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When thy heart is dried for want of grace.
When thou feelest thy heart dried up for want of grace, that thou canst not send forth any water of grace in thy thoughts, words, or works, apply, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty. and floods upon the dry ground. The Lord shall satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of waters, whose waters fail not.b
“He shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreadeth out , her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh ; but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yield“ Their soul shall be as a watered garden.d “God giveth grace unto the humble.e
"In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert; and the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of waters :'f that is, the most barren heart shall abound with grace, according to this promise, “Out of their bellies shall Aow rivers of the waters of life.
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongues fail for thirst, I
a Isa. xliv. 3. b Isa. lviii. 11. c Jer. xvii. 8 d Jer. xxxi. 12. e James iv. 6. f Isa xxxv. 6, 7. g John vü.
the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them; I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah-tree, and myrtle, and the olive-tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, and the pine, and the box-tree together.”a So, now though thou feelest thy heart barren, know that God will be the gardener to thy barren heart, to make pools, and plant pleasant grapes of graces; therefore seeing he taketh upon himself the work, fear not the badness of the ground, for he will make it good as a fruitful garden.
If thou wantest the Spirit of God.
"I will put my Spirit within you.b If
ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.c
“I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants, and upon the handmaids, in those days will I pour out my Spirit.
a Isa. xli. 17, 18, 19. b Ezek. xxxvi. 27. d Joel ii. 28, 29.
c Luke xi. 13.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of truth: He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you."
When thou canst not pray thyself, stay thyself on these prayers, that Christ hath prayed to the Father, to give the Spirit, and he was heard in all he prayed for; therefore thou mayest claim it, though thy prayers be but weak.
If, looking on God's love, thou canst not love God
When thou lookest upon the great love of God unto thee, and canst not find thine heart enlarged in loving God again, apply this promise, “I will circumcise thine heart, that thou mayest love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,
If thou canst not bring thine heart to delight in the
shalt rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the Holy One of Israel.c
“In thy name shallthey rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. I
a John xiv. 16, 17, 18. b Deut. xxx. 6. c Isa. xli. 16. a Psalm
“For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty.a
“For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name."
When thou seest cause of rejoicing in the Lord, and yet canst not move thine affections, apply, “They shall rejoice in him.”
If, through many troubles and temptations, thou findest thy joys often interrupted, apply,
They shall rejoice continually in thy name."
If thou feelest not the fear of God in thine heart.
“I will put my fear in their hearts.”c
If we would have a reverent, fear of God when we perform any holy duty, or at other times as thou feelest thy need, urge the Lord with this his promise, for he delights to be sued to upon his promise, by his servants; “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for
If thine heart will not praise the Lord. “This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.e
“Ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God.
“They shall praise the Lord that seek him."8
a Job xxii. 26. b Psalm xxxiii. 21. c Jer. xxxii. 40. d Ezek. xxxvi. 37. e Isa. xliii. 21. f Joel ii. 26. & Paalma xxii. 26.
When thou seest what great things God hath done for thee, and findest
not thyself able to set forth his praise, apply, “They shall set forth my praise.”
When thou findest thy ungrateful heart not affected with the mercies thou enjoyest, and they stir thce not up to praise the Lord, apply, “He shall eat and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord.”
If thou wantest wisdom.
When thon seest thy want of wisdom makes thee not walk like a Christian, so unblameable as thou oughtest, apply, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. "a
When thou findest, thou wantest wisdom to improve thine afflictions to the best advantage, or for the ordering of thy actions, occasions, and course of life, to God's glory, and the good of others and thyself, then fail not to ask wisdom, and doubt not of the obtaining it.
If thou canst not understand God's voice.
When thou canst not understand the voice of God in his word or works, not knowing what to learn by them, apply, “The ears of the deaf
a James i. 5.