Oh! precious scripture! what a blessed discovery is here made! Never should I have known, never thought that the hand of my God was in a dispensation like this. Henceforth, my soul, remember, when at any time the world is oppressing thee, and opposing thee, yea, when even "thy mother's children are angry with thee;" look deeper than the surface, and behold both the Lord's wisdom, and the Lord's appointment in the exercise. And dost thou ask wherefore the Lord should dispose the heart of the believer's foes to hate his people? the answer is at hand: it is to keep his people from "mingling with the heathen, and learning their works." Nature cleaves to nature; and the dispositions of flesh and blood are in all the same. If God, therefore, turn the hearts of those we are too fond of, to treat us with unkindness, and reward our love with hatred, this process will do more to separate the precious from the vile, than all the Lord's precepts; yea, even more than a sense of our own danger. How much disposed art thou, my soul, to seek the favour of the world! how frequently dost thou study to conciliate the affections of those who differ from thee in the great truths of God. Jesus, who knows this, beholds it, and will not suffer it to be. He graciously causeth some secret sorrow to spring out of this root. The heart we wish to be particularly friendly, is led to manifest provoked unkindness; and where we are looking for most pleasure, there we find most pain. And in all this, Jesus's love and wisdom are at the foundation. No dispensation would answer the purpose to correct our wayward choice but this; and it is blessed to see how the Lord accomplisheth the secret purposes of his will, by means so opposite to our calculation. Mark down this sweet scripture for the special purpose of improvement, under exercises like these. And when at any time the false reproaches of one, or the unprovoked anger of another, in the carnal world, make thee sad, recognize the hand of Jesus in the dispensation, and read this blessed passage in proof; "He turned their heart to hate his people."From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
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