« PreviousContinue »
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy
name be the glory. Ps. cxv. 1. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen. Matt. vi. 13. How little reason have we to glory in anything of our own, since nothing but sin is ours, which even defiles that which is of God!
O Lord, grant that I may always give thee the praise of thy own, and may learn to delight and glory in thee, having no other aim but to walk before thee in godly simplicity and sincerity. For he that walketh uprightly walketh surely. Prov. x. 9. All disquiet of mind ariseth from our own lusts and unmortified tempers, which makes the bosom like a troubled sea; and no settled calm shall we find till we have a single eye to God's glory, and can count ourselves worthy of no good. Then we may draw comfort out of trouble, and learn to praise the Lord, both for what he giveth and for what he taketh away ; being sure that all things are working for our good, and tending to God's glory, which he knows best how to promote ; and that nothing but sin can make us unhappy and miserable.
Great God! how infinite art thou !
What worthless worms are we!
And pay their praise to thee.
And vexed with trifling cares,
Thine undisturbed affairs.
For that almighty care
Thine own who truly are.
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's
elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again ; who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for
Rom. viii. 33, 34. THERE is a story, how the devil appeared to a dying man, and shewed him a parchment roll, which was very long, wherein was written, on every side, the sins of the poor sick man, which were many in number; and there were also written the idle words he had spoken in his life, together with the false words, the unchaste words, and
angry words; afterwards came his vain and ungodly words ; and, lastly, his actions, digested according to the commandments. Whereupon Satan said, See here, behold thy virtues ! see here, what thy examination must be !—Whereupon the poor sinner answered, It is true, but thou hast not set down all; for thou shouldst have added, and set down here below, “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all our sins ;” and this also should not have been forgotten, that, “ Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Whereupon the devil vanished. Thus, if the devil should muster up our sins, and set them in order before us, let but CHRIST be named in a faithful way, and he will give back, and fly away with all speed.
My sins are great I do confess,
And of a scarlet dve;
As God does testify.
A daily visit make;
To holy life awake.
But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass
the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory. 2 Cor. iii. 18. For he has left us an example, that we should follow
his steps. 1 Pet. ii. 21. See also 2 Cor. iii. 18. How pure and how holy is that life which the blessed Jesus led, when, a man of sorrows, he dwelt on our earth, enduring the same trials and temptations which we suffer! yet he overcame them all, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. If, before we say or do anything, we would always consider whether it was agreeable to the pattern of Christ, a multitude of sins would be avoided. O Lord, however guilty and miserable I am, yet, when I can humble myself before thee as the vilest of sinners, and look up unto thee by faith, depending only upon thy free grace, I enjoy peace. Grant, therefore, O my God, that this beholding of thee may be my
constant exercise, and that, by this means, I may be strengthened cheerfully to follow thy pattern, and be daily more changed into the glorious image of thy love, patience and humility, and thus be ripening for eternal life.
My dear Redeemer and my Lord !
Be thou my pattern, make me bear
He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and good, and
sendeth rain on the just and unjust. Matt. v. 45. MANY serious people give alms to the pious poor, but are afraid of relieving a common beggar; and it must be owned, that, as riches are a talent from God, they who have them must be discreet in the distribution of them. The religious poor have the best claim, but others ought not to be entirely overlooked; as is plain from the conduct of God himself, for “ he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good.” It may be said they will make an ill use of your bounty; but what then ? Is not this the very effect of Divine goodness? Is not this the very goodness that is recommended to us in Scripture, by the imitating of which we may shew curselves to be “the children of our Father which is in heaven, who sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust ?" Do I beg of God to deal with me, not according to my merit, but according to his own great goodness; and shall I be so absurd as to withhold my charity from a poor fellow-creature, because he may perhaps not deserve it? Shall I use a measure towards him, which I
God never to use towards me ? Lazarus was a common beggar; and yet he was the care of angels, and carried into Abraham's bosom. “ I was a stranger, and ye took me in,” saith our blessed Saviour; but who can perform this duty, that will not relieve persons
that are unknown to them ? we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
Lord, give me faith which works by love,
And will good works command ;
And lends a helping hand.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me. Ps. xxiii. 4. See also Exod. xiv. of the deliverance of the Israelites, and the destruction of the Egyp
tians in the Red Sea. To rejoice in the light of God's countenance is certainly most pleasant, but not always so profitable to every one as sometimes to walk in the dark, nay, in the valley of the shadow of death. Some are more humble and cautious while walking in the dark than in the light; and glimpses of grace are then exceedingly precious; but such should consider for their humiliation, that darkness or deadness are commonly the effects of a wrong spirit and careless walk. O Lord, grant that when I am deprived of sensible comforts, I may yet be enabled to rely upon thy bare word, and in death may be refreshed by the light of thy countenance. Amen. Yes; thou hast declared " that the righteous hath hope in his death.” Prov. xiv. 32.
Death cannot make our souls afraid,
If God be with us there;
And never yield to fear.
And view the promised land,
And pray for the command.
I shall forget my breath,
Of so divine a death.
Around me ever be;
My help shall be in thee.