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as feemeth good unto him.” And so much of the nature of this duty, that we may understand what to do.
2. Next let me shew you, what encouragements you that are the people of God have to this duty, and they will appear to be great and many
1. The fovereignty and absolute dominion of God over all creatures, is a fiogular encouragement to commit ourselves into his hands, and trust him over all, Pfal, lix. 9." Because of “ his ftrength will I wait upon thee ; for God is my defence." If a man were in danger amidst a great army of rude and info
leot foldiers, and were to put himself under the protection of - any one, it would be his wisdom to chuse to do it under the
general, who had all the soldiers of his army at his beck. Christian, thy God, into whose hands thou committest thyself, is Lord-general of all the hosts and armies in heaven and earth; how safe mult thou then be in his hands? : 2. The unsearchable and perfect wisdom of God is a mighty encouragement to commit ourselves into his hands; With him is plenteous redemption, Psal. cxxx. ult. i. e. Choice and variety of ways and methods to save his people; we are, but God never is, at a loss to fiod a door for our escape, 2 Pet. ii. 9. “ The “ Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation."
3. The infinite tenderness and compassionateness of our God, is a sweet encouragement to resign aud commit ourselves, and all we have, into his hands; his mercy is incomparably tender towards his people, infinitely beyond whatever any creature felt stirring in its own bowels, towards another that came out of its bowels, Ifa. xlix. 15. This compassion of God eogageth the two fore-mentioned attributes, viz. his power and wisdom, for the preservation and relief of his people, as often as diftresses befal them. Yea, wo
4. The very distresses his people are in, do, as it were, awake the almighty power of God for their defence and rescue; our diftresses are not only proper feasons, but powerful motives to his saving power. Deut. xxxii. 36. “ For the Lord shall “ judge his people, and repeat himself for his servants, when " he feeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up " or left.” God makes it an argument to himself, and his people plead it as an argument with him, “ be not far from “ me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help.”
5. We have already committed greater and weightier conceraments into his hand than the dearest interest we have in this world; we have in trusted our fouls with him, i Pet. iv. 19. 2 Tim. i. 12. Well therefore may we commit the lesser, who
act of tarif them
have intrusted the greater with him: What are our lives, lis berties, estates, and relations, compared with our fouls, and the eteroal lafety and happiaets of them !
6. The committing act of faith is the great and only expea dient to procure and secure the peace and tranquillity of our minds, amidst all the distractions and troubles of the present world; the greatest part of our affliction and trouble, in such days, is from the working of our own thoughts; these torments from within, are worse than any from without; and the resignation of all to God, by faith, is their best and only cure, Prov. xvi. 3. “ Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy • thoughts shall be established.” A blessed calmness of mind, a sweet tranquillity and settlement of thoughts, follows imme. diately hereupon, Pfal. xciv. 19. Oh then leave all with God, and quietly expect a comfortable issue : and for the better settlement and security of thy peace, in times of distraction and trou.. ble, I beseech thee, reader, carefully to watch and guard against these two evils.
Caution 1. Beware of infidelity and distrustfulness of God, and his promises, which secretly lurks in thy heart, and is very apt to bewray itself, when great diftresses and troubles befal thee. Thou wilt know it by such symptoms as thele: 1. In an over-hasty and eager de lire after present deliverance, Ifa. li. 14. “ The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and " that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should “ fail.” The less faith, always the more impatience; and the more ability to believe, the more patience to wait. 2. It will discover itself in our readiness to close with and catch at finful mediums and methods of deliverance, Ifa. xxx. 15, 16. And this is the handle of temptation, and occasion of apostacy. But he that believeth will not make hafte, Isa. xxvi. 18. No more halte than good speed. 3. It will thew itself in distracting cares and fears about events, which will rack the mind with various and endless tortures.
Caution 2. Beware of dejection and defpondency of miąd in evil times; take heed of a poor low spirit, that will prefently sink, and give up its hope upon every appearance and face of trouble; it is a promise made unto the righteous, Pfal. cxii. 7. “ He shall not be afraid of evil tidiogs, his heart is “ fixed, trusting in the Lord.” The trusting of God fixes the heart, and the fixing of the heart fortifies it against fear : But I know what many poor Christians will say in this case, their timorousoess and despondency arise not so much from the great ness of outward evils, as from the darkaels and doubtfulness of
their spiritual and ioward condition, which, doubtless, is the very truth of the case ; which brings me to the last use of this point.
Ufe the third. Search and examine your hearts, Christiaos, whether those graces and qualifications, to which God hath promiled protec: tion in evil times, may not be found upon an impartial search - in your hearts; amongst which, I will single out three principal
ones, as the proper matters of your felf-examination, viz.
. 1. Uprightoels of heart and way. i 2. Humiliation for your owo and others fios.
3. Righteousness in doing, and meekness in suffering the i will of God.
1. Uprightness and integrity of heart and way. To this qualification belong many sweet promises of protection; such is that, Prov. ii. 7. “ He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly," Pfal. vii. 10. “My defence is of God, which saveth the upright “ in heart.” If your hearts be true to God, these promises shall be truly performed to you; but beware you deceive not your. felves in fo great a point as this is. Thy heart cannot be an upright heart, except, (1.) It be a renewed heart; the Datural heart is always a false heart; it is only regeneration that gives the heart a right temper and frame; all the duties and labours in the world cap Dever keep the heart right in its course, which is not first fet right for God, by a principle of renovation. (2.) We cannot judge ourselves upright, except uprightDess be the settled frame and standing bent of our hearts, Pfal. cxix. 112, 117. It is not our integrity in one or two single actions, but in the general course, and complex frame of our lives and ways, that will prove our integrity to God. (3.) Thea may we reckon ourselves upright, when the dread aod awe of God's all-feeing ege keeps our hearts and steps from turbing a. lide to iniquity, Gen. xxxix. 9. 2 Chron. ii. 17. That is a fincere and upright heart indeed, that finds itself at all times, and in all places, over-awed from sin, by the eye of God upon him. (4.) That man's heart also is upright with God, who purely aims at, and defigos the glory of God, as the Icope and eod of his life and actions, who lives not up to himself, neither acts ultimately and priocipally for himself, but lives to God, as a person dedicated and devoted to him, Rom. xiv. 7. (5.) That heart also is upright with God, which governs itself, and its ways, by the directions and rules of the word, Plai. cxix. 11, 24, 133. Happy. is chat soul that finds such evidences of VOL. IV,
ther roin and overhe only persone was the o
integrity in itself, when it is brought to the trial of it at the bar of the word, Heb. iv. 1 2. at the bar of conscience, 2 Cor. i. 12. at the bar of affliction, Pfal. cxix. 87. and at the bar of strong temptations, Gen. xxxix. 9. The eyes of the Lord shall run to and fro through the whole earth, to thew himself strong in the behalf of fuch whose hearts are thus perfect towards him.
2. Another gracious qualification, intitling the soul to God's special protection in the worst and most dangerous times, is the true humiliation for our own and other mens fins : “ Go, let a “ mark, faith God, upon the foreheads of the men that figh " and cry for all the abominatioas that be done in the midft “ thereof,” Ezek. ix. 4. These that thus mourn, when others Jaugh, shall laugh when others moura. Lot was the only mourner in Sodom, and he was the only person exempted from destruction in the ruin and overthrow thereof, 2 Pet. ü. 7. That is a sweet and blessed privilege mentioned in Ifa. Ixvi. 10. “ Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that " love her ; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mouro for ó her ; that ye may fuck and be satisfied with the breasts of her " consolations, that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the & abundance of her glory.” Be contented, Christians, to bear your part in Sion's groans and forrows; you may live to bear your part in her triumphs and songs of deliverance : It is an argument of the true publicoess and tenderness of your spirits for present, and as sweet a figo as can appear upon your souls, that you are reserved for better days,
3. Righteousness in doing, and meckness in suffering the will of God, is another mark or note, distinguishiog and defcribing those persons wliom God will preserve in the evil day. You have both these together in Zeph. ii. 3. “ Seek yė the Lord, all * ye meck of the earth, which have wrought his judgments, “ fcek righteousness, feek meekness : it may be ye shall be hid " in the day of the Lord's anger.” The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers, i Pet. jii. 12 If righteousoefs brings you into stanger, the righteous God will take care of you in that danger, and bring you out of it. Oh! it is a singular comfort, when a man can say, It was not my sin, but my duty, that brought me into trouble; this affliction met me in the path and way of my duty; it is for thy fake, O Lord, that I am in trouble; as the martyr that held up the bible at the stake, saying, This hath brought me hither.
To conclude: Manage all your fufferings for Christ, with christian meekness: As righteoufness must bring you into them,
To meekness myft carry you through them; if you avenge yourselves, you take the cause out of God's hand into your own; but the meek Christian leaves it to the Lord, and shall dever have cause to repeat of his so doing. If thou have an upright heart with God, a tender and mournful heart for sin, and thou suffer with meekness for righteousness-fake, thou art one of those souls to whom that sweet voice is directed in my text, Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy
doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation be overpaft.
? A succinct and seasonable Discourse of the Occasions, 1. Causes, Nature, Rise, Growth, and Remedies of
- MENTAL ERRORS.
THE reverend author of the ensuing treatises, having in
1 them, explained aod defended several gospel-truths, unto which divers things, in the writiogs of the reverend Dr.
Crisp, deceased, do seem very opposite; whereas fome of us, 1. who subscribed a paper, the design whereof was only to testify,
that we believed certain writings of the doctor's never before published, were faithfully transcribed by his son, the publisher of them; which paper is now, by the bookfeller, prefixed to the whole volume ; containing a large preface, which we never saw till after the publication, together with all the doctor's former works that were published many years before; and are hereupon, by some weak people, misunderstood ; as if, by that certificate, we intended an approbation of all that is contained in that vo. lume. We declare we had no such intention : As the paper we subscribed hath no word in it that gives any such intimation : But are well pleased these later writings are published in reference whereto we only certified our belief, which we fixedly retain, of the publisher's fidelity) as they contaio many passages in them, that may, in some measure, remedy the hard and hurtful construction that many expressions were reore liable to in the former; whereof the doctor seemed apprehensive himself, when, "in the begioning of his discourse on Tit, ii, 11, 12. che speaks