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النشر الإلكتروني

Haste thee to help me, O Lord God of my fal. vation, for thy name's fake, for thy promise fake, for thy precious blood fake.

Into thy hand I commend my spirit, for thou haft redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.

CHAP. XXIX.

ÝPON THE WEAKNESS OF FAITH, AND SINFUL* NESS OF THOUGHTS TENDING

TO DESPAIR.

How much art thou mistaken, (O my foul) to think thyself then farthest off from God, when thou art nearest unto him; to suppose thyfelf then most wretched, when thou art nearest to the paths of happiness ? he that never doubted, never truly believed ; and he that hath least assurance in himself, will, have most certainty in Chrift.

Thou hast finned, and thou art forrowful; thou hast committed great and grievous fins, and thou abhorest them, thou forsakest them, thou heartily defirest pardon for them ; if thou hadît not a goda ly sorrrow, thou couldst not have this godly desire, if thy sorrow was for punishment, it would cause thy death, but now it is for sin, it will lead thee to repentance; if thou grievest not so much for the severe sentence of an incensed judge, as for the displeasure of a good and gracious Father, as thou sowest in tears, thou shalt reap in joy; nay, thou shalt have great joy even in these tears, thou shalt have much sweetne's even in this sorrow; and if feed-time be sweet, how blessed will thy narveft

be! hear what thy Saviour faith, blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted; in forrows here, in eternity of joys hereafter: who can curse, where God hath blessed ? what devil can det ject, where God will. exalt?

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Thou art grieved for offending thy gracious God, and thou implorest him for mercy; comfort thyfelf in this, that God is near unto all those which call upon him, yea that call upon him faithfully; Pfal. 105. 18. Be not afraid therefore ; for if thy faith be weak, yet it is livi g; if it be languishing, it will assuredly recover more strength, if there be blossoms now; there will be fruit hereafter; these happy beginnings will have gracious proceedings, blessed endings.

Consider what thy God hath promised' by his holy prophet, I will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoaking flax, Isa. 42. 3. Let not the smarting (thereføre), of thy conscience trouble thee, remember who it is that searcheth it; I have wounded thee (faith God) and I will heal thee, I have broken thee, and I will bind thee up. Thou art therefore wounded, that thou mayest be healed; thou art therefore broken, that thou maya est be bound up: that fore whil. is insensible, is: ever most dangerous; and that wound which Imar... teth most,. is most capable of remedy...

Blessed Lord, I now feel, to mine unspeakable comfort, that thou hast wounded me with the terrors of thy law, that thou mayest heal me with the comforts of thy gospel; that I am therefore bruised with the burden of my fins, that I may be ever eased by the merits of my Saviour's sufferings; all my imperfections are his, all his righteousness is mine, I may boldly challenge it ; thou wilt not de. ny it, I may safely plead it, thou canst not refuse it.

Consider, yet further, O my soul, what thy blessed Saviour faith unto thee, I am the resurrecti. on and the life ; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die, Jno. 11. 25, 26.

How canst thou doubt now (O my soul) when thy Saviour biddeth thee believe, and live ? what canst thou fear, when thou hast his promise for thy safety, ? heaven and earth shall país away, but not one tittle of his word shall fail,

Let not the number of thy fins affright thee, for it is his blood which cleanseth us from all iniquity, John 1. 7, 9.

::: ! Let not the nature of thy sins amaze thee, for though they were red as scarlet, yet he will make them white as snow.

Let not the long continuance of them sfarger thee, for, at what time soever a finner doth reg

crease my hope, cherish my love, foment these dying sparks, by the sweet breathings of thy blessed spirit, that they may zealously break forth in a pure and fervent flame of holy affections, to thy great glory, and mine own eternal happiness, Amen.

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