Here is a very solemn subject to exercise the mind of a child of God. My soul, take it for thine own exercise this evening. In the part of the church's history alluded to, it should seem that they were just arrived on the borders of Canaan: they had been all along fed and sustained by God's bounty; and the manna, as usual, came fresh and pure from heaven every morning; but tired and dissatisfied with the table of God's providing, they demanded flesh to eat, and the Lord gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul. Happy would it have been for the church of God, if such rebellions had been confined to that period of its history. But, alas! in all ages, God's children too often manifest the like temper. My soul! bring the subject home; thy God, thy Jesus, hath appointed thee the very path best suited for thee. Had a synod of angels been convened to choose what would be most conducive to thy present and everlasting welfare, never could they have arranged either thy state or circumstances better than Jesus hath done. Surely, his infinite wisdom and love are manifested in all the appointments by the way, which he hath made for thee as well in providence as in grace. And yet how often hast thou thought, that such an- attainment, or such a possession, would have been for thy good! And how often hast thou felt displeased when matters appeared to thee discouraging! and in the fulness of thy thoughts, thou hast at times felt disposed to tell thine heavenly Master that such an exercise might have been spared; or that such a temporal portion might have been given thee! And hast thou not, more than once, afterwards discovered that had Jesus granted what thy wayward heart perversely coveted, evil, and not good, would have followed? If thou wouldest gather improvement from the church's history, in the striking instance before thee, see the sad consequences of having any earthly desire gratified, which for the most part bringeth leanness into the soul. Ask the question from any of the chosen few, whose situations are among the great or affluent, whether their souls do not go lean, from their bodies being better fed than others? Prosperity in this world is too dangerous to God's dear children; which very fully explains why Jesus, for the most part, keeps his people humble. When the Lord made Israel to ride upon the high places of the earth, and caused him to drink of the pure blood of the grape; the next account is, "Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked," Deut. xxxii. 14, 15. Precious Lord Jesus, do thou choose for me, in every thing, and for every state; for then I am sure, I shall be well provided for, and well taken care of. Never, dearest Lord, grant any request of mine, which, in the weakness and perversity of my heart, I might be tempted to put up, lest a state, so truly awful as that of Israel should follow; and while the flesh sought ease and fulness, there should be a leanness of soul!From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
[Top of page]