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Nor is this a solitary case, though it may be one of the strongest, in the history of the church of God. The hour of deliverance to the church and to particular individuals, has frequently been just at hand when human hopes and human efforts were at the lowest ebb. It was so at the giving of the first promise, in the form of a threatening against the deceiver and destroyer of our race. It was so when Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah Jireh. It was so with good old Jacob when, during a long night, he wept and made supplication, and yet had power with God and prevailed ;-and it was again 30 with him when, in the anguish of his heart, he said, “ Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. It was so with Judah, when in the presence of the stern governor of Egypt he said, “Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren. For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.” It was so in the deliverance from Egypt. As the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the sorrows and depressions of the people who were to be delivered, increased in a fearful ratio. 6. And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish aught from your bricks, of your daily task. And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh : And they said unto them, the LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil-entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people: neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” It was so in the case of every one of the Judges, whom God raised up for the deliverance of his people during the space of 450 years. It was peculiarly so in the days of Mordecai and Esther. " Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise : and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish." The Psalmist found it so in cases without number, in his eventful life. spirit,” says he, was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my
6 When my
soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living."
Other examples might easily be given, but these are sufficient to establish the fact, that it is one of the fixed principles in Jehovah's government of his creature man-and particularly of redeemed men -the appointed time for divine aid ; the time for the most glorious display of divine wisdom and power and goodness, is frequently when all human hopes and all human efforts are nearly gone.
“ Just in the last distressing hour,
Where we shall see surprising grace." What practical application, therefore, are we to make of these and similar facts, and of the general principle deduced from them?
I. Every professor of religion ought to know whether he has been indeed shut up to the faith, and has had all his hopes of deliverance from the wrath which is to come, cu: off from every quarter but one. As long as any hopes of salvation are indulged directly or indirectly from deeds of law, whether supposed to be connected or unconnected with the Lord Jesus Christ, these hopes are vain. No sinner ever yet had
any solid evidence of his being in a justified state, who was not reduced to absolute despair of deliverance from all other quarters, but by simply throwing himself on the sovereign mercy of God through the only Mediator. “God be merciful to me a sinner,” was the effectual prayer of the Publican. " I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came sin revived and I died," was the experience of the Apostle Paul.
II. We are never to despair of the Church of God, nor of the cause of truth and righteousness.
If our Lord's kingdom was safe when he was extended upon the crass, and laid in the tomb—if, when he was bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, and when all created help had forsaken himif, even then, he triumphed and made conquest, shall his kingdom ever be in danger now, when he is seated on the throne of the Universe, and has all power in heaven and in earth committed unto him for the express purpose of giving eternal life to as many as the father ha:h given him? His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth. He shall reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. Change who will-fall and disappear who may-the Redeemer is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the memorial of his proudest foes, shall be known, as it often has been, only because it is registered in the triumphs of his cross.
III. The friends of the Redeemer must cease from having undue confidence in man, and in the plans and schemes of men.
Cursed be the man, whoever he be, whether within or without the visible Church, who maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the living God.”
Fallen man, even when redeemed, is prone to idolatry. He is continually placing his confidence somewhere else, than on the Rock of his strength. He is of course liablc to many disappointments, and to many severe and long chastisements.
Human wisdom is only folly, and human strength is only weakness, when they are not accompanied with a deep sense of our depravity and of our liability to go astray, and forget to whom we are indebted for our all. “ Pride goeth before a fall, and before honor is humility."
Redeemed men ought to remember that they are not their own, but that they are bought with a price. Hence, however extensively we may devote our time or our talents or our wealth or our influence to the service of our Lord and Master, we can never bring Him into our debt-we can never make an acceptable or successful move in his service where he is not our all in all. The more extensively we may be employed in his service the more deeply are we indebted to him in condescending to make us fellow-workers with himself in his great work of reconciling the world.
IV. Each friend of the Redeemer ought to get nearer to his Lord and Master than ever he has been, and under his direction to study the Apostles and Prophets more attentively than ever he has done.
For an illustration of this, read attentively and with the spirit of devotion, Luke xxiv. 25, to the end. The Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of Israel.
V. While every man, and particularly every redeemed man, ought to be very rigid and severe with respect to himself, he ought to exercise, in thought and word and conduct, great charity to his felbwmen, and particularly towards his fellow professors.
All are liable to err, and every man is occasionally overtaken in some fault. That man who is most intimately acquainted with himself, knows best how much he daily needs the forbearance and the charities of his fellow-men. And it may be that in many cases the man who is the most active in finding out, and in condemning what is wrong in his fellow church members, is the very man whose own heart and whose own house are the least able to stand a rigid investigation.
There was a time when the character and standing of David, the sweet singer of Israel as a man of God, was very doubtful. There was a time when Peter's case was, in all human calculation, about as hopeless as that of Judas. Had we all the details in the history of the morning of the Resurrection, perhaps it would be found that very few of the friends of the Redeemer had much confidence in any of the rest,—and we do know that with the exception perhaps of Mary, they were all on the very verge of renouncing all their hopes in Jesus of Nazareth. We are commanded to say every day, “ Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we also forgive those who have trespassed against us.” “ Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edify
ing, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the . Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp
tion. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evilspeaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Hence,
VI. Let each man, in his place, attend particularly to himself, and to the particular duties of his station. When every professor of religion will keep his own heart and his own conduct right, we will have a reformed state of society indeed.
Let every man who would be useful in his day and generation, put to himself daily, as in the presence of the Searcher of hearts, some such questions as these :
1st. Is my soul safe? am I indeed in a justified state ?
2d. Am I living as I ought to do? How stands my daily intercourse with God?
3d. Do I indulge myself in any known sin!
5th. Am I now ready and do I now renounce all lying refuges, and throw myself entirely on the mercy of God and submit implicitly to his authority?
The foolish virgins went to the very threshhold of eternity before they discovered that they needed that with which their best earthly friends could not supply them. Personal application to the Lord Jesus himself is indispensably necessary to personal salvation-and personal daily intercourse with him as our light and our strength, are equally indispensable for acceptable and successful service.
R, H. B.
AN HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATION OF SCRIPTURE.
In Chief Justice Jay's short account of his ancestors, prefixed to his Life by his Son, we have the following statements respecting the French Hugonots who were driven from their country, at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes,
“ From what has been said, you will observe with pleasure and with gratitude how kindly and how amply Providence was pleased to provide for the welfare of our ancestor Augustus. Nor was his case a solitary or singular instance. The beneficent care of Heaven appears to have been evidently and remarkably extended to all those persecuted exiles. Strange as it may seem, I never heard of one of them who asked or received alms; nor have I any reason to suspect, much less to believe, that any of them came to this country in a destitute condition. The number of refugees who settled here was considerable. They did not disperse and settle in different parts of the country, but formed three societies or congregations; one in the city of New-York, another at the Paltz, and the third at a town which they purchased and called New-Rochelle, [in Westchester county, state of New York.] At New-Rochelle they built two churches, and lived in great tranquility: none of them became ric but all lived comfortably.
“In the year 1723, Mr. Jay had the pleasure of giving one of his daughters to Mr. Peter Valette, a French refugee settled at New-York. This gentleman was one of three brothers: they were all Protestants, and each of them in more than easy circumstances. Being hard pressed by persecution, they were driven by it to decide on the part they should take. Two of them determined to adhere to their religion-the other became a papist, and took the estates of his brothers. Of the two who remained faithful, one came to New-York, and the other settled in the island of Jamaica, where he became very opulent. The following anecdote shows that he was not an ordinary man. During the war between England and France, I think in the reign of Queen Anne, some French prisoners captured at sea were brought to Jamaica. Among them was one whose name was Valette. This excited the old gentleman's curiosity. He saw the prisoner, and discovered that he was the son of his unworthy brother, who, in consequence of unprofitable speculations, had been reduced to indigence. He took the prisoner to his house, made the necessary arrangements for his return to France, and made him the bearer of a grant to his father of a liberal annuity, I think £300 a year."
The statements illustrate the following and other passages of Scrip