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Author Topic: Grace Gems  (Read 191405 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #3870 on: April 30, 2017, 03:41:18 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Strewing flowers on a dead corpse!

(Thomas Watson, "The Beatitudes" 1660)

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

External morality is not heart-purity. A person may be clothed with great moral virtues, such as justice, charity, prudence, and temperance--and yet go to Hell.

We must not rest in mere outward morality.
A swine may be washed--yet be a swine still.
Morality does but wash a man--grace changes him.
Morality may shine in the eyes of the world--but it differs as much from purity, as a pebble differs from a diamond!

Morality is but strewing flowers on a dead corpse!

A man who is but highly moral--is but a tame devil!

How many have made 'morality' their savior!
Morality will damn--as well as vice!
A boat may be sunk with gold--as well as with dung!

The moral person, though he will not commit gross sins--yet he is not sensible of heart sins. He is not troubled for unbelief, hardness of heart, vanity of thoughts. He abhors gross-sins--not gospel-sins.

The snake has a fine appearance--but has a deadly sting! Just so, the moral man is fair to look on--but has a secret antipathy against the holy ways of God.

Morality is not to be rested in. The heart must be pure.
God would have Aaron wash the inner parts of the sacrifice. Leviticus 9:14
Morality does but wash the outside--the inside must be washed.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
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« Reply #3871 on: May 01, 2017, 08:14:48 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Plato's wish!

(J.R. Miller, "The Shining Life" 1911)

"You are absolutely beautiful, my Beloved; there is no flaw in You!" Song of Songs 4:7

Plato expressed a desire that the moral law might become a living personage--that men seeing it thus incarnate, might be charmed by its beauty.

Plato's wish was fulfilled in Jesus Christ! The holiness and the beauty of the divine law were revealed in Him. The Beatitudes contain an outline of the ideal life--but the Beatitudes are only a transcript of the life of Christ Himself! What He taught about love--was but His own love stated in a course of living lessons for His friends to learn. When He said that we should be patient, gentle, thoughtful, forgiving, and kind--He was only saying, "Follow Me!"

If we could gather from the most godly people who ever have lived, the little fragments of lovely character which have blossomed out in each, and bring all these fragments into one personality--we would have the beauty of Jesus Christ!

In one person you find gentleness, in another meekness, in another purity of heart, in another humility, in another kindness, in another patience. But in the holiest of men, there are only two or three qualities of ideal beauty--along with much that is stained and blemished, mingled with these qualities.

In Christ, however, all that is excellent is found, with no flaw!

"You are absolutely beautiful, my Beloved; there is no flaw in You!" Song of Songs 4:7
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« Reply #3872 on: May 01, 2017, 08:16:03 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

(Letters of John Newton)

"Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone." Psalm 71:9

I am drawing nearer and nearer to the season which the Psalmist either expected or felt. Many reasons teach the aged believer the need of this prayer. As his graces are still imperfect--so his powers are feelingly upon the decline. It was but little he could do at his best--and now less and less!

He feels other props and comforts dropping off apace. When he was young, he had warm spirits and pleasing prospects; but now, what a change of the friends in which he once delighted! In some he has found inconstancy--they have forsaken and forgotten him; and others have been successively taken away by death. They have fallen like the leaves in autumn--and now he stands almost a naked trunk. If any yet remain, he is expecting to lose them likewise--unless he is first taken from them.

Old age abates, and gradually destroys the relish of such earthly comforts as might be otherwise enjoyed. Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing, and all the senses--are harbingers, like Job's messengers arriving in close succession, to tell him that death is upon his progress, and is not far away!

If youth has no security against death--then old age has no possibility of escaping the grim monster. But though friends fail, cisterns burst, gourds wither, strength declines, and death advances--if God does not forsake me--then all is well.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs--I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you!" Isaiah 46:4
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« Reply #3873 on: May 03, 2017, 06:35:12 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Everything is against me!

(Arthur Pink)

"Their father Jacob said to them: You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more--and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!" Genesis 42:36

Those circumstances, which to the dim eye of Jacob's faith wore a hue so somber--were at that very moment developing and perfecting the events which were to shed around the evening of his life, the halo of a glorious and cloudless sunset! God was working all things together for his good!

Just so, troubled soul, the "much tribulation" will soon be over--and as you enter the "kingdom of God" you shall then see, no longer "through a glass darkly" but in the unshadowed sunlight of the Divine presence, that "all things" did  indeed "work together" for your personal and eternal good!
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« Reply #3874 on: May 05, 2017, 05:08:27 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

One wrong step--and down we go!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life--and only a few find it!" Matthew 7:14

In some sense, the path to Heaven is very safe--but in other respects, there is no road so dangerous! It is beset with difficulties. One wrong step--and down we go! And how easy it is to take that treacherous step--if grace is absent!

What a slippery path is that--which some of us have to tread! How many times have we to exclaim with the Psalmist, "But as for me, my feet were slipping--and I was almost gone!"

If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much--but in ourselves, how weak we are!

Even in the best roads--we soon falter!

In the smoothest paths--we quickly stumble!

These feeble knees of ours--can scarcely support our tottering weight!

A straw may trip us up--and a pebble can wound us!

We are mere infants, tremblingly taking our first steps in the walk of faith.
Our heavenly Father holds us by the arms--or we would soon tumble down!

Oh, if we are kept from falling, how must we thank the patience, power and wisdom of God--who watches over us moment by moment! Think . . .
  how prone we are to sin,
  how apt we are to choose dangerous paths,
  how strong is our tendency to cast ourselves down!
These reflections will make us sing more sweetly than we have ever done, "Glory to Him, who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy!" Jude 24

We have many foes who try to push us down, and destroy us!

The road is rough--and we are weak!

But in addition to this, enemies lurk in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labor to trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest deadly precipice!

Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes, who are seeking to destroy us at every step! Such an arm is engaged for our defense. He is faithful, who has promised, and He is able to keep us from falling, so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness, we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety!

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish--ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:28
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« Reply #3875 on: May 05, 2017, 05:09:34 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

When His beauty is seen

(Octavius Winslow)

"Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

O what a Savior is Jesus Christ! He is the chief among ten thousand! Look at His sinless, yet real humanity--without a single taint, yet sympathizing with us in all our various conditions--our afflictions--our temptations--our infirmities--our griefs. Now that He is in glory, He is still cherishing a brother's heart--bending down His ear to our petitions--ever standing near . . .
  to catch our sighs,
  to dry our tears,
  to provide for our needs,
  to guide us by His counsel, and
  afterwards to receive us to glory!

O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!

When He is known--all other beings are eclipsed.

When His beauty is seen--all other beauty fades.

When His love is felt--He becomes supremely enthroned in the affections.

To know Him more, becomes the one desire of the renewed mind; and to make Him more known, is the one aim of the Christian life. O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!
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« Reply #3876 on: May 06, 2017, 11:51:37 AM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Brethren, the time is short!

(James Smith, "Refreshment for the Savior's Flock at Eventide!" 1871)

"Brethren, the time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29

Our time below is brief and uncertain--and therefore very precious.
Let us employ it, so as to improve it. Let us live for God and eternity!

    The time is short--oh, who can tell
    How short his time below may be;
    Today on earth, his soul may dwell,
    Tomorrow in eternity!

"So teach us to number our days--that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12
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« Reply #3877 on: May 09, 2017, 06:43:32 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

As the tree falls--so must it lie!

(J. R. Miller, "Devotional Hours with the Bible" 1909)

"Let him who does wrong--continue to do wrong; let him who is vile--continue to be vile" Revelation 22:11

The character with which men reach the final judgment--will be their permanent character forever. The man who lives in sin unto the end--is making his own destiny. Habits of sin--make the whole life sinful. It is this that gives such solemnity to life. The seeds of our future eternity--lie in our present.

   Sow a thought--and you will reap an act;
   sow an act--and you will reap a habit;
   sow a habit--and you will reap a character;
   sow character--and you will reap a destiny!

Everyone goes to his own place--that is, the place for which he is fitted by his life on the earth. He who has always sinned here on earth--will continue to sin forever. Eternal death--is simply eternal sin, along with the punishments and consequences thereof. The punishment of the wicked will not be an arbitrary punishment--but the natural result of their own choices and acts in this life.

   As the tree falls--so must it lie;
   As the man lives--so must he die!
   As a man dies--such must he be;
   All through the ages of eternity!

It makes a great difference, therefore, how we live in this world. There is an false impression in some people's minds, that they can live in sin all their days, and then by a few tears of penitence and a cry for mercy in a dying hour--can change all the course of their life and spend eternity in Heaven. This verse does not favor such a view. The future life--is but the harvest of this present life.

Men will be judged by their deeds. The New Testament everywhere teaches the same solemn truth. This does not mean that salvation is by works. We are saved by grace--but grace changes the life and makes us holy.

"To die is gain"--only to those who can sincerely say, "To me, to live is Christ!"
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« Reply #3878 on: May 09, 2017, 06:44:47 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

How shall I follow in His steps?

(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)

"Leaving an example for you to follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

How shall I follow in His steps?

The first requisite is a personal relationship to Him. I cannot wear the loveliness of Jesus--until I drink deep of the forgiveness of Jesus. From the Cross where He has saved me--I set out on the pilgrim-road of imitation.

It is necessary, also, that love for Him leaps and flames in my soul. No amount of intellectual comprehension is enough. The heart must enthrone Him, must adore Him, must turn to Him with the inevitableness and the trust of the sunflower turning to the sun. I can only resemble Him, if my affection for Him is profound, controlling, and pervasive.

And there must be intimacy with my Lord. I am to share His thoughts, His temper, His motives, His decisions.

I must dwell much with Himself in prayer.

I must often meditate on the story of His life and death.

These are some of the modes in which I shall touch and grasp and imitate the grace and the wisdom and the loveliness and the gentleness and the splendor of Jesus Christ.

"Whoever says he abides in Him, ought to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself." 1 John 2:6 (Amplified Bible)
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« Reply #3879 on: May 11, 2017, 01:43:06 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

I always carry an oil can in my pocket!

(J.R. Miller, "Intimate Letters on Personal Problems" 1914)

There is a good illustration in one of Dr. Parkhurst's books. He tells of a workman who was in a trolley-car one day. As the door was opened and shut, it squeaked. The workman quietly got up and, taking a little can from his pocket, dropped some oil upon the offending spot, saying as he sat down, "I always carry an oil can in my pocket, for there are so many squeaky things in this world which a little oil will help."

Dr. Parkhurst applies this to life, saying that love is a lubricant with which we can soften or prevent a great many unpleasant frictions with others--if we always have love and will speak the gentle word, the soft word, the kindly word, at the right time. I used the illustration recently in my church in a sermon, and suggested to the people that they all carry oil cans, thus trying to make the world a little sweeter place to live in.

"I am not writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning--that we love one another." 2 John 1:5

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you--so you must love one another." John 13:34
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« Reply #3880 on: May 11, 2017, 01:44:39 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

The jewelry of the Bible!

(Octavius Winslow, "The Preciousness of the Divine Promises")

"God has given us His very great and precious promises!" 2 Peter 1:4

The promises of God are the jewelry of the Bible!

Every page of the sacred volume is rich and sparkling with these divine assurances of Jehovah's love, faithfulness, and power towards His people.

Upon no spot in this wilderness world can the Christian plant his foot, strange and untrodden though that path may be--but a gem from this casket meets his eye, the sight of which inspires his heart with confidence, his spirit with comfort, his soul with hope!

Imagine what would have been the condition of God's children apart from the divine promises of which the blessed volume is so full. What must have been the desolateness, the sadness, and the sinking--did we not have the divine assurances of God's Word to rely on; by which we are . . .
  guided in our march heavenward,
  upheld in weakness,
  cheered in depression, and
  conducted step by step to final blessedness.

The promises are comprehensive in their character, and adapted to all the varied circumstances of our individual history. Child of God, you cannot conceive of . . .
  any condition in which you may be placed,
  any circumstance by which you may be surrounded,
  any sorrow by which you may be depressed,
  any perils that may confront you,
  any darkness that may overshadow you,
  or any needs that you may have--
in which you may not find some precious promises of His blessed Word which meet your case!

The promises of Scripture are exceedingly precious, because they are all signed and sealed with the heart's blood of Jesus! They are the throbbings of the infinite love of Jesus! The promises are but echoes of His heart sounding from each page of the sacred volume!

If you are sin-burdened or sorrow-stricken--just stretch forth your hand and receive these precious jewels as they flow out from the open casket of God's Word!

The promises have stanched may a bleeding wound.

The promises have dried many a falling tear.

The promises have calmed many a disturbed mind.

The promises have guided feet through many a labyrinth.

The promises have shed light on many a lonely path.

The promises, like voices of music, have broken sweetly on many a dreary night of weeping and woe.

We have these rich clusters of precious promises bending down from the Tree of Life!
We may pluck them at all times, in all seasons, and under all circumstances!
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« Reply #3881 on: May 12, 2017, 08:15:30 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!

(J.C. Ryle, 1816-1900)

"Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!" Hebrews 13:9

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error--and their 'earnestness' makes many think they must be right.

There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge--and many imagine that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

There is a general tendency to free thought in these latter days--many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

There is a wide-spread desire to appear tolerant and liberal-minded--many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers--they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

There is a morbid craving in the public mind for the more sensational and showy--men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly and earnestly--and a determination to forget that Satan is often "transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 2:14

There is a wide-spread 'gullibility' among professing Christians--every heretic who tells his story plausibly, is sure to be believed. Anyone who questions him, is called a bigot and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing man to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!"

An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church! A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin.

Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents.

Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing--which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.

Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching--be the written Word of God!

"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word--it is because there is no light in them!" Isaiah 8:20
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« Reply #3882 on: May 13, 2017, 06:32:47 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

I can assure her that her child shall certainly recover!

(John Newton's Letters)

I hope the Lord will spare Mrs. K's child, to be a comfort to her. But should He appoint otherwise--He will be faithful to His promise, and make her strength equal to her day. I can assure her that her child shall certainly recover--IF He who is infinitely wise, sees it is best for her upon the whole.

But we are short-sighted creatures, not only unworthy--but unable to rightly choose for ourselves.
If the choice was left to us--it would be our wisdom to refer it back to God.

We may be sure that He does not willingly grieve or afflict us. He takes no pleasure in seeing us weep and mourn--rather, every day brings us ten thousand proofs that He delights in our prosperity.

Whenever we are in heaviness, therefore, there is a need-be for it--faithful are the wounds of such a Friend! Our trials are made no sooner, nor longer--than the necessity of the case requires. He who wounds--has promised likewise to heal. He is all sufficient, and can give more than He will ever take away from His redeemed people. I trust she will find power to commit herself, and her every concern, into His hands; and that she will have reason to acknowledge, from day to day, that He does all things well!

Whatever the outcome may be--our Lord is wise and good in all His dealings. His mercies to us are new every morning--and as numerous as the minutes of our lives!
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« Reply #3883 on: May 14, 2017, 10:30:59 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

When my sweet daughter Eliza was dying!

(John Newton's Letters)

My Dear Sir,
Our dear daughter Eliza never went out of doors after she returned home from visiting you. She had a succession and a variety of pains and maladies--and three weeks from her leaving your hospitable roof, the Lord delivered her from them all. For four days we expected her death every hour--and though she suffered much, we could not but be thankful that she continued so long.

Her peace and confidence in God were abiding. Her mouth was filled with words of grace--comforting or exhorting all around her. Often she declared that she would not change conditions with any person upon earth, nor be willing to live longer here, even if restored to perfect health--for all that the world, or a thousand such worlds can afford! She smiled upon pain--and she smiled upon death. When she died, which seemed to be in a sort of slumber, she had reclined her cheek gently upon her hand, and there was almost a smile left upon her countenance.

When my sweet daughter Eliza was dying, I almost wished it practical to have set my door open, and invited all who passed by to come in and see what it is to die in the Lord, and to hear what a child under fifteen could say of His goodness, and of the vanity of everything short of His favor!

Yes, the Lord has done great things for us since we came home. He sent a chariot of love for our dear Eliza! We almost saw her mount to Heaven. Surely she was in Heaven, and Heaven in her--before she left the earth!

I am constrained to confess that no one circumstance in my whole life called for a larger return of gratitude and praise--than the death of our dear girl. I knew that I loved her dearly--but how dearly I never knew, until about the last week of her life. Yet I am most perfectly satisfied, and have not had the most distant wish for a moment since she died--that the outcome had been otherwise.

The thought of her helps me sometimes in prayer, often in preaching, and gives me such a confirmation of the great truths I speak of, as I would not be without.
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« Reply #3884 on: May 16, 2017, 01:48:09 PM »

__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

He found me in a waste howling wilderness indeed!

(John Newton's Letters)

My Dear Friend,
My history is briefly expressed in the following verses:
"In a desert land He found him--in a waste howling wilderness. He shielded him and cared for him--He guarded him as the apple of his eye." Deuteronomy 32:10
"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them. I will turn the darkness into light before them, and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do--I will not forsake them!" Isaiah 42:16

He found me in a waste howling wilderness indeed! He has led me about into a variety of situations, and in them all He watched over me, and kept me as the apple of His eye. When I was blind--He led me in ways which I knew not, and which no mortal could have supposed were likely to bring me where I now am. I was once an utter stranger to the paths of truth and righteousness--but in a wonderful manner He drew and guided me into those holy paths which I had not known. And though my heart is prone to wander, He has kept me with a mighty hand, so that I have not wholly declined from them. How often has He made darkness light before me, and crooked things straight! These things has He done for me, as I am encouraged to hope He will continue to do them, for His promise is, "I will never forsake them!"

"Come magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His holy name together!" He has . . .
  guided us by His eye,
  guarded us along the way,
  restored us when wandering,
  revived us when fainting,
  healed us when wounded,
  upheld our souls in adversity,
  helped us in all our difficulties, and
  comforted and supported us under all our sorrows!
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