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word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” When Jacob was oppressed by the covetousness of Laban, the Lord said unto him, “Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee.” When Esau came with four hundred men to meet him, and Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed, the angel of the covenant blessed him, and dispelled his fears. When Joseph was unjustly cast into prison, the Lord was with him, and that which he did, he made it to prosper. Thus, in every age, the beloved of the Lord ħave dwelt in safety by him.

Moses, when blessing the tribes of Israel, for their comfort recorded the power of Jehovah :“ There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel ; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency ! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places.”

In his prayer, Moses also acknowledges the faithfulness of God :-“ Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

How sweetly does David sing of the loving-kindness of the Lord. His heart seems too full for words to express his feelings : “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer ; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation,

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and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised : so shall I be saved from mine enemies."

" In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion : in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me, therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.' - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in him will í trust.

Thousands can witness to this truth, that God is the refuge of his people—a present help in trouble. The eleventh chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews is a precious portion. There we have a host of worthies, who, being dead, yet speak to us through the oracles of God. - These ali died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth; for they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country, and truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned, but now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly : wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them

Who can read this beautiful record of patriarchal faith and patience, without the firm conviction, that, under all the varied scenes of life, “ the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him.”

O! what a sweet thing it is to be in the favour of God, to enjoy his peace, through the blood of Emmanuel ; to have an assured interest in the righteousness of Christ; to see the way which leadeth unto

* Heb. xi. 13_16.

a city.”*

Zion, and to walk therein. What can be called happiness if this be not ? This is, indeed, heaven begun below, and shall terminate in the enjoyment of heaven above. And is all this bliss, this glory, this grace, freely offered to me, the chief of sinners ? Indeed it is. The voice of mercy speaks to me the invitation is given to me by an ever-loving Saviour: - Come unto me, and I will give you rest ;'

;" “look unto me, and be saved.” But how can I come? By his power.

How must I come ? Just as I am ; for, if I tarry till I am better, I shall never come at all. Under a deep sense of my spiritual maladies I must come, as the lame, the blind, the dumb, and the maimed, came to the Great Physician in the days of his flesh.* The longer I keep from Jesus, the more inveterate will my disease become.f All human help is vain. Nothing can reach my case, or effect my cure, but the blood of my Emmanuel.

Behold me, then, at thy feet, all-gracious Saviour, an humble suppliant for pardoning

and restoring grace. Pity me, gentle Redeemer, thou who wilt never break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. Pity me, thou sympathising High Priest, who wast in all things tempted like as I am, though without sin. Stretch forth thine hand. Speak the powerful word, and thy servant shall be healed.

Blessed Spirit! give me faith to believe. All things are possible to him that believeth. Let me not doubt the Saviour's love, and willingness, and power to save, yea, even to the uttermost. Impart this living principle. I cannot believe through any force of reasoning. Thou, thou, alone, canst bestow this precious, special gift of faith. Come in thy divine energy, and make me from this hour, a real believer in Christ, a faithful follower of the Lamb.

Jesus was lifted up upon the Cross, that he might draw all men unto him. A free pardon is now proclaimed. All who repent and believe the Gospel shall be saved. To apprehend this by faith is the secret of * Matt. xv. 30.

+ Mark. v. 26.

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consolation. But some may ask : When can I know that I am among the redeemed ? What assurance can I have that my name is written in the book of life? I answer—when thou art saved from thy sins -when the new name of love is written on thy heart.

If a blind man be restored to sight, will he not be conscious of it ?_“ This one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."*

If a man, groaning under a heavy burden, be delivered from it, wil he not be sensible of the change? “I removed his shoulder from the burden : his hands were delivered from the pots.”+

If a person, labouring under a painful disease, be healed of his malady, will he not experience the blessing ? Straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”I

If a man be confined in prison, and is again restored to liberty, will he remain in doubt respecting his deliverance ? 66 When Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod."

If reason and experience declare that we must distinguish between light and darkness ; between slavery and freedom; between sickness and health; between imprisonment and liberty, why do we not distinguish between sin and holiness, between a state of condemnation and a state of acceptance with God?

If my blind eyes have been opened by divine grace to see my guilty, lost, and ruined condition by nature: if I have been enabled to view Jesus with the eye of faith as my Prophet, Priest, and King, as the Lord my Righteousness, as the Way of access to the Father: if I have beheld him in all these glorious offices and characters which he sustains in the covenant of grace for the redemption of his people, shall I not be conscious of it? * John ix. 25.

+ Psa. Ixxxi. 6. * Mark v. 29.
§ Acts xii. 1).

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If the load of guilt which oppressed my soul, and filled me with direful apprehensions of the wrath to come, has been removed through faith in the blood of Christ; and if, in consequence of this faith, I enjoy peace with God, and

peace in

my conscience, shall I not be sensible of this delightful change?

If the power of sin, which, like an acute disease, was hurrying my soul to the second death, and filling me with the poison of corruption, has been destroyed through the mighty power of God; and my soul be renewed in righteousness and true holiness, shall I not experience this blessed effect of the healthful spirit of his grace ?

If, when tied and bound by the chain of my sins, and shut up in the prison of unbelief, I not only heard the voice of mercy bidding me come forth into the glorious liberty of the children of God, but have been led by the hand of the Spirit, to Jesus, the friend of sinners: can I remain in doubt, whether I have been delivered or no? Surely not.

Well, then, O my soul, hast thou experienced and felt these things? Be not deceived. It is one thing to know these truths from books and human teaching, and another to know and feel them from the inward teaching of the Holy Ghost.

What practical effects do I experience from these truths? Do they make me more humble, thankful, and holy? Am I daily praying to Jesus for grace to love him more, and to evidence

my love by an uniform obedience to his will ? Am I seeking after a more simple dependence on his all-sufficient merits ?

If these be the effects produced and witnessed in my soul, by an universal change in my temper, heart, and life, then, I may take the comfort of the promises made in Christ to penitent, believing sinners ; then I may enjoy the foretaste of that glory which shall be revealed in all them that believe.

For the comfort of the Church in every age, St. John shows, that the knowledge of our salvation is attainable, when connected with childlike obedience

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