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cities. Brethren! this is many times the case, when we see nothing of it. The tongues of men are restrained, when we cannot account for the restraint. Deep laid schemes are broken to pieces, when we are surprised to hear that it is so. Malicious plans prove abortive, because God is concerned in thwarting them; and more concerned than we are. The terror of God was the reason that none of the inhabitants of these cities pursued after Jacob: but they would not have known it, if God had not made it known to them. Men love to know the causes of things : the Holy Spirit here tells us plainly what was, in this case the cause : the terror of God was upon them.
My Dear Hearers, this same ever-working God is still at the head of all things. He sitteth King above the water-floods, as much in this day as in that day: and he hath taught us to put our trust in him, while the dreadful speeches, and threats, and arts of ungodly men are abroad; and has promised us, that in pursuing our way, he will give us lessons of consolation in difficult duties; and that, when we have borne the burden and heat of the day, we shall come to dwell in Bethel- a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, “ I go,” says our Lord, “ to prepare a place for you: and if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also. In my Father's house
In are many mansions; if it were not so I would have
told you; but, because it is so, I tell you of it.” All other families will have their failings, embarrassments, and sorrows-But! There is a family, where nothing of the kind shall ever enter! There is a house, that shall not fail! And I hope there are many here present, whom I shall accompany to that blessed state, where all distress and anguish, sorrow and sighing, shall flee away. Therefore I say, with St. Paul, For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would support you in the path of duty which he calls you to enter--that you may take
the cross, bear the burden and heat of the day, and remember that he is faithful who hath promised, and that he hath consolations for such of you, as well as trials for you to bear. Let us therefore do his work for the day, and in the day; and wait for the evening, when he shall say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! thou hast borne the burden, endured the cross, despised the shame, and proved thyself a real disciple of my crucified Son: and now enter into my joy.”
That we may enter into that blessed state, and all come to the inheritance of the saints in light, may God grant to us of his infinite mercy!
THE DYING SAINT'S CONSOLATION.
2 SAMUEL XXIII. 5.
Although my house be not 80 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.
WE are told, in the context, that these were the last words of David; probably not the last words which he spake, but the last remarkable words. And he said, the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue : for, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. This was exemplified in David himself, but it much more immediately refers to Jesus Christ, the King of King's and Lord of Lords. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth; even a morning without clouds: as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. These words were put into David's mouth, inasmuch as it was the character of himself. But, while David received the Spirit, and ruled over Israel in the sight of God, according to the gracious promises made to him, yet, when he came to consider how the matter actually stood at home. “ Although,” said he,“ my house be not so, not right with God; not so as I would wish it; not so as it ought to be ; not so as I might expect it to be, considering the instruction which it has received: still the promise holds good! It is my last record. I write it under the influence of the Spirit, and let others read it to the end of time, that whatever be the state of my family, here is my comfort, He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: THAT shall prosper, in whatever state my family may be. Though it does not grow up before my eyes, I will hold fast the truth: I will look to the covenant, and find it to be all the desire of my heart, and all my salvation.”
Let us first attend to David's COMPLAINT, “ My house is not so with God: I see nothing growing.”
2dly, To David's CONSOLATION. “ Though I have not my house as I could wish, yet there is a rest for my soul : there is consolation: there is an everlasting covenant."
After having discoursed on these two points, I shall lead you to a few GENERAL REMARKS on the subject.
Here is set before us, for our instruction,
I. The groanings of David's heart for his fathily : his COMPLAINT. “ My house, my family is not so with God. Of what consequence is it what it is, if it is not right with God? What advantage would it be, if every one of my sons was a king, and if they were far more successful than I myself have been? It were all nothing to me, if they were not so with God. They are not 80 as I would wish them to be: they are not so as I pray they may be; nor so as I fain would make them; and I have but little hope that they will be so when I am gone. And, what is more than all, when I consider that a man's state and condition is exactly that which it is before God, what a painful scene do I see before me!” With what mournful recollection, as well as bitter weeping, must he think of Absalom-a very accomplished young man, a beautiful young man, who could steal the hearts of Israel! What then? He was not so with God.
Oh, that parents would think of this, when they are setting their hearts on their children, on their beauty, their accomplishments, their prospects in the world! Oh, that they would stop themselves and ask, “ But what are they before God? How do they appear in his eyes?” For, unless they are built on the Rock of Ages, they will be soon swept away as the chaff before the wind: while, if their spirits are quickened of God, they shall stand and