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often to taste a sweeter relish and flavour in bread and water, than the voluptuary ever knew in the wasteful profusion and studied refinements of luxury. To be able to look back, and see how the hand of our gracious Lord has led us from our childhood, chose and managed better for us than we could have done, corrected our mistakes, and in many things exceeded our desires; to look round and see all our concerns in his sure keeping, who delights in our prosperity, and will suffer nothing to grieve us, but what he intends to employ as means for our greater advantage; to look forward and see, that he has prepared still better things for us than ever our eyes beheld, or our hearts conceived, --how cheering are these views! Those who are thus stayed upon the Lord Jesus, as over-ruling and managing all their concerns, are not terrified with every shaking leaf, “ their hearts are fixed, trusting in “ the Lord.”.

(2) Afflictive dispensations are likewise of his sending. And the consideration of his hand in them, the good he designs us by them, the assurance we have of being supported under them, and brought through them; according to the degrees in which these things are apprehended by faith, and accompanied with a humbling sense of their own demerits, his people submit to his appointment with patience and thankfulness, and say, after the pattern which he has left them, The сир

which my Saviour puts into my hand, shall I not drink it?

In brief, it is he who appointed the time and place of our birth, and all the successive connections of our lives. Our civil and our religious liberties are both owing to his favour; and in these he has been peculiarly favourable to us. - He has not dealt so with

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every nation.”

2dly, The dispensation of grace. It is he who'raises up instruments to preach his Gospel, appoints them their places, furnishes them with that measure of gifts and sufficiency which he sees requisite and best. And it is he only that makes their poor labours successful. He sends his word to some, and brings others to his word: and in both cases he so makes use of ordinary means, that to a common eye he seems to do nothing, when in reality he does all. He brought St. Paul to Corinth, and maintained him there a considerable time against all the efforts of his enemies*. He over-ruled the thoughtless rambling of Oneşimus t, and led him by a way which he knew not, to the means by which he had appointed to bring him to the knowledge of himself. And these instances are recorded for our instruction, as specimens of what he does in the same kind every day.

3dly, The dispensation of death. Our times are in his hands. He claims it as his own prerogative I, that he keeps the key of death and the invisible state. None can remove us sooner, none can detain us a moment longer, than his call. In this likewise he is little .observed. We charge death to fevers, frights, and falls: but these are only the messengers which he sends. Sin has brought us all'under a sentence of death ; but the moment and the manner of the execution befall 'us according to his good pleasure. Till then, though his providence leads us through fire and water, though we walk upon the brink of a thousand apparent, and a million of unseen dangers, we are in reality in perfect safety. Having appointed St. Paul to stand before Cæsar, though the tempest greatly assaulted, and seemingly overpowered the ship he was in, St. Paul was as

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safe on the stormy sea, when all probable hope of being saved* was taken away, as Cæsar himself upon his throne. But when his time is come, in vain are all the assistance of friends, or the healing arts of medicines, to procure the smallest respite.

4thly, The dispensation of judgement. “The Father “ hath committed all judgement to the Sont;' and has especially appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by the man Jesus Christ 1, whom he hath ordained. Then his glory shall be confessed by all. Every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him. Awful will the day be to those who hate him, when he shall appear in flaming fire, to convince sinners of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed, and of all their hard speeches which they have spoken against himę. They must give an account of all. Account, did I say? they can give none; but will be struck duinb before him, and hear with horror their dreadful doom,“ Depart from me, ye cursed, “ into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his

angels ||.

But it will be a joyful time to his own people. The clouds of infirmity, affliction, and reproach, under which they are now obscured, shall vanish away, and they shall shine forth like the sun in the presence of their Father. God, even their own God, shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. They shall be glorified, and their enemies ashamed. What joy will fill their hearts, when Jesus the judge shall own his relation to them before assembled worlds, and shall say,

ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom pre

“ Come,

ts, xxvii. 24.

Jude, 15.

+ John, v. 22. | Acts, xvii. 31.

|| Matth. xxv. 41.

“ pared for you from the foundation of the world.” Then sorrow and sighing shall be heard no more; but songs of triumph and shouts of everlasting joy shall take place, and so shall they be ever with the Lord.

How are your hearts affected with this subject? Do you not expect that I should close it with a suitable word of application?

1. To those who are as yet in their sins. Will you not tremble before this great Lord God? If these things are not so, if you can prove that we have followed cunningly-devised fables, go c': secure. But have I not your consciences on my side? Do you not feel a secret foreboding that these are the truths of God? And dare you still persist? Do you not see that you are already in his hands? In a' moment he could break you in pieces; yet he spares. He affords you one opportunity more. To-day, while it is called to-day, hear his voice; lest to-morrow should surprise you into eternity, and the weight of unpardoned sins should sink

into the lowest hell. As he has power to punish, so likewise he is mighty to save.

Believe his word and live. His obedience unto death is a plea with which you may approach the mercy-seat.

He has power to take away your heart of stone, to subdue your enmity, to forgive your sins; and what he does, he does freely, without money, and without price. You need not, you cannot mend yourselves before you come to him. If you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you obstinately reject him, you will perish under the most aggravated guilt, as sinners against the light and grace of the Gospel

2. You that see your need of a Saviour, lift up your heads and rejoice. Is he not, thus qualified, able to save to the uttermost? Why should you keep back,


He to

when he bids you come unto him, that you may find rest? Could



invitations more free, more full, than those that are recorded in the Gospel ? Can you desire

any stronger security than the blood of Jesus, and the oath of him that liveth for ever? Do you wish to know how other great sinners have succeeded in their application to him? Search the Scriptures, and read how he saved Mary Magdalen, the dying thief, the cruel jailer, the persecuting Saul, and many of those who were actually concerned in nailing him to the cross. Be patient, continue waiting on him in , you shall find he has not inclined you to seek his face in vain.

3. To believers I hope this is a comfortable theme. You see all your concerns are in safe hands. whom you have committed your souls, is able to keep them. Jesus, who has all authority and power in heaven and in earth vouchsafes to be your shepherd. What then can you want who are at his providing? What have you to fear who are under his protection? Why then do you so often distrust, so often complain? It is because your faith is weak. Are you tempted to think you could place yourselves to more advantage than he has placed you, that you could do better without the afflictions he is pleased to send you,


you cannot spare what he takes away, nor do well without something which he withholds ? Reject all such thoughts ; they are highly dishonourable to your Saviour, and to your profession. Those who know not God must reason thus; but you have a covenant-promise, that all things are working together for your good. “ This is not your rest, it is polluted.” But you

will soon be at home; and then, when by a clearer light you look back upon the way by which the Lord led you

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