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The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn ; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be. called Trees of Righteousness, The Planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified: Mat. 5. 4. Iş. 61. 1–3. || Is. 57. 18. and 35. 10.
Do you mourn for sin ? Is this your greatest grief? 175. What blessings are promised to the meek?
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.- The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way.- But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.- But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.- For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Mat. 5. 5. Ps. 25. 9. and 37. 11. 1 Pet. 3. 4. Ps. 149. 4. || and 147. 6. Zeph. 2. 3. 1 Pet. 3. 15.
Are you patient under injuries? Do you desire to be more so?
76. What blessings are promised those who 6 hunger and thirst after righteousness ?
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me, shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me, shall never thirst.- In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled. John 6. 33–35. and 7. 37. Mat. 5. 6. || John 4. 13, 14. Rev. 21. 6.
Which do you most desire, wealth, honours, earthly pleasures, or holiness? Do you pray and strive to be holy?
77. What blessings are promised to the merciful and charitable man?
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall
be watered also himself.- He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive: and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Prov. 11. 24, 25. and 14. 21. Ps. 41.1-3. Mat. 5. 7. || Ps. 41. 2, 3. Acts 10.2, 4. Is. 58. 6--11. Jam. 2. 13. Ps. 112. 4, 6, 9.
Is it your study to be merciful? Are your heart and hands opened wide for religious charities?
78. What blessings are promised to the "pure in heart?"
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? and who shall stand in his holy place? Ile that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not listed up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.- Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.- Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Ps. 24. 3—5. apd 73. 1. Mat. 5. 8. || Ps. 7. 10. and 97. 11. Luke 8. 15. 1 Tim. 1. 5. Job 11. 13-15.
Is thine heart right in the sight of God? Do you cherish no impure thoughts and desires ?
79. What blessings are promised to " peace-makers 2"
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.- Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.- Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God. Rom. 12. 18. 2 Cor. 13. 11. Mat. 5. 9. || Rom. 12. 17, 19. and 14. 16-19. Eph. 2. 14-18.
Do you habitually study the things which make for peace? Can you make great sacrifices for the peace of others ?
80. What blessings are promised to those who “ suffer for righteousness' sake ?"
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my şake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Mat. 5. 10-12 H Luke 6. 22, 23, 1 Pet. 3, 13-18. 2 Tim. 2. 12. 1 Pet. 4. 12. 14. Jam. 1. 2-4, 12.
Could you calmly meet reproaches for Christ's sake? Have you any portion of the spirit of the martyrs ?
81. Will God perform all his promises ?
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.- God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?- And ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Deut. 7. 9. Num. 23. 19. Josh. 23. 14. | Ps. 18. 30. and 89. 34. and 105. 8. and 119. 89, 90. Is. 25. 1. änd 46. 11. Heb. 6. 18, and 10. 23.
How little confidence any one of us reposes in the promises of God! Have you never regarded them less, than the promises of some fellow worm? How base thus to treat INFINITE VERACITY!
82. Are Christians directed to maintain firm confidence in God?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's eléct? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ : By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.- My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Rom. 8. 33, 34. and 5. 1, 2. i John 2. 1, 2. Heb. 4. 16. || Rom. 8. 14—18. Eph. 2. 18–22.
Are the atonement and intercession of Christ the ground of your confidence ? May not Christians be cheerful ?
83. What is the language of the believer under the hidings of God's countenance ?
I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake; I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no anwser.- I remembered Gon, and was troubled : I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. I call to remem
brance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? Selah.- O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation ; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Cant. 5. 6. Ps. 77. 3, 6 -9. and 51. 15, 8, 11, 12. || and 88. 9, 14–17. and 86. 16, 17. Jer. 14. 7, 8. Job 23. 3, 8, 9.
Do you ever mourn because the Comforter is far from your soul.
84. What are suitable directions and promises for a believer, when in darkness and distress of mind ?
Who is among you that feareth th. Wrd, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.- Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time : Casting all your care upon him ; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.- Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.- These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world. Is. 50. 10. 1 Pet. 5. 6—9. John 14. 1, 27. and 16. 33. || Ps. 44. 8–11. Is. 43. 1, 20. and 41. 10, 13, 14. and 40. 30, 31. Deut. 33. 27.
If in darkness should you not cry to God for light? Will you not cast your cares on him?
85. Does God particularly obserre the religious principles and practices of his people ?
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works ; and the last to be more than the first. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon
them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.- The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in nim.- And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, În the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable, in his sight. Rev. 2. 19. 1 Cor. 8. 3. Ps. 33. 18, 19. Nah, 1. 7. Col. 1. 21, 22. || Job 33. 27-30. Jer. 6. 15, 16.
How much fruit God has reason to expect from you? What fruit has he found?
86. What are the privileges, in this life, of those who obey the requirements of God ?
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.- And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love Gon, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Ps. 34. 7, 15. and 84. 11. Rom. 8. 28. || Job 5. 17, 18. Ps. 5. 12. and 58. 11.
How safe and happy is the true Christian! Can you be indif- . ferent to such privileges ?
87. What ordinances are to be administered under the Gospel dispensation?
Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observé all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.- For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Mat. 28. 19, 20. i Cor. 11. 23—26. | 1 Pet. 3. 20, 21. Acts 2. 38, 39, 41. and 8. 12.
Have you a right understanding of Gospel ordinances? Do you highly prize them?