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there is no melody where there is but one note; there mult be disserent founds to make the music melodious. I think the apollle speaks after this manner, i Cor. xiv. 7. "Even things without lise giving found, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the found, how shall it be known what is piped or harped!" So it is here in the spiritual music, whether j ou look t® the consummate song of the redeemed above, or the initial song of the redeemed below, the sing of mercy present, and judgment pall, makes the sweetest melody in heaven; and the song of mercy and judgment, both present, makes the sweetest melody that can be attained on earth. Mercy and judgment like bass and treble, make holy melody in the spiritual song: here are the disserent notes of music; mercy makes a high and lefty note, and judgment makes a humble and low note, and both make the song melodious. When a man not only sees mercy, but mercy and judgment, mercy besore judgment, and mercy after judgment,,and mercy in judgment, and mercy with judgment, and mercy out of judgment, and mercy backing judgment, and mercy blessing judgment, and mercy ordering and disposing judgment, mercy qualisying judgment, and mercy moderating judgment, and mercy sweetening judgment, and mercy, rejoicing over judgment, and mercy running through judgment, and mercy at the root of judgment, and mercy at the top of judgment, mercy on this side of judgment, and mercy on that side of judgment, mercy round about judgment, and mercy turning judgment into mercy. O then, how does he sing with melody
in his heart to the Lord! It is to make the song
6. The sixth reason is, That they may prize both their mercies and their judgments; both their crosses and their comforts, both their rods and reliess, as both affording matter of a song; and that they may neither on the one hand sport at his mercy, nor on the other hand spurn at his judgments; and that they may neither abuse enlargements, nor despise chastisements, but that they may give both their proper place and room in their hearts Etnd esteem; that they may sing of both, and love the Lord their God in both, and so may love a frowning as well as a smiling God, aft absent as well as a present God, a hiding as well as a sinning God, a correcting as well as a comforting God: and that both out of their clear and cloudy days.
they may pen a song to the praise of his name. In
a word, the Lord orders it so, that their song should be both of mercy and judgment, and puts both in their lot; that, in the view of mercy, they may not despair; and, in the view of judgment, they may not presume: that they may sing hopesully, because of mercy; and humbly, because of judgment: and that their song may be sull, and take in all his dispensations, like the song of Moses and the Lamb; "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints," Rev. xv. 3. So much for this head.
V. The sifth head was the application, in the following inserences. Hence see,
1. That there is an over-ruling and wise providence, making all things, whether comforts or crosses, sweet things or sad things, contribute and co-operate for the good and advantage of the hidden remnant; "We know
'that all things work together for good, to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose," Rom. viii. 28. Mercy and judgment, and all adverse and prosperous things, work together to be the matter of a song: surely there is a wheel within a wheel; there is a secret hand that draws up and tunes all the strings of the harp of providence, to make a sweet song of praise unto God; there is an inssinitely wise hand, like that of a cunning player upon his harp, that makes all the most seemingly jarring notes to contribute to melody, even as he made the malice of the Jews, the treason of Judas, and the rage of devils, to work for the salvation of an elect world.
2. See the sweetness of true religion, and that wisdom's ways are pleasantness: a religious lise is a singing lise, whether providence smile or frown. If a believer sigh and mourn at any time, and be not singing at the
same time, it is when religion is at a low ebb with him. You may think religion is a melancholy lise, rnan, because many are the afflictions of the righteous, and judgment may begin at the house of God; but you do not consider, that true religion makes a man to sing of judgment, as well as mercy. Out of all the ups and downs, the vicissitudes and changes, smiles and frowns, of the believer's lot, the Lord brings a song of praise. Truly, God is good to Israel, whether Israel think it or not; for even judgment will be matter of a song. It is the language of unbelies, when they say of judgment, as Jacob did of his afflictions, "All these things are against me;" but when once the gallant grace of faith takes the sield again, it will say, All these are for me, and I will sing of all.
3. See hence the difference betwixt carnal and spiritual mirth, carnal and spiritual singing; betwixt the joy of the world and the joy of the saints. The world may rejoice, is they have, and while they have some outward mercy; but to sing of judgment, when these mercies are withdrawn, is what they know nothing of; nay, take away the world, and then they will say with Micah, "They have taken away my gods, and what have I more?" But spiritual joy can sing in the midi! of sorrow, and say, "Tho' the sig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olives shall sail, and the sields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will re;oice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation," Hab. iii. 17, 18. O Sirs, down, down, clown with all carnal mirth and worldly joy, in comparison of this: down with singing, piping, and dancing; these things are but folly and madness.
4. Hence lee, that the godly need not take any sinsul shist, to shun suffering, or any sinsul course to shun the cross; for, come the cross when it will, they may even sing with the cross on their back, as Paul and Silas in the stocks, Acts xvi. 24, 25. Is the godly tempted to make anv sinsul compliance with the courses of the time? What need he be annoyed, as is his lise of outward ward comforts in a world would he at an end, as is bonds or imprisonments, the loss of wordly goods and enjoyments were abiding him, is he makes not this and the oth^r compliance? What need any -annowient? For his suffering time may be his sinking time; " I will sing of mercy and of judgment." Besides, all his light afflictions here, which last bat for a moment, work for kirn a fir more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
5. Hence see, what a sweet place heaven mull be, *nd what singing must be there: If a song of mercy raixt with judgment here is sweet, and sometimes even ravishing, O what a sweet song is that of the redeemed about the throne, where there is no more judgment, no more sorrow or sm! And little wonder that the believer long for heaven, seeing his sweetest songs are tnixt with sighs, and his mercies with judgments; his sweetest songs here have still this heavy sigh in them, Ah, and Wo is me, that wherever I go in this world, I am always drawing a body of death along with me.—O what a happy time is the day of death to a believer, when he shall take »n everlasting sarewel of all his lulls and idols! O believer, what would you think to be saying, Farewel darkdess, and welcome everlasting light; sarewel enmity,-and welcome everlasting love; sarewel sorrow, and welcome everlasting joy; sarewel all my sins, and heart-plagues, and strong corruptions, and welcome eternal happinels, and uninterrupted selicity? O would you not fay, Farewel, sarewel, with a thousand good-wills, to all these evil things, and triumphantly say, Glory to God that we shall pever meet again? Hence see then, I say, what a sweet place heaven must be ; is even judgments, susserings and temptations to sin here be made matter of joy and sinking sometimes to the believer, what mall glory be? If the worst things on earth may contribute to a song, what will the best things in heaven do? If the cross be sometimes so sweet, what will the crown be? If the waters of Marah be made so sweet, what will the wine of paradise be? If God's rod hath honey at the end of it, what will his golden sceptre have? O! how happy are they who have got the start of us, -and are exalted above
these visible heavens already, and pall all their sears and , doubts, and are singing praises without wearying i
, 6. Hence see, what a black and white garment the believer wears- The garment of praise is a garment of diverse colours j dyed white and black with mercy and judgment; " i am black, but comely,O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, and yet as the curtains of Solomon," Cant. i. 5. Not only b'ack in themselves and comely in Christ; black as sinners, and comely as saints; black with sin, and comely with grace: but sometimes black with persecution, and comely with consolation; black with affliction, distress, and judgment, but comely with the mixture of mercy in their cup of adversity, while they get the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit pf heaviness. Hence with what heaviness have you gone to prayer! sometime under the sense of inward trouble from your lusts, or some outward trouble from the world; some particular affair about your husband, your wise, your children, your samily, that hath been distressing to you: You have in heaviness gone away to God in prayer, and come away with your soul leaping as a hart within you. O believer, you seed not siiudder or be grieved at the cup of affliction, which your Father gives you to drink; for, though it be bitter at the ton, yet the sugar is at the bottom of the cup: "What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
7. Hence we may see the happiness of the saints, find of all believers in Christ: They may in every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ concerning them; be it prosperity or adversity, mercy or judgment, in Use or death; he may sing, that nothing in a world can make him miserable, no losses, crosses, bonds, persecutions, samine, or pestilence. If he may sing of judgment, surely the judgments are not vindictive judgments, but satherly chastisements; for God deals not with him according to the tenor of the law, as a covenant of works; nay, he is not under the law, nor liable to the penal sanjctiaa ©f it: they
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