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2. They render a cheerful submission to his 1. Let us then admire that providence which authority. 'If ye love me, keep my command-embraces the universe in its widest range, yet ments. For this is the love of God, that we attends to the creatures in their minutest details. keep his commandments, and his commandments 2. Let us adore that God and Father of our are not grievous. A blessed doctrine which, Lord Jesus Christ, whose providence and grace
far from begetting a pharisaic confidence in run so happily and so unitedly in the same sur own righteousness, is a light of God essential channel. and efficacious to discover our many shortcomings 3. And whatever our worldly or spiritual lot and to lead us to him .in whom we have re- may be, let us never forget that all things come demption through his blood, the forgiveness of to God's children from the same loving heart, and sins, according to the riches of his grace.' all things are directed by the same unerring and
3. They earnestly desire his countenance, Almighty hand. companionship, and possession. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart
SEVENTEENTH DAY.-MORNING. and my portion for ever.' 'My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come,
· The Lord God omnipotent reigneth, Rev.
xix, 6. and appear before him?
4. They ardently delight in him. Delight thy- To acknowledge the being of God is one thing, self also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the to see his government is another. Rabbi,' said desire of thine heart. I delight to do thy will, Nicodemus,“ we know that thou art a teacher come ů my God! yea, thy law is within my heart: from God; for no man can do these miracles that
3. The believer is sold, devoted, sacrificed to thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus anthe God whom he loves. He is not “his own,' swered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say he is “bought with a price.' 'My beloved is unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot mine, and I am his,' saith his heart. Believers see the kingdom of God.' We can thus under· have given their ownselves to the Lord ;' and stand and account for the various views of men drawn · by the mercies of God,” “present their as to the government of God, who yet all agree bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, in admitting, and maintaining, and illustrating his their reasonable service.'
being and perfections. One fancies and endows Believers are farther characterized by being a mysterious power called nature, as the ruler • called according to God's purpose,' which calling in elements and events. Another, that God, at * thus admirably expounded : 'Effectual calling creation, impressed certain general laws upon his is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convincing works, and that these proceed to carry forward us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds the world without any necessity of farther interin the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our ference upon the part of God. Others, can diswills
, he doth persuade and enable us to em- cover no government in the world but that of trace Jesus Christ, as he is offered to us in the chance, blind, irregular, unintelligent, powerless ; prepel." Now, when there is a work in us, while others boldly and blasphemously deny his either to “ will or to do of God's good pleasure,' right to rule over them, saying in the pride and that willing and doing must be either of our rebellion of their hearts, “our lips are our own, tres or of God. Of ourselves it cannot who is Lord over us?' vaginally be ; for the carnal mind,' which is There is still another class from whose eyes,
original mind of every man, is enmity the government of God almost disappears. The ainst God. It must therefore be of God believer under withdrawings of God's countenat showeth mercy"For who, o believer, ance, and harassed by sore trials, is sometimes raketh thee to differ? or what hast thou that tempted to say, “These are the wicked that prothou hast not received ? Or who hath first sper in the world ; verily I have cleansed my given to God, and it shall be recompensed to him heart in vain, and washed my hands in innogain? It is God, wise in counselling, merciful cency,' and what profit shall I have, if I be perdoning, just in determining, gracious cleansed from my sin?' a bestowing, and sovereign in ruling, to whom Now to all these it is equally announced the 'called sinner is indebted for the voice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. What a reaches him, the power that awakens, the argu- glorious revelation! What a magnificence of test that convinces, and the love that draws him. I title! what an enlightening---what a consoling strance which was originally addressed to the house | honour. He is the sovereign source of all riches
, of Israel, being applied to us, in all its original force and wisdom, and power, and excellence; the and severity: Hear, O heavens; and give ear, 0 Author of life, and of its every enjoyment. His earth, for the Lord hath spoken ; I have nour- presence forms the light and glory of heaven ; his ished and brought up children, and they have re- frown sheds darkness and desolation on every belled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, region on which it falls. With what reason and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not should we acknowledge, with emotions of the know; my people doth not consider.' How inade- liveliest gratitude and wonder, the infinite mercy quately do we realize our dependence upon God, and goodness of God. He that is mighty hath the intimacy of his continued presence, the oper- done great things for us, holy is his name. His ation of his sustaining hand, the ceaseless com- mercy is on them that fear him, from generation munications of goodness which flow to us from his to generation. He has put down the mighty from boundless liberality. Although he is the strength their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He of our lives, the health of our countenance, and the hath filled the hungry with good things, and the length of our days, may not weeks, and months, rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen and even years pass away without our rendering to his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, him any homage, or expressing any gratitude, or and he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to testifying the least consciousness of his Almighty his seed for ever,' Luke i. 49–56. power and unwearied care. And when this is Little as the puny and short lived actors on the considered, how can any pretend to deny the de- scene of time may think of that eternal and Alpravity of human nature, or that “all have sinned mighty Being who, in the infinitude of his power, and come short of the glory of God?'
wisdom, and goodness, created and upholds this The doctrine of our entire and constant depen- vast and glorious universe, with every thing it dence upon God, obviously lays us under a variety contains, he is no distant or unconcerned spectaof very solemn and important duties to our tor of its interests or movements ; he sits not resupreme Benefactor. Of these, gratitude evidently tired in viewless majesty, leaving the works of holds the first rank, together with all those devout his hands to be the sport of accident: he suracknowledgments by which it ought to be ex- renders not the sceptre of his kingdom to any pressed. It is meet that we celebrate the loving- delegated power, as if he could be weary, or kindness of God every morning, and show forth needed to find relief by dividing, with any other, his faithfulness every evening. Submission is the care and anxieties of empire ; neither does another important duty, implying resignation to the perfection of his government, nor the incomthe divine will, and contentment with our lot, municable attributes of his nature, admit of such and with all the events and circumstances by a severance between the Creator and his works ; which it may be marked. A cheerful alacrity in he alone is exclusively and essentially self-exisduty is farther required; that we live as seeing tent, and independent ; and other beings, from the him who is invisible, and that we walk worthy very necessity of their nature, can only live, and of all the mercy and goodness which we are daily move, and act through him; as a ray of light lives receiving from his hand.
in its connection with the centre of illumination Elevating views of the perfections and charac- whence it emanates; as the stream exists and ter of God are peculiarly adapted to sustain our flows only whilst it continues connected with the zeal in his service, and to engage our habitual fountain from which it has its birth, in like homage and reverence towards his holy name. manner all things exist in their dependence upon Ilow honourable, low blessed, to be the wor- God, who sustains them in being and in the posshippers and servants of him who filleth heaven session of their every property, so that the and earth with his presence, who is the supreme moment he withdraws from any of them his sus. Proprietor of countless worlds, and the beneficent taining hand, or intercepts the communication o Author of all being, and all excellence. Under his gracious blessing, they instantaneously and what an infinitely important light is religion and unavoidably perish. all its duties seen, when viewed in connection with Let the consideration of this great truth be the glory and majesty of him who is the supreme deeply and permanently impressed upon the and only potentate, the King of kings, and the heart ; thus will the ever--varying scene of human Lord of lords. That he should allow us to know life, with all its ceaseless changes, lead forth you him, that he should admit us to confide in him, thoughts to God, and constitute a daily ren and hold communion with him, and serve him, source of piety and praise ; thus will you
bi what a distinction is it, what an unspeakable taught to cherish a lowly estimate of yourselves
and of your various resources, faculties, and bless- acknowledgment, that he ordains, in righteousings, for the continuance of which every moment ness and faithfulness, whatever comes to pass. you are dependent upon the divine will; and Many seem to live as if God only interposed on the will you feel the duty of engaging in all great occasions, and in connection with afflictive var labours and enterprises in a spirit of prayer- dispensations; and that the ordinary tenor of El reliance upon the help and favour of God, and providence was a current which flowed smoothly with the sincere desire and intention, that what- of its own accord, and which required no immeever you do may prove acceptable in his sight, and diate acknowledgment of the hand of God to be conducive to his glory. "Go to now, ye that say, made. They cherish no practical impression of To-day, or to-morrow, we will go into such a the doctrine of a particular providence, or of the city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, influence which it should constantly exercise upon and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall their minds. It is, indeed, the inestimable privibe on the morrow; for what is your life? It lege of the afflicted to know that God is a refuge is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, to the distressed, and a very present help in the and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to time of trouble; but beware of quenching the gratesas, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, ful emotions which his goodness should awaken, or or that,' James iv. 13-15.
of forgetting, in the day of ease and prosperity, that all your well-springs are in God.
It is one and the same Almighty Ruler who holds all our
destinies in his hand; who both killeth and maketh FOURTEENTH Day.—EVENING.
alive, who maketh poor and who maketh rich,
who bringeth low and who lifteth up.' * A man's heart deciseth his way, but the Lord
The doctrine, that God rules over all, and that directeth his steps, Prov. xvi. 9.
there is nothing too great to dispense with his Exdowed with powers of reason and reflection, care, and nothing too little to be beneath his it is not only allowed, but required, that we notice, is accordant with the testimony of scripshould devise our way; yet should it always be ture, and all the most enlightened and exalted in accordance with the dictates of God's revealed views which reason, as well as revelation, can form Ford, and in submission to the decrees and de- of his nature. We
within the limits of our terminations of his most holy and blessed will. contemplation, no inconsiderable portion of that The sin consists in man leaning to his own vast progression of being which seems to retire understanding,' doing what seemeth good in his to an infinitude beneath, which cannot be followed GHD eyes, and fixing his plans and his pur- for its minuteness, and to rise to another infinifuses without reference to the sovereign purpose tude above, which cannot be comprehended or ce mind of God. “Go to now, ye that say, To- contemplated for its vastness and sublimity. But day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, is there any point, within this range,
where an and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and indication is presented that the care of God *t gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on ceases, or that his creative and governing power the morrow. For what is your life? It is even and wisdom ceases ? Are the discoveries of the a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then telescope replete with a beauty, and order, and razisbeth away. For that ye ought to say, If magnificence, which evidently proclaim the glory the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. of God; but are the secrets of the microscope the But now ye rejoice in your boastings; all such development of a confusion and chaos which inDicacing is evil
dicates that there lies in the humbler regions of It forms an important and interesting part of existence a province to which the presence and the practical religion to refer all things to God; to power of God has manifestly been denied? The opFace his hand guiding and directing whatever posite has most unequivocally and brilliantly been "tes to pass, and to acknowledge, with habitual demonstrated to be the case. The limb of the most Feverence and submission, the wisdom of all his ephemeral insect is formed as curiously and skilsays, and the righteousness of all his dispensa- fully, and is as admirably adapted for the ends of tes. In those examples of piety which the its existence, as the arms and members of a man. scriptures have transmitted for our instruction, The eye of the invisible animalcule has its fluids, Eithing is more distinguishable than the habitual and lenses, and nerves as appropriately adjusted ad devout recognition of God in all things which and placed for the purposes of vision, as that of kas been usual with his people. Their brighter the horse or the elephant. And not to overlook sad their darker experience alike embodies the the illustration of Christ-the hair of our head,
simple and inartificial as it seems, with its tubu- night. What then is the loving-kindness of iar form, with its longitudinal and transverse God ? • HIerein is love, not that we loved God, fibres, and all the organs by which it lives and but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the grows, constitutes in its mechanism a production propitiation for our sins.' • For God so loved no less admirable than the lofty cedar, or the the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, stately oak, the ornament of nature, and the pride that whosoever believed on him, might not peof earth's grandest landscapes.
rish, but have everlasting life ;' and God comBut in reality the whole framework of nature, mendeth his love towards us, in that while we and the whole system of providence hangs so were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' The geneclosely together, and is so mutually dependent in ral goodness of God is daily seen in a thousand all its parts, that it is impossible to say whether forms, in the preservation of man and beast, and the wisdom and care of God are more necessary in the opening of his hand to supply every thing for superintending the great or the minute events that lives; but that special love of God to a sinwhich occur. How often may events, upon which ner, that pities his miseries, heals his diseased the destinies of the world hinge, depend upon soul, washes away his guilt, restores him to his causes seemingly the most trivial and contempti- Father, enrobes him in righteousness, and makes ble. In the history of the Old Testament, for in- him an heir of glory-all this is only to be found stance, do we not find God inflicting his most and seen in the promise, incarnation, working, sufsignal vengeance upon his proud and vain-glori- fering, atonement, resurrection, ascension, and inous enemies, by employing, not the higher but tercession of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yea, in this, the humbler order of causes ; sending the fly, the and in this alone, was manifested the love of locust, and the caterpillar as the ministers of God towards us, because that God had sent his famine, disease, and death. The distinction which only begotten Son into the world, that we might some pretend to establish between a general and live through him.' Do we not then inquireparticular providence, as if God concerned himself how may we best show forth this love? The with the one but not with the other, is founded answer is easy. The love of Christ constraineth upon an evident misconception of the nature of us; because we thus judge, that if one died for things. The truth is, things great and small are all, then were all dead, that they who live so closely and inseparably linked together, that the should not henceforth live unto themselves but hand which shall guide the one must govern the unto him that died for them and rose again.' other; and the mind which dictates the decrees Might we not then expect to hear every prothat regulate.worlds, must also appoint and ad- fessing Christian exclaim—Who shall separate just the course of the minutest events. Be as- us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or sured then, that nothing connected with your distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, condition can be the effect of chance, or the result or peril, or sword ; nay, in all these things we are of blind fatality, but is the effect of the wise, and more than conquerors, through him that loved us; just, and holy determination of your heavenly for I am persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor Father. Of him, and through him, and to him, angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things • are all things, to whom be glory for ever and present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But alas ! of how many may it be
said—and O, mine own hear beware lest it be FIFTEENTH DAY.-MORNING.
also said of thee The ass knoweth his owner and
the ox his master's crib, but Israel doth not know, It is good to show forth thy loring-kindness in my people doth not consider.'
But whatever calls to consideration we may the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,' have hitherto slighted, whatever opportunities Psal. xcii. 2.
we have hitherto neglected, once again the mornTHANKFULNess and praise are, at all times, due ing invites us, by its peculiar arguments, to show to God; yet are there some periods that give a forth the loving-kindness of the Lord. He has peculiar call to this holy exercise. The Psalmist watched over us while we slept ; he has spared here specifies two-the morning and the even- us to another day; he has caused his sun again ing, and assigns to each its most suitable sub- to arise—the emblem of the Sun of righteousject. “It is good to show forth thy loving-kind- ness, with healing in his wings,'-he sets duty beness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every fore us, both for ourselves and for others;
shall the Giver of all good be forgotten, his love man who is likest him, must be most blessed ; unfelt, his name unpraised ?
and he is likest God who knows most of his "O! thou my soul, bless God the Lord,
love in sending his Son, and his faithfulness in And all that in me is
keeping covenant. Be stirred up, his holy name
2. It is good for others that, by our morning To magnify and bless. Bless, O my soul, the Lord thy God,
and evening sacrifice, we bear witness to their And not forgetful be
consciences of their obligations to God, and if God Of all his gracious benefits
will thereby convince their judgments, move He hath bestowed on thee. All thine iniquities who doth
their affections, decide their waverings, and conMost graciously forgive,
firm their purposes, that seeing our good works, Who thy diseases all, and pains, Doth heal, and thee relieve.
they may glorify our Father who is in heaven.' Who doth redeem thy life that thou
There is not merely a chain of moral dependency To death may'st not go down ;
between God and man, but also a similar chain Who thee with loving-kindness doth, And tender mercies crown.'
between man and man; and did we reflect how
much the eternal salvation of our neighbours But while the morning thus calls to the showing may be connected with our example, we would forth of love, the evening calls for our testimony to God's faithfulness. The evening first suggests and feel a new obligation to its private and pub
see a new form of goodness in every holy duty, God's faithfulness to his promise of mercy, after lic observance. the endurance of the deepest provocation, and after the infliction of the most terrible judgment. To Noah he promised, while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and
FIFTEENTH DAY.—EVENING. summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.' The return of the night is therefore a • The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disnew attestation to the truth of him who hath posing thereof is of the Lord, Prov. xvi. 33. said, “my covenant I will not break, nor alter When events proceed with great regularity, we the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once are disposed to refer them to some law, or to have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie some known or unknown agent, by whose influunto David'—that is, the true David, the beloved, ence they are produced. Thus the regular sucas the name David signifies—hisseed shall endure cession of day and night, the exactly measured for ever, and his throne as the sun before me; changes of the moon, the varying yet certain it shall be established for ever as the moon, and positions of the planets, and even the departures as a faithful witness in heaven.'
and the returns of the comets, are all attributed This faithfulness' of God, this immutability to the operation of one common law of gravity, of his counsel, confirmed by an oath,' is indeed pervading both earth and heaven. But when the strong consolation of sinners “who have events occur without any apparent order, and fled for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope set be- without any assignable agent, men are disposed fore them. But, as it is impossible for God to to attribute them to fortune, to chance—words lie,” so to believers there is no just cause of that mean nothing but the exclusion of a law, doubt, nor to the chief of sinners' any ground and even of God, from any part or management for despair. • Let the wicked forsake his way, in the plan or production of these events. and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and return Now, with the first of these views the word unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon of God most exactly agrees. And when the him, and to our God, for he will abundantly believer, taught by his word and Spirit, ' conpardon.
siders the heavens,' the scripture tells him they How then may we best exhibit the goodness are the works of God's fingers; and when he of this holy exercise?
views “the moon and the stars,' he is told that 1. It is good for our own souls, as the most God has ordained them. But the word of God cheering and comforting of all subjects. The goes farther; and when it conducts the believer mind must more or less partake of the character to consider those events in which all appears
disof the objects upon which it most constantly orderly and fortuitous; where he sees no direct dwells
. “Beholding as in a glass the glory of agent, and can discover no abiding law; eve the Lord, we are changed into the same image there he is assured the same God rules, a similar from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the law pervades, a similar plan is arranged; and that
· Now if God himself be blessed,' the I with equal regularity-though the principle be un