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day spoken to me with a strong hand'; that my secret sins have felt the power of his all-searching word and Holy Spirit; that my Saviour has cast out the sin that did so easily beset me, hath preached glad tidings to the meek, and comforted me by bringing me into a humble and gentle frame of mind, so that I rejoiced in the faintest hope, and found hope even in what seemed at first to me a distant promise of my salvation ?

O God, grant that I may not have rejected thy counsel against myself, nor put away thy mercy from me?, and that I may be pricked in my heart to inquire what I shall do to glorify thy holy name"; that every word, being mixed with faith, may profit me through this week as when I

1 Isa. viii. 11.

2 Luke vii. 30; Acts xiii. 4. 6. 3 Acts ii. 23.

heard it', and every truth strengthen and sanctify me

as my day and weakness may require in my temptations. Hear me, O merciful Lord, that I may ever bear in mind the words of thy blessed apostles and evangelists, and improve the means of grace which thou hast appointed for the perfecting of thy holy ones, that, no longer walking in the former vanity of my mind, nor alienated from the life that is in Thee, O Holy Father, I may put on the new man, which, after Thee, is created in righteousness and true holiness, through Jesus Christ

my

Saviour.

III.

It becomes me to ponder and lay up in my heart God's word', and the fruits of it-my own penitent resolutions; to give earnest heed, lest at any time I should let them slipo; to meditate upon these things?.

4 Acts ii. 23.

5 Luke ii. 29.

Know, O my soul, that reading and prayer without marking inwardly are unprofitable. It is the acting of my mind upon them afterwards that will lead me to a continual and patient love of God, and a stedfast obedience to his commandments. It is meditation that draweth from prayer the motives to a holy life and conversation. The well is deep: give me, O Lord, serious and habitual thought of thy word; give me to draw living water out of the wells of salvation.

IV.

If we had not a certain degree of the feeling of doubt, there would be no means of exercising our faith in the eventual righteousness of God's providence. It therefore becomes us ever to bless Him for the seeming perplexity and uncertainty of his dealings with us, and to be comforted in that darkness which we are assured is no darkness with Him. We would not wish to know all, nor more than He has revealed, considering how precious above all duties is the faith which He accepts as our purest sacrifice, and the belief in his invisible goodness and truth which will raise us above every affliction.

6 Heb. ii. 1.

? 1 Tim. iv. 15.

Whereupon didst thou doubt, O my soul? only that thou mightest pray to thy God more fervently, and cleave to him more stedfastly. He will hear thy prayer, and give thee faith to overcome thy doubts, and then to

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overcome the world. O Lord, increase my faith, help thou mine unbelief.

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For the covenant of grace is not a covenant of yesterday, which it is now too late to enter on, nor a covenant of to-morrow, so that thou must wait for mercy and acceptance. Say then, though all light and comfort fail, yet will I not fail in those duties which will place me under the care of an everlasting love, and will bring me peace at the last.

I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear into their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good. Jer. xxxii, 40, 41.

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