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in any other sense than as the microscope and the staff are. Upon the whole, then, our organs of sense, and our limbs, are certainly instruments which the living persons ourselves make use of to perceive and move with. Nor is there any probability, that the alienation, or dissolution of these instruments is the destruction of the perceiving and moving agent.
THEY who would always rejoice, must derive their joy from a source which is invariably the same; in other words, from Jesus, who is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." O that name! what a person! what an office, what a life, what a love, what a death, does it recall to our minds! Let us leave our troubles to themselves awhile, let us walk to Golgotha, and take a view of his. We stop, as we are going, at Gethsemane, for it is not a step out of the road. There he lies bleeding, though not wounded; or if wounded, it is by an invisible almighty hand. Now I begin to see what sin has done. Now let me bring my sorrows, and compare, measure and weigh them against the sorrows of my Saviour! Foolish attempt! To weigh a mote against a mountain!
"Now let our pains be all forgot,
Our hearts no more repine;
Our sufferings are not worth a thought,
We are still more confounded at our next station; now we are at the foot of the cross. Behold the man! listen to his groans! contemplate his
wounds! Now let us sit down, and weep over our crosses if we can. For our crosses! Nay, let us weep over our sins, which brought the Son of God into such distress. I feel, that we, not he, deserved to be crucified, and utterly forsaken. For a fuller proof, let us take another station. Now we are at his tomb. But he is not here, he is risen; the debt is paid, and the surety is discharged. Not here! Where then is he? Look up! methinks the clouds part, and glory breaks through them; behold a throne! what a transition! He who hung upon the cross is seated on the throne. Hark! he says, "I know your sorrows; yea, I appoint them; they are tokens of my love; it is thus I call you to the honour of following me. See, a place prepared for you near to myself. Fear none of these things. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life!"
It is enough, Lord! Now, then, let us calculate again. These scales are the balances of the sanctuary; let us put in our griefs and trials on one side; what an alteration! I thought them lately very heavy; now I find them light; the scale hardly turns with them. But how shall we manage to put in the weight on the other side? It is heavy indeed; an inconceivable, "an eternal weight of glory." It is beyond my grasp and power. I see, with a glance of my eye, that there is no proportion between this felicity and my sorrows. I am content, I am satisfied, I am ashamed. From this moment I wipe away my tears, and forbid them to flow; or, if I must weep, they shall be tears of love, gratitude, and joy.
GOD doth but cast us down, to raise us up, and empty us, that he may fill us, and melt us, that we may be vessels of glory; loving us as well in the furnace, as when we are out, and standing by us all the while.
It is unthankfulness to forget our consolation, and to look only upon matter of grievance; to think so much upon two or three crosses, as to forget a hundred blessings.
True Religion, if we possess it, will bring comforts into our minds above our crosses.
In all storms, there is sea-room enough in the infinite goodness of God, for faith to be carried with full sail.
We faint not in affliction, saith Paul; but wherefore doth he not faint? Because the light and short afflictions work out "an exceeding weight of glory."
None ever have been so good and so great, or have raised themselves so high, as to be above the reach of troubles. Our Lord was "a man of sor
It is no wonder, that those who are born soldiers should meet with conflicts; for travellers to meet with hard fare; for mariners to encounter with storms; or for strangers, in a strange land, especially among enemies, to meet with strange entertainment.
Whence proceed these complaints? Such a friend has failed me,-I never thought to have fallen into this condition,-I had settled my joy in this child, in this friend, etc. This is to rest our comfort on things that have no firm foundation, and to build castles in the air.
There is a perfect rest for God's people, both for soul and body, but it is not in this world. Here we are on the ocean; and we should not be surprised if we meet with storms.
Speak to God the Saviour, by prayer, that as he rebuked the winds and the waves, and went upon the sea, that so he would command a calm upon our spirits.
Come to this point at once. Trust God I ought; therefore, trust God I will,-come what may. Job said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."
A man can be in no condition wherein God is at a loss, and cannot help him: if comforts be wanting, he can create comforts, not only out of nothing, but out of discomforts. The trouble which we think will swallow us up, may be a means to bring us to our haven; so mighty is God in power, and SO excellent in working."
By the bare word of God it is that the heavens continue, and the earth without any other foundation, hangs in the midst of the universe; therefore, well may the soul stay itself on that, even when it hath nothing else in sight to rely on. By his word it is that the covenant of day and night, and of the preservation of the world from any further overflowing of waters, continueth; which, if it should fail, yet his covenant with his people shall abide firm for ever, though the whole frame of nature were dissolved.
CONSOLATION SOUGHT AND FOUND.
WHEN the clouds of desolation
To the stars I fain would reach me,
God and Father! Thou didst give me
Nor in vain-for light is breaking