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learned whatever I know, to ask that help without which I shall disquiet myself in vain. Most humbly beseeching Thee to guide me with Thine eye; to enlighten my mind, that I may see myself, and teach others the wonders of Thy law; that I may learn from Thee what I ought to think and speak concerning Thee. Direct and bless all the labours of my mind; give me a discerning spirit, a sound judgment, and an honest and religious heart. And grant that, in all my studies, my first aim may be to set forth Thy glory, and so set forward the salvation of mankind; that I may give a comfortable account of my time at the great day, when all our labours shall be tried.
And if Thou art pleased that by my ministry sinners shall be converted, and Thy kingdom enlarged, give me the grace of humility, that I may never ascribe the success to myself, but to Thy Holy Spirit, which enables me to will and to do according to Thy good pleasure. Grant this, O Father of all light and truth, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sufferings. Luke ii. 35. “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own
. soul also.” Thus God treated Mary, and thus He treats those whom He loves ; He mingles bitters with their sweets. He who is called to the ministry of the word, is called to suffer the contradiction of the world, and, if occasion be, to seal the truth with his blood. This should always be our support and comfort, that the tongues, the ill-will, the evil designs of men, are always subject to the power of God, let us therefore be intent upon our duty, and leave the rest to God, who continually watches over His faithful servants. Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. My God! settle in my heart a firm belief in Thy providence, and dependence upon Thy will and designs, that I may consider nothing but my duty, and fear no evil ; but only lest I should not faithfully discharge my duty in all respects.
Acts ix, 29. “ He preached boldly in the name of the LORD Jesus: but they went about to kill him.” When a man is treated as Jesus Christ was for preaching, it is a good sign that
TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
he preaches by His Spirit, and that this is the beginning of his reward : and indeed opposition, and evil treatment, are less to be feared by a minister of Christ, than applause and condemnation. Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you !
2 Cor. iv. 8, 9. “ We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; we are perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted, but not forsaken ; cast down, but not destroyed.” Observe here an apostolical disposition in the midst of persecution :-Liberty of spirit and joy of heart; an invincible courage ; a lively belief of the care of God; a full trust in his assistance in the lowest abyss of trouble ; casting the eyes of faith upon the sufferings of the LORD JESUS; counting himself happy in fulfilling them in his mystical body.
Phil. i. 12. "The things which happened unto me, have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel." He who loses courage under oppositions, is even yet a stranger to the ways of the Gospel. God can and does make His greatest enemies contribute to His work and glory. Let us leave God to act, and follow His guidance.
2 Tim. iv. 17. "Notwithstanding, the LORD stood with me, and strengthened me." The more a minister of Christ is forsaken by men, the more conformable he is to Christ, and the greater consolation he may expect from God.
Heb. xii. 3. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." If the world, which rose up against Christ, suffer us
. to be quiet, we should have reason to fear that we do not follow His steps, and that the world is pleased with us. Heb. xii. 6. “Whom the LORD loveth, He chasteneth, and
Lord scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." If nature were innocent, a Father so just and so good would not impose a condition
upon His children, were it not necessary to our salvation. We are treated as bastards, if we are not chastened, but left to our own libertinism ; too sure a sign of reprobation. Grant, O LORD, that I may submit to, and even be pleased with, those temporal evils which lead to eternal happiness.
1 Pet. ii. 29. “This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience
towards God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." He who can be content to have God for a witness of his patience and sufferings, has found the secret to make God his friend. We complain of unjust sufferings, and they are the things which we ought most to value. A Christian, whose whole care is to avoid sufferings, has forgot his pattern ; and that we are Christians in order to be crucified with Christ, We see in Jesus Christ innocence and holiness itself suffering ; and yet we complain of hardships. The meekness of CHRIST, when in the hands of His enemies, and when He had power to have delivered Himself, is what we are always to remember.
1 Pet. iii. 14. “If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror.” It is plain we do not know the happiness of suffering, when we speak of it with abhorrence, and shun it with all our might. Nothing but Thy love, O LORD, can suppress in our hearts the fear of men.
1 Pet. iv. 14. “If ye be reproached for the name of CHRIST, happy are ye: for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.” No worldly glory equals this; nothing causes His Spirit to rest upon us more perseveringly; God will not account of sufferings brought upon a man's self by his own fault; and yet Christian grace can sanctify even such crimes, when a criminal suffers in the spirit of repentance, and submission to the will of God. To be purified by afflictions is a great mercy ; to be abandoned to prosperity till death, is an instance of God's anger.
1 Pet. iv. 19. “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator."
1 John ii. 13. “ Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." Let us rather fear that we do not belong to God, if the world spare us.
2 Cor. i. 7. “As ye are partakers of the sufferings ; so shall ye be also of the consolations." O Lord, remove from me all inward disquiet, and grant that, with an entire submission to Thy will, I may ever preserve a peace of mind, and leave my deliverance to Thy choice. The more the world deprives us of its protection for our adherence to God, the more He espouseth our
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interest, and declares on our side. It is the part of the minister of Christ to labour without ceasing,—to suffer without resentment,—and to leave his cause in the hands of God, with full trust in Him.
A Thanksgiving for St. Peter's Day, when my Father and two of
my Brothers most wonderfully escaped being drowned.
O eternal and most merciful God, who hast made us happy in the knowledge of Thy providence, which governs and preserves all things both in heaven and earth ; by whose goodness my father and two of my brothers were, as on this day, delivered from sudden and untimely deaths : accept of my hearty thanks and praise for this great mercy vouchsafed to the whole family; and grant that none of us may, while we live, forget these wonderful expressions of Thy loving kindness to us, the most undeserving of all Thy people.
We had sinned many ways against Thee, O LORD, and this was a loud, a distinct, and merciful call of thine, to every one of us, to repentance, which I most humbly beseech Thee give us grace to hear, to remember, and obey.
The greatest happiness, O merciful Father, which I can desire, either for myself or those who were sharers in this great deliverance, is what I now humbly beg for; that we may all of us gratefully acknowledge Thy great love for us; meditate on Thy tender mercies ; magnify Thy great and good providence; and by these mighty favours, be reduced to an obedience becoming our redemption.
Pass by and pardon the ingratitude we have any of us been guilty of; and give us grace to consider, that by the merciful goodness of God, we are delivered from a world of dangers, which would otherwise overwhelm us.
And according to Thy wonted mercies, preserve us, for the time to come, to serve Thee. May the same watchful Providence, which has before time defended us from such imminent dangers, guard us, the remainder of our days, through all the changes and
chances of this mortal life. This I most humbly beseech Thee to grant, for Thy own goodness' sake, and for the merits of our SAVIOUR CHRIST JESUS. Amen.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me praise His holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who saved thy life from destruction.
LORD, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him;
sons of men, that Thou so regardest them?
But what is my father's house, that Thou shouldest have such respect to so poor, so sinful a cottage?
I am oppressed with the load of mercies which we have received from Thee.
2 Pet. iv. 10. As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as stewards of the manifold grace of God." We have received them freely, not for ourselves, but for others; no man is excused; as stewards we are accountable. Every man should be content with his own talents.
The Feast of St. Peter.
These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.
LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. F. &. J. RIVINGTON,