us, He gives us peace "always"; and by the secret energy of His grace He turns all events to our good "by all means."

(W. B. Pope, D. D.)

Before closing his letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul desires three Divine things for them.

I. THAT THE LORD OF PEACE WOULD GIVE THEM PEACE. By peace some understand all manner of prosperity; but the apostle meant, in particular, peace with God — peace in their own conscience — peace among themselves — peace among others. And this peace he desired for them always, and in everything, and by all means. As they enjoyed the means of grace, he would have them successful in the use of all the means and methods of grace; for peace is often difficult, as it is always desirable. The gift of peace is God's, who is "the Author of peace and Lover of concord." And of this we may be firmly assured — that we shall neither have peaceable dispositions ourselves, nor find men disposed to be at peace with us, unless the Lord of Peace Himself give us both.

II. THAT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD MIGHT BE WITH THEM. How intensely the great leader of Israel desired the Divine Presence to go with him and the people to the land of promise may be gathered from his own words to Jehovah Himself: "If Thy Presence go not with me, carry us not up hence." He knew full well not only the absolute need of His presence to guide them, but also that His presence really included every other good. Paul felt as did Moses. He was sure that if the Lord was with the Thessalonians, all would be well with them. And we need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire anything better for ourselves and our friends than to have the Lord's gracious presence with us and them. This will be a guide and guard in every path we may go, and a real comfort in every condition in which we may be placed. It is the presence of God that maketh heaven to be heaven, and the presence of God will make this earth, albeit cursed with sin and sorrow, like unto heaven. No matter where we are if God be with us; no matter who is absent from us if God be present with us.

III. THAT THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MIGHT ALSO BE WITH THEM. Whatever the eminence of the Thessalonians for their inherent virtues and gracious qualifications, yet the apostle knew that it was only God's sovereign grace, and not their own merit, which must be relied upon for obtaining any temporal or spiritual mercy from the hands of God; for though he commended them for their faith, and love, and patience, and other excellences, yet he closeth and crowneth all by wishing God's free grace and favour to them as the fountain-cause of all they stood in need of or could expect. This grace or favour flows to us through Jesus. And it is this that is "all in all" to make us pure and happy. The apostle admired and magnified this grace on all occasions: he delighted and trusted in it: it had made him the saint, and the preacher, and the hero that he was; and no marvel that, as he loved his Thessalonian converts with a deep and holy passion, he took his leave of them with words so meet arid precious.

(D. Mayo.)

I. THE MANY-SIDED BLESSING. The peace of the text is a gem with many facets, but —

1. Its main bearing is towards God.(1) The Atonement has wrought perfect reconciliation and established everlasting peace. Into the enjoyment of this all believers enter.(2) Our hearts should be at peace by being fully in accord with God's will. Some of God's children complain of His dealings with them and so have not perfect peace.(3) There is also the peace of conscious complacency, the sense of Divine love which is lost when God hides His face through our sin. Peace because sin is forgiven is the fruit of justification (Romans 5:1). Peace because the heart is made to agree with the will of God is the result of sanctification. "To be spiritually minded is...peace." Peace through consciousness of Divine love is attendant on the spirit of adoption.

2. This peace spreads itself abroad, and covers all things with its soft light. He who is at peace with God is at peace with all things that are God's, and all things work together for his good.

3. This practically shows itself in the Christian's inward peace with regard to his present circumstances. He sees God's hand in everything, and is content. Is he poor? The Lord makes him rich in faith. Is he sick? The Lord endows him with patience.

4. This peace is mainly to be found in the soul itself as to its thoughts, believings, hopings, and desires: "the good man is satisfied from himself." Some minds are strangers to peace.

(1)How can they have peace where they have no faith.

(2)When they are much afraid.

II. THE SPECIAL DESIRABLENESS OF THIS PEACE.

1. It is essential to the joy, comfort, and blessedness of the Christian life.

2. Without peace you cannot grow, A shepherd may find good pasture for his flock, but if they are hunted about by dogs they will soon become skin and bone.

3. Without peace you cannot bear much fruit. If a tree is frequently transplanted, you cannot reasonably look for many golden apples.

4. Stability is dependent on peace. The doctrine can soon be driven out of a man's head which affords no light and comfort to his heart.

5. You must have peace for your soul's wealth. As war spends and peace gathers the riches of nations, so does inward strife devour us, while spiritual peace makes the soul fat.

III. THE SOLE PERSON FROM WHOM THIS PEACE MUST COME — the Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Who else can it be but He whom the angels announced with "Peace on earth"; who made peace by the blood of His Cross; who is "our Peace," having broken down the middle wall of partition; who said, "My peace I leave with you," etc.?

1. The apostle does not say, "May the Lord of Peace send His angel or His minister to give you peace," or "May you have it at the communion table, or in reading the Word, or in prayer." In all these we might be refreshed — but "Himself" give you peace.(1) We do not obtain peace except from the Lord Himself. His Person is a source of peace.(2) He "gives" this peace; not merely offers it to you, or argues with you that you ought to have it, or shows you the grounds.

2. "The Lord be with you all" — as much as to say, "That is what I mean; if He is present, you must enjoy peace." Let the sea rage, yet when Jesus arises there will be a great calm.

IV. THE SWEEP OF THE PRAYER.

1. "Always." On weekdays as well as Sundays; in the prayer meeting and in the workshop; with the Bible and with the ledger; at all times, under all circumstances, and everywhere. Why are we troubled, when we may have this peace always?

2. "By all means." Some agencies evidently make for peace, but He can give us peace by opposing forces; by the bitter as well as the sweet; the storm as well as the peace; loss as well as gain; death as well as life. There are two grand ways of giving us peace.(1) By taking away all that disquiets us. Here is one who frets because he does not make much money, or has lost some. Suppose the Lord takes away his covetousness; he is at peace, not because he has more money, but less of grasping desire. Another is ambitious. Suppose the grace of God humbles him so that be only wishes to be and to do what the Lord wills; how readily he rests. Another has an angry temper; the Lord does not alter the character of the people round about him, but makes him gentle. What peace he now feels!(2) By discoveries of Himself and His grace. Conclusion: "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. "Always" — i.e., absolutely permanent. The same word is used of the angels, who always behold the face of God; and of Christ, who "foresaw the Lord always before Him." The constancy of the Christian's peace is to be the same as that wherewith angels wait on the behests of God and Jesus realizes God's presence.

2. "In every manner." There are different modes and circumstances of its manifestation, according as the heart is burdened with anxiety, or depressed with a sense of sin, or feverish with excitement, or distracted by business. We may taste it in every form, according to the special need of the moment.

3. The Lord of Peace, its Author and Source, is called upon to bestow it (John 14:27; Philippians 4:4-7).

4. This peace is a main essential to holiness; it is not only the root out of which it grows, but the strength in which alone it can be successfully pursued, and the element in which it moves. Its spheres are —

I. THE CONSCIENCE.

1. It must be admitted by faith in Christ — such an act as shall shed abroad in the heart a sense of God's pardoning love. This act is simply a cordial acceptance of God's gift of Christ. Having performed this, we place ourselves in the condition described in Romans 5:1.

2. But it must be detained. It is a sensitive guest, apt to take flight at the slightest affront, The conscience, once cleared by faith, must be kept clear by effort, the use of appropriate means, sad repeated acts of faith. "Herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence." But as faults will accrue, we need for the maintenance of peace periodical examinations of the conscience.

II. THE HEART. Peace under the vexations and frettings of life.

1. This fretting may arise from anxieties, the right method of dealing with which is in Philippians 4:4-7. Whatever may be your wishes on the subject which makes you anxious, refer them to God in prayer; and having done so, leave them with Him, assured that He will order the matter for the best. Drop them altogether. They are off your hands now, and are in better hands. They are no longer your business; they need not be your care. Thinking is utterly fruitless, and fruitless thinking is waste of the energy needed for progress, and is also a positive breach of God's precept — "Be careful for nothing." The spiritual life of the present moment is the one thing needful. As for future evil, it may never come; and if it does, it will prove less in reality than in anticipation. The women going to the sepulchre troubled themselves unnecessarily about the stone, for it was rolled away.

2. This discomposure may arise from things going cross in daily life, rubs of temper, annoyance, etc. The rule for the maintenance of peace is here the same. Never let your thoughts dwell on a matter in which another has made you sore. If you do, a hundred aggravations will spring up. With a brief prayer for him who has offended you, keep your thoughts away from what he has done. Try to realize God's presence. "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." But the great point is to let the mind settle. Turbid liquids will clear themselves, and precipitate their sediment simply by standing. Be still, then. Conclusion:

1. Those who indulge fretful feelings, either of anxiety or irritation, give an opening to the devil in their hearts. "Fret not thyself, else thou shalt be moved to do evil." "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil." Peace is the sentinel of the soul; only so long as this sentinel is on guard the castle is kept secure.

2. Be careful to maintain peace, if thou wouldst not only resist the devil, but receive the guidance of God's Spirit. That Spirit cannot make communications to a soul in a turbulent state. The Lord is not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. Not until these have passed, can His still small voice be heard.

(Dean Goulburn.)

I. First, then, we have A PEACEFUL DESIGNATION.

1. He who is the eternal and omnipotent Jehovah — "The man of war," "The lion of the tribe of Judah," is here described as "The Lord of Peace." He is so in His disposition. Peace, like silver sheen, is woven in His nature. His life manifested it, His words breathed it, His looks beamed with it, His prayers pleaded for it, His chastisement was to procure it, and His death was to seal it.

2. This fact may be yet more clearly seen if we remember how longsuffering He is with His enemies. What trifles prove sufficient to light the torch of war, if there be the desire first. Contrast with this what our Lord bears from His avowed foes, and His long suffering towards them, and you will then be enabled in some measure to grasp the peaceableness of His disposition. Oh, what affronts does He receive, and yet forbears to smite! What indignities are heaped upon Him! How is His name profaned, His Sabbath desecrated, His laws broken, His Book derided, His worship neglected! What monarch on earth has ever been so openly defied, and that by creatures who are at His mercy for their very breath and bread?

3. This peace loving disposition of our Lord can also be demonstrated by His forbearance with His friends. A slight from an open enemy is insignificant in its power to wound, compared with one that comes from a professed friend. What weakness, what base ingratitude, what falseness of affection are shown to Him, by the very ones whose names are engraven on His heart. And yet He bears with us and loves us still. Surely God's grace is not more marvellous in its first love than in that love's continuation.

4. The Lord is also the "Lord of Peace" in His actions. This is seen in the fact that He purchased it at a tremendous cost. Peace could only be procured by His own humiliation, agony, and death. At His baptism the peaceful nature of His mission was again made known, by the descent of the Holy Spirit. In what form was it that the Spirit alighted upon Him? He is His people's Ambassador above; and whilst He remains our representative there, our peace is secured, and glorious truth, "He ever liveth to make intercession for us."

5. The peace that was purchased by His blood is now secured by His life, and He only waits to place the crown upon the whole by perfecting our peace. Peace without the alarm of battle; peace beyond the noise or even rumour of strife; peace, deep and calm as mountain lake unruffled by a breeze, yet glittering in the sunlight, is the sweet consummation of the dealings of the Lord of Peace with us.

II. We have, in the second place, A PEACEFUL SUPPLICATION. "The Lord of Peace, give you peace."

1. A conscience peace. This is one of the greatest gifts the Lord can bestow. What is a man without it? He may be surrounded by every luxury; but if he lacks this, he lives in a perpetual hell. That this happy experience might be theirs was prayed for by the apostle.

2. But as these words were addressed unto the Church at Thessalonica, they may also be understood as praying for their Church peace. A Church without peace is in just as wretched a condition as a heart without it. No country has ever suffered half so much through the ravages of war as has God's Church from its internal strifes. And, alas! as in other wars, what trifles kindle the flame. Some little grievance between two members, which a word of explanation on either side would heal at once, is allowed to grow and rankle, whilst partisans flock to the rival standards, and the few neutrals left find themselves powerless to avert the calamity.

3. Notice, further that the peace desired was a perpetual one. "Peace always" was the apostle's prayer. Very different this to the peace which has been Europe's of late. A peace so long, that war shall be forgotten; a peace so complete, that the probability of war shall cease.

4. It was also to be a peace that came by all means. May every privilege (Paul seems to say) which, as Christians, you possess, be so many golden pipes conveying to your hearts the oil of joy and peace 1 When you pray, may you lose your burdens and your cares, and find in it sweet peace. When you gather for the holy purposes of public worship, may a heavenly calm be yours, and may you find the sanctuary a means of peace. When alone, you meditate upon the promises, may they be to you as songs of consolation.

III. A PEACEFUL BENEDICTION. "The Lord be with you all."

1. His presence be with you to comfort. May you never miss His smile or mourn His absence.

2. His power be with you to keep. In the seasons of temptation, may He hold above thy head His shield.

3. His Spirit be with you to guide. In the daytime may a cloudy pillar go before thee, and in the night season may one of fire direct thee.

IV. AN INTERROGATION. "Have you this peace?" Is there within your breast a pacified conscience and a soul that has found its rest?

(A. G. Brown.)

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