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out this, as you bury former mercies, so you may
deprive yourselves of future ones. For thankful-
ness for past favours, implies a secret craving for
more; but how can you expect that God will be-
fow on you what you still need, if you are not
thankful for what you already possess ? Labour
therefore to rouse up your dull heart to the great
and pleasant exercise of praise. Call upon your
foul, and all that is within you, to bless the Lord,
and not to forget his benefits. Let your language
be, What shall I render to the Lord for all his be..
nefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation,
and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my
vows to the Lord, now in the presence of all his
When all thy mercies, O my God,

My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I'm loft

In wonder, love and praise.

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But to go a step farther. The Lord's people are not only chargeable with unthankfulness, but, in some cases, with an unsuitable behaviour, amidst the favours they receive from his hand. When his benefits have been flowered down upon us in great abundance, our hearts have still been barren, and our lives unfruitful. Nay, perhaps, after sweet

enlargements, and divine manifestations, we have sunk into supineness, and security, or been drawn aside by temptation, and captivated afresh by the fin which easily besets us. This is shameful in . deed. “The Lord will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints; but let them not turn again to folly.” There is great need for this caution. And as it is an evil thing and bitter that any should fin against God, it is more especially so in thofe who have received peculiar favours from him. The more kindness he hath shewn to any one, and the greater is the aggravation of his offences. On this ground it was, that the Lord thus spoke to his ancient people;

“ O generation, fee ye the word of the Lord! Have I been a wilderness to Ifrael? a land of darkness ? Wherefore {ay my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. The children of Ifrael and the children of Judah have only done evil before me.---they have only provoked me to anger.” As if all the world beside them were comparatively innocent.

For as those who have obtained mercy fin against greater professions and engagements on their part, so they fin against the greatest advantages and obligations conferred upon them by their gracious


Benefactor. The principles he has implanted in their hearts are the effects of his favour, and in their own nature should be a defence against sin. To have an enlightened mind, a renewed will, sanctified affections, and an awakened conscience, are great advantages; and to fin against all these, is an high aggravation of the offence. David seems to have had a sense of this, when in his penitent acknowledgment of his crimes before God, he said, "Thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part

thou shalt make me to know wisdom;" or, as some read it, thou hast made me to know wisdom : as if he had said, These offences are worse in me than they would have been in those who have not these corrective principles to restrain fin, and to lead to the practice of holiness.

We have said likewise, that those who have obtained mercy fin against greater obligations laid upon them by their heavenly Father. Thus he speaks by the prophet Hofea ; " I taught Ephraim to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love. But my people fre bent to backsliding from me.” In another place, • Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me. I have written the great things of my law, but they were


counted as a strange thing." By others of his holy prophets, the Lord speaks with great emphasis and energy on this head.

• My covenant they brake, though I was an husband unto them.” When the church is compared to a vineyard, it is asked, " What could have been done more to my vine. yard that I have not done unto it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ? * This strongly ex. presses God's tender care of his people, and their unworthy return to his goodness.

If you, into whose hands these papers may fall, have thus requited the Lord, let the following pointed address take hold of your consciences, and sink deep into your hearts. " I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espou. fals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not fown. Ifrael was holiness to the Lord, and the first-fruits of his increase. What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, + and have walked after


* Wherefore brought it forth poisonous berries?

Dr. Lowth. + He that put away his wife was to give her a bhi of divorcement, declaring the cause of his feparating himself from her. Thus the Almighty condescends

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vanity, and become vain ? - O my people, what have I done unto thee, and wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me.” Have you any testimony to bring against the Lord? Has he not always dealt with you in great mercy ? And yet you have treacherously and ungratefully departed from him. Let your repentings be kindled, and your hearts be grieved within you, that you have thus requited your kind and compassionate Father.

The sins of the ungodly world bring down the wrath of the Almighty upon them. But the fins of God's people grieve him at his heart, speaking after the manner of men. They vex his Holy Spirit, and provoke his fatherly displeasure. He looked, so to speak, that it should be otherwise with those to whom he had manifested so much love. all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity


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to expoftulate with us, and asks what evil we can charge upon him, his government, or his dealings with us, that we forsake him. But here we must be filent, and lay our hands upon our mouths. No more cause can be given, than why cattle feeding in a sweet and rich pasture, through their unruly difpo. sition, break down the hedge to get into a dirty lane, or a barren wilderness, where notbing is to be had to satisfy hunger.

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