thee happy proof of the soundness of thy faith, and of the power of thy patience. He would have thee to know, that thy patience trusting to his tried word is invincible: that no blow can beat it, no fire can burn it: from Christ. He would bring thee to experience what the prophet did, when he said“ Thy word is tried to “ the uttermost, and thy servant loveth it.” The good word of God was tried, as far as it could be, and the trial proved its truth, and therefore he had fresh reason to love it. The trial increased his confidence in the truth, and his experience in the sweetness of its promises; thereby his patience was confirmed, and he could rejoice, inasmuch as he was a partaker of Christ's sufferings, both of their infinite sufficiency, and also of their mighty efficacy to save. By enjoying these blessings under the cross, his heart was happy in the joy set before him. He had the earnest and the foretaste of heaven: for he knew, that when the glory of Jesus should be revealed, he should be glad with exceeding joy.

But the carnal mind is ready to complain—This would be true, if the suffering was short, but it is long, as well as hard—I have borne up a great while, but now my patience is quite tired out--I am ready to give all up, being weary of my life with the length of my trials. How many have I known in this melancholy case ? Fair blossoms in the mild and gentle spring. In fine weather and smiling sunshine they looked beautiful, and gave hopes of their being in the tree of life, and of their growing and ripening upon it. But alas ! a trying time came, a bleak cold north wind, and a very sharp piercing frost-like leaves in autumn, down fell the promising bloom. My heart has mourned again and again at the fall of one and another, and mourns while I am writing this, over several now living, who have forsaken God and his ways for the world and its delights. They met with trouble, and it was too much for them. They were tempted, and they had not strength to resist. The reason is thus assigned_"He 6s that received seed into stony places, the same is he “ that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth 6 it; yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for “ a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth “ because of the word, by and by he is offended." He is offended and falls away, because he had no root: and they, who have root, are too often tempted to be offended at the cross. They find it very difficult to bear up under it. Natural infirmity, remaining corruption, and strength of temptation make pain and suffering grievous to the flesh: yea, when they are forced to bear the cross long, and it is very heavy, they are apt to murmur and fret, grow discontented, are tempted to unbelief, and if they give way to it, to despair. How necessary

is it then, that they should be enabled to possess their souls in patience under their great and many trials ? To which end nothing can contribute more effectually, than a settled faith in the word and promise of a reconciled God. This will stay and quiet the soul, when trouble comes. It is the chastening of my Lord, says the believer-my loving Father sends it for goodHe is only trying my faith and patience, and the trial will end well-it is grievous indeed at present, and I go on my way weeping, but I have my supports now, and I shall soon reap a joyful harvest. I have a faithful promise for it, which is a constant cordial and keeps up my spirits. My God will be with me as long as the trial lasts-he says he will. I believe him, and there. fore expect his promised presence and strength, till faith and patience have their perfect work. Such a cordial the apostle James gives to the Hebrews. They wanted it much. They were greatly oppressed by the rich, and some of them were persecuted even unto death. “ Be patient therefore, brethren, says he, unto the “ coming of the Lord: behold the husbandman waiteth “ for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long pa“ tience for it, until he receive the early and the latter “ rain: be ye also patient: establish your hearts: for “ the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” He puts

you: It

great stress upon the Lord's coming: Yet a very little while and your Lord will come to appear for is true you are in a fiery trial, but your God calls you to it; and it may seem to you a long trial, but he has promised you grace sufficient to bear it: Trust him then, and he will keep you patient. He knows your frame and temper, and bids you look about you. See, how the husbandman waits, having only a general promise, that seed time and harvest shall not fail; and is it not more reasonable that you should wait with patience the end of the Lord. He sows his seed and leaves it. It endures much hard weather, frost and snow, rough winds and wintry storms. Summer comes, but he must still wait: His corn is in ear, yet is liable to suffer from long drought and from blights, and to be beat down with heavy thunder showers; but he has long patience. At last he is not disappointed of his hope. He reaps the precious fruit of the carth and gathers in his joyful harvest. Behold, O my soul, and imitate. How strong is his faith! Is thine like his; God has only said, that the seasons shall not fail: He has not said, that the harvest in

field and country shall not fail, yet the farmer sows in faith and waits in patience. But the promise is sure to thee~" He 66 that believeth shall never be confounded," and dost thou believe this with a hope that maketh not ashamed ? He has long patience; How is thine ? Art thou not weary and faint in thy mind, especially when the course of providence seems to run counter to thy hope? Canst thou hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him, when he chastises thee, and seems in arger to cast thee off? He waits long for an harvest of perishing things, and canst not thou wait to have thy fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life? ( what need hast thou of patience! Seek it, pray for it, beg of thy God to establish thy heart: that thou mayest be rooted and grounded in faith: And if troubles come great and heavy, thou mayest possess thy soul in patience, so long as the Lord shall please to exercise thee


your con

with them. And never forget that he will certainly come, and quickly. Let this promise keep thee from fainting. He will come in with his supports; he will administer his comforts under the cross; he will remove it in due season. What can be required for the establishing of thy heart, which is not promised to thee in this scripture ?

66 Cast not


therefore “fidence, which hath great recompence of reward: For

ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the “ will of God, ye might receive the promise: For it is “ but a very little while, and he that shall come will

come, and will not tarry. Wait then on the Lord, “ O my soul: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen “ thine heart: Wait, I say on the Lord.”

Perhaps thou art ready to reply-I have waited long, but am still to learn: for my trials are so various, that as soon as I have been well exercised with one sort, presently it is changed, and another comes, to which I was not accustomed-And this continually, like Job's messengers, one after another, and still the last brings a sadder message than the former-Hard and long trials I have endured, but this constant change of them wearies me out; they come so unexpected, they find me so unprepared, they so harass my troubled mind, that I am ready to sink under them--frequently I am tempted to think, that if God loved me, he would not delight in afflicting me in this manner.

Thus the carnal mind is apt to reason against God and his ways: But when the believer goes into the sanctuary and consults the oracle, he receives an answer of grace and peace, and is satisfied that this change of trials is nothing new with God. It is his usual method of training up his children in faith and patience. He appoints troubles for the exercise, and all sorts of troubles for the improvement of their graces. The Captain of their salvation was made perfect through sufferings: So are all the soldiers of Christ Jesus. It was the remark of one of his champions--MANY are the troubles of the righteous. The apostle James

speaking of the persecuted Hebrews, says they had DIVERS temptations, different one from another : and his brother Peter tries to comfort them under their MANIFOLD afflictions, many in number, succeeding as fast as wave follows after wave, and of many kinds, some distressed them in their bodies, others in their minds, in their character, in their substance, in their families, in every way that affliction could be felt. Patience is the grace suited to all these trials: because it bears them in the strength of God: For it consists in trusting to his sure word of promise, and believing it against sense and feeling: Faith says, this present trial comes from the love of my covenant God: Patience says, then I will bear it, till he bring it to a good issue. Whatever the trial be, patience has the same promise, and the same promise-keeping God to trust in. If he send variety of trials, it is only to give a variety of proofs, that he is faithful who hath promised. He knows we have divers diseases, which must have divers remedies to heal them. We have manifold evils in us, which require manifold afflictions to subdue them. And our God intends to give us many blessings, and he appoints many troubles to bring us to the enjoyment of them. All these are gracious dispensations, mercifully contrived, and seasonably administered, that patience may learn to bear, and may learn to persevere in bearing. God changes the trial. Patience has a new lesson, and a new opportunity of improvement. A good teacher brings his scholars forward, and when they are gone through one book, and are well grounded in it, then he advances them to another: When they have learned Latin, he puts them into Greek. But he does not change their studies out of ill-will or hatred to his scholars. They had rather be at play, than minding their books; and they had rather get but one lesson, and be saying it over from day to day; but the master knows what is best for them, and he keeps them to their work. God trains up his scholars in various exercises, but all for their improvement. He does not

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