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quick to complain at the first check in the current of His favours ! too quick to forget His former mercies towards us! We do not go unto God, brethren, “ in our troubles and adversities whensoever they oppress us,” because we do not realize how good and gracious and of tender pity God is : how nigh unto us in all things that we call upon Him for!
It might help us to realize this goodness of God, and so encourage us in having recourse to Him more readily were we for a few moments to dwell on these last words -for He careth for you!
Consider how true they are—He careth for you—consider what proofs you have each had, in the course of your lives of God's Fatherly care and mercy !
Look at your preservation day by day! Think of the accidents and dangers out of which you have been delivered! Think of your recovery from sickness! Think of the means by which you are sustained! Think how for your life God prepareth the corn-maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and herb for the use of man! Think how not the oldest of you can remember an entire failure in the harvest. Think how God has reserved some weeks, even in the most unfavourable seasons, for securing to you the kindly fruits of the earth! Above all, think of God's care for your eternal happiness—for your soul ! Think how He has sent His Son that all who believe in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life !
Think of these things, brethren,-of the marks and tokens so abundant of God's care and love for us His creatures! Yes—and not for us men only—but for all created life-for worms and creeping things, beasts and
feathered fowls,-think how all these wait upon Him, and He giveth them their meat in due season !-And be not backward any more to trust Him with your troubles -whatever your care is, whatever the load that oppresses your heart, take it and lay it before God !
I will not go into particulars—I cannot dive into your minds, and see what in each man's case is the sore that most frets him-but be it what it may, of this I am sure, that the best way to find relief is, to show it to the Almighty. In secret communing unfold to Him all that disturbs and hurts you. Go to Him as to your natural protector.—Go to Him, as a child that ails would go to its parent-and with the child's confidence, believing and knowing that He careth for you !
And then, when you have thus eased your heart, by unburdening it to God, do not too soon seek to have your burden back.—Do not go away and fret.-Remember the example of Hannah recorded in 1 Samuel i. for our learning. She was in bitterness of soul and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore. And there her sorrow ended. She had laid it down when she had opened her heart to God. She did not carry it back with her from the temple—we read—She went her way and her countenance was no more sad!
Let us profit by this example-let us leave our cares with God: and let us carry back, as she did, from our communing with Him, a calm, and resigned, and cheerful spirit.
Be careful, says the apostle, for nothing : but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation 1 Hab. iii. 17, 18.
WE have 'in these words—the words of that much afflicted servant of God, Job—the expression of a mighty faith and confidence in God for deliverance even under circumstances that seemed most desperate. Job, with death threatening him-death too from God-declares his hope and trust to be in God—Though He slay me yet will I trust in Him. It is a similar confidence and a like unshaken faith that David shews when he says in Psalm xviii.—Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me.
Now such a sure faith, trust in the living God-is that which lies at the root of all true religion—what we all most want is, to have such a faith and trust strengthened in ourselves,--for only when we have it firm and fixed within us, shall we be able to steer a straight SERM. course through our present perplexities, trials, and troubles, and to reach the haven where we would be. This is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith!
But, brethren, the excellency of this faith and trust, to which I would exhort you, is best seen, and is likely to recommend itself the more to your admiration, when it is exhibited in action—when we can point to particular persons in whose lives and conduct these same qualities are made apparent-when we can say, Here are menmen like yourselves, of the same weak human naturewith the same natural shrinking from pain—the same yearning after help--the same love of life—who yet bore the fiercest trials bravely, and stood firm under persecution, yea, and poured out their soul unto death without a murmur, from the force of that principle of faith with which they were sustained. Men—who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword. Out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the company of the aliens.
And it is with the history of such men as these-men of faith and trust-men who though God might slay them, yet swerved not in their fidelity—that we are presented in the Lessons brought before us this day by our Church.
In the First Lesson for the morning we have the account of those three brave men who were cast into the burning fiery furnace because they held constant to the true God, and would not bow down before an idol. And in the First Lesson for the afternoon we have the ac