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“My Lord is there, and he is my light, and my salvation."
“ Have you any fears of more bodily sufferings ?
“ The Lord deals so gently with me; I can trust him."
Something of a convulsion came on. When it was past, she said, again and again, The Lord deals very gently with me. Lord, I am thine-save me e-blessed Jesus-precious Saviour-His blood cleanseth from all sin—who shall separate ?-His name is wonderfulthanks be to God-he giveth us the victory-I, even I, am saved.-0, grace, mercy, and wonder-Lord, receive my spirit !—Dear sir--dear father, mother, friends, I am going—but all is well, well, well. She relapsed again. We knelt down to prayer. The Lord was in the midst of us, and blessed us.
“She did not again revive while I remained, nor ever speak any more words which could be understood. She slumbered for about ten hours, and at last sweetly fell asleep in the arms of that Lord who had dealt so gently with her.
“I left the house an hour after she had ceased to speak. I pressed her hand as I was taking leave, and said, “Christ is the resurrection and the life.' She gen. tly returned the pressure, but could neither open her eyes, nor utter a reply.
“I never had witnessed a scene so impressive as this before. , It completely filled my imagination, as I re. turned home.
“ Farewell, thought I, dear friend, till the morning of an eternal day shall renew our personal inter
“Thou wast a brand plucked from the burning, that thou mightest become a star shining in the firmament of glory. I have seen thy light and thy good works, and will therefore glorify our Father which is in heaven. I have seen, in thy example, what it is to be a sinner freely saved by grace. I have learned from thee, as in a living mirror, who it is that begins, continues, and ends the work of faith and love. Jesus is all in all: he will and shall be glorified. He won the crown, and alone de. serves to wear it. May no one attempt to rob him of his glory! He saves, and saves to the uttermost. Farewell, dear sister in the Lord. Thy flesh and thy heart may fail ; but God is the strength of thy heart, and shall be thy portion for ever.”
In the death of the dairyman's daughter, we see the power of faith, overcoming the fear of death, even in the bosom of a timid female. The psalmist gives the true reason of this power, viz: a sense of the presence of God; " for thou art with me.”. How strange that men should ever be afraid of that power, which alone can give a victory over death. The sense of the di. vine presence, knowing his character, gives joy; and this is the reason assigned in the text. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." The rod is the emblem of power, and the staff is the crosier staff of the Shepherd with which he draws the wanderer into the flock, and is emblematic of his love ; but we may be asked, if there is such victory over death, what comfort can be necessary to the believer? We answer, that our faith as Chris. tians does not destroy the innocent sympathies of na. ture, and that being under their influence, the knowledge
of the power and love of God is the source of support and comfort.
Our Shepherd takes care that we shall not want, by verse 5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Is not this table the communion table of our Lord ! the feast of fat things spoken of by Isaiah, (xxv. 6,) of wines on the lees well refined, and this made by the Lord of hosts unto all people? Do we not here spiritually eat the flesh which is meat indeed, and receive the blood which is drink indeed ? In what sense is this in the
presence enemies? Our sins are our greatest foes, but here is the atoning sacrifice made for the re. mission of sins. It was on festive occasions that the head was anointed ; and the cup of the Christian runs over with joy when he considers that he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things; (Rom. viii. 32;) and can the unchangeable God, who thus freely gives, take away any thing that would have been good to have continued longer with us? Surely, no! Men talk of the feast of reason, and the flow of soul ; but here is the feast of divine wisdom, and the flow of the love which God alone can show, inasmuch as while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us.
The psalmist's confidence in the good Shepherd is expressed in the last verse of this psalm. (v. 6.) ** 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.” The goodness of God is manifested by his unremitting supply of all our wants; and his
mercy, (which is the relief of the miserable,) by making the evil, as well as the good, work together for our good and his glory. But where is the house of him of whom heaven is but his throne, and the earth his footstool ; (Is. lxvi. 1;) yet he whom the heaven of heavens cannot con. tain, (1 Kings viii. 27,) condescends to permit a house to be built to his name, and he claims it as his own ; and under the Christian dispensation, where two or three are met together in the name of Jesus, there is the presence of God the Saviour ; and though there be no earthly building or enclosure, is not the place the house of God ? -Jacob, after his night vision, called the place the house of God, the gate of heaven; and, dedicating the place which had been called Luz, gave it a new name, called it Bethel, a name signifying the House of God. How true is it that " where thou (God) art is heaven." The most spiritual understanding of dwelling in the house of the Lord is to live in the light of his counte. nance, the joys of his salvation. This enjoyment is said to be " for ever;" and the tempter may say, is not this for ever length of days merely? Jesus gives us the answer : Let not your hearts be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (John xiv. 1-4.)