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HOSANNA! Mark xi. 9; Ps. cxviii. 25—29. A NEW scene of time now begins: put up thy Hosanna, O my soul, that the Lord may save, bless, and prosper thee: may he grant thee a happy new year indeed! For this purpose begin it with a dedication of thyself to God; thy time, circumstances and life, are in his hand; with faith and love implore his blessing and protection over thee this ensuing year. Begin this and every following day with prayer; let God have thy first thoughts in the morning, the impression they make will not be easily erased by worldly matters. Grace is promised in the use of means; be thou diligent, then, and punctual in the performance of them; let thy daily request be for an increasing knowledge of thyself, and of Jesus Christ in his offices; for a sense of pardoning mercy; for a lively, vigorous faith; for communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit; for true holiness in heart and life; for strength and protection against thy spiritual foes, and for persevering grace to hold out to the end. Pray for the prosperity of Zion; they prosper that love her. O pray for thy friends and relations, begging the Almighty to take them into covenant relation to himself; for a blessing on thy worldly affairs ; for a sanctified use of health or sickness, prosperity or adversity, as God shall please to send. Perhaps, O my soul, this may be the last

year

of the Lord's patience and thy pilgrimage. Is thy state safe ? Art thou a real believer in Jesus? Is the oil of grace in thy vessel? If so, thou art prepared for every emergency.

And now,

soul, another year Of this world's life is past; I cannot long continue here,

And this may be the last.

Now a new scene of time begins,

Set out afresh for heaven; Seek pardon for thy daily sins; In Christ so freely given.

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I will ransom them from the power of the grave.

I will redeem them from death ; 0 Death, I will be thy plague! O grave I will be thy destruction! Hos. xiii. 14. Christ having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (his cross). Col. ii. 15. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through

our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. xv. 56, 57: The world is afraid of a hidden poison where there is none.

The real hidden poison is sin, which the Lord grant me to fear, is every where; for it has infected all things and all places. But, 0. my dear Saviour, thou being my all-sufficient Preservative and Antidote in all places, O dwell in me continually, and increase my faith, that I may know thee and enjoy thee more and more! Take away all slavish fears of death and hell from my soul, for thou hast conquered both for me. And O give me the heart that can live on thee by faith every moment, and that can trust thy grace for every blessing. O give me the heart that burns with love to thee, and that can raise its Hosanna in full assurance of the blessed inheritance beyond the grave.

Hosanna to the Prince of Light,

That clothed himself in clay ;
Enter'd the iron gates of death,

And tore the bars away.
Death is no more the King of Dread,

Since our Immanuel rose;
He took the tyrant's sting away.

And spoil'd our hellish foes.
Now holy triumphs of the soul

Shall death itself outbrave,
Leave dull mortality behind,

and fly beyond the grave.

But now, O Lord, thou art our Father ; woe are

the clay, and thou our_Potter ; and we are all

the work of thy hand. Isa. Ixiv. 8; Dan. iv. 35. BEING only clay in thy hands, O Lord, as I must not, so I would not, resist thy workings by any means; and I pray and hope thou wilt prepare and perfect me for a meet vessel of grace, in spite of a thousand hinderances. No work of thine comes ever short of its intended perfection ; for who can stay thy hand ? It is thy own saying, “ I will work, and who shall let it ?" Isaiah xliii. 13.

An artist delights in his own workmanship, and would not leave one single flaw or defect in it designedly. Phil. i. 6. 0! then look upon me too, thou wise Creator! see how flesh and blood disorder my poor soul, and deliver me from all that may endanger my spiritual life! Knowing thou canst do no less than a human artist, who is ever ready, and exerts his skill to mend and

perfect his work, I trust that thou wilt not always suffer these impediments to hinder and disgrace thy work. Nay, such is thy wisdom and power, that out of darkness thou canst bring light; out of sickness, health ; and though I am now destitute of strength and life, yet I believe thy work will be finished at last, and glorify the name of its maker. 1 Pet. v. 10.

Finish, Lord, thy new creation !

Pure, unspotted may we be !
Let us see our whole salvation,

Perfectly secured by thee.
Changed from glory into glory,

Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,

Lost in wonder, love, and praisel

David's Prayer. Othat the salvation of Israel

were come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. Psal. xiv. 7. Divine Answer. If the Son make you free, ye

shall be free indeed. John viii. 36. See also

verses 31, 32. Not as if sin should be utterly destroyed, or entirely dead, and could not stir any more in the heart of believers; for the Scripture speaks of them as having still their lusts and motions of sin, Gal. v. 17; but it imports only, that it has no power either to condemn, or to reign over us ; nay,

it shall be weakened more and more, Rom. vi. 12, 14; so that Christ reigns in the heart even where sin dwells, in the midst of his enemies, Shorter Catechism, Quest. xxvi.; and it is a dangerous error indeed to believe that sin is destroyed in the root. If it were so, whence those frequent expressions and exhortations to crucify, withstand, and rule over it? Gal. v. 24.

Now sits our Saviour on his throne,

With pity in his eyes ;
He hears the dying prisoners' groan,

And listens to their sighs !
He frees the souls condemned to death;

And when his saints complain,
No man shall say that praying breath

Was ever spent in vain.
This shall be known when we are dead,

And left on long record,
That ages yet unborn may read,

And trust, and praise the Lord !
Then let thy Spirit seal our souls,

And mould them to thy will,
That our weak hearts no more may stray,

But keep thy precepts still.

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