Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father; and

know understanding. Prov. iv. 1. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John iii. 11. Beloved, believe not every spirit; but try

the spirits whether they are of God. 1 John iv. i. READER, let the following monitions, the result of long experience and observation, be acceptable unto thee. They are designed for thy spiritual good, will warn thee against errors, and, if complied with, will give thee a true relish of Gospel peace and redeeming love. Let "the life thou now livest in the flesh be by faith in the Son of God.” Labour after a constant soul-reviving fellowship with the Father and the Son, through the Holy Spirit. Watch over thy passions, conduct and conversation, so as that the Spirit of the Lord be not grieved, nor his comfortable influences withdrawn from thy soul. Be ready to every good work as thou hast ability and opportunity: and take special care thy good be not evil spoken of through the manner of thy performing it. Let no external services whatever, either respecting thyself or others, make thee neglect a constant watchfulness over the inward motions of thine own heart. Let the written word of God be thine invariable rule, both in principle and practice. Be very earnest after meekness, humility, patience, self-denial, inward holiness, and all other graces of the Spirit; these carry their own evidence that they are wrought of God, and in their blessed effects will remain with thee for ever.

My son, if thine heart be wise, and experienced in these things, my heart shall rejoice, even mine."

Lord, fill my heart with love and joy,

And fill it with thy precious peace;
So will iny tongue find sweet employ,

And bless the Lord my righteousness.

David's Prayer.-Open thou mine eyes, that I may

see wonderful things out of thy law. Ps. cxix.

18. See also Ps. xiii. 3, and xxxii. 9. Divine Answer.-I am come a light into the world,

that whosoever believeth in me, should not abide

in darkness, John xii. 46. Ps. cxlvi. 8. Many imagine their eyes are opened, and that they have clear notions of religion in their heads; but they see just like Eve after eating the forbidden fruit; their hearts being corrupted, are destitute of Christian simplicity and godly sincerity; for he that does not understand the word of God by the light of the Holy Spirit, through prayer and faith, but only by his natural reason, is certainly blind still (Rev. iii. 17); and one devilish and plausible temptation to error and sin, is enough to break the strongest chain of human reasoning; for it is only “faith that gets the victory." 1 John v. 4. O my soul! get faith ; seek it earnestly from God; thou canst not buy it; thou canst not take it up of thyself; thou must get it. “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Eph. ii. 8. Nor canst thou get it until thou ask for it. Ask it then of God, and seek for it diligently.

The souls enlightened from above,

With joy receive the word;
They see what wisdom, power, and love,

Shines in their dying Lord.
The vital savour of his name

Restores their fainting breath;
But unbelief perverts the same

To guilt, despair, and death.
Till God diffuse his graces down,

Like showers of heavenly rain,
In vain Apollos sows the ground;

And Paul may plant in vain.

À bide in me, and I in you. As the branch can

not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do

nothing. John xv. 4, 5. See also 1 John ii. 6. I CAN no more do without thee, O my dear Saviour, than the branch can without the vine! Keep me therefore always in thee, else I shall have recourse to my own fancied stock of grace, though I have been a thousand times convinced of my insufficiency. May I never be left in the least thing to my own strength, but be directed, assisted, and blessed by thee in all my doings; for as far as I trust to myself, I am distrustful of thee, and consequently weak; and, on the other hand, the more I distrust myself, the more I trust on thee, and shall be strengthened and blessed. Be thou my refuge and my neverfailing friend.

Son of God, thy blessing grant;
Still supply my every want;
Tree of Life, thine influence shed;
With thy sap my spirit feed.
Tend'rest branch, alas! am I;
Wither without thee, and die ;
Weak as helpless infancy :
O confirm my soul in thee !
Unsustain'd by thee, I fall ;
Send the strength for which I call;
Weaker than a bruised reed,
Help I every momen: need.
All my hopes on thee derend !
Love me, save me to the en'
Give me thy continuing grace;
Take the everlasting praise.

Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows un

to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Whoso offereth praise, glorifies me ; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalm 1. 14,

15, 23. See also Isa. xxv. 9. NOTHING moves God more to hear us than the glorifying him by faith with thanksgiving, and the keeping up a child-like confidence in him, as our reconciled Father in Christ; and nothing quickeneth faith more than sure promises of answering our prayers. Thus God will certainly hear and deliver us, since all his ways are only designed to strengthen us in faith, and to save our souls. What need we then to be afraid in times of trouble ? ought we not rather to draw near to God in prayer and thanksgiving, and glorify him even beforehand,-confidently believing, that we shall certainly meet with new deliverances and quickenings of faith? Yes, my soul, wait thou

upon the Lord, he shall save thee, and thou shalt be glad and rejoice in his salvation; for in his favour is light, and with him is power to order thy conversation aright.

To what a stubborn frame
Has sin reduced our mind!
What strange ungrateful wretches we!
And God as strangely kind !
Turn, turn us, mighty God,
And mould our souls afresh;
Break, sov’reign grace, these hearts of stone,
And give us hearts of flesh!
Let old ingratitude
Provoke our weeping eyes,
And hourly as new mercies fall,
Let hourly thanks arise !

Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with

them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Isa. iii. 10. Therefore, mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace. Psal. xxxvii. 37.

. MANY are for having that first, which is not to be expected till the end. They would be glad of the triumph, but will not fight; the waiting for the Lord seems to them too long :—but for the most glorious promises we must often wait the longest. Jacob was obliged to wait longer than Esau, though he had greater promises than he: and how long was it before the promise of CHRIST, the greatest of all, was accomplished ! It ought, therefore, well to be observed, that it is said at last “ It shall be well with the righteous, and the end of the upright is peace.” When his faith, love, and patience are tried enough in the furnace of afflictions, then the acceptable year shall come, and the blessed days of joy will appear. May I live the life and die the death of the righteous, and may my latter end be like his, full of peace, and joy, and rejoicing.

As sparks break out of burning coals,

And still are upward borne,
So grief is rooted in our souls,

And man grows up to mourn.
Yet with my God I leave my canse,

And trust his promised grace;
He rules me by his well-known laws

Of love and righteousness.
Not all the pains that e'er I bore

Shall spoil my future peace,
For death and hell can do no more

Than what my Father please.

« PreviousContinue »