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PREFACE.

most "

The afflicted are frequently unable to read much, or bear much to be read to them. The Bible, at such a time, is

profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Tim. iii. 16. Passages selected from the sacred pages, with hints on them to show their bearings, and set the thoughts in motion, cannot, therefore, be inappropriate; and the reflections of those devout men, who have seriously and laboriously weighed them, are likely to prove peculiarly acceptable. The additional remarks of experimental Christians, several of which are from the lips of the dying,

are

calculated to afford great encouragement and direction, as they will show, in the most convincing manner, that what the text and the comment enforce, many have, by the aid of God's grace and Spirit, both experienced and practised. Nor can the poetical reflections be unseasonable : many of them have already solaced the hours of affliction ; and are peculiarly adapted for " songs in the night.” May the Lord make this little work a blessing to the wounded in spirit, to guide them to Him, who, when he was upon earth, healed all manner of sicknesses and all manner of diseases among

the people, Matt. iv. 23. “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law,” Psalm xciv. 12.

SCRIPTURE PORTIONS,

FOR

THE AFFLICTED.

Gen. xlii. 36.-And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

And yet God was carrying on great designs by the means Jacob so much disliked, not only for the advancement of his family, but was laying the foundation of a glorious scene of providence, the memorial of which will last as long as the Bible. We often pass a wrong sentence concerning this or that providence; and, in our haste, say things that are very unjust; and afterwards see reason to make a recantation.-BENJAMIN BENNET.

Oh what rare mercies lie often hid under some dark and afflicting providence, even while they are at our hand, and are not seen, from the frowardness of an embittered spirit, that will not let its own eyes see the advantage of such a case; but, as if they did well to be angry against God, men will quarrel more for his crossing their humour, than observe his tenderness for promoting their real good, and cry against him because he will not undo them !-FLEMING.

FRANCIS QUARLES, in his “Divine Poems," published A. D. 1630, thus charmingly sings:

As in a clock, one motion doth convey
And carry divers wheels a several way;
Yet altogether, by the great wheel's force,
Direct the hand unto his proper course :
Even so that sacred will, although it use
Means seeming contrary, yet all conduce
To one effect, and, in a free consent,
They bring to pass Heaven's high decreed intent.

Gen. xlvii. 9.-And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years : few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the

years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

This is not the language of discontent or

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