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rity, and in affliction ; when lifted
3. The happiness of the saints in being with
In their being with God, his people are with one of infinite perfections, and all made over by covenant, and engaged and imployed by love for them.
What can they want, who are with God, whose all-fufficiency is open for their supply ? What can they fear, when being with him, who hath Almighty power to protect? What duties can be too difficult to discharge, that he calls them to? Under what burdens need they fiak, having his Spirit and grace to aflift, support, sweeten and fanctify them? In what place need they be sad or folitary, while they live, and how willing may they be to die, that they may be with him for ever? Why art tbou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me ? Hope in God, for I frall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. The Lord God is a fun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from those that
walk uprightly. And this is the God I am always continually with.
A God who is a fun to shine upon my path, and be the fountain of all blessings to me; and
fhield to protect me in them: He will give the grace
that is most to be desired in this world ; and that glory which I am breathing after, in another ; and withhold' nothing that is good for me by the way.
Though afflicted, I am with one who pities me: though in temptation, as the God of peace, he will bruise satan under my feet, and do it shortly. Through all the difficulties of life, he will be my guide. And in the view and approach of death, when flesh and heart shall fail, God will be the strength of my heart, and afterward my portion for ever. Happy is the people that is in such a case ; happy indeed, whose God is the Lord. May every one of you now in his presence, be of the happy number : and then in the multitude of your thoughts within you, may his comforts delight your souls.
4. To what is this happiness owing. The happiness of the people of God, in being continually with him, is owing to his keeping his hold of them. This is acknowledged by the Psalmist here: Thou hast holden me by my right-hand. Having obtained help of God, we continue with him.
And the necessity of this help from God may be inferred, 1. From the weakness of
in his saints, while they are on earth. 2. Upon the account of sin and corruption,
which dwelleth in them, and which they cannot quite be freed from, while on earth.
3. From the unwearied diligence of satan, who as a roaring lion, continually goeth about seeking whom he may devour : So that it is by the mighty power of God, that any are kept through faith unto salvation.
But that the people of God are, and shall be upheld by him, this is sure,
As the love of God is unchangeable. IJ. liv. 10. Por the mountains shall depart, and the hills shall be removed, but my kindness shall not depart, jáith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
The covenant made with them, is everlasting, Hence sincere believers are accepted of God, and continued with him, notwithstanding lamented failings, which for the sake of the Mediator, God is ready to pardon.
The intercession of Christ is continued, and prevailing. And believers abiding with God on earth, is the result of his pleading in heaven.
God is always mindful of his promise, and faithful to it, wherein he hath faid, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, Heb. xiii. 3.
APPLICATION. 1. Is it the temper and duty of a gracious soul to be still with God ? Such may hence learn, what to think of their state, whose character is the reverse to this: who instead of being continually with God, are utter strangers to him, and live without him; are still with sin contriving it, or committing it ; ftill with the world thinking of it, and delighting in it. O that they whose eonsciences tell them, this is their case, would lay it
to heart ; estrangement from God being contrary to the ends of creation and redemption, and if continued in, will issue in an eternal separation from him.
2. Are gracious souls, when acting like themselves, continually with God? How much do they forget their character, who would be accounted fuch, and yet are seldom with him, if ever ?
Cannot some of you remember the time when your meditation of God was sweet, your desires after him ardent, your applications to him frequent ? Is it so still: or is it far otherwise ? How unreasonable is the change? Is not God the fame? Should he not be the same to you? How much have you suffered by that estrangement ? Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, Rev. ii. 5.
3. How desireable is the condition of a gracious foul, who is continually with God? How safe, how comfortable, how happy ?
PSALM XCVII. II.
nefs for the upright in Heart.
these words we have a cordial fent from heaven, for the relief of those that are mourn. ing in their
I. What is forn, viz. Light and Gladness.
And when we have spoken to these, way will be open to the application.
1. What is said to be fown, is light and gladness, that is, light or gladness; both words denoting the same thing. As darkness and trouble, lo light and gladness are used in fcripture as terms equivalent; And they shall look unto