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David's Prayer.-How long shall I take counsel
in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?
Ps. xiii. 2. Divine Answer.---Be careful for nothing ; but in
everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Phil. iv. 6. Commit thy ways unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall sustain thee. Ps. lv. 22. For he has done wonderful things; his counsets of old are faithfulness and
truth. Isa. xxv. 1. " Be careful for nothing," is a wall against a thousand troubles. But if we give room to any care and unbelief, it is like a leaven that spreads through all our actions. Therefore we ought never to despair in our lawful calling, but rely in all things on the good providence and faithfulness of God; firmly believing that he will never fail to carry us through the most difficult and intricate circumstances, though there should be ever so little appearance for it in our own eyes. But, alas! Lord, how often do our hearts misgive us, and we either murmur at thy providence or we trust to ourselves; how seldom have we cast all our care upon thee, and, in humble faith, implored thy direction. O help us to commit our way unto thee.
He that can dash whole worlds to death
And make them when he please,
Fulfils his great decrees.
As that which built the skies ;
Speaks all the promises.
And heaven was stretched abroad :
And he was Abram's God,
It is done. Revelation xxi. 6. WHEN Jesus bowed the head, and gave up the ghost, he said, “ It is finished.” The work of obedience and suffering, which I had undertaken, is finished. When all the redeemed are gathered, he who sitteth on the throne, beholding those he purchased with his blood, thus expresseth himself, “ It is done.” The means and helps appointed for training you up and preparing you for glory, are now laid aside. That “which is perfect is come, and that which was in part is done away.” What depth of wisdom, what order in the plan of salvation, and in the tendency of its various parts to perfect the glorious work of redeeming love, agreeably to the eternal counsel of peace. Rom. viii. 29, 30. “ This is the doing of the Lord, and is it not marvellous in our eye? When receiving the Spirit that is of God, do I not see and admire my dear Immanuel in the whole of the plan; in him the beginning and finishing of this grand design? Am I part of the plan? is not his eye upon me, his hand about me? mazing wisdom and love! shall no part be neglected ? can nothing fail in the Redeemer's hand! shall even the weakest be supported ? shall none be lost ?- shall all his have eternal life? Why then should I fear? The mighty One will do his works in me and for me. Is the prospect by faith of this finished work pleasant and transporting? What must the immediate blessed vision be! O my God, keep me by thy power to everlasting salvation.
When all the saints are gathered home,
And time its course has run,
When Jesus cries “ 'Tis done.".
We must, through niuch tribulation, enter into the
kingdom of God. Acts xiv. 22. Therefore, Let us run with patience the race that is set before
Heb. xii. 1. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Ver. 4. SOME licentious professors think there is no need to strive against sin; and some would seem so holy as to be above it; but here we are plainly told of a striving against it. What St. Paul speaks of the conflict between the flesh and the spirit is to the same purpose.
" For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Gal. v. 17. The most experienced Christians are witnesses to it. The word of God is said to be a sword, our prayers the wrestling, and our faith the victory. Thus our whole race consists in strivings and conquests. There is always an enemy to be conquered first, before we can make a considerable progress in anything that is good ; and none of our enemies are very easily to be overcome ; but some are very
stubborn ; therefore courage and patience are required; and thus we may be sure to have the victory at last.
In Jesu's strength, seek, O my soul,
Thy glorious warfare to pursue ;
And give thee vict'ries ever new.
There are no fields of battle there;
And finish well the glorious war.
To bring thy Gospel good renown;
Receive through Christ the promised crown.
We are justified freely by his grace, through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. Rom. iii. 24,
25. See also John iii. 16. How sweet are the words “ By grace (without merit) ye are saved.” Here is an overflowing fountain of comfort and divine strength. But how little are the generality of vain and worldly people, who still feed upon husks, acquainted with these words. How little are they relished by our self-righteous moral Christians. But 0 ! how deliciously does a poor hungering sinner fare upon them! There is hardly anything less known and understood, as to the power and experience, than the mystery of Christ's suffering and dying for us, and justification by faith in him; though it is the only paradise and element of believers, and the greatest jewel restored by the Reformation. Such talking and representations of sin as only strike the imagination, are not sufficient; but we must also feel the mortal wounds of sin, by which the flesh is mortified, and be actually healed by the stripes of CHRIST.
God, the great God, that rules the skies,
The gracious and the just,
And here lies all our trust.
Here let repentance rise,
His dying agonies.
How great my guilt has been;
And God forgives my sin.
See that ye fall not out by the way. Gen. xlv. 24. JOSEPH, having shewn himself fully reconciled to his brethren, dismisses them with this needful caution, “ See that ye fall not out by the way." He knew that they were but too apt to be quarrelsome. One might say, “ It was you that first upbraided him with his dreams;" another, “ It was you that said, Let us kill him ;" &c. Thus their journey to their father's house would be very uncomfortable, if this spirit of quarrelling and upbraiding once got possession of them. Fellow Christians, What a lesson is here for us! what says our Lord Jesus to us? Love one another, live in peace : whatever occurs, “ Let us not fall out by the way." Are we not all brethren ? Have we not all one Father? Are we not all subjects of free and sovereign grace ? Are we not all agreed in essential points ? Are we not all sinners by nature and practice? Have we not all one object of faith? Are we not all travelling the same road? O then, why should we fall out by the way ? Suppose we be of different denominations, yet holding the same Head, why cannot we love as brethren? Let not the strong despise the weak, nor the weak judge the strong. Suppose our way should part å little as to externals; yet all setting out from the same spiritual Egypt, all under the same Leader, why may we not all hope to meet at last in the true Canaan? Satan, false professors, and the ungodly world, are unanimous in their opposition to us : let us be united, that they prevail not against us. Phil. ii. 1, 2.
Our Jesus is the Prince of Peace,