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III. The effect which this view of them should produce

upon us

The glorified saints and angels are incessantly occupied in songs of praise

Such should be our employment also, while we con. template God's power and wisdom

1. Even the wicked should sing to him with thanks. giving

[Doubtless, if they continue wicked, they have cause to tremble

They will never be able either to elude or avert his wrath

But it should be matter of joy to reflect that God is able to save them

If they seek him with humility, his power and wisdom shall be exercised on their behalf

God “knows how to deliver” them from their most inveteTate lusts

And to give them such an heart, as he himself will approve

Let the wicked then attend to the prophet's encouraging address!

Let them adore God for his forbearance and tender mercy So shall that promise be assuredly fulfilled to them"-]

2. The meek in particular have reason to tune their harps to his praise

[They indeed are often troubled on account of their remaining infirmities

And are ready to conclude from their own feelings, that they are forsaken of God

But the consideration of God's wisdom and power would soon relieve them

This was proposed to the church of old as the richest source of consolation

Let the meek then reflect, what an almighty protector they have

May they not well adopt the triumphant language of St. Paul?

Let them consider too what an all-sufficient friend is watching over them

How wise he is to discover, and how mighty to defeat, their subtle adversary

9 Zeph. ii. 3.

I saiah xl. 27, 28

Ezek. xviii. 27. i Rom. viii. 31.

1. The duty itself

(What can be more pleasant? It is not to any painful duty we are called, but to rejoice, and to have all the faculties of our souls engaged in the very employment of heaven. What can be more reasonable? If religion furnished us with no grounds of joy, or were as empty and unsatisfying as the worid, it would be unreasonable to expect any happiness to flow from it: but it sets before us innumerable occasions of joy; and not only permits, but enjoins, us to bear our part in the felicity of God's chosen. Shall we not then obey the call? 2. The object in whom we are to rejoice

[This is none other than our adorable Emmanuel, who combines in himself all the perfections of the Godhead, and all the excellencies of the most spotless manhood. Moreover, the love he has manifested towards his subjects, is such as infinitely surpasses our highest conceptions: he assumed our nature, and died for us, while we were in actual rebellion against him. And, what a delightful sway does he exercise over them! So light and easy is his yoke, that there is not one of his laws, no, not one, which may not be summed up in this, Be happy. What rewards too does he bestow, not on a few favourites only, but on all his subjects! There is not one of them whom he does not make a king like unto himself, and place upon a throne like unto that on which he himself is seated at the right hand of God.h Shall we refuse to rejoice in such a King as this?] 3. The persons called upon to rejoice

[If this exhortation were addressed to the children of this world, they might reply, We know him not; we see DO beauty in-him for which he is to be desired; nor have we cause to expect any thing at his hands but wrath and fiery indignation: how then shall we rejoice in him? But the children of Zion know that he is fairer than ten thousand, and altogether lovely:" they have experienced the virtue of his blood to purge a guilty conscience, and the efficacy of his grace to sanctily a polluted heart. For them he makes continual intercession in the presence of God; for them he every moment exercises his almighty power; and for them he is coming shortly to judge the world, that he may take them to himself, to behold his glory, and participate his blessedness, for ever and over. Shall they then be reluctant to comply? Surely, if they be, "the very stones must cry out against them."] ADDRESS 1. To those who have never yet rejoiced in Christ

[What relation can you have to Zion? How can it be

b Rey. i. 6. John xiv, 3.

i Luke xix. 40.

said of you, This man was born in her? And what excuse can you urge before God? Your ignorance of Christ? This is your sin, and not your excuse. He is willing to make you happy under his government, if you will submit yourselves unto him. “Kiss him” then, in token of your reverence and subjection, “ lest he be angry, and ye perish for ever."''] 2. To those who are going on their way rejoicing

[Take care that you make Christ, and not your own frames or feelings, the object and ground of your joy. And guard against pride, self-confidence, and sin of whatever kind, knowing that such things will vitiate, and destroy, all the happiness of the soul. David's advice must ever be attended to, “Rejoice with trembling."m]

< Ps. Ixxxvii. 59, 6.

I Ps. ii. 12.

m Ib. ver. 11.

CCCCLXXIII. THE DUTY OF PRAISING GOD FOR HIS

GOODNESS.

Ps. cxlix. 4-6. The Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he

will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.

THE world are ready to account those weak and enthusiastic who abound in the exercise of spiritual duties: but there is nothing in the universe that more accords with the dictates of reason, than such a state. If God have not given us sufficient grounds to love and serve him, then we may doubt whether the supreme affection of our souls be due to him. But we need go no further than the text in order to justify the warmest expressions of our love to him, and the most unreserved dedication of all our powers to his service.

The exhortations in the text are full of energy; but they are founded on God's love to us. In order there. fore to be duly sensible of their force we must consider 1. God's kindness to us

This is expressed both by the internal regard which he bears towards us, and by the outward manifestations of it to our souls. Vol. IV.

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1. Tnc duty itsii

(What can be more pleasant? It is not to any prisfzi duty sc are called, but to rejoice, and to have all the facultis of our souis engaged in the very employment of heaven. Wha: can be mote reusonable? If religion furnished us with so gror. is of joy, or were as empty and unsatisfying as the wor', it would be unreasonable to expect any happiness to fio, from it: but it sets before us innumerable occasions of jrs; 3, not only permits, but enjoins, us to bear our partia it: felicity of God's chosen. Shall we not then obey the can 2. The object in whom ve are to rejoice

(This is none other than our adorable Emmanuel, sbo combines in himself all the perfections of the Godhead, and all the excellencies of the most spotless manhood. Moreover, the love he has manifested towards his subjects, is such as infinitely surpasses our highest conceptions: he assumed our naiure, and died for us, while we were in actual rebellion against him. And, what a delightful sway does he exercise over them! So light and easy is his yoke, that there is not one of his laws, no, not one, which may not be summed up in this Be happy. What rewards too does he bestow, not on a few favourites only, but on all his subjects! There is not one of them whom he does not make a king like unto himself, and place upon a throne like unto that on which he himself is seated at the right hand of God.h Shall we refuse to rejoice in such a King as this?] 3. The persons called upon to rejoice

[If this exhortation were addressed to the children of this world, they might reply, We know him not; we see no beauty in-him for which he is to be desired; nor have we cause to expect any thing at his hands but wrath and fiery indignation: how then shall we rejoice in him? But the children of Zion know that “he is fairer than ten thousand, and altogether lovely:" they have experienced the virtue of his blood to purge a guilty conscience, and the efficacy of his grace to sanctily a polluted heart. For them he makes continual inter, cession in the presence of God; for them he every moment exercises his almighty power; and for them he is coming shortly to judge the world, that he may take them to himself, to behold his glory, and participate his blessedness, for ever and ever. Shall they then be reluctant to comply? Surely, if they be," the very stones must cry out against them.”] ADDRESS 1. To those who have never yet rejoiced in Christ

[What relation can you have to Zion? How can it be

Rev. i. 6. John xiv, 3.

Luke xix. 40,

said of you, This man was born in herik And what excuse can you urge before God? Your ignorance of Christ? This, is your sin, and not your excuse. He is willing to make you happy under his government, if you will submit yourselves unto him.

" Kiss him” then, in token of your reverence and subjection, “ lest he be angry, and ye perish for ever."] 2. To those who are going on their way rejoicing

[Take care that you make Christ, and not your own frames or feelings, the object and ground of your joy. And guard against pride, self-confidence, and sin of whatever kind, knowing that such things will vitiate, and destroy, all the happiness of the soul. David's advice must ever be attended to, “Rejoice with trembling."m]

Ps. Ixxxvii. 5, 6.

i Ps. ij. 12.

m Ib. ver. il.

CCCCLXXIII. THE DUTY OF PRAISING GOD FOR HIS

GOODNESS.

Ps. cxlix. 4-6. The Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he

will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.

THE world are ready to account those weak and enthusiastic who abound in the exercise of spiritual duties: but there is nothing in the universe that more accords with the dictates of reason, than such a state. If God have not given us sufficient grounds to love and serve him, then we may doubt whether the supreme affection of our souls be due to him. But we need go no further than the text in order to justify the warmest expressions of our love to him, and the most unreserved dedication of all our powers to his service.

The exhortations in the text are full of energy; but they are founded on God's love to us.

In order there, fore to be duly sensible of their force we must consider 1. God's kindness to us

This is expressed both by the internal regard which he bears towards us, and by the outward manifestations of it to our souls. VOL. IV.

3 T

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