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I'here is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God;
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. Ps. xlvi. 4, 5. Ye ure of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John vi. 4. Ps. cx. 2. Zech. ii. 5. True Christians, in a right spirit, still are subject to temptations from
within and without; but watching unto prayer, they do not fall by them. On the contrary, as temptations are great helps to discover their hidden infirmities, and stir them up to be more cautious, serious, and faithful, they are followed and rewarded with great and glorious victories. Temptations are not indeed joyous in themselves, but are attended with good fruit and blessed effects in the faithful. Hence St. James bids us count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations. What reason have we then to be afraid of temptations, since every one carries a new blessing along with it?
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the tempest still is high.
Till the storm of life is past!
Q receive my soul at last !
Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Still support and comfort me!
All my help from thee I bring;
With the shadow of thy wing!
Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts
thereof. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Rom. vi. 12. James iv. 7.
O my soul, how awful is thy state by nature and practice! Sin hath
gained a dominion over thee; its influence is universal over the soul and body, and over every son and daughter of Adam: it hath brought death on the body, and subjected the soul to everlasting misery ; its au. thority is unjust, and its power cruel and destructive. Lord Jesus, let me adore thine effectual grace, that it hath in any
measure delivered me from its power, and assist my poor heart in opposing and rejecting every temptation to obey it in the lusts thereof ; let thy precious blood effectually secure me from the guilt of sin in this life, and the punishment of it in another! O my soul, if thou art a faithful follower of Jesus, though Satan received a deadly wound when Christ was crucified for us, yet his malice is still the same! thou hast a thousand enemies, and the devil is the leader of them all. O may 1, with the deepest humility, look to Jesus, rest upon Jesus, and derive daily strength from him to resist the devil! and, finally, to come off conqueror, and more than con. queror, through him that loved me.
Stretch out thine arm, victorious King!
My reigning sins subdue !
Drive the old Dragon from his seat,
And form my soul anew!
Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth
know we him no more. 2 Cor. v. 16.
Wat is it to know Christ after the flesh? It is to content ourselves
with carnal views of his person, character, and kingdom. This was the case with all those who followed him, not on account of his miracles and doctrines, but for the loaves and fishes. Alas! are there not too many who wish to know Christ for carnal, worldly interest, and not that they may be saved from a proud, rebellious heart, and an ungodly life ? O my soul, let me see to it, that my seeking after Christ may not be carnal, but spiritual ! worldly interest is too apt, it
be feared, to influence both private professors and even public preachers. True believers can say, that henceforth this carnal knowledge of Christ is not their pursuit. "Where the Spirit of Jesus regenerates the heart, and we are brought to a spiritual and experimental knowledge of Christ, we shall love Him, rejoice in Him, humbly submit to his will in all things, and daily pray to be more and more like Him. O thou dear and precious Jesus! grant that this may be more and more my experience, till I shall know Thee in all thy holiness and glory, for ever and ever!
The Lord preserves the simple ; I was brought low, and he helped me.
Psalm cxvi. 6. He who walks in godly simplicity and humility, accounting his own
infirmities always the greatest, will best be preserved from being puffed up and sifted by the enemy of souls; and, surely, nothing should humble us more than justification by free grace. The more we consider and carefully cherish that, the more this simple, child-like, quiet temper will increase : for since there is nothing in ourselves which can be depended upon, but all must be freely received from Christ, this, at the same time cutting off all vain boasting, brings us low, settles our peace in Christ, who is our All, and is sure enough to be rested upon. It is only from thee, O my dear Saviour, I can learn true simplicity! teach me, therefore, to turn mine eyes, not upon others, but upon myself. Humble me to the uttermost, and fashion me after thy own mind, that I may be careful to avoid every thing that is contrary to love. Keep me, O my Light, from all self-dependence and selfconceit, bridle my carnal reason, and pull down all vain imaginations! Grant that my eye may be fixed only upon that one thing needful which lasts eternally! and that in all my words, deeds, and gestures I may always resemble the simplicity, innocence, fidelity, and love of a little child. Matt. xviii. 3. Rich grace,
free grace, most sweetly calls, , 'Tis grace each day that feeds our souls ; Directly come who will;
Grace keeps us inly poor ; Just as you are, for Christ receives And ch! that nothing else but grace Poor helpless sinners still.
May rule for evermore!
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm xxiii. 1.
it himself. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. John x. 10, 28.
READER, IS s the Lord Jesus thy Shepherd ? Has he called thee out of the
wilderness ? called thy heart from the love of sin, and the world, and brought thee into his fold and pastures ? brought thee into a close attendance on his ordinances ? And does he feed and refresh thy soul with his word? Canst thou distinguish the shepherd's voice from the voice of an hireling? And does thy heart cleave to the Shepherd in faith and love, adoring his person, and approving his laws, as well as admiring his doctrines? Then fear not, the Lord is with thee; Jesus is thy Shepherd: thou shalt want nothing that is really good. Follow thy Shepherd till he bring thee to glory!
Ny shepherd is the living Lord;
My wand'ring feet his
mistake ; But he restores my soul to peace, And leads me, for his mercy's sake, In the fair path of righteousness.