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Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.
Luke x. 41. Keep thy heart with all diligence ; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov. iv. 23. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips ; but their heart is far from
Matt. xv. 8. As the virtue of a strong spirituous liquor evaporates by degrees in a vial which is not closely stopped, in like manner the life and power of the Spirit insensibly vanishes away, if the heart is not kept with all diligence. Of the former, remains only water; of the latter, nothing but the form of religion, or perhaps some false principles and errors crept in. Therefore many must be tried and sifted, that they may know, like Hezekiah, what is in their hearts (2 Chron. xxxiii, 31); consequently, what more needful than to take heed to our own spirits, and to keep close to the written word; for as the latter times draw nearer, the more plausible will errors and seducements appear, both on your right hand and on your left. Beware of being drawn off from the truth, either by the worldly prudence of halfhearted professors, or by pretences to merit in the self-righteous Pharisee.
O Lord, permit me not to be
My soul thirsteth after thee as a thirsty land,
Ps. cxliii. 6. Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Rev. xxii, 17. If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John
vii. 37, 38. WHEN thou art dry and barren, examine thyself elosely what may be the cause ; ask pardon for all known offences, and take care to amend them. And though thou shouldst not find anything particular, yet humble thyself deeply before the Lord ; but, at the same time, remember that thou art accepted, beloved, justified, and blessed in CHRIST; and in this disposition quietly wait the returns of some new drops of living water and grace; but be also sure afterwards to cherish and make a right use of them. Thus thou shalt be under the immediate care of the mighty God of Jacob. “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” Isa. lviii. 11.
For thee I thirst, O Lord, I mourn!
No! ye that pant for living streams,
And pine away and die,
With springs that never dry.
In a rich ocean join :
Like floods of milk and wine.
My soul waiteth upon God; from him cometh my
salvation; he only is my defence, I shall not be greatly moved. Therefore, trust in him at all times, ye people, pour out your hearts before
him. God is a refuge for us. Ps. lxii. 1, 2, 8. The more patient, believing, and single-eyed we are, the sooner we shall see the salvation and victory of the Lord. Double-minded souls have the greatest struggle; and the slothful must tarry the longer. Sometimes, it is true, though we are faithful, yet we must cry out, “O Lord, how long ?” Ps. vi. 3. But nevertheless, he always hears and delivers us, though we do not see and feel it directly, but seem to suffer continually. In heaven we shall certainly see it, and reap the blessed fruits of all our afflictions and prayers While we are upon this earth, the face of the Lord may often be obscured and hid from us, yet at length we shall “ see the glory of the Lord in the cloud,” and deliverance shall come out of the troubles that seemed to overwhelm us. Thus it is that the Lord works with his people, to keep them always in remembrance of himself. Shall we not wait then for him, even though he tarry long? Yes, my soul, wait thou upon the Lord; he is a refuge for thee.
Almighty God of truth and love,
In me thy power exert !
The hardness of my heart.
No more thy goodness grieve !
The tender conscience give!
O God my conscience make!
And keep it still awake ?
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I
not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed beg
ging bread. Ps. xxxvii. 25. SWEET declaration ! encouraging experience! The Lord indeed careth for the righteous; for those who, having seen the want of mercy, rely for it upon the promise of God, that there is forgiveness with him, through the meritorious life and death of Jesus Christ. He hath promised that he will never leave nor forsake them; that he will withhold from them no manner of thing that is good. He careth also for their seed; 80 that they shall not beg their bread. He frequently provides for them when their parents are no more, in such unexpected ways, that many who see it are constrained to acknowledge, “ This is the Lord's doing.” And sometimes, while they are living, he brings bread to their mouths, and also furnishes them with opportunities to hear of and seek for the bread which came down from heaven, and which endureth unto everlasting life; thus snatching them from the jaws of ignorance and destruction. O Lord, if mine ears have heard—if mine eyes have seen—and more especially if I partake of such blessings, thankfully may I own that thou art a God keeping covenant and mercy; and make this proof of thy thankfulness a ground of reliance upon thee for all needful promised blessings !-Help me to cast all my cares on thee,--and endeavour by prayer, instruction and example, that thy goodness may be sanctified to my seed.
The Lord, for his own mercy's sake,
Will bless believers and their seed;
Nor let the children beg their bread.
Strengthened with all might, according to his glo
rious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Col. i. 11. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his
Acts. v. 41. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. Eph. iii. 16. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Gal. v. 22. O my soul, what encouraging words are these ! How full of meaning! The Lord our righteousness is the Lord our strength. He is near at hand, believer, to strengthen thee according to thy need. Not in one or two respects, but with all might, with a supply suited to every various occasion, and that to the utmost, answerable to what may be expected from the exertion of “his own glorious power.” Happy state of the believer in Jesus; though feeble in himself, surrounded with enemies, and exercised with a continual warfare, he shall not be overpowered; for the promise and the arm of God is on his side. The Lord, who can do what he pleaseth, is in alliance, yea, in covenant with a believer; and, therefore, he shall be made more than a conqueror through CHRIST who has loved him.
Let me but hear my Saviour say,