תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

• Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; and blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and amen.'

• Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.'

SUMMARY OF SERMON XI.

PSALM LXIV.-VERSES 9. 10.

PARALLEL case in the Psalm from which the text is taken, to that commemorated in the service of the day : duties enjoined on us designated in the text. 1. Wisely to consider God's doing : 2. to fear: 3. to declare God's work : 4. to be glad in the Lord : 5. to trust in God: 6. to glory. All these particulars may be understood in a double manner : either as declarative of the event, or as directing the practice on such emergencies: this enlarged on,

I. We are on such occasions obliged wisely to consider, or to understand God's doing. This is placed first, as previous in its nature, and influential on the rest. There are many who are very inobservant and careless with regard to things of this nature, such as those of whom the prophet speaks, Isa. v. 12. Reasons given for this carelessness. It is shown that both reason and holy Scripture plainly declare our obligation to consider and perceive God's doings. There are some distinctive marks or characters, by which we may perceive God's hand, on which may be grounded rules declarative of special providence, such as commonly will hold, although they sometimes may admit of exceptions, and should be warily applied : for example, 1. the wonderful strangeness of events compared with the ordinary course of things, or natural influence of causes : 2. the reasonableness and suddenness of events, when there is occasion to acknowlege with the prophet, thou didst terrible things, that we looked not for: Isa. Ixiv. 3.: 3. the great utility and beneficial influence of occurrences, especially

in regard to the public state of things, and to great personages in whose welfare the public is much concerned : 4. the righteousness of the case, or the advantage springing from events to the maintenance of right, the vindication of innocence, the defence of truth, the encouragement of piety and virtue : 5. the correspondence of events to the prayers and desires of good men; of which many examples are quoted from the holy Scriptures : 6. the near resemblance or significant correspondence which they usually bear to the actions on which they are grounded, and which serve to discover their original : 7. the harmonious conspiracy of various accidents to one end or effect; it being beyond the reach of fortune to range various cau. ses in such order. By these means, if we will consider wisely, with minds pure from vain prejudices and corrupt affections, we may discern and understand God's doing.

II. It is our duty, on all such remarkable occasions of providence, to fear God. All men, it is said, shall fear. It is our duty in such cases to be affected with all sorts of fear; with a fear of awful dread, with a fear of hearty reverence, with a fear of sober caution, yea, sometimes with a fear of dejecting consternation: these points enlarged on.

III. We are in such cases obliged to declare God's work : that is, openly to acknowlege and avow, to applaud and celebrate the special providence of God, with his adorable perfections displayed in such events; to the glory of God's name, in expression of our reverence and gratitude, for the common edification of men, which is the due improvement of our glory. Example of the holy psalmist.

IV. It is peculiarly the duty and practice of good men on such occasions to feel and to express religious joy. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord. Reasons given why good men have much cause, on many accounts, to be glad.

V. The next duty prescribed to good men in such cases is, to trust in God; that is, to have their affiance in God, on all

like occasions and emergencies, settled, improved, and corro• borated thereby : for this is the proper end, as it immediately. regards ourselves, of God's special and remarkable providence, viz. to nourish in well-disposed minds that faith in him, which is the root of all piety, and ground of devotion.

VI. Good men on such occasions should glory. All the upright in heart shall glory: that is, in contemplation of such providences feeling sprightly elevation of mind and transports of affection, they should exhibit triumphant demonstrations of satisfaction and alacrity. For such carriage in such cases we have the practice and the advice of the psalmist to direct us: instances quoted. Observations on the sense of the word épaveDhoovrai, they shall be praised.

Such are the duties recommended in the text: concluding brief application of them to the particular case in view,

[ocr errors]

SERMON XI.

ON THE GUNPOWDER-TREASON.

PSALM LXIV.-VERSES 9. 10.

And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for

they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the apright in heart shall glory.

If we should search about for a case parallel to that which we do now commemorate, we should, perhaps, hardly find one more patly such, than is that which is implied in this psalm : and if we would know the duties incumbent on us in reference to such an occasion, we could scarce better learn them otherwhere than in our text.

With attention perusing the psalm, we may therein observe that its great Author was apprehensive of a desperate plot by a confederacy of wicked and spiteful enemies, with great craft and secrecy, contrived against his safety. They,' saith he,

encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them ? That for preventing the blow threatened by this design, (whereof he had some glimpse, or some presumption, grounded on the knowlege of their implacable and active malice,) he doth implore divine protection : hide me,' saith he, from the secret counsel of the wicked, from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity.' That he did confide in God's mercy and justice for the seasonable defeating, for the fit avenging their machination : : God,' saith he, shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly

« הקודםהמשך »