Imatges de pàgina
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us any good? But any good will not satisfy such as God has set apart for himself : It is therefore added, as that which they most desire, Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon

And the granting of such a request, gives them the greatest joy : Thou hast put gladness in my beart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. And in taking the rest here found for the gracious soul, it follows, I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep : for thou Lord only, makejt me dwell in safety. We have an appeal of such a soul to God himself, as quitting the whole creation, and centering in him, as better than all. Psalm. lxxiii. 25. Whom have I in heaven, but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.

(3.) Gracious fouls rest in God, i. e. They and none else, They and all of their number.

(1.) They and none else. Whatever others may speak of a rest in God, only holy souls know what it means. Return unto thy rest

, O my soul, to thy rest in calm and cheerful submillion to God's will, delight in his service, satisfaction in his presence, in joy in communion begun with him here below, which is to be perfected above in its full fruition.

Holy fouls rest in God, and in his will; in his will of precept as their sovereign Lord, whose commands concerning all things are right, and in the keeping of which there is great reward : In his will of providence as their absolute owner, and who does all things well: In himself as their God, their portion, and their chief good, in whom

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they shall have all that they can need, or are capable of enjoying to compleat their blessedness for ever.

This can be said of none else : Men of the earth have their portion much lower, and rest in it. They are best pleased, when they have most of the world, and bid their foul take its ease, when they have goods laid up for many years. But a child of God is then most easy and at rest, when nearest to him, saying, It is good for rue to draw nigh to God; nothing refreshes me like this ; nothing quiets and comforts me like this: It is therefore good for me to draw nigh to God, the best thing in all the world.

This is true only of the children of God, They rest in him, and none else do: They have a different temper from all others, and therefore have a different center of rest. They have that likeness to God which none else have ; and therefore place the happiness of their souls in him, which none else do.

(2.) They rest in God, that is, all of them do so. This is true of every one that belongs to God, from such as are got nearest to heaven, or gone into it, down to those that are but just entered into the way thither. There is a vast difference between the people of God and the men of the world : and it lies in this, the different objects in which they place their rest. The former without exception, place it in God; the latter as universally in the creature, how infinitely soever below him. But in this, in which all . saints are distinguished from others, they agree among themselves, God the fountain of bleltedI 2

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ness is the common centre of their rest. Those among them that have most of the world, would think and own themselves miserable without God, for any thing this could do for them and therefore humbly and solemnly profefs, they will not be put off with it. They among them that have least of the world, believe God alone to be sufficient for their happiness ; and therefore in the absence of all lower comforts, will acquiesce with pleasure and satisfaction in himself.

The prophet speaks the common sense of fuch, Hab. iii. 17, 18. Although the fig-tree shall not blofom, neither shall fruito be in the vine, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no berd in the stalls : yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation, i. e, the fountain is full and inexhaustible, and so enough to my happiness, though all the streams of creature comforts be cut off and dried up. Here, therefore, will I sit and drink, and lift up my head and fing, The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, &c. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage, Pial. xvi. 5, 6. Let others take up their rest in whom they will, God is my portion, my All.

In the midst of all earthly comforts, God is the spring and center of his people's happiness and hopes, and in the absence of these he is still the same ; and therefore in him holy souls see reason still to be at rest. They can fet God and an interest in him againit all the wants and

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troubles they meet with, and find in him enough to their fatisfaction notwithstanding them. Let who will be disquieted when denied or dprived of this world, Lord give me thyself, and I have enough. Had I ten thousand worlds without God, I have nothing ; but if I have him, I have all.

Thus they rest in God: They, and none else ; They, and every one of their number.

4. Rest in God is theirs, that is, upon special and most comfortable grounds, it belongs to holy souls. The Psalmist here put in his claim to it, Return unto thy rest, O my soul. Rest in God

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be said to be theirs on a fourfold account, viz. By defignation, purchase, promise, and choice.

(1.) By designation. The rest which the people of God have in him, is the result of his own purpose and design, taken up from his meer good pleasure and love. He forefaw and pitied the case of souls wandring from their proper rest : and how unworthy foever they were, as having forsaken him without cause, he determined to give them that rest in himself that could no where else be found. This was with him an early resolve which in time appears, bis setting apart every one that is godly for himself, to take up

their rest in him, in opposition to all things else, P/. iv. 3. They are called a chofen generation, a peculiar people, as aspiring upward, looking over all this world, and relting in God : And this is the result of a gracious purpose from eternity, taken up concerning them. This soul shall not go without a rest; and as this is what I determine to bestow, I will be its rest, myself. It shall rest

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in me, be satisfied in me, and have reason to be fo to all eternity. Thus the rest God's people have in him, may be said to be theirs by designation.

2. It is theirs by purchase. The rest which they wanted as creatures, they had forfeited as finners. This therefore Christ lay down his life as the price of, and by his meritorious sufferings and death, hath opened a way for their being restored to it.

This is what he had in his eye in what he underwent. The rest gracious souls have in God, is peculiarly theirs, as purchased for them by the death of his son. He laid down his life for the Sheep, suffered, faith the Apostle, for us, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, to God as our rest.

(3.) Gracious souls can speak of a rest in God, as theirs by promise. This is God's kind engagement which every one of his children may read with fatisfaction, as going through this world, and as going out of it ; He has said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest, Exod. xxxiii. 14.

(4.) Gracious souls have a rest in God, by their own choice. They are sensible if they have not rest in God, they can never have any: and as he is willing to receive them, and call them to him, they by a deliberate act, renounce all things else in comparison of him, and fix upon him as infinitely better, with a resolution thus to rest and take up their happiness for ever.

So much for the first thing, viz. That holy fouls have their rest in God. They rest in God truly and only: They rest in God, they and none else, they and all of them; A rest in

God

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