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therefore, that after many and severe struggles to support berself, she was obliged to apply for help to the parish. When, however, her rent is paid, she has only eightpence a-week left, and a small garden which she contrives to cultivate herself, on which to subsist. She receives help now and then from friends; but they are few, and this kind of help is of course uncertain. But though
poor in this world," she is I really believe "rich in faith," and therefore one of that blessed number who are “heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love Him." Last Sunday her place at church was vacant, and knowing how highly she values the privileges of the Sabbath, we feared that she was more than usually ill. I therefore called at her cottage the next day. She came to the door with a feeble step, and seemed hardly able to totter back to her seat at the fire. She told me that she had been very ill and suffered great pain, that sometimes she had got up in the morning, and then feeling too ill to light her fire, or do the least thing, had been forced to go to bed again; "but,” she added, "God has been very gracious to me; I have enjoyed sweet communion with Him. Oh! I would not give up my hope in Christ, for health, comfort, or for all the riches in the world! though,” she added, " these are not to be despised when God gives them, and if used for his glory are unspeakable blessings. But still, madam, what are they compared with an assured hope ofsalvation through Christ? and this, thank God, I have. I never feel lonely; indeed the presence of others would interrupt the communion I enjoy with God." She then showed me a book she had been reading, Bishop Hall's “Comfort for the Afflicted," and said she had been delighted with it, and had found very great consolation from it : “ there is only one little passage which I cannot quite agree to," she added, " one in which it is said, 'It is in the power of patience to calm the heart in the most blustering trials; and when the vessel is most tossed, yet to secure the freight;' but I feel that nothing but the voice of God can do that; none but He can say, 'Peace, be still,' to the troubled waters, and cause that there should be a great calm; but He does speak peace to my soul, and more particularly when I am most cast down."
She then took up her Bible, which is never far from her, and showed me the passage “Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee," which she said expressed her experience. I pointed out to her one or two others, such as“ Cast thy burden upon the Lord, He shall sustain thee and repeated to her those beautiful words of archbishop Leighton, “ Let the soul roll itself upon God, and adventure there its full weight," all which seemed to express her feelings. I then talked to her of her worldly affairs, and I heard the same account as I have related above. She regretted very much her utter inability to do any thing for her own maintenance, saying she should be glad to do any thing to prevent being a burden to the parish. I told her not to distress herself about that, for she was quite a fit object for parish relief, but that I wished she were able to do something by which she might add a little to her scanty means; "for," I added, " I fear you must often be in actual want." I felt reproved by her answer, for she replied, “ No, madam, I never have wanted.” A remarkable answer it seemed, till I reflected that it was a strict fulfilment of many blessed promises in Scripture, where it is said, “ They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." " There is no want to them that fear Him." I have been young and now am old, yet never saw I the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." When I returned home, I looked at the thirtyfourth psalm, in which the first two quotations occur, and could not but think how strikingly it applied to poor Jane D-, and it describes the experience of every child of God in a most beautiful manner. Are any of you, my readers, cast down and afflicted in soul or body ? let me entreat you to read this Psalm, and see whether
you can in any way realize it in your own hearts. It shows how we are to find peace in trouble. If with all your hearts you cry unto the Lord, He will hear you, and save you out of all your troubles;" but it shows also what kind of people they are whom the Lord will hear and save, those who" fear God," who “trust in Him," who
1 See also I Peter v. 7, &c.
come unto Him with a broken heart” and contrite spirit.” You must come, acknowledging that all you suffer, and far more than you suffer, you have deserved ; that you have deserved nothing less than hell itself, and remembering that, “except ye repent, ye shall all perish” . eternally. You must remember that all suffering and sorrow is caused by sin, and therefore you should first seek God's grace to enable you to repent of this, and pray that the sin of your soul may be forgiven, through Christ, and that you may through faith have a saving interest in Him, for this is the chief thing, and without this, health and worldly prosperity would be no blessing to you, whilst with it, as you have seen in the case of the poor woman just mentioned, you will be able to rejoice in the midst of poverty and suffering. Now, if you thus fear God, you may trust Him with all your worldly concerns, knowing that “ there is no want to them that fear Him," that though “many are the afflictions of the righteous, the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” The Psalmist adds in beautiful language some instructions to those who desire to fear God and to walk in his ways, showing them how they are to do so. “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.' Depart from evil, and do good ; seek peace and ensue it;" describing in few but comprehensive words the life which a servant of God should lead : and he puts in the first place the care of the tongue, because we know that we have all especial need to watch over our tongue; for though it is “ a little member," it boasteth great things;" it is "a fire, a world of iniquity ;" “ it defileth the whole body;" and, as our Lord himself tells us that “ by our words we shall be justified, and by our words we shall be condemned;" so it must be our first and greatest care to bridle our tongue, to pray God" to set a watch before our mouth, and to keep the door of our lips," that we may “ keep our tongue from evil, and our lips from speaking
Depart from evil, and do good” seems to describe the whole walk of a Christian, who not only deeply mourns over and forsakes the former evil of his life, but strives and seeks for grace henceforth to walk in newness of life. And to those who really desire to fear God and
seek Him, what blessed promises does this psalm contain, "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers !"
• The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants, and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” If this should meet the eye
of any one who is afflicted like poor Jane D--, may this little history be the means of showing them. where they may become peaceful and happy like her, by. spreading their trouble before the Lord, and praying diligently to Him, by daily and constantly studying God's word, and living upon it as the food of their souls, and seeking an interest in Christ's precious atonement! then will they bless God for pain, for sorrow and poverty if they have been the means of leading them to seek Him.
SHORT REFLECTIONS ON PSALM LII. Great encouragement is afforded to the Christian from the consideration of this psalm, when we view the peculiar circumstances under which it was written'. In whatever difficulty or distress David found himself, let us notice that he encouraged himself in the Lord' his God, the reflection of the faithfulness and loving-kindness of his heavenly Father supported him in all his afflictions; "the goodness of God," says he,“ endureth continually." "I will wait on thy name, for it is good before thy saints.” "I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." From the example of David, we may learn the happiness and confidence which those experience who make God their strength. Some there are who " trust in the abundance of their riches," but riches profit not in the day of wrath: riches are powerless and worse than nothing to the man who trusts in them. Some “strengthen themselves in wickedness ;” but “though hand join inhand, iniquity shall not be unpunished,” for the day is coming when the wicked shall be turned into hell, yea, all the nations that forget God.” But how different, yea, how blessed is the state of the child of God! Like a “green olive tree," the Christian is planted in the house of his God; watched over with tender and unceasing care, watered with the dews of the Holy Spirit, his leaf shall not wither, neither shall he cease from yielding fruit. But what child of God is there who ever journeyed through this world without experiencing those trials, temptations, and afflictions, which mark the love of God, while at the same time they prove the faith of the Christian? The servant of God may indeed be brought into the deep waters of affliction, but the promise is sure, for all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. " When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when though walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” The servant of God in one sense may have nothing of this world's goods, yet does he “
1 Read I Sam. xxii.
possess all things" in a spiritual sense, for he is an "heir of God, a joint-heir with Christ." Death must happen to the servant of God, for “it is appointed unto men once to die;" but the terror, the sting of death is gone. Do you enquire what is that terror and that sting? The terror was that of meeting an offended God—the sting was that of sin; but thanks be to God, He is no longer an offended God, but a reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. Thanks be unto God, death has lost its sting, for Christ himself “bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” and when“ He overcame the sharpness of death, He opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers." Learn then from this psalm the unspeakable blessedness of trusting in God, the duty of praising God, and of waiting on his name in prayer at the throne of grace, and never let one day pass without calling to mind that the goodness, faithfulness, and mercy of God endureth continually, and in the language of David exclaim with a grateful heart, “I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever."
"THY WILL BE DONE." Rev. Sir,-In your number for February last, I read with deep interest a copy of verses headed “Thy will be done," and although the little incident I am about to relate has nothing of the circumstances which render the subject of those affecting stanzas so appalling, still as the principle it exhibits, that of entire resignation to the