Nehemiah 9* A solemn fast. (1-3) Prayer and confession of sin. (4-38)1-3 The word will direct and quicken prayer, for by it theSpirit helps our infirmities in prayer. The careful study ofGod's word will more and more discover to us our own sinfulness,and the plenteousness of his salvation; thus it calls us tomourn for sin, and to rejoice in him. Every discovery of thetruth of God, should render us more unwearied in attendance onhis sacred word, and on his worship. 4-38 The summary of their prayers we have here upon record.Much more, no doubt, was said. Whatever ability we have to doany thing in the way of duty, we are to serve and glorify Godaccording to the utmost of it. When confessing our sins, it isgood to notice the mercies of God, that we may be the morehumbled and ashamed. The dealings of the Lord showed hisgoodness and long-suffering, and the hardness of their hearts.The testimony of the prophets was the testimony of the Spirit inthe prophets, and it was the Spirit of Christ in them. Theyspake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what they saidis to be received accordingly. The result was, wonder at theLord's mercies, and the feeling that sin had brought them totheir present state, from which nothing but unmerited love couldrescue them. And is not their conduct a specimen of humannature? Let us study the history of our land, and our ownhistory. Let us recollect our advantages from childhood, and askwhat were our first returns? Let us frequently do so, that wemay be kept humble, thankful, and watchful. Let all rememberthat pride and obstinacy are sins which ruin the soul. But it isoften as hard to persuade the broken-hearted to hope, asformerly it was to bring them to fear. Is this thy case? Beholdthis sweet promise, A God ready to pardon! Instead of keepingaway from God under a sense of unworthiness, let us come boldlyto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find graceto help in time of need. He is a God ready to pardon.
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