Imatges de pàgina
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"God is theirs by designation, purchase, promise and choice.

II. We are to Thew what rest they have in him. And here,

(1.) The rest of fouls in their God is not fuch as tends to make them inactive: It is a rest in which all the powers of the soul are employed and taken up in thoughts of him, in desires after him, love to him, dependance upon him, and delight in him, as the most suitable, excellent and infinite Good.

2. It is a rest that is most pleasant and joyful : it has a pleasure in it begun here, and to be perfected above.

(1.) There is a pleasure and joy, accompanying a soul's rest in God here, and this exceeding what the men of the world ever experience in their greatest abundance of earthly comforts. And

(2.) This pleasure which is begun here shall be caried to a higher pitch and perfected above, when the holy soul shall dwell with God in that prefence of his, where there is fulness of joy, and where there are pleasures for evermore.

3. It is an eternal rest, rest in a never failing unchangeable Good, in God who lives for

It is the rest of a foul that will never die, and which as long as it lives, God has designed to live with himself, and be happy in himself. Whereupon,

4. The rest of holy souls in God is incomparable, such as none are capable of but they,



nor can they find such any where else but in God. No love like the love of God, no comforts like the comforts of God, no delight like that which is to be had icommunion with him, no blessedness like that wbich consists in the full enjoyment of him. But this brings us

to the

III. General, To enquire into the import of the word the Psalmist here useth to call his soul to the rest mentioned, return: Return unto thy rest, O my foul.

It is here intimated. 1. That rest to be had in God only, was what the soul was originally designed for. God made all things for himself; and the soul as it came at first out of his hand, should have made the author of its being the center of its rest.

2. That the soul in its natural state is fallen from God, its proper rest, and seeking it elsewhere. Sin turns off the soul from God, and they that are under the power of it, are said to be gone afide, and are still going farther so.

3. That no rest can be had for the soul, but in God. They that seek it elsewhere weary themselves in pursuit of vanity : and yet

how busy are the most in doing so, without enquiring, Where is God iiy maker who giveth Jongs in the night ? Job xxxv. 10. They that are now at rest in God were, when in their natural and finful state thus wandering from him, endeavouring to find a rest in the crcature, which could be had in God only



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Lastly, That the soul, as gracious, is born of God, and so is effectually invited to its rest in him, and to its return to him. Grace comes from heaven, and pointing upward as to its native skies, carries the foul to its rest there.

IV. When, or upon what occasions should a child of God use the Psalmist's language, Return unto thy reft, O my soul.

1. After converse with the world in the business of his calling every day. A child of God in the midst of what he has to dɔ in the world, will have many thoughts of him: but at night he will solemnly, and with peculiar satisfaction return to converse with him. No weary travel. ler will be more desirous of his inn, or labourer of his home, or bodily rest, than a gracious foul to return to its rest in God, in meditations of him, and prayer to him.

“ Come, O my soul, (will such an one say,) " tho' I must necessarily be employed, in what " relates to this world, I have something higher,

something better to mind. These are not the

things in which my happiness lies, and blessed « be God that it does not: I have more to do “ with God than with any of these. And o " how much the sweetest and most comfortable part

of my time, has been that which I have spent with him. Let who will therefore be a stranger to him, and live without him, let me not do so. Return unto thy rest, O my soul..

This is the language the faint should use at the close of every day.

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2. As going to the sanctuary on the Lord's day. This is one of the days of Heaven, in which the people of God are especially to be taken up in his worship and service, as beginning the work of heaven here on earth.

Now, O my soul, return unto thy rest, in the vigorous, vital, joyful exercise of thy powers in the service of the living God, with whom I have this day folemnly to do. How much better is one day in his court, than a thousand elsewhere? I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Let who will look upon the Lord's day as a grievous interruption of their business, or pleasure, in which they had rather be engag'd, and hence say: When will the fabbath be gone? I esteem it my privilege, and would make it my delight therein to converse with God; both alone and in company ; in the solemn affemblies of his people, and in my family and closet. How pleasant to me, has been the time spent in such heavenly exercises as prayer, hearing the word, singing God's praises, attend- . ing his ordinances, and keeping up the communion I have had with him in such duties as these? After several fix days of labour about lower concerns, this holy one, this day of the Son of man, is once more dawned upon me,

, and finds me alive. Blessed be God that I have another such seafon as this, which I have reason to welcome with the most joyful affection. And now as I am to be employed in prayer and praise, in receiving the tokens of his love, and exprefLing my own, in admiring, adoring and blessing


God, in the most raised exercises of love, delight and joy, and thus to begin the work of heaven, Return unto thy rest, O my soul, to thy rest in God and his service.

3. In and under any trouble he may meet with in the present world, it is a time for a saint to bespeak his soul to return to God as its rest. The Psalmist speaks of such a time as this, as what he had experienced to be a proper one for it, ver. 3. The forrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold on me : I found trouble and sorrow. Trouble without, and sorrow within. In this case he called upon the name of the Lord, and how low soever brought, the Lord helped him: and hereupon, how proper a season was it to utter himself in the text, Return unto thy reft, O my soul, to thy rest in God?

Let no trouble drive me from God. Trouble, is not sent to that end, but to engage me more humbly and earnestly to call upon him, with more favour and frequency to come to him, and to be more taken up with him than ever. Whatever troubles I meet with, there is enough in God for my relief: he has been with me in fix troubles, and in seven: when I was brought low, he helped me, and can do so still. Wherefore return unto thy rest, O my soul : give not way desponding doubts and fears, murmurs and complaints : blessed be God there is a rest before me, O my soul, return unto it.

4. Lastly, It becomes a saint thus to speak as departing from this world at death. When the earthly house of this tabernacle is diffolving, with what words more proper can a faint breathe forth

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