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and increase by the trial. Patience will take possession of a believer's soul, and possess it, keeping it in peace, resignation, and acquiescence in the Divine will. It will make a heavy cross light, a long night short, and the most painful afflictions bearable. God is its author, who is the God of patience. The word is its nourishment, which he calls “ the word of my patience." The prophets and the Saviour are its examples, and inheriting the promises is its result. O for a patient spirit, that so we may endure afflictions, bear contradictions, and wait God's time for every blessing he has promised. May we add to our faith, patience; may the trying of our faith, work patience; and may the patience of hope, characterise us in life and in death.
Dear Lord! tho' bitter is the cup
Dash it with thy unchanging love;
“WHAT ISRAEL OUGHT TO DO.”
2 CHRON. xii. 32.
Some duties belong to certain times, and some belong to all times. It appears that there were in the tribe of Issachar two hun. dred and eleven men who knew the times, and understood what Israel ought to do, and that they had such influence, that the whole tribe was influenced by them. We want men of understanding to teach ; men of influence to lead ; and a disposition among professors of religion to do as they are taught. It is to be feared that the majority of us know much more than we practise. We live in stirring times, but we are not properly alive to our duties and responsibilities. Oh, that the Lord would stir us all up, and put his Holy Spirit within us, that every one of us may do what he ought to do!
Israel represented the Lord's people. Like them, all believers in Jesus are chosen of God-set apart for God-have access to God -are blessed of God-and are employed by, and so honoured of God. The Lord cannot need us, but in love he puts this honour upon
us to employ us. Our privileges are great, but our duties are answerably great. God has done much for us, and he expects us to do something for him. He has not been cold-hearted toward us, nor can we justify ourselves in being cold-hearted or lukewarm toward him.
There are some things that we cannot do, these we are not expected to do. There are other things that we can do, and these we are required to do. We can plead with God, and we should, both privately and alone ; and socially and publicly, in union with the Lord's people. We can speak for God, and this we should do, inviting sinners to come and hear the word, and to come to the Lord Jesus : and we should exhort one another daily, provoking to love and to good works, and that so much the more as we see the day approaching. No sinner within the circle of our acquaintance should be allowed to perish without being invited and pressed to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor should any Christian be allowed to fall asleep, or backslide from God, without being aroused, or solemnly warned by us. We do not lovingly watch over one another as we should. In this we are verily guilty.
There are some things which we especially ought to do, to spread the Lord's truth, and increase and advance the Lord's cause. Many things we should do for Christ, to honour his dear name, spread his glorious fame, and make known his salvation to the ends of the earth. Many things should be done for the Church, to increase its love, strengthen its union, and add to the number of its members. Many things should be done for the world, to send it the light of truth, to arouse it from its death-like sleep, and, if possible, to win it for Christ. Many things should be done for the town in which we live, that its poor may be supplied, its ignorant ones instructed, and its depraved and vicious inhabitants may be reclaimed. Many things should be done for the congregation, that the Lord's house may be always crowded, that all who attend may be kindly spoken to, and inquirers and seekers meet with the encouragement they need. O how many things Israel ought to do! There is enough to employ every one, to call forth the talents of all.
In brief, every true Israelite should profess Christ, and profess him openly. Every Israelite should be visibly in union with a church of Christ. Every Israelite should regularly meet with the Lord's family, at the Lord's table. Every true Israelite, up to the utmost of his ability, should endeavour to promote and advance the cause of Christ. All who know and love the Saviour ought to be decided, devoted, thorough, and active Christians. It is therefore comparatively easy to know what Israel ought to do, but will Israel do it P Reader, will you ?
THE RULE OF SUCCESS.
The Most High has certainly a right to rule the world as he please, and from the perfection of his nature, we may be sure he will rule it right. But his government is conducted on such principles, as will hold man accountable, and yet leave room for the exercise of his adorable sovereignty. The work of grace is emphatically his own work, and yet prayer and faith, have very often much to do with the commencement, and carrying of it on.
Every applicant to Jesus in the days of his flesh, was required to believe, and our success in prayer now, mainly depends on our faith.
“ If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” And “according to your faith be it unto you.” Matt. ix. 29. Thus spake the Divine Saviour, and according to this principle he still acts. O that we had faith in Jesus, as warranted by his word, what blessings we should receive! But we have not, because we ask not,-because we believe not.
Let u8 prayerfully look at these things.
First, AT OUR WANTS. Not so much at our personal as our relative wants.