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another, without one reverend or affectionate thought of God; may give him a formal good morrow, and then farewel for all the day long; offer up their prayers, (as they 'speak), and think they have done enough; and afterwards that their hearts may go
whither they will, provided they escape grosser sins, never check themselves in wandering from God all the day, if they fall not into some deep mire.
But even they that are somewhat more mindful of God, and see him in his works; and consider them so as to observe him in them, yet are very faulty in thinking of him seldom, and in the slightness of such thoughts; they are not deep in them. We do not accustom ourselves to walk with God, to a continued and delightful converse with him, to be still with him. We can turn our eyes noway but he is visible and legible; and if he were our delight, and his name sweet to us, we would eye that more in every thing, than the things themselves.
The heart will readily espy and take hold of every small occasion of remembering that which it loves, that which carries any impression of the person on whom the affection is set. It is more looked upon on that side, and in that reference, than any other.
Certainly, were. God the choice of our hearts, our natural use and enjoyment of things would not relish so much with us, nor take us up so much as the viewing of him in them all. In our affairs and refreshments, in company and apart, in the beholding of heaven and earth, and all that is round about us, our eye would be most on him whom our soul loveth. What a pity, and what a shame is it, that we, who profess ourselves to be his children, and even they that truly are so, should so little mind our Father and his greatness and glory, who is continually minding us, and our good! It is indeed a double standing wonder in the world which he hath made, that God should take so much notice of man, and man should take so little notice of God.
Were this known truth of the creation wisely improved, we should find much in it that we commonly observe not, at least that we use not. This one thing sure, it might gain upon us to fear his displeasure who is so great, and so powerful, who hath the whole host of heaven, and the great army of all creatures at his command.
What he commands they must obey, for he commanded, and they were made; they have their being from his command. How quickly can he crush those that proudly rebel against him? How easily can he shake thein to pieces, the greatest and the strongest of them.
He poureth contempt upon princes, yea, what are they! base potsherds of earth striving with their Maker, though somewhat bigger than others, yet as easily broken by his sceptre. Oh! you that after all warnings, dare walk on in your wicked ways, in drunkenness, or swearing, or any secret heart wickedness; you know not, who is your party; the great God, the former of all things. Who would not fear thee, 0! king of nations? You that do not fear him, are in a fearful estate Learn to know him, and seek unto him. Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; Seek him who hath the seven stars, and Orion; who turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night
There is in this a strong ground of spiritual confidence, both for the Church's concernment and our own in every estate. This first work of God rightly looked on, answers all the difficulties of the greatest works we can expect at his hands. Let Zion's enemies grow to their highest, they cannot rise so high as to be above this Almighty God, that framed the lieavens. Let the Church be brought to the lowest deeps of distress, yet cannot fall so low, but this everlasting arm is long enough to reach her, and draw her out of it, that drew the whole world out of nothing. He doth, therefore, often represent, by his prophet, this very work as a certain evidence of
& Amos v. 8.
his unbounded power. What task can be so great as to surcharge him, that so easily brought forth a world? What number can be too small; what instrument too weak in his hand, for the greatest work, who, without either working instrument or materials, built such a palace?
Fear not worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; why, wherefore, have they no reason to fear? they being but as a worm, &c. I will help thee, saith the Lord', &c. and I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth, and thou shalt thresh the mountains, and make the hills chaff. A worm in thyself, but in my hand a threshing instrument. Weak Jacob and his strong God, too hard for all the world.
On the other side, what serve multitudes without him, all originally nothing; and, when HE WILLS, they prove as nothing. Severed from his concurrence, as cyphers, multiply them as you will, still they siguify nothing. Ten thousand men, without God, are ten thousand nothings. We have had very late, and very clear experiment of this, both to our grief and to our comfort, but both forgotten, and indeed never duly considered; for if they had, they would not so soon, yea, they truly would never be forgotten by us. Well, however, it grieveth us, by reason of our own continuing hard in wickedness; yet this I am sure of, the strong arm of the Lord is engaged in this work; he hath already appeared in it, and therefore will not let it fall; and though we were at a lower ebb than lately we were, yet should we rise again by his strength. Doubt it not, the enemies of our peace shall be ashamed, and God shall be yet more glorious in the world than ever, not only in our Outward deliverance, but in that which is far richer, and of higher beauty, the power and glory of his or. dinances. He shall make things that are not, to be, by the mighty power of his mouth, and throughout
h Isa. xliii. 13. xliv. 24. and li. 12, 13.--- Jer. li. 19, 20. Zach. xii. 18. i Isa. xli. 14.
the world, Jesus Christ shall go on conquering. In his name lies the reason of his prevailing. His name is called the Word of God, that same word, by which all things were made; therefore, no opposite power is able to stand before him. It is a great work to ruin great Babel, but his strength is enough for it. Mighty is the Lord God who judgeth. A great work to restore his Church, but here is power enough for it, and it is spoken of under the resemblance of the creations
For the estate of thy soul, thou that art thoughtful of that, what causest thou to suspect, is there any plea left for distrust in thy lowest condition? Thou art about great things, and findest all, not only difficulties, but impossibilities to thee. Good is it that thou findest it so, and be emptied of all fancy of self strength. But then look up above thyself, and all created, to a creating, power; if thou canst not subdue thy lusts, and iniquities, resolve to wrestle. Wrestle as thou wilt, still they are too hard for thee: but look to him who came to destroy the works of Satan. Hath not thy Almighty Lord resolved to do it for thee? Thou findest nothing within but blindness and hardness, canst not repent nor believe, nor think a right thought of God. It is so; but one word from him can do all this, and make all those to subsist that now are not; therefore, lay thyself before him as dead, yea, as very nothing. " Lord, I am nothing of all that which is the being of a Christian in holiness, in faith, in love, but speak thou the word, and I shall be a new creature, to thy praise. There is nothing upon my soul but darkness. But art not thou he that said, 'Let there be light, and there was light;' that word, again, Lord, say it to my soul, and it shall be so. Think not to bring any thing with thee. . Renovation is as absolute and free a work, as creation. Could his creature oblige him to make it, before it had a being ? no more can it oblige him to save it, or to give it a new being
Isa. li. 16.
in Christ; all is free. The miracles of Christ, signs of power and goodness, are preludes to his greater work. It is most senseless to have a thought of preventing him, from whom all good and all
being flow. And this he does; if any be in Christ, he is a new creature, and the word is, all made new, new delights and desires, and thoughts new-a new heaven, and a new earth; a new soul, and a new body, renewed in holiness, sanctified, and made conformable to Jesus Christ. And when thou findest some work of grace, which thou canst not wholly deny, and yet wantest that peace and joy which thou desirest, look to him for that too, thou that findest it not from the word preached, yet he can speak it, and even by that word wherein formerly thou didst not find it. It is the fruit of the lips, but so withal, that it is his creation; he only causes it to be. I create the fruit of the lips, peace, peace. The Father wrought by the Son in the first creation, but in a new and special manner works by him in this second. He is that word made flesh, who is the life and the spring of all, the grace and comfort thou desirest or readest of. Go to him; he delights to let forth his mercies to thirsting souls; to revive them, to restore or turn them again, when they are in a swoon, as the word is Psal. xxiii. The more thou puttest him to it, the more shalt thou find his prevailing power, and fulness of grace that dwells in him, which is no more diminished by all he shews forth, than his divine power, which was not weakened by framing of the world. There is no scarcity of spirit in him; therefore, he proclaimed it as plural: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow RIVERS of living water.
How manifold are thy works, O Lord! says the Psalmist'; and then adds, that wherein all the variety of them agrees, the holding forth of his incomparable wisdom, from whose wisdom they are; In wisdom thou hast made them all. As there are some of them
1 Psal. civ.'