Imatges de pÓgina

applaud it. There is, therefore, nothing to make us waver, or hesitate. Everything feeds courage. We ought to engage and persevere--It is the cause of truth, of righteousness, of glory—of real glory. It would be more honourable to be foiled in this cause, than to conquer in any other.

There is also much in his Leader and Commander. Some chiefs have so attached and inspired their troops, that they would plunge into any enterprise, or follow them into any danger. It was said, proverbially, at Rome, that it was unbecoming å Roman soldier to fear while Cæsar was alive. It is much more unworthy a Christian soldier to fear while Christ is alive: for, because, says he, I live, ye shall live also. When Antigonus heard some of his troops rather despondingly say, How many are coming against us? he asked-But how many do you reckon me for? And whenever we think of our foes, and the Captain of our salvation, we may truly say, More are they that be with us, than they that be with them. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. Who goes before us? Who teaches our hands to war, and our fingers to fight? Who provides for us? Who renews our strength? What limits have His wisdom and power? Did he ever lose an action yet? or a single soldier?

“A Friend and Helper so Divine

“ Doth my weak courage raise ;
“He makes the glorious vict'ry mine,

“ And his shall be the praise."

And, oh! let me think of the certainty of the issue !-Fear unnerves: but it would make a hero of a coward to assure him in the conflict that he should overcome. This can rarely or never be done in other contentions : for nothing is so doubtful as the result of a battle-Prudence, therefore, says, Let not him that putteth on the harness boast himself like him that putteth it off-But the Chris

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tian enters the field under peculiar advantage. However trying or lengthened the struggle may be, he fights not uncertainly

“ The weakest saint

“ Shall win the day, Though death and hell

“ Obstruct the way.” Yea, in all these things we are more than conquerors !

- For what will be the result of success? What do other victors gain? How precarious, how unsatisfying, how poor and mean, the rewards of the world's warriors, .compared with the acquisitions of the good soldier of Jesus Christ! He that overcometh shall inherit all things!

“Then let my soul march boldly on,

“ Press forward to the heavenly gate; There peace and joy eternal reign,

“And glittering robes for conqu'rors wait.”

July 5.—" Submit yourselves to God.

James iv. 7.

This is the great thing—This is the excellency, the essence, the proof, of religion. God is our Saviour. Our Lawgiver. Our Disposer.

Under each of these characters his people are made willing to submit to him in the day of his power. And nothing but the efficiency of Divine grace can influence a man cordially to resign himself to God in either of these relations.

We must submit ourselves to God, as the Saviour. Here our concern with him begins. And here it must begin. We are condemned ; and the first thing is to obtain deliverance. We are diseased and dying, and the first thing we want is the physician and the remedy. When, therefore, the Jews asked our Lord, What must we do that we may work the works of God? “This,” said he, “is the work of God, that ye

believe on him whom he hath sent.' When the gaoler asked Paul and Silas what he should do to be saved, they said unto him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." God is a sovereign, at whose mercy we absolutely lie. We have no claims upon him; and it is wonderful that he is disposed to undertake our case at all. But he requires us to submit: and will not allow us to prescribe. He will have the entire management of our case, or he will have nothing to do with it. And it might be supposed that there would be no great difficulty here. But men are not sensible of their condition and danger; and there is much in the nature and manner of this salvation that is not palatable to the pride of the human heart. No court is paid to our reason; but we are required to trust in a plan concerning, which we have never been consulted ; and even to become fools, that we may be wise.

However decent and moral our character has been, we must be content to enter into life in the very same way with the chief of sinners. We must renounce our own righteousness, and plead for acceptance as guilty. We must depend on another for all our strength. We must acknowledge that all we have is from the exceeding riches of his grace ; and be crying, to the last, “Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord, but unto thy Name give glory, for thy mercy and thy truth's sake.”

But to this every awakened and humbled sinner is brought. And his submission is not the effect of necessity only. It is accompanied with acquiescence and approbation. He sees a consistency and an excellency in it, that delight him, while they relieve. And though he knows there is no other way—yet if there were a thousand, he would turn from them all, and say, God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must submit ourselves to Him, as the Lawgiver ; and be willing to live, not to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. He is only the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. We cannot love Him, till we hope in his mercy: nor run in the way of his commandments till we are freed from the load of guilt and terror—a burden too heavy for us to bear. But faith is followed by love ; and love, by obedience. We are delivered from the hand of our enemies, says Zecharias, not to be lawless, but to serve Him, who has made us free, without fear, in holiness and righteousness, before Him, all the days of our lives. Our obligations are infinitely increased by redeeming grace and dying love. And every believer feels them, and acknowledges that he is not his own, for he is bought with a price, and bound to glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God's. The love of sin, as well as the love of self, is subdued in him: and he gratefully asks, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?" “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He finds his yoke easy.

He accounts his service to be the truest freedom. He cannot, indeed, do the things which he would, and this is his grief: but he delights in the law of God after the inward man. He would not bring down the Divine commands to his deficiencies; but longs to rise to the level of their perfection. And though he is full of complaints, it is of the servant, and not of the Master-He always speaks well of his Name ; and recommends him to others.

We must also submit to him, as our Disposer, and be willing that he should choose our inheritance for us. Man naturally loves independence: he wishes to be at his own control; and to have the management of events, both as they affect others, and himself. Many, also, who talk much of the providence of God, are constantly striving with it. Hence they envy the successes of their fellow-crea

tures; and are discontented and repining when things do not fall out according to their mind; and—especially under their trials, think God deals improperly with them: and so charge him foolishly, or unkindly.

But this temper is, at least, dethroned in the Christian: and he is disposed to say, "Here I am ; let Him do what seemeth him good.” I am ignorant, and liable to be imposed upon; but He is all-wise : and by not sparing his own Son for me, he has justified the implicit confidence of my heart. Let him, therefore, determine the bounds of my habitation, and arrange all the events of my condition. If things are not such as I had wished and reckoned upon, I have no reason to complain. He has a right to do what he will with his own; and he always uses it in a way the most conducive to my welfare. How often have I desired him to undertake and act for me! And when he complies -is it for me to murmur, and dispute ; or say unto Him, What doest thou?

“Lord, I would, I do submit ;

Gladly yield my all to Thee: • What thy wisdom sees most fit,

• Must be surely best for me.-- Only when the way is rough,

• And the coward flesh would start, Let thy presence and thy love

• Cheer and animate my heart.''

JULY 6.—“What went ye out into the wilderness to seep

Matt. xi. 7.

These are the words of Jesus to the multitude, concerning John, to whose preaching they had repaired. "There were many of you—and persons of all ranks and conditions and some from a great

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