صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

injections of Satan, and the workings of natural corruption. Lord, strengthen me more and more.

Give me grace never to harbour a thought, which I should be ashamed to express. May I never forget, that, as speaking is but thinking aloud; so thinking is speaking to thee, who requirest not, like weak mortals, the medium of words and sounds. Thou hearest the inward voice of the soul, pouring out itself before thee in silent, yet fervent breathings of desire; and thou knowest the subtle workings of inbred sin.

May I ever consider myself as in thy immediate presence ; surrounded by thy immensity. “ Thou God seest me.” May this thought constrain me to act with purity, truth, and sincerity, when no human eye can observe my actions; or if my actions are visible, when they cannot unveil my motives.

May I do all from a principle of love to thee, and with a simple desire in all things to promote thy glory; for thine eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew thyself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards thee."

How consoling is this view of the divine immensity, with respect to our distant Christian friends. Wherever they are, whether crossing tempestuous oceans, or dwelling in distant climes; whether traversing dreary deserts, or climbing craggy steeps ; God is still near them, to protect and bless them.

Should he call them out of the body, when separated from all they love upon earth; yet he is still near, to cheer their departing spirits, and to conduct them in safety to their eternal home.

Let me then rejoice, O! Lord, in thy presence. Let me be always happy in this sweet assurance, that, thou art a sun and shield, and wilt give grace and glory to every humble follower of the Lamb.

O! may I live daily nearer to thee by faith and prayer.

Unite

my

heart to fear thy name. Bind my

affections to thy cross; and suffer me not one moment to wander from thee, or lose the thought of thy immensity and glory. It is in thee, that I live, and move, and have my being ; it is from thee, that I derive every spiritual and temporal blessing; and it is through thee, that I humbly hope to be brought in safety, as a monument of mercy, into thy everlasting kingdom.

O! holy, holy, holy Lord,

Whom angel-hosts adore ;
Wben shall I join in raptur'd strains,

The bright celestial choir ?
In pity, view a sinful worn,

A pris'ner here below;
A pilgrim journeying through the land

Of darkness, sin, and woe.

1

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

At the creation, amidst the darkness of chaos, Jehovah said : “Let there be light, and there was light.” When veiled in human flesh, he commanded the raging wind and waves, saying, “ Peace, be still: and immediately there was a great calm." To

his tempest-tossed people he now speaks these composing words : “ Be still, and know that I am God” and they find rest unto their souls.

In violent public commotions, God can “still the madness of the people ;” and in inward mental agonies, he can calm the agitated spirit.

66 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or a man only." Job xxxiv. 29.

When we read the history of past ages, and consider the ever-changing scene before us; when we study man, and perceive though but a small portion of the passions, and contending interests which shake the fabric of society, how delightful, how composing to the mind, is this all-gracious declaration : . Be still, and know that I am God.”

The political world, like the air and sea which surround us, is ever in motion ; but the happy believer finds his rest in God. In the present day, the human mind seems to be acted upon in a most remarkable manner. Knowledge is diffusing its light in every direction; and the intellectual powers are acquiring an expansion, which their ancient boundaries can neither limit- nor controul. The Christian world is all awake to the spiritual and moral degradation of mankind; and is labouring to disseminate the sacred truths of revelation, which alone can raise our fallen race.

The enemies of the Gospel and of social order are alike awake to their deeds of darkness.

There is, therefore, at the present eventful period, an evident struggle between light and darkness. The struggle may be violent, but the believer hears the cheering voice from heaven, which dissipates every rising fear; “ Be still, and know that I am God.”

O! my soul, rejoice that the Lord reigneth. He can calm the rough surges of the mind. He can bid the inward tempest cease. He can pour an enlivening ray upon the drooping heart ; and cause a sweet serenity and peace to reign within. Trust in the Lord at all times. Be still, and know that he is God.

There is something peculiarly soothing to the heart of a pious Christian to know, that He, who rules over all worlds, in whose hands are the destinies of nations, and who guides the minutest concerns of families and individuals, is his father and his friend. The more we know of God, of his power,

wisdom, love, faithfulness, and truth; the more we shall bow before his throne in humble adoration, and filial confidence and love.

To know God in Christ; to know him as a covenant God; to know him as our Gods is to possess all the sources and secrets of true peace, in the midst of surrounding storms and tempests. This knowledge will raise us above the agitated elements of the world, and place us in that pure region, where the soul can breathe more freely, and expand her powers more fully. Faith views with admiration the perfections of Jehovah. Hope rests the fulfilment of her expectations on these perfections. Love delights in them, and gradually assimilates the soul to them. Whilst Patience calmly waits, under every changing dispensation, for that abundant harvest of rich blessings, which the God of truth has promised, and which his faithfulness will perform.

Come, then, O! my soul, and learn from this view of thy privileges, the blessedness of trusting in God. “ He changes not, nor knows the shadow of a turn. All his promises are yea and amen.

All his ways are righteous and true. Cast thy care up

99

לל

on him, - who careth for thee; and under every trying event, "be still, and know that he is God.”

It is truly animating to reflect, that, whilst every thing seems given to change, the Almighty has declared : “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." “ I change not.” The purposes of God are moving steadily and directly towards their fulfilment. Many things, according to our short-sightedness, appear to thwart his designs. Persecutors arise, and cut of his most zealous servants. Death seizes eminent labourers in his vineyard. Unforeseen circumstances spring up, and appear to check the progress of the Gospel. Hence we are ready to exclaim with David, “Lord, let not man have the

upper

hand.” But is not this the language of despondency; the language of a soul looking through a dark and gloomy medium ? Man never had, and never shall have, the upper hand.

David was in a right frame when he sang, “ The Lord reigneth.” This is the triumphant song of the redeemed above. "Hallelujah-the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

Nothing can happen without the divine prescience and permission. The Almighty sees the end from the beginning. Unto him are known all his works; and all events from eternal ages. He has firmly laid his eternal plans of goodness, justice, and mercy. All things serve him. He has made even the wicked for the day of evil. Prov. xvi. 4.

Can any thing then unforeseen strike across his purposes, or derange his plans ?

Can any man, who is crushed before the moth, the creature of a day, turn aside the grand machine of providence, whose constant wheels revolve their everlasting rounds ? Ah! no. As every thing respecting the eternal purposes of Jehovah springs from his

own will, so every thing shall terminate in his own glory.

« السابقةمتابعة »