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by my sin, than for the desertions, doubts, clouds, afflictions, and chastisements that may thereby seize
Now, with the arms of my faith, I clasp about the promise, and about him in the promise; then, wherefore should unbelief, like the officious servant of the man of God, come near to thrust me away? Here will I live, and here will I die, blessing God, who causeth me always to triumph in Jesus Christ my Lord.
WHAT I most desired thou hast denied, yet I
praise thee: On what account, I know not, yet I praise thee Thou hast done it; that silences me. Thy will makes it indisputable, and dispensable duty to fall in with it. had no complaint on the conduct of providence; nor shall I complain till all the mazes are explained. Do then, all thy counsel, though all my counsels should come to nought. Can he expect favours from God, that will not wait God's way and time?
But what matters it how the affairs of a present world go, if the interests of the next world are secured? The weather-cock is whirled about with every blast, but the iron spire is still at rest, and it is alike to it from what point the wind blows, because it cannot be displaced. So, what avails it though the outward man decay, if the inner man grow? though the temporal condition be perplexed, if the conscience
renders it my inHitherto I have
be possessed of spiritual peace? I praise thee that thou interposest thy providence, even in disappointing my enterprizes; and dost not give me up to the blind desires of mine own heart, and to wander at random in counsels of mine own. I can resolve the present case into nothing but thy will; yet I rejoice more to fall in with thy will, and to be submissive to thy disposal, than to have my will in every point performed. This is the only way in my private capacity that I can glorify thee.
If all things went as I would, I could not positively learn the care of God; but when providence, beyond all human probability, twists enterprizes out of my hands, and well-resolved designs out of my heart, this conduct clearly shows to me thy condescending concern about my lot and life. Thus thou takest the wise in their own craftiness; for when all my schemes were so well laid, that human policy approved of, and wit itself commended; yet, when thou didst blow upon them, how did they, like rainbows painted on the watery clouds, when thunders break, or boisterous winds attack, scatter into disappointments and pain! Hence, in the school of providence I am taught some lessons: 1. Not to look to the appearance of things, but to the power of God, who brings light out of darkness, and calls the things that be not, as though they were. 2. That from probabilities impossibilities may spring, while apparent impossibilities dissolve into easy escapes. As for the first, it was very probable that the Egyptians might overtake and put Israel to the sword, yet it became impossible for them to do it. And as for the second, it seemed impossible that Israel could escape ruin, when inclosed with insurmountable hills, and swelling seas, and pursued by enraged foes; yet, in what
an easy way did they walk to their deliverance! 3. I am taught to believe, and to give glory to the almighty power of God, when impossibilities throng thick before me. 4. To see mine own finite wisdom to be but folly, that I can neither prevent nor foresee those events which I would not incline should come. 5. To hold all my mercies, all my privileges from God, and not from the certainty in which they seem to stand. 6. Not to think that things are lost, when so they seem, as I am taught by experience, that when I think I am most sure of some things, they are all on a sudden rapt from me; so when lost, they can all of a sudden be restored. And, lastly, to see the mutable and fickle state of temporal things, and therefore to hold a loose gripe of the creature, however dear, however near, and to set my affections on things that are above.
Онь OH! how do I groan in this body of clay, this clog of humanity! When I would serve God with gladness, feeble nature hinders me; my strength is exhausted, and I must be again refreshed with sleep.Though grace had not sin to fight against, it has infirmity to struggle with; and I have no way of getting comfort under my calamities of this kind, which are so many, but by beholding with the eye of faith, through the prospect of revelation, the glories of the world above, when this mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be swallowed up of life.
There my weary eyes shall never seek to be refreshed with sleep, amidst the engaging glories of the higher house! The mirth of this world, like an enchantress, lulls men asleep to everlasting destruction; but the songs of the inner temple rouse to all eternity. With the strength of an angel shall I step along the hills of glory, and walk over the paradise of God. With greater ease shall I go on with the highest acts of adoration, than here give over the ordinary acts of devotion; for it shall be life to my soul, and vigour to all my powers, to be so employed!— There he that pours the new wine into the saints, capacitates, strengthens, and supports the soul, to receive the eternal weight of glory. Meditation shall never tire my thoughts in tracing all the mazes of redeeming love! Everlasting hallelujahs shall dwell on my tongue; and how shall I improve in the song above, while I rest not day or night to sing, " Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive glory, and honour, blessing and power, dominion and praise, for ever and ever." There the uninterrupted vision of him, to whom when I see him I shall be assimilated, shall strengthen mine eyes, that they shall be able to receive the images of all the celestial glories, No weariness there, where the exercise renders happy. No weakness, where Jehovah is my strength. No want of subject, where the Lord God and the Lamb are my song! Oh! shall I be able to sing over God through eternity? To sing his being and attributes, his love and his mercy, his righteousness and truth, even a whole God, and a full glory; a consummate happiness, and a continual enjoyment?
Well then, what though the hours of time steal from me unknown? I rejoice that I shall not lose one moment through weariness, while eternity rolls.
Oh! may I improve this to prepare for that; for if eternity is not secured ere time be spent, I am undone in both.
Roll on, thou day of love, to perfect strength in my weakness, and crown a poor expectant with eternal glory.
WORLDLY LOSSES AND MISFORTUNES UNIVERSAL.
CONVENE, ye mournful throng, and vent your
dreary moans; muster all your complaints, and recite the causes of your sorrow. Then hear royalty itself break silence first, in the melancholy list, and tell in tears (but dares distress attack the throne, and sorrow gloom within the palace-walls?) how courtiers prove perfidious, and rebellious subjects would drive him from his throne! how his faithful armies fly, or fall before the foe! while his fleets increase at once his sorrow and the enemies' spoils. Sorrow has a lodging taken in every brow, from the king to the beggar; and at one time or other, we may expect to see the lodging possessed by all the gloomy train. Hence see one sad, under the loss of his honour and reputation; another meeting with disappointment instead of preferment; another seldom out of mourning, so fast his relations die around him. Some have neither son nor grand-son in the street, daughter nor grand-daughter in the house.There the affectionate wife has lost the husband of her youth; and here the disconsolate mourner has interred his lovely spouse. Here so many needy