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believers of such a description and character, or that come up to such a standard; but AH. that believe. While therefore you possess the smallest degree of faith, bless God for that. The smallest measure indicates from whom it came ; and declares whose you are, and to whom you belong. It is the one uniform family-feature of the Lord's household of faith; for ' as many as believe are ordained to eternal life.' Large portions of so precious a grace are,no doubt, highly desirable. But to poor, timid, unbelieving believers, (if I may be allowed the expression,) it is a refreshing thought, that the Great Shepherd ' gathers the lambs with his arm, and carries them in his bosorri;'and they are as dear and precious in his sight as the strong of his fold.' "****
'Those feeble desires, those wishes so weak,
A BELIEVER UNDER THE HIDINGS OF COD'S COUNTENANCE.
• Your observations, my clear brother,' (said another, who sat at the corner of the room,) are truly refreshing to my soul. I have been long exercised under the hidings of the divine countenance, and sometimes tempted to cry out, with the Church of old, ' My hope is perished from the* Lord.' But I perceive, from what you have been saying to our friend, mourning under the unbelief of his heart, that the same arguments, by a parity of reasoning, are applicable to my case also. Spiritual darkness, and spiritual doubtings, are but too nearly allied, and proceed from the corruption that dwells within. It may be said of both,' It is your iniquities which have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.' And when this is the case, when as in Paul's voyage,' neither sun nor stars for many days appeared, and no small tempest is added to the darkness of the horizon; faith will be at a low ebb, and all hope, that the soul is then in a state of safety, will for a time be taken away. But blessed be God, when I can find no comfort in myself, I know that Christ is the same. 'I still see a loveliness in his person, and a suitableness and all-sufficiency in his power to save, when I cannot say that I see my interest in him to be clear. 'When wilt thou come unto me?' is frequently the language of my heart, though I cannot always call him mine. And the recollection of past experience is sometimes: a.lift to me during thepassing cloud. I call to mind the time and place, and the gracious manner and means, when, where, and by which the Lord hath heretofore comforted and refreshed my soul. So that, like the wife of Manoah, I am led to conclude, 'if the Lord had not intended mercy, he would not have showed me all these things.' And I always find that sweet text of the Prophet to be consolatory, during the heaviest night of this kind of trial;' Who is among you that feareth the Lord, thatobeyeth the voice«f;hisiservant, and walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay himself upon his God.''I rejoice truly, my dear brother,' (replied the Poor Man,) 'in the testimony you bear to the faithfulness of your God, under your sufferings. It is an easy thing to speak a word for God's goodness, when the Lord is surrounding us with the sunshine of his blessings. But it must be a gracious soul indeed to rejoice in God,' when he hath nothing but his word to trust in. And when God hides his face from his people; stands at a distance from their prayers; seemingly thwarts all their desires j gives no answer by Urim and Thummim; then, to hold fast by God, and to lie passive before him; this is what the Prophet felt, and what none but those who are taught of God the Holy Ghost can say with him ; 'Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.'
I had entered with so much earnestness of participation into every man's case, as they related their several experiences one after another, that I was unconscious of the lapse of time, and felt not a little distressed, when I heard one of the company say, 'Our hour is come, it is past eight o'clock.'—The following hymn was then given out and sung; which appeared to be a very suitable conclusion to the solemn service:
No more, my God, I boast no more
I quit the hopes I held before,
Now for the love I bear his name,
Yes, and I must, and will esteem
O'may my soul be found in Him,
The best obedience of my hands
But if I felt myself pleased with the hymn, my mind was more abundantly refreshed and delighted with the concluding prayer, which followed it; in which the person who prayed, did not confine himself to general expressions; but, more or less, included therein the wants and desires of all the Lord's tried family; and in particular, the several cases which had been spoken of during the evening. Neither as a stranger and visitor in this little society, did the leader in prayer forget to mention me, at the mercy-seat; that the Lord would supply all my wants, whatever they might be, out of