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Bot the bare mentioning of all would be impracticable: O the greatness of the mercy of which they may sing;! O the greatness of the Author of it, a great God! If we be saved, what does he get? If we be damned, what does he lofe? Yet he shews mercy. O the greatness of the object of it! it is extended towards the chies of sinners. O the greatness of the effects of it! Hereby great sins are pardoned, great blessings are conserred; great wrath is averted, and great salvation is obtained: O! how can they but sing of mercy! O the greatness of the attendants and companions of it! It makes them sing, not only when they notice the mercy, but the contents, concomitants of it, and what comes along with it: how sweetly will the soul sing, when it can say, I not only got such a mercy, but I faw God in it, and Christ in it, and the Spirit in it, and heaven in it, and glory in it! O! how sweet, when they consider this savour hath a necessary connection with heaven! it is a fore-taste of what I shall enjoy for ever: it is connected with God's everlasting love. And hence,
5. Not only the greatness, but the sweetoess of the mercy makes them sing. And there are two things, among many others, that make it sweet to them, namely, the excellency of the mercy itself, and then their relation to it. On the one hand, the excellency of the mercy; " How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O Lord! Thy savour is better than lise. His mouth is most sweet," says the Church: "The words of his mouth are sweeter than honey, or the honey-comb.*' On the other hand, their relation to the mercy, contributes to the sweetness of it; the more of saith's application, the more sweet. O, says saith, there is a promse, and it is mine; there is a pardon, and it is mine; there is a robe of righteousness, and it is mine; there is a crown of glory, and it is mine; there is a God, and he is mine; all is mine, because Christ is mine. O then he sings of mercy. But,
6. To name no more, The sureness and sirmness of • the mercy makes them sing; they are called, "The
sure sure mercies of David," Isa.lv. 3. 'The Septuagint ren* ders it as the apostle does, Acts xiii. 34* "The holy* just, and faithsul things of David." The mercies of God in Christ, our mystical David, are his holy, just, and saithsul things; his holiness, justice, and saithsulness are concerned to make good and secure his mercy to them that believe. Hence it is said of believing penitents, 1 John i. 9. That God is saithsul and just to forgive them their sins. Faithsulness hath a respect to God's promise, and justice a respect to the price and ransom paid by Christ: and God hath bound himself} he is bound by his own saithsulness, on the one hand, he will be saithsul to his word of promise; and he is bound by his own justice on the other hand, which is fully satissied in Christ: he is thus obliged to give out mercy, and secure it for the believer; this makes it indeed the sure mercies of David; and so they are eternally secured, and theresore everlasting mercies. In a word, the thing that makes them sing of mercy is, When they see the mercy to bear in it the tokens^ of God's love; when they sind such a mercy is not only the answer of prayer, but the fruit of God's electing grace; when they see God's everlasting love to be the fountain from whence it flows, Christ's everlasting righteousness the channel in which it runs, and the powersul operation of the Spirit making the effectual conveyance and application of all.—Now, these are some of the mercies, and the things in these mercies, both more ordinary and extraordinary, that are ground of staging: "I will sing of mercy." But to the other part of the song.
II. The Second thing was, to speak of the judgments that the Lord's people meet with; and what it is in judgment that may be matter of a long of praise unto God. To sing of mercy is what I understand, may you say; but how to sing of judgment, I want to know. Here then I would follow the same method as in the former head, namely, 1. To speak of some of these judgments they may meet with. 2. What it is 1% judgment, that may be matter of a song of praise to God.
ift, Now, as to the sirst of these, viz. The judgments of which they are to sing; in order to cleat' this, you would know, that the word judgment hath various signisications iu Scripture; I shall name some of these.
1. Judgment sometimes signisies, when spoken with relation to man, Understanding and Equity: sometimes it signisies Understanding, and a saculty cf discerning* in opposition to ignorance; " 1 pray that your love may abound yet more and more, in knowledge, and in all Judgment," Phillip, i. 9. Sometimes it signisies Equity, in opposition to Injustice; " I know Abraham, that he will command his children and his houshold after him, that they keep the ways of the Lord, and do justice and Judgment,''Gen. xviii. 19. Now, though the doing Judgment thus, and that with an underllanding heart, be one of the ways by which we are to ling the praises of God, and glorisy him, of which more afterwards j yet other things are here intended. Theresore,
2. Judgment, when spoken of with relation to God, signisies several other things; as,
(1.) It sometimes signisies God's just and righteous government of the world, particularly by Christ Jesus; "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all Judgment to the Son," John v. 22. Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne; and that both in the iron rod, by which he takes vengeance on his enemies; and in the golden sceptre, by which he rules his own people. And indeed, whatever be intended in the text, this government of. Christ is matter of a song of praise; " The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; the Lord reigns, let the earth be glad." But,
(2.) Judgment fometiines signisies the rectitude of Christ's administration, in his resorming the world, and bringing things in order, which sin and Satan had put into, consusion; so may that word be understood, John ix. 34. "For Judgment am I come into this world." And again, "Now is the Judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
Vol. II. t F 9s Of this judgment also will the believer sing, when the Spirit is come to convince, as of sin and righteousnels, so also of judgment; "Because the prince of this world is judged." But,
(3.) Judgment sometimes signisies the precepts of the law; as ye know they are frequently called, God's testimonies and judgments, especially, Psalm cxix. And when a man learns these in a gospel-way, they are matter of a song os praise also, Psalm cxix. 7. 4' I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I have learned thy righteous Judgments." Yea, they delight therein, and sing of these judgments, Psalm cxix. 54. "Thy statutes have been my long in the house of my pilgrimage."
(4.) Judgment sometimes signisies the doctrine of the gospel: "I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles," Matth. xii. 18. It is cited out of Ilaifn xlii. 1. " He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles:" That is, He will publiih the gospel; the way and method of salvation, which he came, as a Prophet, to teach and proclaim; as a Priest, to work out; and as a King, to apply; and is we should take judgment in this sense, surely all believers sing of judgment, whenever saith is in exercise; for the gosrel is the song of the saints; it is the joysul found, while with joy they draw water out of this well of salvation, Psal. Ixxxix. 15. Isa. xii. 3.
(5.) It sometimes signisies the punishment inflicted upon Christ, when he substitute himself in our room; "He was taken from prison and from Judgment:" or, -as it may be rendered, and as you will see in the margin of some of your Bibles, " He was taken away By Distress and judgment;—while it pleased the Lord to bruise him," Isa. liii. 8. 10. O but this insinitely severe act of justice and judgment against Christ was an insinite act of mercy towards us! And, as we had perished eternally, is we had not been thus judged and condemned in a Surety; so this judgment execute upon turn, is noble matter of a song. To sing of judgment, in this sense, is one of the sweetest hymns to the praise of God. *
(6.) Judgment sometimes signisies the solemnity of the last day: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thoufands of his saints, to execute Judgment upon all," Ju le, ver. 14, 15. And tho' it will be a day of terrible vengeance to the wicked, Cnristless world, yet the saints may sing of joy; for, the day of their redemption draws near: " Wnen Christ, who is their lise shall appear, they shall appear with him in glory. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust."
(7.J Judgment sometimes signisies the punishment of the wicked in a wrathsul manner; and the heavy plagues which he pours out upon any person or people, whether it be sword, famine, pestilence, or any other stroak; Exod. vi. 6. " I will redeem you from Egypt (says the God of Israel) with a stretched-out hand, and with great Judgments:" that is, with great plagues and punishments upon the Egyptians. "The Lord is known by the Judgments which he executeth." And sometimes the Lord gives his church and people occasion to sing of judgment in this sense, as Israel did at the Red-sea, after God had poured out all his plagues upon Pharaoh and upon his proud host; on which occasion you have the song of Moses, Exod. xv. In this sense it is said, "The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance." Not that he will love to seed his eyes upon the blood and ruin of his sellowcreatures, but rejoice in that God is glorisied in the destruction of his enemies, and the salvation of his church and people.
(8.) Judgment sometimes signisies the chastisement orthe godly: for, as there is a wrathsul judgment, which God exercises towards his enemies; so there is a satherly judgment, which he exercises towards his friends. In this sense we may understand that word in the institution of the sacrament, even as it concerns the godly themselves, " He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation [or, JudgMent], to himself," as the word may be rendered, 1 Cor. xi. 29. And indeed, as a believer may communicate unworthily, 1b his unworthy communicating * F 2 may