« EelmineJätka »
.corridor The Holy Spirit is the earneft of our inheritance. An earnest is a part of the payment, of the same nature with that which we hope hereafter to receive. His graces and comforts are the grapes of Canaan, morsels of the upper table, preludes and foretastes of eternal enjoyments. How much are these to be defired!
Suppose we were in the state of condemned malefactors; the king, our offended sovereign holds out unto us a sealed pardon, and declares, at the same time, that fuch as have not the great seal to shew, must suffer for their crimes; but such as have it, must be acquitted, and received to his royal favour. What folicitude should we feel in such a case as this, that we might have a sealed evidence of the king's pardon! What diligence should we use, what pains should we take! And can we be indifferent in a matter of infinitely greater moment, when, not the life of the body only, but the eternal salvation of the soul is depending? When our offended Judge saith, “ Only acknowledge your offences, and seek ye my face,” shall not our hearts echo to the gracious overture, “ Thy face, Lord, will we seek ?”
Reader, this is the design of the small treatise which is now put into your hands; and O that it may please God to succeed our endeavours, and accompany our preaching and our printing with his
*-*-*. ••*• for Blessing! A match is proposed between Jesus Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and your poor souls. He hath drawn up the articles, and propounded them to you by us. His facred words speak his willingness; nothing is wanting but your consent'; and the match is made. We bring you letters of love and kindness from the divine Saviour, who is ready to betroth you to himself for ever. We endeavour to shew you the large dowry he pro. poses to give, and the glorious mansion prepared for you, in which you shall dwell with him for ever. We tell you of the pains he has endured, and the cost he has been at, to make you his own. Whether all this will prevail upon you, whether it will win your hearts to him or not, the event must declare. But if this were the last fentence I must write, or you read, I do hereby summon you to answer to this address before that awful tribunal, where you and I must shortly appear. If you reject the gospel of salvation, and persevere in your rebellion against God, undoubtedly the ministers who have tenderly and faithfully warned you, will be witnesses against you. But O! how earnestly do I wish that it may be otherwise! It is our work to preach and write, your's to hear and read; but the Father of mercies alone can give success. We therefore follow these poor endeavours with our hearty prayers to him, that he may be graciously pleased to bestow upon you, converting or confirming grace; that you may expe.
****** rience the manifestations of his favour; or, being in a state of grace, that you may walk in the light of his countenance, and abound unto every good work, that we may give up our account of you with joy and not with grief; so that those who sow and those who reap may, at length, rejoice together. This is the sincere desire and prayer of
The Friend of your souls,
Nova 9, 1678.
LIFE IN GOD'S FAVOUR.
SOME INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.
Psalm xxx. 5. In his Favour is Life.
THE divine poem in which we meet with these
1 words, bears the title of A psalm and song at the dedication of David's house. What is intended by this dedication, or with what ceremonies it was performed, we are not told. Moses said to the armies of Israel, when going out to battle, “ What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, left he die in battle, and another man dedicate it." Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David, and cedar-trees, and carpenters, and masons, and they built David an house. Whether this psalm
was composed when he first became an inhabitant of this house, or when he returned to it after Absalom had defiled it, I will not determine. This holy man was concerned to have his habitation to be an house for God, and devoted to him ; where his name should be called upon, and his praises sung, whose favour is to be valued infinitely above all earthly enjoyments, and is that which sanctifies and ennobles them all.
The psalm which was composed and sung on this occasion, may be called, a divine miscellany, defcriptive of the various experiences of a child of God. I shall just hint at a few particulars.
The Psalmist here exalts God in his praises, who had exalted him in the manifestations of his mercy. * I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou haft' lifted me up." When the Father of mercies has brought us up out of the depths of distress and indigence, we ought to give him the glory; and the higher our advancement is, the inore exalted should be our praises. This is a delightful, as it is a reasonable service.
David had cried to God, and experienced his present help and healing, in bodily affliction, do. mestic trouble, and distress of mind. “ I have cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.” Relief was near. It was but asking with fervour and sincerity, and the great Physician was ready, with his healing