Imatges de pÓgina

dered as worth possessing? If so, the voice of mercy is calling unto you, the mighty Redeemer of the world is inviting you: "Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else." Those who embrace this mighty Saviour, receive the two-fold blessing from his hands-" the upper and the nether springs,”—all needful temporal blesssings, and a promise of an unlimited supply of the waters of life. "He that believeth on me shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Let us recollect, that we are not straitened in God, but in ourselves; that He is far more willing to bestow mercies, than we are to solicit them at his hands. The language addressed to all is, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find."

With "so great a cloud of witnesses," declaring the loving-kindness of the Lord, and uniting their silent testimony to the truth of this doctrine, nothing needs be urged in the shape of argument, to convince any unprejudiced mind that the Lord has been in all ages, a protector, a guide, and a father, to all "who have made trial of his love;" and that his gracious design in exhibiting so bright and glorious a display of his interposing goodness in all its variety and abundance, is to

establish the hearts of all "who have fled to him for refuge," in the delightful and animating assurance that what he has been in times past to his numerous family, he ever will be; and that when they pass through the waters he will be with them; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow them, and that he "will never leave nor forsake them."

But it may not be uninteresting to those who have as yet but partially examined this truly delightful and encouraging subject, to consider more particularly some of the leading and distinguishing illustrations which the Holy Scriptures supply of the especial Providence of God.

We may, therefore, direct our attention to the numerous instances which are recorded of the Interposition of Divine Providence, in seasons of great extremity and affliction. It is particularly deserving of our most careful observation, that the time selected by the Lord for the brightest manifestations of his interposing mercy, is invariably when the prospect is most dreary, when hopes are lowest, when there appears no way of escape from the threatening danger, when events are the most perplexing and discouraging, and when foreboding and anxious fears fill the mind with terror and dismay. Yet, even under such a combination of peculiarly

trying circumstances, the Christian is the only individual who can brave the threatening danger, and behind a frowning providence discern a smiling face.

Though he perceives the storm gathering thickly around him, though he sees no rainbow painted on the cloud, yet he inwardly beholds the token of a better covenant, he sees reflected on his soul the image of his Saviour's love. It was not till the hand of Abraham had raised the knife, that the interposing voice from heaven was heard. It was not till the sun had retired from the view of the anxious and solitary Jacob, that the mysteries of Divine Providence, and the assurance of the Lord's protecting care, were so signally manifested to him. It was not till the moment of Jacob's greatest sorrow, that the resentment of Esau was changed into brotherly affection, when "he ran to meet him, embraced him, and fell on his neck." It was not until Joseph had been cast into the pit, that the interposing hand of his God appeared in his deliverance. It was in the hour of Judah's dark experience, when guilty fear had awakened his deepest sorrow, it was then, while pleading with inimitable tenderness for his brother Benjamin, that Joseph could no longer conceal the strong emotions of a brother's love.

It was at the moment when it is pathetically said, "Behold the Babe wept," that the compassion of Pharaoh's daughter was drawn towards the infant Moses. It was in Israel's great extremity, when the Egyptians were closely pursuing them, when they were greatly afraid, it was then, in answer to their cry, that they were commanded not to fear; but to stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord. It was then the sea became dry land to them, and the mighty waters a wall on their right hand and on their left.

It was in David's great extremity, when encompassed by his enemies, when "there was not a step between him and death," that the Lord heard the voice of his supplication, and wonderfully delivered him out of the hands of Saul, and from all those who were waiting to destroy him.

It is not till the Sons of the poor Widow are about to be torn from her to be sold for bondmen, that the oil is miraculously increased. It is not till Jeremiah is beginning to sink in the loathsome dungeon, that the friendly aid of Ebed-Melech is put forth to rescue him. It is not till the fourth watch of the night, that the Saviour appears to his affrighted disciples. It is not till Peter feels himself sinking, that the hand of Jesus is stretched out to save him.

The few instances which have been selected out of the numerous "Interpositions of Divine Providence in seasons of great extremity and affliction," are sufficient, it is hoped, to establish this truly consolatory and encouraging doctrine which is so often confirmed in the experience of the real Christian, that "man's extremity is God's opportunity," and that the Lord selects for the brightest displays of his most astonishing acts of Interposing Mercy, the time when we least expect, but most require his aid.

How triumphantly can the Christian rejoice, when he experiences the special goodness of his heavenly Father, when he beholds his Saviour walking on the waves of the sea, and saying, “It is I; be not afraid :" and while his hand raises an Ebenezer to record his wonderful deliverance, his heart overflows with emotions of the liveliest gratitude.

These bright manifestations of the peculiar providence of God, while they awaken the tenderest feelings of love and holy confidence, have a happy tendency to lead us, in all our exigencies, to trust in the Lord, and to enable us to receive the sweet consolation into our bosoms, that He who hath delivered will again deliver; so that while reviewing the numerous proofs of divine power and love which meet us in the Holy Scriptures, and in our own

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