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he redeemed them;--but they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit.” He complains that he is broken with their unfaithful conduct, and pressed with their fins, as a cart is pressed with sheaves.
Among men it is very grievous, when a child, or a friend, on whom we have bestowed many favours and kindnesses, behaves in a base, ungrateful and unworthy manner. We are ready to say, “ If it had been an enemy, I could have borne it.” Thus the Lord, in the passages introduced above, addreffes us in a way which is very familiar and moving, and of which we are capable of judging by our own feelings.
When Cæfar faw Brutus, on whom he had conferred innumerable favours, engaged in the conspiracy against his life, he could refrain no. longer, but cried out, “ And thou too, Brutus!" So may the great Head of the church, the Father of his people, say to us, “ What thou too, my fon, my child, whom I have taken into fo near a relation to myself, on whom I have bestowed blessings without number; to whom I have manifested myself repeatedly, as I do not to the world, with whom I have dealt familiarly, and from whom I expected returns of love, of honour, and of grateful obedience; dost thou deal treacherously with me; doit thou withdraw thy affections from
me, give thy heart to another, and trample on my laws and commands? Is this thy kindness to thy Father and thy Friend! I say concerning others, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies; but what shall I say to thee ? My thoughts towards thee are thoughts of peace, and not of evil. Oh Ephraim, what fhall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee ? Do you thus requite me, O foolish people and unwise?
"I have made use of gentle means and methods with you. I have fought to win your love, and gain your hearts. But my kindness is disesteemed, and my love slighted. Behold I will melt thee, and try thee; for how shall I do to the daughter of my people? I will hedge up her way with thorns, and make a wall that she shall not find her paths. I have seen her ways and I will heal her. I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”
Let this view of the favour and loving-kindness of the Lord towards you, and of your own unkindness towards him, affect your hearts as it ought to do. What hath the Moft High God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that he with-holds from you ? The sun, the moon, and the stars are ordained to give you light. The treasures of the sea and the
land are for your use. The angels are servants to your heavenly Father; they disdain not to minister to your comfort. They afford you protection by day, and watch round your beds in the night season.
God has given his only begotten Son to redeem you, and his blessed Spirit to guide and sanctify you. Nay, he gives himself to you. He is your Father, your Portion, your Husband, and your Friend. You shall, by and by, dwell in the fame heaven where he resides, You shall be fed at his table, and drink of his cup.
" Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” O what an honour is this! And yet no part of it is obtained by your works, or bestowed for your deserts. It is all freely given, through the meritorious death of him who hung upon the tree. But remember, that the tribute of grateful obedience is
The Lord expects this at your hands. He has formed you for this very end. " This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise." You are his work. manship, not only as men, but as christians, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God hath before ordained that you should walk in them. You are blessed with existence, and with an interest in Christ Jesus, that you may be to him a
due from you.
name and a praise, both in time and to eternity, in this world and that which is to come.
0 let a sense of his goodness to you, and of your
unsuitable returns, humble your hearts before him, and quicken you to diligence, watchfulness and circumfpe&ion, through the whole of your remaining days!
Dear Saviour, when my thoughts recal
The wonders of thy grace;
And hide my blushing face.
Shall love like thine be thus repaid ?
Ah, vile, ungrateful heart !
From Jesus to depart.
From Jesus, who alone can give
True pleasure, peace, and rest:
But he, for his own mercy's fake,
My straying foul restores;
The pardon it implores.
No. IX. 2,
Oh! while. I breathe to thee, my Lord,
The penitential figh,
And raise my thoughts on high.
Then shall the mourner at thy feet,
With fervour seek thy face;
Is thy restoring grace.
The Subject improved by Way of Examination.
If the favour of God be the life of his people, it
surely becomes us to inquire, with seriousness and folemnity, whether we ourselves are interested in this great privilege or not. Oh that this weighty concern might be cleared up to the satisfaction of every attentive and solicitous reader! The inquiry of such will be, “ How shall I know that I am in a state of acceptance and favour with God ?” In order to assist you a little in this case, through the divine blessing, I would beg leave to ask you a few plain questions.