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God. And the Psalmist points at Christ, as the following words are applied. This is a descending indeed that the angels are still prying into, looking into for the bottom, and cannot see it, for it hath
Oh! disregarded Christ, and his love slighted! He was in the world, &c. He, the same who became like us, and united our flesh to his blessed deity; did give a being to all things, and by him all things consist.
Our Head and Saviour is no less than the mighty power of the world. He, who is our flesh, had his arms wrapped up in swaddling cloaths, and afterwards stretched upon the cross. He it was that stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth. The weight of the love of so great a king should press us low; and then the persuasion of his almighty power assures us of complete redemption; for our salvation is in a sure and strong hand. We have a mighty Redeemer; Thy maker is thy husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer the holy one of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called.
“ When I behold,” says the Psalmist.
The carnal mind sees God in nothing, not in spiritual things, his word and ordinances. The spiritual mind sees him in all, even in natural things; in looking on the heavens and the earth, and all the creatures; Thy heavens, sees all in that notion; their relation to God, his work, and in them his glory appearing; stands in awe to abuse his creatures, and his favours to his dishonour. The day is thine, and the night also is thine, therefore ought not I to forget thee through the day, nor in the night.
All that I use, and all that I have, is not mine, but thine; and therefore all for thee.
thee. Thou art my aim and scope in all; therefore, God quarrels with his people, because they had forgot this. The most are strangers to these thoughts; can eat, drink, and sleep, lie down and rise up, and pass one day after
& Heb. ii. d John i. 10. e Hos. ii. 8, &c. VOL. II,
another, without one reverend or affectionate thought of God; may give him a formal good morrow, and then farewel for all the day long; offer up their prayers, (as they speak), and think they have done enough; and afterwards that their hearts may go whither they will
, provided they escape grosser sins, never check themselves in wandering from God all the day, if they fall not into some deep mire.
But even they that are somewhat more mindful of God, and see him in his works; and consider them so as to observe him in them, yet are very faulty in thinkirg of him seldom, and in the slightness of such thoughts; they are not deep in them. We do not accustom ourselves to walk with God, to a continued and delightful converse with him, to be still with him. We can turn our eyes noway but he is visible and legible; and if he were our delight, and his name sweet to us, we would eye that more in every thing, than the things themselves.
The heart will readily espy and take hold of every small occasion of remembering that which it loves, that which carries any impression of the person on whom the affection is set. It is more looked upon on that side, and in that reference, than any other.
Certainly, were God the choice of our hearts, our natural use and enjoyment of things would not relish so much with us, nor take us up so much as the viewing of him in them all. In our affairs and refreshments, in company and apart, in the beholding of heaven and earth, and all that is round about us, our eye would be most on him whom our bul loveth. What a pity, and what a shame is it, that. we, who profess ourselves to be his children, and even they that truly are so, should so little mind our Father and his greatness and glory, who is continually minding us, and our good! It is indeed a double standing wonder in the world which he hath made, that God should take so much notice of man, and man should take so little notice of God.
Were this known truth of the creation wisely
improved, we should find much in it that we commonly observe not, at least that we use not. This one thing sure, it might gain upon us to fear his displeasure who is so great, and so powerful, who hath the whole host of heaven, and the great army of all creatures at his command.
What he commands they must obey, for he commanded, and they were made; they have their being from his command. How quickly can he crush those that proudly rebel against him? How easily can he shake them to pieces, the greatest and the strongest of them. He poureth contempt upon princes, yea, what are they! base potsherds of earth striving with their Maker, though somewhat bigger than others, yet as easily broken by his sceptre. Oh! you that after all warnings, dare walk on in your wicked ways, in drunkenness, or swearing, or any secret heart wickedness; you know not, who is your party; the great God, the former of all things. Who would not fear thee, O! king of nations ? You that do not fear him, are in a fearful estate. Learn to know him, and seek unto him. Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; Seek him who hath the seven stars, and Orion; who turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with nights
There is in this a strong ground of spiritual confidence, both for the Church's concernment and our own in every estate. This first work of God rightly looked on, answers all the difficulties of the greatest works we can expect at his hands.
Let Zion's enemies grow to their highest, they cannot rise so high as to be above this Almighty God, that framed the heavens. Let the Church be brought to the lowest deeps of distress, yet cannot fall so low, but this everlasting arm is long enough to reach her, and draw her out of it, that drew the whole world out of nothing. He doth, therefore, often represent, by his prophet, this very work as a certain evidence of
& Amos v. 8.
his unbounded power". What task can be so great as to surcharge him, that so easily brought forth a world? What number can be too small; what instrument too weak in his hand, for the greatest work, who, without either working instrument or materials, built such a palace?
Fear not worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel ; why, wherefore, have they no reason to fear? they being but as a worm, &c. I will help thee, saith the Lord', &c. and I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth, and thou shalt thresh the mountains, and make the hills chaff. A worm in thyself, but in my hand a threshing instrument. Weak Jacob and his strong God, too hard for all the world.
On the other side, what serve multitudes without him, all originally nothing; and, when HE WILLS, they prove as nothing. Severed from his concurrence, as cyphers, multiply them as you will, still they signify nothing. Ten thousand men, without God, are ten thousand nothings. We have had very late, and very clear experiment of this, both to our grief and to our comfort, but both forgotten, and indeed never duly considered; for if they had, they would not so soon, yea, they truly would never be forgotten by us. Well, how. ever, it grieveth us, by reason of our own continuing hard in wickedness; yet this I am sure of, the strong arm of the Lord is engaged in this work; he hath already appeared in it, and therefore will not let it fall; and though we were at a lower ebb than lately we were, yet should we rise again by his strength. Doubt it not, the enemies of our peace shall be ashamed, and God shall be yet more glorious in the world than ever, not only in our outward deliverance, but in that which is far richer, and of higher beauty, the power and glory of his ordinances. He shall make things that are not, to be, by the mighty power of his mouth, and throughout
h Isa. xliii. 13. xliv. 24. and li. 12, 13.–Jer. li. 19, 20, Zach. xii. 18. i Isa. xli. 14,
the world, Jesus Christ shall go on conquering. In his name lies the reason of his prevailing. His name is called the Word of God, that same word, by which all things were made; therefore, no opposite power is able to stand before him. It is a great work to ruin great Babel, but his strength is enough for it. Mighty is the Lord God who judg* eth. A great work to restore his Church, but here is power enough for it, and it is spoken of under the resemblance of the creation
For the estate of thy soul, thou that art thoughtful of that, what causest thou to suspect, is there any plea left for distrust in thy lowest condition ? Thou art about great things, and findest all, not only dif-. ficulties, but impossibilities to thee. Good' is it that thou findest it so, and be emptied of all fancy of self strength. But then look up above thyself, and all created, to a creating, power; if thou canst not subdue thy lusts, and iniquities, resolve to wrestle. Wrestle as thou wilt, still they are too hard for thee: but look to him who came to destroy the works of Satan. Hath not thy Almighty Lord resolved to do it for thee? Thou findest nothing within but blindness and hardness, canst not repent nor believe, nor think a right thought of God. It is so; but one word from him can do all this, and make all those to subsist that now are not; therefore, lay thyself before him as dead, yea, as very nothing. “Lord, I am nothing of all that which is the being of a Christian in holiness, in faith, in love, but speak thou the word, and I shall be a new creature, to thy praise. There is nothing upon my soul but darkness. But art not thou he that said, “Let there be light, and there was light;' that word, again, Lord, say it to my soul, and it shall be so. Think not to bring any thing with thee. Renovation is as absolute and free a work, as creation. Could his creature oblige him to make it, before it had a being"? no more can it oblige him to save it, or to give it a new being
Isa. li. 16.