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Lord's table It ought to be a joyful, thankful application of the blessings of Christ's purchase to your fouls. Be strong in faith, giving glory to God; not only celebrate his love, but improve it, by asking, in faith, every thing necessary to your fanctification and peace.--I shall shut up all, by desiring you to use the Psalmist's preface, in going unto God, who says, in the 3d.verse, O send out thy light and thy truth;
let them lead me, let them bring me into thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.' In order to raise and elevate your minds, to fix and engage your unsettled hearts, apply to God, who hath the hearts of all men in his hand, that he would dispose you for his service; that he would shed abroad his love in your hearts, and make you joyful in his house of prayer. And my earnest prayer to God for you, is, that he would, at this time, convert some, or (why should we limit him ?) every profane finner in this assembly; pull off the mask of hypocrites, and shew them their own likeness; that he would make it a joyful communion to many of you, and a profitable communion to all. Amen.
The Christian's disposition under a fense of
Return unto thy reft, O my soul, for the Lord hath
dealt bountifully with thee.
is the language of nature, as well as of grace,
to cry to God in distress. When great extremity fhows the weakness of all other help, there remains so much of God written on the consciences even of the most profligate, as excites them to this daty. Theitruth of this observation appears from many fcripture examples, as well as every day's experience. But though bad men may cry to God for deliverance from suffering, they know little, if any thing at all, of returning to Godin duty and gratitude, for the mercy received, Pfal. lxxviii. 34,-37. When he New
ehem, then they fought him; and they returned, * and inquired early after God. And they remem6 bered that God 'was their rock, and the high God • their Redeemer. Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with
their tongues. For their heart was not right with him; neither were they stedfast in his covenant.' See also the account of the ten lepers, Luke xvii. 12,-17. • And as he entered into a certain vil. • lage, there met him ten men that were lepers,
· which stood afar off, and they lifted up their voi. ·ces, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. • And, when he saw them, he said unto them, go
shew yourselves unto the priests; and it came to pafs, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turn. •ed back, and, with a loud voice, glorified God, and
fell down on his face, at his feet, giving him thanks; • and he was a Samaritan: and Jesus answering, said, • Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the
nine?' They all cried alike for the cure; but the greatest part foon forgot their obligation to their mer. ciful Saviour.
It is no way difficult to account for this behavi. our in bad men ; but, alas! it is melancholy to think how much of this unhappy difpofition is to be found even in the best. When the pressure of any trial is felt, they flee to God as their refuge and security; with fervent fupplication, and earnest wrestling, they intreat his help. But, though we must not charge any sincere fervant of God with an entire forgetfulness of his goodness, or open defertion of his fervice; yet, I am afraid, that many are very defecrive in this particular; and that few, very few, preferve the same folicitude to improve their mercies, as to obtain them.
My intention is to apply this to us, who have late
ly been at the Lord's table; and, I hope, before gomg there, not a few were earnest in their prayors for the divine presence. Urged by the sufferings of this mortal body, the loss of outward comforts, the power of inward temprations, or a desire of the return of an absent God, or the quickening of a Noth: ful fpirit, they fought confolation in this holy ordinance; they went to seek the Lord, going and weeping. I hope also, and believe, that many went not in vain, but found him whom their foul loved, found . him, and would not let him go.' All such ought to imitate the Psalmist in the spirit that breathes through the whole of this psalm; and, particularly, in the words of my text: Return' unto thy 'reft, a my soul, for the Lord hath deult bountifully with thee.
I need only fay, is a very few words, that the whole psalm is an expression of his gratitude for deliverance from great fufferings, from enemies cruel and treacherous. They were also of an inward, as well as ao outward kind, as all his trials did ordi. Barily bring fin to remembrance, and fill him with a humbling sense of the awful judgments of a holy and righteous God. He seems also to have been particulary exercised in prayer to God, his all-fuffici. cient help: ver. 3, 4. "The sorrows of death com
passed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: • I fouod trouble and forrow. Then called I upon the game of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, de
liver my foul.' He thereupon celebrates the mercy of God, and wearing the bonds of love, desires to express his obligations in the strongest terms, and
to satisfy them by the most chear fal obedience: Ver. 12. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?'
In discoursing further, at this time, I shall just ob. ferve, that the words of the text contain the Pfal. mist's refolution : Return unto thy ref, O my foul. and the reason on which it is founded; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. These two, as applicable to the servants of God in general, and ourselves in particular, I fhall distinctly consider, pot in the order of the words, but in the order of pature.
T. I fall describe the state of those with whom God hath dealt-bountifully.
II. Explain the import of the Pfalmist's resolution, which ought to be theirs: Return unto thy reft, O
my foul. :
i And then shall make some practical improvement of the subject.
I. Then, I shall describe the state of thofe with whom God hath dealt bountifully; and I am juft to describe this, in its great lines, from experience, be feeching every one present to hear it with application; and to add such circumstances to the several particulars, as will make them completely suitable to his own state-Observe, then, -
1. That the Lord hath dealt bountifully with those from whom he hath removed any affliction under which they groaned, and for deliverance from which they prayed. If we would count