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« BOUNTIFUL Father of mercies, who art supplying the daily wants of the millions which are looking up to thee from all parts of the universe; we desire grace to praise thee for this seasonable and suitable portion of food, which thou hast spread before us for the support of our perishing bodies. And we intreat thee for grace from thy Holy Spirit in the use of it, that we may receive this and every other blessing, as coming from our reconciled Father and God in Christ Jesus. Vouchsafe, dearest Saviour, to sit at the table which thou hast furnished ; and may we be among those, which shall sit at thy table in thy kingdom ;' and while, as thy chil. dren going home to thine house, thou art refreshing us thus by the way, though all the benefit be ours, let thine be all the glory. Amen.'
We had scarcely finished our repast, wl:en the mistress of the house came in to inform us of the situation of a poor man in the street, who. had been bed-ridden for fifteen years. He is a very pious creature,' added the mistress, and a great number of gentry go to visit him. I thought it might be pleasant to you to hear of him.'— That it is,' replied my friend, and we thank you for it. We will go to see him. Where is his dwelling ?-Five doors only below our house,' she answered, and the waiter shall show you.'
When we came into the poor man's room, though every thing manifested the indigence of his circumstances, yet it was that kind of poverty which recommended itself by its cleanlincss.-There stood a lady at the foot of his bed, in conversation with the sick man. How do
you live?'. I heard. her say as I entered the chamber. Live, madam!' replied the poor, man, “ I am in very good circumstances; I am not only rich by reason of present possessions ; but I am heir to a large estate.'- Astonishing!' said she, "you were pointed out to me as a very poor man, and I came to give you some relief.'-_That you may still do, madam, if you please,' answered he, "for the riches I possess, and the inheritance to which I am born do not at present make me above charity. I am only rich in faith and an heir of the kingdom.'
Oh! replied the lady, is that all? But in the mean time how do you manage for this world;'- My God,' cried the poor man, 'sup-, plies all my need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I know both how to be akased, and I know how to abound. I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry : both to abound, and to suffer need.' When my worldly stock is reduced low, and I have neither scrip, nor bread, nor money in the purse;' I make use of bank-notes.'-Bank-notes !' exclaimed the lady. Yes, madam,' he answered,
here is a book full of them ;. taking up a Bible which lay upon the bed, and opening it;
and oftentimes I find many folded up togee ther in the same place to which I open. Look here, madam,' he contimued ; see, here is a promise suited to every poor man's case. When the poor and needy seek for water, and there is none, and their tongues faileth for thirst: 1 the LORD will hear them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high-places, and fountains in the midst of vala jies*.' And the high value of those promises, is that they are sure and certain. Faith draws upon the Almighty Banker, and his is all prompt payment.' While the poor sick man said this,
• Isaiah xii, 17, 18
he opened the Bible to another part, and he exclaimed again, "See madam, here is another promise to a soul under doubts and fears. "I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go ; I will guide thee with mine eye*?. And thus, madam, in every stam and
every circumstance of life, in this blessed book are assurances exactly suited to the wants both of my body and soul. Promises of provision for the way ; deliverances under danger; preservation in seasons of affliction; support under trouble ; direction in times of difficulty ; and the Lord's assured presence in every time of need. Fear thou not; for I am with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousnesst.'
The lady, without adding any thing, put a piece of money into the poor man's hand, and withdrew. What her sentiments were, I know not. But, as soon as she was departed, my companion addressed the sick man. much delighted,' he said, 'to see you, my friend, so cheerful. It is a pleasing consideration, that your sickness is sanctified.-But are
* Psalm xxxii. 8.
Isaiah xli. 10.
you enabled always-thus to rejoice in the promises !!
“Oh! dear Sir,' the poor man answered, 'no. Very frequently, through unbelief, I am tempt. ed to exclaim, with the church of old, 'my hope i perished from the Lord*.? I have seasons of darkness, and times of temptation : not." withstanding I can and do say, through grace strengthening me sometimes under both, Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; for though I fall, į shamisethough I sit in darknesa, the Lorkwea a luglet unto met. Yes, in
my haste, I crx out, all are liars. But blessed be the Lord under all, my God is faithful. He is better to be than all my fears.'
At the peor man's request, my friend and I sat down, and we had a most refreshing season. I could truly say, It is good to be here !
We parted not till we had spent a few minutes in prayer. And in the conclusion, the paralytic broke out in a faint and trembling voice,
'My willing soul would stay
In such a frame as this;
To everlasting bliss.'
* Lam. ii. 18.
† Mich. vii. 8.