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for your former contempt of mercy, you have not been cut off from the land of the living, and condemned for ever to the flames. O that you were fenfible what grace and patience is exercised towards you in your daily prefervation! that your paft refufals have not been accepted as your final choice, and your ftate determined beyond redemption! I do, now, upon this folemn occafion, when the body and blood of Chrift, as broken and fhed for finners, is to be fet before you, by his warrant and authority, befeech you, by the mercies of God, and pray you to be reconciled unto him. Shall I be obliged, on this feafon of joy, amidst fo bright a difplay of divine love, to unfheath the sword of almighty vengeance, and denounce the terrors of the Lord? No, my brethren, I rather chuse, now, to beseech than to command, to invite than to threaten you; to fhew you the wrath of God falling upon your Saviour than upon yourselves; and fhall not his love conftrain you, fhall not his mercy perfuade you, not to reject the counsel of God against yourselves? Will you prefer the pleasures of fin, carnal mirth, and fenfual riot, to all the blessed fruits of divine love? You will fay, I suspect, that you have but a cold notion of all this profufion of language about joy in God; it is because you know it not. Do but tafte and fee, that the Lord is good! I am fenfible, however, it is in vain to speak to any but thofe who are weary of their fins; and therefore I fhall only, in our Saviour's words, call all thofe "who are weary and heavy "laden to come unto him, that they may have reft." As this ordinance is proper for ratifying former engagements, fo it is also proper for entering into covenant with God, and folemnly giving yourselves to be his. And oh that this may be a day and place, marked in the regifters of heaven, when and where many joined themfelves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant never to be forgotten or recalled!

3. The laft ufe to be made of this fubject, is to fhow you what is your proper employment at the Lord's table. It ought to be a joyful, thankful application of the bleffings of Christ's purchase to your fouls. Be ftrong in faith, giving glory to God; not only celebrate his love, but improve it, by afking, in faith, every thing neceffary to VOL. II. O

your fanctification and peace.-I fhall fhut up all, by defiring you to use the Pfalmift's preface, in going unto God, who fays, in the 3d verfe, "O fend out thy light "and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me in"to thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles." In order to raise and elevate your minds, to fix and engage your unfettled hearts, apply to God, who hath the hearts of alk men in his hand, that he would difpofe you for his fervice; that he would fhed abroad his love in your hearts, and make you joyful in his houfe of prayer. And my earnest prayer to God for you, is, that he would at this time, convert fome, or (why fhould we limit him?) every profane finner in this affembly; pull off the mask of hypocrites, and fhew them their own likenefs; that he would make it a joyful communion to many of you, and a profitable communion to all. Amen.

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PSALM cxvi. 7.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.


T is the language of nature, as well as of grace, to cry to God in distress. When great extremity fhows the weakness of all other help, there remains fo much of God written on the confciences even of the moft profligate, as excites them to this duty. The truth of this obfervation appears from many fcripture examples, as well as every day's experience. But though bad men may cry to God for deliverance from fuffering, they know little, if any thing at all, of returning to God in duty and gratitude, for the mercy received, Pfal. lxxviii. 34,-37. "When he “flew them, then they fought him; and they returned, "and inquired early after God. And they remembered "that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeem"er. Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouth, "and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their "heart was not right with him; neither were they stedfast "in his covenant." See alfo the account of the ten lepers, Luke xvii. 12,-17. "And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which "food afar off, and they lifted up their voices, and said,


Jefus, Mafter, have mercy on us. And, when he faw "them, he faid unto them, go fhew yourselves unto the priefs; and it came to pafs, that, as they went, they "were cleanfed. And one of them, when he faw that he was healed, turned back, and, with a loud voice, glori"fied God, and fell down on his face, at his feet, giving "him thanks; and he was a Samaritan: and Jefus an"fwering, faid, Were there not ten cleanfed? but where "are the nine?" They all cried alike for the cure; but the greatest part foon forgot their obligation to their merciful Saviour.

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It is no way difficult to account for this behavior in bad men; but, alas! it is melancholy to think how much of this unhappy difpofition is to be found even in the best. When the preffure of any trial is felt, they flee to God as their refuge and fecurity; with fervent fupplication, and earneft wrestling, they intreat his help. But, though we muft not charge any fincere fervant of God with an entire forgetfulness of his goodness, or open desertion of his fervice; yet, I am afraid, that many are very defective in this particular; and that few, very few, preferve the fame folicitude to improve their mercies, as to obtain them.

My intention is to apply this to us, who have lately been at the Lord's table; and, I hope, before going there, not a few were earneft in their prayers for the divine prefence. Urged by the fufferings of this mortal body, the lofs of outward comforts, the power of inward temptations, or a defire of the return of an abfent God, or the quickening of a flothful fpirit, they fought confolation in this holy ordinance; they went to feek the Lord, going and weeping. I hope alfo, and believe, that many went not in vain, but "found him whom their foul loved, found "him, and would not let him go." All fuch ought to imitate the Pfalmift in the fpirit that breathes through the whole of this Pfalm; and, particularly, in the words of my text: Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord bath dealt bountifully with thee.

I need only fay, in a very few words, that the whole Pfalm is an expreffion of his gratitude for deliverance from great fufferings, from enemies cruel and treacherous.

They were also of an inward, as well as an outward kind, as all his trials did ordinarily bring fin to remembrance, and fill him with a humbling fenfe of the awful judgments of a holy and righteous God. He feems alfo to have been particularly exercifed in prayer to God his all-fufficient help: ver. 3, 4. "The forrows of death compaffed me, "and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble "and forrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; "O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my foul." He thereupon celebrates the mercy of God, and wearing the bonds of love, defires to exprefs his obligations in the strongest terms, and to fatisfy them by the most chearful obedience: verfe 12. "What fhall I render unto the Lord for all his "benefits towards me?"

In difcourfing further, at this time, I shall just observe, that the words of the text contain the Pfalmift's refolution: Return unto thy rest, O my soul.-And the reason on which it is founded;for the Lord hath dealt bounti fully with thee. These two, as applicable to the fervants of God in general, and ourselves in particular, I fhall diftinctly confider, not in the order of the words, but in the order of nature.

I. I fhall defcribe the ftate of thofe with whom God bath dealt bountifully.

II. Explain the import of the Pfalmift's refolution, which ought to be theirs: Return unto thy rest, O my soul. And then shall make fome practical improvement of the fubject.

I. Then, I fhall defcribe the ftate of those with whom God hath dealt bountifully; and I am just to defcribe this, in its great lines, from experience, befeeching every one prefent to hear it with application; and to add such circumftances to the feveral particulars, as will make them completely fuitable to his own ftate-Observe, then,

1. That the Lord hath dealt bountifully with those from whom he hath removed any affliction under which they groaned, and for deliverance from which they prayed.If we would count our mercies, they are very many: and

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