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occasion offers, may be devoutly used in the midst of business.
And this method of devotion is here proposed, to lead Christians to make proper reflections upon other parts of Scripture which they read or hear.
Rev. ii. 17. “Thou sayest, I am rich, . and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
This is the sad condition to which, as sinners, we are subject; and it is of Thy mercy, O God, that any
of us are sensible of it. Preserve me, I beseech Thee, from that blindness which would hinder me from seeing my own misery; and from that pride, which would keep me from acknowledging it before Thee, who alone canst help me. O give me a true sense of the maladies I labour under, and help me for Thy mercies' sake, and for the sake of Jesus my
Psalm li. 17. “The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise.”
But most unfit is mine to be to God presented, until I have obtained His pardon for the many sins by which it has been defiled.
Jer. ü. 12, 13. “I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God."
I do acknowledge my sin unto Thee, O God, and mine iniquities will I not hide. I do, therefore, implore Thy pardon, and plead Thy gracious promise, with full purpose of heart, never again to return to folly.
Jer. xvii. 9. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
I cannot, indeed, answer for my own heart; but there is nothing, O Lord, impossible with Thee : in Thee I do put my trust; let me never be put to confusion. Keep it ever in my heart, what an evil thing and bitter it will be, to forsake the Lord.
1 John ü. 8. “He that committeth sin” (who abandons himself to live in known sin) “is of the devil;”-is under his
power and government
Preserve me, gracious God, from so fatal a blindness, to choose Satan for my lord and governor, instead of Thy blessed Son, who laid down His life to redeem us from the dreadful tyranny of the devil.
1 John ii. 25. “This is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.”
How infinitely good is God, to give us so great encouragement to save ourselves from ruin! — Give me, I beseech Thee, a firm faith in this promise, that no fears may terrify me, no pleasures may corrupt my heart, no difficulties may discourage me from serving Thee.
Matt. xvi. 24. “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
O my Saviour! who pleasedst not Thyself, but tookest upon
Thee the form of a servant ; not profess to follow Thee, without endeavouring to follow the blessed steps of Thy most holy life; Thy patience, meekness, and humility; Thy great disregard for the world, its pleasures, profits, and all its idols; thy sensible concern for the miseries of men; Thy unweariedness in doing good; Thy constancy in prayer, and resignation to the will of Thy Father. Let me part with anything as dear as a right hand or a right eye, rather than not follow Thee.
Matt. vi. 24. “No man can serve two masters. -Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
May I never set up any rival, O God, with Thee in the possession of my heart ! May I never attempt to reconcile Thy service with that world which is enmity with Thee! Give me, I beseech Thee, the eyes of faith, that I may see the world,
I what in truth it is; the danger of its riches, the folly of its pleasures, the multitude of its snares, the power of its temptations, its deadly poison, and certain danger of drawing my heart from the love of Thee.
Matt. xxii. 37, 39. “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,—and thy neighbour as thyself.”
O that the love of God may be the commanding principle of my soul; and that I may have
I this comfortable proof of His love abiding in me, that I study to please Him, and to keep His commandments !-That my love to my neighbour may
be such as God has commanded; that I may give, and forgive, and love, as becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ!
1 John iii. 14. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”
What it is to “love my neighbour as myself,” Thou, O Lord, hast taught me in Thy holy Word:-Never to wrong or deceive him; never to grieve him, or without a cause to create him trouble ; never to treat him with contempt and scorn; never to be pleased with his misfortunes and faults : but to rejoice in his happiness, and help him in his wants. Give me, O Lord, this proof of my having passed from death unto life.
Gal. ii. 13. “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : —that is, He was treated as one under the curse of the law.?
Blessed God! How great was our misery, how great was Thy mercy, when nothing could save
(1) See Deut. xxi. 23.