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There are times and seasons of sudden temptation, and of overwhelming distress of mind, not arising from any accountable cause, or foregoing train of circumstances; in these we have no time to linger; in another moment the heart may be set on fire in hell : there is no time to reason, but there is time for prayer instant as the temptation or melancholy that comes swift and trackless as the air, from the enemy of our souls, the prince of the power of the air.
Lord, save me !
Master, carest thou not that I perish ?
O Son of David have mercy on me, have compassion upon me, and come and help me.
Our first sin, after the sense of God's pardon, is our forgetfulness of the mercy which has forgiven us, and we need fervent prayer to maintain a serious and devout spirit after receiving spiritual light and comfort, more than under the deepest distresses of the world. How often, before we have fully recovered from the joy of a spiritual or temporal mercy, and before we have rendered half the praise and thankfulness we meant to offer, have the world, the flesh, and the devil, entered into our hearts, and brought us into untimely condemnation.
Were there not ten cleansed? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save
this stranger. Luke xvii. 17, 18.
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Ps. 1. 23.
There is a difference between the indwelling of sin and the reign of sin in our affections. The captive may dwell in the house, but have no command there ; sin has not dominion over us, unless our subjection to it is voluntary and unresisting ; unless it gives the prevailing impulse to what we are doing at this present time, and the prevailing motive to what we meditate for the future. To have striven against sin is a comfort, even after we have partly fallen under its temptation ; and it is no slight evidence that we are under God's especial grace
when we feel dishonoured by an evil suggestion from our own hearts, debased by an involuntary transgression, a transgression we did not think to fall into, and grieve for on reflection.
For we know that the law is spiritual : but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not ; but what I hate, that do I.
For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man. Rom. vii. 14, 15. 22.
Then will the soul be enabled to mortify, one by one, every rebellious wish and desire. We shall apply to the death of Christ as the ground of God's promise of grace and assistance
to us in our dread and daily conAlict.
They overcame by the blood of the Lamb. Rev. xii. 10.
VIII. It is certain that God does not leave Himself without a witness in our hearts to his truth and faithfulness, so that we may not throw up all our former persuasion of interest in Christ, because we have fallen into sin and grieve for it. Let us observe the following testimonies, that God's Spirit may still dwell in us, and not despair, as if by reason of the Scriptures, since the Holy Scriptures afford no ground for this unpardonable despair.
I will cause him to draw near : for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? Ye shall