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Weep not; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the root of David, has prevailed. Rev. v. 5. He rose triumphantly, and destroyed the works of the Devil; therefore sin shall not have dominion over us. Rom. vi, 14. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom.
viii. 2. MANY complain that, though they will not turn back, yet they have no power to advance farther. If this should be thy case, my reader, remember that the enemy of souls will discourage thee. Go on praying, and venture it evermore upon
the Lord. Consider how he awakened you at first, how often he has heard your prayers afterwards, and assisted you in many hard struggles. Surely he will help you now also. If that will not do, begin, as it were, afresh; acknowledge yourself guilty in every respect; and, as the chief of sinners, plead for mercy, and be instant in your humble supplications ; looking at the same time upon God as a reconciled Father through CHRIST, who is willing to receive you, pardon, and bless you in spite of all your misery: then you will soon make a better progress. To despair of our own strength is good, but we must never despair of the power of CHRIST, who is risen from the dead, but be sure to overcome with him at last. He will certainly help you in the due and best
Hell and thy sins resist thy course,
But hell and sin are vanquished foes !
sung the triumph when he rose.
Did all the powers of death destroy;
And took possession of the joy.
Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he recerceth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons : for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? He
chasteneth us for our profit. Heb. xii. 6—10. To these chastenings belong outward afflictions, which are precious means, and sanctified to believers. And this is a clear proof that we should receive such chastenings with gladness, and that we should not repine under them. They evidence the fatherly care and love of God, and are designed to try our faith, and purge our souls from the drossy matter of earth that is mixed up with them; and from them we must learn that chastisements will be the means of good to us, if we use them aright. O my dear heavenly Father, thou art only pleased with a true child-like confidence
; but I am still of a distrusting heart, when anything comes upon me on a sudden. Help me always to entertain the kindest thoughts of thee, and to fear no adversity; looking on it as a token of love and not of hatred, and really believing it to be intended as a blessing for my good. Whatever thy providence may order, let me only be convinced of thy fatherly affection, and fall in with thy wholesome and loving designs.
Though for my sin I justly feel
Thy discipline, O God,
Till thou remove thy rod.
To bear my Father's rod;
And live upon my God.
When new distress begins;
And hate my former sins.
The entrance of thy word gives light; it giveth un
derstanding to the simple. Ps. cxix. 130. Order my steps in thy word ; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Ver. 133. The
Scriptures testify of me (Christ). John v. 39. We may have a clear sight and a real taste of the Gospel, and yet be soon deprived of the comfort of it again, if we do not walk in godly simplicity and poverty of spirit; for Christ will have none but humble and child-like disciples. But if we abide in Christ, by a close and humble walk with him, we shall come to great and lasting assurance ; for neither a sweet Christ, nor even faith itself in Christ, is the ground of our salvation ; but Christ alone received into the heart as the Saviour. Faith does not save, but enables us to receive the Saviour, and with him salvation. Neither does a sweet sense of Christ save us; it only shews the Saviour is present with us. Now, the weakest true believer does receive Christ as well as the strongest, though he reap no present comfort from his faith. We must first believe, before we can feel, and be thankful for our feelings, but not trust in them.
Thy mercies fill the earth, O Lord,
How good thy works appear !
And see thy wonders there.
It spreads such light abroad,
And raise their thoughts to God.
That guides us all the day;
A lamp to lead our way.
Let not thy path be hid,
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and
quicken thou me in thy way. Ps. cxix. 37. IF you were to see a man endeavouring all his life to satisfy his thirst, by holding up one and the same empty cup to his mouth, you would certainly despise his ignorance ; but if you should see others ridiculing the dull satisfaction of one cup, and thinking to satisfy their own thirst by a variety of gilt and golden empty cups, would you think that these were the wiser or ever the happier, or better employed, for their finer parts ? Now this is all the difference that you can see in the happiness of this life. The dull and heavy soul may be content with one empty appearance of happiness, and be continually trying to hold one and the same empty cup to his mouth all his life. But then let the talented men of the world lay all their heads together, and they can only shew you more, and various empty appearances of happiness; give them all the world into their hands, they can only make a great variety of empty cups; for search as deep as you will, there is nothing to be found here nobler or greater than eating and drinking, rich dress and applause, unless you look for it in the wisdom and laws of religion. Reader, reflect upon the vanity of all orders of life who live without godliness, and see how all the ways of the world are only so many different ways of error and blindness, that you may be earnest at a throne of grace to be turned from the creature, and seek for happiness in the Creator.
No peace or lasting rest
Earth's flatt'ring joys impart:
Will not content my heart.
David's Prayer.-Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not thyself from my supplication. Ps.
lv. 1. Christ's Answer.–Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. John xvi. 23. For the Father himself loveth you. Ver. 27. He has promised: Before they call I will answer; and whilst they are speaking I will hear.
Isa. Ixv. 24. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive
them, and ye shall have them. Mark xi. 24. He that converses much with God in prayer, and has some child-like confidence in his word, shall certainly be heard; and these answers of prayer are undeniable evidences of the truth, faithfulness, and love of God, and greatly strengthen his faith; and at last bring him to be intimately acquainted with God. The more we receive, the more we are enlightened to see how much there is still wanting. This stirs up to more frequent prayer, and to more fervent desires; and the more we desire and believe that we shall receive it, the more shall be granted. Unbelief receives nothing (Matt. xiii. 58); but faith opens all the treasures of God, and never goes away empty.
Because on me they set their love,
I'll save them, saith the Lord;
Destruction and the sword.
For sorrow, joy, or care;
Unloose their every snare.
In trouble I'll be nigh;
And raise them when they die.