142 THE BRUISED REED Thus David, Solomon, Sampson, &c. were recovered: it is much easier kept than recovered. But, says one, notwithstanding my striving, I seem at a stand.-To such I replyGrace (as the seed in the parable) grows we know not how. Yet at length, when God seeth fittest, we shall find that all our endeavours have not been in vain. The tree falleth upon the last stroke, yet all the former strokes help it forward. Sometimes victory is suspended, because some Achan is not found out, or because we are not humble enough: as Israel had the worst against the Benjamites till they fasted and prayed. Judges xx. 26. Or because we betray our helps, and stand not upon our guard, and yield not presently to the motions of the Spirit which mindeth us always of the best things, if we would regard it. Our own consciences will tell us, if we give them leave to speak, that some sinful savouring of ourselves is the cause. The way in this case to prevail, is to get the victory over the pride of our nature, by taking shame to ourselves, in humble confession to God .