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And he gave him à sign; but Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit
done nnto him, for his heari was lifted up. 2 Chron. xxxi, 24, 25. A haz trusting in the Assyrians for help, had refused a sign graciously offers
- ed by God, as a token of deliverance. He did not choose to put his whole trust in God, tho' his pretence was, he would not tempt the Lord. This might lead his son Hezekiah to ask for a sign; and it proved a share to him. The King of Babylon, on finding Hezekiah so liighly honoured by the sun, thought it ilicumbent upon him to send ambassadors with letters and a present to such a favourite of the God of the Babylonians. Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and sought craftily to avail himself of this falsc notion of the King of Babylon; and, by rot affronting their god, he hoped to gain a safe protection against the King of Assyria. Isaiah was ordered to acquaint him, that as he preferred an arm of flesh to his Almighty Deliverer, he should experience the sad effect of his folly in not honouring God; and all that he had so vainly showed should be carried to Babylon. Hezekiah ought to have testified to the ambassadors that the Lord God of Israel stopped the sun in its progress. He had here a fair opportunity of showing them and their king the vanity of their idolatry in worshipping the sun, evidentiy under the direction of a superior Being. He ought also to have given God all the glory in tois matter, and have rested on him, and bim alone, for safety, who had just then given him such a striking proof of his power and favour. Worldly wisdom is arrant foily; and, when set in opposition to the will of God, will be sure to disappoint us. Even the noblest instance of wisdom and love God ever showed in the salvation of sinners by Jesus Christ, if not accepted with humility and simplicity, in God's own way by faith, will not have its blessed effect. Worldly wisdom ensnared Hezekiah; and carnal wisdom, ever attended with loftiness of heart, is daily destroying its thousands. From worldly wisdom save me, Lord, I My heart be anchor'd on thy word, Tho' men may prudence call it;
Whatever stornis befal it.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed
Amos iii. 3.
READER, I suppose thee a religious person, one that has been con.
verted by the power of grace; one that is desirous to glorify God in life and conversation ; one that has an interest in Jesus, and wants to have it made more manifest to thine own self every day; one that considers this life as a passage to a better, and would be glad of a spiritual companion to go along with thee, foi“ two are better than one." Give not the right hand of fellowship to any before thou hast tried him, for two cannot walk comfortably together except they are agreed ; bring him to the law of God; the eternal, moral law of God, contained in the ten commandments, and ask him, Does he look upon that law of God as the rule of his life? If he denies it, avoid him. If he says he is not under the commanding power of it, turn away from him. But if he says that he sincerely takes it as God's revealed will to him, owning the authority thereof over his conscience and conversation, “ Thus saith the Lord,” breathing after universal obedience, repenting and mourning where he falls short, and fleeing by faith to Christ for all peace and pardon, take such a one for a friend and companion.
Lord, draw my wand'ring heart to thee, / Then will it well with God agree,
And find communion with its Lord.
My soul fainteth for thy salvation. My soul is continually in my hand.
Uphold me according to thy word, that I may live, and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do nnto those that love thy name. Psa. cxix. 81, 109, 116, 132.
LORD, I love thy name also, since thou art called merciful, gracia'
ous, long-suffering, and even the Lord our righteousness: and, therefore, I depend upon nothing of my own, but throw myself ene tirely upon thy free grace and righteousness, which alone keeps me in peace. Without thee I am ignorant and weak; and Satanı being as wicked as he is cunning, what would become of me, if I was not kept and preserved by thee? “ Thy name is a strong tower, the righte. ous enter there and are safe;" there let me abide also continually, so shall I be : afe from every adversary.
The arms of everlasting love
Beneath ny soul be plac'd; And on the Rock of Ages set
My slipp':y footsteps fast. The city of my blest abode
Is wall'd around with grace;
Salvation for a bulwark stands,
To shield the sacred place.
And all his legions roar;
How little reason have we to glory in any thing of our own, since
nothing but sin is ours, which even defiles that which is of God. O Lord, grant that I may always give thee the praise of thy own, and may learn to delight and glory in thee, having no other aim but to walk before thee in godly simplicity and sincerity. For he that walketh uprightly walketh surely. Prov. x. 9. All disquiet of mind ariseth from our own lusts and unmortified tempers, which makes the bosom like a troubled sea; and no settled calm shall we find till we have a single eye to God's glory, and can count ourselves worthy of no good, Then we may draw comfort out of troublc, and learn to praise the Lord, both for what he giveth and for what he taketh away ; being sure that all things are working for our good, and tending to God's glory, which he knows best how to promote ; and that nothing but sin can make us unhappy and miserable.
Great God! how infinite art thou !
What worthless worms are we! Let the whole race of creatures bow,
And pay their praise to thee,
| Our lives thro'various scenes are drawn,
And vex'd with trifting cares ;' While thine eternal thought moves ow
Thine undisturb’d affairs.
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justi.
fieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Rom. viii. 33, 34.
There is a story, how the devil appeared to a dying man, and showed
him a parchment roll, which was very long, wherein was written on every side, the šius of the poor sick man, which were many in number; and there were also written the idle words he had spoken in his life, together with the false words, the unchaste words, and angry words ; afterwards came his vain and ungodly words; and, lastly, his actions, digested according to the commandments. Whereupon Satan said, See here, behold thy virtues ! see here, what thy examination must be!
Whereupon the poor sinner answered, - It is true, but thou hast not set down all ; for thou shouldst have added, and set down here below, “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all our sins ;” and this also should not have been forgotten, that, “ Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Whereupon the devil vanished. Thus, if the devil should muster up our sins, and set them in order before us, let but Christ be named in a faithful way, and he will give back, and sly away with all speed. My sins are great I do confess,
But Jesu's blood can wash me clean, And of a scarlet dye;
As God does testify.