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FOR WEDNESDAY MORNING.
It is of serious importance to set apart the portion of the day and night which we owe to God for religious exercises ; to appoint a certain time for the duties of our calling in their order; and also for such refreshment as shall bring with it a sense of God's goodness to us in our temporal enjoyments, and a delightful sense of the presence of the Lord. Who shall prepare himself for any work, when he knows that it is uncertain what impulse he will yield to, or what employment his own unstable mind, or a world as uncertain, may engage him in, at any instant of his life? Who shall be able to give an account to God for the hours in which his thoughts have been so confused, and his drift so uncertain, that he can give no account of them to himself?
Render unto God the things that be God's. Matt. xxii. 21.
God shall judge the righteous and the wicked : for there is a time for every purpose and for every work. Eccles. iii. 17.
He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James i. 6.
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel. Gen. xlix. 4.
Thou sayest that I am increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched. Rev. jii. 17.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time. Eph. v. 15.
God has taught us in his works that his goodness is displayed in the most perfect regularity; and his Word tells us that He will not dwell with a mind that is in a state of darkness and confusion. And besides this, as it is appointed unto man once to die, so we live each moment only once over, and if the work attached to it be undone, it must be undone for ever. If the thoughts and the ability to work a portion of our work in its appointed moment be mispent, God will enter into judgment with us, for that lost jewel of our talents. The loss of one single hour to the order of our duties and the course we are to fulfil, is a subject for deep and true repentance.
A land of darkness; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness. Job x. 22.
Who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me? Isa. xliv. 7.
God is not the author of confusion. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. 1 Cor. xiv. 33 ; Eccles. iii. 4.
In our earthly affairs we are careful to keep books of our gain and Toss ; it will be profitable to have one small daily tablet, in which we enter the solemn accounts of the soul, and note down especial answers to prayer, and the concurrence of minute circumstances, and of particular events, to the same end of mercy in different passages of our lifetime: they will afford proofs of God's grace and goodness, and superintending providence, keeping watch over our body and soul.
If this be too much, it will be a pious custom to mark three separate columns for the hours of life: the first, for those devoted to God and to our duties; the second, for those we spend in idle vanities ; the third, to register the hours of wilful sins we have committed through the omission of prayer,
or neglect of the warnings of God's Holy Spirit.
There will be great comfort in the review of those days in which our sacred and diligent hours have exceeded the vain and evil : their very date will bring back holy and happy remembrances of God's grace and succour, which enabled us to employ them well. We shall say, “How pre