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man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches : but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord,” Jer. ix. 23, 24. I sometimes think myself wretchedly poor, but no sooner do I open my Bible, than I find myself to be rich indeed; for it is not one thing, but all things, that are promised to pardoned sinners; for pardoned sinners, and none others, are God's people.
V. True, Jacob. I am going to call on Mary Thomas, at the top of the court; but I could not pass your door without stepping in for a moment. Continue to trust in the promises which God has given in his Son, and your hope and your confidence will be secure.
To the Lord belong mercies, and we in our ways
Should not question his goodness, no never :
Both now and for ever and ever.
CALL ON A SELF-RIGHTEOUS MAN. I have never been easy since I called upon you last, Maurice; for the remarks you made gave me reason to think that vou were building
on a false foundation. “ Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. iii. 11; and if you think there is a particle within you free from sin, from the crown of your head to the sole of your foot, you are grievously deceived. Your best thoughts, words, and works are worthless with regard to salvation, unless under the influence of a lively faith in Jesus Christ.
“ It has," said a learned but self-righteous man, “always been a consolation to me, when addressing the Deity about my infirmities, to feel that I had a good heart.” “ Then,” replied an unlearned but pious Christian, “you have never yet rightly prayed to God at all; for the prayers of a good heart never reach him.” “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise,” Psa. li. 17.
I wish you to read over this tract, “ The Doctrine of the Cross of Christ.” We can talk about it when you have read it; and if our hearts are humbled as much as they ought to be with a sense of sin, we shall have very little to say of ourselves, and very much of the love of the Redeemer.
CALL ON A BARBER. · Visitor. I will thank you to thin my hair a little, for I have more of it on my head than I like to have this hot weather. Yours is a pleasant situation, and I dare say that you have a good business.
Barber. If it were not for the shop opposite, where a man has set up against me, I should do pretty well, sir; but he takes many a shilling out of my pocket.
V. Ah, well, you know, he must do the best he can to get an honest penny as well as you; and perhaps he had no intention of doing you an injury. I am afraid you are taking off my hair rather too freely, for I have but little to spare.
B. It is getting rather thin at the top of your head. I would advise you to use a little oil, or bear's grease, or —
V. No, no; I never use the one or the other, for I fancy that every particle of dust would stick to my hair if it were oiled, and I cannot bear perfume of any kind. Do you keep your shop open on a Sunday?
B. Yes, sir; many of my customers can come to me at no other time.
V. I am sorry for it; there must be something wrong, either with them or their masters; but perhaps it is with both. The word of God says, “ Remember the sàbbath day, to keep it holy,”: Exod. xx. 8. ” Now, do you really think it right to follow your calling on the sabbath? “B. Why, I can hardly say that, sir. - I wish that I could manage without it; but it is impossible, so long as my neighbours keep open.. "V. There is no act of parliament passed, that I know of, which compels a man to do the same thing that his neighbour does; and, there fore, I should think that you might shut up shop, even though your neighbour continued to keep his open.
B. That would never do, sir; I should offend some of my best customers.
V. It is certainly not a pleasant thing to offend man; but it is a still more unprofitable thing to offend God. Though you may get a trifle by it, I would advise you to give up your Sunday business, being persuaded that “better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit,” Eccles. iv. 6.
B. I cannot indeed, sir, give it up; I can. not make so great a sacrifice.
V. Well, then, the case stands thus:-God commands you to close your shop, and your heart persuades you to keep it open. Now, God has never deceived you; whereas the heart
is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” Jer. xvii. 9. Think of the matter as you will; this is the true state of your case. Perhaps you will give it a little reflection, for never yet did any man heartily serve God without profit, nor despise him without punishment.
A CALL ON A COMPLAINER. Visitor. James, you look a little out of sorts this morning; what is the matter with you? I have been reading my Bible, and walking in the fields, and my spirit has been rejoicing in God's goodness, manifested alike in his word and his creation. Doubtless, there is much of trouble in the world, but there is much of mercy also, enough, as my uncle Barnabas used to say, to make a man “rejoice all day, and sing in the night."
James. I cannot see things as you do. You are always hopeful, and I am always full of fears.
Visitor. The more is the pity, that you cannot discern the goodness of God more clearly.
An old gentleman, a good friend of mine, was accustomed to use a reading-glass, his sight being very defective. One day, when in company, he pulled out his glass, wiped it very carefully, and laid it on the table before him.