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to me, his forlorn creature, and turn my sorrow into joy! May he reach forth his Omnipotent hand, and bid the winds that howl about me; be silent; and the sea that threatens to devour me, be calm ! “ Come, O LORD Jesus, come quickly!” In thy absence, no day nor hour is joyful : for thou art my only joy; and without thee my table is empty! I am a wretched prisoner in the darkness of this fallen world, bound with the chains of sin and misery, till thou ́revivest me with thy presence,' restorest me to liberty, and liftest up the light of thy reconciled countenance upon me.
4. Let those that prefer to thee the gratification of some prevailing desire after the enjoyments of the world, seek that happiness which they can never find ; I will pursue no good, present or future, but thee alone, my God, my hope, and everlasting salvation ! nor will I cease from my importunity, till thou turnest back to me again, and I hear thy blessed voice speaking within me.
CHRIST. 5. Behold, I am here! Behold, I am come to help thee, because thou hast called upon me “ in sincerity and truth.” Thy tears, and the desire of thy soul, thy humiliation and contrition, which I never despise, have inclined me and brought me to thee.
DISCIPLE.. 6. LORD, I have called upon thee in my distress, and I desire truly to enjoy thee, for I am prepared to renounce all things for thy sake. It is thou who hast given me both the will and the power to seek after thee : and forever blessed be thy name, O LORD!. who, in the multitude of, thy tender mercies, hast shewn this transcendent kindness to thy fallen creature.
.7. What hath thy servant to say more in thy presence, but to beg, that he may humble himself exceedingly before thee ; and be ever mindful of his, own darkness, impurity, and malignity. There is none like unto thee in all the wonders of heaven and earth ; and all that thou doest, is, like thyself, supremely good : thy judgments are true ; and thy providence governeth the whole universe, that it may finally partake of thy perfection and blessedness! Praise and glory, therefore, be unto thee, O wisdom of the Father, forever! « Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion; bless the LORD, Q
iny Soul !!»
OF THE THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THE
MANIFOLD MERCIES OF GOD.
DISCIPLE. 1. OPEN my heart, O LORD, in thy law, and teach me to walk in thy commandments. Give me understanding to know thy will ; and to remember, with faithful recollection, and profound rev. erence, thy innumerable benefits, as well general as, personal, that I may be always able worthily to praise thee, and give thee thanks.
2. I know, indeed, and confess, that of myself I am not able to render thee due thanks and praise for thy smallest benefits : for I am less than the least of all thy mercies ; and when I attempt to contemplate thy excellent Majesty, my spirit fails, unable to sus tain the vast idea.
3. All the faculties of mind and body, all the endowments of nature, and all the advantages of grace, are the gifts of thy hand, and proclaim the infinite love and munificence of the Giver, from whom all good eternally proceeds; and though one receiveth
more, and another less, yet it is all thine, and with out thee the least portion cannot be enjoyed.
4. He that hath received greater gifts, hath no reason to glory in his own merit, nor to exalt him.. self above others, nor to insult his poorer brother who hath received less : for he is the greatest and best, who ascribes least to himself, and is most devout and humble in the acknowledgment and praise of that infinite liberality from which every good and perfect gift proceeds; he only whọ esteems himself the vilest, and the most unworthy of receiving the least favours, is best qualified to discern and bless the bounty which confers the greatest.
5. But he that hath received more sparingly, ought not, therefore, to be troubled, nor to murmur at or envy the larger portion of his more wealthy brother! but rather in humble resignation ,to thy will, O God, extcl that universal goodness, which is so abundantly, so freely and voluntarily, and without respect of persons, dispensed to all. Thou art the inexhaustible fountain of good; and for all that flows from it, thou only art to be praised. Thou knowest what is fit to be given, and what to be withheld ; and why one hath more, and another less, it is not in us, but in thee only to discern, who hast weighed the ability and state of all creatures in thy righteous balance.
6. Therefore, O LORD God, I esteem it a signal mercy, that I do not possess many of those qualities and endowments, which in the eyes of men appear glorious, and attract admiration and applause : and he that truly considers his own personal poverty and meanness, so far from being disquieted, grieved, and dejected, should rather derive comfort from this
right perception of his fallen state ; for thou, O God, hast chosen the poor in spirit, the humble, the selfdespised, and the despised of the world, for thy intimate friends, and the children of thy family. Of this, thy own apostles are eminent instances, whom thou hast appointed to “ sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel :" yet these passed a life of indignity and opposition without complaint ; and were so humble, so meek, so free from malignant passions and selfish views, that they even rejoiced to u suffer shame" and reproach "for thy name;" and with ardent affection embraced that poverty which the world despises, and with unshaken patience en. dured those afflictions which the world abhors.
7. Nothing, therefore, should give so much joy to the heart of him that truly loveth thee, and is truly sensible of thy undeserved mercies, as the perfect accomplishment of thy blessed will, not only in his temporal, but in his eternal state ; in which he should feel so much complacency and acquiescence, as to be abased as willingly as others are exalted ; to be as peaceful and contented in the lowest place, as others are in the highest ; and as gladly to accept of a state of weakness and meanness that is destitute both of ability and reputation, as others do of the most splendid honours and the most extensive powe
The accomplishment of thy will, and the glory of thy name, should transcend all other considerations, and produce more comfort and peace, than all the personal benefits which have been or can possibly be conferred.
CHAP. XVH. OF FOUR STEPS THAT LEAD TO LIBERTY AND
PEACE. CHRIST. 1. I WILL now teach thee, my son, the way to liberty and peace.
DISCIPLE. Gracious LORD! do what thou hast condescended to offer. Such instruction I shall rejoice to hear, for such instruction I greatly need.
Christ. Constantly endeavour to do the will of another, rather than thy own :
Constantly prefer a state of want to a state of abundance :
Constantly choose the lowest place, and to be inferior to all : and
Constantly desire and pray, that the will of God may be perfectly accomplished in thee, and concerning thee.
Verily, I say unto thee, he that doeth this, enters into the region of rest and peace.
DISCIPLE. 2. Lord ! this short lesson teacheth great perfection ; it is expressed in few words, but it is replete with truth and fruitfulness ; and if I could faithfully observe it, trouble would not so easily rise up within me ; for as often as I find myself disquieted and oppressed, I know I have wandered from the strait path which thou hast now pointed 'out. But do thou, O LORD! who canst do all things, and evermore lovest the improvement of the soul, increase the power of thy grace, that I may be enabled to fulfil thy word, and accomplish the salvation to which thou hast mercifully called me.
3. "O God, be not far from me : O my God, make haste for my helfi.!” for a multitude of evil thoughts have risen up within me, and terrible fears afflicting