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it. “ Call upon me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Our gracious Redeemer says, “ He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” This is a fufficient warrant for our prayers and expectations in God's way. We have the divine precept to direct and regulate our desires, and the promise of grace to encourage our hope of fuccess. God has promised great things to those who seek him, and his promises have been made good in instances without number.
What that token for good was, for which holy David prayed, Ps. lxxxvi. 17. I will not positively determine ; but without doubt it was some evidence of God's favour to him, in his ordinances, or by his providence, for the confirmation of his faith, the quickening of his foul, and the comforting of his heart.
It must be owned, if this man after God's own heart, had some special ground to expect extraor-, dinary manifestations of divine power in his favour, in a miraculous way, it becomes not us to follow his example in this instance. We have no such ground to go upon as he might have. Let us adhere to the law and to the testimony, and look for fuch tokens of the divine favour as God has promised to afford.
The ordinances of God are tokens of his favour. He gave the fabbath to Ifrael as a sign of his being their foyereign, as a nation. The ark was a token of his presence, as the word and ordinances are a. mong us.
God forbid that we should be deprived of these indications of his mercy. A famine of the word would be a fore calamity indeed. The people of Antioch were so sensible of the privilege of fitting under the lively and fervid ministrations of the gospel, that they once said, in the warmth of their zeal, “We had better be deprived of the light of the sun, than of the preaching of Chryfoftom.
It is a token of God's favour when the word and ordinances are rendered efficacious. When this and that man are born in Zion, it is a sign of his mercy to her, and that the Most High will establish her. Othat the Spirit of the Lord may be poured forth on his ministers and churches in this our day! Where is the Lord God of Elijah? It is a rich and great mercy to see a day of his power, when finners are made willing in the beauties of holiness.
It is a token of God's favour when the Spirit of fupplication is plentifully bestowed, and his people stirred up to earneftness in seeking him. When he prepares the heart to pray, it is an indication that he will cause his ear to hear. A lukewarm and flothful disposition is a fad token of God's anger and absence. “ There is none that calleth upon thy
name, that stirreth up himself to take hold on thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us because of our iniquities.”
It is a token of God's regard when he bestows a penitent heart, and a deep concern for reformation. This is apparent in the case of the Ninevites. O that God may pour upon us his Holy Spirit, in his humbling, quickening, and fan&tifying influences. This will be a token indeed of our interest in his favour.
The heavenly Comforter bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, is a blessing of unspeakable value, and greatly to be defired. “I entreated thy favour,” says the Pfalmift, “ with my whole heart," the comfortable sense and enjoyment of it, the sweet assurance of interest in it. This is life indeed. Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us ! shed abroad in our hearts the love of Christ, by the Holy Ghost given unto us, that we may no longer anxiously doubt of our safety, but, according to the command of our divine Redeemer, rejoice that our names are written in heaven. Let the Holy Spirit of promise seal us, by way of security, to the day of redemption, that we may know, with heart-felt satisfaction, that when the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ! B
The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance. An earneft is a part of the payment, of the fame nature with that which we hope hereafter to receive. His graces and comforts are the grapes of Canaan, morsels of the upper table, preludes and foretastes of eternal enjoyments. How much are these to be desired!
Suppose we were in the state of condemned male. factors ; the king, our offended sovereign holds out unto us a sealed pardon, and declares, at the same time, that such as have not the great seal to shew, muft fuffer for their crimes; but such as have it, must be acquitted, and received to his royal fa
What folicitude should we feel in such a cafe as this, that we might have a sealed evidence of the king's pardon! What diligence should we use, what pains should we take! And can we be indifferent in a matter of infinitely greater moment, when, not the life of the body only, but the eternal salvation of the soul is depending? When our offended Judge faith, Only acknowledge your offences, and seek ye my face,” shall not our hearts echo to the gracious overture," Thy face, Lord, will we seek?"
Reader, this is the design of the small treatise which is now put into your hands; and that it may please God to succeed our endeavours, and accompany our preaching and our printing with his
blessing! A match is proposed between Jesus Chrift, the heavenly bridegroom, and your poor fouls. He hath drawn up the articles, and propounded them to you by us. His sacred words speak his willingness; nothing is wanting but your consent; and the match is made. We bring you letters of love and kindness from the divine Saviour, who is ready to betroth you to himself for ever. We endeavour to fhew you the large dowry he proposes to give, and the glorious mansion prepared for you, in which
shall dwell with him for ever. We'tell
you of the pains he has endured, and the coft he has been at, to make you his own. Whether all this will prevail upon you, whether it will win your hearts to him or not, the event must declare. But if this were the last sentence I must write, or you read, I do hereby summon you to answer to this address before that awful tribunal, where you and I must shortly appear. If you reject the gospel of falvation, and persevere in your rebellion against God, undoubtedly the ministers who have tenderly and faithfully warned you, will be witnesses against you. But O! how earnestly do I wish that it may be otherwise! It is our work to preach and write, your's to hear and read; but the Father of mercies alone can give success. We therefore follow these poor endeavours with our hearty prayers to him, that he may be graciously pleased to bestow upon you, converting or confirming grace; that you may expe