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The following is a specimen of some of the cious answers to prayer, with which the Holy Scriptures abound, for the refreshing and strengthening of Christian pilgrims.
"Save me, O God, by thy name.”—Psa. liv. 1.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."—Acts xvi. 31.
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."-Rom. x. 13.
"Be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.”—Psa. xxii. 19.
"Fear not; I will help thee."—Isa. xli. 13.
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee."-Psa. lxiii. 1.
"Make no tarrying, O my God."—Psa. xl. 17.
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”—Jer. xxix. 13.
"Cast me not away from thy presence."-Psa.
"Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."-John vi. 37.
"O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me."
Isa. xxxviii. 14.
"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matt. xi. 28.
"Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation."-Psa. xxvii. 9.
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”— Heb. xiii. 5.
"Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.”—Psa. cxix. 33.
"I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."-Psa. xxxii. 8.
"O deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I."-Psa. cxlii. 6.
"O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee."-Isa. xxxiii. 2.
"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."-John xiv. 27.
"My grace is sufficient for thee."-2 Cor. xii. 9. "Thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me."—Isa, xlix. 23.
"Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust."-Psa. xvi. 1.
"Fear not; for I have redeemed thee......When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God."-Isa. xliii. 1-3.
These are sweet and precious answers to the prayer of faith. So long as the words, "Ask, seek, knock," remain in the sacred volume, so long we may be assured, that all who seek shall find. Lord, vouchsafe to me a praying spirit, that I may approach Thee in the simplicity of faith, trusting in nothing but Jesus Christ, and desiring nothing so much as to know, and love, and serve thee; whom to know is life eternal, and whom to love and serve, is heaven begun.
XLII. -THE DANGER OF EXTREMES IN MEN'S ESTIMATE OF HUMAN NATURE..
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”—Isa. viii. 20.
PERSONS, in general, are acquainted with almost every thing but themselves. The common affairs of life are thoroughly understood; and the various characters of mankind are freely canvassed. They seem to be every where at home, but in their own hearts. There, they are strangers. They know all men, but themselves. From this self-ignorance arises a great deal of self-conceit. As "all men think all men mortal but themselves," so do they esteem themselves to be wiser than others. "We are they who ought to speak," is the language of their hearts, if not always of their lips.
Pride and vain-glory are the natural products of the human heart. They grow with luxuriancy in nature's soil. Surely it is most important to observe the state of our own minds. The great things of God, like himself, are unchangeable. The realities of the invisible world are always the same. Death
and Judgment, Heaven and Hell, are now as they were when Adam sinned.
If we are, at one time, deeply impressed with the view of eternity, and with the relation which every thing in us and around us bears to eternity: and if, at another time, these considerations make but slight impressions upon our minds, what inference must we draw? Not that ETERNITY has become less important in itself, or less real in its bearings on our future destiny, but that our hearts have become less sensible of its importance. Should this insensibility continue, its deadening effects would increase, till we should, at length, hear with indifference, those very truths which once awakened all our solicitude, and set in motion all our apprehensions.
I see, therefore, the need for watching against this natural declension of the heart from God; and for praying constantly for the influences of the Holy Spirit, to preserve my mind in a solemn, practical, yet lively, frame.
"O God, mine inmost soul convert !
Give me to feel their solemn weight,
Every thing around me is calculated to deaden the heart, and every thing within me naturally opposes the work of grace. Blessed Lord! all saving, abiding impressions, are from thee. Melt my hard heart; and mould it to thy will. Enlighten my dark mind; and fill it with thy truth. Keep me from the path of error, from reasoning pride; from false and perverted views of my real condition, as a fallen, ruined creature, lying under thy curse, and deserving of everlasting fire. Lead me to the Saviour; unite my soul to him; and make me a monument of thy everlasting love.
Men are apt to run into extremes, especially in matters of religion. The opinions held by different
religionists are as widely separated as the Arctic is from the Antarctic Circle. The ever-varying sentiments of mankind resemble the inhabitants on our globe; they are of different hues, and different dialects; yea, they are often the very antipodes to each other. Hence arise controversies and contentions, strifes and heart-burnings, to the disgrace of religion, and the triumph of scoffing infidels. The Church of Rome, indeed, boasts of her unity, but it is the unity of error, perpetuated by the assumed infallibility of that apostate church. With her, Truth is fallen, and cannot enter within her portals. All who dare to hold the torch of truth, must be either tortured on the rack, or be consumed by the flaming faggots of her spiritual despotism. Such was her conduct in the plenitude of her power. How soon that power may regain its deadly influence is known only to Him who hath said, "Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."* O! that Protestant Britain may listen to the Saviour's voice, ere the vial be poured out for our abuse of his unspeakable mercies.+
There are two extremes into which men are apt to run, when speaking of the present condition of
* Rev. ii. 5.
+ A Canonist of the highest authority in the Romish Church, and in the College of Maynooth, has declared, "If the judge see that proofs (against a heretic) are not altogether clear and convincing, he cannot condemn the accused, especially to capital or corporal punishment; but, if there can be had a proof half conclusive, or even more than half conclusive, then, sometimes in the secular tribunals, the accused is applied to the torture or the rack, that, by the force of torments, the confession of his crime may be extorted from the accused."
"This is the law taught, at the public expense, to educate Popish Priests in the College of Maynooth; and we perceive by these canons and decretals, in which their bishops drill them in their conferences to instruct the people, that they shall not be a dead letter on the statute book of Rome."-See Laws of the Papacy, by Rev. Robert J. M'Ghee, page 211.