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would molest the sheep, or do them an injury. Blessed Lord, make use of it in that hour of my greatest distress, and still the enemy and avenger! Or, if there be fightings without, let there not be fears within! In the multitude of my thoughts within me, let thy comforts delight my soul; and let me quit this trifling, tempting world, and all my spiritual adversaries, singing, Thanks be to God, who has given me the victory through Jesus Christ, my Lord!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
From thy ever open hand I receive my daily food. I am thankful that, when I ask for bread, thou dost not give me a stone; or when I ask for a fish, thou dost not give me a serpent.
Thou hast fed me with food convenient for me.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
Thou indulgest me, not only with the supports, but with the comforts of life. Thy paths drop so much fatness upon me, that my cup runneth over ;not with tears ;-not with the wine of astonishment. Thanks be to God, it is a cup of blessing. Some. times, indeed, it seems almost empty; and my comforts appear to be nearly exhausted. But, like the widow's oil, it is recruited, I scarcely know when or how ; and though I drink, yea, drink abundantly, still it runneth over,
All this is in the presence of mine enemies; and in spite of all their malicious endeavours to distress and destroy me. (But of all the tables which thou hast prepared, this,' now before me, is the most richly furnished. Here is meat indeed, and drink indeed.
This is to eat Angels' food; or rather food which angels were never honoured to taste. It is to eat the flesh and drink the blood, of the Son of man; nay, of the Son of God!
O thou, whom my soul loveth, make thyself known to me in the breaking of bread. May I have on the wedding garment ; that when thou comest in to see the guests, thou mayest not be offended at the meanness of my appearance! With all humility of soul, do I beseech thee to supply all my need : according to thy riches in glory.]
[After the Ordinance.] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.--Thanks be to God for past and present mercies ! They have been numerous and valuable; abundantly exceeding all that I could conceive. And will be shut up his tender mercies, and be favourable no more? Are the bounties of his providence, or thc treasures of his grace, now exhausted ? Have I already received the portion of goods that falleth to me; and have I nothing further to expect? Have I been hitherto entertained, like Peter in the trance, with plenty of all sorts of provision; and now is the sheet ready to be drawn up for the last time, never to be let down again? Then may I never see to-morrow; for to-morrow I shall have more wants to be supplied, and more sins to be forgiven. If I have no God to go to, if I have not the same freedom of access to the throne of grace, for mercy and grace in every time of need, I must perish, notwithstanding all the distinguished favour
which I have already received. I must be undone, notwithstanding the mutual pledges of everlasting love and fidelity, which have this day passed between God and my soul. God forgive the unbelieving suggestion! It is impossible. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. Having loved his own, he will love them to the end; his purposes and affections are not fickle and variable. He has said, “ I will never leave thee :” and therefore, I may say, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. I know that heaven and earth shall pass away, sooner than one jot or tittle of his promises ; and that there shall be no more day or night in their seasons, sooner than he will take away his loving kindness from me, or suffer his faithfulness to fail.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for
It is, indeed, good to be here ! The gate of heaven is unspeakably delightful. But my highest enjoyments here are but sips of blessedness. The clearest manifestations of his face, are but glimpses through a glass darkly. The longest visits of my Lord are but momentary; or, at most, like those of a wayfaring man, that turneth aside for a night. I cannot, however, charge this to any want of affection in him; but to my own weakness, stupidity and guilt. But a time will come (make haste, my beloved ; let the day break, and the shadows flee away) when I shall see him face to face, and know even as also I am known. Then shall I be for ever with the Lord, and serve him day and night in his temple. Then shall I have no bodily weaknesses, no spiritual corruptions
to vex or disturb me. I shall then be as the angels of God, those ministering spirits, which, like flames of fire, are ever active and fervent; and with a voice as loud, and a heart as warm, as theirs, I will sing Hallelujah, blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever,
A SACRAMENTAL MEDITATION ON
1 Cor. xi. 26.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this
do show forth the Lord's death, till he come.
A'H ! if it were the death of our earthly friends that we are now assembled to commemorate, our affections would be easily moved ; rivers of tears would run down our eyes, and our hearts be ready to burst with anguish. Busy recollection would bring fresh to our'remembrance, the last time when we sat down at this table together; and we should think of the distance and difference between us at present, while they are drinking of the fruit of the vine with Christ in his kingdom, and we are travelling and toiling in the wilderness, with the bread and water of adversity. Well, let us rejoice in their elevation ; and forget not to look and long for our own. Dear as they were to any of us, we are now to remember one who ought to be much dearer. We are met to shew forth the death of our beloved Redeemer :that death which delivers true believers from the wrath of God, the terrors of conscience, and endless misery :--that death which takes away the sting of bodily death, and changes the curse into a most desirable blessing :-that death which is a fountain of life, and the purchase of everlasting salvation,