« 이전계속 »
God's Perfections and Love.
WHAT adoration dost thou deserve, God, my creator, for having given me a soul capable of acknowledging thee! How greatly hast thou herein exalted me above many of thy creatures! How insignificant am I, when I compare myself with those bodies which thy almighty hand has fixed in the immeasurable vault of the heavens! yet how important do I appear to myself, when I reflect, that these splendid masses can neither comprchend their own beauty, nor the excellency of their maker! Each production of the animal kingdom magnifies thy greatness, O God! but the spirit, which thou hast granted to me, and which knows thee and honours thee, proclaims yet more perfectly thy wise omnipotence. Every plant is an image of thy infinite power: but it knows thee not. I however know thee, and I know too that I am thy image. Yet would that my soul might clearly see likewise its own worth, and thankfully value it! How great, my God, how highly favoured am I, that I possess the capacity to acknowledge thee; that heaven and earth, and all that is therein, announce to me thy supremacy, and that I am able to feel this thy unparalleled superiority! It is an incalculable privilege for me, that I am a participator in such happiness. But render it also my delight, thou source of perfection, to confess thee and to reverence thee. To acknowledge thee, the true God, and thy son, Jesus Christ, my mediator, be this my chief employment, my only wisdom. How unsearchably hast thou loved me in thy son! This love, which passeth all knowledge, let me fully perceive, and worthily praise. In every benefit, and in every chastise
ment, thou permittest me to recognise in thee my friend
Even this day, I humbly trust in thy mercy, will not be destitute of the evidences of thy compassionate tenderness. And even this is a gift of thy love, that I am still able to breathe, to move, and to live, both for the world and for heaven. But I shall receive yet stronger testimonies of thy faithfulness. Thy patience will still bear with me to-day; thy providence will watch over me and my existence; thy Spirit will produce in my heart the earnest will, and the upright accomplishment of good works; Jesus will be my advocate before thee; and thou wilt fill my soul with nourishment and joy. All this, and whatever else is needful for my happiness, do I, relying upon thee, expect from thy inexhaustible benevolence. And should even suffering be the portion which thou to-day appointest to me, I will still denominate it goodness; and in the bad as well as in the fair season, boast and acknowledge thy parental constancy. Only manifest to me, true and merciful Father, this grace, that I may discover thee in all the dispensations of thy favour, and love thee with
my whole heart. And should this day conduct me to eternity, then let me depart in thy knowledge, and in the faith and love of my Redeemer, and pass into that world, where to know thee and to adore thee will be our highest blessedness.
The Christian's Happiness and Fate rest with
WHAT indeed is there that can disquiet my bosom, if with a grateful and satisfied heart I enjoy the present and in regard to the future, place my hope in God? He knows all my wants, and possesses likewise the means of relieving them. His mercy will not deny me that which is really salutary for me. Why should I confide my welfare to men, who are even as perishable as that welfare which I expect from them? Why should I pass my days in anxiety? My prosperity is in the hands of the Lord: he has already fixed the hour when it shall arrive: he has already determined its duration, and how long I shall be glad in it. Trust in him, O my soul, and resign thyself to his wise and gracious governance, which orders all things for thy true benefit.
But the future !-O! how sorrowful am I often, when I look forward to it! How much trouble, perhaps, awaits me in the day when I shall be old and hoary! What if my friends who are now my comfort, desert me! Or what, if a long and painful sickness destroy my health! Perhaps poverty, contempt, and various other miseries are to imbitter the peace of my remaining days!-Cowardly heart! wherefore this solicitude? The events of the future rest with God: he that rules
all destinies has appointed thy fate to thee too. And what destiny, except that which is the most profitable for thee, can be anticipated from him? Granting even that in the future such occurrences as are disagreeable, crowd into thy space of life: yet still will they be advantageous, since for wise purposes they will be allotted to thee by thy Father. And what avail thy melancholy presentiments? Can they arrest the misfortune which thou seest afar off, or alleviate its accompanying grievances?-Leave the future to the Lord. The lot which he has for thee is the best and the happiest, and if still any care concerning the future affect thee, then think of death, the grave and judgment. Labour only for the salvation of thy soul, which depends upon thyself, and choose the path that leadeth to that most desirable attainment; yet even in this point also has thy Father been provident for thee. He has destined to thee a blessed immortality, and through Jesus assured it to thee: walk therefore as it becomes a being to whom so high a destiny is appointed. Live in the faith of the Son of God, and in the hope of a happy consummation: then will the future have nothing in it alarming for thee.
God, and father of my life, I thank thee for this consolation. The belief that my happiness, both in this and in the other world, lies in thy keeping, shall fully tranquillize my mind! To thee do I look for every thing for every portion of my existence, and for this day also, wilt thou appoint to me so much as is actually needful for my felicity. I will accept every thing thankfully from thy hands; even the cup of woe, which thou mayest, perhaps, present to me, will I drink cheerfully, and say, as my Jesus said; thy will be done!" With these sentiments will I proceed full of comfort, and trust in the way in which thou commandest me
to go. Thou wilt likewise, throughout the rest of my life, continue to be my God and my Saviour. I trust in thy omnipotent goodness. Thou wilt make all well.
I cannot ex
The Amazing Goodness of the Lord. How great, Father, is thy goodness! press it: but I will adore it, and admire it. I cannot comprehend its infinite immensity; but I will consider my own nothingness, my own poverty, my own unworthiness, in which it so exceedingly exalts itself. The smaller I become in my own eyes, the greater will the goodness of my God appear. Lord, who am I that thou so favourest me? In the dust must I worship thee, since I myself am only dust and ashes. I strive with all my powers to contemplate thy goodness-that goodness which is the theme of the songs of praise of the whole heavens. My soul is amazed at this contemplation. Where shall I begin to glorify thee? or where shall I find the boundary at which I can cease? Unlimited beneficence! thy kindness has no commencement; thy mercy has no end. While yet the world was not, even then did it already exist; ere I yet was, even then did it already occupy itself with my wellbeing. And what did it not do, when at length I entered into the world? What does it not still do for me? What will it not hereafter do for me? Everlasting deity! who can conceive thy goodness? Who can relate thy wonders?
I, who am by nature so little, so poor, so despicable, so wretched, so perishable, through thy goodness am