Page images

Solomon's Prayer.-Draw me, we will run after

thee. Song of Sol. i. 4. Divine Answer.I have loved thee with an ever

lasting love ; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jer, xxxi. 3. See also Rom.

viii. 39. MANY and various are the ways the Almighty takes in bringing his children to himself, and to a knowledge of the things of their peace. Sometimes he draws by the silken bands of love ; sometimes by the still small voice of his Spirit; sometimes by the knotted cords of pain and sickness ; sometimes he drives them by the storm and tempest of his broken law; but most effectually in giving his Son to die for them. Reader, pray always to him to make you sensible of the secret tender drawings of his love, and willing to follow them directly. This praying always is very needful, because we are always in want, and without being instant and earnest we cannot receive much. Therefore it is not a hard command, but a great benefit and privilege ; as if God should say, 6 You are a poor child, always wanting something; but you may always pray to me, and I will always hear, and assist, and draw thee after


O draw me, Saviour, after thee;

So shall I run and never tire :
With gracious words still comfort me,

And be my hope and whole desire.
No lust can stir, or guilty fear,
Nor worldly wish, if thou art there.
O that I, as a little child,

May follow thee, nor ever rest
Till sweetly thou hast poured thy mild

Aud lowly mind into my breast,
Nor ever may we parted be
Till I become one sp’rit with thee.

They that honour me, I will honour; and they

that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam,

ii. 30. This is part of the prophet's message to Eli, when he honoured his sons above God. He had indeed reproved them, saying, “ Why do ye these things ? for I hear of your evil doings by all the people;' but he did not exert his authority in punishing them as they deserved when they slighted his reproof. This was accounted by God as winking at their sin. He therefore acquaints him that Hophni and Phinehas, as they had sinned together, should die together, and his posterity be cut off in the flower of their age, and from the high priesthood. Eli was not much affected with this prophecy, till the threatening was repeated by Samuel, an artless child, who did not know the voice of the Lord till Eli instructed him. It appeared then much more terrible than from the mouth of the prophet; and led him humbly to acknowledge the justice of God, and to submit to the sentence with a truly penitent heart. This is written for our admonition. Are we valiant for the truth, regarding neither father nor mother, nor the most tender relation, where the interest and honour of our God is concerned ? Parents, let this be a warning to you to train up your children in the fear of the Lord : “ For the arms of the wicked shall be broken ; but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.” Ps. xxxvii. 17.

The Lord Jehovah calls,
Be every ear inclined ;
May such a voice awake each heart,

And captivate each mind.
O harden not your hearts,

But hear his voice to-day;
Lest, ere to-morrow's earliest dawn,

He calls your souls away.

Abraham against hope believed in hope. Rom. iv. 18. ABRAHAM's faith seemed to be in a thorough correspondence with the power and constant faithfulness of Jehovah. In the outward circumstances in which he was placed, he had not the greatest cause to expect the fulfilment of the promise. Yet he believed the word of the Lord, and looked forward to the time when his seed should be as the stars of heaven for multitude. O my soul, thou hast not one single promise only, like Abraham, but a thousand promises, and many patterns of faithful believers before thee: it behoves thee, therefore, to rely with confidence upon the word of God. And though the Lord delayeth his help, and the evil seemeth to grow worse and worse, be not weak, but rather strong, and rejoice, since the most glorious promises of God are generally fulfilled in such a wondrous manner, that he steps forth to save us at a time when there is the least appearance of it. He commonly brings his help in our greatest extremity, that his finger may plainly appear in our deliverance. And this method he chooses, that we may not trust upon anything that we see or feel, as we are always apt to do, but only upon his bare word, which we may depend upon in every state.

How large the promise ! how divine,

To Abra'm and his seed :
“ I'll be a God to thee and thine,

Supplying all their need.
The words of this extensive love

From age to age endure;
The Angel of the Covenant proves,

And seals the blessing sure.
Our God, how faithful are his ways,

His love endures the saine ;
Nor from the promise of his grace

Blots out the sinner's name.

Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

Gal. i. 16. For the king's commandment was urgent; much more the commandment of the King of kings. Dan. iii. 22. Therefore, be not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving

the Lord. Rom. xii. 11. The speediest and easiest method to accomplish our desire of overcoming the evil and doing the good, is an inmediate compliance with our first convictions, without conferring with flesh and blood. If we delay the work, we give room to other people without, and to Satan and to our sinful hearts from within, to persuade us to the contrary; by which the flesh can easily renew its strength, and the spirit will be weakened. And what will be the consequence of this ? but that either we miscarry in our design, or that the conflict will be afterwards so much sharper, and the good work, if not stifled, dropt entirely; yet if it be done, it will not be done so completely, and with such singleness of heart, as it should be. But if we narrowly watch our hearts, and directly engage with even the least opposition when it stirs, then our enemies will not be so strong, and we shall have no reason to despair.

Jesus, mighty to renew,
Work in me to will and do ;
Turn my nature's rapid tide,
Stem the torrent of my pride!
Take away my darling sin,
Make me willing to be clean;
Make ine willing to receive
What thy goodness waits to give.
Then my soul shall praise thy grace,
Then with gladness run my race;
And, when all my course is done,
Receive the prize thy eross bas won.

Yield not your members as instruments of unright

eousness unto sin ; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead; and your members as instruments of righteousness.

Rom. vi. 13. Present your bodies a living sacrifice,

holy, acceptable unto God. Rom. xii. 1. IF God has my members as weapons and instruments in his hands, I shall certainly be able not only to work, but also to conquer, since he understands full well how to manage them. May the Lord only give me grace not to wind myself out of his hands, else I must needs be like a dead, useless carcase; for how can a pen write alone, without being in the hand of a writer? It is true, indeed, it is very hard, nay impossible, to be really good, and to do all that is good, if we undertake it alone; but God himself living and working in us, and we truly delighting in him, it is very easy and pleasant. Therefore care is only to be taken that our hearts may be always the working-place, and our members the instruments of God, in which and through which he can perform everything himself.

Now God I serve; to him alone

My thankful homage pay;
My only master Christ I own,

And him will I obey.
To him my members I present,

Which he will not refuse;
The meanest, basest instrument,

His glory deigns to use.
Come then, my soul, to God the Lord,

In holy ardour come;
Obey the precepts of his word,

Until he calls thee home.
A slave to sin too long thou wast

But Christ has set thee free;
Anthems of praise for ever burst

To him who ransomed thee.

« PreviousContinue »