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CHAPTER XIX.

1. On distractions and temptations; the remedy for them is to turn to God.

2. This is the practice of the saints, and there is danger in any other way.

A direct struggle with distractions and temptations rather serves to augment them, and withdraws the soul from that adherence to God, which should ever be its sole occupation. We should simply turn away from the evil, and draw yet nearer to God. A little child, on perceiving a monster, does not wait to fight with it, and will scarcely turn its eyes toward it, but quickly shrinks into the bosom of its mother, in assurance of its safety. “God is in the midst of her,” says the Psalmist, “she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.” (Psalm xlvi. 5.)

2. If we do otherwise, and in our weakness attempt to attack our enemies, we shall frequently find ourselves wounded, if not totally defeated: but, by remaining in the simple presence of God, we shall find instant supplies of strength for our support. This was the resource of David: “I have set,” says he, “the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalm xvi. 8,9.) And it is said in Exodus, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exod. xiv. 14.)57

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