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and from nothing but him. Wait O my soul, and read, and hear, and pray, be diligent in all means for thine improvement in this divine lesson. Seek the presence of God, wherever thou art. Expect his blessing upon all that thou doest. Account his love thy chief happiness, and be sure, nothing can make thee happy, in which thou canst not enjoy his love. If riches increase, the world smiles, health be granted thee, relations are kind, and all things go well, set not thy heart upon them. Look at the bountiful hand which gives, and depend on the grace which sanctifies those things. They are not worth having, but as they come from, and lead to, God, and so may be spiritually improved. If thou canst live by faith, and enjoy God in them, then they are real blessings: for then thou wilt receive them as his gifts and use them to his praise; thou wilt eye
his goodness in them, and admire him for them. And while he continues them, thou wilt be dependent on his grace to keep thy heart from idolatry, that thou mayest love the gifts, only for the sake of the giver. Whatever thou art going to do, ask thyself—How can this be the means of my rejoicing in God? If it cannot, avoid it. If it come with all the world's flatteries, and make thee the greatest offers of joy, fly from it. There is deadly poison under its gilded outside. Lay it down as an invariable rule of thy walk, that nothing can do thee good, but what thou canst enjoy God in. He is the only source of good. And every thing is to thee what he makes it : not what it is in itself in such, all is vanity. But it is good, when God makes it so. True joy is from him, and in him. It is the gift of his grace, and does not stop at any of the streams, but goes up to the fountain head, from whence they flow, and there finds its comforts. O my God, teach me thus to seek my joys in thee, and to make thee my crown of rejoicing
For thine encouragement consider, O my soul, what he did to the travellers gone before thee in the way to Sion: how he comforted them and made them glad with
the joy of his countenance. He led them indeed through the valley of Baca, of mourning—the only high way to the kingdom; but they found a well in it, a fountain of living waters: they went on sorrowing for their departure from God, but were made glad at their hearts in being brought back by his grace: therefore they wept rejoicing. Happy mourners ! And hast thou not the same reason, as they had, to sorrow for thyself, and yet to be exceeding glad in God! Is not this also the case with all thy fellow travellers now upon the road ? Their hearts are with God. He is their portion. His heaven is their home. They would not make up their happiness in the accommodations by the way, but in God, their treasure, their supreme good, and their everlasting joy. Neither would they be stopt by the inconveniencies which they may meet with : these, improved by faith, will tend to make them long more to be at home: for these will lead them to feel more of the true joy there is in God, and will thereby inspire them with higher strains of praise and thankfulness. So that every thing they meet with on the road will be sanctified to them, and will dispose them to make melody in their hearts unto the Lord. Their Father and our Father out of the riches of his grace has not only given them matter of thanks, but has also provided the very words to be used by them. Many a weary traveller has found them a rich cordial. His spirits have been raised, his soul and all within made happy, while he was singing the sweet and heavenly hymn. The Gospel prophet, who had seen the glory of Immanuel, and who was the honoured penman of this divine poem, has left us a direction, when any one has a right to sing it, and to make it his own, Isaiah xii. 1. And in that day thou shalt say. By looking at the context the time here mentioned appears to be the day of the Lord's power, and when the Spirit of life enters into the sinner, and he is quickened from a death in trespasses and sins. A happy, eternally happy day. The same Spirit will be his comforter, will bring him to the knowledge of his
salvation through faith in the gloriously complete work of Immanuel, by which he shall find himself freed from guilt and fear, and in Jesus made a partaker of grace and glory. Then the joy of the Holy Ghost is felt in his soul, and his heart is in tune to bless the Lord his God-0 Lord, I will praise thee though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation : therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. These wells are the fountains of grace, from which the heavenly travellers draw their holy comforts, and with which refreshed they go on from strength to strength, praising Jehovah and ascribing to him all the glory of their salvation. He was angry with them, and justly. The fire of his wrath might have burnt to the lowest hell: and his law, his justice, his holiness, and his truth would have been glorified for ever in their destruction. But admired be his mercy, adored be his sovereign grace, he himself found out a way to magnify every divine attribute in their salvation. This was the wonderful contrivance of the Three in covenant. The Father accepted his co-equal Son in the place of his people, and his obedience unto death in their stead: He is now perfectly reconciled unto them in Jesus: His anger is turned away from them. And when it is given unto them to know it; and they receive the comfort of it, when they have joy and peace in believing, O what a day of light and glory then breaks in upon their souls-a day sometimes clouded with the rising mists and vapours of the body of sin, but often so bright and serene, that the warm beams of the sun of righteousness shine directly into their hearts, These are times of great refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The communications of his love are then felt with pure delight: and the soul is made sensible, that it is in Jesus an happy partaker of the fulness of joy. The man cannot contain his mighty bliss; but
breaks out aloud into thanks, and calls upon the bystanders to admire the marvellous goodness of God. Behold, see here a miracle of grace-God is my salvation-wonder with me at the exceeding riches of this love-Why me! What am I, that the most high God should be
Saviour? I am sure he never set his love upon one more unworthy, nor plucked any brand out of the burning, that was fitter fuel for hell fire. O help me then, angels and men, to praise and adore that infinite mercy, which contrived, wrought out, and has now applied to me this salvation with all its blessings. My debt increases, and I want to praise him more: for in that unspeakable gift of his Son he gave me all things, and he has now given me faith, and has put me into possession. I have his word for it, and I believe it—a word of infallible truth, confirmed by promise, ratified by the covenant oath of the blessed Trinity. These engagements cannot be broken, therefore I will trust and not be afraid. On the part of the divine covenanters all is sure. They have given me the fullest security that can be, and I may take the comfort of it. They will never leave me nor forsake me, and
faith shall not fail. Blessed promise! I shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Glory be to the Lord Jehovah, who is my strength-his almighty arm holds me up, and therefore he is my song-the same arm will carry me safe to the end, therefore heart rejoiced in him, and with my song will I praise him. I will make my boast of his strength: All the day long will I be telling of his salvation. How can I mention too often these infinite mercies of my God? I love to dwell on the delightful theme. It warms my heart, it enflames mine affections, and raises my soul to heaven. My joys are all in this one He also is become my salvation : He is my present salvation : for he has opened the fountain, and has opened my heart to receive the life-giving streams. How can I but bless and adore his holy name, while I am with joy drawing water out of the wells of salvation.
O ye blessed of the Lord who have received the same salvation out of the infinite fountain of divine grace, assist me to praise. Your rejoicing with me will increase my joys, and improve my thankfulness. So it follows in the prophet-In that day shall YE say-YE, not one only as before, but the many partakers of the same mercies will sing in chorus. They will join in social worship and with one heart unite in the common tribute of praise. Praise ye the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted : sing unto the Lord: for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Sion: for great is the holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. Great he is indeed, infinitely-everlastingly great in himself and to be admired for his excellent greatness in sav. ing sinners. This is his greatest work, and it demands of them their highest praise; and they are glad to give it him. Happy are they now, when humble and poor in spirit they can exalt their Saviour God; but who can tell, how happy they shall be, when he shall exalt them, and make them partakers of his own happiness ! Eternal salvation will demand the tribute of their eternal praise ; and they will be most blessedly employed in paying it, when they shall return to Sion with Songs, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. Crowned heads may well sing: for their coronation day will last for ever, and the king of kings will put such honour upon his royal friends, that all heaven will ring with his praises. They will with one heart and one voice adore God the Lamb; whose gracious hand wiped away all tears from their eyes, and made sorrow and sighing flee away for ever ; and who gave them his joy and gladness, such as are even in heaven inexpressible, and will be to eternity full of glory.
O my God, accept of my poor mite. I desire to join all the redeemed in earth and heaven in blessing and praising thee at all times. I would give thee praise continually with my heart and with my mouth. I would