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them ever fhout for joy, because he defendeth them." They are in a fure refuge under the fhadow of his wings. This fubject may be further illuftrated by adding,

Fourthly, That God certainly does that in all respects which is best for his people. How confoling is this fentiment, how encouraging and fupporting the thought! The difpenfation of Providence toward them, will ever be feafonable and good, beneficial and wife. If afflictions be expedient, thefe fhall be their portion; if profperity be beft they fhall enjoy it. The infallible promife is, "All things fhall work together for their "good." That is, all the varying afpects of providence, the frowns as well as the fmiles of heaven, will all combine toge ther to be always advancing their beft and higheft intereft. It looks at times as if many of the diftributions of this world, its riches and poverty, its honors and difgraces, were the mere ¿sport of unmeaning chance; but we are affured, that all things are ordered and directed by the most wife and perfect government, from the greatest events down to the minuteft incidents, from the revolutions of kingdoms and deluging worlds, to the t falling to the ground of a fparrow, and the numbering of the hairs of the head. From hence every fincere christian may with pleasure juftly make this reflection: that however he may be dealt with, it is for the best. Whatever circumstances of distress he may be in, whatever common bleffings are denied him, he may poffefs the full affurance that all things are cooperating for his advantage upon the whole; that a good and merciful God, an infinitely wife and tender Father, knows all the fituations in which he is, and that they are the best poffible. This important and comfortable doctrine was far from the view of the ancient patriarch, when in anguish of foul he cried out, "All these things are against me;" while at that very moment all things were working for the benefit, the life, the honor and happiness of himself and his family. There could be nothing better for Jacob than what was then performing. How

great and comfortable is this doctrine to the real believer, how diftinguishing and choice the bleffing to a poor creature who has only a short prospect of things to come, and but little insight into the present, to know that whatsoever happens to him. is calculated for his good, tho' he may not be able to perceive it now, yet hereafter he will clearly difcern in what respects it contributed to his felicity. How will it ravish and transport the faints into high and unceafing admiration and praises of God, when the various impenetrable mysteries of his providence shall be opened, to behold the unfufpected goodness and aftonishing care of heaven towards them? When numberlefs inftances, notwithstanding their unkind conftruction of them, were not only adapted to their good, but abfolutely neceffary to proferve them from ruin. Thus you fee, how “God "is our refuge and ftrength, and a very prefent help in ❝ trouble."

Many and obvious are the ufes that might be made of this fubject, but the only improvement of it at prefent shall be a perfuafion to you, my brethren, to become fincerely religious, and to make a cordial choice of God as the proper portion of your fouls, as the fure protector against all material evil in this world, and the certain way to life and glory.

None will venture now to deny, that the patronage of God is the only fupport against evils, and that he is the only true resource in distress. Do you not find an infufficiency in the enjoyments of the world to make you happy? even in profperity you are unhappy ftill; therefore he who has no other fprings of blifs but what this unfatisfactory earth ean furnish, is miferable; he is a wretch with all his ftores. Without God there can be no felicity, let prefent enjoyments be what they


If health, and honor, and profperity will not afford felicity,

what must be the cafe in agonizing diftrefs, in the deftitution of peace and all the comforts of life? Muft not the mifery of him be terrible, who is overwhelmed in calamities, and has no resource, no God to whom he can apply?-is fick, and dying, and ftripped of every thing, and no redrefs in heaven nor in the earth. His confcience lafhing him with twinging remorse, his mind anticipating his future doom, and no refuge, no help, no God to which he can repair. Here is a flate that is deplorable indeed. On the other hand how bleffed the condition of the real chriftian who has chofen God for his refuge and Jefus for his friend, and is ready to facrifice all interfering advantages hereto! Let happen what will, whatever calamities occur, whatever diftreffes befall him, he can make application to his God and his Saviour with inexpreffible freedom, with fweet hope and indefcribable confidence. Tho' his flesh and his heart fail, God doth not fail him; even in the most afflicting circumftances, he is the ftrength of his foul and a very prefent help in trouble. In poverty, bereave ments and ficknefs, he has a God near at hand, and in death a kind Redeemer to receive his departing spirit.

Are not the advantages then, on the fide of true religion, incomparably great? Are not thefe confiderations fufficient reafons, to move, excite, and perfuade us to embrace religion, and choose God for our portion? Is happiness alone comprehended in the divine favour, and fhall we be unfolicitous to obtain it! Tell not our folly in Gath, publish not our madness in the fireets of Aikelon.

Allow me to congratulate the friends of God upon their happy lot. O chriftians, live anfwerable to your high privileges, your prefent comforts, and future expectations. Live above the frowns of the world, and in times of trouble keep bear to your God and firmly adhere to your Saviour. He

will never leave you nor forsake you. If caft with Jofeph into the horrible pit, with Daniel into the lions' den, or with the three children into the fiery furnace, fear not; the God you have made your portion will deliver you. Be comforted, believer, and fay, "Tho' I walk thro' the valley of the fhadow "of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod -"and thy ftaff they comfort me. Tho' my flesh and my "heart fail, God is the ftrength of my heart and my portion "forever. God is our refuge and ftrength, a very pre"fent help in trouble." Happy faints, happy people, whofe God is the Lord! Who will not be perfuaded from these things to engage in religion? Let finners be prevailed upon after fo long a time, to attend to the things of your peace. This world with all its pleafures, riches and honors, will foon escape from your most eager grafp. And what will you do when your eyeballs fhall roll in death? Without God for your refuge and ftrength, you must perifh, eternally perish.


The covenant of grace ratified and confirmed by the blood of Christ.

Luke xxii. 20. This cup is the new teftament in my blood, which is fhed for you.

GOD has dealt with the children of men from the begin ing of the world in a way of covenant. No fooner was man created, than God entered into covenant with him. This firft

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ant, which is commonly ftiled the covenant of works, man foon tranfgreffed, and became abfolutely and forever incapable of recovering the favour of God, happiness and life by the fame. After man had committed this awful outrage upon reafon, and all the laws of fitness and propriety, contrary to all appearances in refpect to what had taken place in regard... to the tranfgreffing angels, and to the aftonishing admiration of all worlds, God was pleased to difplay the fulness of his per-fections in inftituting a new and infinitely different covenant, even a covenant of grace and mercy for the recovery and sale

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