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Here I must add, that the believer not only defires to fee the glory of God's mercy, in general, as difplayed in the gospel, in which he may have a fhare, but to take an appropriating view of it, as what he hath a clear right and title to call his own. Doubtlefs the mercy of God is pub lifhed, offering falvation to the chief of finners. It is their duty to accept of it; it is their intereft to cleave to it. But they are many times deterred by what they fee in God, they are many times difcouraged by what they feel in themselves, and are afraid to affert their title to fo great a bleffing. But when, by the Holy Spirit, they are enabled to fee the infinite price paid for their redemption, in the cross of Chrift; when they fee the riches of divine grace, in the cross Chrift; when they hear the urgent invitations to them to believe in the crofs of Chrift; when they are enabled freely to renounce and quit hold of every other claim; when their hearts are fweetly conftrained by the bonds of their Redeemer's love; they can then look upon God as their reconciled Father, through him who hath made peace, by the blood of his cross, and fay unto him, My Lord! and my God! What an endearing view is this of the divine glory, and what ineffable fatisfaction springs from it, to the foul? What an unfpeakable confolation to those who have been wounded in their fpirits, and grieved in their minds, when they are enabled to apply the encouraging promises of the holy fcriptures ? Ifa. i. 18. "Come, now, and let us reafon together, faith "the Lord; though your fins be as fcarlet, they fhall be "as white as fnow; though they be red like crimson, "they fhall be as wool. Ifa. xliii. 25. I, even I, am he "that blotteth out thy tranfgreffions, for mine own fake;
and will not remember thy fins, xliv. 22. I have blot"ted out as a thick cloud, thy tranfgreffions, and as a "cloud thy fins. Return unto me, for I have redeemed "thee."
3. The believer defires to fee the glory of God, as an allfufficient God. This is a necessary view of God, as the fupport and happiness of the creature, as well as the ftrength and confolation of the finner.
My brethren, man was made for living upon God; forgetting this, he first went aftray from him. Self-fufficiency, and a delufive fenfe of independence, is infeparable from a finful ftate. Conviction levels a blow at the foundation of this mistake. Serious confideration fhews us how infufficient we are for our own happiness. Daily experience difcovers the inherent vanity of all created comforts in themselves, and as feparated from God. When the penitent returns to God, he not only returns from the fervice of other mafters, to him, as his rightful Lord; but forfakes all forbidden joys, and cleaves to God as his happiness, and refts in him as his portion. Does not this appear from the uniform language of fcripture, with regard to both parts of the covenant? what belongs to God, and what belongs to man. See the tenor of an early promise to the father of the faithful, Gen. xv. 1. "Fear not "Abram; I am thy fhield, and thy exceeding great re"ward." Multitudes of others are of the fame import.
The power and providence of God, in behalf of his people, are largely and beautifully defcribed in the ninety-first Pfalm, "He that dwelleth in the fecret place of the Moft “High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I "will fay of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortrefs; my God, in him will I truft. Surely he fhall deliver "thee from the fnare of the fowler, and from the noisome peftilence. He fhall cover thee with his feathers, and "under his wings fhalt thou truft. His truth fhall be thy "fhield and buckler," &c. 2 Cor. vi. 17. "Wherefore "come out from among them, and be ye feparate, faith "the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will re"ceive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye fhall be "my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty." On the other hand, the invitation, or exhortation to return, is ordinarily preffed from the profit of the change, Ifa. lv. I. "Ho, every one that thirfteth! come ye to the waters; " and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea "come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without "price." And, to name no more paffages, when God came to establish the faith of Abraham in his promife, he fays, Gen. xvii. 1, "I am the Almighty," or as it ought
to be tranflated, "the all-fufficient God: walk before me, "and be thou perfect." Now, believers defire to see the glory of God, as all-fufficient; and all discoveries of this nature are attended with unspeakable complacence and fatisfaction. They fee the glory of an infinite God as theirs, and rejoice in the richness of their portion. Wearied with repeated difappointments, and deeply convinced of the vanity of the creature, they reft in him, as able to give them complete happiness; happiness that will never change! happiness that will never be exhaufted: He that hath chofen God as his portion, hath, as our Saviour beautifully expreffeth it, made "choice of that good part, which "cannot be taken away from him."
My brethren, we are now come to the very fubftance of practical religion. The glory of an all-fufficient God, appears as more than a balance to all that pretends to rival him in our affections; to all that we are called to give up for his fake. When the believer fees the fulness of God, then his anxiety, and diftreffing fears, of every kind, are at an end. Does he want provifion? "The earth is "the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. The young lions "do lack and fuffer hunger; but they that feek the Lord, "shall not want any good thing." Does he want friends? God is able to make his enemies to be at peace with him. Does he want any outward comfort? God is able to procure it, or make him happy without it. Not to mention. particulars; the triumph of faith, in this view, is to attain an abfolute and unconditional refignation to the will of God, with a firm perfuafion, that he is able to make all things work together for our good, and willing to bestow every thing that is for our real intereft. It is to fay with the prophet, Hab. iii. 17, "Although the fig tree shall "not bloffom, neither fhall fruit be in the vines, the labor " of the olive fhall fail, and the fields fhall yield no meat; "the flock fhall be cut off from the fold, and there fhall "be no herd in the ftalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord; "I will joy in the God of my falvation."
I fhall only add, that the divine all-fufficiency is to be confidered, as regarding our fanctification as well as comfort. What diftrefs does not the Chriftian often fuffer VOL. II.
from the treachery of his own heart, and from the power of furrounding temptations? Covered with fhame for his past unsteadfastnefs, convinced, by experience, of his own weakness, he hath no other refuge but in God. And what courage does he derive from the fulness of divine perfection, the greatnefs of divine power, and the faithfulness of the divine promise? "My grace fhall be fufficient for "thee, and my ftrength fhall be made perfect in weak"nefs." He then fays, with the Pfalmift, Pfal. Ixxi. 16, "I will go in the ftrength of the Lord God: I will make "mention of thy righteoufnefs, even of thine only."
II. I proceed now, in the last place, to make fome practical improvement of what hath been faid. And, ift, Let us admire the divine condefcenfion, in admitting his faints to a discovery of his glory. Solomon fays, with very great propriety, in the language of aftonifhment: "But "will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?" The fame ought to be, nay, the fame certainly are, the fentiments of every real believer. But let us remember what has been hinted at above, that our accefs to God, and our communion with him, is, and only can be, through the Mediator of the new covenant, in whom we have accefs, by faith, unto God.
2dly, Let me befeech you to try yourfelves, whether this ever hath been your attainment, and whether it is your fincere defire? Do you know, in any measure, what it is to fee the glory of the true God? Hath he appeared before you in terrible majefty? Have your very fouls been made to bow down before him, and to give him the glory that is justly due to his name? Have you seen the glory of a reconciled God? Have you chofen him, in Christ, as your portion? Have you devoted yourselves, without referve, to his difpofal? Again, have you feen the glory of an all-fufficient God? Surely I fpeak to many who have seen the vanity of the creature. Probably you have tasted a little of the fufferings of a finful state. Where did you feek your confolation? where do you find your fupport? Have you learned the holy and happy art of pouring out your fouls to God? Have you felt the
sweetness of it? And have you faid, with the Pfalmift, "Return unto thy reft, O my foul! for the Lord hath "dealt bountifully with thee? Is it your earnet defire to fee the glory of God? Can you fay with the Pfalmift, Pfal. Ixiii. 1, 2, "O God! thou art my God, early will "I feek thee: my foul thirfteth for thee; my flesh longeth "for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to "fee thy power and thy glory, fo as I have feen thee in "the fanctuary."
3dly, I will now proceed to exhort you, in the most earnest manner, to diligence in feeking after real communion with God in his inftituted worship. How highly are we favored with light and liberty? how little are many fenfible of their privileges? I have often, on fuch occafions, put you in mind of the fatal effects of a heartless, customary, formal worship; it is provoking to God, pernicious to others, hardening to the heart, and ruining to the foul. Were but a fociety of those Proteftants abroad, who are lying under perfecution, to enjoy the season which we now enjoy, what an edge would be upon their spirits ? what a fenfe of gratitude in their hearts? what fire and zeal in their affections? Strange, indeed, that public profperity fhould be fo ftupifying, and the approach of eternity to every individual should not be awakening; while the young and strong are hurried off the stage, while every day is bringing us nearer to our laft, while every ordinance is adding to our charge, that we fhould not defire to fee the glory of God in his fanctuary here, that it may be the earnest of our future inheritance, and prepare us for his immediate prefence hereafter.
Suffer me to speak a few words to thofe that are young. God is my witness, that their welfare is at my heart. Perhaps you will think, what hath been said hardly applicable to you. The defire of Mofes, the man of God, intimate communion and fellowship with God, the attainment of ripe and experienced Chriftians, all this you will fay, is unfuitable to me: nay, perhaps, by a baftard humility, you will fay, to expect it, would be prefumption in me. But you are greatly deceived: there are none who have more gracious invitations to come unto God than young