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lose their labour, and their poor souls are in danger of perishing for ever.
3. Have holy souls their rest in God, let us prove
ourselves such, by taking up our rest with them. If it be not yet done, let it be no longer deferred. Why should you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not ? When God calls you to hearken to his voice, and, by Christ, to return to him, that ye may eat that which is good, and have your soul delight itself in fatness, and be provided of an adequate portion in which
you may rest and rejoice for ever?
Lastly, Let believers record God's gracious dealings with them, and frequently review and read them over. This will endear the thoughts of him, and confirm their trust in him. Whilst others are running from him, and had rather be any where than with him, a child of God may say at the close of every day, at every season of worship, especially on the Lord's day; and under
any trouble of life, and even in the view and approach of death, Return unto thy reft, &c. God grant we may be all of this number, and
afterwards rest with them now, for ever.
PSALM CXIX. 92. Unless thy law had been my delights, I
jould then have perished in mine affliction.
HIS psalm is by far the longest in the
book : and as it is long, so it is most excellent and engaging. It commends the scripture or word of God to us under several notions, as his Statutes, Judgments, Precepts, Testimonies, and here he calls it, his law. David found it of use to him at all times; and now he speaks of the advantage he had from it in a time of distress: Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then bave perished in my afli&tion. We have here set
before us by this Psalmist : 1. The case which he had been in, and which
he now refers to, one fad and sinking. He was under such affliction that he was ready to perish; which seems to include inward and outward trouble at once; trials without, and
pressures within. 2. What it was that gave him relief, and this
when nothing else could, viz. the law of God.
3. How he looked back upon this relief receiv
ed, namely, with thankfulness to God, to whom he speaks, and records it for the encouragement and direction of others, Unless thy law bad been my delights, I should then have
perished in my affliction. Dost. The word of God has been the great relief
of his people, even under trials wherein they felt themselves ready to fink : this they have found, and are ready to own for his glory, and the good of those that come after them, that through patience and comfort of the scripture, they also may have hope.
In speaking to this I shall endeavour to fhew, I. What there is in the law or word of God,
which tends to the delight of his people in di
its fitness for that purpose.
1. To thew what there is in the word of God, which tends to the delight of his people in distress.
1. In the word there are made the most comfortable discoveries. As,
(1.) That God stands in the most endearing relations to his people. He is their Shepherd, their Father, their Friend, their God, and will deal with them as becometh one who stands all these ways related to them: notwithstanding
their revolt from him, and rebellion against him, he is become the God of peace, reconciled to them.
(2.) That the way was made for the settling of these endeared relations in which God stands to his people, by the sufferings and death of his own Son. It was he that made peace by the blood of his cross; and he was sent from heaven in order to this, and suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring them to God, who in and thro' him hath declared himself well-pleased. And how great comfort may it yield, that the blessed God should have the salvation of man fo much at heart, and to be at so much expence to make it sure, and carry it up to the highest pitch ?
(3.) That God hereupon is become the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, ready freely to give out all the blessings which Christ hath purchased at the dearest rate.
(4.) That a way of access is now open, whereby the children of God may come to him, their Father, upon all occasions, in hope of obtaining mercy, and finding grace to help them in time of need.
(5.) That the spirit of grace is come from heaven to take up his abode in such as are the people of God, and to be their guide thither:
(6.) That the eternal state of rewards is laid open to their faith, the glory and blefsedness of the upper world, as that which they are entitled to, and which the Captain of their salvation is gone to make ready for them against their coming.
5. How reviving and delightful are such difcoveries as these!
2. In the word of God are the most comfortable promises, fitted to yield delight from their nature, their number, and their extent.
Thick and richly is the bible set with these, like the firmament with stars : and what condition can a faint be in, which some of these will not suit? How endless would it be to instance in the particulars of these. There are promises of supply in want, of support under burdens, of direction in doubts, of succour when tempted, of strength in weakness
, of help when faint, and of salvation when dying. Where can a believer open his bible, when in any condition, but he may find matter of delight in what God has assured? Particularly in his promises of pardon and acceptance at present, of heaven at last, and of his being kept safe, and having all things to work together for his good, in his way thither.
(1.) How sweet is the promise of the pardon of sin, and acceptance with God, when read with application? This removes the ground of all trouble and disquiet, as freeing the soul from the fears of the wrath to come, and the danger of the second death, and is the foundation of that
peace of God within, that passeth understanding. Blefed is he whole transgrespon is forgiven, whose fin is covered. Blesed is the mar unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, Pfal. xxxii. I, 2.
What joy may diffuse itself over that soul to whom God says, 1, even I am be that blotteth