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Silence then, O quarrelling unbelief. I know in whom I have believed. Not in friends, though numerous and potent; for they are men, and not God. Not in riches; for they make themselves wings. Not in princes; for their breath is in their nostrils. But let God be true, and every man a liar. In God have I put my trust, in his word do I hope. O sure word! Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of this: I have not built upon the sand of mortality. Let the rain descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow, nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure. His everlasting counsel and everlasting covenant are my stay. I am built upon his promises, and let hell and earth do their worst to blow up this foundation.
Now shall my faith triumph, and my heart be glad, and my glory rejoice. I will shout with the exulting multitude. The Lord he is the God, and he is not ashamed to be called my God. He is not ashamed of my rags or poverty, of my parentage or pedigree; and since his infinite condescension will own me, will he take it ill if I own him? Though I have nothing of my own to glory in, unless I should glory in my shame, yet I will glory in the Lord, and bless myself in him.
For who is like unto the God of Jeshurun? Bring forth your gods, O ye nations. Lift up your eyes, and behold who hath created all these things. Can any do for their friends as the Lord can? Or if he be angry, who is the god that shall deliver out of his hands? Will you set Dagon before the ark? Or shall
mammon contend with the holy One? O ambitious Haman, where is now thine idol honor? glutton, that madest a god of pleasure, where is now the god whom thou hast served? O sensual worldling, that knewest not where or how to bestow thy goods, do riches profit thee? Could mammon save thee? Deceived souls, go now to the gods that you have chosen. Alas, they cannot administer a drop of water to cool your tongues.
But the Portion of Jacob is not like them. From everlasting to everlasting he is God. His power is my confidence, his goodness is my maintenance, his truth is my shield and my buckler.
2. "My clamorous unbelief hath many wiles, and afresh assaults me with the difficulty of the things promised, and labors to nonplus and confound me with their amazing greatness." But why should I stagger at the promise through unbelief, robbing at once my Master of his glory, and my soul of her comfort? It is my great sin to doubt and dispute, and shall I be afraid to believe? O my soul, it is the highest honor thou canst put upon thy Lord, to believe against difficulties, and to look for and reckon upon great things and wonderful, passing all created power and human faith.
Let not the greatness nor the strangeness of the benefits bequeathed unto thee, put thee to a stand. It is with a God thou hast to do, and therefore thou must not look for little things; that were to darken the glory of his munificence, and the infiniteness of his power and goodness. Knowest thou not that it is
his design to make his name glorious; and to make thee know he is able to do for thee above all thou canst ask or think? Surely they cannot be any small or ordinary things that shall be done for thee, when the Lord shall show in thee what a God can do, and shall carry thee in triumph before the world, and make proclamation before thee, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the Lord delighteth to honor. What wonder if thou canst not comprehend these things—if they exceed all thy apprehensions and conceptions? This is a good argument for thy faith; for this is that which the Lord hath said, that it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive what things he hath prepared for them that love him. Now if thou couldst conceive and comprehend them, how should his word be made good? It is enough for thee that the Lord hath spoken it. Is not the word nigh thee? Hath God said, I will receive you; you shall be kings and priests unto God, and inherit all things; and shall sit on thrones, and judge angels, and be ever with the Lord: and shall I dare to say him nay? Unreasonable unbelief! What, never satisfied; still contradicting and blaspheming? False whisperer, no more of thy tales. I believe God, that it shall be as he hath told me.
And now, thanks be to God, who always causest us to triumph in Christ; therefore my lips shall praise thee, and my soul which thou hast redeemed. For thou hast made me glad through thy word, and I will triumph in the works of thy hands. I will praise the Lord while I live. I will sing praises to my God
while I have any being. O my soul, if thou couldst wear out thy fingers upon the harp, and wear thy tongue to the roots, thou couldst yet never sufficiently praise thy Redeemer.
O my enemies, where is now your confidence, and where is your armor wherein you trusted? I will set Christ alone against all your multitudes, and all the power and malice and policy wherewith they are armed. The field is already won, and the Captain of our salvation returned with the spoils of his enemies, having made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross. And thanks be to God who hath given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of whom, then, should I be afraid? Behold he is near that justifieth me; who shall plead with me?
O ye powers of hell, you are but chained captives, and we have a sure word, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us. Though the world be in arms against us, and the devil at the head of them as their champion, yet who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? Behold, I am come out to thee, as the stripling against Goliath; not with sword, and with spear, but in the name of the Lord of hosts, in whose strength I am more than a conqueror.
O grave, where is now thy victory? Christ is risen, and hath broken up thy prison, and rolled away the stone, so that all thy prisoners have made an escape. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I fall, I shall rise again; though I lie in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. Enlarge not thy de
sires, O Tophet, but shut up thy flaming mouth; for there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.
O deceitful world, thou art already overcome, and the conquered enemy is become my servant, and I am fed with the honey taken out of the carcass of the slain lion. I fear not thy threats, nor the enchantments of thy syren songs, being kept by the power of God, through a victorious faith unto salvation.
O my sins, you are already buried, never to have any resurrection, and the remembrance of you shall be no more. I see my sins nailed to the cross, and their dominion is taken away, though their lives be prolonged yet for a little season. Awake, therefore, O my glory; awake, psaltery and harp, and meet the Deliverer with triumph; for his right hand and his holy arm have gotten us the victory, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
3. "Yet methinks my unworthiness flies in my face, and I hear my cavilling unbelief thus upbraiding me, and crying out, 'O proud presumption, that thou who art conscious to thyself of thy great unworthiness, shouldst pretend a claim to God and glory! Shall daring dust think to share with the Almighty, and say of his endless perfections, They are my right? Bold sinner, stand off, and tremble at thy presumptuous arrogance." "
O my God, I lay my hand upon my mouth. I confess the charge of mine unworthiness. My guilt and shame is such as I cannot cover, but thou canst, and dost. Thou hast cast a mantle upon my naked