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Dependence on Christ-God's Prescriptions

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  • Thomas Britton
    London, Aug. 19, 1775. ... I went yesterday into the pulpit very dry and heartless. I seemed to have fixed upon a text, but when I came to the pinch, it was so
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2003
      London, Aug. 19, 1775.

      ... I went yesterday into the pulpit very dry and
      heartless. I seemed to have fixed upon a text, but
      when I came to the pinch, it was so shut up that I
      could not preach from it. I had hardly a minute to
      choose, and therefore was forced to snatch at that
      which came first upon my mind, which proved 2 Tim. i.
      12. Thus I set off at a venture, having no resource
      but in the Lord's mercy and faithfulness; and, indeed,
      what other can we wish for? Presently my subject
      opened; and I know not when I have been favoured with
      more liberty. Why do I tell you this? Only as an
      instance of His goodness, to encourage you to put your
      strength in Him, and not to be afraid even when you
      feel your own weakness and insufficiency most
      sensibly. We are never more safe, never have more
      reason to expect the Lord's help, than when we are
      most sensible that we can do nothing without Him. This
      was the lesson Paul learnt, to rejoice in His own
      poverty and emptiness, that the power of Christ might
      rest upon Him. Could Paul have done anything, Jesus
      would not have had the honour of doing all. This way
      of being saved entirely by grace, from first to last,
      is contrary to our natural wills; it mortifies self,
      leaving it nothing to boast of, and through the
      remains of an unbelieving, legal spirit, it often
      seems discouraging. When we think ourselves so utterly
      helpless and worthless, we are too ready to fear that
      the Lord will therefore reject us; whereas, in truth,
      such a poverty of spirit is the best mark we can have
      of an interest in His promises and care.

      How often have I longed to be an instrument of
      establishing you in the peace and hope of the Gospel!
      And I have but one way of attempting it, by telling
      you over and over of the power and grace of Jesus. You
      want nothing to make you happy, but to have the eyes
      of your understanding more fixed upon the Redeemer,
      and more enlightened by the Holy Spirit to behold His
      glory. O! He is a suitable Saviour! He has power,
      authority, and compassion, to save to the uttermost.
      He has given His word of promise, to engage our
      confidence, and He is able and faithful to make good
      the expectations and desires He has raised in us. Put
      your trust in Him; believe (as we say) through thick
      and thin, in defiance of all objections from within
      and without. For this, Abraham is recommended as a
      pattern to us. He overlooked all difficulties; he
      ventured and hoped even against hope, in a case which
      to appearance was desperate; because he knew that He
      who had promised was also able to perform.

      Your sister is much upon my mind. Her illness grieves
      me; were it in my power, I would quickly remove it.
      The Lord can, and I hope will, when it has answered
      the end for which He sent it. I trust He has brought
      her to us for good, and that she is chastised by Him
      that she may not be condemned with the world. I hope,
      though she says little, she lifts up her heart to Him
      for a blessing. I wish you may be enabled to leave her
      and yourself, and all your concerns, in His hands. He
      has a sovereign right to do with us as He pleases; and
      if we consider what we are, surely we shall confess we
      have no reason to complain; and to those who seek Him,
      His sovereignty is exercised in a way of grace. All
      shall work together for good; everything is needful
      that He sends; nothing can be needful that He
      withholds. Be content to bear the cross; others have
      borne it before you. You have need of patience; and if
      you ask, the Lord will give it: but there can be no
      settled peace till our will is in a measure subdued.
      Hide yourself under the shadow of His wings; rely upon
      His care and power; look upon Him as a physician who
      has graciously undertaken to heal your soul of the
      worst of sicknesses, sin. Yield to His prescriptions,
      and fight against every thought that would represent
      it as desirable to be permitted to choose for
      yourself. When you cannot see your way, be satisfied
      that He is your leader. When your spirit is
      overwhelmed within you, He knows your path; He will
      not leave you to sink. He has appointed seasons of
      refreshment, and you shall find He does not forget
      you. Above all, keep close to the throne of grace. If
      we seem to get no good by attempting to draw near Him
      we may be sure we shall get none by keeping away from
      Him.

      I am, &c.


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