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“ Is not this the first morning of a new year? is “ it not my birth-day?” Alas! how many years have I already lived !--Ah! not lived, but loft them!- dreadful ! irrecoverable! though unheeded, loss of precious time! Doth my entrance on this new year, presage my speedy exit into the eternal ftate? let me then be serious to-day. My conscience, I pose thee, as before God: Have I brought an old heart with me, from the old year, or not? Did I outlive the finished period, in reigning enmity against God, or not? Did ever my soul see a new birth-day, or not?-Many years am I nearer to eternity, than at my birth: but whether have I ap. proached to heaven, or to hell ?--Alas ! have not i much more work of preparation for a future state on hand? and yet much less time for it? - Was I born to eat, drink and fin? Was I in baptism, sworn to lodge and cheerish indwelling lusts to forget God, to hate my Maker, and to live in constant rebellion against him? Lord, how could thy vengeance suffer such an ungrateful, perjured wretch to live !-O now, now forgive my crimes, and give me a new heart and a new spirit, that I may begin the year with a new form of life: I tremble at the thought of living another year, month, or day, at the former rate.
“ Alas! severe pains of gout, gravel, and cholic, “ have seized me; how can I bear this torment!” Be still my foul, Wherefore should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his fins ? I am indeed a living hofpital; am tormented: but blessed be God, it is not in eternal flames : I have yet drops of water to cool the tip of my tongue, which is infinitely more than I deserve. The calls of his word being despised, he takes his rod to drive folly far from my heart; may it accomplish his end: may it, like Aaron's, bud, with blessings to my foul :--if the froward wretch
must be whipt with scorpians, let me though too late, be driven to Jesus the physician :-though : I come too late to him, he cannot come too late to me.-0 the wretched case of my heart! it is pricked with deep convictions; and yet rageth with enmity against a Saviour. Lord, I dare not cry, Remove thy stroke from me: but strike, wound, drive, and draw me to thyself.
“My pains are abated.” God forbid, they should be removed in wrath: Affliction is light enough, and short enough, if it purge away sin.- let me never come forth from thy refining furnace, with more drofs than I entered... sudden, fovereign-healer of my body, beal my soul for thy name's fake. What doth it avail a lick foul, that the lodgeth in a found carcafe? or a condemned foul, that her prison-walls are repaired? what befide a time to be born, and a time to die, is appointed for man? how probable then may my next ailment end my days ?-- O were I dead to the law, and dead to my lufts ; how pleasant could I look for the death of my body, and at last the death of my death!
“ The cock crows again.” When he who denied Jesus heard the second crowing, he went out and wept bitterly.--My soul, how often have I denied the Sa. viour! denied him room in my heart ! denied him an honourable confession in my life! He that is not with him, is against him.-Rife therefore, from thy lazy couch ; go out and weep bitterly : how can I sleep! how lie at ease under the awful weight of fo much sin unrepented of!---of so much unpardoned guilt ! Arisc o peeper, call on thy God; it may be he will think on me, that I perish not: Lord Jesus, art not thou a Prince exalted to give repentance, and remiffion of fins? Why then deny me there blcflings? my fole
hope is, that there are with degrees of mercy, beyond what ever men made use of...-Carest thou not that thy near kintinan perish.
“ The morning star is risen.” Alas! have I once more seen him, without receiving Jesus, the bright and morning-star, into my heart? without having the day star of grace risen in my soul ?..-Lord I cannot ; I will not, want thee any longer : If thine enemy hunger, feed him with thy flesh ; if he thrist, give him thy blood to drink; fo shalt thou heap heart-melting coals of fire on his head. ---Hast thou not said, that
to us men, a child is born, to us a son is given ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace ? ---I believe, Lord, help thou mine unbelief."...Let heaven and earth bear witness, that I desire to accept of thee, as, in the gospel, made of God to me wisdom, righteou fress, functification and redemption.
“ In this family I need expect no privte worship: “ the world seems their principal deity; and to her " they must pay their early devotion.” Let me double niy diligence in secret worship.---If others will starve their immortal fouls : it is not fit that I thould do it for the sake of company.---Doubltless the curse of the Lord is in this habitation of the wicked.; let me speed away from it : better dwell with a raging plague, than with a wasting curse..-.O what fools! what mad men are those, who thruit themselves, or their feed, into wicked, worshipless families, for the sake of a few pence more gain!
" SCARCE can I find a place for secret prayer my: “ bed fellow is a profane mocker at every thing se
a rious ;--
rious ;---and no closet is to be had.” Complain not, my soul; the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof: let my heart truly incline prayer; God will find me a place for it.---At Gethsemane, and else. where, the Son of God had but the open air, and cold ground, for his closet ; what a mercy that I, who deserve to be roaring in hell, may have as good!" I “ have now retired from my profane conipanion.” But cannot, ah ! cannot retire from that more profane companion, my wicked heart: the follows, at. tends, and goes before me to the mount of duty; where ever I lodge, she lodgeth...- that death may separate between her and me !---“ Now I am at fe"cret prayer." Be earnest, my soul; plead the promiles which suit thy cafe; refuse to give over, till the Lord bless thee with a confirmation of thy marriage to his Son.
“ It is but coarse and ill-readied provision which “ I am to have for breakfast.” Earth is now my stepmother; why should I expect delicacies from her hand ? it is rather aftonilling, that I am so well served: perhaps some precious faints just now starve for want; why then do I, “ who am less than the least of all faints, less than the least of God's mercies." complain Let me have Jesus, and I have enough.
-- Why should I be anxious to nourish a dunghiti with delicacies? Mouid I not rather admire the mer. cy, the power and wisdom of God, in preparing this for me? It is but modified duft : last year, perhaps, it lay in the dunghill ; carried out, it grew up into that which I now eat and incorporate with my body. What is this husk of my foul, but modified grass, dust, and dung? Duit I am, and unto dust shall I return: Corruption, thou art my mother; ye worms, that wallow amidit unsufferable fiench and vileness, are my gfters and brethren.---Lord, fiall a fyftem of
dust and fin dare to be proud ? fhall he forbear aftonilluent, that the Son of God loved me, and gave bimself for me? “ Scarce have I got food to satisfy “ my craving appetite." Let me eke out the spare mcal with a plentiful feast on the manna which cometh down from heaven : let me live, not by bread a. lone, but by faith on the the words that proceed out of the mouth of God: live on meat which the world knows
“I HAVE got my
hard couch hath wearied and unfitted me for
my jours, “ ney.” Murmur not, my foul, what a surprising miercy is a hard bed to one, who richly deserved to lie in hell ? Had mine been soft, perhaps I had now wallowed in wantonnefs, or been drowned in sloth. O happy hardness, that rouzed me to an early prayer, in which I have found that which, I hope, eternity Mall not make me forget! But, ah! how hath my lying on a bed of fin unfitted me for a heavenly journey ! Lord I am fit for nothing; good for nothing; neither to live nor die ; neither 10 teach nor learn ; neither to think nor speak; neither to do nor fuffer: How I have improven iny time, I am ashamed to speak; amazed to think. Go through all that I am, within or without, and all that I have done ; what am I but vileness and abomination? I have run through all the means of knowledge, and yet see no truth in her glory ; through all afflictions, and yet I am not bumbled nor serious ; through all mercics, and yet I am not thankful; through all means of good, and
I am evil, only evil, tran. scendantly evil, in the highest degree, to this day.Lord, did ever such a deformed finner exift? did ever such a criminal apply to thee for mercy? was ever such a work done to a poor wretch since the creation, as the saving of my foul muft be? But how