« PreviousContinue »
N'hy art thou cast down, O my soul ! and why art
thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. Ps. xlii. 11. For
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us. Rom. viii. 18. BELIEVERS, we are here assured, may be in great distress; but though much perplexed, and often discouraged, they are secretly held up by faith, and brought off conquerors. If God had commanded us to pray and hope only till a certain time mentioned, and his help had failed to come within that time, we might justly despair. But since he requires us tu hope even to the end or last moment of life, this should keep us from impatience and despair : for though he should tarry even to the end, believers will certainly experience him then to be faithful to his promise. He may try our faith and patience to the utmost, but he cannot break his own word. Dear Lord, whatever load thou art pleased to lay upon me, enable me to wait in faith and prayer till the joyful hour of deliverance comes; knowing that thou layest on no burden disproportioned to the grace thou art giving.
'Tis God that lifts our comforts high,
Or sinks them in the grave;
He takes but what he gave.
Let each rebellious sigh
And every murmur die.
Its praises shall be spread;
That strikes our comforts dead.
Be not soon shaken in mind. 2 Thess. ii. 2. 1
determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor. ii. 2. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col. i. 3. But we preach Christ crucified. The testimony of Christ was
confirmed in you. 1 Cor. i. 6, 23. O My dear Saviour, enable me to rest humbly and quietly in thee, avoiding all such novelties as might breed presumption, distract my thoughts, and cause my heart to swerve from thee. Whoever has tasted the sweetness of thy word will be satisfied with it; and better it is to improve in the life of faith, and power of godliness, than in new words, forms, and professions. “May the Lord quicken me by the old truths, and humble my heart evermore, so as to receive them better, and to abide in that which I have heard from the beginning. Novelty is the bane of souls, by which we are often grievously tormented and distracted. It is work enough for a meek and quiet soul to keep within the bounds of a settled mind, and effectually to centre in God. How can such enjoy true rest, who, from a vain curiosity to know everything, are ever running after new doctrines, or prying into every man's business ?—Lord, save me from this unsettled mind, and make me determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified, and to have his testimony confirmed iri my heart. Amen.
O that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep his statutes still ;
To know and do his will !
My feet too often slip;
Restore thy wand'ring slieep.
David's Prayer.-Wash me thoroughly from mine
iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Ps. li. 2. Divine Answer.—The blood of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John
i. 7. See also 1 Cor. vi. 11. UNDER the ceremonial law all things were purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there was no remission : thus it is impossible that any one sin, even the least sinful motion, should be taken away, except by the blood of Jesus Christ. May this teach me the heinousness of sin in the sight of the great Jehovah, and may it tend to keep my heart humble and my conscience tender; for how dreadful must the stain of sin be, since nothing but the blood of Christ can wash it out. Blessed be God for opening this fountain, and keeping it open, day and night, for the vilest sinners to wash in. May my polluted soul be daily washed in this fountain, and receive both peace and strength from it, and arrayed in the robes of Christ's righteousness, may I be prevented from doing anything dishonourable to thy name.
My dying Saviour and my God,
Fountain for guilt and sin,
And cleanse and keep me clean.
Wash me, and mine thou art;
My hands, my head, my beart.
Till faith to sight improve ;
And all my soul be love.
Close to thy bleeding side;
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.
2 Cor. xiii. 5. See also 1 Cor. ii. 28. But is there any need of such self-examination, when yet we preach Christ, and stay ourselves on his name? Alas! it is possible both to preach and profess him: yea, to have a seeming confidence in him, and call him our Rock, and talk of his grace, and yet be lovers of sin, and haters of holiness; and thereby shew we have no interest in him, but are in the road to destruction. Thus Jesus hath told us, Matt. vii. 22, 23. Let us examine ourselves. Is our faith in him accompanied with much self-abhorrence, in the views of our sinfulness and pollution before him? Do we prize him, not only for his favour to us, but for his own goodness, his grace, and his excellence ? Do we love him so as to love nothing in comparison of him-neither self, nor the world, nor our ease nor advantage? Then surely we are his, and he also is ours. Thuse graces are the fruits of his Spirit within us; they are proofs of our faith, and of our union with him; and if we are united by the Spirit to Jesus, he will certainly own us before men and angels; he will never forsake us in time or eternity. But how dreadful will their case be who deceive themselves here, and habitually give themselves unto sin and iniquity, whilst yet they make mention of Jesus Christ with their lips! Keep us, Lord, we beseech thee, from such sad delusion! O give us to remember all our past provocations, and to know, to love, and serve thee in sincerity!
Is Christ your only trust and guide,
What lack I yet? Matt. xix. 20. Yet lackest thou
one thing. Luke xviii. 22. For one thing is
needful. Luke x. 42. This one thing needful is to have CHRIST; but he must first serve and treat us with his
before we can draw strength from him to serve him again. We must be taught to see him our food, and to hunger for him, before we can feed upon him, or do anything for him. And as Christ is the author of faith, he gives it increase out of his fulness; and faith, being somewhat strengthened, begins to work for him, though it be but faintly. However, we become Christians, and remain in a perfect state of salvation, not by what faith works, but by what it receives ; for though a feeble faith will perform feeble works, it can receive a whole and perfect CHRIST; which is the one thing needful. Grant, dear Lord, that I
may possess the one thing needful, that he may dwell in my heart, rooting and grounding me in love.
O may I never want the seal
He is my sure defence;
And my freed soul fly hence.
In him is all I want:
For that alone I pant.
Their pilgrimage below;
Needful for us to know."