Billeder på siden

his infuriated brother, or to cast himself upon the neck of his opponent. Nothing now remains for him but to place his hope and confidence entirely upon the Lord, and to say with Jacob, 'I will not let thee go, except thou bless me— bless me with a superior light than has hitherto shone upon me, by which I may duly view thee, my Saviour, as elevated upon the cross, with a stedfast peace, which shall keep my heart and mind in Christ Jesus, instead of the constant mental disturbance I have hitherto experienced; with a complete faith, which receives out of thy fulness grace upon grace, and abides in thee as the branch in the vine; which affords an entire and constant assent to the work of redemption, and perseveres in it, so that I have a sure confidence that thou wilt bless me with such a real fellowship and intercourse with thee, as to enable me to pray without ceasing, offer thanks unto thee, and thus glorify thee.'

Such is Jacob's prayer, "I will not let thee go," -aprayer to be used not only in the beginning, but also in the progress of the life of grace. Happy is he who employs it in both cases, and to whom light rises in darkness!

May the Lord bestow his blessing upon us

all; begin his work in those souls where it is not yet commenced; and where it is already begun, carry it on until the dawning of the perfect day. May complete knowledge and faith, a perfect cure and perfect love, be, by grace, the lot of all of us! Amen.



And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

JACOB had assured the Lord, that he would not let him go, without first receiving his blessing; and, in the words of our text, we find the preparation for the reception of that which he desired. The Lord's sole intention was to impart to the Patriarch a superior blessing to anything he had previously enjoyed. But observe what a singular way he takes for this purpose. It seems as if he intended his entire ruin-nay, it not only seems so, but is so in reality. Jacob

is driven more and more into straits. He is afraid of Esau, and the promises he has received, no longer serve to tranquillize his mind.


In this way, many an individual miscalculates, upon whom the promises are impressed in a particularly lively manner. He looks upon them as a capital, upon which he can draw in the season of distress, and carefully notes them down, in order to refresh and encourage himself with them when he requires it. But the manna thus laid up, refuses to perform its office. The word, indeed, continues the same; but, as the Spirit is not with it, it produces no more effect than in the case of Jacob, who was afraid notwithstanding; and this is likewise productive of good.

In the most pitiable situation, and whilst hanging on the neck of his opponent, his desire for a superior blessing is increased; and it is then suggested to him, to let him go, who can alone bestow it. Thus it may also seem, as if Jesus did not trouble himself about the grief of soul which the individual experiences, and it seems as if he would be suffered to remain in it. But the Lord's intention is to make the man thoroughly acquainted with the real source from whence every blessing flows, deeply to convince him of the insufficiency of all self amendment, and to heal him of it.

Jacob now implores a blessing, but he does not receive it instantaneously; for the Lord enters into a conversation with him, which causes delay. Pious souls must also be satisfied to wait in like manner. They easily suppose, that when they have prayed once or a few times, with earnestness and fervour, for some particular blessing, it must immediately be bestowed, or else they become apprehensive that their prayer is not of the right kind, and their state of grace uncertain. But, friend, though thou knowest it not, thou art perhaps not yet poor -not yet humbled enough. Look at Jacob! When does he conquer? When is he blest? Only when his hip is dislocated, and no more strength is left him. Probably the Lord intends by it" that thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when he is pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done.' Thou must, therefore, force thyself to be content, whether thou wilt or not.


[ocr errors]

And he said unto him, What is thy name?" Who was it that asked the question? It is remarkable, that in 1 King's xviii. 31, it is said, that "the word of the Lord" uttered this. We

« ForrigeFortsæt »