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thing, and say, “ I have been deceived; my father does not love me?" Would you not think such a child very ungrateful? What then will you think of yourself? There is a passage apposite to our purpose, in the prophecy of Malachi. “ I have loved you, faith the Lord; yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us ?” They had the boldness to ask, in what instance, in what one particular cafe he had shewn favour and kindness to them. Surely, this must be displeasing to the Holy One of Israel. Yet when Zion faid, “ The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me,” he condescends to expoftulate with her on the subject, in the tendereft manner. “ Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Though the evidences of divine favour be clear and strong, yet we fometimes, through darkness of mind, do not distinguish them, or else, through obftinacy in grief and despondency, we refuse to be comforted." In either case, the error lies in ourfelves. But this is our comfort, the Lord fees our weakness, and pities our helpless fouls. The compassionate Redeemer was tempted in all points like as we are, that he might know how to succour those that are tempted. " If thou be the Son of
God," was the ground of his first temptation in the wilderness. In like manner the enemy comes to us, “ If thou be a child of God, but what reason haft thou to believe that thou art? Is it possible that fo vile, so polluted, fo unworthy a finner, should be bold enough to claim the high privilege ?"
After all, the safest course to be taken for re. lief in a season of darkness, is not to look within ourselves for encouragement, but to turn our eyes to the divine remedy, and to believe, as we are enabled, the free proclamations of mercy through Jesus Christ to finners as such. Whofo. ever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Fly to the hope the gospel gives,
It highly becomes us to beware of displeasing the Lord by unthankfulness for the favours he bestows upon us. Ingratitude is the grave in which many mercies are buried and concealed. Moses composed a song to be sung by the Israelites, to perpetuate the memory of God's kindness to them, through all succeeding generations. This song is recorded in the thirty-second chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, and deserves an attentive perufal by us in New Testament times. 0
To receive many favours, and to be totally unconcerned about making returns, is ungrateful, and very unsuitable to the temper with which every true christian should be inspired. Surely,” says the Pfalmift, " the righteous shall give thanks to thy name.” He was so affected himfelf with God's goodness, that he could not rest on his bed in the hours appointed for repose, but rose at midnight to give thanks to him. The apostle Paul was not less eminent for his grateful, than for his prayerful disposition. Thanks be to God;- I thank Chrift Jesus our Lord ;--with other expressions.of like import, frequently occur in his writings.
Ingratitude is a vice for which the very heathens are condemned in the word of God. It stands connected with the vileft abominations. It indicates something worse than brutish stupidity; for the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but the unthankful acknowledge not the hand that feeds, protects and clothes them. Reader, if this is your prevailing disposition, be ashamed of it. The God, in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, have you not glorified. To overlook and entirely to forget unnumbered favours, denotes a base, unworthy, disingenuous spirit. If you are a difciple of Jesus, you surely look upon yourself as under obligation to thank God for your
daily bread, and will you not be thankful for fpiritual food ? You have tasted that the Lord is gracious, and received many fpiritual blessings from him ; illumination, conviction, relief and comfort; and do you count these as nothing? Do not these distinguishing mercies demand praise? Is not thankfulness the tribute which you ought to pay for them? Can you do less than acknowledge what God has done for your soul ? * Will you not say,
O, if I had a thousand tongues,
And could be heard from pole to pole,
* «The christian hath as large a field for the exercisë of his thankfulness, in praising God, as he hath in the petitionary part of prayer, for his desires.This duty circumscribes heaven and earth; it takes both worlds in its circumference. “ In every thing give thanks.”. O what a copious theme. hath God given his people, upon which to enlarge their meditations ! - In every thing." The whole course and series of divine providence towards the faints, is like a music-book, in every leaf of which there is a song ready set for them to learn, and fing to the praise of their God. To skip over one note in a lesson may spoil the grace of the music.
The Psalmist desired that others might assist him, and join with him in the work of praise. “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I fought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” If you are not thankful, God is robbed of the glory due unto his name, and your own soul is deprived of the comfort his mercies would otherwife afford you. May the Author of all good raise your affections to himself, and with all his other gifts bestow on you a thankful heart, to taste those gifts with joy! With
We are unworthy of the least mercy; and there. fore God is worthy of praise for the least, because it is more than he owes us. Common mercies are many. "O God," says David, “ how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the fand; when I awake, I am still with thee.” As if he had said, " There is not a point of time wherein thou art not doing me good. As soon as I open
mine in the morning, I have a new theme, to employ my praiseful meditations."
The fincerity of the heart is shewn more in thankfulness for ordinary mercies, than for those which are more extraordinary. As it shews a base difpofition when a man upon every flight temptation is drawn into sin, so the soul discovers a high degree of .grace, to take the hint from every common mercy to bless and praise God.' Gurial,