« AnteriorContinuar »
all his instruments and agents, are under the government of God. He sets bounds to their rage, and will not suffer them to go so much as one hairs breadth beyond the limits he hath appointed for them. How great then must be the security of those who put their trust in him? Again,
2. Consider his faithful promise; he hath said it, he hath repeated it, he hath sworn it, that his coveDant shall stand fast for ever. Every page of the fa. cred oracles is full of the most gracious assurances; and these expressed in the most condescending terms. Pfal. xci. 1,
-4. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the la.
dow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is 'my refuge and my fortress; my God, in him will • I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare
of the fowler, and from the noisome peftilence. • He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his • wivgs shalt thou trust: his cruth shall be thy shield
and buckler. Zech. ii. 8. He that toucheth you, • toucheth the apple of his eye.' Nay, the very mipisters of his providence are your attendants. Pfal. xci. 11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.'
3. Consider the experience of the saints; they all, with one voice, bear their testimony to the divine faithfulness and mercy. It is with this particular view that the Psalmist says, in that forecited text, Psal. ix. 10. · And they that know thy name will put
their trust in thee; for thou, Lord, hast not for• saken them that seek thee.' And indeed in every age, Christians of standing and experience are ready
to give their sanction to the certainty of God's promises, and will often confess the greatness of his past mercy, even while they are chiding their own impatience and distrust, that it can scarcely fuffice to embolden them for future duty, and prepare them for future trials.
IV. I come now, in the last place, to make some practical improvement of what hath been said. And, first, From what hath been said, you may see the finfulness of diftruft. Has God laid fo noble a foundation for our dependence upon him; and are we still fo backward to the duty? Is not distrust in some measure a denial of God himself ? A denial of his presence, a denial of his perfections, and disbelief of his promises ? Let us all be covered with shame, when we consider how much we have already dishonoured him, in this respect. And let us pray, that he may enable us henceforward not only to send up our cries to heaven, for relief in distress, but to cast our cares and burdens upon the Lord, in the faith that he will sustain us, that he will ne
ver suffer the righteous to be moved.'
2. You may see the remedy of distrust, which is, to be more and more acquainted with the name of God. Contemplate his glory in the visible creation: he may be seen not only in his spreading out the heavens like a curtain, but in the formation of the meanest creature ; in a pile of grass, or in a grain of fand. While you are daily tasting his gifts, forget not to acknowledge his bounty, in the rising fun, the growing corn, and the falling rain. Think
of his faithful word, read his promises, lay them up in your memories, write them in your hearts; and especially, the exceeding great and precious promises of the everlasting gospel, which may be yours, which you are entreated to accept as yours, and if they be not yours, you shall render an account to himself at the last day, for receive ing them in vain. -Think also of his providence, all you have seen, and all you have felt, of preserving goodness, and of redeeming grace; and continue to cleave to him as your portion, in the Pfalmist's words, Pfal. xlviii. 14. · This
God is our God, for ever and ever, he will be our guide even unto death.
3. In the last place, learn from hence, what is the surest and shortest, and indeed, the only safe way of deliverance from suffering. Flee to God as your strong tower, by prayer and fupplication : but with this, endeavour by the renewed exercise of faith in your redeemer's blood, to ascertain your title to the favour of God; endeavour by a stedfast adherence to your duty, to commit your ways to God; and so foon, and so far, as you have good ground to know that you are his children, you ought to resist and banish every doubt of your fecurity. Rom. viii. 28. And we know, that all
things work together for good to them that love • God; to them who are the called according to • his purpose. Verse 32. of the fame chapter. He " that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up
for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.'
The object of a Christian's desire in religious
EXODUS Xxxiii. 18.
And he said, I beseech thee, swew me thy glory.
HESE are the words of an Old Testament
saint; of that Mofes, who, as a servant, was faithful over all the house of God. True piety is the same in substance in all ages, and points at one thing as its centre and its rest, the knowledge and enjoyment of God. In the preceding verses, Moses had been employed in earnest prayer and interceffion for the people of Israel. He had met with success and acceptance in thcse requests; for it is said, in the 14. verse, "My presence shall 30
with thee, and I will give thee rest. And in the 17th, • And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this • thing also that thou haft spoken; for thou hast
found grace in my fight, and I know thee by
name.' The condescension of a gracious God, though it satisfies, does not extinguish the desires
for the pre
Ser. 2. The object of a Christian's desire, &c. 37
My dear brethren, it is our distinguifhed privilege, that we have daily unmolested access to the houfe and ordinances of God. We ought to rejoice, that we have fo many clear and express promifes of the divine presence, in New Teftament worship. But what caufe have we to be ashamed, that we are so exceeding prone to stop short in the threshold, to content ourselves with the mere form, instead of earnestly breathing after real, inward, and lensible communion with God? I have therefore chosen this fubject, in the view of that folemn ordinance, The Lord's Supper, where we have a fen. fible representation of Christ crucified, the great mean of our accefs to God, that we may serve him on that occafion particularly, and the remaining part of our lives habitually, in spirit and in truth. And, Oh, that we may have daily more experience of the fweetness and benefit of his service on earth! and may daily long more for that time, when we