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of angels; whilst, by a mind content with little, he imitates their want of nothing.-CAVE.
There are many among ourselves who may be able to describe the nature of sound religion, and to make nice and accurate distinctions in its doctrines while they detect the ignorance and gross mistakes of others, yet feel nothing in themselves of the influence of real piety. It should be remembered that godliness consists, not so much in a system of right notions, as in holy and spiritual affections, regulating the whole conduct.-ROBINSON.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household ? (Matt. x. 24.) A bitter scoff, an evil name, reproaches for Christ, why do these fret thee? They were a part of thy Lord's entertainment while he was here. Thou art even in this, a partaker of His sufferings, and in this way is He bringing thee forward to the partaking of His glory.
What is a slothful sinner to think of himself, when he reads concerning the holy Jesus, that “in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed!" (Mark i. 35.)—HORNE.
As to the afflictions which persons may suffer who are embarked in a righteous cause, they are intended to purge away the dross, and to refine them for the Master's use.--IBID.
The sweet experience of former deliverances giveth a comfortable assurance of protection in present and future dangers; and this should cause us to fly for refuge, at all times, by strong supplication and prayer, to Him who is able and willing to save us from death. -IBID.
“O! how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men !" Peace of conscience, the comforts of the Spirit, and the hope of future glory, will teach the soul, even in the darkest night of affliction, to break forth into this exulting strain of gratitude and praise, for the blessings experienced by those who confess their Saviour before men.-IBID.
God "seeth” and knoweth all things; yet he permitteth those who love him best to be often and long afflicted and oppressed, seeming as one at a “ distance," or “silent,” or “asleep,” that is, regardless of what passes. At such times we are not to remit, but to double our diligence in prayer, reiterating our cries, “Lord, save us! we perish !” Then will he “awake and arise, and rebuke the winds and the seas, and there shall be a calm.”-IBID.
In heaven alone, the thirst of an immortal soul after happiness can be satisfied. There the streams of Eden will flow again. They who drink of them shall forget their earthly poverty, and remember the miseries of the world no more. Some drops from the celestial cup are sufficient, for å time, to make us forget our
sorrows, even while we are in the midst of them. What then may we not expect from full draughts of those pleasures which are at thy right hand, O Lord! for evermore ?”—IBID.
So far is charity from impoverishing, that what is given away, like vapours emitted by the earth, returns in showers of blessings into the bosom of the person who gave it, and his offspring is not the worse, but infinitely the better for it. 6. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Prov. xi. 25.) The bread which endureth, as well as that which perisheth, is his; and the blessings of time are crowned with those of eternity.-IBID.
Whatever materials compose the rod of affliction, and from whatever quarter the stroke cometh, let us remember that the rod is grasped, and the stroke is inflicted, by the hand of our heavenly Father.-IBID.
There is a time when the triumphs of the adversary, and the afflictions of the church, tempt men to think that the eye of Providence is closed, or turned away, and that the Almighty hath ceased to remember their sad estate. But the truth is, that God only giveth his people an opportunity of feeling their own insufficiency, and waiteth till, by fervent and importunate prayer, they solicit his help. For so the holy Jesus slept, while the ship was covered with the waves, until, awakened by the cries of his disciples, he arose to their assistance, and spoke the tempest into a perfect calm. -IBID.
Various are the contrivances of vain men, to have their names written on earth, and to procure, after their deaths, an imaginary immortality for themselves and their families, in the memory and conversation of posterity, which is not often obtained ; and if obtained, is of no value; when, with less trouble, they might have had their names written in heaven, and have secured to themselves a blessed immortality in the glorious kingdom of their Redeemer.-IBID.
The soul that is sensible of her pollution, fears she can never be sufficiently purified from it; and therefore prays, yet again and again, continually, for more abundant grace, to make and to keep her holy.-IBID.
He that would employ his abilities, his influence, and his authority, in the reformation of others, must take care to reform himself, before he enters upon
the work. “When thou art converted,” said Christ to St. Peter, “strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke xxii. 32.)—IBID.
Happy the man to whom, in the day of trouble, the “name of the Lord is a strong tower," into which "he runneth and is safe." (Prov. xviii. 10.)-Happy the man that can, with an holy confidence, commit his cause to the judgment and determination of God, and expect redress from the Almighty. His prayer mounteth up to heaven, and returneth not without a blessing.-IBID.
Solitude and stillness render the “night watches” a fit season for meditation on the so often experienced mercies of God; which, when thus called to remem
brance, become a delicious repast to the spirit, filling it with all joy, and peace, and consolation; giving songs in the night, and making darkness itself cheerful. How cheerful, then, will be that last morning, when the righteous, awaking up after the divine likeness, shall be "satisfied" with all the fulness of God, and “praise him with joyful lips,” in those eternal courts, where there is no night, and from whence sorrow and sighing fly far away !-IBID.
The call of David from a sheepfold to a throne teacheth us, that he who hath showed himself faithful in a few and small concerns, is worthy of promotion to more, and more important cares; that the qualifications requisite for the due discharge of high offices are best learned, at first, in an inferior station, especially if it be one that will inure to labour and vigilance; and that kings are to consider themselves as “shepherds :" which consideration would, perhaps, teach their duty better than all the precepts in the world.-IBID.
One day spent in meditation and devotion affordeth a pleasure far, far superior to that which an age of worldly prosperity could give. Happier is the least and lowest of the servants of Jesus, than the greatest and most exalted potentate who knoweth him not. And he is no proper judge of blessedness, who hesitates a moment to prefer the condition of a penitent in the porch, to that of a sinner on the throne.-IBID.
Fervent and importunate prayer to the God of our salvation will procure from above, knowledge to dispel qur ignorance, and grace to help our infirmities: the