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fame will the sweet incense of their thanksgiving ascend up before God ? Certainly their sense of this redemption will fill their souls with love and praise: for they will find themselves so happy in giving thanks to the God of all mercies, that the bent of their minds will always turn to this duty. It will become their perfect delight and joy to be employed in this part of devotion, which is by far the sweetest: for when an heart full of praise and gratitude pours out its adoration and thanks to its God and Saviour-Oh! how delightful must this devotion be? And when grace heightens it and fires and inflames our hearts with the ardour of divine love-Oh! how heavenly must this devotion be? It is indeed the highest to which we can arise, while we are in the body, and it must certainly be the most pleasing and grateful, because it is the devotion of heaven itself. It is the very service of that innumerable company of saints and angels, who stand around the Redeemer's throne, and join their hearts and' voices in heavenly harmony, giving thanks, and honour, and praise unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb for ever and ever. And must not this be a most sweet and delightful duty, which makes up a great part of the enjoyment and happiness of the blessed in heaven? Doubtless it must even here be exceedingly sweet to those persons, who hope to find themselves happy for ever in the practice of it. So that whoever has the true Christian temper will be always giving thanks to his redeeming Lord, and will always in so doing find something of that pure delight and joy, which the glorified spirits in heaven find, while they sing the praises of their redeeming God.
O let us then lift up our hearts, and join our voices with theirs ! may we catch some of those heavenly strains with which they incessantly celebrate Jesus their most adorable Redeemer. And if we can catch some of their fire, we shall then feel what kind of joy it is to be truly and sincerely thankful to our blessed Lord.
( may the Spirit of grace elevate and exalt our affections, and raise them to that high pitch of thanksgiving which may endear the duty to us, and make us in love with it so long as we live. God grant he may, that my application may come with more power to your hearts, and I shall address it to two different sorts of persons. And
First, There may perhaps be some among you, who allow thanksgiving to be a pleasant duty, but yet you find in yourselves no disposition to practise it. After what has been said of the Redeemer's love to men, O it is a cutting reflection to hear, that any of you should be in this cold dead state. Would to God there was not one man upon earth, much less any one in this place, so insensible of our Lord's mercy! but if such there be, the holy Spirit calls upon them in the text attentively to view what Christ has done for his people. The blessings of his redemption are sufficient, not only to awake them that are asleep, but also to raise up the dead in sin: for consider, he redeemed them from those enemies who had them in vile subjection and bondage. They were sold in sin, in slavery to their own natural lusts and appetites-captives to Satan, who treated them cruelly, putting them upon
those miserable labours, wherein they could work out · nothing but their own damnation—and sin and Satan had delivered them over to it, putting them in the power of death temporal and eternal. Such was their wretched condition. And do you believe it, or not? If you do not, you oppose God, and his holy word and every days experience. If you do believe it, why are you not thankful for redemption ? There can be but one reason, and that is, you have as yet no share in the mercies of the Redeemer. You know not your interest in him : for if you did, it would be as natural to offer him thanksgiving, as it is to breathe : and so long as you withhold it from him, you are indeed in slavery and captivity, although you may not feel enough of your misery to make you wish for redemption. Sin and
Satan have so deluded you that you choose to continue slaves and captives to them, rather than to be set at liberty by Jesus Christ. And having no desire to find an interest in his redemption, you have therefore no disposition to be thankful to him for it. This is a most dangerous state: and may the eternal Spirit open your eyes, and shew you the danger of it, that you may flee for your life to the God of all mercy and forgiveness, and may find abundant reason to be thankful for his redeeming love! · But I would hope there are very few of you thus indisposed to the practice of thanksgiving, and therefore I turn myself with joy to those, who are disposed and willing to be thankful. You have heard (my Christian brethren) of the infinite love and mercy of our blessed Saviour, and how by his free grace he redeemed you from the hand of the enemy, and gathered you out of all lands into his mystical body. When you were sold slaves to sin, captives to Satan, and given over to the power of death, then your God vouchsafed to become man to redeem you; he took your flesh, for the law required that the next relation, and he only, should be the redeemer; he was made nearest to you in blood, that he might fulfil the character of a lawful redeema er. The almighty God, the creator of all things, became your brother. O astonishing condescension ! and he paid down the full price for your redemption, and he paid it with joy although he bled, and laid down his life for payment. But such was the infinite value and : merit of his most precious blood, that it redeemed us from slavery, redeemed us from captivity, redeemed us from the power of death. It obtained for us the most full and plenteous redemption : redemption from all the evils of sin in this world, and redemption to all the joy's of the next world, for ever and ever. And finding yourselves thus redeemed from the present evils of sin, and entitled to the future joys of heaven, how can you forbear to give thanks to this most blessed Redeemer ? While you find his graces and comforts in your souls,
you cannot cease praising him. I hope your praises will never cease, but it will be your joy and delight in time, as it is to be your happiness to eternity, to give honour and glory to the lamb who was slain, and has redeemed you unto God by his blood. It has been the subject and design of this discourse to bring you into this thankful frame and temper of mind. And if you are thankful, if you do but desire to be thankful, you will readily join your hearts with mine, in our requests to God, to make us more thankful, saying,
O most adorable God and Saviour, we beseech thee to send thy blessing upon what we have heard this day out of thy holy word. Endue it with thy power and efficacy, that it may reach our hearts, and may be the means of making us more thankful to thee. And give us grace, blessed Lord, to grow and improve in thankfulness, and let thy praises become more and more our delight. And to that end be pleased to let us know our interest in thy great redemption, that we all may now praise thee with joyful lips, and may join our thanksgiving with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, to laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore praising thee and saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of the glory of thy redemption : glory be to thee for it, O Jesus Christ, with the Father and the holy Spirit, to whom be equal honour, worship, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
PSALM CVII. 4-10. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way, they
found no city to dwell in, hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses : and he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men; for he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
In thnich it appeare called upoof th
The general subject of this sacred hymn is thanks giving—the motives to induce us to be thankful are taken from the mercies of redemption. And this redemption is here considered in several views, according to the several distresses from which we are redeemed, and each of these is used as a fresh motive to heighten our gratitude, and to inspire us with more praise to Jesus, our most adorable God and Redeemer.
In the last lecture I considered the three first verses, from which it appeared that the redeemed of the Lord were the persons here called upon to be thankful: they were redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south, and while they had any sense of these great blessings, they would never be silent in his praises, who had been to them an almighty deliverer. The holy Spirit, speaking of the same persons in the same circumstances, offers them another motive for thankfulness, in the words which I have read. It is a clear and convincing argument, and I hope the inspirer of it will carry it with conviction to your hearts. He knew what was