Imatges de pàgina
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into the heart, it is fuch as the whole creation
befide is unable to give.

2. The confolation and delight, which the peo-
ple of God have in his word, as being divine, is
certainly real and folid: Not a name only, or
fancied or imaginary; though it is better felt by
the happy fouls themselves in which it is, than it
can be made known to others.

Such expreffions as thofe have a firm ground to fupport them, Pfalm cxix. 14. I have rejoiced in the way of thy teftimonies, as much as in all riches. Thy ftatutes have been my fongs in the houfe of my pilgrimage, ver. 54. Thy teftimonies have 1 taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart, ver. 111.

The caufes of it are not imaginary, and the effects of this delight are diftinguishing, even readinefs for any duty, and fubmiffion to the will of God in any trial. The joy of the Lord is the ftrength of his people.

3. It is rational and juftifiable. If any delight in the world hath a just ground, it is that which the people of God have in and from his word: they have just reason therefore, to believe the fcriptures to be the word of God. And upon a ferious fearch, they find upon themselves the marks by which the children of God are there defcribed: Hence they are enabled to infer their intereft, in the privileges of fuch; and applying them to themfelves, to fee abundant reafon for peace and comfort; which how much foever fcorned or difvalued by others, they find to be real, and would hold faft as the moft defirable thing in all the world.

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4. The

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4. The delight which the people of God have in his law, is holy. It is built upon an holy word, wrought in them, by the fanctifying Spirit, and leads to greater holiness, and fo to more raised degrees of itself. It is acompanied with forrow for fin, contempt of the world, defire of heaven, and an earnest endeavour to become more and more meet for it.

5. It is a delight that is fometimes vigorous and strong.

God is willing that it fhould be fo in all the heirs of promife: But there are degrees in this, as well as in grace. Some can fing in the way to Zion; others go mourning like the dove, so as to give room for that queftion of Eliphaz, Are the confolations of God fmall with thee? Job xv. 11. i. e. Are thy forrows fo many and grievous, as to be more powerful to fink, than the confolations of God to help thee up? Is it a work too hard for God to put an end to thy afflictions, scatter the clouds, and turn thy forrow into joy? Can any thing be too hard for the Almighty? And is not his goodness infinite and unmeasurable? His promises exceeding great and precious? Hath he not balm enough in ftore to heal thy wounds? and treasure enough in stock to repair thy loffes? Say, thy cafe is as dark and distressed as ever any ones was, thy fufferings as fore as thy will, they are but the fufferings of a creature; but the comforts before thee are the confolations of God. Are the confolations of God fmall with thee? But let the most dejected among the righteous know, that light is fown for them, and joy and gladness for the upright in heart.

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6. Lastly,

6. Laftly, The delight which the people of God have in his word, is the fore-tafte of heaven, and is working upward to meet that fulness of joy which there is in God's prefence, and to mingle with thofe rivers of pleasure that flow at his right-hand for evermore.

APPLICATION.

1. Is there fo much in the word of God to delight the foul? What a wonderful vouchsafement is the Bible to the world and church? O what a dark difconfolate place would this earth be without it? Let us blefs God for this word, and seriously study it and meditate upon it.

2. Get into the number of the children of God, who are the only ones prepared to take the comfort of his word.. 3. Under all your troubles run to the word of God for relief; and in converfing with it, pray for the Spirit to enlighten your minds, fanctify your hearts, fit you to take comfort in it, and fo to work in you the comfort he hath fitted you for. And as ever you would have folid confolation,

1. Value and labour after grace and holiness, as the ground of it. Be as earnest for you are for comfort and peace.

grace, as

you

2. Expect the comfort need in God's way, by humbling yourselves and turning to God in cafe of fin, and by attending his ordinances and the inftitutions of his house.

3. Wait for comfort in God's time, and prefume not to prescribe to him, but continue to pray and look up for it.

For

For your encouragement, confider his nature, that he is ready and willing to comfort: Confider his relation to his people, he is their Father, and the most tender and compaffionate one: And if earthly parents know how to give good things to their children, how much more will your heavenly Father give his holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace and comfort, to them that afk it of him? Confider his omnifcence and omniprefence: He knows what comfort we want, in what season and to what degree; and he is able to raise up, how low foever we are reduced, and how long foever feemingly left. And may the depth of your distress under present trouble, add to your praifing fongs, when divine confolations fhall change the scene, and your heavenly Father shall call to you, faying, Come up hither, the days of your mourning are ended.

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SERMON VIII.

CANT. I. 12.

While the King fitteth at his table, my Spikenard Jendeth forth the Smell thereof.

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HESE words are the believers teftimony from experience of the bleffed effects which Chrift's prefence in his ordinances hath upon pious fouls, which wait upon him under them.

In the fore-going verfes, Chrift takes notice with complacency of the graces wherewith his fpoufe or church was adorned: That her cheeks were comely with rows of jewels, and her neck with chains of gold. And the acknowledges the fenfible comfort of her graces to be owing to influence from, and communion with him under his ordinances For in the text fhe faith, While the king fitteth at his table, my spikenard fendeth forth the fmell thereof.

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In which words we have,

1. The title fhe gives Chrift, The King: as fhewing thereby the fense she had of his dignity and dominion, and alfo of her fubjection to him, and dependance upon him. In the fol

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