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“He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever believeth in me, shald never see death.ra
If thou doubt that thou shalt perish and not be saved, apply, “He that believeth im Christ shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation." Labor to believe these promises, for that is required of thee for the obtaining of what is promised. If thine heari be as a wilderness, barren of good.
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them: and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing."
This promise is made to the church, and every member of it may apply it to themselves. Therefore, when thou feelest thine heart as a desert wilderness and waste ground, void of good, full of briers and thorns of sin, then know thou shalt not only bring forth sweet smelling graces, like roses, but also all abundance of them.
“ The righteous shall fiourish as a branch. The soul of the diligent shall be made fat.d
"I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots like Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon.”
a John xi. 25. b Isa. xxxv. 1, 2. c Prov. xi. 28. d Prov. xiii. 4. e llos. xiv. 5, 6.
If we want means to make us fruitful, apply, “ The Lord will be as the dew to Israel."
When we desire to flourish and grow in grace, apply, “He shall grow as the lily; his branches shall spread."
If thou wouldest shine forth in the beauty of holiness, apply, “His beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and as the lilies,” whose glory is greater than Solomon's in all his royalty.
If thou wouldest have thy graces send forth a sweet smell, apply, “His smell shall be as Lebanon.” If thou fearest the continuance of this estate, apply, “He shall fasten his roots as the trees of Lebanon."
It matters not how great our barrenness be, when God will be a dew to us.
It will quickly make us fruitful; we shall bring forth fruits glorious to the sight as the lily, and as the olive-tree; and the scent of our graces shall be a sweetsmelling savor as the trees of Lebanon. There fore though thou feelest thy heart yet barren, and thou hast used means long, and yet art not fruitful, still use the means and believe; for therein did Abraham glorify God, that he believed above hope that Sarah should have a son, who was barren. So though thine heart remain barren in thine own feeling, after Jong use of means, yet still follow seeking in the means, and be
for we have as sure promises, and as faithful a performer, as Abraham had, Jesus Christ, yesterday, to-day, and the same for ever.
If thou wantest holiness.
“ You shall be a holy nation.
“ And the Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself.rb
The Lord will make thee holy; therefore neither sin, nor satan, nor wicked men, can hinder thy holiness. For he that maketh thee holy, is stronger than all, and doth what he will.
“The God of peace shall sanctify you throughout, in spirit, soul, and body. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.?.c
When thou canst not offer up any sacrifice.
When thou canst not offer up any sacrifice to God, of prayer or praise, or thyself in sacrifice, apply, “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests."d God promiseth that we shall be priests; that is, such as shall offer up sacrifice unto him, for that was the priest's office. Therefore, when thou findest thyself unable to pray, or praise the Lord, or to offer up thyself to God, soul and body, strive in faith, grounded on the promises. He which commanded, hath also nised to make us able to do it, for he hath said, we shall be priests.
"In every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a pure offering:"e which is spoken of
a Exod. xix. 6. b Deut. xxviii. 9. d Exod. xix. 6. e Mal. i. 11.
c1 Thes. v. 23, 24.
the believing Gentiles; therefore thou being one of them, shalt be able to offer up pure offerings.
When thou feelest but little grace. When thou feelest but little grace, knowledge, faith, love, repentance, all very little, apply, “Though thy beginning be small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase.a “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given;
and he shall have abundance.b
Therefore let not thy small beginnings discourage thee; but if thou canst prove thou hast some grace, then join faith and diligence together, and they will quickly make thee rich.
When all thy graces are weak. When thou findest all thy graces very weak, and thou hast no strength to perform any spiritual duty, either prayer or fasting, or any other duty; then apply, “The Lord will give strength unto his people.
“He giveth power to the faint, and to them which have no might he increaseth strength. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."d
a Job viii, 7. b Matt. xiii. 12. xl. 29, 31.
c Psalm xxix. 11.
When thou feelest thyself faint, stay thyself with this promise, “He gives strength to him that fainteth”
When thou feelest no power, apply, “To him that hath no strength he increaseth power.” It thou hast lost thy power ; then stay thyself with this, “ They shall renew their strength.”
If thou art ready to give over through weariness, then gather strength from this, “They shall run and not be weary, and walk and not be faint.”
And if thou findest not these promises performed unto thee, cither thou endeavorest not to keep the conditions, or else thou art negligent in searching out the promises, or cold in sueing for them. The Lord will be sought to for the performance.
“I am thy God, I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.a Trust thou in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.b
To know there is strength in the Lord, is no comfort, unless we know it shall be for us. Therefore since it is given for a comfort, it must include this promise. Thus the Lord's strength for evermore shall be employed for our good. Therefore when we want for either soul or body, we must fix our confidence in him who will not fail us if we seek unto him.
a Isa. xli, 10. b Isa, xxvi. 4,