Page images
PDF
EPUB

and terrifying Apprehensions concerning the Serm. state of our Souls, and what is like to be. XIII. come of them hereafter. These kind of troubles ought by no means to be forgotten. And when they are remembered, our proper Enquiry is, How we got rid of them ? For there is a very wrong and dangerous way of getting rid of such spiritual Concern of Mind. If Stupidity and Indolence, Neglect or Worldly-mindedness, carnal Security, or prevailing Vanity, have contributed to over-bear and drown those Convictions, and banish that serious Thoughtfulness and religious Sorrow we once had, our State is really worse than it was then; and we have more reason now to be concerned than we had before. But if it hath made us more humble and watchful, more observant of God and our Duty, in every Branch of it, more dependent 'on his Grace to strengthen us against Sin; and if in this way the Comforts of Religion, Peace of Conscience, the Joys of the Holy Ghost, and the Hopes of our Sincerity, have been recovered and established; then, to be sure, such Providences of God ought never to be forgotten, but to be, always remembered with the most

grate

Serm. grateful Disposition of Soul to the honour of XIII. his Grace.

Again, have we been afflicted in our Family or Friends, by the Death of some, or the Sickness and Distress of others, (and O, how deeply does the Heart sometimes feel the force of reflected Sorrows !) let us not foon forget these kind of Afflictions when they are past. It is possible we may know very

well from what immediate Cause they flowed, yet let us not overlook the sovereign Hand of God therein. And if they have in any degree been owing to some neglect or fault in us, they should especially be remembered, to humble us, and make us more wise and cautious for the future.

Or have we been involved in a more general Calamity, and suffered with the Publick; whatever others do let us take care not to forget the Hand of God in his judicial Vifitations. For as their Sufferings were no Abatement to ours, so their forgetfulness of them should be no Example

to us.

Or have our Afflictions been long since past? why still they, ought not to be forgotten. But by a serious Recollection we

Thould

should endeavour to revive the good Impres- Serm. fions they once made, that they may in- XIII. crease our Caution and Gratitude fo long as

[ocr errors]

we live.

others;

2. We should likewise remember the merciful Providences of God towards us. Which, it is to be feared, we are as apt to forget as his afflicting Dispensations.

For Instance, our temporal mercies should be frequently remembered. The Health, the Peace, the Prosperity, and the worldly Advantages we enjoy above fo

many which the Distresses of the many poor

Objects we meet with should bring to our minds; especially any signal or distinguishing Mercy past, which laid the Foundation of most of our present Comforts; or any eminent Deliverance from past Dangers or Evils, which might have made all the future part of Life unhappy.

Again, our spiritual Mercies and religious Advantages should be thankfully recorded by us; and especially that invaluable one of a good and pious Education : That we were not born among Heathens, or trained up among the most profligate and ignorant sort of Christians; but were early

instructa

SERM. instructed in the Knowledge of God and XIII.

our Duty; and have enjoyed those valuable Advantages for securing our future Happiness which by far the greatest part of Mankind; nay, even of Christians, never had. And if, by the Grace of God, these Advantages have been improved to the effectüál Conversion of our Hearts to God, so that we have a well-grounded Hope of our Interest in Chrift, and the Acceptance of our Maker, this, the greatest of all Mercies, ought never to be forgotten by us.

Again, Family.mercies should be often remembered by us ; Family-health, Peace and Prosperity; the Comfort of Relations, the Blessing of Children ; especially if they be found walking in the way of Truth. And fo should publick Mercies: Especially the signal Interpositions of Providence in

preserving us from our Enemies, and restoring to us the Blessings of national Prosperity and Peace.

And the Blessings we have long enjoyed should no more be forgotten by us than those we have lately received. But upon recollecting the variety and suitableness of them we should take

up
the Pfalmist's pi-

ous

ous Resolution, Long as I live I will praise SERM. the Lord, I will fing Praises to my God whill XIII. 1 bave a Being (b).

Thus should we remember all the way the Lord our God hath led us so many Years in this Wilderness; his afflicting and merciful Providences, both temporal and fpiritual, private and publick, and even those which are long since past. The pious Jews had a way of preferving the Memory of any fignal Providences, whether prosperous . or afflictive, by giving such names to certain Places, or to their Children, as were fignificative of those providential Events which they desired never to forget. Thus fignificant were the names of all the twelve Patriarchs. And most of the proper Names in the Old Testament have some fuch religious Reference. Which shews the devout regard they had to the Duty recommended in the Text; and how mindful they were of the ways of God, of which they thus endeavoured to perpetuate the Memorial. And so far they are fit: to be our Patterns, who are equally obliged to the same Duty now. But,

H. Let

(6) Pfal, civ. 33

« EelmineJätka »