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thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest."
Nov. 3.-" As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."
THIS is the duty; this is the privilege of the Christian. Whether he considers and feels himself in a state of exile-or warfare-or perplexity-or penury-or varying experience-or misapprehension from others; if "sorrowful," he may, and he ought to be able to say"Yet always rejoicing."
Though dwelling with strangers around,
The day of release is at hand.
To enter my welcome abode;
Though hourly summon'd to arms,
And legions against me combine,
My weapons and cause are divine.
And banner'd by Faith in his Name,
And mazy the paths that I tread,
And still he has promised to lead.
And faith shall be turned to sight.
If small my allotment below,
Their wealth they must quickly resign.
Nov. 4.-"Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him." Matt. viii. 7.
We may consider these words as
An answer to prayer. And let us observe whose prayer it was. He never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. But this Centurion was an alien from the commonwealth of Israel; a Roman ; a Gentile. Yet he is immediately heard. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Whoever I am, let me there
fore apply to him-animated by the assurance, Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. Let us observe, also, what prayer it was. It was not a prayer for the petitioner himself; but for another. As he never refused any who addressed him on their own behalf; so he never refused any that addressed him on the account of others. Let this teach and encourage us to pray for others. Let friends pray for friends; and parents, for their children; and masters and mistresses, for their servants-We are commanded to pray for all men.
We may consider the words as an instance of condescension. He was fairer than the children of men; higher than the kings of the earth. All the angels of God worshipped him. Yet no sooner is his goodness implored, than, in a moment, he is ready to go and stand by the side of the pallet of a poor sick slave !-I will come and heal him. The mas ter was very humane and compassionate, or he would not have taken the trouble to send to our Lord, on the behalf of one considered so much below him. What is a slave, to many an owner? No more than a beast of burden. David found an Egyptian in the field, who had eaten no bread nor drunk any water for three days and three nights: "And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick." A wretch! How unlike him was this Centurion! But he, even he, is surprized, and scarcely knows how to accept of the Saviour's offer-Yea, he even deems it condescension to himself—I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof. And shall not we condescend to men of low estate? "Did not He that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?"
We may consider the words as a display of power. I will come and attend him-would be the
language of a friend. I will come and pray_with him-would be the language of a minister. I will come and examine his case, and see if I can afford him relief-would be the language of the physician. But Jesus speaks like himself-I will come and heal him. He knew his own sufficiency. And the Centurion knew it. It was the principle of his reasoning-"Though I am not the commander-inchief, but a subordinate officer, yet it is not necessary even for me to go to a place, in order to act. My word is enough-I say to one of my soldiers, Go, and he goeth; to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. How much more, O Lord! are all creatures and events under thy controul! Thy word runneth very swiftly. Neither disease or death can withstand it." So our Saviour understood him. He therefore admired him, and said, I have not found so great faith; no, not in Israel. And we should have the same strong confidence in his ability-That he is mighty to save-able to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him. For
We may consider the words as affording an emblem of the salvation of the sinner. Whatever some may think of human nature, we are fallen creatures we are spiritually diseased-and there is no health in us-and we are ready to perish-and are incapable of recovering ourselves-And
"The help of men and angels join'd
But he says, Lo! I come I will come and heal him. It was the design of his coming in the fleshThe Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. It is the purpose of his coming now in the agency of his Grace-I will bring them, says he, health and cure. He heals them, meritoriously,
by his stripes; efficiently, by his Spirit; instrumentally, by his word, ordinances, and providences. The recovery, indeed, he is pleased to carry on by degrees. He could, by one application, yea, by one volition, remove all their complaints: but it does not comport with his wisdom. His people, therefore, continue his patients; and are no more than convalescents all through life. But if slow, the recovery, is sureNothing can elude His skill, or baffle his remedy. When dying, they may say, with Baxter, "Almost well"-And when they enter Immanuel's land, there the inhabitants shall no more say, I am sick.
Nov. 5.-" This God is our God for ever and ever."
THIS is the language of a proprietary in God. And it is founded in truth. In the covenant of grace established, not with them, but with the surety, he has, so to speak, made over himself to his people, saying-I will be thy God. I am thine, and all that I have my perfections; my relations; my works; my word; my ordinances; my dispensations-I am thy salvation-to thee I am all and in all. Hence there is no propriety like this, not only for the value of it, but the reality, too. Justly speaking, nothing else is our own. Our time is not our own. Our wealth is not our own. Our children are not our own. Our bodies, our souls, are not our own-But God is our own-And God, even our own God, shall bless us.
It is the language of an assured proprietary. This God is our God. The relation may be known and claimed. And with what a repetition does David express it "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.