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providence that so dearly loveth thee, even thy very fins shall further thee to heaven; if thou haft now fallen, through the infirmity of thy corrupt nature, God will raise thee, by this fall of thine, to more perfe&tion in goodness, to more vigilance, to more holiness, to more courage, to more constancy in thy christian calling; for, the Lord ordereth agood man's goings, and maketh his way acceptable unto him, though he fall he shall not be cast away, for the Lord upholdeth him, Pfal. 37. 23; 24. and if that evil one be powerfully malicious, the greater Shall thy joy and triumph be, when thou art happily victorious.
· Lord, how truly blefsed is the condition of thy faints? who compellest even the rage of earth and hell to work for their advantage: why art thou then so fad, O my soul, and why art thou fo dilo quieted within me? still trust in God for he is the help of thy countenance, and thy God, Pfal. 42. 150
Lord, how sad is my condition without thee!! thou (who alone knoweft the secrets of all hearts) knowest that I love thee, that I long for thee, that I desire nothing in comparison of thee my God, and yet thou findest nothing but pollution in me: sometimes I beg to be at union with thee, and some- . times live as if I cared not for mercy from thee ; :
still I fin, and still thou forgivest; yea, I am there me qu *fore the more ready to rebel against thee, because :
thou, Lord, art most ready to be merciful unto me; and yet for all this (such are thy bowels of compassion towards me) thou bemoanest mine iniquity, thou invitest, thou compellest me to mercy,
Lord, wilt thou still suffer me to abuse thy goodness? I have often run from thee, by relapsing unto grievous fins, and thou, O Lord, as often hast received me to favor, and afforded me the sweet refreshings of thy holy spirit; I confess myself unworthy to enjoy that blessed spirit which I have so often grieved: O let this teach me to be truly and fincerely thankful unto thee, to love thee more heartily, praise thee more joyfully, ferve thee more faithfully to my lives end.
· FOR thou, O blessed Lord, art all in all unto me, thou art strength in my weakness, love in my wilfulness, life in my sinfulness; thou alone knowest under what great evils of sin, under what fad pressures of sorrow I daily groan, and thou haft promised to ease those weary fouls, that cry to thee for succour and relief.
Lord save me, or I perish ; Lord ease me of this heavy burden, that I sink not to eternal misery ; give me thy saving grace, to guide me from these woeful ways of wickedness; O let this hour put an end to this sin: Lord, lead me unto thy paths, and uphold me there, that my feet dip not; suffer
De Bol to feed upon these empty boks; O útisfy me with thy mercy, and that soon, before I go hence, and be no more seen.
My spirit is willing (O Lord) but sy teh is weak; have pity upon me, have pity upon me, for I am in misery.
Lord cover my fins, Lord pardon nine infirmities, Lord Jesus accept of me, and interpofe thy blefied merits for me.
Lord raise me from this wretched fall; fupport my weaaness, renew my repentance, increase my faith, quicken my zeal, that so by thy gracious aslistance, I may be raised to more purity, to more perfe&ion, in my Christian calling; that where fin hath abounded, there grace may abound much inore, to thy great glory, and mine own endless comfort.
O Lord hear, O Lord forgive, O Lord consider and do it, defer not for thinę own fake, O my God, AMEN,
UPON DESERTION. W HILE I am in this pilgrimage of fin, I cannot be without this portion of sorrow; why complain I of that which I have so justly deserved ? how often hath my God afforded me the gracious visits of this blessed fpirit ; and yet how easily have I regarded them ? Lord, I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, much less of this invaluable favor, to enjoy the kisses of thy facred mouth: as I am now grieved for the lofs of thy presence, so I have too often grieved thee by 'mine own rèbellious absence; this is the fad condition even of the best of thy saints in this life; as they have had their aberrations from grace, so they have had their fluctuations in woe; these fad departings of thy blessed spirit have ever been the just memorials of, their presents griefs, and former miseries.
I see thy holy servant David fadly bemoaning this great loss, and almost despairing of the enjoyment of thy gracious presence, I hear him crying out in bitterness of soul; will the Lord abfent himself for ever, and will he shew no more favor? is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore ? hath God forgotten to be gracious ? hath he shut up his tender mercy in difpleafure ? Pfal. 77. 7, 8, 9.
How grievous was this complaint? how gracious thine answer? even in the very minute of distress, even by the very lips of the distrelled, for it fol. lows in a breath, and I said, this is my death, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high.
Jonah's extremity was thy blessed opportunity; even when Jonah thought himself in most danger of perishing, he then found thy mercy most ready in relieving; when he thought himself cast out of thy fight, even then he found himself looking to thy presence, and ready to be received into thy favor, Jonah 2. 4.
Lord, if thou giveft me but the least measure of true faith, I shall be able to remove the greatest mountains of fin, and know assuredly to my souls exceeding comfort, that thou hidest thy face from me but for a moment in this life, that thou mayit gather me to everlasting kindness in that to come.
· Comfort thyself in this therefore (O my soul) that God will never leave thee, that he will never forsake thee, that he will never leave thee totally, nor forsake thee finally; that he hath not now withdrawn his gracious presence from thee, but the present comfort of his grace from working in thee; as there are fad desertions, so there will undoubt. edly be gracious visits; thou mayest be forsaken in