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with a sober confidence and cheerfulness) insult on baffled impiety,* by their expressions and demeanor upbraiding the folly, the baseness, the impotency and wretchedness thereof, in competition with the wisdom, in opposition to the power of God, their friend and patron. For such carriage in such cases we have the practice and the advice of the psalmist to warrant and direct us. In God,' saith he, we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.' Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; and I will triumph in the works of thy hands.' • We will rejoice in thy salvation; and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.' "Glory ye in his holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.' Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.' • Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy name, and to triumph in thy praise.' Such should be the result (on us) of God's merciful dispensations toward his people.
I shall only farther remark that the word here used is by the Greek rendered, étaiveOhoovtai, 'they shall be praised :' which sense the original will bear, and the reason of the case may admit. For such dispensations ever do adorn integrity, and yield commendation to good men. They declare the wisdom of such persons, in adhering to God, in reposing on God's help, in embracing such courses which God doth approve and bless: they plainly tell how dear such persons are to God; how incomparably happy in his favor, how impregnably safe under his protection; as having his infallible wisdom and his invincible power engaged on their side. This cannot but render them admirable, and their state glorious in the eyes of all men ; inducing them to profess with the psalmist, * Happy is the people, which is in such a case; yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.' And of such a people, that declaration from the same mouth is verified, 'In thy name shall they rejoice all the day long, and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted : for thou art the glory of their strength, and in thy favor their horn shall be exalted.'
* Psal. lii. 6. 7. The righteous shall laugh at him, (or, deride him, in this manner;) Lo, this is the man that made not God bis strength.
Such are the duties suggested in our text, as suiting these occasions, when God in a special manner hath vouchsafed to protect his people, or to rescue them from imminent mischiefs, by violent assault or by fraudulent contrivance levelled against them. I should apply these particulars to the present case solemnised by us: but I shall rather recommend the application to your sagacity, than farther infringe your patience, by spending thereon so many words as it would exact. You do well know the story, which by so many years repetition hath been impressed on your minds : and by reflecting thereon,
You will easily discern how God, in the seasonable discovery of this execrable plot, (the masterpiece of wicked machinations ever conceived in human brain, or devised on this side hell, since the foundation of things,) in the happy deliverance of our nation and church from the desperate mischiefs intended toward them, in the remarkable protection of right and truth, did signalise his providence.
You will be affected with hearty reverence toward the gracious author of our salvation, and with humble dread toward the just awarder of vengeance on those miscreant wretches, who digged this pit and fell into it themselves.'
You will be ready with pious acknowlegement and admiration of God's mercy, his justice, his wisdom, to declare and magnify this notable work done by him among us.
You must needs feel devout resentments of joy for the glory arising to God, and the benefits accruing to us in the preservation of God's anointed, our just sovereign, with his royal posterity: in the freeing our country from civil broils, disorders, and confusions; from the yokes of usurpation and slavery; from grievous extortions and rapines; from bloody persecutions and trials, with the like spawn of disastrous and tragical consequences, by this design threatened on it: in upholding our church (which was so happily settled, and had so long gloriously florished) from utter ruin : in securing our profession of God's holy truth, the truly catholic faith of Christ, (refined from those drossy alloys, wherewith the rudeness and sloth of blind times, the fraud of ambition and covetous designers, the pravity of sensual and profane men had embased and corrupted it,) together with a pure worship of God, an edifying
administration of God's word and sacraments, a comely, wholesome, and moderate discipline, conformable to divine prescription and primitive example; in rescuing hs from having impious errors, scandalous practices, and superstitious rites, with merciless violence obtruded on us : in continuing therefore to us the most desirable comforts and conveniences of our lives.
You farther considering this signal testimony of divine goodness, will thereby be moved to hope and confide in God for his gracious preservation from the like pernicious attempts against the safety of our prince and welfare of our country, against our peace, our laws, our religion ; especially from Romish zeal and bigotry, (that mint of woful factions and combustions, of treasonable conspiracies, of barbarous massacres, of horrid assassinations, of intestine rebellions, of foreign invasions, of savage tortures and butcheries, of holy leagues and pious frauds,' through Christendom, and particularly among us,) which as it without reason damneth, so it would by any means destroy all that will not crouch thereto.
You will, in fine, with joyous festivity, glory and triumph in this illustrious demonstration of God's favor toward us; so as heartily to join in those due acclamations of blessing and praise.
• Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the spare of the fowlers : the snare is broken, and we are escaped.'
* Alleluiah ; salvation, and glory, and power unto the Lord our God : for true and righteous are his judgments.'
Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, O thou King of saints.”
• Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.'
SUMMARY OF SERMON XII.
PSALM CXXXII.-VERSE 16.
The context given : exordium on the joyful and solemn rite which this discourse is intended to celebrate: occasion and general importance of the text. The particular promise now to be treated of; in which may be observed, 1. the Promiser, I: 2. the persons especially concerned in the promise, her priests : 3. the thing promised, clothing with salvation.
I. The Promiser, I; that is, the Lord, the most true, constant, and powerful God, whose words are right, and all whose works are done in truth; who will not break his covenant, nor alter the thing that is gone out of his lips, &c. On his glorious attributes and perfections we rely for the performance of his promises.
II. The persons whom the promise mainly regards, her priests; that is, persons peculiarly devoted to and employed in sacred matters, &c. And her priests, that is, the priests of Sion; of that Sion, which the Lord hath chosen, which he hath resolved to rest and reside in for ever: whence it appears that the priests and pastors of the Christian church are hereby, if not solely, at least principally designed. This confirmed by the following arguments : 1. because the covenant here mentioned is not (as to its main parts) of a conditional or temporary nature, but absolute and perpetual, and must therefore respect the Christian church, that of the Jews having long since been overthrown : this enlarged on. 2. The completion of this individual promise is by the prophets foretold, and expressed
by the evangelists, to appertain to the times of the gospel : this point commented on and explained. 3. That by the Sion here mentioned is not chiefly meant that material mountain in Judea, but rather that mystical rock of divine grace and truth on which the Christian church, the only everlasting temple of God, is seated, is more than probable from the constant acceptation of it in this sense by the prophets, &c. : this shown. 4. The manner of the delivery of this covenant, and its confirmation by the divine oath, argues the unconditional, irreversible, and perpetual constitution of it: see Heb. vi. 7. Hence we may conclude that this promise principally belongs, and shall infallibly be made good to the Christian priesthood. Corollary from the preceding part of this discourse, that the title of priest deserves not the reproach that is sometimes profanely and unjustly cast on it.
III. The matter of the promise, clothing with salvation: where it may be observed, first, that the usual metaphor of being clothed, denotes in the sacred dialect a complete endowment with, a plentiful enjoyment of, or an intire application to, that thing or quality with which a person is said to be clothed : this explained. Secondly, what is the salvation here mentioned ? Salvation, when used absolutely, signifies properly in the Hebrew, a deliverance from, or removal of all sorts of inconvenience, and consequently an affluence of all good things ; in effect, the same which other languages call felicity and prosperity: this point enlarged on ; whence it is deduced that though the supreme accomplishment of all happiness, the enjoyment of perfect bliss in heaven, be agreeable to the Jewish acceptation of the word, yet temporal and external welfare, conspicuous and visible in this world, is not excluded : this enlarged on. The least that we can imagine here promised to the priests of Sion comprehends these three things : 1. a free and safe condition of life, that they shall enjoy good security, liberty, and tranquillity : 2. a provision of