Imatges de pÓgina


and trials of this life. And we shall also find, he tenderly sympathizeth with the sincere and upright followers, as he well knoweth all their infirmities, and remembereth that thev are but dost. Behold as a Futher pitieth his children, so hath the Lord pily upon them that fear him; and the prophet l-aiah declares that, In all their afflictions, he was aflicted, and by the angel of his presence he saved them.“ 'When we consider these things, we may say with the Psalmist, God' is our refuge and strength, á very present heip in trouble. Therefore wüi not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains carried into the midst of the seq. O how bappy are those highly favoured souls, who from the fullest persuasion, that God is their father and friend; can entirely confide in his infinire wisdom, almighty power, and boundless love ; can cast their every care upon him, and commit themselves wholly to him ; Sensible of his presence every where, and of his fatherly care over them, can give up themselves wholly to him : to be disposed of by him, as he in infinite irisdom shall see good. Surely these shall enjoy a peace which passerh all understanding, a heavenly tranquility of mind, which nothing can deprive them of. But if insiead of looking to Jesus, and going to him for help, like Peter, we see the wind boisterous, and the sea tempestuous, like him we shall surely sink. But yet how gently did Jesus reprove his faint-hearted Disciple. O thou of little føith, wherefore didst thou doubt. So he also reproves us on ac count of our unbelieving fears, but not with any degree of harshness, or severity, while he sees us labouring to cast them all away, and earnestly endeavouring to trust in him at all times, and on all'occa jons.

This brings us to the Second part of the words of our text, where we are taught to make all our requests known unto God, by prayer and supplication. · Here if ever, we have abundant cause 'to rejoice, that God hath erected a Throne of grace wholly on our account, that he beholds us from thence, with eyes of infinite pity and love ;-and hath not only given us full liberty to draw near to that throne, but by an inspired apostle hath commanded us to come with boldness thereto. How deeply then does that man dishonour God, and wrong his own soul who neglects prayer! And for him to talk of trusting in God, and casting his care upon him, while at the same time he is feldon found at the throne of grace, must be a delusion altogether,

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We shall never want matter for prayer,

while we have a proper sense of our spiritual necessities, of our many weaknesses and infirmities, as well as of the many dangers and difficulties we are called to pass through. And on the other hand, when we have a proper view of the promises of God, we shall not only see, that the blessings contained in them are just such as we want; being, every way suited

our necessities, but that they are of inestimable value, and therefore worthy of our highest regard, and we shall be sufficiently encouraged, to ask at the hand of our gracious God, what he is ever ready to communicate.

There is such a divine fulness in the promises of God, that he who rightly understands them, will clearly see, that they contain all that he can possibly stand in need of, for life and godliness, for body or soul, yea, for time or eternity He need only make these promises the measure and rulc of his prayers,' he need only wish that God's own wise and gracious designs may be fulfilled, or made good to him, and he may then say with the apostle, I have all and abound. When our prayers spring from a deep sense of want, are attended with earnest delire, anit a lively expectation, and have the promise of God for their foundation; we may then com: to the throne of grace in the all-pre-> vailing name of our gracious Redeemer, while at the same time, the Spirit of God will powerfully assist us, and surely we shall receive an answer of peace.---The Lord will fulfill the desire of them that fear him, he also will hear their cry, and will save them.

Prayer, attended with a lively faith, is the way which God himself hath appointed to obtain all the riches of his grace ---For although every promise of God is yes and amen in Christ Jesus, and every blessing of the new covenant, is divinely free; yet we have no ground to expect that the promises ot God will be fulfilled to us if we neglect prayer. Ask and ye shall receive, is the word of the Lord, and an apostle hath taught' us to pray without ceasing: And the more we search the scriptures, the more abundantly shall we be encouraged to come with all our wants and weaknesses, to the Father of mercies and Fountain of all goodness. And O what a mercy is this !---That infinitely great and glorious as he his, and of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, yet being interested in the Son of his love, we can draw near unto him without painful fear, or dread of his majesty; seeing that he is our reconciled father, and our un

changeable and never failing friend! He no longer speaks to us in thunder, or in terror and dread, from Mount Sinai, as he did to the terrified Israelites in the wilderness, when they fled from his presence, being overcome with fear and trembling, but he speaks to us in infinite mercy and boundless love, from mount Sion

; so that we may say with the sweet singer of Israel, I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for surely he will speak peace to his people, and to his saints; and being so highly favoured, let them not turn again unto folly.

If then we fincerely desire to be happy and prosperous, if we wish to live free from distressing cares and fears; if we desire the Lord our God to be with us, and the holy. one of Israel to be our helper: In a word, if we desire to live happy in the love of God, to be supported, protected and comforted by him, we must be men of prayer. Such, were all the holy men of God who have


us, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and such must we be also, all our days, till prayer is turned into everlasting praises, and we. are bleft with the full and eternal enjoyment of God in the kingdom of immortal glory above.

The apostle then directs us, Thirdly, To join thanksgiving to our fervent and continued prayers.

And as a clear view of our manifold wants, will always find us very sufficient matter for



proper view of the innumerable mercies we have received, will always afford us sufficient matter for thanksgiving: And as it cr. tainly is our bounden duty to be unfeignedly thankful for the inestimable benefits which we daily are made the happy partakers of, so it will greatly contribute to our present happiness, to retain a lively sense of the Lord's goodness extended unto us. Every one must acknowledge, that a grateful frame of mind, is a happy frame of mind, and that a thankful heart blesses every blessing, and renders it that to us, which the Lord intended it to be.

Gratitude for 'the mercies we receive, not only adds to our present happiness, but wonderfully quickens, and excites to diligence in the service of a good master; so that we may serve him cheerfully and with a ready mind. Hence we mar safely conclude that it is the design of God, that we should be sensible of the many mercies which we receive at his hand, for as that cannot add to our happiness which we are not persuaded we enjoy ; so we cannot be thankful for any thing, till we are conscious that we have received


it! But that we may understand the Lord's gracious dealings with us, and not walk in darkness, the apostle informs us that, We have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may know the things which are freely given to us of God. From hence we learn, that as the Spirit of God convinces us of the want of the benefits purchased for us by the blood of Christ, and shews us the only way how we may be brought to enjoy them, so he also shines upon our minds, and enables us to discern, or clearly to perceive, what the Lord hath done for us, and communicated to us, in order that we may be thankful unto him and speak good of his naine,

How frequently are we called upon to praise the Lord for his goodness, and to declare the wonderful works which he doeth for the children of men..

So likewise the apostle exhorts us, By Jesus our blessed Redeemer, to offer the sacrifices of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips; giving thanks to his name.

When we seriously coćsider that we are wholly dependent upon God, and that we receive all our good things from him ; that we live upon his bounty and are protected by his watchful providence, and above all, that we have received present, and live in the joyful expectation of receiving eternal salvation at his gracious bands, we may well praise his sacred name all the day long.

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“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose

garment was white as snow, and the hair of his hcad like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and bis wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued, and came forth from before him ; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : thc judgment was set, and the books were opened."


HE author or perman of this book appears to have been a person highly favoured by the Lord his God, and accordingly is more than once called by the angel, a man greatly beloved. another David, a man after God's own heart. However, Daniel might properly enough join with David in his pathetic lamentation, where he cries out, “ Woe is me that I am constrained to dwell with Meseck, and to have my babitation among the tents of Kedar.” For Daniel's lot was cast in an age when iniquity had so far abounded, even among the peculiar people of God, that he had permitted their enemies to gain an entire victory over them; so that they brought ruin and destruction upon their beautiful and beloved City, yea and upon their magnificent Temple; and they themselves were miserable captives in the land of the king of Babylon Daniel himself, although a peculiar favourite of heaven, was now in a state of captivity, where he deeply mourned the wretched situation of bis countrymen: But the Lord had his gracicus eye upon this his righteous servant, he gave him extraordinary favour in the sight of the

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