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my text is a part. He begins it like one in a rapture. By deep meditation upon the law of God, he had wrought himself up into such a lively sense of the perfection and excellency of it, that he broke out all on a sudden, into a pathetical declaration of the happiness of those persons who live in conformity thereunto: Blejj'ed are the undejiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! blessed are they who keep his testimonies, and who seek him with the whole heart!
Thro'out the whole Psalm he speaks of the word of God with much reverence and esteem, and with much love and affection. To convince you of this, I need only read to you the following verses. Ver. 96. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. 97. Oh, how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 140. Thy word if very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it. 128. I efleem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right. 138. Thy testimonies which thou hafl commanded, are righteous, and very faithful. 103. How sweet are thy words unto my taste ! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 127. / love thy commandments above gold, yea, M above above fine gold. But life doth not red; in admiration of the law of God, or in affection for it. No: he also puts up ardent prayers to God for his assistance in the practice thereof. Ver. 5. Oh! that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes. 3 5. Make. me to go in the path of thy commandments. .. 36 Incline- my heart unto thy testimonies. 37. Turn aways mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 133. Order my Jleps in thy word; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. But neither is this all that the holy psalmist doth. He well knew that desires after righteousness . would be vain . and insignificant, without righteousness itself: and therefore to devout prayers he added sincere resolutions of conformity to the law of God. / will keep thy statutes; ver. 8. / will lift up my hands unto thy commandments, which I have loved > ver. 48. / have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.; ver. 106. And here in the test: I will run the way of thy commandments. But then from a deep sense of human frailty, and of the necessity of a supernatural aid to enable him to perform this great-and arduous task,
In handling this text, I will endeavour to shew:
I. What it is to run the way of God's tommandments.
II. What it is for God to enlarge the heart. - .q
III. That it is impossible for us to run the way of God's commandments, except God doth enlarge our hearts.
IV. I will make application.
L What it is to run the way of God's commandments.
It signifies the whole of a religious practice. It is to perform all those duties which God requires of us, with pleasure and delight. God, who made us reasonable creatures, designs to govern us by reasonable laws. Having given us an idea of himself, he expects that we should make him the object of our fear and reverence, of our worship and adoration, of our love and affection, of our trust and confidence. Moreover, since we are surrounded with other beings who are of the same make with ourselves,- he expects that we should exercise an universal benevoM 2 lence: lence: and since there are some of otir fellow creatures with whom we are obliged to have frequent intercourse, and to whom we stand in a much nearer relation than to others; he expects that we should observe the rules of truth, justice, and goodness, in all our transactions with them, and faithfully discharge the particular offices which arise from the particular relations in which we stand to any of them. Furthermore, since we are composed of two different principles, a spiritual and an earthly j by the former of which we are allied to the angels, and by the latter to the brutes which perish: he expects that we should give the preference to the more excellent part of our frame, and keep our bodies in a due subjection to our spirits j utterly refraining from all pleasures absolutely unlawful, and keeping ourselves within certain limits in the use of those which are lawful. All the commandments of God are reducible to these three heads: so that when David promised to run the way of God's commandments, 'tis as if he had sai4; I will be pious and devout towards God; I will be just and merciful towards men j and I will govern
mymyself by the rules of temperance and sobriety j I will practise all virtue, and I will take pleasure in the practice of the same. I proceed,
IT. To sliew you what it is for God to enlarge the heart.
This is a thing better felt than expressed. Every good man hath experience of it in his own breast, and may from thence have a better idea of it than from any verbal description j for it is a difficult matter to represent it in words. However, I shall attempt to give some account of it. And, if I mistake not, it consists in these two things, j. In impressing divine truths upon our minds. 2. In stirring up holy resolutions within us.
1. In impressing divine truths upon our minds.
Almighty God, who formed our spirits, can undoubtedly present unto them what ideas he pleases: and as he can convey a thought into the mind, so he can command attention to it. Now that attention to divine truths is necessary in order to a religious practice, I think is very evident: for if the mere belief of them were sufficient to make M 3 men