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Spiritual meditations for pilgrims in a weary land on their way to glory!

Part 4

How is it that the Lord places His people so frequently, and keeps them so long, in the furnace? When one trial is over another comes, scarcely, sometimes, allowing breathing time between! Wave resounding to wave! Oh, it is because He loves us, and will have us know it. And when trouble comes, small or great, we then shelter beneath His wings, or nestle within His bosom, and feel the very throbbings of His heart. Who can sound the depth or measure the dimensions of the love of God towards His people- its depth, its height? Eternity alone can unfold it. It passes knowledge. Oh, it is sweet to repose in His bosom, and shelter there until the storm be past.

It is only by constantly looking to Christ that we can get joy and comfort. Thus, looking to Jesus and going to Jesus, we travel through this intricate wilderness comfortably and safely to our home in heaven.

May we be led daily, hourly, to look more simply to Jesus; leaning upon Him for all we need for body and soul, for time and eternity. I find that the more I am enabled to live upon Him, the happier I am; and it is the only comfortable way of getting through a host of trials and difficulties, and of renouncing the world, the flesh, and the devil. May God give us all more of the sweet simplicity of faith.

The more we feel the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and are led into a just view of our own most wretched helplessness, the more we shall value the great and all-glorious atonement made for sin; and in proportion also will Jesus be precious to our souls.

Oh, what a privilege for such worms of the earth to have fellowship with the great and mighty God of the universe, and such nearness of access to the very heart of a precious Jesus!

What poor creatures we are, and what a wonder a holy God should love us so!

How is it that we are not always rejoicing? Because of our unbelief! What a conflict have I had lately with that monster!

Our friends who sleep in Jesus only cross the threshold a little before us, and if we are real followers of Christ, we shall soon meet them, and that to part no more. Your heavenly Father has taken one that was dear to you, because he was dearer to Himself, and He wished to have him in the full enjoyment of Himself a little sooner than you would be willing to part with him. Blessed are the dead that die in Jesus!

All we have to do is to keep a steadfast eye upon Christ, and live upon Him moment by moment, coming to Him for all our supplies; as children feeling their dependence on a parent's love, come to a loving father, nothing doubting His power and willingness to grant them all that they need.

This light affliction is but to draw you off from the creature and closer to Himself. He would empty us of self that He might fill us with His Spirit, and thus be more closely assimilated to His image, more like Jesus. You are blessed of the Lord; dear to Him as the apple of His eye. Jesus is our Sanctifier, and He is fitting us for His beatific presence in a brighter, happier, holier world, where there will be no more sickness, nor sorrow, nor sin. Then shall we behold Him in all His glory, and be forever with the Lord.

As I have lain on my sick bed, I have been favored with much of His most precious presence, and can scarcely call any circumstance a trial when the oil and the wine has been so richly poured into my soul. How unspeakably precious is our Jesus. How good and full of love in all His dispensations with His people. I truly feel that goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my pilgrimage, and will continue to follow me to its close. He has engaged to bring us safely through all, making us more than conquerors over all. "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you." This exceeding great and precious promise has been to me like untold gold. I have sometimes thought, surely I shall weary Him out by my continual coming; but not so. The oftener I come, the more welcome. I feel I can cast myself into the very ocean of His love, in which the feeblest saint may safely swim.

Men think lightly of sin; not only sinners, but the saints do not view it in its proper light. Sin is not a light thing in the sight of God. The Church of God is asleep. Christians have too light views of sin.

We need more of the descent of the Holy Spirit in His almighty power, that sinners may be converted and saints thoroughly awakened. Oh, when shall the Holy Spirit be poured upon us from on high? Oh that in infinite love He may condescend to bow the heavens and come down!

Christ is my physician. I love to open my whole heart to Him. I would have no concealments from His blessed eyes, sinful as I feel myself to be.

Jesus can manifest His wondrous love to the vilest and most unworthy of His creatures. Jesus is very, very precious, and full of tender compassion.

The world, with all its riches and honors and glories, is dross compared with the wealth and blessedness that is yours in virtue of your oneness with the Lord Jesus.

Cultivate this heavenly communion, this holy, sanctifying familiarity with the Son of God. Allow nothing to come between you and your best Friend.

Oh, how uncertain are all events in this changing world! We are here for a little while, and then pass away; the believer to his happy, happy home in heaven, prepared for him by infinite and eternal love. How is it that we strive so hard to build our nest here, and cling so fondly and with such tenacity to the creature? Did we fully believe all that Christ says to us, how much more willing should we be to depart and be with Him!

What would I, what could I do without a God to go to? Oh what a transcendent blessing is a throne of grace in a time of trouble! What a bosom is God's where we can pour all our sorrows, and disclose all our needs, assured that He not only hears us always, but can do for us better than we can possibly conceive of, for all power is His. I believe that our severest trials will, in the end, throw off their somber disguise, and stand before us as among our loveliest and most precious blessings. "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him."

I sympathize much with your loneliness, and wish you were nearer to us. But Jesus is always at hand, ready to comfort when all other comfort is gone. This may be a time when He deigns to draw you closer to Himself, to show you more of His loving heart, and to teach you how much you need Him at all times. Endeavor to get closer to Him as that Friend, and Husband too, that sticks closer than a brother.

How is it with your faith? Are you keeping a steadfast eye upon Christ, who has promised to supply all your needs? Or, are you looking more to an arm of flesh? If you are, God will disappoint you. When you have a need, look first and go first to Jesus, and let Him not take the second place in your estimation. Go in the simplicity of a little child, pouring all you need into His willing ear and tender heart.

There is no school, in the believer's training for heaven, like the school of affliction, in which to attain to a knowledge of the character of God.

We are not to be like the world around us, but are to see God in everything, and in every act; and walk humbly and closely with Him.

We need in our present exile to dwell more on heaven than we do; to sit more in heavenly places; to be looking away from present trials, afflictions, and disappointments to the things that are unseen, and eternal. How much better would we then bear our present woes; the roughness and the privation of the homeward pilgrimage. Oh, dear friend, when we reach that world of glory and of bliss, and see Jesus as He is, we shall marvel and wonder, and were it possible, should weep, at the thought that we could have been satisfied to remain so long the tenant of this body of sin and of death, and not pant more for the disembodied, unrobed spirit, and so be instantly and forever with our best Beloved.

What a marvelous spectacle is this! a poor sinner and a holy Lord God meeting together at the blood sprinkled mercy seat! Is not this most blessed? I often go burdened, and come away light as a feather, nestling beneath the very wing of the Savior, and listening to His well known, "Fear not!" I disclose to Him all that is in my heart, and He unveils His loving, tender, forgiving heart to me.

Dear friend, keep close to Him. Let not the world and its cares come between you and Christ. If a cloud intervenes, rest not until it is withdrawn. Go, and go again, and should a shade still obscure the glorious vision, return not from His presence until even its shadow has dissolved into full, unclouded light.

How precious does Jesus appear to my soul. I lie at His feet as the lame beggar at the beautiful gate of the temple, asking an alms; helpless, yet waiting; believing and hoping to receive a smile from the beamings of His countenance.

Who can subdue our inbred sins but Jesus? As well might we attempt to upheave a mountain, as to argue with and remove even a solitary corruption of our fallen nature. But if we carry it at once to Christ, He will do it all for us! This is one of the most difficult, though needed, lessons in the school of Christ. I seem myself to be only just beginning to learn it, and therefore am brought often to take the lowest class, and come as a little child to Jesus to do all for me, and all in me. My own imagined strength has all vanished, and my boasted wisdom turned into foolishness.

O eternity! With all your solemn realities, how is it that creatures of a day think so little of you! A few more stages and you and I, dear friend, will be there! How soon, how very soon, we shall be fitted for the companionship of Jesus Himself, and shall be with Him, beholding Him in all His unveiled loveliness, and bathing in the ocean of His love! Does not the thought often gladden your heart, while it dissolves in sweet contrition, that ever it should have sinned against One who so loved us as to lay down His precious life for us?

What a costly proof has He given you of His love in laying down His life for your soul's salvation!

Infinite wisdom and infinite love cannot mistake. Trials, losses, crosses; all, all are needful, and when we get home we shall plainly see how wisely they have been all ordered. Let us, then, leave our concerns in the best possible hands. He will do all things well for us, and in us, and by us. We are His and He is ours. What need we fear?

Christian love and sympathy are very sweet, and we should ever be grateful for them, for the creature is just what the Lord makes it to us. But, oh, the delight of having that Friend of friends to whom you cannot only open your heart, but who can bear your trouble for you, feel for you, help you, comfort you, and that effectually. Such is Jesus, our true and best friend.

Satan will keep us poring over our difficulties until they grow into mountains in our imagination. We have but a very imperfect idea of Satan's power and malice towards us. Our only help is to flee at once to our Stronghold, our Refuge, our Hiding place, where alone we are safe. Oh, how safe! We may hear the lion roar, but he cannot reach us. Sheltered beneath the wing of Jesus we can defy his malice and his power.

What a confidential, holy communion might be kept up between us and our best Friend now in heaven, and our souls on earth. He is in heaven for us, waiting to be gracious, listening with the deepest solicitude and ardent love to all our requests. Make all your requests known unto Him, with thanksgiving.

Our God so orders all things connected with our eventful journey as either to allure or drive us to Himself. Is it not humiliating that we so constantly require such sharp discipline to bring us to know more of His boundless, matchless love? He bears us continually on His heart, and in all that concerns us He is equally concerned.

Oh to be more like Christ! This should be our whole aim; to be conformed to His image, and so show forth His praise. How few bearing the name of Jesus know what it is to deny themselves for His sake; and are conformed to His likeness. Let us aim to be here as Christ was, and to be satisfied with the way He deals with us in all things.

My joy is always more or less mixed with tears; joy and sorrow. It is a pure mixture, and God would have it so. Joy in the Holy Spirit, and sorrow for sin.

Oh what a God He is to all who know and trust Him! How safely may we, at all times, confide our all in His blessed hands. Who is like our God? What heart so full of love as His?

The prospect of soon being with Jesus is to me a most delightful thought.

Only think for one moment how inexpressibly dear you must be to the heart of God!

In every position in which God may place His children, He designs some good towards them; and it ought to be our prayer, honest and fervent, that He would, by His Spirit, show us why He deals with us, and the profit He would graciously have us reap. God acts intelligently, wisely, and righteously in all His dealings with His saints. Nothing is done without forethought and plan. Nothing is done without an object and a design. There is NO CHANCE with Him. All, all is part and parcel of a preconceived, arranged, and defined scheme. Let us, then, quietly repose in Him; and seek first His glory in all things, leaving Him to care for, and dispose of, all secondary considerations.

It is good to have our thoughts continually heavenward; to be looking to the things that are not seen, and are eternal. This will help us to sit loose to the things which are seen and temporal. A few years, short and fleeting, and we pass away from hence. Then, of what little importance is everything here which is not closely connected with our present advancement in the divine life. We are only pilgrims, seeking a city that is to come. We shall soon be admitted into the glorious presence of Jesus Christ! Let this blessed prospect nerve us to do and to endure the will of the Lord in all things; and to see that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus, that our wandering, deceitful hearts might be kept in close converse with Him in all that we have to do.

I long, ardently long, to depart and be with Him; to see Jesus; to enjoy Him with fullness of joy; to be like Him, perfected in holiness.

A Father's ear and a Father's heart are both open to our faintest breathings. Only go as a little child with all your requests, and He will answer. Oh, what a Lord we have to do with- mercy, mercy, unbounded mercy!

Oh that the Lord would but open the eyes of poor lost sinners, and show them the inefficiency of everything else but the knowledge of Christ Jesus to make them happy here and hereafter!

Oh, how awful to go blindfolded into that lake that burns with fire and brimstone!

Nothing but the constraining love of Christ will fully constrain us to holiness.

It is a pleasant thing to me, sometimes, to anticipate the eternal rest that awaits me, my happy home, the home provided, and the welcome from so many that will greet my arrival within its gate of pearl. But first of all, and best of all, to see Jesus, my dearest, my only Friend, whom I love, and desire to love, above all earthly beings. Oh to behold Him! to know Him! to recognize that benevolent and transcendent countenance that so often beamed upon me, unworthy as I was, in the weary days of my pilgrimage!

When we can bring all our poor concerns, little and great, and our poor hearts, too, to Him, and lay them all before Him, I am persuaded we need fear nothing, for God will order all things for us, will bless us, make His love known to us more and more. And we shall see His dear hand held out to help and guide us through this wilderness safely and honorably, to that happy home His love has prepared for us above. Oh to love Jesus, and to know that He loves us! To aim, although we constantly come short, to glorify Him in all we do and say, and to let that be our highest aim.

Let us aim to live more above the world, and look alone to the Bible as our divine directory in all things, and alone to our God for His approbation. Let us be ashamed of nothing but sinning against Him, and grieving His Holy Spirit. Oh, if we did but this at all times, how much more would we adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things, and how much easier would we pass through a world lying in wickedness!

What poor creatures we are when old age, with its thousand infirmities, comes upon us, reminding us that this is not our rest, and that we must be preparing for the rest above. Happy day, happy hour, when that takes place!

What subdues, what breaks the heart like communion with the Holy Lord God, unfolding and revealing Himself in Jesus?

May you be helped to live decidedly for eternity, with your eye upon that glorious crown which Christ has promised to those who overcome! But a short time you have to glorify Him; aim to do it in all things and at all times. Live to God, live for God, and God will take care that you have all you need while you live. He will give you grace and glory, and no good thing will He withhold if you walk uprightly.

Deem no sin a trifle. Beware of the first enticement to sin! You will have need of much prayer night and day, that God may guide and uphold you, preserving you from every snare that the wicked one might throw in your way; and that, sensible of your weakness, you might rely more upon His almighty strength to carry you safely through all the temptations that lie in your path. The devil will tempt; the world will tempt; your own carnal nature will tempt. And all your own strength of resistance is perfect weakness. How can you stand against this threefold troop, but as your Savior puts strength in you? Seek this in earnest prayer, and, with Christ strengthening you, you can do all things.

I sometimes think it is a greater trial to be rich than to be poor. Of this I am quite sure, that riches to the Christian are a great snare, as well as a great trouble, and entails more anxiety and sorrow than real pleasure and enjoyment.

I feel a blessed nearness to heaven, to Jesus. My soul holds converse with Him. Sweet it is to lie as a helpless babe at His feet; passive in His hands, knowing and desiring and doing no will but His. What a mercy to have one loving bosom to flee to! One truly loving heart to confide in, open to the faintest breathings of the troubled soul, the fullest utterances of the sorrowing heart! "Precious Jesus! How blessedly dear and near to me are You at this moment! Keep sensibly close to me. Lift up upon me the light of Your heavenly countenance, for it is better and sweeter to me than life."

What a mercy to have such a One to lean upon, who can and does enter into all our little needs and cares! By this constant living upon and traveling to Jesus we become more conformed to His lovely likeness. I would encourage all I love in the Lord, to keep up this holy fellowship and intercommunion with their dearest and best Friend. Let Jesus be all and in all to us. Let us feel that we cannot live without Him.

My afflicted friend, nothing is too hard for God to do; nothing impossible for Him in whose arm we trust. He hears your every sigh, and His tenderest sympathies are towards you. Rest in His unchanging love, and be assured His unslumbering eye is ever over you for good. Confide in Him at all times, under the darkest clouds. This is the time to exercise faith in the living, loving God. All our trials are tokens of a Father's love, and sent as trials of His faithfulness, and as increasing our knowledge of, and acquaintance with, Himself. As a loving father pities his children, so He pities us.

We all have a talent committed to our trust; let us be prayerful to know what it is, and diligent to lay it out for God.

Religious formalism is one of the most extensive and fatal snares of souls. There is in most a constant 'saying of prayers', without praying; a perpetual repetition, without feeling. The heart untouched, unmoved, unbroken. How few who profess to be converted understand anything of the new birth! They have heard of Christ, but do not experimentally and personally know Him. They have never repaired to Him with a broken and a contrite heart. But to be brought as a poor sinner to His feet, there to lie until He speaks pardon and peace to the weary, heavy laden soul, is quite another thing.

Marvelous are the dealings of God with us! Let us trust and praise Him here, and hereafter we shall fully know why we were put in the furnace, and confess that love kindled, and love watched, and love brought us through it.

Dear friend, before long we shall lay aside this frail and suffering flesh, and wing our way upwards to join the heavenly company and be with Christ. We shall see Him face to face who loved us, and who with love drew us to Himself. What shall we, what can we, render to Him for all His great, distinguishing goodness to us?

It is no small matter to be a consistent Christian.

I am more and more convinced that it is neither riches nor honor nor power that can make a man happy either in this world or in that which is to come. Nothing on earth or in heaven can do this but a knowledge of JESUS. How vain are all things beneath the sun!

Oh, who would not live and strive for heaven! Perfect holiness! perfect happiness! No sin, nor sorrow, nor cruel death, can ever enter there!

I find it sweet to retire and be alone with my best Friend. What a privilege to open our whole heart, and lean, like John, upon the Savior's tender, sympathizing bosom! What on earth is like this? A broken heart, a helpless and powerless soul resting upon the arm and the heart of Infinite and Eternal love!

All His dispensations, however trying, are in love to our souls. He wishes us to cling closer to Himself, and would remove everything that comes between Him and His child. He desires, too, that we shall bear more of His own image, and be more weaned from a passing world and dying creatures.

The promise, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble," has been to me more than untold gold! I never knew Him to fail. If He did not remove the trouble in my way, He did it in a far better way. Recollect that His ear is open to our cry, and He loves to hear our pleadings.

The sweetest and safest life is to lean upon Him as a little helpless child, even as a child weaned of its mother, quiet, submissive, clinging.

If you feel your love to Him chilled, go and tell Him, and He will warm it with His own precious and unchanged love. Go just as you are; let your state of mind and body be what it may, you will always find a welcome from Jesus.

Let us try to live more decidedly for eternity, lessening our hold of the trifles of this poor world, and anticipating the kingdom, the crown, the glory, the welcome that awaits us.

The wicked are only the Lord's rod to drive us nearer to Himself, that we might know more of His pity, power, and love.

There is no chance with God. Every circumstance connected with you was ordered before your had existence. Each event, small and great, each step you take, was predetermined and provided for. God knows all, and does all, and will do all things for you. I would have you rest on this truth, that in the everlasting covenant of grace, all our history was shaped and anticipated; so that in the full belief of this truth, the mind, under all present dark and inexplicable circumstances and events, is at once at ease. Oh, could we but look into God's heart, His dear, loving heart, and see how precious we are to Him, how truly He is watching over us, wisely directing all the incidents and circumstances of our history for our good and His own glory, how soon would all our present grievances vanish, and we sit as little, weaned children at the feet of Jesus!

Oh, when we think how short time is, how uncertain is life, and that a vast eternity awaits us; how unwise we are to allow ourselves to be entangled with earth and earthly things!

How awful it is to see God's creatures living as if there were no eternity before them!

My dear friend, we are on our way to a land the inhabitants of which shall not complain of sickness or suffering. Death cannot enter there. And while still here in this poor world, we have a God to go to, who will never leave nor forsake us, but bring us where we shall forever be done with sin and sorrow. Now, this blessed hope revives often our drooping spirit. The Lord knows we need this cordial on our journey through this poor, trying wilderness, and supplies our needs, small and great. He is concerned in all that concerns us. We must go forward, growing more acquainted with ourselves, as poor and needy; and with Christ, who is our storehouse, full of grace and truth, to whom we have but to go and tell Him, and His heart is open to us in a moment.

Life here without Christ is misery indeed! But oh, to know Him, to love Him, to be borne in His tender bosom through this wilderness of sin and sorrow, is a happiness indeed which cannot be described, and can only be known by experience!

Pray for your enemy. He is only an instrument in the Lord's hands to accomplish His own loving purposes towards you. God is in all things.

"Do not be afraid." The Lord reigns! "Do not be afraid." He is the same gracious God, yesterday, today, and forever. "Do not be afraid." All things are working together for your good. You and Christ are one, and your interests cannot be divided from Him. You are His, and He is yours. Keep close to Him, and carry to Him all your concerns, and He will do all things well for you.

Oh, what a companion is Jesus to a poor helpless sinner while journeying through a wilderness filled with all manner of evil and beasts of prey! We shall soon see Him. Then let us keep our garments unspotted from the world, walking in holy, filial obedience to His divine commands.

What an unchanging Friend is Christ to us! For though He chastens, yet it is all in love, that we might know Him better, and give to Him our heart's chief affections. Oh, He is altogether lovely! The chief among ten thousand! Love Him, and manifest your love to Him, and He will come and manifest Himself to you!

To lift up Christ is the way to draw poor sinners, and to lift poor saints above their darkness, doubts, and misgivings. To see the rich fullness there is in Jesus for the poorest, the vilest, the most helpless that ever called upon His dear name, oh, this is gospel. Did He ever refuse one who came to Him? No, never; and He never will!

There is nothing worth living for but Jesus; to serve, honor, and glorify Him, enjoying His presence here as a pledge of its enjoyment throughout eternity. Is it not a solemn thought? I cannot tell you of His love. Language fails me to express it. He is love, all love, nothing but love.

The Lord has indeed abounded in mercy towards me, upholding in many of life's troubles, comforting, encouraging, and guiding when there was no eye to pity and no hand to help but His own. I have ever found Him a very present help in time of trouble. I can truly say it has been good for me that I have been afflicted.

"Why me? Why me? Lord, why is it that You have had thoughts of mercy towards such a one as me? From everlasting to everlasting You have loved me. Why me? Why me?" Oh, what a difference grace has made!

As the believer advances in the divine life, he sees less and less to boast of, and more and more to humble him. There are none so proud as those who are ignorant of themselves and of Christ. Their imagined righteousness keeps them back from the Savior. They come not as lost and undone sinners, but fantasize they see some little good in themselves.

A mere profession may carry one in such a way as will please the flesh; but as Christ walked through the wilderness, so must His followers more or less take up the same cross.

What is this fair world? I feel such a weariness of this world that nothing here gives me anything more than a momentary, passing pleasure, and it is gone at a glance. Oh for heaven! Nothing else will satisfy my longing soul but the sight of Him it loves. Jesus is all in all to me, and He will be all in all through eternity. Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name!

Religious formalism is the fatal ruin of thousands of souls. I refer to the mere religious professor, the unconverted formalist, those who have not passed from death unto life. They have heard of the Savior with the outward ear; have gone to church, have said many prayers, and have done many things, and yet have only a name to live while they are dead. How many, I fear, deceive themselves in this respect! I tremble for such! Let us make our calling and election sure, not by looking to ourselves, but by looking to Jesus.

God directs all our affairs; and although we so little think of Him, His thoughts are ever towards us for good, in His rich mercy overruling our mistakes for our good and for His glory.

Dear friend, let your sad heart rest upon the loving heart of your Savior. Keep close to Christ. Holy, constant communion with Him is the life of religion in the soul.

Dear friend, let us live more in sweet fellowship with Jesus, and when we pray in secret; no ear hearing and no eye seeing us but His; let us never be satisfied without sensible communion with Him. Jesus is the one Friend, and the only one, to whom you can unveil your whole heart. Is He not precious to your soul? Is there one like Him on earth or in heaven? "Precious Lord! to behold You here, to have but a glimpse of Your lovely countenance beaming upon us in love, is a little heaven below. Then what must it be when we shall see You face to face in all Your unveiled beauties above!"

A few more fleeting years, and you are gone forever! And where are you going? What is your fate and condition in the eternal world? A dying bed is no place to prepare for eternity. Oh that you were wise, and would consider your latter end, and apply your heart unto wisdom! May God open your eyes to see your need of a Savior, and lead you to the feet of Jesus, the sinner's Friend.

We have a dear, compassionate Savior to deal with, who knows all our weaknesses and infirmities, and will give us what we need if we only repair to Him in the simplicity of little children. Oh, how ready He is to listen to all our requests!

If we really believed that every unconverted person we meet with, dying so, would be lost forever, would we not be in earnest to warn that soul to flee from the wrath to come? Would we not avail ourselves of every favorable opportunity of praying for them, expostulating with them, and beseeching them to consider their latter end and turn to the Lord that they might be saved? I know there is much wisdom to be exercised to know how and when to speak, all of which the Lord will give to those who are earnest in asking for it. Eternity, with all its solemnities, is before us! May the Lord make us faithful.

There is a fullness in Jesus that can supply the needs of the millions who repair to Him, and yet He remains as full as ever.

If we desire to know more of ourselves as we are in the sight of a holy God, it is not by contemplating our sinfulness, but by looking to Jesus. A close and constant view of His perfect holiness, His expiatory sufferings on the Cross, His ignominious death, His unparalleled love; will show us the evil of sin, and of ourselves as sinners, as nothing else can. Then it is we see sin in its true light, and lie in the dust at His feet. One clear believing view of Jesus exhibiting His loving, sin-forgiving, compassionate heart; breaks our heart, and dissolves it in penitence and love, under the sense of sin fully pardoned.

Let us aim to act, and speak, and walk as if Christ were at our side! And so He is, though we may not be sensible of it.

One reason why we go on our way halting and wavering is, that we do not realize the truth of what awaits us above. Deal more closely with this, and trials and disappointments will less affect you. It is by keeping up a constant, believing communion with Jesus that will secure this blessing to us. What is our present life? It is but a vapor, and soon passes away. But what is our life to come? A state of holy, happy being, as long as the existence of God. Then, cheer up! Go to Jesus, and tell Him all that is in your heart. He will bow the heavens and listen to all you have to say to Him.

Have you surrendered to Him your whole heart? Then blessed are you. Fear not; He will watch over you day and night, for He cares for you. Do not attempt to transfer your concerns from His hands into your own. He knows the end from the beginning; and infinite wisdom, power, and love are all engaged on your behalf. If you have committed your soul, of more value than ten thousand worlds, to Him, cannot you trust Him to regulate and conduct your earthly concerns? A fretting against God's providence is very dishonoring to Him, and causes Him to leave His perverse child to have, for the time, his own way; and then how bitter it is in the end! The Spirit is grieved, the sensible presence of Christ is withdrawn, and the soul is left in trouble and sorrow and darkness. It is a mercy under such circumstances that our God changes not, or we would be consumed. Live upon Him as a loving Father; the Father of the fatherless, and of the motherless too. He will be to you both, and that Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Lean upon Him, and He will support you under all the trials of life, for He is a present help in every time of trouble. I, for one, have tried Him, and He has never failed me in any one instance. Give yourself up wholly to Him, body, soul, and spirit. Go and tell Him all. You need not shrink from opening your whole heart to Him. He will keep all your secrets, and will do all things well. He will withhold no good thing. What He does withhold He sees would not be for our good. Learn early in life to trust Him with your all, and He will be all to you.

If we could grieve in heaven, it would be in the recollection of our unbelief on earth. Help us, blessed Lord, to trust in You under all circumstances, and more than ever when thick clouds gather around us, and we walk in darkness and have no light!

Jesus is an ocean of love to my soul, while I increasingly feel that I am the poorest of the poor, and feeblest of all His flock.

You must feel your lost and undone condition before you will ever come and cast yourself at the feet of Jesus. The same blessed Spirit who is showing you the vileness of your own heart, will in due time show you also the heart of Christ. Only look into His loving heart, and yours will rejoice with unspeakable joy. Do not look at your own heart, but at the heart of Christ.

If He does not answer at once, it is because He loves to hear the pleadings of His child. See in how many instances Christ appeared not to hear, when at the very time He designed to grant the petition.

The riches and honors of this poor dying world cannot compensate for the loss of the sweet, precious, and life giving influence of the Holy Spirit within.

There is never one petition put up by a child of God, however faint, but He does hear it. One little mite of faith will send it not only into the ear of God, but into the heart of God too.

Only let us live upon Jesus practically and habitually, and we shall lack no good thing.

Every dispensation of His providence has a voice, if we did but listen to it, and come before our loving Father and inquire of Him. God can make even a sick room a Bethel to your soul! All places where He is, is a little heaven below! His presence sweetens every bitter cup, and makes afflictions light.

Downloaded from Grace Gems - A Treasury of Ageless, Sovereign Grace, Devotional Writings

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