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But how different is the situation of the man who is able to say, with the noble confidence of the apostle, "I know in whom I have believed, "and I am persuaded, that he is able to keep "that which I have committed unto 1meh'!" Wherever I am, or whatever I do, I know that I am still under the watchful care of God's Providence, which is able to preserve me from all dangers. And though sometimes his footsteps are hid in darkness, and his ways past finding out, I will yet acquiesce in his dispensations, nor pretend with mortal eye to measure the heights of infinity. He is a God, I ani but a worm: is it, therefore, to be wondered at, that I cannot always discover the reasons of his administration? But my past experience of his mercy and protection, and the general harmony apparent in the government of the world proclaim him wise, and just, and good. I will, therefore, submit to his will with reverence: ."It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him "good." If his Providence scatters the blessings of life around me, I will receive them with thankfulness: if it rains down afflictions upon me, I will bear them with submission: in every event of life, mine shall be the humble language of Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath "taken away, blessed be the name of the "Lord."
May this holy spirit be in the breast of every one that heareth me this day! May we love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, with all our might, and with all our strength! May his will be done in earth, as it is in heaven! May all the scattered nations of the world acknowledge his kingdom, and adore his power! May the lowest look up to him with confidence and comfort: for he is the friend of the friendless, the comforter of the poor and needy. And may the highest bow down tojiim with submissive fear and filial reverence: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; he is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Psalm cxxxvii. 5, 6.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
r I ^HIS psalm is, with great reason, supposed -*• to be the composition of a Jewish Levite, after the return from the Babylonish captivity, though the great oracle of infidelity, Voltaire, ignorantly ascribes it to David, who was dead four hundred years before the event: and the afflicted author most pathetically describes in it the calamities and indignities which his countrymen suffered during that long and unfortunate period. There is something singularly affecting, as well as truly poetical, in the exordium of it.—" By the rivers of Babylon;" on the solitary banks of the Euphrates, which we were compelled to inhabit; that we might give the freer vent to our sorrows, being unable to yield thee any other testimony of our affection, "We sat down and wept when we remembered
"thee, O Sion;" when we compared thy former glory and prosperity with the low and deplorable state to which thou wast then fallen. As for our harps, having now no farther call for them, t||ther for our own amusement, or for the solemn services of the temple, we hanged them upon the willows which overspread the banks, that they might be so many sad mementos of the happiness we had lost, and that they might not be profaned at the pleasure of our impious tyrants, "For there, they that carried us away captive," the destroyers of Jerusalem, the authors of all our grief and misery, most insultingly required of us mirth in our sorrow, and melody in our heaviness:—" Come," said they, "sing Us one of the songs of Sion;" one of those sacred hymns which you used to sing in the temple of your God. Ye absurd, ye impious tyrants !" how shall we sing the Lord's "song in a strange land?"—Ye may fetter and enslave our captive bodies, but ye cannot bend or debase our free-born souls to servile compliance. How, think ye, can we celebrate the ^worship of our God in any other place than that which He himself has appointed? Can ye expect those songs of praise and thanksgiving, which were composed in honour of the great Jehovah, the God of Israel, to be vilely prostituted to the followers of Baal, and the wor1 shippers