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and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come, and take the water of life freely."

And now God says to Gideon, "By the three hundred men that lapped will I save Israel; and let all the other people go every man to his place." It was enough to have called up many fears in the mind of Gideon and his chosen men, as I before observed, to see so many drafted off from them again; twenty-two thousand in the first instance, and now nine thousand seven hundred more; leaving behind only three hundred to contend with their innumerable enemies. But God had said, "By those three hundred will I save you ;" and faith must take God at his word, and trust him for the fulfilment of his promise. Accordingly, we hear no complaint from Gideon. When he is commanded to send the men away, he sends them, one after another, by the hundred, and by the thousand; not knowing when God would stay his hand, or say, "It is enough." This is

faith, vital and practical faith. It is exactly that faith which the Christian is required to carry into the common transactions of life, and to act upon in the occurrences of every day: "The just shall live by faith." In the evil day he is to live upon it, when God takes away the desire of his eyes, or the means of his present subsistence, or the outward helps and props which he has been accustomed to, and on which, perhaps, he has been leaning too confidently. When these are struck from under him, then the proof of his faith, is that he can "trust in the Lord, and stay himself on his God." The prophet Habakkuk did so, who said,


Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, and there shall be no fruit in the vine the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; though the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall; yet will I joy in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation." And the apostle Paul thus trusted in the Lord, and stayed

himself on his God, when he declared, "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." The language of one of our Christian poets is beautifully descriptive of this state of a believer's mind

"Give what thou wilt, without thee I am poor; And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away."

Have you been feeling any of these deprivations, Christian ? Has one comfort after another been taken from you ? Say not, "What have I left?" Gideon's angel, Gideon's God, is with you. You have "Jehovah-shalom" with you, and he shall be your "peace" in the midst of

all your troubles troubles; you have "Jehovahjireh" with you, and he shall "provide" for you in the midst of all your deprivations; you have "Jehovah-nissi" with you, and he shall be your "banner" in the midst of all your enemies. If your heart be "strong in the Lord," you will look on patiently and resignedly, as Gideon did, when his army was diminished to a handful of men, though the Midianites were still in the valley. The language of meek, enduring, patient faith is, not merely the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;" for this may be the language of despondency, and may be used where there is no acquiescence in the divine will, nor even submission to it: but the language of such faith, when it looks upon the wreck of all its hopes, and comforts, and prospects, is, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; and blessed be the name of the Lord."

We concluded our last discourse by addressing a word of encouragement to the little army of real believers who

remain on the Lord's side. I directed the christian warrior to those words, "I will give thee a crown of life ;"-" to him that overcometh will I give to sit down on my throne, even as I have overcome, and am set down on my Father's throne;""hold fast that thou hast, let no man take thy crown." I may give him more comfort now, and say, As there is no cause of dismay on your own account, seeing that the battle is the Lord's, and that it is he that fighteth for you, so neither is there cause for fear on account of the progress of his kingdom upon earth. Remember," he must reign till all enemies shall be put under his feet;" "As I live, saith the Lord, all the earth shall be filled with my glory." Now, if God hath said this, who shall hinder it from coming to pass ? If God has made the promise, what shall stand in the way of its fulfilment? Not the Midianites in the valley, though they be "as grasshoppers for multitude;" not "the wrath of man," for that shall be "made to praise him;" not

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