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mifery, just as he thinks them, they are altered, debafed, and ftraitened as foon as ever they come into our thoughts. See an excellent inftance in Gen. xlviii. II. "I had not thought to fee thy face, and lo, God hath fhewed me alfo thy feed." A furprizing providence; and thus the divine power works in a sphere above all the thoughts, prayers, and expectations of men.



3. It works beyond all probabilities, and rational conjectures of men; this Almighty power hath created deliverances for the people of God, when things have been brought to the lowest ebb, and all the means of falvation have been hid from their eyes. We have divers famous inftances of this in fcripture, wherein we may obferve a remarkable gradation in the working of this Almighty power: 'Tis faid, in 2 Kings xv. 26, 27. "The Lord faw the affliction of Ifrael, that it was very bitter, for there was not any fhut up, or any left, nor any "helper for Ifrael." A deplorable ftate! How inevitable was their ruin to the eye of fenfe? Well might it be called a bitter affliction; yet from this immediate power arofe for them a fweer and unexpected falvation: And, if we look into 2 Cor. i. 9, 10. we hall find the apoftles and choiceft Chriftians of those times, giving up themfelves as loft men; all ways of efcaping being quite out of fight, for fo much thofe words fignify, We had the Jentence of death in ourselves; i. e. We yielded ourselves for dead men. But though they were fentenced to death, yea, though they fentenced themfelves, this power, which wrought above all their thoughts, and rational conjectures, reprived them. And yet one ftep farther, in Ezek, xxxvii. 4, 5, 6, 7. The people of God are there reprefented as actually dead, yea, as in their graves, yea, as rotted in their graves, and their very bones dry, like thofe that are dead of old; fo utterly improbable was their recovery: Yet by the working of this Almighty power, which fubdueth all things to itfelf, their graves in Babylon were opened, the breath of life came into them, bone came to bone, and there ftood up a very great army; it was the working of his power above the thoughts of man's heart, which gave the ground of that famous proverb, Gen, xxii. 14. “In the mount of the Lord it "fhall be feen." And the ground of that famous promife, Zech. xiv. 7." At evening time it fhall be light;" i. e. Light fhall unexpectedly fpring up, when all men according to the courfe and order of nature, expect nothing but increasing darkness. How extenfive is the power of God in its glorious operations!


Sect. III. Let us view the power of God in its relation to

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the promifes, for fo it becomes our fanctuary in the day of trouble; if the power of God be the chamber, it is the promife of God which is that golden key that opens it. And if we will confult the fcriptures in this matter, we fhall find the Almighty power of God made over to his people by promise, for many excellent ends and ufes in the day of their trouble. As,



1. To uphold and fupport them, when their own ftrength fails, Ifa. xli. 10. "Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not difmayed, for I am thy God: I will ftrengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee, with the right-hand "of my righteoufnefs." And which of the faints have not fenfibly felt thefe everlasting arms underneath their spirits, when afflictions have preffed them above their own ftrength! So runs the promile to Paul in 2 Cor. xii. 9. "My grace is "fufficient for thee, for my ftrength is made perfect in weak"nefs;" i. e, It is made known in thy weaknefs. Our weaknefs adds nothing to God's power, it doth not make his power perfect, but it hath the better advantage of its difcovery, and puts forth itfelf more fignally and confpicuoudly in our weakness; as the stars which never fhine fo gloriously, as in the darkest night.

2. To preferve them in all their dangers, to which they lie expofed in foul and body, 1 Pet. i. 5. "You are kept (faith the apoftle) by the mighty power of God." Kept as in a garrifon; this is their arm every morning, as it is Ifa. xxxiii. 2. "O



Lord be gracious unto us, we have waited for thee, be thou "their arm every morning, our falvation alfo in the time of "trouble." The arm is that member which is fitted for the defence of the body, and for that end fo placed by the God of nature, that it may guard every part above and below it; but as good they were bound behind our backs, for any help they can give us in fome cafes: It is God's arm that defends us and not our own. This invifible power of God makes the faints the world's wonder. Pfal. lxxi. 7. " I am as a wonder to many, but "thou art my ftrong refuge." To fee the poor defenceles creatures preferved in the midft of furious enemies, that is just matter of wonder; but God being their invifible refuge that folves the wonder; to this end the power of God is by promise engaged to bis people, Ifa. xxvii. 3. "I the Lord do keep it, I "will water it every moment, left any hurt it, I will keep it, night and day." And thus they fubfift in the midst of dangers and troubles; as the burning bufh (the emblem of the church) did amidst the devouring flames, Exod. iii. 3.


3. To deliver them out of their diftreffes, fo runs the pro

mife, Pfal. xci. 14, 15. "Because he hath fet his love upon me, "therefore will I deliver him; I will fet him on high, because "he hath known my name; he fhall call upon me, and I will "answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him " and honour him." And Jer. xxx. 7. "Alas for that day is "great, so that none is like it: It is even the time of Jacob's "trouble, but ye fhall be faved out of it." And furely there can be no distress so great, no case of believers fo forlon; but,

1. It is eafy with God to fave them out of it. Are they to the eye of fenfe loft, as hopeless as men in the grave? Yet fee Ezek. xxxvii. 12. "O my people, I will open your graves, and "caufe you to come out of your graves, and bring you into the "land of Ifrael." And he doth whatever he doth eafily, with a word, Pfal. xliv. 4. "Thou art my king, O God, command deliverances for Jacob." And it requireth no more violent motion to do it, than he that swimmeth in the water ufes, Ifa. XXV. 11. A gentle eafy motion of the hand doth it.

2. And as the power of God can deliver them easily, fo speedily. Their deliverance is often wrought by way of furprizal, Ifa. xvii. 14. "Behold, at evening-tide trouble, and in the


morning he is not." So the church prays, in Pfal. cxxxvi. 14. "Turn again our captivity, as the ftreams in the fouth." The fouthern countries are dry, the ftreams there come not in a gentle and flow current, but being occafioned by violent fudden spouts of rain, they presently overflow the country, and as foon retire: So fpeedily can the power of God free his people from their dangers and fears.

3. Yea, fuch is the excellency of his delivering power, that he can fave alone, without any contribution of creature-aids. So Ifa. lix. 16. “He wondered that there was no interceffor; there"fore his hand brought falvation unto him, and his righteouf"nefs fuftained him." We read indeed Judg. v. 23. of helping the Lord, but that is not to exprefs his need, but their duty; we have continual need of God, but he hath no need of us: he uses inftruments, but not out of neceffity, his arm alone can fave us, be the danger never fo great, or the visible means of deliverance never fo remote.

4. Once more let us view this chamber of divine power, as it is continually opened by the hand of providence, to receive and fecure the people of God in all their dangers. It is faid, 2 Chron. xvi. 9. "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout "the whole earth, to fhew himself strong in the behalf of them "whofe heart is perfect towards him." Where you have an excellent account of the immediacy, univerfality, and efficacy of

Divine Providence, as it uses and applies this Divine power for the guard and defence of that people, who are its charge; he doth not only fet angels to watch for them, but his own eyes guard them, even those seven eyes of providence mentioned, Zech. iii. 9. which never fleep nor flumber; for they are faid to run continually to and fro, and that not in this or that particular place only, for the fervice of fome more eminent and excellent perfons; but through the whole earth. It is an encompaffing and furrounding providence which hath its eye upon all whole hearts are upright; all the faints are within the line of its care and protection; the eye of providence difcovereth all their dangers, and its arm defends them, for he fhews himself strong in their behalf.


The secret, but the almighty efficacy of providence is also excellently defcribed to us in Ezek. i. 8. where the angels are faid to have their hands under their wings, working fecretly and endiícernibly, but very effectually for the faints committed to their charge. Like unto which is that in Hab. iii. 4. where it is faid of God, that he had horns coming out of his hands, and there was the hiding of his power." The hand is the inftrument of action, denoting God's active power, and the horns coming out of them are the glorious rays and beams of that power shining forth in the falvation of his people. O that we could fun ourselves in thofe clearful and reviving beams of divine power, by confidering how gloriously they have broken forth, and fhone out for the falvation of his people in all ages. So it did for Ifrael at the red-fea, Exod. xv. 6. So for Johoshaphat in that great strait, 2 Chron. xx. 12, 15. And fo in the time of Hezekiah, 2 Kings xix. 3, 7. Yea, in all ages from the beginning of the world the faints have been sheltered under these wings of Divine power, Ifa. li. 9, 10. Thus providence hath hanged and adorned this chamber of Divine Power with the delightful hiftories of the church's manifold prefervations by it.

Section IV. Having taken a short view of this glorious chamber of God's power, abfolutely in itself, and alfo in relation to his promifes and providences, it remains now, that I prefs and perfuade all the people of God, under their fears and dangers, according to God's gracious invitation, to enter into it, shut their doors, and to behold with delight this glorious attribute working for them in all their exigencies and diftreffes.

1. Enter into this chamber of divine power, all ye that fear the Lord, and hide yourselves there in thofe dangerous and diftrefsful days; let me fay to you as the prophet did to the poor VOL. IV.


diltreffed Jews, Zech. ix. 12. "Turn ye to your ftrong hold, ye "prifoners of hope." Strong holds might they fay: why, where are they? The walls of Jerufalem are in the dust, the temple burnt with fire, Sion an heap, what meanest thou in telling as of our strong holds? Why, admit all this, yet there is fatis praefidii in uno Dro, refuge enough for you in God alone, as Calvin excellently notes upon that place. Christian, art not thou able to fetch a good fubfiftence for thy foul by faith, out of the almighty power of God? The renowned faints of old did fo. Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob met with as many difficulties and plunges of trouble in their time, as ever you did, or fhall meet with; yet, by the exercise of their faith upon this attribute, they lived comfortably, and why cannot you? Exod. vi. 3. I appeared (faith God) unto Abraham, Ifaac, and Ja

cob, by the name of God Almighty." They kept house, and feafled by faith upon this name of mine; O that we could do as Abraham did, Rom. iv. 21. We have the fame attribute, but, alas, we have not fuch a faith as his was, to improve it. It is ealy to believe the almighty power of God in a calm, but not so easy to refign ourselves to it, and fecurely rest upon it in a ftorm of adverfity; but oh what peace and reft would our faith procure us by the free use and exercife of it this way! to affift your faith in this difficulty wherein we find the faith of a Moles fometimes ftaggered, let me briefly offer you thefe four following encouragements.

1. Confider how your gracious God hath engaged this his almighty power, by promife and covenant for the fecurity of his people. God pawned it, as it were, to Abraham, in that famous promife, Gen. xvii. 1. "I am the almighty God, walk *thou before me, and be thou perfect." And Gen. xv. 1. “ Fear not, Abraham, I am thy fhield." Say not, this was Abraham's peculiar privilege, for if thou confult Hof xii. 4. and Heb. xiii. 5, 6. you will find that believers in thefe days have as good a title to the promises made in thofe days, as thofe worthies had to whom they were immediately made.

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2. If you be believers, your relation to God ftrongly enga geth his power for you, as well as his own promifes, "Surely,


(faith God) they are my people, children that will not lie; fo "he became their Saviour," Ifa. Ixiii. 8. We fay relations have the leaft of entity, but the greateft efficacy; you find it for in your own experience, let a wife child, or friend be in imminent danger, and it fhall engage all the power you have to fuccour and deliver them.

3. This glorious power of God is engaged for you by the

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