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The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Teach me, and I will be silent, and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
Behold He taketh away, who can hinderhim? Who will say unto him, What doest thou? How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him?
Whom though I was righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my Judge.
And now my soul is poured out upon me, the days of affliction have taken hold upon
I know, O Lord, thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer thee: I will lay my hand upon my mouth. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, make thou mine eye to see Thee!
PRAYER IN AFFLICTION.
O God, who commandest when we are in trouble to open our hearts and to tell out our sorrows to Thee in prayer, and dost promise to listen with compassion to our supplications, give me grace to approach Thee, that I offend not in word or thought. Put away from me, every impatient imagination, prevent every unworthy petition; let not my prayers assume the language of complaint, nor my sorrows the character of despair. Upon the multitude of thy mercies, O God, I repose my grief, as I rest my hope; and whether it shall seem fit to remove the calamity with which I am afflicted, or still to suspend it over me, dispose me, under every dispensation of thy will, patiently to adore thy inscrutable Providence, and to bless Thy holy name for ever and ever.
This supplication I humbly offer, through the adorable Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.--( Form for Fast-Day.)
In devotion, as well as every other mental exer. cise, we require materials for thinking, and from various causes are not at all times able to call up our resources when we most need them. We need also to be continually reminded of our own principles.
1st. REMEMBER, if you be cast down, it is not for want of great and precious promises, but your deficiency of faith in applying them. Pray that God may increase your faith, and perfect you in love.
2nd. Like the flower which is cut off by the nipping blast, or scorched by the meridian sun, your earthly felicity may no more bloom ; yet remember, that the hope of glory, though now in the bud, will finally blossom never to fade away. When transplanted into the paradise of God, the change will prove the sweeter by or from what we suffer here.
3rd. He that believeth shall not make haste (be impatient.) We must wait: let Him do what seemeth to Him good.
4th. We are never so happy as when we are blest with what we may term a holy careless
This is right: leave it with Him who is always careful of us—He is faithful: can he alter? No. He is love, mercy, and
peace : can He change? No. Is not the merit and efficacy of his death the same now as ever ? Yes. Is not the Eternal Father well pleased with it? Yes. Have we any other hope, refuge, or hiding place ? No; nor none other can we want.
5th. When we are tempted to arraign the dispensations of Providence, we should recollect that eternity is to be taken into our calculation. In a mixt state like the present, we indeed behold the tears of the oppressed, and that they have no comforter ; and hence, perhaps, our faith may waver: nor can we discern or determine, from the outward circumstances of men, concerning any degree of moral good or evil under the sun. There is no end of reasoning upon the subject; it comes not within the range of finite capacity. Happy is he who keeps simply to the Bible; the difficulty is therein solved. “In the world ye shall have tribulation ; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
6th. I see the worldling flourish like a tree planted by the water-side, and his leaf doth not wither!
But, is the fruit of happiness brought forth in due season ?
7th. Let no man presume that he can see prospectively into the ways of Providence ! His part is to contemplate them in the past, and trust them for the future ; but so trusting, to act always upon motives of human prudence directed by religious principles.Southey's Colloquies, vol. ii. p. 41.
8th. The day of the Lord's coming.–Of that day and hour, Ogreat Restorer of our joys, we know not. It is enough for us, that