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mine enemies?” But, alas ! alas ! I now see how regardless I was of these whispers of mercy-how bent upon my own purpose—how secretly determined to have my own way; and well indeed may I now find to my cost, that clouds and darkness are round about Him.'”

True, beloved; but remember also, that "justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne, and that mercy and truth go before His face.” Oh, why spend thy time, and exhaust thy strength, in the indulgence of useless regrets? A fact it is, that “ folly is bound up in the heart of a child;" and the Lord well knew, ere He adopted thee, what to expect from thee.

“Ere He called thee, well He knew

What a heart like thine would do." But He provided against all; and thy very waywardness and folly shall

, under His discriminating love and overruling hand, only conduce to the display of His wisdom, mercy, grace, and faithfulness.

You dread the clouds, beloved, and this is natural; but forget not, in spite of those dreads, that “ He makes the clouds His chariots, and rideth upon the wings of the wind.” “ Mensee not the bright light that is in the clouds." The sun still shines, though the clouds may for a moment hide his bright rays. Moreover, were not our hearts so deceitful, and our memories so treacherous, we should remember that in our past experience, oftentimes have we found that those apparently wrong steps of ours were only, by His hand, ministering to our good, and to the richer, fuller, more glorious display of His wisdom, goodness, and power; so that, in spite of all our previous lamentation, mourning, and woe, we could still, up to the then present moment ofour pilgrimage, exclaim, “He hath done all things well ;" * “He hath led us by a right way." Nothing was wrong, because the Lord had made all right. No regrets had we now. All, all was as wisely and as well ordered as could be. Every minute circumstance was taken into the account, and entered in the catalogue of loving-kindnesses and tender mercies.

Beloved, the Lord make it our mercy simply to live and rest here. In themselves considered, unquestionably we have taken many and many a wrong step, and we have abundant reason to be deeply humbled before the Lord in the review of our wantonness and waywardness in relation to those steps; still would it not be the height of folly in a traveller to waste his spirits, and exhaust his energies, in vain repinings and painful regrets that he had taken, or been betrayed, into some road that had hindered him, and led him into increased toil and unnecessary expenses? Do you meet with one traveller in twenty that has not learnt by his experience in these matters ? Is it not as common as possible to hear one and another say, Oh, but if I were going again, I should avoid this course, or I should adopt that;" but, mortified as such travellers may have been at the time, you do not find that any of them sat down in despair, and gave up their purpose. Nay, but on the contrary, their very difficulties only prompted them to pursue their journey with the greater ardour, and made their destination the more desirable of attainment, and tle more welcome when attained.

Beloved, we may well improve upon this thought, and spiritualize it, more especially as we, travellers to Zion, do not in reality partake of the loneliness of merely human travellers. Our travelling charges are in reality all paid. We have no need to travel alone. We need not indulge in any

undue anxiety about the course we are to pursue. If we really knew, and did but

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becomingly appreciate, our actual position, we should see that that position was, in the highest and fullest sense, that of the wife, or the child, or the friend, whose husband, or parent, or friend, as the case might be, had engaged to undertake all the responsibility, and to meet all the expenses of the journey. Some of us, beloved, have travelled hundreds and thousands of miles, and it is questionable whether our wives, or our children, when journeying with us, have even so much as put the question, Have you money enough for the journey, or are you sure you have taken the right ticket ?" Both wives and children are quite at ease upon this matter, being perfectly satisfied to repose the utmost possible trust and confidence in those who undertook the management of the journey, and whose very standing and relationship render them responsible. What an unseemly spectacle, and how much out of place would either wife or child be, to be thrusting themselves forward for tickets, or interfering about the luggage, whilst the husband or the father stood by looking on with apathy and indifference.

Oh, then, perpetually to feel that we are under the protection of the tenderest of husbands, the fondest of fathers, the most devoted of friends, who says, “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go, and I will guide thee with mine eye;" and who has said, moreover, (blessed be His name !) “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass, and as thy days so shall thy strength be.” “Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy waters shall be sure.”

Beloved, what can you or ourselves want more? and has there not been a rich fulfilment of the promise even until now? Then let us thank God and

take courage.

“Let us praise Him for all that is past,

And trust Him for all that's to come.' Let us with one heart and one voice exclaim,

“ Here we raise our Ebenezer ;

Hither, by thy help, we're come;
And we hope, by thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home. Now, beloved, if you look carefully at the history before us, we think you will see that the suggestions we have thrown out are sweetly involved in it. Speaking after the manner of men, Moses must have felt himself in a very critical position, when he discovered that in his excitement and indignation he had actually cast out of his hands and broken to pieces the tables which the Lord had written with His own hands. That he was prompted by a holy zeal, and that he looked upon Israel's sin with a becoming abhorrence, there is no question ; still there is not a doubt in our minds, that there was, on this occasion, as on that mentioned in Num. XX., a good amount of natural temper mixed up with it; and, looking at it with the merely human eye, Moses might well have thought upon it with regret, the same as we do, beloved, upon many of our hasty steps and untoward expressions ; but see how all was overruled of God, and mark how those pery circumstances only served for the display of His mercy, faithfulness, and tender compassions. Not only is it made a means of drawing up Moses into closer, sweeter, and more blessed communion with the Lord, but he ventures to ask a favour of the Lord, which we consider far exceeds any privilege he had previously solicited. “I beseech thee,” he say, “shew me thy glory." Let me see thee! Unveil thyself! Permit me to behold thee face to face ! I want to see and know more of thee! “I beseech thee, shew me thy


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Is the Lord angry at such a request, and that, too, not only after the fearful provocation of Israel and the remonstrances of Moses, but also after that fearfully solemn display at the Lord's descending upon the mount, which caused Moses to say, “I'exceedingly fear and quake?" Yes, even after all this, Moses ventures to ask that he might see the glory of God; and He, by no means angry, wishes, as it were, to indulge him. “I cannot," as if the Lord would say, “ do that. Circumstances will not admit of it. Thou must be 'unclothed' of clay, ere thou canst thus be indulged. • Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live. It is impossible. The sight would be destruction itself. Flesh and blood would be annihilated by my glory. But this I will do, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. Thou canst not see my face, for there shall no man see me, and live ;' but this I will do. I cannot refuse thee altogether; I cannot be regardless of thy request; I know that it is love that prompts it ; Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: [It is a rock, remember; therefore be not afraid, nor overawed at the sight that awaits thee; thou shalt have firm standing-ground :) and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee on a clift of the rock [beloved, is not our glorious Shelter, Christ, blessedly foreshewn here?), and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt

back parts; but my face shall not be seen.' Beloved, could there be greater condescension ? Was not this boundless mercy ? matchless kindness ?

Oh, how encouraging to a poor sinner to go before the self-same Lord entreating for the manifestations of mercy, and the precious display of His fatherly kindness and compassion. How calculated all this to calm the fears and check the misgivings of the Lord's doubting ones ; for what was Moses but a poor sinner like ourselves ? What had he, in himself considered, that was acceptable to God? He was but a man

-a poor fallen son of Adam, like unto us, readers. And the Lord deals with us precisely upon the same sweet grounds of mercy, and love, and tenderness, as with him.

Then in the next chapter, we find the Lord giving further proof of His forbearance, in that He tells Moses to hew out two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write,” says the Lord, “ upon these tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest.” Not a word of reproof. No wrath ; no indignation ; but calmness, gentleness in the extreme. “And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount, and no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before the mount.” Thus we see that the Lord did not in this sense relax. He maintained. His dignity and glory, and the more strikingly showed His condescension and mercy in the case of Moses. " And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto Mount Sinai, as the Lord had com, manded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone ; and the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there."

Oh, what volumes of mercy and blessedness are wrapped up in this declaration. It bespeaks, beloved, so much kindness, and so much condescension, that the Lord, notwithstanding who He was and what He was, should come down from the heights of His glory, and, as it were, stand side by side with one of His poor finite and fallible creatures ; that that great and glorious Being, who “ weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ;": who measureth the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meeteth out heaven with a span;" who “taketh up the isles as a very little thing, and before whom the inhabitants of the earth are but as (so many) grasshoppers ;" that He should stoop so low, and condescend so infinitely, as to “descend in the cloud, and stand with (His servant) there."

Beloved, what do you think of this marvellous act? May not even angels wonder and adore ? But has not this act—so gracious, so glorious-been enriched in and by personal experience? Do we not address those who have had the self-same enjoyment, when the Lord has been pleased, in immediate connexion with some severe trial and cloudy dispensation, to descend and to hold as it were face-to-face communion with them? How blessed has that communion been! What a holy familiarity! How unspeakably glorious the enjoyment! How has every cup, and trial, and vexation, for the time being, disappeared! Not now, with Paul, caught up into the third heavens, but as in the case of Moses, the Lord descending in the cloud ! The trial precisely the same-circumstances unchanged--all things as they were ; verily, on earth, and that, too, in the midst of its turmoil, and anguish, and dismay ; but all for the time hushed-every enemy for the time silenced-every mountainous difficulty for the time crumbled into nothingness, whilst it may be said of the Lord's eternally loved and favoured one, He “stood with him there."

Oh, beloved, what language of a poor sinful mortal like unto ourselves, can even attempt to set forth, in the very slightest degree, this blessedness ? It must, indeed, be felt to be known. There, in the depths of apparent insurmountable trial, and sorrow, and affliction, to be realizing face-to-face, and heart-to-heart communion with one's own God; feeling that one is where one is, and what one is, by His wise, and gracious, and loving appointment; each and every minute circumstance only contributing to the display of His wisdom, power, and love; all mercifully and tenderly ordered for the opening out of His eternal purposes of grace and


« Stood with him there," in nearand-dear fellowship, in sweet familiarity, in holy intercourse ; in a positionand assuring His servant, moreover, of the fact that in one moment He could transfer him to the beights of bliss, but at the same time imparting to him that precious cheerfulness and thorough acquiescence, as not to desire in the least wise any change, nor any cessation or diminution of the trial, until the Lord shall say, “Come up higher.” 1, Devonshire Buildings, Bedminster,

THE EDITOR. Bristol, July 15th, 1859.

THE NEW CHURCH OF ST. LUKE’S, BEDMINSTER. The chief corner-stone of the above Church was laid on Tuesday afternoon, July 26, 1859, by E. T. INSKIP, Esq., as the representative of the largest contributor to the building. A large tea-meeting was held in the evening. Particulars will (God willing) be given in our next.


When there has been a feeling sense of faction and comfort to arise upon the heart-backsliding, and a corresponding very ground of thy spiritual helplessness disquietude and want of access for days and poverty in this way? Thou hast together, how sweet it is to be led by felt thy need, but could not supply it. the blessed Spirit to a portion of the Food has been in the Word; of that Word so exactly adapted to the felt thou hast been assured; but thou hadst want. Hath not this been the case with not power to help thyself. Thou hast in thee, O my soul? There has been a very deed been “brought low," but thou shyness between thyself and the Lord for hast felt that it was the Lord alone that days past. No access—no holy fami- could help thee.” When, however, liarity-no sweet enjoyment. There has that help has come, how timely, and how been a cloud upon thy heart. Suddenly sweet and precious it has been. What wast thou overtaken, and unholy a sin-hating and Christ-endearing effect thoughts indulged. This cannot be, if has been produced. Hath there not been thou wouldst have communion main- somewhat of this in connexion with that tained. There must be the putting precious portion to which thou hast been away in heart and desire, as well as in directed this morning? Hath there not act, every evil thing, if thou wouldst been a felt appropriation and correspondrealize the presence of Jesus, and His ing beauty and sweetness in the prophet sweet smile upon thine heart. Thou Hosea's last chapter. Turn to it, o my hast found, moreover, to thy cost, how soul, and may the Lord again open to powerless thou art in thyself and of thy, thee of its preciousness and power. self

, in the effort to obtain peace again “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy in the conscience. Thou canst not help God, for thou hast fallen by thine thyself to the promises, however precious iniquity.". Notwithstanding her fall and those promises may at other times have her iniquity, here is Israel addressed in been found. Appropriate as they may her new and endearing name; as though be, yet now they lack application. That the Lord would graciously keep in mind application is not within thy power. It His ancient promise to His wrestling is only the Holy Ghost can apply; and, Jacob, who became prevailing Israel

, however fervent thy appeals-however How gracious and how condescending it candid thine acknowledgments-how- is of the Lord still to recognize His ever sincere the declaration, “Though children; yea, and notwithstanding their he slay me, yet. will I trust in Him;" wanderings, to be the first to invite them and however ardent the appeal, “To and to encourage them to " return" unto whom can I go? thou hast the words of Him, clearly intimating that He is of eternal life;'

one mind that He “rests in his love,"

and that He "hates to put away." “ Return, O holy Dove, return, Sweet Messenger of rest;

"Take with you words, and turn to I hate the sins which made thee mouro,

the Lord.” What words shall I venture And drove thee from my breast;"

to take, Lord? Where are they? Here

they are. Say unto him, “Take away yet withal thou feelest, it is only the all iniquity, and receive us graciously; Lord can heal the bones which sin has so will we render the calves of our lips." broken ; only the Lord restore peace to "Take away!" Thou must do it, Lord. the troubled heart; only the Lord's re- It must be thy act. I am powerless in newed smile can rectify what is wrong, the matter. I cannot rid myself of mine and give thee afresh to say, “ Return iniquity. I cannot throw off the yoke unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord of sin. I cannot cast away my abomi. hath dealt bountifully with thee. For nations. They are too much engrafted thou hast delivered my soul from death, into my nature-too much part and mine eyes from tears, and my feet from parcel of my own poor, vile, fallen self

. falling

It must be lhy power, and thine alone. Moreover, hast thou not found satis-1 Moreover, I would have thee to take

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