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Cleave to that which is good. Rom. xii. 9. Seek
those things which are above, Col. iii. 1. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matt. vi. 20, 21. The manners of such things or persons as we frequently converse with cleave very easily to us. If we converse much with God and heavenly things, we shall be heavenly-minded; but if we deal much with the world and temporal things, we must be sensual and worldly-minded. Up therefore with thy heart to God : lift it hourly up to him; and though it sinks down often to the earth again, yet the Lord has patience, and will as often receive it again. Therefore raise it up continually, and take great care to keep it above, that it may not sink down and be defiled with worldly things again. Thus it will be easy to abide in a spiritual frame; but without this care we cannot abide in it at all; a feather easily rises higher and higher when kept above ground, but moves very heavy upwards, when once fallen into the dirt. This you may take as a lively figure of an easy and heavy method in the practice of religion.' Choose now which you please. O that I may always choose the best, seeking the things which are above, and never plunge into the world to defile and distress
Stoop down and take us on thy wings,
The reach of these inferior things.
Úp where eternal ages roll,
And fruits immortal feast the soul.
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. Luke ï. 29, 30. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, &c. Isa.
Xxxv. 4. WILFUL unbelief only is damnable, and not the weak faith of a fearful and tempted believer. If I do not reject the ransom of CHRIST, my surety, but feel my utter need of it, and am heartily desirous to accept it by faith, God can no more reject me than he can reject my surety, or his own eternal decree. Yet, since I have very weak faith, and am often ready to sink into despair, it passeth my understanding to conceive how I can depart this life in peace. But as thy peace is said to pass all understanding (Phil
. iv. 7), it is sufficient to keep the weakest and most fearful soul, because it is not by any power of our own, but solely by thy divine power, that “ we shall be kept through faith unto salvation." And it is equally the same to thee to carry the weakest or the strongest through the gates of death; for since thou art always the same wise, gracious, and mighty God, in all circumstances, and must do the work alone for both, I trust thou wilt lend me also, a poor weak creature, thine all-sufficient help in that time of need!
Saints by the power of God are kept,
Till the salvation come ;
Till Christ shall call us bome.
Lord, at thy temple we appear,
As happy Simeon came,
O make our joys the same!
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom
hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches. Ps. civ. 24. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord. Ps. cvii. 43. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried. Dan. xii. 10. The ways of the Lord are right, and many shall walk in them. Hosea
O LORD, how many are thine unknown mercies! I am surrounded with them on all sides, yet how little do I observe them and acknowledge them to thy praise. If thou hast punished even the heathen, for not having minded and glorified thee in thy works, what will become of me? Pardon, O Lord, this my blindness and ingratitude, and to all thy other kindness add a thankful heart, that I may joyfully praise thee for the blessing of my creation, the daily bounty of thy providence, and the adorable gift of thy Son. In all thy creatures may I see and adore thine infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, and be thereby continually strengthened in faith, and stirred up to thy praise and love. Thus let me always converse with thee, cleave to thee, and have uninterrupted communion with thee, that nothing may interfere and disturb this religious disposition of my soul in the least. Yes, O Lord, grant me this wisdom and close attention for thy glory's sake. Amen.
The glories of my Maker, God,
My joyful voice shall sing,
Their Former and their King.
ΤΙ creation fills;
Beyond the heavenly hills.
The sword of the Lord and of Gideon. Judg. vii.
20. For they are bread for us; their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us ; fear them not. Num. xiv. 9. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went. Ver. 24. Surely the wrath of men shall praise thee. Ps. lxxvi.
10. TAKE care, O my soul, that there may also be another, namely,'a kingly spirit with thee, as there was with Joshua and Caleb, not to be discouraged on account of thy weakness, and great number of frailties and enemies as if it were impossible to live holily and get the victory. Behold CHRIST, the true and great Joshua and Caleb, marches out before thee, to make war himself against thine enemies, and who can conquer him? He is unchangeable, his spirit now is as mighty as ever, and his word as powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword. Against thy various infirmities, he offers also a variety of divine strength, and against each of thine enemies he holds forth to thee a particular sword in his word, and abiding in his word thou shalt surely conquer. Though the enemy should raise thine inward and outward calamities to the highest degree, as so many strong walls, yet he must fall; one single word will strike him down.
Let troubles rise, and terrors frown,
And days of darkness fall;
And more than conquer all.
Nor time's destroying, sway,
Or make his love decay.
Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness; I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off; and my salvation shall not tarry. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
Isa. xlvi. 12, 13; and lxvi. 6. TRUE religion is founded upon the knowledge of the true God. Sinners are apt to think they have a high opinion of God, because they think highly of his mercy; whereas God is as holy and just as he is merciful; and he will as certainly punish the guilty as he will pardon the penitent and believing soul. God, I thank thee, I am not as other men are," says every self-righteous sinner; not considering that if God were extreme to mark what is amiss, no flesh living could be justified: “God be merciful to me, a sinner, says every true Christian and real believer. Till this be thy language, O my soul; till thou feelest thyself a lost, ruined, and helpless sinner ; till thou art brought to acknowledge the justice of God in thy condemnation : till thou art driven to Christ as thy only refuge and hope of salvation, thou art “ignorant of God's righteousness, art going about to establish thine own righteousness, and thou dost not submit to the righteousness of CHRIST.”
I am, saith Christ, the Way:
Now, if we credit him,
How fair soe'er they seem.
Then, all that lack this test,
Is but a lie at best.
Let this seen by faith;
That all besides is death.