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While the bridegroom ťarried they all slumbered und slept, Mat. XXV. 5.
O THAT I
may be roused out of my slumber, and be watchful and ready against the coming of my bridegroom! How many are there that set out in good earnest in their way to Heaven, and run well for some tịme, but at last are lulled to rest, and entangled again with a false notion of liberty! Even the wise virgins fell asleep. Let this be a warning to me, O Lord ! set thou a guard before my eyes, ears, and other faculties, lest the world should again enter through these avenues of the heart; if the spark be not speedily extinguished, it will soon break out into a fiame : thus sin is of a progressive nature, and its venom spreads quickly and very wide, unless it be stopped and opposed in time. Watch therefore over this ynsteady heart of mine, thou Keeper of Israel! that as soon as įt begins to wander from thee, I may be alarmed to flee from sin as from a serpent. Give mę grace to look upon every hour as my last, so that being ever wisely upon my guard, I may meet thee with joy when my time is run out, whenever it shall please thee to call me hence.
The fearful soul that tires and faints, And walks the ways of God no more,
Is but eștecm'd almost a saint, And makes his own destruction sure.
Lord, let not all my hopes be vain!
Create my heart entirely new ! Which hypocrites could ne'er attain,
Which false apostates never knew,
But while the men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the
wheat. Mat. xiii. 25.
No wonder that Christians lose their power and strength, if the ene
my of souls find them asleep. How soon may he gain an advantage from without, if a strict guard is not kept within ! Though Satan seems to sleep sometimes, and we should by all appearance be in no great danger, it is only his stratagem to make us careless. He never fails to be vigilant, and watch his opportunity, that he may offer us battle with advantage ; and who knows but he may gain the victory by those very sins, to which perhaps we, for many years, had hardly any temptation. O! how cunningly does he work! how enticing is the world! even in lawful things, very often, the most dangerous snares lie hidden. A single word that we hear may be able to disturb our peace. One unguarded look is sometimes enough to infatuate our hearts. There is danger on all sides. Unless the Lord open our eyes, and preserves us on all occasions, each of us, even the best, may still be overcome and deadly hurt by sin and the world. Satan is particularly busy to sift, the godly most of all; and having catched them in his net, triumphs exceedingly over tliem.-- O Lord, suffer me never to fall asleep again! Help me to watch and pray,
And let me ne'er my trust betray, And on thyself rely !
Lest I for ever die !
The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grem. And
the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried; and their cry came up unto God, by reason of the bondage. And God looked
upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. Exod. i. 12; and ii. 23, 25. The more we are oppressed by our spiritual and temporal enemies,
the more will the kingdom of God increase in and through us. And when distress and dangers oppress us most, God hastens to our aid, and makes our necessity itself the mean of our relief; for the ways of God are always wonderful. It was an extreme distress when the children of the Israelites were cast into the river ; but this was the mean of preserving Moses, their intended deliverer. When Moses came, they were not relieved immediately, for their calamities increase ed. This is God's method. But they cried the more to God, and he relieved them by signs and wonders. After this, their distress was greater than ever at the Red Sea ; for after God has shown his glory in assisting us, he can still send greater trials. But when they were bea set on all sides by distress and death, then came the most glorious succour of all, and their enemies perished in the Red Sea. Lord, suffer us not to despair in any extremity, but enable us to believe and experi. ence that the greater our distress, the nearer and more glorious will be thy aid, and all our enemies will be consumed as stubble before the devouring flame. Lord, I am thine; but thou wilt prove
What sinners value, I resign ; My faith, my patience, and my love ! Lord, 'tis enough that Thou art mine ? When men of spite against me join, I shall behold thy blissful face, They are the sword, the hand is thine. And stand complete ip righteousness,
Ilerein is love, not ihat we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent
his Son to be the propitinion for our sins. We love hini, becuuse he first loved as. 1 John iv. 10, 19. He that loves me, sliall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and wilt manifest myself unto him. We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John xiv. 21, 23. O what a glorious promise! what manner of love is this ! Lord, i
would not exchange my cross and sufferings, much less tủy love, for the love and honours of the world. Only make it more known to me how great thy love is, and how much thou hast forgiven mė, that i may love thee much again, and be thereby still better purged from the inordinate love of temporal things. It is my earnest desire that the gates of my heart should be open to none but thee, that thou alone mayst dwell in me. Shed thy lové abroad in my heart, quicken and renew all the faculties of my mind and body, and work every thing ini and for me,
Oh, for this Tove ! let rocks and hilis
Their lasting silence break ;
The Saviour's praises speak!
Oly set eath heart on flame!
Ilosannah round the spacious earth
To thine adored name !
Strike all your harps of gold;
His love can ne'er be told !
Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be
accepted of him. 2 Cor. v. 9. This indeed is the true disposition of a soul espoused to Christ
She has but one care, which is to please him in all things. And this desire to do his will is, as it were, the ring and seal of her bridegroom; which she
upon even in the absence of all spiritual joy, as a token for good, that she is his spouse. Ought not then this day, O my soul, to be a new wedding-day with Christ? He is desirous that thou shouldst be betrothed unto him, even now, and waits only for thy consent. Hearken, O daughter! consider and incline thine ear; be no longer married to the world. Forget thine own people and thy father's house, and take him alone for thy husband, so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty. Wilt thou give the refusal to this glorious and loving Saviour? I hope not. Give it rather to the world, and resolutely say It is enough, I have done with thee, O poor world! I break the bonds of my former love; my eyes and feet shall henceforth only be directed to the blessed and eternal city of the new Jerusalem, where my heavenly bridegroom resides. And o what need have I to be duly prepared, dressed, and beautified against his coming, and the time of his taking me home to himself! Lord Jesus, keep me longing for thine appearance.
If Christ is ours, we may despise His love experienc'd will impart