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which you have with the world? How long will the friendship continue, which you are so afraid to lose ? To-day an individual loves us, to-morrow he hates us; to-day he is a friend, to-morrow a foe; and who for the sake of such an unstable, and at the same time dangerous friendship, for the sake of a peace which is no peace, would deprive himself of the most blissful friendship of Jesus, and rob himself of eternal and infinite felicity ? What matters the calumnies, the blasphemies, the opprobious epithets of unconverted people, that you should let yourselves be restrained by them? Would he not be regarded as foolish, who knew how to obtain a great treasure, or some other important advantage, but let it alone, because thoughtless people stood in the way, who laughed at him, ridiculed him, and called him all sorts of byenames ? But what are all worldly possessions, what are all worldly treasures, what is all worldly honour and glory compared with the great possession, the great treasure, and the great glory which we can obtain in heaven, nay, even here upon earth in Jesus !
There are others also who have really entered upon the way of peace by having commenced their conversion, but who, alas ! have again departed from it, and with Demas, have again become attached to the present world—that had escaped the corruptions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but let themselves be again involved in it, of whom Peter says, better for them not to have known the way of
" It were
righteousness, than having known it, to turn from
and guide these poor souls again aright, that they may consider what belongs to their peace, and again tread the way of
peace which they had forsaken!
Well, God be praised, that there are still some amongst us, whose eyes the Lord has not only opened, so that their danger is no longer bidden from them, and they have considered what belongs to their peace; but who also continue to walk in the way of peace. O my dearest friends, still seek, through the divine assistance, that peace, which you sought at your conversion, at your change of heart, and have, through divine mercy, attained and experienced: still seek faithfully to preserve this precious peace; seek to increase it by ever closer connection with your Saviour, and to establish it by your more intimate union with him. To this end, go cheerfully forward on the blessed path of self-denial and more tification, in order to penetrate the more fully into fellowship with Jesus.
Never cast away your con
fidence in him, but in all your affairs take refuge with him, who is our help and our defence. Let us not be weary in all the afflictions which may
befall us for Christ's sake. If we are ridiculed, despised, and calumniated here; does it fare hardly and laboriously with us in the world; yets till, we have Jesus in our hearts, whom no one can take from us, and his grace and his peace still continues with us. Soon, very soon shall we make our entrance with Jesus into the upper Jerusalem. When our dear Saviour made his entrance here into Jerusalem, the people came to meet him, with palm branches in their hands, and the disciples stripped themselves of their garments, and placed Jesus upon them. There, a host, that no man can number, will also bear palms of victory in their hands; and those who have here stripped themselves of the garments of their own righteousness, and submitted themselves to Jesus, shall there be clothed in white raiment, and shine, in regal splendour, before the throne of God and the Lamb; “God will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and the Lamb shall feed them and guide them to living fountains of water.” They will then joyfully and triumphantly sing, at their entrance into the glorious city of God, and into the heavenly Jerusalem :
The new Jerusalem appears,
With them we shall his glory see,
Amen! « Hosannah ! 'Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord ! Hosannah in the highest !"
O Lord Jesus, before whose face the heavenly host of angels and glorified spirits fall down and worship! O Son of God Most High, we also bow beofre thee, and acknowledge thee as our only Saviour, as our God and King. Our hearts and all that is within us, thank thee for thy love, long suffering, and patience, in which thou hast been so gracious to us, both as it respects body and soul even to this day, and hast exercised such forbearance towards us, hast not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Thanks be to thy goodness, for having blessed us with so many temporal favours during the last three months. Thou hast granted us an abundant harvest, and hast given richly of thy bounty to many. O Lord Jesus, let not this thy blessing become a curse, through ingratitude ! Let it not be spent upon their lusts, but applied to the purposes for which thou hast given it, that thy goodness may be recognized, and that thou, the giver, may be loved: let not our hearts cleave to the gifts, but may they be used in abstraction of heart, and for the purpose of supplying
the wants of the poor and needy, as those who have to give an account to thee.
Thanks be unto thee also for the grace vouchsafed to our souls.: O how many warnings, salutary admonitions, and precious doctrines hast thou vouchsafed to us! O Lord Jesus, let them all become truth and reality in hearts, even that also which has now, though with much infirmity, been brought before us. O that it may tend to the edification and salvation of all, and not unto condemnation ! Thanks be to thee for all the good thoughts, desires, and feelings thou hast hitherto afforded unto many,
O Lord Jesus, let abiding fruit result from it all, which may eternally serve for thy glorification !
O Lord Jesus ! we have heard how much it belongs to our peace, to lay our sins open before thee and confess them with a sincere repentance. Yea, Lord, we have all sinned, even such as have been awakened and called to be thy people. O how frequently have we grieved thee and the hearts of thy children by our slothfulness and thoughtlessness ! Graciously forgive it, O Lord Jesus! We desire on this day of fasting and prayer, to devote ourselves to thee anew, to cleave to thee more faithfully, to walk more worthy of thy grace and of our high vocation, as long as we live here upon earth, that we may at length blissfully reach the end of our course.
We commend unto thee, O Lord, the government under which we live; that those in office may be ruled by thy Spirit, and actuated by thy wisdom for