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the poor enter into the kingdom, they shall stand weeping and wailing without ! 'But rejoice, ye hum'ble ; and leap for joy, ye poor in spirit ! for while ye continue in the truth that has made you what yo are, “ yours is the kingdom of GOD!"
THAT ALL HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IS TO BE
PLACED IN GOD ALONE.
DISCIPLE. 1. LORD!, what is my confidence in this life, and what my comfort in the possession and enjoyment of all things under heaven? Is it not thee alone, O Lord my God, whose mercies are without number, and without measure? Where hath it been well with me, when thou wert absent ? or where could it be ill, when thou wert present? I had rather be naked, hungry, and despised, with thee; than abound in honour, wealth, and pleasure, without thee : would rather choose, with thee to wander upon the earth, and have no place “ where : to lay my head ;" than, without thee, to possess a throne in heaven. But, where thou art, there is heaven ; and death and hell are only there where thou art not. Thou art, the desire of my soul ; and to thee, my sighs and groans, my cries and prayers, shall continually as, cend! There is none that is able to deliver me from my necessities, none in whose power and goodness I can trust, but thee, O my God!. Thou art my refuge and my hope in every distress, my most powerful comforter, and most faithful friend !
2. Men seek themselves, and their own interest : thou seekest only my redemption from the bondage of evil, and orderest all thy dispensations for its accomplishment. Though thou permittest me to be exposed to the trial of various troubles, yet thou mercifully superintendest the conflict; and directest the event for my supreme and everlasting good : " for whom thou lovest, thou chasi enest ; and scourgest every son whom thou receivest.” And in this awful probation, thou art not less to be loved and praised, than when thou fillest my soul with heavenly consolations.
Thou alone, therefore, O Lord my God! art my hope and sanctuary ; with thee I loave all my tribulation and anguish, and resign the beginning, continuance, and end of every trouble, to thy blessed will.
3. Wherever I look for support and consolation out of thee, I find nothing but weakness and distress : and unless thou revive, strengthen, illuminate, deliver, and preserve me, the friendship of mankind can give no consolation, the strength of the mighty bring no support, the counsel of the wise and the labours of the learned impart no instruction, the treasures of the earth purchase no deliverance, and the most remote and secret places afford no protection. All persons and things that seem to promise peace and happiness, are in themselves vanity and nothing, and subvert the hope that is built upon them: but thou art the supreme, essential, and final good ; the perfection of life, light, and love! and the most powerful support of thy servants is found in an unreserved and absolute dependence upon thee!
4. “Unto thee," therefore, “ do I lift up mine eyes, Othou that dwellest in the heavens !” In thee, my God, the Father of mercies, I place all my confidence! O illuminate and sanctify my soul with the influence of thy HOLY SPIRIT ; that being delivered from all that darkness and impurity of its alienated life which thy eyes cannot look upon, it may become the living temple of thy holy presence, the seat of thy eternal glory! In the immensity of thy goodness, O LORD! and “ in the multitude of thy tender mercies, turn unto me;" and hear the prayer of thy poor servant, who has wandered far from thee into the region of the shadow of death. O protect and keep my soul amidst the innumerable evils which this corruptible life is always bringing forth ; and by the perpetual guidance of thy grace, lead me in the narrow path of holiness to the realms of everlasting light and peace. AMEN.