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comfort of thy walk. Thou canst not run away from the cross; thou canst not cast it off: remember if thou wilt be Christ's disciple, thou must take it up daily and follow him. If it be very heavy and very grievous, yet it will not hinder thee from following him. He carried the heaviest part for thee-he endured the curse and punishment due to thy sins-he left no wrath for thee to suffer. -Blessed be his love, the cross has no curse in it now-thy sufferings are all sent from love and his love will help thee to bear them, and to profit by them: for he has promised to bless and sanctify them to his people. And he makes them a blessing indeed. Never, on this side of heaven, does he give them such near and happy communion with himself, as under the cross. O read then, and study what is revealed in scripture concerning it. Go over it again and again. Learn well, and inwardly digest the doctrine of the cross of Christ-the necessity--the benefit--the blessings of it. Meditate and feed upon the sweet promises relating to it: mix faith with them, that
they may nourish and strengthen thee in time of need. But never forget, that thy cross, be it what it will, is appointed for thee in covenant love. It is the portion allotted thee by thy heavenly Father-decreed, in weight and measure, to an atom-thou shalt not bear it one moment longer than he has determined--and many precious fruits it shall produce. Thou wilt find suffering times growing times-growth in faith and patience, in mortification to sin, and in fellowship with the ever blessed Trinity. The author of thy faith puts it to the trial: it comes out of the lion's den unhurt: it comes out of the fiery furnace refined. God is glorified hereby, and thou art strengthened. He sends the cross to teach thee patience, and he continues it for the exercise and for the improvement of the same grace. He intends, by his chastening, to crucify the flesh, and to mortify thy members which are upon the earth. In love he takes away sensual, that he may give thee spiritual joys. He does not hate thee, but love guides every stroke of his chastening. He is only
weakening thine attachment to earthly things, that he may increase thy communion with Father, Son, and Spirit. O what blessings are these! Meditate, O my soul, much and often upon them. Pray for the experience of them in time of need; and be assured, with all these helps, the cross will be exercised hard enough for thy patience. Thou canst carry it only in the strength of almighty grace. May the Lord strengthen thee from day to day to run the race set before thee, till thou win the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The believer, exercised with the inward cross, learns to walk more humbly with his God.
THE outward cross is not always a burden alike heavy. God gives his children a little respite. After they have been long tried, he sometimes removes their trouble, and gives them ease and outward prospe
rity. Their sun arises as it does in nature. After many cold and dark days a fine season comes-finer for coming after them. The sky grows clear and serene, the air is soft and refreshing, the sun shines with warm and enlivening rays. Every thing looks pleasant and smiles around you. So it is in the kingdom of grace. The believer may not be always in heaviness through manifold afflictions. He has his times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. He prospers, and is in health. The blessing of God is upon his substance. Every thing that he takes in hand succeeds. He is happy in hiscircumstances, and happy in his family. He sees the goodness of God in these mercies, and he is thankful. But if the heavenly Father sometimes indulges his children with the removal of the outward cross, yet he never does with the inward. They carry it all their days, and a heavy burden it is. So long as they are in the body, while they are in this tabernacle, they do groan, being burdened; for
The INWARD CROSS is the fault and cor
ruption of sinful nature, which doth remain in the regenerate, and is their continual grief and plague because it is always opposing their holy and happy walk with God. It is called in Scripture,
THE FLESH, the whole man being carnal, and full of lusting against the Spirit:
THE OLD MAN, being the first in us before the new man is created by the Spirit of regeneration :
A BODY OF SIN, made up completely of members and appetites, in which there is not only an absence of all good, but also a propensity to all evil, insomuch that nothing can move or stir in this body, but what is sinful: THE LAW OF SIN, because sin rules and governs the natural man :
INDWELLING SIN, because it dwells in the whole man, both in soul and body;
CONCUPISCENCE, OR LUST, which the apostle says, he should not have known to be sin, unless the law had said-Thou shalt not covet or lust. }
This fallen nature is also said to be corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, to be