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herent stock. "He putteth no trust in his saints.” The beam is necessarily dependent on the Sun: the moon has no light but what is imparted; it only reflects what is communicated; the stream will dry up, if the fountain ceases to send it still forward; if the heart ceases to beat, every member in the body will weaken and become inactive; the leaf will wither and fall as the sap retires, or as its circulation is impeded. Thus it is in spiritual life. “From me is thy fruit found."* "All my fresh springs are in thee.”+ It is a high attainment to be content to be nothing, and the most difficult duty; but the highest privilege to be ever receiving until we are filled with all the fulness of God in the heights of glory.
3. The lamenting and doubting believer (for such there are) should remember, that the Sun of righteousness will soon cause the spring season to return; then w ll apply, “Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines, with the tender grape, give a good smell.”! Should he delay, and not rise so soon as expectation might promise, like a morning without a cloud, fear not. The natural sun, though often under clouds, yet has never forsaken our earth; nor will the greater Sun his Church. Thus saith the Lord, “If ye can break my covenant with the day, and my covenant with the night, and that there should not be day and right in their season, then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant.”'S * Hosea xiv. 8. † Psalms lxxxvii.7. # Song ii. 11, 1-, 13.
Jer, xxxiv. 20--26. Isaiah liv. 7. throughout.
Be sealed in everlasting silence, O thou still replya ing tongue of unbelief! Hath he said it, and shall he not do it? He is faithfulness itself. I set my seal and amen to his truth. May his Spirit seal my faith with his “Amen! be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” I will thy presence here! I would thy presence for ever!
4. He has promised to renew, and give fresh life bark, bud, blossom, and fruit. “The dry tree shall flourish; thy dew shall be as the dew of herbs; I will be as the dew unto Israel.”. Inferior miracles subside the most important and interesting continue, in regeneration, reclaiming conversation, and glorification. Every promise expresses his fixed purpose. That which he has spoken with his mouth, he will make good with his hand. Were we to turn promises into prayers, the Lord would turn them into praises. “He will revive us; and after three days, we shall live in his sight." The spring, the cheerful summer, and the ripened fruit will appear in perfection, to shew that the Lord is faithful. Sing now the prophet's song: “Although the fig-tree shall not blossom; neither shall fruit be in the vine; yet will I rejoice in the Lord: I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
THE NAIL IN A SURE PLACE.
Isaiah xxii. 23. As a Nail in a Sure Place. It is said of Jesus, that “ to him gave all the prophets witness;" and there is no doubt but it was a grand object with all the sacred writers to exalt “Him whom God delights to honor;" yet some of the images they employ, seem to give but a mean idea of his infinite excellency; this, for instance, in the text before us, of a Nail.
. Hab. üi. 7, 18
To remove this objection; and cast one ray of glory on the name which I love and adore, I would just show the importance and propriety of the metaphor, in the prophet's use of it, by an extract from Sir J. Chardin and Bishop Lowth. Sir John says, “They do not drive with a hammer the nails that are put into eastern walls; the walls are too hard, being of brick; or, if they are of clay, too mouldering: but they fix them in the brickwork as they are building. They are large nails, with square heads, like dice, well made, the end being bent, so as to make them cramp-irons. They commonly place them at windows and doors, in order to hang upon them, when they like, veils and curtains."* Bishop Lowth adds, “that they were put in other places too, in order to hang up things of various kinds, as appears from this place of Isaiah, and from Ezek. xv. 3, who speaks of a pin, or nail, to hang any vessel thereon."
This metaphor, then, contemptible as it may at first appear, conveys two very important ideas:
1. That Christ is an essential part of God's building; and those who attempt to build without him, will not have a peg to hang their hopes upon: which leads to another idea: 2. That Christ is the only support of a sinner's hope: his holy Temple." Amen. So be it, reader, with thee and thine.
“Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on thee." “Grace hath been shewn from the Lord our Godt to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a Nail in
* Harmer, vol. 1, p. 191.
† Ezra ix. 8
ON READING THE SCRIPTURES.
A YOUNG person, desirous of improving in Scripture knowledge, will feel herself indebted to any minister who will suggest the most useful method of daily perusing the sacred writings, so as to understand them in their connexion, and impress the memory; for though they may be read with profit, without regard to particular rule, yet, it is conceived, a plan would greatly assist the memory in retaining their rich contents.
ANSWERS. Sir, THOUGH not a minister, allow me to reply to the Query of a young person in your Magazine, who is desirous of receiving directions as to the most profitable way of reading the Holy Scriptures, by stating the practice I was led to adopt about ten years ago, and have regularly followed ever since, I trust, with much spiritual prot fit. I begin the Bible on the 1st of January; and, by reading five chapters every day, go through both Teg. taments by the latter end of August. I then begin the New Testament; and by reading two chapters a day, go over that a second time. By this mode of reading, P find myself insensibly acquiring a knowledge of the Scriptures, as an entire whole, which undoubtedly they are intended to be: and as I have been enabled by Divine grace, to keep up the practice, under incessant public avocations, long and fatiguing journies, and many paipful illnesses, I doubt not that your fair querist will ea sily be able to find time enough also. I am, &c. Civis.
Another Correspondent, in answer to the same Query, says,
I have been reading "A Companion to the Closet,' by Dr. Duncan (second edition) in which are many excellent things; he closes with a plan for the more regular reading the Holy Scriptures, which I shall transcribe. In the Old Testament there are 931 chapters; but by distributing the 150 Psalms into 60 equal parts, they will then be reduced to 841: add to these 260, which is the number contained in the New Testament, they will then be 1101. Divide this by 3, and you will find each part contain 365 chapters, and 6 over; so that by reading 8 chapters every day, you will read the whole over in one year, except 6 chapters. The most profitable method is to begin with the first chapter of Genesis, the first Psalm, and the first chapter of Matthew, and to proceed regularly.
ON READING THE SCRIPTURES.
In the Evangelical Magazine for September, I perceived some Remarks on Reading the Scriptures, in answer to an inquiry, 'How may they be read with the greatest advantage?' The question I apprehend is not, In what proportion each day is the word of God to be divided, $0 that the whole may be read over within the year? but How may the same be read most profitably? Now I think it possible that a person may read a great deal