Page images

Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart;

and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt xi. 29. Be clothed with humility, for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in

due time. 1 Pet. v. 5, 6. Such as are haughty and self-conceited, rush against the mighty hand of God, and destroy themselves : but those that are humbled under it, will be protected by the same. Whatever knowledge or skill we may obtain in the schools of human learning, the Scriptures does not yet allow us to be truly wise, but calls us blind and mere worldly students, till we learn to be poor in spirit, lowly in heart, and dead to the world. Prov. xi. 2; 1 Cor. i. and ii. Therefore, “the more a man dies to this world, the more is he enlightened;" and the more humiliating views he obtains of his worthlessness in the sight of Jehovah, the greater will be his capacity of grace, and the more abundant supplies of grace will be adminis tered to his soul. What is more precious in the sight of God than the soul that is broken from its own conceits and vanities, and has inlisted itself under the banner of Jesus, -a meek and lowy soldier of the Cross ? As nothing, then, O my soul, bend thyself in the presence of the Lord. Lay that aside which is of this world, and putting on the garment of heavenly meekness, walk hum bly with thy God.

Lord, if thou thy grace impart, poor in spirit, meek in heart,
I shall as my Master be, rooted in humility.
Simple, teachable, and mild, changed into a little child:
Pleased with all the Lord provides, weaned from all the world besides

soul on thee, every evil let me flee;
Nothing want, beneath, above ; happy in thy precious love.

Father, fix


And Jacob, went on his way, and the angels of

God met him. Gen. xxxii. 1. As Jacob was favoured with a heavenly vision when he first departed from his father's house, so the Divine Being thought proper again to favour him with the same token of his protection on his return thither, in order to encourage him to meet with confidence those dangers he had to encounter. Hence we may observe, that when God designs his people for extraordinary trials, he prepares them by extraordinary comforts. We should think it had been more seasonable for these angels to have appeared to him just in the heat of his engagement, either with Laban before, or Esau after, than in this calm and quiet interval, when he saw not himself in any imminent peril. But God will have us, when we are in peace, to provide for trouble; and when trouble comes, draw comfort and encouragement from former experiences; knowing assuredly, that he who has delivered in six troubles will also deliver in seven ; and in due time out of all. This may be a representation of God's people at death, who after a life of sore trial and heavy conflict with the trible-armed enemy of their souls, are triumphantly returning to Canaan, to their heavenly Father's house ; and then the angels of God shall meet them, to congratulate the happy finishing of their labours, and carry them to their everlasting rest; there to dwell with God and the Lamb, and in company with the whole multitude of redeemed saints, to sing the songs of praise in the New Jerusalem.

May Jesus guide me on my way,

And guard from threat'ning woes:
His presence turns my night to day,

And disconcerts my foes.

[ocr errors]

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by

thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matt. xii. 37. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, that man's religion is cain. James i. 26. I will take heed that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle,

while the wicked is before me. Ps. xxxix. 1. The general turn of a man's discourse will clearly discover the bent of his mind; for “ out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Other outward marks may be imitated; but not to offend in tongue, to be free from detraction and boasting, to speak the truth in love, to “ let no corrupt communication (nothing contrary to peace or holiness) proceed out of the mouth," this is the finger of God. Here the hypocrite and formalist always fail. Let us earnestly pray for grace to bridle the tongue. " O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, keep the door of my lips," that I may never bring a reproach upon my profession, by speaking proud, false, fcolish, or censorious words. But, on the contrary, may

I speak the words of wisdom, and, out of a meek and a pure heart, adorn the doctrine which I profess, by a holy and quiet conversation. Especially, defend me in the presence of them who fear not thy name, that I bring not a reproach thereon, by any foolish word that I may let slip out of my mouth.

The tongue, that most unruly power,

Requires a strong restraint ;
We must be watchful every hour,

And pray, but never faint.
Lord, can a feeble, helpless worm,

Perform a task so hard !
Thy grace must all the work perform,

And give the free reward.

Loose them and bring them unto me ; and if any

say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them, and straightway he will send them. Matt. xxi. 2, 3. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. Judges

xv. 14.

Thus the Spirit of the Lord makes us free from all spiritual bonds; for “ where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Cor. iii. 17. Though I was torn from CHRIST by the enemy, yet, as a robber, he gets no right to me. CHRIST does not give up for

this reason his right which he has to me on so many accounts; and as soon as I am willing by his grace to give up myself to him, and desire to be delivered from the power of Satan, he vindicates and saves me as his property; I am his, Satan loses his hold, and nothing in the world can withhold me from him. All the fetters must fall off. “ The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands." Help me to resign myself wholly into thy hands, and may the Spirit of the Lord loose my bonds, the bonds of sin.

What though the hosts of death and hell

All armed against me stood,
Terrors no more shall shake my soul !
My refuge is my

Arise, O Lord, fulfil thy grace,

While I thy glory sing;
My God hath broke the serpent's teeth,

And death has lost his sting.
Salvation to the Lord belongs,

His arm alone can save;
Blessings attend thy people here,

And reach beyond the grave.

Make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why

will ye die, O house of Israel. Ezek. xviii. 31.

See also 2 Cor. v. 17-21. MANY are converted, but not entirely to CHRIST and from their own righteousness, so as to be truly sensible of their abominable wickedness, and earnestly to flee to CHRIST for a reconciliation and righteousness; and, therefore, they never seek to Jesus to make the new heart and new spirit, but continue on in their mere outward moral state, year after year. But to be truly a member of the spiritual body of Christ Jesus, there must not only be an outward morality, there must also be the inward spirituality, the sanctification of the heart, the renewing of the whole inner man in that heavenly knowledge, righteousness and holiness, which adorned the soul before the fall. O Lord, let me daily receive a word from thee, to nourish and strengthen my soul, so as to be renewed daily by it more and more.

O for a heart to love my God;

A heart from sin set free;
A heart that always feels the blood

So freely shed for me!
A heart resigned, submissive, meek,

My dear Redeemer's throne;
Where only Christ is heard to speak ;

Where Jesus reigns alone.

A lowly and believing heart,

Abhorring self and sin;
A constant heart, which nought can part

From Christ, who dwells within.

A child-like heart, that cries for food,

And pines for love divine ;
An upright heart, by grace tenewed;

A copy, Lord, of thine.

« PreviousContinue »