« AnteriorContinuar »
make up for those occasional interruptions, which are so sweet and refreshing in my own heart, while giving satisfaction to others. No, Sir, I thank you for your intentions ; but I cannot accept your offer. Besides, I need it not; I have enough, and to spare. God supplies all my wants, and enables me sometimes to help the wants of others. ...
The poor man took his leave, after mutual wishes and prayers for our spiritual welfare. And the night being now advanced, after reading the Scriptures, and prayer, we departed each to his chamber.
- The town clock struck five, just after I awoke from a state of sleep much refreshed. I called to mind that sweet promise of God to his people, and found cause to bless him, in that it had been again verified to my experi. ence; "When thou liest down thou shalt not be afraid ; yea, 'thou shalt lie down and thy sleep shall be sweet*.'
I recollected also, that many of the Lord's children were at that moment in a state of pain and suffering, and, like Job, complaining that
wearisome nights were appointed unto themt.' I felt my heart drawn out, under the fulness of
the impression, to adopt the language of the sorrowful sisters, and to tell the Lord, . Many whom thou lovest are sick*.' • When we consider the defenceless state of sleep, and the many dangers to which our poor fallen nature is then peculiarly exposed; not merely to the ravages of enemies, against which bolts and bars might cast up some little security; but the carelessness of friends, from which none but his watchful eye, who never slumbers nor sleeps, can guard us; how suitable is that sentiment of the church of old, to form the first impression of the mind at the dawn of day ; . It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not; they are new every morningt.' “ I have often thought, when looking upon some dear child of my affection, in its unconscious state of sleep, what creature of all God's works is so truly helpless, and so much exposed to danger, as man in that season! But I have not unfrequently found relief therefrom, in the assurance, that this very state, in the necessity of it, implies the existence of a peculiar superintendance. And, indeed, the eventual experience of thousands is continually bearing testimony to the truth of that precious promise : " My
* John xi, 3. - f Lam. iii. 22.
people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places*.'
ACCORDING to my constant custom, since the Lord was pleased to call me by his grace, I opened my diary in my little pocket companion, to inquire What is the word of the Lord recommended to my serious consideration to-day?' For it is a favourite maxim of mine, with the first dawn of day, to seek a morning blessing from the Lord in this way, in one of his sweet promises. The promises of God are the present heritage of his people. They are evidently intended to be their support and stay in the house of their pilgrimage. In a little book, which I always keep by me for this purpose, to have recourse to as occasion may require, and which I call my pocket companion, I have also a diary, containing some refreshing portion of Scripture for every day in the year. And though it cannot be supposed, (neither will any one I should hope imagine,) that by a selection of
: : Isaiah xxxii, 18.
this kind, a preference is given to one gracious promise, to the exclusion of the rest, which in Christ Jesus are all yea and amen;' yet, as the mind is not sufficiently capacious, nor sufficiently alive, to exercise itself in the meditation of them all, it should seem to be ro unpromising plan of usefulness to have recourse to one or more of them in this manner. .
I shall be exempt, I trust, from the charge of presumption, if I add, that I have found, at times, the promise in my diary so strikingly suited to my then circumstances, as if a voice had accompanied it like that of the apostle to the men of Antioch, To you is the word of this salvation sent.'
The promise for this day I found to be Psalm cxxi. 5. ^ The Lord is thy keeper.' Sweet and precious indeed to all his people is this assurance! My mind, as I lay upon my bed, was much exercised in the centemplation of God as a Covenant God, in keeping His people. It is he which keeps them in the faith ; keeps them in the hour of temptation ; keeps them from the power of the enemy; from a thousand unseen, and as many visible evils ; from finally falling, and from eternal death. And though he hath no where promised to keep His people . from tribulation, or persecution, or the strife
and slander of tongues, from sickness, or sor row, and the like ; yet he hath promised, that
no weapon formed against them shall prosper ; no temptation shall take them, from which he will not make a way for them to escape. He will bruise Satan under their feet shortly." Oh! the blessed privilege of those who have the Lord for their Keeper!
From the very great noise which I heard in the street, as I arose from my bed, occasioned by the passing of horses and the tumult of the people, I concluded that somewhat more than usual occupied the public attention. In looking for the cause from the window of my chamber, which opened into the street, I discovered that it was market-day. Though the hour was so early, and the sun had not far advanced in climbing the heavens; yet the world was risen, and every one eagerly engaged in preparation for the sale of their different commodities,
Ah! thought I, how just is that aphorism of our blessed Lord, “The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children