Imatges de pàgina
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much to recommend him. From what acquaintance they have had with him, they would fain know him better, and love hirn more, and have fuller foretastes of his love to them; and they will never give over seeking after him for that end.

7. They that seek God, do it in dependance upon

the
grace

and influence of his own Spirit ; as knowing that they cannot draw nigh to God but by him.

Lastly, They that seek God here below, do it in faith and hope of seeing him above. This is that which animates all their endeavours, and keeps them from fainting, while put to wait. They bless God for all the instances of his goodness they here experience : But, believe that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart to conceive, what God hath laid

up

for them that love him: Upon this therefore their hearts are ultimately placed, and after this their desires run.

It is the language of one of this temper, Thy loving-kindness, O Lord, is better than life ; and what I have sometimes found and felt of this, I would not have been without, for all the delights of time and sense: I esteem a day in thy courts better than a thousand any where else, and had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. But how often is my communion with thee interrupted, the light of thy countenance withdrawn, and my joy dashed ; and when it is best with me, how far short is all of heaven'? Now therefore, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee, my expectations from thee : O let me not always be left in so dark and imperfect a state. I am waiting for thy falvation, and desirous to see it: O draw me nearer to thee; refreih my soul with clearer discoveries of thyself: and when by grace thou hast fitted me for heaven, from imperfect communion with thee here, receive me to the full, everlasting and satisfying enjoyment. This is the generation of them that seek bim, that seek thy face, O God of Jacob, Pfal. xxiv. 6.

thee: that

Having seen the characters of the persons that may be faid to seek God.

il. Let us guide our thoughts to the endearing comprehensive promise made to such : Tbey that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

This is the mind of their heavenly Father, whose power is infinite, whose goodnefs is boundless, and whose mercy endureth for ever.

Here I might consider such as seek God, as 'to the variety of cases they may be in, and thew how abundantly their heavenly Father hath provided for them, in performance of his promise that they shall not want any thing that is good.

1. They shall not want the light of God's countenance any longer, or to any forer degree than he shall see to be good for them. This is what they highly value, desire; and seek above all things in the world. Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, Psal. iv. 6. And herein their desires shall be answered, The righteous Lord loveth righteousness, and his countenance doth behold the upright, Pfal. xi. 7.

As a fun he will reveal himfelf to holy souls, and by shining into them, put more gladness in their hearts than others experience, in the time that their corn and wine are increased; and hereby lead them not only to say, but to taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalm xxxiv. 8. There is no want to them that fear him, ver. 9.

Iniquity may separate between us and our God, and our fins hide his face from us : But the

eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, ver. 15. And the promise stands firm : Blesed are the pure in beart; for they fall fee God, Matt. viii. 5. See him reconciled to them through his Son, and walk in the light of his countenance, as being so. The secrets of the Lord is with them that fear him, Pf. xxv. 14. In the experience of which, they have found it eminently fulfilled, That they that seek him shall not want any thing that is good. -2. They shall not want the protection of his arm. The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for bimself: And be that dwelleth in the secret of the Most High, skall abide under the firadow of the Almighty, Psal. xci. 1. Their habitation is a facred inclosure, to' which no evil shall approach, that God will not over-rule for good. 3.

Whatever trials they meet with, they that feek God thall not want his presence with them, to support them under them, and over-rule them for their good. These he will use as means to mortify corruption, and take away sin; wean them from the world, and deaden them to it ; exercise their graces in order to their increase, and so promote their meetness for the heavenly glory. In the mean time, when brought into the wilderness of trouble, thus comfortably he speaks to them: Isaiah xxvii. 8, 9. Fear thou not, for I am with thee : be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will

sirengthen

2

strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right-hand of my righteousness, Isa. xli. 10.

Though no chastening is for the present joyous, but grievous : neverıbeless, afterwards it yieldeth the peacable fruit of righteousness, unto them that are exercised thereby, Heb. xii. 11. In regard to which, they put their affictions to the account of God's faithfulness, as mindful of his word, and acting according to it, Pf. cxix. 75. I know, o Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

4. They shall not want seasonable deliverance from what they groan under. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, 2 Pet. ii.

9. and hath graciously promised it. Pf. xci. 15. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him. Many are the aflictions of the righteous : but the Lord delivereth him out of them all, Psal. xxxiv. 29.

5. They shall not want the special conduct of providence directing their steps, when in the most perplexing difficulties and straits. What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall be teach in the way that he Mall chuse, Pfal. xxv. 12. He layeth up found wisdom for the righteous, Prov. ii. 7. He preferveth the way of his faints, declaring, I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go : I will guide thee with mine eye, Psalm xxxii. 8.

And how sweet has it been for those, who have sought the Lord, and waited for him, to look upon his kind appearances for them ! how frequently he hath scattered their doubts, and been better than their fears ; removed their burdens, answered

their

their prayers, succeeded their endeavours, satisfied their desires, and exceeded their hopes! Whoso is wile, and will observe things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord, Pf.cvii.

43: 6. They shall not want necessary provision and supply in times of the greatest distress. As the children of God dwell on high, in point of safety ; so bread Mall be given them, and their water shall be sure, Ifai. xxxiii. 16. The Psalmist concludes upon grounds common to all Ifraelites indeed, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. The righteous shall have good things in poffeffion, Prov. xxvii. 10. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time ; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied, Pf. xxxvii. 19.

7. They that seek the Lord shall not want the privilege of coming with acceptance to the throne of grace, and spreading their case before him. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord : but the prayer of the upright is his delight, Prov. xv. 8. He is well pleased with their approaches to him; pities them as a father pities his children ; understands their request, how imperfectly soever uttered, and is ready to supply their wants, according to his riches in glory thro' Jesus Christ.

8. They that seek the Lord as going through this world to eternity, shall be guided by his counsel, even unto death, and afterwards received unto his glory. And even in the evening time, when God fees it good for them, it shall be light with them; and when flesh and heart are about to fail, God will be the strength of their heart, and their portion for ever, Pfal. Ixxxiii. 26.

These

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