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with all the diligence they could, haver complained, that in the holiest places--when they have been in the house of the Lord, and at the table of the Lord, and when the immediate presence of God made them think themselves secure=yet even then their hearts have started aside, like a broken bow, and ran away after any feather that accidentally blew across.-Alas ! we keep our hearts ! when principalities and powers, and spiritual wickednesses in high places, are combined against them? Impossible. We might as well hold the winds in our fists, or bind Satan himself with a cord, and make the prince of darkness our prisoner.-We keep our hearts ! Angels, that excel in strength, could not keep them. Nothing but the mighty power of God is equal to it. Down upon your knees, therefore, to the Father of spirits, and beseech him to undertake for you. Take with you words, and say unto him, " " Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses ; neither will we say to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods." (Hos. xiv. 2 :) we renounce all dependance on our own arm, or on any arm of flesh ; Lord, keep us; Lord, save us, or we perish.' And if the Lord should be pleased to say, My son, I con

consent to receive thee;, and since thou canst not keep thy heart thyself, I will keep it for thee;' then you will be safe. So saith the Psalmist: “ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wiogs shalt thou trust : his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psal. xci. 1, 4.). So saith a greater than he : 54 My

to leave through

Father, which gave themi me, is greater than all; and poneris able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John X. 29.)-Be content to leave them there. If ever you should (as sometimes, an overweening presumption on your own wisdom and watchfulness, you may) discharge God of his trust, and take your hearts into your own keeping: as sure as ever, and as soon as ever, you do this, you fall : the enemy, that lieth in wait to deceive, seizes the favourable opportunity, and your hearts are gone before you suspect them to be in danger. I repeat it, therefore, again; when you have put your hearts into God's hands, be content to leave them there, Safer they cannot be. “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.... The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand :":" and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." It was this made the Apostle, amidst all his perils, $o composed and cheerful How sweetly does' be sing! “ Nevertheless I am not ashamed for I knot whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day.” (2 Tim. i. 12.) Can they say this, who have given their hearts to the world, or sinCan they meet trouble, can they meet death, with sére. nity and exultation, 'confident of their safety for eternity? It requires no answer, noen aste

3. Because God alone can heat our hearts. 1o10 18 Our hearts are not only exposed to enemies with out, but infected with distempers within distempers" so malignant and mortal as to baffle the utmost efforts of human skill to cures What can you do your

For ex

selves, or what can the wisest and holiest men on earth do, towards sanctifying, yon softening, or ena largipg, or strengthening your hearts ! You'might as well think to cure the stone by a plaster on the forehead, as to heal the distempers of the heart by human counsels, and exhortations. ample.wory Chinei 21 in 792.16

As to the impurity of the heart. Some may be better varnished over than others (to allude to our Saviour's comparison of whited sepulchres,) but alt are naturally full of all manner of uncleanness. “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, theft, . false witness, blas. phemy: these are the things which defile a man :" and sooner might the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots, than a natural man cleanse his heart from all or any one of those fleshly lusts. Some there are, who are vain enough to think they can do it; and, when God hath pointed them to the Fountain he hath opened for sin and for uncleanness, they bave been ready to say, as Naaman to Elisha," Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Dar mascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them and be clean !” (2 Kings w12:) Will not our own tears wash awayisin as well as the blood of Christ Bi-Again 2 there are others who are yaig enough to think they have done it, because they have set up an external reformation, 'though the stain upon the conscience is as deep a crimson as before. Perhaps, with a great deal of labour, they may make one small stream a little oleater and sweeter than it used to be but, having po salt to cast into the fountain- no gráeer torpurity the heart? all will be presently as fout andiputrid rastever.

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So that we may all subscribe to what Job says: “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean ; yet,” the Lord would "plunge me in the ditch, and my own clothes would abhor me." (Job ix. 30.). Indeed, it is God's prerogative: “I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Lev. $x. 8 :) and again ;: “ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean : from all your filtbiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you." (Ezek. xxxvi. 25.). Give him, therefore, your polluted hearts, and pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. li. 10.)

As to the hardness of the heart.---When it is like a stone, impenetrable ; like a rock, immoveable; neither sermons, nor prayers, nor mercies, nor judge ments, can make it feel. What a melancholy case is this! The stupified person himself may smile in the midst of all, and, because he feels no pain, ap. prebends no danger ; but by-standers weep over his insensibility, as a sad prognostic of approaching death. This also is a distemper which he only who made the heart can cure." For God maketh my heart soft.” (Job xxxiii. 16.)" " 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.” (Ezek. xxxvi. 26.)

Again : a straitened heart is a distemper which gracious souls often complain of. Instead of that freedom and fluency and fervour in serving the Lord, which they have known in times past, now they are shut up :---their spiritual senses are hardly exercised to discern good and evil ;-their faculties are, as it

What a mercy,

were, benumbed ;--they seem to themselves as if they had eyes, but saw not ; ears, but heard not; i as if they had feet, but could not walk; grace, but could not exercise it. They cannot pray, they cannot give thanks, they cannot mourn for sin, they cannot delight themselves in the Lord ; and they may as well lift a mountain, as lift up their hearts to heaven. . They have lost their recollection : what passed in former times between God and their souls is as if it had never been : all the experiences they have had of the divine power and grace and faithfulness, are like a book sealed up; or, if it be open, it is so confused and blotted that they can make nothing of it. A case common, and truly pitiable, is this! Human pity will not do. then, that, “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame:" and he bids the north wind awake, and the south wind come, and blow upon our garden: he quickens us, according to his loving-kindness ; and we renew, our strength, so as to run without weariness and walk without fainting---yea, and to mount up with wings as eagles. It is said, that “God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding 'exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand on the sea-shore” (1 Kings iv. 29 :) and it is from God we must expect it too: therefore we can only promise, with David, “I will run the way of thy, commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.(Ps. exix. 32.) i

I might in tbe same manner have gone over all the other distempers to which our hearts are subject, and have shown how God alone can heal them ; but I hope these few instances-may suffice. They that

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