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Our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy; let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly. Mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord; in thee is my trust, leave not my soul destitute'. Yea in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee; for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name; hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it". Now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our Potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever; behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people'. For thou, O God, hast proved us; thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net, thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire, and through water. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain'. Lord thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart; thou wilt cause thine ear to hear; to judge the fatherless and the oppressed; that the man of the earth may no more oppress". Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance; but judgment shall return unto righteousness; and all the upright in heart shall follow it". For thou wilt save the afflicted people.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me; deep
Neh. ix. 32, 33.
Psalm cxli. 8.
Isa. xxvi. 8, 9.
k Psal.lxvi. 10,11,12. D Psal. xciv. 12-15.
calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water-spouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me". O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chasten me in. thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore'. I am feeble and sore broken; I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee'. My heart is sore pained within me; and the terrors of death are fallen upon me'. They also that seek after my life, lay snares for me; and they that seek my hurt, speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs ". I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it *. In thee, O Lord, do I hope; thou wilt hear, O Lord my God". Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, my foot slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul. Unless thy law had been my delight, I should have perished in mine affliction. Look upon mine affliction, and my pain, and forgive all my sins. Thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the depth of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. The Lord hath chastened me sore; but he hath not given me over unto death. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused
P Psalm xlii. 6, 7.
d Psalm cxviii. 18.
4 Jer. x. 24.
y Psalm xxxviii. 15.
e Psal. cxix. 75, 76.
• Psal. xxxviii. 1, 2.
me to hope; this is my comfort in my affliction'. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes *. Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word ". Hear my cry, O God, attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee; when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I'. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me*. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me'. My flesh. and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever". And the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen you". We do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience, and long-suffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light°.
Opposite to the virtue of resignation, are the sins of murmuring, discontent, and fretting against the dispensations of divine Providence. Of these the people of Israel afford many melancholy instances. The Psalmist gives us a detail of them in the lxxviiith psalm:" They tempted God in their hearts, by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out: Can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the Lord heard, and was wroth; so a fire was kindled
f Psal. cxix. 49, 50.
g Psal. cxix. 71.
h Psalm cxix. 67.
1 Psalm xxiii. 4.
• Col. i. 9-12.
against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; because they believed not in God, nor trusted in his salvation: For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert? Yea they turned back, and tempted God, and limited the holy One of Israel'. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel'. "To this the Apostle Paul refers, when he says," Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted'. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come ".
"But let us turn our thoughts to the following noble examples of dutiful resignation. In the midst of that complicated distress wherewith Job was visited," The Lord gave, "saith he," and the Lord hath taken away: Blessed be the name of the Lord".
Eli, on receiving, by the mouth of Samuel, the most distressful message from the Lord, importing no less than the total destruction of his family, submissively replied," It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good'.
"David's behaviour furnishes us with a variety of instructing examples of devout trust and resignation. When the Amalekites had smitten Ziklag, and burnt it with fire, and had taken the women and children captives," David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him; because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons, and for his daugh
ters; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God".
"After he had besought the Lord for the child which the wife of Uriah had born to him, and had fasted, and lain all night upon the earth, and would neither arise nor eat bread; when he understood that the child was dead, he" arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: Then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? Thou didst fast and weep for the child while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? but now he is dead, Wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
"A very remarkable example of resignation was given by him, when flying from the fury of his unnatural son Absalom. He commanded Zadok to return to Jerusalem with the ark of God, in these memorable words:" Carry back the ark of God into the city; if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation; but if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.
"The words of the Lord to Ananias, when St. Paul was called to the apostleship, deserve our particular attention." Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. "The Apostle tells Agrippa, that he" was not disobedient to
8 2 Sam. xii. 20-23.
D 2 Sam. xv. 25, 26.
1 Sam. xxx. 6.
Acts, ix. 15, 16.