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not suffer the sight of iniquity and sin : it is that which most afflicts and grieves him. Therefore when St. Paul had advised the Ephesians, “that no corrupt communication should proceed out of their mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hear. ers,” he adds immediately after, “ Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.” And if there be any that are not moved with the presence of such a glorious person, let him tremble at this fearful threatening, “If any defile the temple of God, God will destroy him," 1 Cor. iii.
12. There were two tables of stone in the ark of God's covenant, where God himself had written his law, which lie gave to his people by the ministry of Moses, 1 Kings vi. Seeing that the God of all mercy hath chosen thy soul to be his sanctuary, and the pavilion of his glory, his sacred commandments must be there engraven upon the table of thy heart; thou must be moved with an honest desire for the service of God, and for an exact conformity to his holy will, that we may be able to say to you, what St. Paul said to the Christians of his days, “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in the tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart,” 2 Cor. iii. And that thou mayest say with the royal prophet, “ My God, my delight hath been in thy will; thy law is within me."
13. Let us represent to ourselves continually the great and many obligations that we have to love God, to fear him, to serve him. He is the most perfect of all beings, he is perfection itself, infinitely lovely; so that if there were neither hell to punish us, nor heaven to reward us, he ought to be served and reverenced, because of himself and his divine perfections. This consideration caused Jeremiah to break forth
into these lofty expressions, “ Who would not fear thee, O King of nations ? for to thee doth it appertain ; forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee,” Jer. x.
14. Whilst we are travelling here below, we are not capable of any high and celestial meditation. It belongs only 10 the angels, whom God hath invested with light and glory; and to the heavenly spirits, whom he hath admitted to the contemplation of his face. Let us therefore seriously consider the blessings and favours which we have received from this great God, who hath created us in his own image, and who hath made us to be the master-pieces of all his inferior wonders. He hath put in us the epitome of the beauties and perfections of the world. He hath given us a being, as to the sun, moon, and stars ; a life, like the plants ; sense, as to the animals; understanding, as to the angels : in short, he bath infused into this body, fashioned with his own fingers, an immortal soul of an heavenly substance, a beam of his glory, and a living image of his Godhead. . My soul, therefore, bless the Lord; and all that is within me, bless his holy name: my soul, bless the Lord, and forget not all his bene, fits, Psa. ciii.
15. It is for man's sake God hath stretched out the hea. vens, settled the earth, poured out the waters, and prescribed limits to the roaring sea. For man's sake this gracious Creator hath adorned the heavens with such a number of beauti. ful stars, hath given to the moon its various motions, with its wonderful influences, hath placed in the sun such a bountiful source of light, and bath appointed the invariable succession of the seasons, of the days, months, and years. For man's advantage and lawful recreation, so many birds sing and fly in the open air, such a prodigious number of fishes swim in the sea, and rivers, the earth is beautified with so
many delicate flowers, brings forth so many wholesome herbs and pleasant fruits, nourisheth so many kinds of animals, and engenders in its bowels gold, silver, and precious stones. In a word, for man's sake, God has created the world, filled it full of so many riches, and beautified it w:ih so many excellent perfections. Therefore it is no wonder if the royal prophet is ravished into an holy admiration, and bursts forth into these expressions, "O God, what is mortal 'man, ihat thou art mindful of him ; or the son of man, that
thou dost regard lim! Thou hast made him a little lower 'than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and ho'nour ; thou hast established him governor over the works of thine hands; thou liast put all things under his feet, the sheep, and the oxen, the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea.” Iftlie example of this great prophet is not able to stir you úp, and persuade you to the fear and worship of God, by the consideration of the wonderful works of the creation, hear what the angel declares, that took his flight through the middle of the heavens, having the eternal gospel in his hand, Fear God, and give him glory; vor. ship him that liveth for ever and ever; for he hath made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
16. We have not only in God our life, motion, and be. ing; but he hath not left himself without witness, in doing good, and sending rains from heaven, fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. He nourishes us with maina, and gives us to drink of his abundance. He overshadows us with his protection, and enlightens us with his heavenly fires. He hath alivays his eyes open to our calamities, and his ears to our sighs and groans. He is always near them that cail upon him, yea, tliem that call upon him faithfully. Let us therefore say, as David, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplication ; for lie hath inclin. "ed his ear unto nie; "therefore will I call upon 'him all the days of my life," Psa. civ.cxvi.
17. Medic 17. Meditate ofçen upon the advantages that are common to thee with the rest of Christians, and upon the blessings and favours which God hath youchsafed to any person in particular. Remember how many times he hath sent his assistance from above, how he hath wrought miracles to deliver thee from the evils that threatened thee. Consider how liberal he hath been to thee in the whole course of thy life, what admirable and noble means he hath employed to crown thee with his most precious favour; then thou wilt şay with Jacob, “O God, I am not worthy of the least of all thy mer, cies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant,” Gen. xxxii. And with David,“ Many, O Lord my Gol, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to usward; they cannot be seckoned up in order unto thee. If I should declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” And being ravished into an holy admiration, thou wilt say, in the language of the same prophet, "O God, who is like unto thee, who when thou liast made me see many distresses and evils, at last hast restored me to life, and drawn me out of the depths of the earth ?” Psa. lxxi. “ Thou shalt increase my greatness again, thou wilt comfort me.” And elsewhere,“ What shall I render to the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me?" Psa. cxvi.
18. The consideration of God's redeeming us, chiefly requires us to deny ourselves, and consecrate ourselves to his service; for slaves do not belong to themselves, but to him who hath redeemed vbem and paid their ransom. As when God had delivered the children of Israel from the Egyptian bondage, he gave them his laws and ordinances in mount Sinai ; thus God hath redeemed us from the tyranny of the devil, of the world, of sin, of death, of hell, and from the power of all his enemies, that we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life, Luke i. He hath given himself a ransom for us, that we might
become a peculiar people to him, zealous of good works, 2 Tit. ii. You are bought with a price; glorify then God in your bodies and your souls, that belong to God, i Cor. vi.
19. One love must kindle another. The sacred fire come down from heaven must inflame our hearts with an holy zeal for his glory. God h-th had so much love for us, that he hath given his only Son, that believing, we might not perish, but have everlasting life. He hath not spared his Son, who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. He hath delivered him to death for us, yea, to the ignominious death of the cross. And is it not just, that we should love him above all worldly things, a God so good and merciful ? Is it not just that we should love nothing but him, and for his sake? Is it not reasonable that we should offer unto him our bodies and souls, as a living and holy sacrifice, pleasing to his eye? And if we have any lust that offends him, is it not just that we should willingly leave it betimes, though it should appear as useful to us as our hands and feet, and as dear as the apple of our eye? Whosoever doth not deny himself is not worthy of him, Matt. x.
20. We must treat the body of sin, which the holy scriptures style the old man, and the first Adam, almost in the same manner as Christ, the netu inan, and the second Adam, was treated upon the cross, Rom. vi. Instead of flattering it, and seeking to satisfy its lusts, me must deprive it of all its pleasures, make it drink vinegar and gall, tear its head with thorns, bind and chain its affections, and nail them to the cross of Jesus Christ, with all its inordinate and brutish desires. “ Mortify therefore your members that are upon earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry,” Gal. v. Col. ii.
21. To live in sin, to delight ourselves in iniquity, is to