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EXPE

RIENCE.

viewed as declaring THE RESULT OF

It was preeminently so in Abraham's lips. He saw how the Lord had provided : had, as it were, gone before him to the mount, had kept strict watch upon his every step, and marked his every movement, till the time, the moment, the exact crisis for interposition had arrived, and then the voice from heaven is heard, Isaac is released, the ram is substituted, and the faithful patriarch's heart is relieved and com. forted. It was then the spontaneous expression of his own experience broke forth, “ Jehovah Jireh,” the Lord hath done as He loves to do, and as He ever will do for his people, provide in mercy and wisdom for them, against their every emergency.

But it was not Abraham only that had reason from his own experience thus to speak. Let us hear what others of God's servants have witnessed. There is nothing more refreshing, more establishing to believers' hearts than this, the listening to such testimony, the testimony of the Church from age to age, as to the fạithful, tender care, and providence of her God.

How touching those few words of Jacob, when he was a dying, and would pronounce his blessing on the two sons of Joseph : he commends them to the Lord; but mark the terms in which he speaks, “God, before whom my fathers, Abraham, and Isaac, did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." You observe his acknowledg

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ment. The Lord had provided for him: had fed him all his life long, unto his dying day : had redeemed him from all evil. He had been brought to extremities, there had been times when he owned himself to be “afraid, and greatly distressed," but out of all the Lord had delivered him.

Pass on to David's day. What testimony does he bear ? What had been his experience ? Hear him on his dying bed. " David said to Solomon his son, be strong, and of good courage, fear not, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee, He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." You note the emphasis of the words, my God ; " it is there the testimony of experience appears ; God will not fail thee, and why do I say so ? He has not failed me. All my life through He has kept me, and ordered all things for me; I know how He provides. And here, while we mention David's name, can we fail to call to mind that most striking and affecting witness of his, the result of his experience, borne in Psalm xxiii., his witness to the providential care and goodness of his God. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : He leadeth me beside the still waters : He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 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. Thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies : Thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” We cannot take a word of the Psalm without taking the whole. Every word is to our point. Every word speaks of love, and care, and faithfulness. It is all an attestation from experience, of Jehovah's ever watchful eye, and guardian hand. It is the echo of the text, “The Lord will provide.” ”

Take another servant of God, one much tried, but one who, out of all his trials, could come forth with a heartfelt, grateful, glowing acknowledgment, of the constant and unfailing care of his God toward him. “ His compassions, he declares, “ fail not: "" they are new every morning : great is his faithfulness : the Lord is mý portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in Him." They were the words of the prophet Jeremiah, and you mark the testimony is a per. sonal one.

It is the testimony of a man whose own experience has taught him to hope in God, because it has shewn him how constant are the compassions, and how great the faithfulness of Jehovah toward him. He had found the Lord never failing to provide for his security. “Jehovah Jireh," was Jeremiah's confession too.

Pass on again to the New Testament page. Like testimony is not wanting there. How striking those words, they are very few, but how full of meaning, as giving the result of St. Paul's individual experience, when he writes to the

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Philippians, “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." What gave him this assurance ? What was it that enabled him so confidently to promise to his brethren the supply of all their necessities? My God,” you observe. There lies the testimony. I know how He provides. He has provided for me : and he will provide for you. And so in other places we meet with his repeated allusions to the way in which the Lord had kept his eye on him : notwithstanding all his afflictions, “out of them all,” said he, “the Lord delivered me. "The Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; and the Lord,” he therefore adds, implying in the strongest way what past experience had taught him, " the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom.”

How beautiful, how comforting, how encouraging it is, thus to listen to the one attestation of all the saints of God, in every age. They have all one witness to bear. They have all one song in the house of their pilgrimage.

" In the name of their God they set up their banners, and on every banner shines but one and the same blessed memorial, “ Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide."

Dear brethren, may it be granted to you, and to me, to add our confessions to those of all the faithful that have gone before us. Be it ours to trust, as they did, the promises of God: and assuredly with them it shall be ours to own, with

overflowing thankfulness, his constantly providing care and love.

III. I view the words of our text as bearing practically on ourselves. I said we might take them as furnishing A PRINCIPLE OF ACTION. For is it so ? Will the Lord certainly provide ? Then what remains ?

1. I would say, let his children dismiss all fears. We do not say they shall feel no trials. Trials unquestionably they will have. But let them remember upon whom they have to depend; One who foresees all things; One who has foreseen from everlasting every thing that concerns their welfare; and in his covenant, a covenant ordered in all things and sure, has already made all provision for their need. Then is it for them to “trust and not be afraid."

Believer, remember that undue anxieties, and fears in you, are an imputation on your God. They seem to indicate your doubt whether He will provide. Look at your own infant child. He has no cares for the future. Why? He trusts in you. 'My father will take care of me.' His freedom from care bespeaks his confidence So let it be with

God. Do you know his promise for things temporal, that your bread shall be given, and water shall be sure? Then is it yours, as Jesus tells you, to take no thought, no distracting thought, “what shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed ?” And why not ? “For,” saith He, "your heavenly Father

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