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covenant; and therefore, there is none in the world fo much obliged as you are, to make use of the law as a rule; " They that walk according to this rule, peace be on thens, and on all the Israel «f God." Let that word found still in your ears, Psal. xxxvii. 37. “Depart from evil, and dwell for evermore;' and surely, if you be in your element, you will be saying,
" O that my ways were directed to keep thy flatutes! O let me not wander from thy commandments. O enlarge my heart, that I may run the way of thy commandments.”-But, beside the precept of the law, in the hand of a Mediator, there are the examples of the saints in fcripture thut belong to this square and line for the building, especially the example of the King of saints, Christ Jesus, “ Who hath Jeft us an example, that we should follow his steps.” Set Chrill before you in your building; and learn of him, for be is meek and lowly,
4. In order to the right and successful building, seek more and more displays of the glory of God in the face of Chriit; for, says the Pfalmift, “ When the Lord shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory.” As the foundation is laid by saving discoveries of his glory; fo the building is still advanced by this same means: according as you are made to behold his glory as in a glass, fo shall you be changed into the famie image, from glory to glory: and thus the building fall go up.
5. In a word, call in always the assistance of the great Architect and Master-builder; for, " Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain, that build it.” Be always coming to him, 1 Pet. i4. Be much about his hand, in the use of means; praying in secret, searching the scriptures, and the like : but still remember, whatever is incumbent on you, in point of means and duty, the whole work is his, in point of power and efficiency. Saints may weep for Zion, but the Lord must build her. It is he that lays the foundation; for, “ The Lord hath founded Zion.” It is he that raises the superstructure; by working in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure, And it is he that must finish the work, and lay on the cope-stone, with shouting, crying, “ Grace, grace, unto it.” Therefore,. O give him employment; and let him have all the work, who will have all the glory. Employ him to remove all the mountains of difficulty, that it and in the way of this building; for, it is he that must say, “ Who art thou, O great mountain? before our Zerub. babel, thou flialt become a plain.”
Now, I have done, and if any be going away with. out Christ, or without having this foundation laid, you are going away with God's curse upon you; and though you do not see it now, yet it will meet with you fearfully at death and judgment; and ly upon you heavily to all eternity.--You will never do a good turn as long as you are off this foundation ; whatever you may do, that is naturally good, you are incapable of doing any thing spiritually good, and acceptably good; for, “ They that are in the flesh,” and out of Christ, “ they cannot please God.” Ard so, as long as the foundation is not laid, you will never have a day to do well. But I hope, fome are going away, rejoicing and glorying in this foundation: and if there be any here that are brought to glory in Christ as the foundation of their hope; the foundation of their peace with God; the foundation of their holiness and comfort; the foundation of their light and life, strength and liberty; the foundation of their grace, and glory, and eternal salvation : O bleffed are you now! and blessed shall you be for ever: whatever fpiritual damps or temporal difficulties you may come under after this, yet you shall be blessed in prosperity and adversity; though God should visit your iniquities with rods, yet the rod is in a friend's hand; “ His loving-kindness will he not take away." Yea, if this hath been a believing day to you, a foundation-laying day, or a temple. building day, then I must tell you, in the name of the great God, that from this day will he bless
GLAD TIDINGS İN SAD TIMES ; or, The City
of GOD, in the Times of Trouble and Confusion, watered with the River of Consolation *.
Psalit xlvi. 4.
There is a river, the streams whereby do make glad ibe
city of God.
HE tide of joy and confolation hath never come
to a greater height, in the people of God, than in the time of affliction, persecution, and tribulation; then they are readily most zealous Christians who are Christians indeed ; and when zeal abounds, then joy and peace in believing abound also. I reinember Mou. lin, speaking of the French Protestants, says, When
Papists hurt us, and afflict us for reading the scrip" tures, we then burn in zeal to be reading them : " but when persecution is over, our Bibles are like old “ Almanacks.” When the people of God are passing through the fire of affliction, then he uses to let out the streams of the river of life to their hearts, to allay the burning heat of the fire, and to give them the oil of joy for mourning.
The Psalmist here, in the church's name, most triumphantly expresses her confidence in God, and that in def. pite of all imaginable dangers, in the second and third verses,
“ We will not fear, tho' the earth be removed;
* This fermon was preached in Anandale, on Sabbath, August 27th. 1738.
and tho the mountains be carried into the midst of the fea: tho' the waters thereof roar, and be troubled, tho? the mountains thake with the swelling thereof." By these expressions we are to understand the reelings and commutions that are in the world, with the violence and rage of the enemies of the church. And, in the words of our reading, he subjoins the matter of the church's confolation, amidst all the reeling and confusions in the world, Tbere is a river, tbe streams whereof do nake glad the city of God. Where you have thele four things.
1. The name given to the church; it is a city.
2. The owner and proprietor thereof; it is God; the city of God.
3. The fad circumstances of the city here supposed, while all is in confusion and commotion.
4. The gladdening provision made for the city, amidst all faddening circumstances of the inhabitants ; Tbere is a river, the streams whereof do make glad the city of God.
Doct. “ That the church, which is the city of God,
" hath the sweetest grounds of encouragement, even " in the saddest times.”
Thus, amidst all the confufions that encompassed the church here, we are informed, that Toere is a river, the streams whereof do make glad the city of God.
The method we would lay down, for the prosecution of this subject, through divine assistance, shall be the following,
1. To speak of the city of God.
of God into confusion. III. Speak of these sweet grounds of encouragement
that the church, or city of God, hath in these sad tines, imported in this river, the streams whereof do
make glad the city of Cod. IV. Deduce inferences for the application.
I. To speak of the city of God. Many a great and famous city hath been in the world. Tyrus was a mag
years after it.
nificent city; this was turned desolate by Alexander. Nineveh was a great and populous city; but now it would puzzle a traveller to point out the place where it was. Babylon was a great a city; but now, where is it? It is called, Babylon the great; but, with the same breath the angel cries, It is fallen. But this city of God hath trampled upon the graves of many great and remar. kable cities, that had their beginnings several thousand
“ Glorious things have been spoken of thee, O city of God,” Psal. Ixxxvii. 3. And whence this glory is derived, you see in the latter clause of the verse, where my text lies, “ The holy things of the tabernacle of the Most High.
Here two things may be enquired, 1. Why the church of God is compared to a city. 2. Why it is called the city of God.
Ist, Why is the church of God compared to a city ?
1. A city is a place of security. This was the end why men built cities, to secure themselves from the e. nemies that might attack them : fo this city of God is of such security and defence, that there is no shelter to be had elsewhere, no place free from the incursions of the devil, but this city, wherein his works are dettroyed, and his fiery darts quenched. Cities use to have their walls, and then watchmen upon their walls: even fo, this city of God is a strong city; “ Salvation doth God appoint for walls and bulwarks,” Isa. xxvi. 1. And there are watchmen upon these walls, that shall never hold their peace, nor keep filence, Isa. lxii. 6. God himself is the force that defends it; and this makes it impregnable : “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble," Pfal. xlvi. I.
2. A city is a place of society, infomuch, that what one wants, another supplies; they have mutual fellowship one with another: fo in the church of Christ, there is a sweet fociety and communion they liave together. The faints pray for one another, comfort one another, when they ineet together, as the apofile commands, 1 Pet. iv. 8,9. “ Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of fins. Use hospitality one to another, without grudging; as