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See that ye walk circumspectly ; not as fools, but
as wise. Be ye therefore not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Eph. v. 15, 17. That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offence. Phil. i. 10. See also Luke xii. 36. BELIEVERS have nothing more at heart than the will of God; being once convinced of that, they immediately set about it at all hazards; but sometimes they cannot come to a thorough knowledge of the same without great conflicts and patience, “For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." Heb. x. 36. For the flesh is exceedingly crafty and froward; and though often forbid to go, it is as often calling out, “ Howsoever, let me run.” 2 Sam. xviii. 23. But the Lord will nevertheless carry them through. Yes, Lord, this thou hast done innumerable times. O that I might trust thee also for the time to come, and not be so weak in faith any
O that my soul could feel at home with God, as in the presence of a kind father, and being glad in his presence, I might trust his offered grace, and walk not as the foolish but as the wise, knowing and doing the will of the Lord.
Beloved self must be denied,
The mind and will renewed ;
And vain desires subdued.
Where it prevails and rules ;
Lest they destroy our souls.
Fulfil a task so hard ?
And give the free reward.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy
are ye ; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. 1 Pet. iv. 14, 19. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy, for, behold, your reward is great in heaven. Luke vi. 23. Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven ; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Matt. x. 32, 33. EVERY real Christian must expect persecution from the world, and though he should take heed of giving needless offence by self-will or rash conduct of any kind, yet should he not seek to shun the cross by what some men call prudence, or a sneaking compliance with the world, but be willing to suffer everything, rather than to hurt the cause of God in the least. We should openly confess Christ our Lord, and not mind being called fools by the wicked, as we know that at last they will call themselves by that name; therefore care not for the approbation and praise of the world; but count it a great honour to bear the reproach of CHRIST. Be willing rather to suffer persecution, and to be one of the despised in this world, than that the name of the Lord should suffer any dishonour, by the countenance you may wish to give to some sin in order to avoid offence. O my soul, flee such temptation. It is not the will of the Lord that you yield.
Blessed are the suff'rers who partake
Where living fountains rise,
The sorrows of their eyes.
Take heed to your spirit. Malachi ii. 15. Those
things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. Matt. xv. 18. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jer. xvii. 9 The imagination of the thoughts of
man's heart is evil continually. Gen. vi. 5. PRIVATE loop-holes, sinful lusts, can hide themselves at times so well as to seem quite dead ; but if we grow careless they spring up again on a favourable occasion, and sometimes appear in a spiritual shape, and take a fine spiritual name. Thus, though the flesh exceedingly likes sensual indulgences, yet to flatter its lust of pride and the vanity of being thought a perfect man, it will sometimes endure great mortification. Therefore we ought always to be jealous of ourselves, and guard as much against self-righteousness as licentiousness ; for the flesh is never more fleshly and dangerous than when it has the most spiritual appearance, and covers its lusts with the holiness and spirituality of angels.
Sin has a thousand treach'rous arts,
To practise on the mind ;
But leaves a sting behind.
The aged and the young ;
She makes his fetters strong.
And gives a fair pretence;
And chains it down to sense.
Grew the forbidden food;
And tainted all her blood.
David's Prayer.-0 send out thy light and thy
truth ; let them lead me, let them bring me unto
thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Ps. xliii. 3. Divine Answer.- The path of the just is as the
shining light, that shineth more and more unto
the perfect day. Prov. iv. 18. THE wiser we are in our own conceits, the more negligent are we in prayer, and the more destitute of true wisdom and faith; the more carnal are our feelings, the more trust and peace have we in our own righteousness : 6 for the Lord gives sight only to the blind, and to the babes," who pray for it. Therefore the deepest humblings go before the greatest blessings. O my blessed Saviour ! since I am always blind and ignorant of myself, if I am not guided by thine eyes, I desire always to look up to thee, and do everything under thy direction. 66 O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” “ Let thy mercies come unto me, O Lord; even thy salvation according to thy word.” Psalm cxix. 41.
Prevent me, lest I harbour pride,
By grace ye are saved. It is the gift of God. Eph. ii. 58. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus. iii.
5, 6. See also John iii. 3, 5. To rely on grace, and desire to be saved only by free
grace, is a sweet exercise ; but so far from being practised enough, we have all need to learn the prayer of the Publican better still, since the Pharisee is ever busy to creep in again. But care must be taken that we do not build our faith only upon the sweet enjoyments of the grace of God, as it is procured by CHRIST, and promised to us through CHRIST; for which reaBon God sometimes denies us sensible enjoyments, that true faith may begin to act like itself, and depend upon nothing but his free grace in CHRIST.' And this we have also boldness to do, should we ever seem to fall short of the due measure of faith, godly sorrow and repentance ; for since there is no merit to be placed in these things, there is no certain measure and degree prescribed to all; but it is enough truly to hate sin, to desire grace, and sincerely to enter upon the Christian race.
'Tis not by works of righteousness
Which our own hands have done;
Abounding through his Son.
That all our hopes begin;
Our souls are washed from sin.
And justified by grace,
And see our Father's face.