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And now, were but all, who profess Christianity, careful to qualify themselves for looking on the various Occurrences of Life, whether prosperous or adverse, as Tokens of God's kind Purposes towards them for the Sake of his dear Son, and conscientious in paying him sincerely suitable Acknowledgements : how void would they be of Resentment to each other; how full of Pity to such as would injure them, knowing that they can only hurt themselves : what a pleasing Security against Fear and Difappointment, what strong Confolation ? under Sorrow and Pain, what a powerful Support under all the Decays of Body or Mind, would they enjoy : how delightful would be their Intercourse with Heaven, consisting almost wholly in Acts of Gratitude and Praise: how blissful a Sense of God's Love to them must they feel continually increasing; and how irresistible a Recommendation of the Doctrine of God our Saviour a must these admirable Fruits of it exhibit to all Mankind! Very different is the present State of Things. But to every one, who steadily practises this Duty, the Benefits of it are just the same, as if it were practised univerfally. All outward Mo? Heb. vi. 18.
a Tit. ii. 10.
lestations, instead of destroying his inward Peace, contribute, he knows, to promote his true Welfare. And though he is tenderly grieved for the Guilt, and the Misery present and future, of the incorrigibly bad, while they applaud themselves, and defpise or hate him, yet his Concern is tempered with that placid Acquiescence in the most awful Parts of God's Will, which the Redeemer, though he wept over Jerusalem', felt when he said: I thank : thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that thou hast bid these Things from the wife and prudent, meaning in their own Imaginations, and hast revealed them unto Babes, Persons of an humble Simplicity of Heart : Even fo, Father, for so it seemed good in thy Sight. Yet, though cordially reconciled to every Thing which he sees and expects, the good Christian pleases himself peculiarly with the Prospect of that promised Time, when on this Earth all the People shall be righteous d: but inexpressibly more with the Assurance of a blessed Eternity, in which all who are accounted worthy to partake shall at length magnify the Judge of the World, with unmixed Delight, for every
o Luke xix. 41. & li. lx. 21.
Matth, xi. 25, 26. Luke x. 21.
Thing they have suffered, as well as every Thing they have enjoyed ; and fing the Song of Mofes the Servant of God, and the Song of the Lamb, the final Result of all the divine Revelations, recorded from the first, saying: Great and marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty: just and true are thy Ways, thou King of Saints. Who fall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? For thou only art boly, tby Judgements are made manifeft c.
e Rev. xv. 3, 4.
S E R M O N
PSALM cxxviii. 5, 6.
The Lord fall bless thee out of Zion, and thou salt see the Good of Jerusalem all the Days
of thy Life. Yea, thou shalt see thy Childrens Children, and
Peace upon Ifrael.
HE Subject of this Psalm is declared in
the first Verse. Blessed is every one, that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his Ways. For Godliness is profitable unto all Things, having Promise of the Life that now is, and of that which is to come a. The present Happiness attending it was indeed somewhat more visible, while there was more Need it should, in those earlier Times, when the future Rewards of it were less clearly discovered. a i Tim. iv. 8.
But in every
succeeding Age also, the Practice of Religion and Virtue hath appeared, to all prudent Inquirers, the likeliest and surest Way to avoid the Miseries of Life, and secure the Enjoyments of it. The first Advantage, which the Psalmist promises to the pious, comprehends in general Health and Success in their Affairs. For thou shalt eat the Labour of thine Hands : happy Malt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. The next is a particular Blessing of the neareft Concern; the Possession of domestic and conjugal Felicity, in the Midst of a large and well ordered Family. Thy Wife shall be as a fruitful Vine by the Sides of thine House : thy Children like Olive Plants round about thy Table. For such Plants would soon afford both an agreeable Shelter to those who feast under them in the open Air, as the Eastern Manner was, and a considerable Profit to the Owners of them. Delight, Security, and Plenty at Home, being usually the principal Objects of Desire, the Psalmist lays an emphatical Stress on them, by adding, Behold, thus Mall the Man be blessed, that feareth the Lord. But still, as good Perfons can never throughly relish their own private Welfare, if the Community suffers at the same Time, or Calamities are likely to