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long as I live. 27. 6. Sometimes patience endeavours to be heard, and does make a little calm. As, if I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. 10. 15. and further, I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men, and yet further still; He knoweth the way that I take, when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. But still he relapses, and he makes a desperate effort, and you see no more of patience, till his strength is gone. So under a heavy load of heart filth, and corruption, we labour from a good will, would not have it so, and yet cannot help it; with our utmost exertions we sink further and further into it 'till destruction appears inevitable. We cry, beg and shout, resolve and supplicate, strive and cease from striving, sometimes are desperate to make an effort, aud then altogether indifferent without feeling. O wretched strife, how hast thou, my soul, plunged here, till the mire foul at first became most gross and thick, and though not firm enough to afford standing, yet compact enough against every effort, to make striving at last impossible. So Paul, the evil I would not, I do, the good I would, I do not. To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. Rom. 7. 18. Because you look to the wrong quarter, into self, instead of unto Christ. Patience cannot help, nor should she; for no body is called or required to lay under the frowns of the Almighty satisfied and unconcerned; nor under the load of a filthy nature.

But after a while all strength fails, a sense of our great and heavy and accumulated guilt follows, and the soul sinks before the Almighty in self abasement, and dare not look him in the face, nor indulge a hope in him, tho' hope there is. Then comes patience and in our fainting gently supplies her and affords her strength most tenderly, yet most powerfully and effectually. So Job. I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Job. 42. 2. And Paul; so then with the mind I myself serve the law of God. but with the flesh the law of sin. Rom. 7. 25. Thus the Lord by his grace sustains us when reduced to nothing. And whatsoever he then lays upon us can be borne, and is borne. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me; he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold bis righteousness. Thou patient, spotless lamb of God, to thee be all the glory,and to the Father thro' thee for ever. Amen.

But James says, let patience have her perfect work. Let her, which supposes some opposition and hindrance, What is that hindrance to her work? it is not a want of power on our part; we have too much. It is our unwillingness to submit

to the dealings of God toward us in the various delays he is pleased to make between the time of our, hope and the accomplishment of it.-Hence there is the patience of hope. Without hope no patience; for patience having nothing in sight, but all in hope must wait. If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Rom. 8. 25. So if patience is indebted to hope for room for the sole of her foot; that debt is amply repaid in the assurance that patience gives to hope. If often fretfulness and despondency attend hope, and patience secretly soothes and encourages, so do unbelief and carefulness often sadly interrupt faith. Cast not away your confidence. You have believed: but to your faith you have need of patience being added, to give it stability and quietness. For he that shall come will come, and will not tarry but the just man shall live by his faith. Heb. 10. 35. Thus then as faith is the root of patience, so patience helps and adorns and perfects faith. Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience; but let patience have her perfect work. James 1. 3. Submission to the will of God is what removes out of the way that which hinders patience. It seems impossible that a man should be so far humbled and resigned as to throw himself entirely upon the disposals of God, to do with him just whatsoever he may please, whether in rejection or in mercy. But there is such a thing, we well know, in the deepest calamities, when every thing is at

stake in this life and that which is to come. A person may appear, and may be, very indifferent under the heaviest trials and bring forward much scripture to give countenance to his state as being good. We know that all things work together for good. And, all things are of God. But that must not pass off for patience which is nothing but a want of natural feeling, or a conscience seared. Neither must much apparent resignation in tenderness, and calmness, be substituted for this grace. Voluntary humility goes a long way, and carnal softness is very deceivable, but such as these are generally pliable, tho' obstinate enough when roused or opposed thoroughly, especially by truth. These things in others must be discovered by feelings in ourselves, whether they be good. David knew that the sons of Zeruiah would not do for him, they were too hard; and Mephibosheth was too soft.

A consciousness of our having procured every evil to ourselves that comes upon us, stops our mouth thro' this grace; and an establishment of heart in that goodness of the Lord which has so softened and meekened us under his afflicting hand; these things account for persons being so passive in such trying circumstances. And the King said unto Zadok, carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and shew me both it G

and his habitation: But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good to him. 2, Sam. 15. 26.

In patience, our Lord says, possess ye your souls. You must, as David did, bear your soul always in your hand, thro' continual danger you will never be apparently safe, therefore in your patience, possess ye your souls. Men and spirits attack us on every side, and declare there is no help for him in his God; or else utter their pious hopes, an evil disease cleaveth fast to him; and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more: Ps. 41. 8. or else throw out their cruel taunts; he trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him: Matth. 27. 47. or else make sure of their prey; persecute him, and take him, for there is none to deliver him. Ps. 71. 11. Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial. The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned: and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son. 2. Sam. 16. 8. Now what is to be said to all these things, we feel that some of the charges are in part true, or we fear that they are true. As, that God has forsaken us; and we are sure he does not appear to our glory; and that an evil disease cleaves fast to us we cannot deny, but confess; and beg that God would purge it off. Now since ye will give us no credit for faith nor,

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