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for it? For, "He is a Prince and a Saviour, by the right hand of God, to give repentance to lfrael." God hath made him the great Treasurer; "It hath pleased the Father, that in him fhould all fulnefs dwell, that we might be complete in him." But in cafe you think this quarry is far off, you need not fay," Who will go up to heaven, and bring down Chrift? Or, who will defcend into the deep, and bring him up? He is near in the word;" you may dig in this quarry, and yet go no farther than the Bible that is in your hand.-The promises of the covenant themfelves are excellent materials for the building. You may find Chrift himself in them; and therefore I would have you, in order to the building, lay up these promises in your heart. Lay up the promife of pardon, the promise of a new heart, the promise of grace and glory. Lay up a promise for every change that may befal you. Lay up a promife of ftrength; as when he fays, "My ftrength fhall be perfected in thy weaknefs." Lay up a promife of prefence; as when he says, "I will never leave you, nor forfake you." Lay up a promife of protection; as when he fays, "The place of your defence fhall be the munition of rocks;-a man fhall be a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempeft; as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Lay up a promife of pro vifion; as when he says, "Bread fhall be given thee, and your water shall be fure." Lay up a promife of direction and conduct; as when he fays, "I will lead the blind in a way they know not, and in paths which they have not known." Lay up a promise for supply; as when he says, My God fhall fupply all your needs, according to his riches in glory, by Chrift Jefus." Lay up a promife for death itself; as when he fays, "Death fhall be fwallowed up in victory." O it would be fureft to travel thro' the valley of the fhadow of death with the promife in your hand. Lay up a promise for every state; fee Ifa. xli. 17, 20. I fay, lay up thefe, and the like materials for the building, and bring them all out of God's quarry.
3. In order to the right building, make use of God's fquare and plumb-line: fee Ifaiah xxviii. 17. I mean, his law; you, believers, are delivered from the law as a
covenant; and therefore, there is none in the world fo much obliged as you are, to make ufe of the law as a rule; "They that walk according to this rule, peace be on then, and on all the Ifrael of God." Let that word found ftill in your ears, Pfal. xxxvii. 37. "Depart from evil, and dwell for evermore;" and furely, if you be in your element, you will be faying, "O that my ways were directed to keep thy ftatutes! O let me not wander from thy commandments. O enlarge my heart, that I may run the way of thy commandments."But, befide the precept of the law, in the hand of a Mediator, there are the examples of the faints in fcripture that belong to this fquare and line for the building, efpecially the example of the King of faints, Chrift Jefus, "Who hath left us an example, that we fhould follow his fteps." Set Chrift before you in your building; and learn of him, for he is meek and lowly,
4. In order to the right and fuccefsful building, seek more and more difplays of the glory of God in the face of Chrift; for, fays the Pfalmift, "When the Lord fhall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory." As the foundation is laid by faving discoveries of his glory; fo the building is ftill advanced by this fame means: according as you are made to behold his glory as in a glass, fo fhall you be changed into the fame image, from glory to glory and thus the building fhall go up.
5. In a word, call in always the affistance of the great Architect and Master-builder; for, Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain, that build it." Be always coming to him, 1 Pet. ii. 4. Be much about his hand, in the ufe of means; praying in fecret, fearching the fcriptures, and the like: but ftill remember, whatever is incumbent on you, in point of means and duty, the whole work is his, in point of power and efficiency. Saints may weep for Zion, but the Lord muft build her. It is he that lays the foundation; for, "The Lord hath founded Zion." It is he that raifes the fuperftructure; by working in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure, And it is he that must finish the work, and lay on the cope-ftone, with fhouting, crying, Grace, grace, unto it." Therefore,. O give him employment; and let him
have all the work, who will have all the glory. Employ him to remove all the mountains of difficulty, that fland in the way of this building; for, it is he that muft fay, "Who art thou, O great mountain? before our Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plain.'
Now, I have done, and if any be going away without Christ, or without having this foundation laid, you are going away with God's curfe upon you; and though you do not fee it now, yet it will meet with you fearfully at death and judgment; and ly upon you heavily to all eternity.-You will never do a good turn as long as you are off this foundation; whatever you may do, that is naturally good, you are incapable of doing any thing fpiritually good, and acceptably good; for, "They that are in the flesh," and out of Chrift, " they cannot please God." And fo, as long as the foundation is not laid, you will never have a day to do well. But I hope, fome are going away, rejoicing and glorying in this foundation and if there be any here that are brought to glory in Chrift as the foundation of their hope; the foundation of their peace with God; the foundation of their holiness and comfort; the foundation of their light and life, strength and liberty; the foundation of their grace, and glory, and eternal falvation: O bleffed are you now! and blessed fhall you be for ever: whatever spiritual damps or temporal difficulties you may come under after this, yet you fhall be bleffed in profperity and adverfity; though God should visit your iniquities with rods, yet the rod is in a friend's hand; "His loving-kindness will he not take away." Yea, if this hath been a believing day to you, a foundation-laying day, or a templebuilding day, then I muft tell you, in the name of the great God, that from this day will he bless you.
GLAD TIDINGS IN SAD TIMES; or, The CITY of GOD, in the Times of Trouble and Confufion watered with the River of Gonfolation *.
There is a river, the ftreams whereof do make glad the city of God. 34
THE HE tide of joy and confolation hath never come to a greater height, in the people of God, than in the time of affliction, perfecution, and tribulation; then they are readily moft zealous Chriftians who are Chriftians indeed; and when zeal abounds, then joy and peace in believing abound alfo. I remember Moulin, fpeaking of the French Proteftants, fays, "When
Papifts hurt us, and afflict us for reading the fcrip"tures, we then burn in zeal to be reading them: "but when perfecution is over, our Bibles are like old "Almanacks." When the people of God are paffing through the fire of affliction, then he ufes to let out the ftreams of the river of life to their hearts, to allay the burning heat of the fire, and to give them the oil of joy for mourning.
The Pfalmift here, in the church's name, most triumphantly expreffes her confidence in God, and that in def pite of all imaginable dangers, in the fecond and third verfes, "We will not fear, tho' the earth be removed;
*This fermon was preached in Anandale, on Sabbath, August 27th. 1738.
and tho' the mountains be carried into the midft of the fea: tho' the waters thereof roar, and be troubled, tho the mountains thake with the fwelling thereof." By thefe expreffions we are to understand the reelings and commotions that are in the world, with the violence and rage of the enemies of the church. And, in the words. of our reading, he fubjoins the matter of the church's confolation, amidst all the reeling and confufions in the world, There is a river, the ftreams whereof do make glad tke city of God. Where you have these four things.
1. The name given to the church; it is a city.
2. The owner and proprietor thereof; it is God; the city of God.
3. The fad circumftances of the city here fuppofed,
while all is in confufion and commotion.
4. The gladdening provifion made for the city, amidst all faddening circumftances of the inhabitants; There is a river, the streams whereof do make glad the city of God.
DOCT. "That the church, which is the city of God, "hath the fweeteft grounds of encouragement, even "in the faddeft times."
Thus, amidst all the confufions that encompaffed the church here, we are informed, that There is a river, the Streams whereof do make glad the city of God.
The method we would lay down, for the profecution of this fubject, through divine affiftance, fhall be the following,
I. To fpeak of the city of God.
II. Shew what thefe fad times are, that puts the city of God into confufion.
III. Speak of thefe fweet grounds of encouragement that the church, or city of God, hath in thefe fad times, imported in this river, the streams whereof do make glad the city of God. IV. Deduce inferences for the application.
I. To speak of the city of God. famous city hath been in the world.
Many a great and
Tyrus was a magnificent