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away, and come to nothing—but God says, thou art PRESERVED in Christ Jesus-His covenant and oath are made to confirm the faith of thy persevering. Thou standest by faith, and thy faith should lead thee to rest safely on what God says about thy standing: and for thy' faith itself, its continuing, its increasing, thou hast his infallible faithfulness to depend upon. Thou art weak but he keeps thee by his power.
Thinc enemies are strong—but none of them shall pluck thee out of his hand. Thou art willing to join them, and to depart from the living God—but he has promised to put his fear into thy heart, and thou shalt not depart from him. He meets with thy doubts, and answers all thine objections in a word For he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE TAEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.
Be of good courage then, O my soul, and go forward, strong in the Lord, and in the
power of his might, and he will bring thee safe to the end of thy journey. He has promised it. Put thyself into his hands, and give him the glory of keeping thee.
He will hold up thy goings in his paths, that thy footsteps slip not.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth, and even for ever
How then canst thou miscarry, safe under his guidance and keeping ? Commit thy ways unto the Lord.
Do it simply. Look up by faith to his promise, and then lean on his arm. Thus going on thou mayest rejoice at every step in the Lord thy God. He has left thee a sweet hymn upon the subject, with which the weary travellers to Sion have often refreshed their spirits. Take it up, and sing it after them. Study it. Mix faith with it: and with perfect reliance on what God, who cannot lie, has promised in it to do for thee, sing and make melody with it in thy heart unto the Lord
“In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine: I the Lord do keep it : I will water it every moment : lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day : fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle ?' I would go through them, I would burn them together.
Or will he take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, then he shall make peace with me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and shall fill the face of the world with fruit."
O my good God and faithful keeper, I do believe these precious promises ; help mine unbelief. Forgive my distrusting thy faithfulness, and enable me steadfastly to rely upon it for the future. What return can I make unto thee for grafting me into the true vine? O Lord, this love surpasseth knowledge. I was fit for nothing but the fire, and thou hast brought me into the vineyard of red wine, and hast enabled me to trust in that blood of the Lamb which cheereth God and man. On this my soul lives, and is refreshed : and being through grace in him, and living upon him, I bless thee, holy Father, for thy faithful promise to keep me unto the end.
I am still an easy prey to all those who seek the hurt of my soul; but thou hast given me thy word, that lest any hurt me, thou wilt keep me night and day. I confess, gracious God, that I have dishonoured thee by doubting of thy love, and by questioning its unchangeableness; but now I believe that fury is not in thee to any one branch in the true vine. There is love, and nothing but love, in all thy dealings with Christ, and with his. Forgive my guilty fears and suspicions of thy forsaking me, arising from my weakness, and from the strength of mine enemies : I now see that thou canst as easily consume them as fire can briers and thorns. Lord, increase my faith in thy promised strength, that I may lay hold of it for peace, and may keep fast hold of it for maintaining peace with thee always, and by all means. O grant me this, my good God, that my faith may work more by love. Let me take deeper root in Jesus, and grow up more into him; blossoming and budding, and flourishing in his vineyard. I depend upon thee to keep me a branch in him, and to make me a fruitful branch, bringing forth plentifully the fruits of righteousness, which are by Christ Jesus to the glory and praise of God. I believe the work is thine—thou hast begun it—and thou wilt carry
it on until the day of the Lord Jesus. Thou art faithful to thy word and work. In dependence upon thy faithfulness I hope to persevere. Let it be done unto me according to thy promises, wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust. Hear, Lord, and answer, for thy mercies' sake in Jesus ; to whom, with thee and the eternal Spirit, three persons in one Godhead, be equal glory and praise, for ever and ever, Amen.
The believer finishes his course, and enters
into rest. The believer is now happily arrived at the verge of life.
Goodness and mercy have followed him all his days, and will not lose their glory by forsaking him at the close of them. It is appointed unto all men once to die, and his fixed time is at