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you will discover the mercy by-and-bye, when the second look," which dear Newton speaks of is realized. He says,
"A second look"
Ah, that "second look! Peter, what couldst thou tell us about a look-that look of pity, love, boundless compassion, which broke thy heart-silenced thy lying, blaspheming tongue-and sent thee out to "weep bitterly?"
"A SECOND LOOK He gave, which said,
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I die that thou may'st live!"
Precious Christ! we should love to sit and ponder upon the heights and depths, the breadths and lengths of such an incomprehensible love until thou wert pleased to say, Come up higher! Thought itself, and how much more expression, dwindles into such utter insignificance when venturing to touch upon such all-glorious and indefinable mysteries. It is the Spirit-the Spirit himself-must do it. He that hath graciously convinced of sin must-yea, and He will-take the scales from off the eyes, that the poor sinner may gaze with wondering, adoring admiration, whilst Jesus unveils his loveliness, points to his kands and his side, and says,
"His heart is mine, And whispers I am His."
Thirdly, Doth not the Lord keep the feet of his saints in that be doth not permit them to run away from the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus into all kinds of strange, God-dishonouring, and dangerous doctrine and assuredly, brethren, this is no inconsiderable mercy. No sheep of Christ shall ever wander out of the fold-certainly not the good Shepherd will graciously prevent this; but, alas! how many have pierced themselves through with many sorrows, by being left in any measure to mingle with or give heed to seducing spirits, of whom it was prophesied they should deceive, if it were possible, the very
That they shall be preserved from damnable errors-such as denying the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the person, ministry, and co-equality with the Father and the Son, of the Holy Ghost, we cannot for a moment question; and why? Because every vessel of mercy is brought into a personal and particular acquaintance with Jehovah in his Trinity of Persons; they know, by special demonstration in a living. heartfelt experience, the love of the Father-the redemption of the Son-and the internal, life-giving, irresistible operations of the Holy Ghost; and therefore no vain philosophy or plausible suggestions of men can argue them out of a truth so precious to their hearts, that
"there are three that bear record in heaven-the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one" (1 John i. 7). The same apostle confirms this truth of personal apprehension in the 10th verse of this same chapter, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself," to which again we have reference by Paul (Romans viii. 16), where, having spoken of the leading of the Spirit as confirmatory of sonship, and by that self-same Spirit been privileged with the adoption of children to cry, Abba, Father, he adds, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Thus affording, not only a clear and satisfactory evidence of childship, but of that glorious Three-oue Jehovah by whom they are received into covenant union, indissoluble oneness, and holy familiarity. And from this internal and all-glorious recognition of a Trinity in Unity and a Unity in Trinity, we declare no subtle arguments of men or devils shall be able to wrest a child of God, however for a season he may at times appear to be overcome by a profundity of words or the sophistry of a well-skilled pleader. The judgmeut may be confusedthe mind bewildered and sad- but the heart (that at which Jehovah looks) stands right with God. How well, then, under the consciousness of liabilities to such exposure, may the apostle's language (Eph. iv. 14, 15) be turned into a prayer, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking (margin, being sincere) the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
"He will keep the feet of his saints," in a fourth particular, by restraining the power of inbred corruption in those seasons of distressing temptation, when the enemy shall be permitted to throw in his infernal sparks upon our poor combustible nature. How remarkable was this preservation manifested in the case of Joseph (Gen. xxxix,) where we hear him exclaiming, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!" Wondrous was Divine keeping there! Where is the child of God that, having been led into any acquaintance with his own base-corrupt-deceitful heart, but will admire Jehovah's grace in that he hath not permitted (as one has aptly remarked) opportunity and inclination to come together? But for this kindly this all-gracious interposition, many would have fallen into all kinds of iniquity, and, by means of broken bones, gone limping to the grave. Ah! brethren, it is the knowledge of this fact that will keep your tongues still, and prevent you from having much to say about other's weaknesses, follies, and falls. A bad sign it is when one's neighbour's faults and foibles are perpetually the theme. "I have long since," said one, "ceased to carry stones in my pocket to throw at my neighbours." Better far be occupied with David's thoughts and David's prayer (Ps. xix. 12, 13) "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me." There is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (1 John ii. 16). And who shall declare the manifold temptation they would present, or the calamitous authority they would usurp, but for Almighty grace and restraining power?
Brethren, we are only throwing out heads for thought and reflection. We desire (if the Lord will) that you may be personally led into a holy meditation upon the Lord's goodness towards you as displayed in this, his restraining power.
Nor, in a fifth sense, is Jehovah's compassion less manifest in the preservation which He does so abundantly vouchsafe to his family; and here again we enter upon another vast field of contemplation. We can only go down upon the shore, and dip up a few thimblesfull from this ocean of mercy; for of the extent of the Lord's care in the keeping of his saints in a providential point of view, they know comparatively nothing. So conscious was even Satan of Jehovah's care of his church, that when permitted to hold consultation with him respecting his servant Job, he reminds him of the fact (Job i. 10) "Hast thou not made an hedge about him?" and again when tempting our blessed Head and Lord, with what aptitude does he quote a truth so glorious (Luke iv. 10, 11) "It is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Beloved, there is-indeed there is—a marvellous fulfilment of this promise day by day, and hour by hour. Nay, were it possible for there to be but a momentary interruption of that glorious covenant engagement (Isaiah xxvii. 3) "I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day," Satan would instantly seize such as the only fitting moment to secure his prey. But the objects of God's love are too dear to him-they were redeemed at too high a cost to be so easily parted with. "The very hairs of their head are all numbered" (Matt. x. 30); he "knoweth their walking through this great wilderness" (Deut. ii. 7); is acquainted with their downsitting and their uprising, and understandeth their thought afar off (Ps. cxxxix. 2). How blessed! How cheering the reflection that we are thus hanging every moment upon Divine favour, and encompassed every moment by Divine guardianship and care! If not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father, how unceasingly must his eye be upon each and every object of his grace! Yes, truly, He does keep, and will continue to keep, the feet of his saints all through the zig-zag pathway of the wilderness, until at length they reach the Jordan; and then, if literal Israel were bade "to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord," assuredly the spiritual Israel shall do so. The enemies with whom they have been so long and painfully familiar, and who have pursued to overtake, and to divide the spoil," shall be seen again no more for ever; for the Lord shall triumph gloriously; the horse and his rider will he throw into the sea. Hallelujah!
"He will keep the feet of his saints." Yes, not only in times of temptation, when with David they find "their feet have almost gone, their steps have well nigh slipped," but also in times of trial, when with the apostle, they seem "pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that they despair even of life." It is then that they so peculiarly realize the Lord's sustaining hand-unseen probably, yet experienced "underneath being the everlasting arms," preserving them alike from desperation and despair. Ah! who can estimate so great a mercy? Not one; nor would the tongue of an archangel serve
to tell the praise that thus is due to Jesus. And as to danger, wherein our feet are kept, we must wait to know it. True it is that now and then, beloved brethren, we catch a glimpse of spots and circumstances whereon or under which we are preserved from perils that would quickly rob us of our reason, life, or limb; but a period yet awaits us, when as our pilgrimage is closing and eternity about to dawn, we shall behold with wondering eye and glowing admiration the path through which we travelled, beset, indeed, on every hand by danger, difficulty, and death, but kept amid the whole as in a mighty garrison, impregnableand that because Jehovah was our Guardian and our Guide!
Perils past and gone for ever;
Ireland, Jan. 14, 1848.
NOTHING TO PAY.
[The annexed narrative must speak for itself. It will be opposed by all but those who know the plague of the heart, and the freeness, fulness, and preciousness of Jehovah's grace as bestowed upon the vilest of the vile, and that without money and without price! Poor REID was indeed a trophy of grace-rich grace! The narrative is of very recent date. It is but a few days since the subject of it entered his eternal rest, there to sing in infinitely higher and more glorious strains, the language which so pressed upon our heart and mind whilst reading the particulars with which our correspondent has favoured us :
"GRACE taught my soul to pray,
"GRACE all the work shall crown
Through everlasting days;
It lies in heaven, the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise."-ED.]
ONE day, when going my usual round of visiting, I called to leave some relief with a poor woman recovering from a severe illness. On leaving, she asked me very entreatingly to call at the next cottage, upon a family lately come into the parish, and in great distress. The man, she said, was far gone in decline, but so resolute and bearish in his language and behaviour, that the neighbours were afraid to go near him. The woman accompanied me to the house, and left me at the door, which was opened by a timid and rather interesting-looking woman. "Is it your husband who is ill?" I asked. "Yes," she said, in a low voice, keeping the door half closed as she spoke; "and very ill indeed he is." "Can I see him ?" I asked. "Yes-no-I can't say just this minute," replied the poor wife, and her lip quivered while she spoke, and a flush of fear lest she had offended ine rose in her cheek. Well, never mind," I said, "another day he may be able to see me, but in health or sickness there is no time like the present." So saying, I moved away from the door. With an unexpected energy of look and tone, the poor woman answered, "That's true," and, opening the door at once, bade me follow her. Seated beside the fire
was her husband, and awfully ill he looked. He appeared to be about the middle-size, with a very intelligent countenance, but a very bad expression; his piercing eye seemed to look me through as I entered, and ask, "What brings you here?" "Well," I said, "my friend, I heard you were ill, and I called to see you." He nodded his head, and looked at the fire. "You appear to be very ill," I continued; and I thought you might like to be read to, or have a tract lent you, as you most now be much alone." "No," he replied sternly," I want neither; I can read for myself. I have a good understanding to know the meaning of what I read; and, as to the tracts, I know quite as much as they can tell me. I am not an ignorant man." "Well," I said, "the first lesson learnt in the school of Christ teaches a man he is a fool." "Then, thank God, I'm no fool for all that," he replied. I have been blest with a good understanding, and a little education, and I have turned both to good account." I soon saw this sort of skirmishing with a man of his mind was only trifling with time, so I turned the conversation by asking had he been long ill? "About six months," he replied, sulkily. "In following my trade, I met with an accident, fell into a well, took cold, and have been ill ever since." "Do you think you'll recover?" I asked. "God knows," he answered, “how can I tell that?" "Well, in the event of your present illness ending in death," I said, "what do you think of the state of your soul, and what hope have you beyond the grave ?" "Ob, as to my soul," replied the man, carelessly, "that is well enough. I try all I can, and God is merciful."" And are you dying upon that dependence?" said I; "for if so, what need had the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer, bleed, and die, if you can get to heaven without Him ?" "I believe in Christ," he retorted in the same careless tone. "I believe he came to save sinners." "All sinners?" I asked. "C Yes, all sinners." "Well then, why are not all sinners saved ?" I inquired; "for the Bible tells us, 'The wicked shall be cast into hell, and all nations that forget God. It is clear, then, from Scripture, He is not the Saviour of all sinners." "No," said the sick man; "not all sincers, I suppose, but only those that try for it." "Try for it," I repeated; "what do you mean by trying for it?" Why, I mean to be sure," said the man, "those that do the best they can, and believe in God, and repent of their former sins; and I am trying for it." There was a pause for a minute, and I broke it by saying, Then the sooner you let it alone the better, for 'tis all lost labour." An involuntary start was all the answer I got. I waited a second or two, and then said, "The Bible tells us, A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven,' and till God begin with you all your trying will go for nothing." "And do you mean to tell me my trying is of no use," said the sick man, with a tone and look of defiance?" "I do," I said; "I deliberately say, on the warrant of God's word, Except you are born again you cannot enter the kingdom of God;' and you can have no inore to say to your spiritual birth than you had to say to your natural birth. It must be God's work from first to last." "And you mean to say a man can't try?" he inquired in a taunting tone. "Yes," I replied, "I mean what I say, God must be beforehand with the sinner in everything. He is beforehand in the choice of the sinner in eternity; He is beforehand in his creation in time, and He is beforehand in his