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Whrt dost thou here, Elijah? 1 Kings xix. 13. T ET this question be supposed as addressed to us: What dost thou here in ded this world, into which thou art sent: Art thou working “the work of Him that sent thee," or standing all the day idle ? How dost thou acquit thyself in the duties of thy particular calling: Art thou upright, conscientious, and useful therein ? Art thou in the post assigned thee by Heaven, truly called, and properly qualified for it? or hast thou thrust thyself into it without warrant or invitations; and therefore hast no cause to expect success: What dost thou here, in this retirement? Is the world shut out of thy thoughts, and are the visits of the blessed Spirit invited ? What dost thou here, if it be not thy wish and endeavour to have communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ ? What dost thou here, if thy peace with an offended God is not already made, or most earnestly desired and sought after ? If thou really wantest peace and safety, plead the blood of Jesus, flee to the city of refuge, before the avenger of blood overtake thee, and tbou perish from the way! “Remember Lot's wife," and look not behind thee, lest thou become a monument of wrath. What dost thou here in times of trial and temptation ? Art thou flying from the danger, or boldly facing it, in the name and strength of the Lord ? Art thou ashamed of the Cross, or dost thou willingly take it upon thee? Elijah failed here; he fled from Jezebel; and did such an one as Elijah fear? Then howl, ye fir-trees, if the cedars be thus shaken! hold fast by Christ, ye wcak ones, if the strong fall? What dost thou here below ? Art thou for pitching thy tent on this side Jordan, satisfied with thy present portion ? or art thou“ looking to a better country, to a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God?" Lite is uncertain, death approaches, the Judge is at the door, then « prepare to meet thy God.”
Arm me with a jealous care, | And thy weak servant, Lord, prepare, As in thy sight to live ;
A good account to give!
Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of
the net. Ps. xxv. 15. Ilappy is the man that feareth alway. Prov. xxviii. 14. O how long can some enemies hide themselves with their nets before
our eyes, and draw in all on a sudden! It is unspeakable how cun. ning and powerful our enemies are, how they lie in wait everywhere, so that in all places, and at all times, we are surrounded with many cruel murderers of souls! Blessed is he that keeps clear from self-con. fidence, and, fearing always, says within himself, as soon as he awakes in the morning, Who knows what temptations I may meet with today? perhaps when I arise, by the first step my feet may be entan. gled in dangerous snares and nets. And as self-confidence ever will be ashamed, and a firm confidence in the Lord never shall (Rom. ix. 38) grant, O Lord, I beseech thee, that distrusting myself, I may fully put my trust on thee, watching evermore in all things, and looking cautiously in all places about me, where there is any fear of danger. Whatever I am about to do or to speak, let me first converse with thee by prayer; that keeping always close to thee, I may be preserved against the power and craft of mine enemies, as in a stronghold; and confia dently say, according to thy own pattern given (Psalm xvi. 8) “I have set the Lord before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall riot be moved." God is my portion and my joy ;
My soul would all her thoughts approve His counsels are my light,
To his all-seeing eye: He gives me sweet advice by day,
Not Death nor Hell my hope shall move, And gentle hints by night.
While such a friend is nigh,
My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (as also the Holy Spirit). John v. 17.
O my poor soul, is not the blessed Trinity thy God, in three Persons,
able to destroy the works of the Devil, and fulfil his good-will in thee? O yes, he works both to will and to do: and that very thing which is above your own power, he works, and nothing else. If you can do little, he works much; if nothing at all, so much the better, then he works all; for he is our all, since we are nothing, and can do nothing. And happy are we that we can have him for our support in all things; and that the children of God are not required to direct their own steps, but shall be led by their heavenly Father. Now, O Lord, since by the will, guidings, and workings of my own heart, I throw only so many hinderances and blocks in my way, grant, I be. seech thee, that, in true dependence on thee, I may venture every thing; and, despairing of my own sufficiency, may always abide in thee, draw all necessary strength from thee by prayer, and bring forth many good fruits which may last to eternity! For thy work in true believers, weak as it may seem now, will last for ever, and none shall be able to destroy it.
Lord, let thy counsels guide my feet
Through this dark wilderness; Thy hand conduct me near thy seat,
Po dwell before thy face!
Then, if the springs of life were broke,
And flesh and heart should faint, | God is my soul's eternal rock,
The strength of ev'ry saint.
Draw nigh to God, 'and he will draw nigh to you. Resist the Devil, and
he will Aee from you. James iv, 7, 8. And thus the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avuileth much. chap. v, 16.
O my dear soul, draw nigh to God in prayer, and he will draw nigh
to thee; be instant in it, and the Devil cannot stand against thee; for prayers will drive away sin and Satan, as the wind drives the smoke before it ; it works wonderful great things, and will make possible what seemeth most impossible. If God has given thee some spiritual blessings already, this is an encouragement to hope also for that which thou lackest yet: therefore only pray confidently, and you shall rea ceive evermore; for unbelief is the only reason that God cannot work wonders for us.
My God, I bow before thy feet,
Creatures with all their charms should fly When shall my soul get near thy seat? The presence of a God so nigh: When shall I see thy glorious face, My darling sins should lose their name, With mingled majesty and grace? And grow my hatred and my shame. How should I love thee and adore, My soul should pour out all her cares With hopes and joys unknown before ! In flowing words or flowing tears ; And bid this trifling world begone; | Thy smiles should ease my sharpest pain; Nor teaze my heart só near thy throne. ' Nor shall I seek my God in vain.
I live by the faith of the Son of God. Gal. ii. 20.
IN spiritual things we are too often living upon Self. We seek in
frames, forms, creatures, and animal life, that inward peace and stability of mind, which is only to be found in the Redeemer. Outward duties are well in their place; but they have no divine life in themselves or to give. They are to be performed, but not trusted in; to be used with grace, but cannot buy grace. They are as the scaffold of the building, a mean for carrying on the work, but not the end of the great design. In the power of Christ they are blessings ; without it. they have no power. The whole trust must be in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life; without him prayers, praises, rites, and ordinances are carcases without a soul. Every performance of outward worship is so, unless the Saviour fills it with his divine spirit. Then it is we experience a communion of heart, a reviving of the soul after the adorable Jesus, and a delightful view behind the veil of cutward ordinances (such as no carnal eye can behold) manifesting the Lord in his goodness, beauty, grandeur, blessedness, and glory,
Nature has all its glories lost, :
When brought before thy throne;
No flesh shall in thy presence boast,
But in the Lord alone,