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present unhappiness; and dost thou know that thou art restless, and yet art willing to continue so ? art thou neither happy in deed nor in desire ? art thou neither well nor wouldst be well ? When my flesh is pained and languisheth under consuming sickness, how heartily and frequently do I cry out, “Oh when shall I be eased of this pain ? .... How, then, should I long for my final, full recovery! There is no weeping, nor pain, nor sickness, nor complaints. Oh when shall I arrive at that safe and quiet harbour where is none of these storms and waves,
and dangers; when I shall never more have a weary, restless night or day ?-BAXTER.
But one thing is needful.- LUKE X. 42. Wherefore, I pray and beseech you all, as ye have any regard to your own good and welfare, that ye would, for the future, concern yourselves in good earnest about your souls; at least, take as much care of them as ye do for the world. Ye study all ways possible to prevent any loss in your estates or trades; do the same for your souls : take all the heed ye can that they be not lost for ever. You contrive and forecast each day how to manage your worldly affairs to the best advantage; do the same for your soul : let no day pass without considering how to work out your salvation the most effectually, and to make your calling and election sure. You
often cast up your books to see how you thrive in the world; do the same for your souls: examine yourselves often, whether ye be in the faith, and whether you grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.-BEVERIDGE.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God.—2 Timothy iii. 16.
The Scripture, being given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, or teaching us all things necessary for men to know, that they may be saved ; for the Holy Scripture was not intended to teach men mathematics, or logic, or natural philosophy, or any other art or science, but only how to serve and glorify God upon earth, so as to get at last to heaven. Therefore it is called the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls. Also, The holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation. That is to be wise indeed, and to good purpose. Whatsoever else goes under the name of wisdom, will be found at last to be no better than folly or madness, which may do us mischief, but never can do us any good. This will both make us good, and do us good, all the good we can desire; but this wisdom can be no way attained, but only by the Word of God; and there we may certainly find it, for “the law is an undefiled law, converting the soul." —BEVERIDGE.
Rest in the Lord.-PSALM Xxxvii. 7.
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by ;
Contract into a span.
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure;
Rest in the bottom lay.
Bestow this jewel on My creature
So both should losers be.
But keep them with repining restlessness;
These are wells without water.—2 PETER ii. 17.
It is the ignorance of the emptiness of things below that makes men so overvalue them; and it is ignorance of the high delights above, which is the cause that men so little mind them. If you see a purse of gold, and believe it be but stones or counters, it will not entice your affections to it. It
is not a thing's excellency in itself, but it is excellency known that provokes desire. If an ignorant man see a book containing the secret of arts or sciences, yet he values it no more than a common piece, because he knows not what is in it; but he that knows it doth highly value it ; his very mind is set upon it. As the Jews inquired after Elias, when Christ tells them that verily Elias is already come, “and ye knew him not,” so men inquire after happiness and delight when it is offered to them in the promise of rest, and they know it not, but trample it under foot; and as the Jews killed the Messiah, while they waited for the Messiah, and that because they did not know Him, “ for had they known Him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,” so does the world cry out for rest, and busily seek for delight and happiness, and this because they thoroughly know it not; for did they know thoroughly what it is, they could not so slight the everlasting treasure.—BAXTER.
O praise the Lord : for it is a good thing to sing praises to our
God.-Psalm cxlvii. 1.
To recount and celebrate the wisdom, the mercy, the truth, the power, and all the works of God, our · Maker, our Saviour, our Sanctifier, our God,-this is a joyful and pleasant thing indeed; it is the work of heaven, the only place where perfect joy and
pleasure can be had. Though we know but little of what they do there, we know they praise God there, and seldom read of anything else they do. This is their constant business and recreation too, their employment and their pleasure both together, and so it should be ours; for we have the same obligations upon us to be always praising God as they have, and it is our own fault if we do not take pleasure in it as they do. . . . . Although we be by ourselves, and have none else to join with us in it, we praise God with angels, we praise God with the spirits of just men made perfect, we praise Him with all the host of heaven, doing the same thing here below, which they at the same time are always doing above.-BEVERIDGE.
O Lord, Thou hast searched me out and known me.
PSALM cxxxix. 1.
Thon knowest, Lord, the weariness and sorrow
Of the sad heart that comes to Thee for rest;
Blessings implored, and sins to be confessed ;
Thou knowest all the present, each temptation,
Each toilsome duty, each foreboding fear;
Or to beloved ones, than self more dear;