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recover the remnant of his people, when the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads."
How condescending and how kind are the Interpositions of Divine Mercy in seasons of affliction, persecution, and bereavement! What gracious supports has God afforded us under our heaviest trials! Let us remember with adoring gratitude, that the Lord, who does not willingly afflict his children, has most kindly chosen for them all their afflictions;—the time, the degree, the support and issue are all of him. How tender was that providence which united so closely the heart of Ruth to Naomi! How great was that sustaining mercy which kept the Lord's ancient people from despair, when the time for their destruction had been determined! In the miracles wrought by our adorable Redeemer, we witness a remarkable display of that tenderness and beneficence, which his disciples are called upon to imitate. Who can read of the compassion and kindness of our Saviour in restoring the blind, causing the lame man to leap as a hart, cleansing the lepers; unstopping the deaf ears, and preaching the gospel to the poor, without earnestly desiring in some humble measure to be an imitator of his tender compassion.? Who can read the touching narrative of our Lord's visiting the
Widow of Nain, and restoring from the dead her only Son, without earnestly desiring to follow his Divine footsteps, in visiting and comforting the poor sorrowing Widow in her affliction? and though we cannot restore the beloved object for whom she is mourning, we can often, by a timely and generous assistance, greatly alleviate her sorrows, revive her drooping energies, and cause her widowed heart "to sing for joy."
We cannot too minutely examine the wonderful Interpositions of Providence which are classed under the various and numerous acts of Divine power and mercy. In them are exhibited some of the most astonishing displays of the infinite wisdom of the Divine mind, in working with means, above means, and even against means, for the accomplishment of his gracious designs. Let us remember, that though the Lord has not limited himself to work by means, he has limited us to do so; and that we can only do that which is well-pleasing in his sight, when with humble and unsuspecting confidence, we are adopting all those means which he has appointed.
In pursuing this delightful subject, the Compi ler is fearful he has trespassed too long on the attention of his readers, but having classed the Interpositions of Divine Providence, and placed them in that order which he thought would be best cal
culated to exhibit and illustrate this truly sublime and animating subject, he could not resist the pleasure of making a few observations under each head, as they occurred to him; and as his only desire has been to omit nothing that he considered useful, he trusts that they may not be altogether unprofitable or unacceptable. And when it is recollected that the Holy Spirit, with the gracious design of leading us to the most minute investigation of this doctrine, has been pleased to prefix the note of attention to every prominent exhibition of it, and that in the short but wonderful communication made to the sleeping imagination of Jacob, the word, "Behold," occurs no fewer than four times, surely every endeavour that may be made to lead to the examination of a doctrine so holy and consolatory, will not meet with the disapproval of its gracious Author.
In reviewing the Interpositions of Divine Providence, we cannot but be filled with gratitude and admiration, at the rich profusion of that display of power, benignity, and design, which meets us in such variety throughout this truly encouraging subject. How admirably calculated is the doctrine of the especial Providence of God, to awaken our deepest interest, and to impart to us the only true consolation! for while it assures us that the Divine favour and protection shall never be
withheld from the poorest or humblest individual who has embraced the Divine Mercy, it tenderly represses our foreboding and anxious fears; it reechoes the precepts and kind reproofs of our Lord; it emphatically calls upon us not to be careful and troubled about many things, but to remember that one thing only is needful; that we are to be "careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication to make our requests known to God." And it pre-eminently teaches us, even under the the most discouraging circumstances, to encourage ourselves in the Lord, because he hath chosen for the brightest displays of the interpositions of his delivering mercy, the time when our hopes are lowest; when we least expect, but most require his aid.
The mistrust of the providential care of our heavenly Father, is a sin which too easily besets the real Christian. It is not only offensive and dishonouring to God, because it "limiteth the Holy One of Israel," but it deprives us of much peace, destroys our comfort, diminishes our hopes, and disqualifies us for useful and valuable services for ourselves, or for those who through providential arrangements are looking up to us for consolation and instruction. Would it were that we possessed an abiding confidence in the wisdom, love, and power of that gracious Saviour who hath thus far
safely brought us on, and who has always been to us better than our fears! Why is this boon so often rejected? why is the providential care of God so little acknowledged? The question, alas! is too easily answered; because those who deny it, have no faith, and those who so partially believe it, have but little faith. The prayer of every Christian should incessantly be, "Lord, increase my faith."
How often is even the Christian anticipating some distant evil, or thinking some unkind or mistrustful thought of his best and never-failing Friend. He is practically saying, "My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God." But what is the Lord saying in reply to every such misgiving of heart? "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Seeing how exhaustless is the love, and how