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his youth. He shall pray unto God, and he shall be favourable unto him, and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness."
"I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal himb ”
When thou comest to the uttermost extremity for sin, apply, "I will have mercy on him, and deliver him, that he go not down to the pit."
When thou fearest that God or his ministers will not speak peace unto thee, apply, "I have received a reconciliation; I create the fruit of the lips, to be peace to them that are far off, and to them that are near.
When thy sorrows have withered thee up, apply, "He shall return as in the days of his youth; and his flesh shall be as the flesh of a child."
If in this estate thou fearest God will not hear prayers for thee, apply," He shall pray to God, and he will be favourable to him."
When thou fearest thou shalt not be able to look upon the Lord with joy, apply," He shall see his face with joy."
When thou seest not any thing in thyself, that should cause thee not to believe this, apply, "He will render to man his righteousness:" which is (I think) Christ's righteousness, for whose sake he will do it.
a Job xxxiii, 24, 25, 26. b Isa lvii, 19.
If thou findest sin a heavy burden, and Satan pursuing.
When thou feelest sin a heavy burden, and Satan pursuing thee with many fears by reason of the same, fly to Christ, and apply, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you resta He shall save his people from their sins.b "And the God of peace shall bruise satan under your feet shortly.
"And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.d "
Thus dothChrist to the soul that flies to him. If satan pursue thee, apply, "He is a hiding-place."
If storms of temptations and afflictions do arise, apply, "He is a refuge against the tempest."
If thy soul be ready to faint with weakness, apply, "He is a river of water in a dry place," to revive thy spirits; "and as the shadow of a great rock,"-under which thou mayest safely repose thyself.
When thou findest thy sins very heavy, apply, "I will ease you."
When thou hast no rest in thy soul because of sin, apply, "You shall find rest to your souls. He shall save his people from
a Mat. xi, 28, 29. b Mat. i, 21. [c Rom. xvi, 20 d Isa. xxxii, 2.
their sins,"-both from the punishment and
If thou fearest length of time in temptations, apply, "The God of peace shall bruise satan under your feet shortly."
If thou turn from sin, and yet doubt of par
"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.b
"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities, and will cast our sins into the depths of the sea. He that confesseth and forsaketh his sins, shall find mercy. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "
When thou seest thy soul of a sinful colour, apply, "Though they be red like crimson, they shall be white as wool."
a Isa. i, 18. b Isa. lv, 7. c Micah vii, 18, 19. d Prov. xxviii, 13. e1 John i, 9.
If thou fearest God will hardly be intreated, apply, "He will have mercy, for he is ready to forgive."
If we fear that our sins have taken such strong hold upon us, as we shall never get from them, apply, "He will cleanse us from all our unrighteousness." Seeing God promiseth to be the cleanser, fear not for the hardness of the work.
If thou wouldst have thy manifold rebellions subdued.
When thou feelest many rebellions in thine heart and life, and wouldst have them not only pardoned, but subdued, apply, "I will heal their backslidings:a" Which promise (as I think) contains this much-that God will not only pardon, but heal us; and, instead of rebellious hearts and lives, will give us obedient hearts and lives. For as healing followeth the curing of sickness, so obedience doth the curing of rebellion.
"He will subdue our iniquities." When thou feelest sin very strong, fly to his promise; and apply the strength of him that promiseth, against the strength of sin. It is the Lord that hath promised to subdue it. What though sin and satan join their force together? Yet the Lord is stronger than all their force, we need not doubt.
aHosea xiv, 4. bMic. vii, 19.
If thy heart be hard, and full of corruption.
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.a
"And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul that thou mayest live. " When thou feelest thine heart worldly carnal, apply, "I will circumcise thy heart: a new heart will I give."
When nothing will break thine heart, apply the powers of Jehovah, who hath promisto cure thee, in taking away thy stony heart.
If unbridled nature break out into violent passion and contention.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."Such shall be the power of the gospel, that those which are by nature like wolves and devouring beasts, shall dwell very peaceably. And if we find our nature such, we must apply, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb.”
Ezek, xxxvi, 26. bDeut. xxx, 6. Isa. xi. 6.