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Well might Moses hearken to Jethro's counsel, and do all that he had said, to have the Lord with him in his trials and wanderings through the wilderness of Sinai. And when you consider the many trials in your pilgrimage through life, happy should you feel at the announcement of the same intelligence, that the most mighty God, the Lord of heaven and earth, has promised to be with you.
You may, no doubt, be oppressed with various difficulties, and have many ills to encounter, both of mind and body; but how cheerful should be your service! how warm and devoted your resolutions to submit to every trial, and to labour patiently in God's cause, that so you might by any means enjoy the fulfilment of this promise, that He shall then be with you! If you disregard and desire not His gracious and continual presence, be assured that there is some unsoundness in your faith, produing an unholiness in your heart and life; for those only whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light, prefer to walk alone, and seek no happy communion with their Lord. If you think little of His spiritual aid, and strive not to possess it, this is a fearful evidence that, proud and self-satisfied, you have not as yet learned to abhor yourselves on account of your guilty nature. If you desire not His guidance, you are not under His spiritual influence; and, like the Jews of old, with abundant means of knowledge, “ seeing, you do not see, and hearing, you do not understand,” and are not converted to “ the truth as it is in Jesus.”
But, beloved, I hope better things of you, and things that accompany salvation ; persuading myself that you are, at least in many cases, thoroughly convinced of your natural sinfulness and inability,– that you wish to be protected by His arm, whose shield alone is able to defend
desire to be sanctified by His Spirit,—that you feel temptations to be on every side, both within and without; and that you heartily pray for His abiding presence, who has graciously promised to be with the faithful in every
time of need. If thus you feel, as I trust you do (and may these goodly Christian feelings continue and increase within you !) your growth in grace may be confidently expected. To cultivate that needful growth, so that Christian faith may flourish, and Christian holiness abound, God being with us, we shall continue to give you counsel. May you be enabled to hearken unto our voice according to the scriptural rules which I have detailed! And then, for the sake of Christ, whose ministry of reconciliation we proclaim, God shall be with you here by His Spirit ; and hereafter you shall be with Him, beholding Him face to face, and rejoicing in the full light of His countenance, whose presence is peace, and before whom neither sin nor sorrow can in
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"Rash man, forbear!' th' Apostle cried,
And cease thy wild alarm;
Then do thyself no harm.'
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“DO THYSELF NO HARM.”
“But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no
harm ; for we are all here.”—Acts xvi. 28.
This was the earnest and effectual appeal of the Apostle Paul to the terrified jailor at Philippi, the circumstances of whose case, you may remember, were simply these. Having been suddenly aroused at midnight by a violent earthquake, and perceiving with dismay the doors of the prison lying open, and thence supposing that his ill-used captives had escaped, in amazement at the sight, and in terror for the expected consequences, the unhappy man had drawn his sword, to anticipate by suicide the public death which he knew for certain to await him. But did he, like the wretched traitor Judas, add to his other unforsaken sins the dreadful guilt of suicide ? No: the kind providence of God interposed to save him from death, temporal and eternal, and to give him life here and for evermore. Paul, too, was made the honoured instrument by which that mercy