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Despondence. by a proneness to despondence, the following practical suggestions may not be altogether useless. · Direct your thoughts habitually and impartially to all the attributes and the " whole counsel of God." Remember His mercy no less than his justice; his redeeming love no less than his holy abhorrence of sin. Fix your attention no less stedfastly on the promises than on the threatenings of Scripture : on the encouragements held forth to the penitent, no less earnestly than on the curses denounced against the careless and the presumptuous. Be not easily moved with apprehension that you pay more than proportionate regard to the consolations of the Gospel. The inherent bias of dejection will draw you with sufficient force' towards the confines of unwarranted alarm. Beware left it urge you across the boundary.

In reflecting on your past sins, let them be regarded as grounds of habitual selfabasement, of prospective watchfulness, of zealous diligence, of unwearied exertion, of grateful and fervent love towards God your Redeemer for tee stupendous salvation set before you. But view them not as obstacles to the forgiveness and accept



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ance of a true and persevering penitent; nor as affording the slightest foundation for dread that the Holy Spirit, who has enabled you to bring forth the fruits of repentance, will withhold from you the grace and strength which you shall hereafter seek as needful under impending trials of your faith.

If seasons of dejection should recur; if, at the very time when your understanding is fatisfied of the truth and the actual relevancy of the scriptural arguments which forbid you to despond, even in the face of conviction, despondence should oppress your soul : wonder not, nor be dismayed, as though an unprecedented or extraordinary event had befallen you. The state of mind is not uncommon. Survey it in its true colours. In the midst of despondence, remember that you are desponding against your judgement and your conscience, . against reason and the word of God. Consider whether despondence, thus conftituted and circumstanced, is not in part to be im. puted to bodily indisposition, to the tremors of nervous inquietude. Consider whether in part it may not be deemed, whether it must not in part be deemed,

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a subtle and special temptation. The adversary of man adapts his stratagems to the individual whom he affails. The fanguine he tempts to rashness, the lukewarm to in

activity, the confident to presumption, the · timid to despair. To what method of su

perior promise could he resort for the purpose of deterring you from perseverance in labouring for salvation, than the scheme of inducing you to believe that by you mercy is unattainable? From a method of such promise is it probable that he should refrain ? Meet the danger with adequate circumspection. Encounter the foe with appropriate arms. Let health receive due attention. Resist the devil, and be will flee from you. Take the field of faith, wherewith you fall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked One. Fly for succour to the throne of grace. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, plead with Him whose foul was forrowful even unto death; with Him who knows what is the agony with which the vidim of sin exclaims, My God! my God! why bast thou forsaken me! who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, having been in

all all points tempted like as we are ;: who in that he himself bath suffered, being tempted, is able to fuccour them that are tempted. He will fulfil his word. He will minister strength for the conflict. He will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear: but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. Why is thy soul cast down : why is it fo disquieted within thee? Hope thou in Göd: for thou shalt yet praise Him for the help of his countenance.

Finally; be active. Be sedulous to employ an ample portion of your time, so far as may be entirely compatible with a just regard to health, in the modes of practical usefulness,' which belong to your station : and' in the vigilant discharge of the offices of domestic life. A zealous pursuit of practical usefulness, a vigilant performance of relative duties, rank very high among the good works by which you are to evince the fincerity of your faith, and to adorn the doktrine of God your Saviour. The management of worldly concerns, when conducted in a worldly spirit, is fin. But when kept wholly subordinate to the great purposes of existence, the glory of God VOL. II.


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and the salvation of the soul; when carried on from Christian motives, with Christian tempers, and for Christian ends; it is a branch of service to God, it is one of the fruits of religion. pă pres t andelen

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