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David's Prayer.-Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my
soul. Ps. xxv. 1. Divine Answer.—Thou hast heard the desire of the
humble, thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt
cause thine ear to hear. Ps. x. 17. Faith only desires CHRIST, and does neither delight in the gain, nor grieve much at the loss, of temporal things; but “faith, through an earnest desire for CHRIST and his word, rises above all creatures, and overcomes all worldly pleasures and fears.” And this being the work of God, will certainly be accomplished; nay, is looked upon as really accomplished already in our desires and endeavours after it; in the same manner as evil desires are reckoned for deeds in the sight of God, though they never proceed to outward acts. Let tbe inward desires of
heart be, that God, even the God of Israel, may sanctify me by the Holy Spirit, and raise my faith to embrace Christ as far more precious than all this world possesses. May I, in my dear Saviour, see a Jordan in which I may wash and be clean; and may my heart not aim after the streams of earth, which have no healing power, but my health being in CHRIST, may he be all I seek after; as whatever I may do, may I always seek the Lord.
I cannot bear thine absence, Lord ;
My life expires if thou depart;
And thou, my God, be near my heart.
Nor can I live on things so vile;
And hope and wait for heaven a while.
Let me resign my fleeting breath,
Pass through the lonesome vale of death.
Thou drevest near in the day that I called upon
thee; thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the cause of my soul, and redeemed my life. Lam. iii. 57, 58. Fear not, for I am with thee. Isa. xliii. 5. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev. i. 18. CHRIST has overcome death, led captivity captive, and by one offering, perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb. x. 14. Whoever leaves this world believing in him, being perfected already, has nothing to fear after death. O my heavenly Father, dispose me to seek diligently after holiness; and though the work of sanctification will be imperfect in this life, which should humble me much, yet let it cause no fear of death, nor disturb my confidence in thee, since my salvation and my confidence do not depend on a perfect holiness here, but on my being in CHRIST and adopted through him; which adoption the weakest child hath, as well as the strongest, though both are not equally sensible of it. For every true believer, whether weak or strong, hath eternal life, and shall not fall into condemnation. If, therefore, I am a child of God, though a weak one, I am still an heir, and shall find life and deliverance in death.
I am Alpha, says the Saviour,
I Omega likewise am ;
God Almighty and the Lamb.
And in him our boast we'll make;
If we of his death partake.
What is the chaff to the wheat ? saith the Lord.
Is not my word like as a fire ? and a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ? Jer. xxiii. 28,
29. Is there not great condescension in the everlasting Father of all sending to the sinful sons of men a knowledge of himself, the infinite God, in language so plain and simple, that our finite understandings can comprehend it? Was there ever humility mingled with love like this?
Yes, I hear you say, the infinite God becoming man was greater. It was ; but this plain, and simple, and pure word of God contains the knowledge and purport of this still more condescending event; and what were such an event without our knowledge of it? To value this precious gift of God's word aright, let us inquire of what use it is to us. Hear God's own declaration, “Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the hard rock in pieces ?" It is as a hammer to break down our hard and sinful hearts, and as a fire to melt and purify them. And what more convenient for our wants ? Our hearts are hard, deceitful, and filled with every wicked thing. They need to be broken, to be bended from their pride; they need to be melted to love and to godly sorrow; they need to be cleansed of their pollutions, and God's word is powerful to these. May the Spirit of the Lord help me to study and apply that sacred Word, and
may my soul by it be, every day, made wiser unto salvation.
Thy word, almighty Lord,
Where'er it enters in,
To slay the man of sin.
Can two walk together except they be agreed !
Amos iii. 3. What agreement hath the temple of God with idols ? Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you.
2 Cor. vi. 16, 17. READER, I suppose thee a religious person ; one that has been converted by the power of grace ; one that is desirous to glorify God in life and conversation ; one that has an interest in Jesus, and wants to have it made more manifest to thine own self every day; one that considers this life as a passage to a better, and would be glad of a spiritual companion to go along with thee, for
two are better than one." Give not the right hand of fellowship to any before thou hast tried him, for two cannot walk comfortably together except they are agreed. Bring him to the law of God; the eternal, moral law of God, contained in the ten commandments, and ask him, Does he look upon that law of God as the rule of his life? If he denies it, avoid him. If he says he is not under the commanding power of it, turn away from him. But if he says that he sincerely takes it as God's revealed will to him, owning the authority thereof over his conscience and conversation, « Thus saith the Lord,” breathing after universal obedience, repenting and mourning where he falls short, and fleeing by faith to CHRIST for all peace and pardon, take such a one for a friend and companion. And may the Lord ever enable me to receive into my affections only those who are his dear children in CHRIST.
Lord, draw my wand'ring heart to thee,
And reconcile it to thy word ;
And find communion with its Lord,
My soul fainteth for thy salvation. My soul is continually in my hand. Uphold me according to thy word, that I may live, and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those
that love thy name. Ps. cxix. 81, 109, 116, 132. O LORD, I love thy name, it is dear unto my heart. And, since thou art called merciful, gracious, long-suffering, and even the Lord our righteousness, I therefore depend upon nothing of my own, but throw myself entirely upon thy free grace and righteousness, which alone keeps me in
Without thee I am ignorant and weak; and Satan being as wicked as he is cunning, what would become of me, if I was not kept and preserved by thee? Thy name is a strong tower, the righteous enter there and are safe ; there let me abide also continually, so shall I be safe from every adversary. The power of Satan shall not prevail against me, neither shall the enticements of the body overwhelm the grace of the soul, but the Lord shall be my shield and my exceeding great reward. He is the Rock of Ages that stands unmoved, and on which all may find shelter.
The arms of everlasting love,
Beneath my soul be placed;
My slippery footsteps fast.
Is walled around with grace ;
To shield the sacred place.
And all his legions roar;
And bounds his raging power.