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through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, the afflicted believer enjoys the good of the promise, then he can say-Now I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afAlicted me: let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for iny comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
Sweet is the comfort which the afflicted receive from God the Comforter, under the cross; not only in suffering, but also after it. AFTERWARD also it “ yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” He who carries the cross of Christ, does not labour in vain, and spend his strength for nought; but he is bearing forth good seed. If he sow it in tears, yet he shall reap in joy. The Lord looks at the fruit, and intends to bring forth much of it by the cross : we are aft to look at the suffering and to forget the fruit. He has the end in view in the use of all means; and the holy Spirit has revealed this clearly, that we miglit depend upon him for receiving the proper fruit of affliction. The Lord says, he led his people
through the great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery flying serpents and scorpions, and drought; that he might humble ihem, and that he might prove them, to do them good AT THE LATTER END.
He intended to do thein good. This was first in his heart. Then the way in which he would do it: he would lead them through many afflictions, by which they should find at the latter end, how good God was to them. The promise of this was their encouragement to bear the cross, till they reaped the fruit. In like manner the Lord says to the afflicted Jews : “I know the thoughts that I think towards you,” saith the Lord ; " thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you AN EXPECTED END”-such an end as you would wish, and, having my promise, such as you may safely hope for—my thoughts indeed are not as your thoughts--you think I have cast you off, and that your present cross is to crush you—No, I mean to do you good by it and so the end will prove_wait a little in faith, and all will come to a happy issue.
Are these scriptures the truth of God? Has the eternal Spirit promised in them, that although the bearing of the cross be very painful, yet it is very profitable? Will he afterwards cause them to bring forth much fruit, who have been exercised with it Art thou then waiting, Q my soul, under all thy troubles for the promised end? Dost thou expect it, and in patience tarry the Lord's leisure? Canst thou look back, and see how merciful the dealings of thy God have been-how gracious his rod-how loving his correction? Canst thou look forward under every cross, persuaded that God will do thee good at the latter end? That he will cause many peaceable fruits to grow upon this seemingly barren tree? Yea, that these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work for thee an eternal weight of glory, far more excellent than can be conceived ? O God the Holy Ghost, I do believe it: I would not doubt of the truth of the promise in thy word, nor of the truth of thy grace
heart. I therefore beseech thee, O thou Spirit Jehovah, to
enable me to keep up communion with thee in all my trials, that I may bring forth those peaceable fruits of righteousness. Thou art the giver of every grace.
I acknowledge thee to be the author of my spiritual life: I was dead in trespasses and sins, and thou hast quickened me. It is of thy mere gift that I have any faith, and that upon the trial it was found to be true faith : I bless thee for this grace, and humbly pray for the continuance and for the increase of it. Meet me in the use of all means, and enable me to grow in faith, rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus, that I may also grow in love to his Father, and to my Father. Othou' divine revealer of his heavenly love, shed it abroad more abundantly in my heart, that I may learn more resignation to his will, more subjection to his authority, and more submission to his rod. I acknowledge thee, O holymaking Spirit, to be the teacher of patience, and what I have learned was thy revelation. It was in thy strength that I was enabled to go on with any quietness, bearing my cross. Thy grace made me willing, and nothing else can keep me willing, to have the flesia crucified with its affections and lusts. 0 God, put forth thine almighty power, and enable me to part with every thing which would hinder my fellowship with the Father and the Son. I desire so to walk this day, as to have growing fellowship with the eternal Three, and I desire it through thine influence. O God the Holy Ghost, carry on thy work. · Exalt and purify my faith and patience, and every grace: if it be thy will to do this under the cross, O make me willing and able to bear it. Let every cross bring forth richer and riper fruit, until thou give me an exceeding great and eternal harvest of glory. I ask this in the name of Jesus, and I expect an answer of grace through the Father's love in him ; to whom, with thee, O blessed Spirit, three persons in one Godhead, be equal glory, worship, and praise, now and for ever. Amen.