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them wholly in himself, and when he glorifieth them finally and fully, and everlastingly, in the Lord Jesus Christ; all is for his great name's sake. There can be nothing belonging to the safety, holiness, or happiness of Zion, either in time, or to all eternity, but what must have both its origin and end in the name, and for the sole glory, of that great and Holy One, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which is in the midst of Zion; for as the apostle said, and the faithful in Christ Jesus know in themselves, through divine teaching to be true, all is in him; “ neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts iv. 12. Hence, therefore, in the view of these precious things, while the church, and every individual of the church, contemplate their safety, their blessedness, and their everlasting interest and happiness in Christ, they cannot cease to cry out and shout as inhabitants of Zion! And what one prophet under the Lord's direction commands, another prophet under the same appointment confirms, when he saith, “ Sing, O daughter of Zion! shout, O Israel! be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty! He will save. He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love. He will joy over thee with singing!” Zeph. iii. 14, 17.
And now, let the regenerated child of God, (for it is such only I have in view) pause once more over this sweet scripture, and let him then say, whether the solemn perusal of it, simply as it is in itself (and without the observations I have humbly presumed to offer upon it) in the closet alone, or in the circle of a family, purposely met for praise and prayer, is not most blessedly calculated to furnish matter for both in drawing nigh to the Lord. If the Lord the Spirit be graciously present to give a spirit of grace and supplication, and as graciously pleased to pour out his divine influences to lead in the same, (and without which there can be no offering to the Lord) what can a child of God need more, than the Lord's own words, to speak to the Lord in his own way, John xiv. 6. Here are several distinct heads to furnish almost endless subjects in praise and prayer.
Supposing the child of God begins with approaching the Lord Jehovah as he is here proclaimed in his Trinity of Persons, verse 2. And what can the child of God want, for celebrating the praise and glory of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, more than is revealed in every part of the word of God in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Ghost? Then, what vast stores of bible words, may he find, for praising God in the wonders of redemption! Then, what volumes upon volumes will the Holy Ghost open to the regenerated child of God, (and it is only such I am speaking of) in this subject of salvation when making it personal! When the child of God can and doth enter into every part of it, and not only bless God for the salvation of his church and people, but say, behold! God is my salvation! my strength, my song! then how ample a subject opens before him, while at the mercy-seat, and telling the Lord God of his mercies to him personally considered, the Holy Ghost shews him, at the same time, the blessings and the fulness of blessings in his ordinances! When God the Holy Ghost turns over the leaves of the history in his own heart, and shews him how the Lord hath been leading him on his way, in providences, as well as grace; and when, from the misinterpretations he had made of the Lord's dealings with him under dark seasons, and as to him appeared frowning providences, he had concluded the Lord had been angry with him, he now is taught the everlasting and unchanging love of God. Oh! what melting seasons doth the Lord sometimes give at a mercy-seat while bringing all these things before him. And how will the child of God on such hallowed occasions, while the Lord is refreshing him with the manifestations from the throne, find his soul going forth in praise and prayer for the Lord's people. How will he pray, plead, and like Jacob wrestle with the Lord for Zion, her ministers, and people, that the wells of salvation may refresh all the thirsty souls of the Lord's household, and that all the living in Zion," the father to the children, may make known the truth!" I only here add a prayer, at the close of the review of this sweet scripture, that such may be the Lord's blessing upon it, into the hands of any of his among whom it may come, that “ both young men and maidens, old men and children, may praise the name of the Lord;" for, as this chapter expresses it, so all the church of God find it; “ his name alone is excellent; and his glory above the earth and heaven," Ps. cxlviii. 12, 13.
First Chapter first Epistle of John. 1. “ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life.”
2. “ For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you, that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.")
3. “ That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
4. “ And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."
5. “ This then is the message, which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness; we lie, and do not the truth.”
7. “ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all
66 If we say
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
9. “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
10. “ If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
Now here again, as in the former chapter, if the regenerated child of God (and it is of such only I speak) will mark the features which are most prominent in it, and the Lord the Spirit will shine upon his blessed word, and shine at the same time in the reader's heart, he will discover that there are the same gospel truths contained herein as in the gospel song, in the foregoing recited scripture, and that they alike furnish, both subject and suited words for prayer and praise to God. I shall, for the sake of more general illustration, somewhat vary from my former analysis, and without enlarging by way of comment, simply point out the leading points, which may be made from this scripture, under both heads, for prayer and praise to God.
And first, let it be observed, what the Holy Ghost by the apostle declares to be the design, for which this scripture is sent unto the church, namely, for fellowship and communion. “That ye may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Hence is discoverable, what all the other parts of scripture declare, that the first, and last, and ultimate design, of Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons, when going forth in acts of creation, was to raise up a church for communion with himself. “ This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise,” Isa. xliii. 21. Let it be supposed then, that the child of God, in private prayer, or in family worship, were to read this chapter; and when read, follow it up in prayer; would he not, after looking to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, “ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” immediately advert to this most gracious design of Jehovah? Would he not say, in conformity to the gracious promise of Christ, Lord! make good thy promise to thy people, and do as thou hast said; come and make one in our midst, agreeable to the words of the Lord Jesus? “ If a man love me, my Father will love him; and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” And again, “ He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.” And again, ye love me, keep my commandments; and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever: even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you,” John xiv. 15—23. Did the Son of God graciously promise these things, and will he not fulfil them? Is not the promise absolute, that each glorious Person in the Godhead, will come and make their abode with his people? And shall there be a doubt, much less a question, of such blissful promises being realized ? Oh! the unspeakable felicity of such fellowship and communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ? Lord! grant to me, grant to all, and every one of thy redeemed family, such sweet, real personal knowledge of, and