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But whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.-PROVERBS XVI. 20.
LET this be our motto on the commencement of a new year, and let us consider what is implied in trusting in the Lord, and the happiness arising out of it. First, for righteousness and strength ;-righteousness to justify us from all things, from which we could not otherwise be justified; from all the penal and in all the preceptive demands which are written in the book of the law; and secondly, for strength to do and endure whatever we may be called upon to perform or suffer in the ensuing year. “ My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Blessed be God for this assurance of grace sufficient for every purpose of living or dying. So that come what may, we are provided with a promise suitable to our wants. Next, we are to trust in the Lord for all things pertaining to life, and unto godliness; and here again we have a promise that he will make “ all grace abound toward us,” so that we may confidently put our trust in him for health and happiness, and all good things. No good thing will he withhold from them that fear him. How happy, then, ought we to be, having a perfect righteousness, and an all-sufficiency of grace, and a promise of all good things; what more can we need to make us perfectly happy ? nothing but a sense of these mercies, and a full persuasion of the truth of God in his word, and of his faithfulness to his word. Lord, evermore give us this persuasion, and grant us to be “ filled with all joy and peace in believing ; that we may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
Give thanks always for all things.-EPHESIANS v. 20.
What abundant matter of thankfulness has every
The Lord is my helper.-HEBREWS xii. 6
CAN any thing tend more to quiet our fears and to set all our anxieties at rest, than to believe that the Lord is our helper, by covenant engaged to assist us, and that more particularly when all other helps fail. Nor is it a small matter of consolation, that he knoweth exactly what help we require, and when we require it, so as to be able to afford it not only effectually, but also in season. He knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are but dust, and therefore he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation also make a way for our escape, that we may be able to bear it.” Thus he delivered righteous Lot, who with hearing and seeing evil continually had vexed his righteous soul; nor was he at any loss for the means of his deliverance, when vain was the help of man; for who could have foreseen what was likely to befal, or having foreseen, 'could have delivered him out of the hands of the Lord. Thus it is, that God, knowing what is going to happen, delivers his people in due time, and makes
way for their escape. The Lord is our helper, and we need not therefore fear what man will do unto us, since we are secure in his protection, from all evil, from every quarter. Man cannot hurt us, and the Lord has promised to bless us-so that we have every security which we can desire to make us perfectly happy.
And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto
them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.LUKE XXIV. 27.
If the loss of any works is to be regretted, surely, the loss of these discourses of our Saviour in the days of his flesh, is more to be regretted than any other that can be imagined. What would we not give, for instance, for this exposition of the prophecies, wherein was explained their whole application to himself ? So we think within ourselves ; and yet how little do we value those discourses which we really have, and which have been transmitted to us just as our Lord delivered them,-his sermon on the mount and on other occasions. How little do we value them in proportion to their real merit, and to the value we should have set upon them, had we been told, that such a discourse had been delivered and lost. Let us learn hence to esteem the word of Christ, remembering that there is quite enough left for us to enlighten us in the way
of salvation; and that anything more would be rather for the satisfaction of our own curiosity, than the confirmation of our faith. If they believe not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe any further revelation. We want no new truths, but only a further experience of such as we know. We want no new testimony, but a more confirmed belief of that which we have already received, “ that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," of whom each individual should think himself chief.
It is the Lord !-John XX1. 7.
How much is implied in these words! The grand difficulty in all our experience, is, to realize the hand of God. When we can do this, whether in evil or good, it reconciles us mightily to the one, and enhances the other. It is only as his gift that anything is really good, or can do us good; and, therefore, when we
" It is the Lord,” that gave me this thing, we have said all that can be said to give it value. The giver is the continuer. He is of one mind, and none can turn him ;-no, not we ourselves, to withdraw his mercies from us. His gifts and calling are without repentance, even as he himself is without variableness or shadow of turning. When, again, any evil, or apparent evil befalls, how much does it enable us to bear it patiently, when we can believe that the hand of the Lord is in it. This is true, whether we believe it or not ; but the comfort is in the apprehension—in believing that God takes notice of us—that nothing befalls us but by his divine permission, and that he will permit nothing but for our good. Nothing shall by any means hurt you. No; let it appear ever so hurtful in itself, yet shall it not hurt the people of God. His
eye is ever upon them, and his ear is open unto their prayers. To him be glory.