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" as feemeth good unto him." And fo much of the nature of this duty, that we may understand what to do.
2. Next let me fhew you, what encouragements you that are the people of God have to this duty, and they will appear to be great and many.
1. The fovereignty and abfolute dominion of God over all creatures, is a fingular encouragement to commit ourselves into his hands, and truft him over all, Pfal. lix. 9. "Because of "his ftrength will I wait upon thee; for God is my defence." If a man were in danger amidst a great army of rude and infolent foldiers, and were to put himself under the protection of any one, it would be his wifdom to chufe to do it under the general, who had all the foldiers of his army at his beck. Christian, thy God, into whofe hands thou committeft thyself, is Lord-general of all the hosts and armies in heaven and earth; how fafe mult thou then be in his hands?
2. The unsearchable and perfect wisdom of God is a mighty encouragement to commit ourselves into his hands; With him plenteous redemption, Pfal. cxxx. ult. i. e. Choice and variety of ways and methods to fave his people; we are, but God never is, at a loss to find a door for our escape, 2 Pet. ii. 9. “The "Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.".
3. The infinite tenderness and compaffionatenefs of our God, is a fweet encouragement to refign and commit ourfelves, and all we have, into his hands; his mercy is incomparably tender towards his people, infinitely beyond whatever any creature. felt ftirring in its own bowels, towards another that came out of its bowels, Ifa. xlix. 15. This compaffion of God engageth the two fore-mentioned attributes, viz. his power and wisdom, for the prefervation and relief of his people, as often as diftreffes befal them. Yea,
4. The very diftreffes his people are in, do, as it were, awake the almighty power of God for their defence and refcue; our diftreffes are not only proper feafons, but powerful motives to his faving power. Deut. xxxii. 36. "For the Lord shall
judge his people, and repent himself for his fervants, when "he feeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up
or left." God makes it an argument to himself, and his people plead it as an argument with him, "be not far from
me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help."
5. We have already committed greater and weightier concernments into his hand than the dearest interest we have in this world; we have intrufted our fouls with him, 1 Pet. iv. 19. 2 Tim. i. 12. Well therefore may we commit the leffer, who
have intrusted the greater with him: What are our lives, lis berties, eftates, and relations, compared with our fouls, and the eternal fafety and happinets of them!
6. The committing act of faith is the great and only expe dient to procure and fecure the peace and tranquillity of our minds, amidst all the diftractions and troubles of the prefent world; the greatest part of our affliction and trouble, in fuch days, is from the working of our own thoughts; these torments from within, are worse than any from without; and the refignation of all to God, by faith, is their best and only cure, Prov. xvi. 3. "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy
thoughts fhall be established." A blessed calmness of mind, a fweet tranquillity and fettlement of thoughts, follows immediately hereupon, Pfal. xciv. 19. Oh then leave all with God, and quietly expect a comfortable iffue: and for the better fettlement and fecurity of thy peace, in times of distraction and trouble, I beseech thee, reader, carefully to watch and guard against thefe two evils.
Caution 1. Beware of infidelity and distrustfulness of God, and his promifes, which fecretly lurks in thy heart, and is very apt to bewray itself, when great diftreffes and troubles befal thee. Thou wilt know it by fuch fymptoms as thefe: 1. In an over-hafty and eager defire after present deliverance, Ifa. li. 14." The captive exile hafteneth that he may be loofed, and "that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should "fail." The lefs faith, always the more impatience; and the more ability to believe, the more patience to wait. 2. It will difcover itself in our readiness to close with and catch at finful mediums and methods of deliverance, Ifa. xxx. 15, 16. And this is the handle of temptation, and occafion of apoftacy. But he that believeth will not make hafte, Ifa. xxvi. 18. No more hafte than good speed. 3. It will fhew itself in distracting cares and fears about events, which will rack the mind with various and endless tortures.
Caution 2. Beware of dejection and defpondency of mind in evil times; take heed of a poor low fpirit, that will prefently fink, and give up its hope upon every appearance and face of trouble; it is a promife made unto the righteous, Pfal. cxii. 7. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings, his heart is "fixed, trufting in the Lord." The trufting of God fixes the heart, and the fixing of the heart fortifies it against fear: But I know what many poor Chriftians will fay in this cafe, their timorousness and defpondency arife not fo much from the greatnefs of outward evils, as from the darkness and doubtfulness of
their fpiritual and inward condition, which, doubtlefs, is the very truth of the cafe; which brings me to the last use of this point.
Use the third.
Search and examine your hearts, Chriftians, whether those graces and qualifications, to which God hath promised protection in evil times, may not be found upon an impartial search in your hearts; amongst which, I will fingle out three principal ones, as the proper matters of your felf-examination, viz. 1. Uprightness of heart and way.
2. Humiliation for your own and others fins.
3. Righteoufnefs in doing, and meeknefs in fuffering the will of God.
1. Uprightness and integrity of heart and way. To this qualification belong many fweet promises of protection; such is that, Prov. ii. 7. "He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly," Pfal. vii. 10. My defence is of God, which faveth the upright "in heart." If your hearts be true to God, thefe promises shall be truly performed to you; but beware you deceive not yourfelves in fo great a point as this is. Thy heart cannot be an upright heart, except, (1.) It be a renewed heart; the natural heart is always a falfe heart; it is only regeneration that gives the heart a right temper and frame; all the duties and labours in the world can never keep the heart right in its course, which is not first fet right for God, by a principle of renovation. (2.) We cannot judge ourselves upright, except uprightnefs be the fettled frame and standing bent of our hearts, Pfal. cxix 112, 117. It is not our integrity in one or two single actions, but in the general courfe, and complex frame of our lives and ways, that will prove our integrity to God. (3.) Then may we reckon ourselves upright, when the dread and awe of God's all-feeing eye keeps our hearts and steps from turning afide to iniquity, Gen. xxxix. 9. 2 Chron. ii. 17. That is a fincere and upright heart indeed, that finds itself at all times, and in all places, over-awed from fin, by the eye of God upon him. (4.) That man's heart alfo is upright with God, who purely aims at, and defigns the glory of God, as the fcope and end of his life and actions, who lives not up to himself, neither acts ultimately and principally for himself, but lives to God, as a perfon dedicated and devoted to him, Rom. xiv. 7. (5.) That heart alfo is upright with God, which governs itself, and its ways, by the directions and rules of the word, Pfal. cxix. 11, 24, 133. Happy is that foul that finds fuch evidences of VOL. IV. A a
integrity in itfelf, when it is brought to the trial of it at the bar of the word, Heb. iv. 12. at the bar of confcience, 2 Cor. i. 12. at the bar of affliction, Pfal. cxix. 87. and at the bar of ftrong temptations, Gen. xxxix. 9. The eyes of the Lord fhall run to and fro through the whole earth, to fhew himself ftrong in the behalf of fuch whofe hearts are thus perfect towards him.
2. Another gracious qualification, intitling the foul to God's special protection in the worst and most dangerous times, is the true humiliation for our own and other mens fins: "Go, fet a "mark, faith God, upon the foreheads of the men that figh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midft "thereof," Ezek. ix. 4. Thefe that thus mourn, when others Jaugh, fhall laugh when others moura. Lot was the only mourner in Sodom, and he was the only perfon exempted from deftruction in the rain and overthrow thereof, 2 Pet. ii. 7. That is a fweet and bleffed privilege mentioned in Ifa. lxvi. 10. "Rejoice ye with Jerufalem, and be glad with her, all ye that "love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for "her; that ye may fuck and be fatisfied with the breasts of her
confolations, that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory." Be contented, Christians, to bear your part in Sion's groans and forrows; you may live to bear your part in her triumphs and fongs of deliverance: It is an argument of the true publicnefs and tendernefs of your spirits for prefent, and as sweet a fign as can appear upon your fouls, that you are referved for better days.
3. Righteoufnels in doing, and meekness in suffering the will of God, is another mark or note, diftinguishing and defcribing thofe perfons whom God will preferve in the evil day. You have both these together in Zeph. ii. 3. "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgments, "fcek righteoufnefs, feek meeknefs: it may be ye fhall be hid
in the day of the Lord's anger." The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers, 1 Pet. iii. 12 If righteoufnefs brings you into ftanger, the righteous God will take care of you in that danger, and bring you out of it. Oh! it is a fingular comfort, when a man can fay, It was not my fin, but my duty, that brought me into trouble; this affliction met me in the path and way of my duty; it is for thy fake, O Lord, that I am in trouble; as the martyr that held up the bible at the stake, faying, This hath brought me hither.
To conclude: Manage all your fufferings for Christ, with chriftian meeknefs: As righteoufnefs muft bring you into them,
fo meekness muft carry you through them; if you avenge yourselves, you take the caufe out of God's hand into your own; but the meek Chriftian leaves it to the Lord, and fhall never have caufe to repent of his fo doing. If thou have an upright heart with God, a tender and mournful heart for fin, and thou fuffer with meeknefs for righteoufnefs-fake, thou art one of those fouls to whom that fweet voice is directed in my text,'
Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation be overpaft.
II A ANHA O ΓΙ Α.
A fuccinct and feasonable Difcourfe of the Occafions, Caufes, Nature, Rife, Growth, and Remedies of MENTAL ERRORS.
HE reverend author of the enfuing treatifes, having in them, explained and defended several gofpel-truths, unto which divers things, in the writings of the reverend Dr. Crifp, deceased, do feem very oppofite; whereas fome of us, who fubfcribed a paper, the defign whereof was only to teftify, that we believed certain writings of the doctor's never before published, were faithfully transcribed by his fon, the publisher of them; which paper is now, by the bookfeller, prefixed to the whole volume; containing a large preface, which we never faw till after the publication, together with all the doctor's former works that were published many years before; and are hereupon, by fome weak people, mifunderstood; as if, by that certificate, we intended an approbation of all that is contained in that volume. We declare we had no fuch intention: As the paper we fubfcribed hath no word in it that gives any fuch intimation: But are well pleased thefe later writings are published (in reference whereto we only certified our belief, which we fixedly retain, of the publisher's fidelity) as they contain many paffages in them, that may, in fome measure, remedy the hard and hurtful conftruction that many expreffions were more liable to in the former; whereof the doctor feemed apprehenfive himself, when, in the beginning of his difcourfe on Tit, ii, 11, 12. he speaks