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our eye from earth to heaven, from the perishing happiness of this world to the eternal incorruptible joys of that rest which remaineth for the people of God. We shall, in a word, see things as they really are ; looking through them all ; unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame!
2. Let these considerations induce us to cultivate a daily and increasing spirit of prayer. If the disciples said to their beloved Master, “ Lord, teach us to pray!” and he immediately granted their request ; let us ask for this divine teaching : let us cultivate a spirit of earnest supplication; let us hold communion with God. In the morning, and at evening, and at noon-day, let us pray, and that instantly, and God will hear our prayer.
“ look to the Lamb of God :" for the promise is to this effect; “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in
my name, he will give it you." Hitherto
ye have asked nothing in my name; ask, and
you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Prayer will lead to thanksgiving,
and thanksgiving for past mercies will ever end in prayer for a continuance of those graces which support, enliven, and adorn the christian character. When the servant of God once finds from experience the efficacy of prayer, he sees with the beloved John a door open in heaven, which neither sin nor sorrow, the world nor Satan, norhis bitterest
enemy, can shut against him. He becomes a fellow citizen with the saints and with the household of God.
3. Thus beholding the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world, we begin to appropriate to ourselves all the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel of Christ. We know our high calling, and we labour to walk worthy of it. If God sometimes chooses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty; if at other times he makes the great, or the learned, or the powerful, instruments to advance his righteous purposes; it is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. It is, that “he who glorieth, should glory in the Lord.” The disciple of Jesus Christ, the Christian—(it is a high name, it is an honourable title)—the Christian is constrained to walk in newness
of life. He cannot parley with that enemy which brought death into the world. He cannot make a league with sin which crucified his Saviour. “For what fellowship hath light with darkness ; what concord hath Christ with Belial ?” No! He follows
peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. Christ hath left him an example, and he follows his steps.
every purpose, then, of general good or of private comfort, as a disciple of Christ I would pray you to look to the Lamb of God. If
sins are taken away by him; if you are proving the reality of your faith by holiness of life, and active obedience; if your repentance be sincere, and
your fruit abundant, happy are ye! The Lord who has blessed, will bless you. Such a lively faith in God's through Christ will lead you to the fruition of him, " whom having not seen. you love; whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
in God's mercy
O remember not against us former iniquities :
let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us, for we are brought very low. In the Prayer-book version we find the text thus rendered : “ O remember not our old sins, but have mercy upon us, and that soon, for we are come to great misery.” But, whether in the Bible, which is now before us, or in the Prayer-book, the sense is precisely the same. We behold a person praying from the bottom of his heart to that God, who alone can hear and answer prayer, that his sins may be pardoned. The psalmist here speaks in a public ca
pacity, as king of Israel.
“ I guess,” says Bishop Horsley, “ that this psalm was composed during the distresses of Manasseh's reign. Jerusalem had been depopulated, but the temple was only defiled, not demolished.” Be this as it may, the Jews were evidently in a state of much distress ; and in their trouble they cry unto the Lord, - O God! the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled, they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.” But no sooner does the psalmist thus express the misery of the people, than he turns to the only refuge, and seeks help from God. V, 5. How long, Lord ? Wilt thou be angry for ever ? shall thy jealousy burn like fire for ever? O remember not against us former iniquities : let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us, for we are brought
Such was the state of the Jews, but it will not be too much to say, that we are all in the situation of the Jews at this