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Archive for May, 2020

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair
.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest
.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part
.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death
?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

(John Newton, Olney Hymns, Book 3, 36. Prayer Answered By Crosses p.729)

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Volume 02
TWENTY SERMONS PREACHED AT OLNEY, IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
THE MYSTERIES OF THE GOSPEL ARE HID FROM MANY

Let me suppose a person to have a curious cabinet which is opened at his pleasure, and not exposed to common view: he invites all to come to see it, and offers to shew it to any one who asks him.

It is hid, because he keeps the key; but none can complain, because he is ready to open it whenever he is desired. Some perhaps disdain the offer and say, Why is it locked at all? Some think it not worth seeing, or amuse themselves with guessing at the contents.

But those who are simply desirous for themselves, leave others disputing, go according to appointment, and are gratified. These have reason to be thankful for the favor; and the others have no just cause to find fault. Thus the riches of Divine grace may be compared to a richly furnished cabinet, to which Christ is the door.

The word of God likewise is a cabinet generally locked up; but the key of prayer will open it. The Lord invites all: but he keeps the dispensation in his own hand. They cannot see these things, except he shews them; but then he refuses none that sincerely ask him.

The wise men of the world can go no farther than the outside of this cabinet: they may amuse themselves, and surprise others, with their ingenious guesses at what is within; but a babe that has seen it opened can give us more satisfaction, without studying or guessing at all.

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