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The Sinner's Prayer.-Where shall I find rest? Divine Answer. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye
in the ways and see; and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. Jer. vi. 16. Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt. xi. 28-30.
IN our own ways there is nothing but trouble; but giving ourselves entirely up to be guided by God at his own pleasure, we may always be easy, since we know that by every step he brings us nearer to heaven. The only way to rest, is the way of repentance and faith; in which we consider ourselves from the beginning, even to the end of our Christian life, as utterly lost and condemned by the law, but as perfectly reconciled and justified through CHRIST. Thus to abide in him, to let him work alone, and be truly resigned to his ways, will certainly have the desired effect; whilst, by the righteousness and workings of our own hearts, we can never attain to it, and, which is worse, may be lulled into a false rest.
Lord, I believe a rest remains,
To all thy people known,
A rest, where pure enjoyment reigns,
A rest, where all our soul's desire
Where grief, and pain, and fear expire,
This is the feast of saints on high,
As into Christ I grow.
Ye are complete in him. Col. ii. 10. The Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim. iii. 15, 17. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. John i. 16.
THINK, O believer, with wonder and amazement, reflect with gratitude and love, that, whilst thou art deploring the common ruin of human nature, and mournfully feeling its sad effects upon thy own soul, thou mayest yet look through all thine imperfection, frailty, and unworthiness, to thy glorious Representative, and see thyself complete in him. The law which would condemn thee, he has completely satisfied: the obedience which it requires, in order to thine acceptance with God, he has completely paid; and that eternal life, from which thy sinful imperfections must have for ever barred thee, is now become thine unalienable inheritance, as the reward of his righteousness, who lived and died for thee. Go forth then, and glorify him in heart and life. The more thou believest in him, the more wilt thou love him; and the more thou lovest him, the better wilt thou serve him; and till he shall remove thee from this vale of sin and sorrow, let thy song in the house of thy pilgrimage be this, "Complete in him."
To all my vileness, Christ is glory bright;
Sight to my blindness, to my meanness wealth;
Will ye speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him? Job xiii. 7. Thy word is truth. John xvii. 17.
WHEN Moses saw an Egyptian and an Israelite striving together, he killed the Egyptian and saved the Israelite. Exod. ii. 12. But when he saw two Israelites striving together, he laboured to reconcile them, saying, "Ye are brethren, why do ye strive ?" strive?" So when we read, or see the Apocryphal Books, or Heathen Story, or Popish Traditions, contradicting the Scripturesas for instance, Jacob curseth the wrath and anger of Simeon and Levi, for murdering the Shechemites, Gen. xlix. 7; and Judith blessed God for killing them, Judith 9,-here, and in suchlike places, let us kill the Egyptian, but save the Israelite; set a value on the Scriptures, but slight the Apocrypha. But when we meet with any appearance of seeming contradiction in the canon of Scripture, as where it is said, "God tempted Abraham," Gen xxii. 1; and "God tempteth no man," James i. 13;-here now, and in many other places, we must be reconcilers, and distinguish between a temptation of trial, which is from God, and a temptation of seducement, which is by the Devil; and these two, seemingly differing friends, will appear to be brethren, and agree well. The Spirit breathes upon the word, And brings the truth to sight; Precepts and promises afford A sanctifying light.
A glory gilds the sacred page,
And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb, He-
All heart, like Caleb, may I be
And, like him, trusting in the Lord,
At midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon. Ex. xii. 29. THE death of every first-born of the Egyptians carried so lively a resemblance, and bore so natural a relation to their sin in destroying every male of the Israelites, that they must needs perceive it was inflicted as a punishment for that very cruelty; and consequently must conclude, that the God of Israel took particular notice of human transactions, and, sooner or later, rewarded every man according to his works. The gradual increase of the judgments inflicted on Egypt is somewhat remarkable, and equally expressive of the mercy and justice of God. The four first plagues were loathsome rather than fatal to the Egyptians; but after that of the flies came the murrain, which chiefly spent its rage upon the cattle; the biles and blains reached both man and beast, though there was still a reserve for life; the hail and locusts extended, in a great measure, even to life itself; the first by an immediate stroke, and both consequently by destroying the fruits of the earth. That of darkness added consternation to their minds, and lashes to their consciences; and when all this would not reclaim, at length came the decisive blow; first, the slaying of the first-born, and then the drowning of the incorrigible tyrant, and all his host. "Great, and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints!"
Let no proud sinner grow secure