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greatest confidence, come best speed at this throne : Matth. xv. 28. “ Then Jesus answered and said unto her, Owoman, great is thy faith : Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”. Little faith is a narrow vessel, which brings in little from the fountain ; but great faith brings in much. Whatever the Lord's people may think of their doubtings of the promises, the word of God never speaks a good word of the believer's doubts : Matth. xiv. 31. « O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?" Doubts are not pleasing to God, for they shew the weakness of faith, and always in less or more contain some reflections on the blood of Christ, the truth and gracious nature of God. Augustus admitted the common people with their petitions so pleasantly, that it is reported he reproved a certain person, telling him that he presented his petition to him, as if he had been giving a halfpenny to an elephant. Humility may well consist with the confidence and full assurance of faith.
Now, to conclude all this, ye who have taken God in Christ as your God, learn this holy art of living by faith, claiming your interest and improving it for all your necessities. Alas ! firs, for what end have we taken God in Christ for our God, if we do not live upon him ? John, vi. 57. “ As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Fa. ther; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” Why have we professed to enter into the house of God, by embracing the covenant, if we do not improve it for all we need ? Improve, then, the claimed interest for all; and particularly,
1. For a rest to your consciences. Here David found a rest to his, when death and guilt together ftared him in the face : 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. " Al
though,” says he,“ my house be not fo with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure : for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” If God be thy God, the righteousness of God is thine to cover thee, the righteousness of Christ, God-man. Thou art within that vail where the fiery law is closed up in the ark, and cannot reach thee. Confessing, mourning, repenting, are blessed and holy exercifes, well becoming the child of God, and the more faith, the more of these, and the deeper will they be ; but they, after all, are wholly insufficient for a reft to the conscience.--Improve the claimed interest,
2. For a rest to your hearts : Pfal. cxvi. 7. “Re. turn to thy reft, O my foul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." Have you come to God through Christ ? then reft thy heart in enjoyment of him. Is the world smiling on thee ? beware, reft not on it, thou wilt soon find thy rest broken, thou wilt never rest foundly in the embraces of a smiling world, for the bed is shorter than thou canst stretch thyself upon. Is the world frowning? Are the cisterns dried up ? thy created pillars taken away? Yet defpond not, faint not, while God remains, Hab. iii. 17. 18. You who have taken God for all, you have a poor bargain of it, if you have not as much as can make you live without those things which may be taken from you. Look to your stock in heaven, look to the glorious promises; he who overcometh fhall inherit all things.
Lastly, Improve it for sanctification, to be holy, as God is holy, to get strength for duty, and against corruption. Draw in your furniture for a holy life, from the fulness of him that filleth all
in all. Believe, that you may be holy. Take, by
THE SAINTS GOD'S SERVANTS AND HIS
SE R M ON XXXVII.
Acts, xxvii. 23. For there ftood by me this night the
angel of the Lord, whose I am, and whom I serve.
Here are two questions, which may be per
tinently proposed to every one of you after this communion ; and he who can satisfyingly answer them, as Paul here does, and every child of God may do, it will be a pass which will carry him safely and comfortably through the world, by sea or by land, at home or abroad, among friends or. enemies, and even at length into heaven.—The first question is,
Whose are you? Man, woman, to whom do you belong? Are you Christ's, or Satan's? Are you still your own, or are you the Lord's? Are
you child of God's family, or of the devil's ? What countryman are you? Are you from above, and do you belong to the Lord of the better country?
* Delivered June 15. 17.15, the Sabbath after the d pensation of the Sacrament.
or are you from below, and do you belong to the god of this world? What say you to this queItion, Whose are you ?-The fecond question is,
What is your business ? Certainly you have some business or other, you are either well or ill employed. What is your occupation? What course of life do you follow ? What is the great design
you are set? Are you serving the devil, yourselves, your lufts? or are you serving God? What say you to this question, What is your business?
Paul, in the text, and in a few words, answers these two questions. He told those whom he addrefled, that he was God's, and that God's service was his business ; that his Lord and Master had sent him a very comfortable message in the dark hour which was now come upon them. He now in a ship, with many others, sailing for Rome; but a storm rises, continues many days, and all hope of being saved was taken away. Paul, notwithstanding, is easy and chearsul; he brings good news to them, that there should not one life be lost in the cause. And, in the text, he shews them on what ground he went, namely, that of divine revelation, by the ministry of an angel.---You may here observe, that God's word of promise is suffeicnt security and encouragement in the darkest hour. The storm still continued, and was to continue, they were to make a narrow escape, the ship was to be lost; but amidst all this, the word of promise kept up his heart; and he had good reason for maintaining his confidence.
God is unchangeably true to his word. He cannot alter it, it shall not fail : Numb. xxiii: 19. “ God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent : Hath he faid, and thall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and Сс 2