the Lord. But when I came into the vestry I found the poor soul ten times more miserable than before. She could not get a bit of comfort. The next Lord's day morning I was reading the chapter; and when I came to the words: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" God was pleased to bless the Word to her heart. She came into the vestry with a countenance like that of an angel. Do you not think, now, that the pride of my heart was humbled because God had not blessed my preaching? I thought I should have glory in her case for flesh and blood.

God bless what I have spoken, and he shall have the glory.


"What is thy petition? . . . and what is thy request?"—ESTH. V. 16. JESUS, Saviour, thou canst see

That my heart does pine for thee;

Other lords I do disown;

Thou art mine, and thou alone.

Do thy beauty manifest;
Give me to believe I'm blest;
Grant me this for which I sue,—
Let me plain thy sufferings view.

In the garden let me see
Drops of bloody sweat for me;
Then to Calvary let me go,
There to see fresh scenes of woe.

Give me there to see by faith
Thee, the Conqueror over death;
View thee dying in my place,
Scene of matchless depths of grace.

Show me all my sins forgiven,
Saved from hell, and saved to heaven;
Let me thy atonement see,

For the whole elect and me.

Send thy Spirit from above;
In me shed abroad thy love;
Seal me by thy Spirit thine;
Tell me plainly thou art mine.

Let me thy great love explore;
Bid me doubt and fear no more;
Grant me more of heaven to know
Ere I'm call'd from earth to go.

Pay thy visits to my heart;
Joy and peace and love impart;
Let me be what I profess,-
Servant true of righteousness.

Dec. 13th, 1878.

A. H.


(Concluded from p. 66.)

BUT the wise man digs also deep into the revealed mystery of God's truth in Jesus, and thus he casts aside first one false and unsuitable view of Christ and the gospel, and then another; and at length, dug out of all hope in God as a Lawgiver, and self as in whole or in part his own Saviour, or in Christ as its respects false and partial views of him, he rests upon God in Christ Jesus as all his desire, and all his salvation; his Rock, his foundation, his All and in all.

Thus a man under divine leadings, digs deep, and never resting finally in the flesh, digs on and on until, rejecting all false refuges and foundations of sand, he by divine grace reposes himself, wearied and self-despairing, upon a covenant God in Christ Jesus. In the process of deep digging he may be tossed with troubles and not comforted; but the end is blessed when he reaches the rock, and rests in simplest faith and hope upon a complete Saviour, and all-sufficient Redeemer.

But no unregenerate and foolish man can ever reach so far. If he even go beneath the surface at all, he is sure to rest short of Christ. He has not the penetrating mind of the Spirit, so he cannot possibly search all these things, and judge rightly between false and true, flesh and spirit. Hence he is sure to begin and end in the flesh; resting in some false notion of God, some false notion of self, or some false notion of the Lord Jesus.

But here we must remark one thing, that the superficial character is the one likely to make the greatest show soonest. To dig deep for a foundation takes a deal of labour and a deal of time. There is so much under ground and out of sight work going on, that for a length of time it may appear that, as to building, there are no signs of it. But if a man builds on the surface, or very near it, then there is soon a fair show. So it is in spiritual things. If a man digs deep, into divine discoveries of a holy God in the law, of worthless self, and an all-sufficing Jesus, it may appear to himself and others for a long time that there is no building at all. It seems all digging up, and no building up. Whereas the superficial character has in the meantime got a fine showy mansion of vain confidences, fleshly hope, false affections, erroneous knowledge, for himself and others to admire. Wait, however, a while. "An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning," says the wise man; "but the end thereof shall not be blessed." It is better for many a day to be at the painful hard work of deep digging, and at length rest on the Rock of ages, than, despising such labour, to run up some hastily-built structure in the flesh, which, while it makes a fair show therein, is devoid of a good foundation. When the time of real trial comes, the house of the wicked will fall to ruins, being destitute of a foundation, and having the curse of God in it; but

the house of the wise man, founded and built up in Christ, shall stand.

This brings us to another point-the time of trial. The Lord represents the rains descending, the floods rising, and the winds beating with violence upon the houses built by the wise and foolish builders. The wise man's house stands the shock, and bears the trial, being built up by the grace of God upon the rock; but the sandy foundation of the foolish man being washed away, his house shakes, and falls, and sinks into ruin. By these figures the Lord represents to us the time of trial which shall try every man's work of what sort it is. Heaven, earth, and hell will, one day or other, act together in the trials of men's foundations. This trial of his faith is precious, as it respects the wise man, for it only proves his work to be good; whereas it will overthrow the house of the wicked, and prove the insufficient nature of his foundation.

It is here to be observed that the words of our text imply that there is a something in the wise man's foundation adequate to support him under all circumstances. "Although the fig-tree should not blossom, neither fruit should be in the vines, the labour of the olive should fail, and the fields should yield no meat, the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there should be no herd in the stalls; " enough still remains in God in Christ Jesus for faith, for hope and for love, for time and for eternity. Therefore still, the man, as he rests upon him, may say, "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." The man built on the rock cannot be overthrown completely by anything from above, below, within, or around; whereas, the foolish man will be overthrown by these things, separately or unitedly; and this entire overthrow is the proof of his sandy foundation, and the evidence of his folly.

Now, we will next consider some of these overthrowing or testing trials. And, first, we may divide the period of trial under three great heads; the trials of life, the trial of death, and the trial of eternity. Happy indeed is that wise man who by divine grace so builds as to pass safely through them all.

Some foolish persons may to appearance hold out with a hope through life, though I believe time and trial, even during life, will frequently reduce that hope to a mere nominal and inoperative thing. The foolish virgins' lamps go out, even in this life, as to light with liveliness. The practical power of truth entirely dies away in them, and they sink back into the world and a dead formality, beneath the trials in the way of their once more lively profession. Still, they may continue to have some sleepy uninfluential hope that it will be all well with them in the end. They may even manage to carry this false hope with them through the hour of dying. But even suppose the house of the foolish man's hope not to have been utterly overthrown in life or death, it has still the third great testing period to undergo; and here it must be overwhelmed with unspeakable and sudden ruin.

Bunyan's words in the "Pilgrim's Progress" concerning one Ignorance will prove too true. "Then I saw that there was a way to hell even from the gates of heaven."

Now the things that will try a man's foundation are manifold. First, there are things from heaven-"the rain descending." Such are

1. The Lord's bringing forth to the light the real nature or character of his gospel, and truth concerning Jesus, and the real character of the man who is interested in it, and who, having a true spiritual, living faith, is really resting upon the Rock of ages. (John xii. 48.) Of course, this gospel trial, these showers of gospel judgment, so to speak, or declarations of what the Word of God really says, while they will refresh and delight the children of truth (Mic. ii. 7), will be the overthrow aud confusion of the false children of Zion (Isa. xxxiii. 14). Then a mere notional religion, though the notions may be sound, or an ignorant religion which supported the soul upon things untrue as to God, self, or Christ, will come to nothing, and leave their possessors houseless.

2. The Lord's bringing to light the real nature of the holy law, in the extent of its requirements, the spirituality and thoughtcontrolling nature of its precepts, and the severity of its punishments denounced against sin. This will try a man's foundation; for it is one thing for a man to think he believes in Christ, and hopes in God's mercy, when he only sees and feels himself a little transgressor against a little law; and quite another for him to still hope and trust when he sees that he is an infinite transgressor against the law of the only true and living God.

3. God's providences will try a man's foundation, and that whether they be prosperous or adverse. Many a professor has made utter shipwreck of his hope in a fair gale of worldly prosperity. Many another has suffered shipwreck in a great storm of adversity. Therefore Agur wisely prays for neither poverty nor riches, lest prosperity should make him an atheist, or adversity a thief. Thus divine providences may undermine and over. throw the fair house of a sandy-foundation professor.


Secondly, there are things from within and around. Things as to the heart and the life that now is: "the floods came." man's sins may rise up with their condemning power and aggravations in his memory. His heart may, restraints being taken off, and God permitting it, manifest under temptation its unsearchable wickedness. Who knows what the heart is capable of, in circumstances suitable for the development and display of its hidden and slumbering iniquity? Hazael said: "What! is thy servant a dog?" Elisha only replied: "You shall be a king." Well, then, the heart may put forth its wicked power and deceitfulness. Its various evil desires and propensities may work with awful power and seductiveness.

Again. The men of the world, yea, the professors of religion, yea, the people of God themselves, may combine to persecute

. and crush a man. He may meet with avowed enemies, and false friends, and wavering, weak supporters; his name blasphemed, his words misinterpreted, his acts misrepresented, his person or property endangered. Now, things of this kind, rising floods like these, within or around, will try a man's foundation. Happy the man who, being really built up upon Christ, finds Christ a firm enduring support when past sins, present corruptions under temptation, and outward trials come daily round about him like waters.

Lastly, there are things from beneath; or rather from hell and Satan, who is called the prince of the powers of the air: "The winds blew, and beat upon that house." Satan desired to have Peter, that he might sift him as wheat; and doubtless, had Peter not been in Christ, built upon the Rock, the house of his faith would have suffered a complete overthrow. Satan desired to have Job; and we know from Scripture what work he made with him; but still, being really built upon Christ, his Redeemer who lived, after the Lord had tried him he came forth as gold. His house was not overthrown, though the flesh was broken to pieces. Satan desired to have David, Hezekiah, and others; and Scripture in their cases also shows us what a powerful adversary he is, and warns us to watch and pray against the power of the Evil One. Indeed, no one knows how great his power is over corrupt human nature. He drove Cain to murder, Saul to the witch of Endor, and Judas to the betrayal of his Master, and then to suicide, fresh with the innocent blood of the Son of God upon his soul.

Here, then, again, happy is the man who can stand the beating of the wind of the powers of darkness. Now, no man can really do this but he who is built up upon Jesus, who endured the hour of infinite trial, and of the powers of darkness, and came forth triumphantly from all; for sin and Satan had nothing in him.

In the last place, we have briefly to notice the mark and evidence given by the Lord in the words of our text of a man build

ing upon the Rock. "Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like." Now, the sayings of Christ may be divided under two heads: 1, Those which are especially matters of faith, and set forth himself as the rock; and, 2, Those which more particularly direct the practice of his disciples. In the former he exposes all false foundations, and declares himself to be the one only support and refuge of his people. In the latter he exposes all false ways, inconsistent with the gospel and true profession of it, and exhibits that which becometh the man who professes repentance, and assumes to be in him. Now, the hearing and doing by those who come to him, or his professed disciples, of the first sort of sayings, is their listening and attending to these things, understanding them, embracing and obeying them in their hearts. In short, a part or result of their deep digging, whereby they discover

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