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upon all occasions; do not let relief stand by and not use it; Christ takes it kindly that you make use of him, and the more you use him the more kindly he takes it.
1.-ON MAN'S BLESSEDNESS.
2.-AFFECTIONS RIGHTLY PLACED.
3.-HOW TO WALK WITH GOD IN OUR CALLING. 4.-OF GOOD AND BAD COMPANY.
5.-THE CARNALITY OF PROFESSORS.
6.-WHAT OUR WORK IS, AND HOW TO BE DONE. 7.-SOUL RESIGNATION INTO THE HANDS of God.
8. THE DIGNITY AND DUTY OF GOD'S CALLED ONES.
A. D. 1673.
[This series of Sermons which was published in 1673, under the title of Bridge's Remains, was designed by the Author for the press, as appears by the marginal notes, except the eighth Sermon, which was the last the author preached, and which was taken down in sbort-hand, and published by his son-in-law, after they were perused by the Rev. William Greenhill.]
ON MAN'S BLESSEDNESS; OR, THE BLESSED MAN.
Many there be that say, Who will shew us any good! Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."-PSALM IV. 6.
In this psalm we are taught, by David's example, how to carry and behave ourselves in times of danger. By David two things are done, which are the parts of the psalm.
First, He prays, ver. 1.
Secondly, He believes; which appears by,
His exhortation to his enemies, ver. 2-6.
The profession of his faith, see ver. 7 to the end. Which profession of his faith is illustrated by an argument drawn a dissimili, ver. 7, " Many say," &c. but, "Lord," &c.
By his own security in this time of trouble, verse 8.
"Many there be that say:" that is, not with the mouth only, but by the language of their lives and practices, for "Who will shew us any even those that are dumb do say, good? who will shew us, or will make us to see or enjoy any good? The words note an ardency of their desire, "Who will shew us any good?" But I say, "Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance (or face) upon me;" The elevation that is, shew thy love and thy favour to me.
of God's face or countenance, in scripture phrase, doth note the communication and manifestation of the gracious presence and favour of God. For it is a metaphor drawn from the rising sun, scattering the beams of its light so upon inferior creatures, that thereby life and comfort is brought unto them. This David prays for, and chooses in opposition to the generality of men's desires. And so the doctrine is this:
Though men do ordinarily seek after something that may make them happy in this world, yet a gracious man doth
count himself fully happy in the enjoyment of God, and the light of his countenance.
It is true, indeed, there is an happiness to be obtained, saith he, and ordinary men do seek this happiness in the crowd and throng of the creatures; but as for me, I do not place my happiness there, but in the clear enjoyment of God. Whatever, therefore, men say or do in reference to their happiness, this is that I say, "Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me." So that, though men do ordinarily seek after something that may make them happy in the world; yet a good and gracious man doth account himself fully happy in the enjoyment of God and the light of his countenance. For the opening and prosecuting whereof:
First, I shall labour to shew you that there is a disposition in men, to seek after something that may make them happy. Secondly, That they are commonly mistaken in the matter of their happiness.
Thirdly, Yet there is a generation of men, who have found out true happiness, and are truly blessed.
Fourthly, Wherein this happiness doth consist, and why it doth consist therein?
Fifthly, How a man shall know, whether he hath ever been thus blessed, or enhappied with the light of God's countenance shining on him?
Sixthly, How he may attain hereunto?
As for the first, That there is a disposition in men to seek after something that may make them happy. This text saith, "Many say, Who will shew us any good? which many, we are, saith Dr. Ames, to understand all men.* But that cannot be, because here is an opposition in David's practice, to the practice of this many: but his practice was not opposed unto all, but to the generality of men generally; therefore there is a disposition in men, to seek after something that may make them happy. In the beginning man was truly happy, and hough he be now fallen from that happiness, yet there is a disposition in him still to grope after
* Nemo est mortalium qui habet in votis ut fruatur bono: hoc est, naturale est omnium creaturarum commune tendere in aliquem finem, sub aliqua ratione boni, finis enim et bonum convertuntur, homini autem maxime convenit, qui præditus est intellectu, quo finem apprehendit ibi proponit et ad illum per media contendit.-Ames in Psalm.
Agere propter finem est proprium creaturæ rationalis.-Aquinas.