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Blessed Spirit declares in his Church, that the Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is the lot to his inheritance ;? my heart can make reply to the sweet sound, from the persuasion of a reciprocal interest in the Redeemer, 'the Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup. Thou maintainest my
lot*.' " It hath not been, however, without many hard lessons to flesh and blood, with which I have been exercised, that I have arrived to this knowledge. It was a long time before I could rightly understand, and still longer before I could rightly relish, when understood, the humiliating doctrine of living out of myself, and living wholly upon another. The pride of my heart continually revolted at the idea of depending, like the beggar at the gate, for my daily supply. Though the heavenly manna became doubly sweet by its freshness; yet I frequently found a rising desire within me to have a little stock, which I might call my own. And even now, though repeated lessons ought to have taught me better, and though the preciousness of every gift is enhanced by its being received immediately out of the hand of the
Compare Deut. xxxii.-9, with Psalm xvi. 5, for a precious evidence of this doctrine.
gracious Giver ; yet such is the remaining power of the unhumbled pride of my heart, that I discover much rebellion at times rising within. And I am prompted very frequently to tell my heavenly Instructor, that surely now I might without danger, be rendered somewhat more independent. Blessed be the patience of him with whom I have to do, that whenever this is the case, (so very gracious and condescending is he,) a renewal of my old lessons soon sets all to rights again, and makes me bless his holy Name, that I am placed under a wiser and better direction than my own. By carrying my forgetful heart back to the first principles of learning in the divine science, and by calling to mind my original stock, and present measure of indwelling corruption, I learn the peculiar blessedness of having all my fresh springs in him.' And the sweetness of this life, when grace is in exercise, is inexpressible. While I am enabled to see that Jesus is my portion, every dispensation comes in a way of mercy. When
heart is under the assurance that My Lord is in it, it matters not what it is. His presence alone hath the wonderful property of converting crosses and pains into enjoyments and pleasures. Every affliction which comes directed by his hand, hath the sure
mark of affection folded up within the cover. And while I sit down with ten-fold pleasure to the enjoyment of the thousand mercies which my God is continually giving me, because I behold with the eye of faith his presence at the table smiling graciously upon all; I no less am enabled, in the hour of calamity, to wait the issue, because I can' and do hear with the ear of faith that soul-sustaining voice, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' Oh! the sweetness of having Jesus for our portion !' and of living a life of faith upon the Son of God, who hath loved me and given himself for me!'
I was musing upon the happiness of a frame of mind like this, as the PoonMan ended his relation, and reflecting on the little probability that I should ever arrive at such a state of blessedness, when a deep sigh, accompanied with a voice of complaint from a person near me, roused me from my meditation, and at once spoke my feelings and his own.
THE MOURNFUL BELIEVER. ! On that it were with me as you describe ! said the Mourner; but my case is far different. I fear that I have only " a name to live, while I am dead before God! It is not possible, surely, that such a state as mine can consist with a life of grace in the soul. If the love of Christ was shed abroad in my heart, could I live as I do, so far from him? My mind is at times as lifeless and unconcerned towards Christ, as their's can be who never loved his name. It is true, I feel at certain seasons great desires after the Lord. And I know, that á change hath taken place in my mind. For the world and its pursuits, which my heart was once running after with the greatest eagerness, now have lost their influence. And the society of the people of God, who were once my song of reproach, I now above all things value. Yet still, so much sin is mixed with all I do ; so little do I live to Christ, and to the remembrance of his deanname; and the throne of grace is so often neglected by me, from day to day ; that I very much fear my hope is all a delusion.'
-Had I been called upon to relate my own experience, I could not have done it in more suitable words. I felt my heart drawn towards the speaker, from the affinity that existed between us; and waited with the most awakened expectations for some kind brother in this humble society, to say a word of consolation to a case so much my own. It was not long before the Poor Man, to whom I owed so much before, took up the subject, to answer the doubts,
and remove the fears of the mournful believer ; and in doing this, he added to my obligation to him tenfold.
- Your case, my friend,' (cried the Poor Man, addressing himself to the Mourner,) . is by no means singular. It is the uniform complaint of the faithful in all ages. What one ancient servant of the Lord groaned under, all of them have found, that when we would do good, evil is present with us.' And the reason is obvious. It ariseth from the workings within of the different principles, grace and corruption. There are in every regenerated person two principles, a body of sin, and a spirit of grace; the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye can: not do the things which ye would.'. There is not a part of the mind but what feels the influence of both. In the renewed nature, the understanding is enlightened, the affections spiritualized, the will inclined to God : while in the unrenewed nature still remaining, there is darkness in the understanding; carnal and earthly affections still continuing in the heart'; and the will stubborn, rebellious, and frequently inclining to disobedience. In short, the mind is like the region of the earth, while twilight is upon it; it is neither dark nor light, but