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Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, &c. Luke ii. 29, 30.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, &c. Isa. xxxv. 4. Wilful unbelief only is damnable, and not the weak faith of a fear.
ful and tempted believer. If I do not reject the ransom of Christ my surety, but feel my utter need of it, and am heartily desirous to aecept it by faith, God can no more reject me than he can reject my surety, or his own eternal.decree. Yet, since I have
weak faith, and am often ready to sink into despair, it passeth my understanding to conceive how I can depart this life in peace. But as thy peace is said to pass all understanding (Phil. iv. 7.) it is sufficient to keep the weakest and most fearful soul, because it is not by any power of our own, but solely by thy divine power, that “we shall be kept through faith unto salvation.” And it is equally the same to thee to carry the weakest or the strongest through the gates of death ; for since thou art always the same wise, gracious, and mighty God, in all circumstances, and must do the work alone for both, I trust thou wilt lend me also, a poor weak creature, thine all-sufficient help in that time of need !
Saints by the pow'r of God are kept,
Till the salvation come;
Till Christ shall call us home.
Lord, at thy temple we appear,
As happy Simeon came,
O make our joys the same!
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hust thou made them
all; the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm civ. 21. Whoso is wise,
and will observe those things, &c. Psalm cvii. 43. O Lord, how many are thine unknown mercies! I am surrounded
with them on all sides, yet how little do I observe them and acknowledge them to thy praise! If thou hast punished even the Heathen, for not having minded and glorified thee in thy works, what will become of me? Pardon, O Lord, this my blindness and ingratitude, and to all thy other kindness add a thankful heart, that I may joyfully praise thee for the blessing of my creation, the daily bounty of thy providence, and the adorable gift of thy Son. In all thy creatures
may I see and adore thine infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, and be thereby continually strengthened in faith, and stirred up to thy praise and love. Thus let me always converse with thee, cleave to thee, and have uninterrupted communion with thee, that nothing may interfere and disturb this religious disposition of my soul in the
least. Yes, O Lord, grant me this wisdom and close attention for thy glory's sake! Amen.
The glories of my Maker, God,
My joyful voice shall sing, And call the nations to adore
Their Former and their King.
The brightness of our Maker's name
The wide creation fills;
Beyond the heav'nly hills.
The sword of the Lord and of Gideon. Judg vii. 20. For they are bread for
us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us ; fear them not Numb. xiv. 9. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went. Ver. 24. Surely, the wrath of men shall praise thee. Psalm Ixxvi. 10.
Take care, O my soul, that there may also be another, namely, a
kingly spirit with thee, as there was with Joshua and Caleb, not to be discouraged on account of thy weakness and great number of frailties and enemies, as if it were impossible to live holily and get the victory Behold Christ, the true and great Joshua and Caleb, marches out before thee, to make war himself against thine enemies, and who can conquer him? He is unchangeable, his spirit now is as mighty as ever, and his word as powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. Against thy various infirmities, he offers also a variety of divine strength, and against each of thine enemies he holds forth to thee a particular sword in his word; and abiding in his word thou shalt surely conquer. Though the enemy should raise thine inward and outward calamities to the highest degree, as so many strong walls, yet he must fall ; one single word will strike him down.
Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness; I bring
near my righteousness, it shall not be far off'; and my salvation shail not tarry. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rag's. Isa. xlvi. 12, 13; and Ixiv. 6. True religion is founded upon the knowledge of the true God. Sin.
ners are apt to think they have an high opinion of God, because they think highly of his mercy ; whereas God is as holy and just as he is merciful; and he will as certainly punish the guilty, as he will pardon the penitent and believing soul. "God, I thank thee, I am not as other men are," says every self-righteous sinner ; not considering that if God were extreme to mark what is amiss, no flesh living could be justified: “ God be merciful to me, a sinner," says every true Christian and real believer. Till this be thy language, O my soul; till thou feelest thyself a lost, ruined, and helpless sinner ; till thou art brought to acknowledge the justice of God'in thy condemnation ; till thou art driven to Christ as thy only refuge and hope of salvation, thou art “ignorant of God's righteousness, art going about to establish thine own righteousness, and thou dost not submit to the righteousness of Christ.” I am, saith Christ, the Way;
Proceed it from an angel's mouth,
Is but a lie at best.
Let this be seen by faith!
It follows without further strife, Then all that lack this test,
That all besides is death.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim. ii. 3. PRINCES combat with flesh and blood, Christians wrestle with princi
palities and powers ; their wars give days of truce, ours not a minute's rest; conditions of peace there may cause retreat ; nothing but death here can raise the siege ; kings, if overcome, may save themselves by flight, but Christians may as soon Ay from themselves as from their enemies; the soldier of Christ is in a field of continued conflict; he cannot let fall his hands but Amalek prevails: Not to be a conqueror, is to be a prisoner ; not to win the field, is to lose the soul; security wounds thee, yielding kills thee, but victory crowns thee. Therefore, watch as for thy life; fight as for thy soul; the time will come when “these enemies thou seest to-day, thou shalt see them no more for ever !" then thou shalt lay down thy sword, and take up thy crown and sing “ Victory, victory,” for ever, through the blood of the Lamb! Let then the prospect of heavenly glory fire thee; though thine enemies be powerful, yet remember to go forth against them in the strength of the Captain of thy salvation ; though assaults be many, and my enemies mighty, if God strengthen me, I have enough to comfort me; for the greater my enemy, the more glorious my victory; and the more glorious my victory, the more triumphant my glory.