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thou hast eaten, and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God, for the good land which he hath given thee'.... Deut. viii. 10. Bless him for a Canaan on earth, a land of light, and a valley of vision, in which God is known and his name great-and for the comfortable lot thou hast in that land, a name among God's people, and a nail in his holy place, a portion in Emmanuel's land: bless him for a Canaan in heaven which he hath given thee the promise and prospect of, that land flowing with milk and honey. Rejoice in hope of that, and sing in hope.
* Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee'....all thy thoughts, and all thy powers be employed in blessing his holy name ; and all little enough. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good ...good to all....good to Israel....good to me. I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us,' &C.... Isa. lxiii. 7. Give glory to the exalted Redeemer, and mention to his praise the great things he hath done for us. Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to take the book, and
the seals ; worthy to wear the crown and sway
sceptre ; forever worthy to receive blessing and honor, and glory, and power ; worthy to be adored by the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; worthy to be attended with the constant praises of the universal church; worthy of the innermost and uppermost place of my heart, and of the best affections I can consecrate to his praise, and the best services I can do to his name : for he was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by his blood, and hath made us to our God kings and priests : he hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood ;' à note of praise which the angels themselves cannot sing, though they have many a song that we are strangers to. • He loved me, and gave himself for me,' to satisfy for my sin, and to obtain eternal redemption for me. Blessed, and foreyer blessed be the great and holy name of the Lord Jesus; that name which is as ointment poured forth that name which is above every name....which is worthy of, and yet + exalted far above all blessiog and praise.' : i And whenever we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, let it always be done to the glory of God the Father....
Phil. ii. 11. His kindness and love to man was the original spring, and first wheel of the work of our res demption : it was he that gave his only begotten Son...delivered him up for us all, and who was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself;' glory, therefore, eternal glory be unto God in the highest; for in Christ there is, on earth, peace and good will towards men. God hath in Christ glorified himself; we must, therefore, in Christ, glorify him, and make all our joys and praises to centre in him. In the day of our rejoicing this must be the burden of all our songs-Blessed be God for Jesus Christ : thanks be unto God for this unspeakable gift, the foundation of all other gifts.
(2.) Let this holy joy speak encouragement to our selves, cheerfully to proceed in our Christian course. The comfort we have in our covenant-relation to God, and interest in Christ, should put a sweetness into all our enjoyments, and sanctify them to us : we must see the love of God in them, and taste that he is
gracious; and this must make them comforts indeed to
See the curse removed from them....see a blessing going along with them, and then go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a mer. ry heart, for God now accepteth thy works..... Eccl. ix. 7. Have we good ground to hope that, through grace, our works are accepted of God? If we sincere-, .ly aim at God's acceptance...make that our end, and labor for it, with an eye to Christ as Mediator, we may hope that our person and performances are accepted. If we accept God's works....accept the disposals of his providence, and the offers of his grace, with a humble acquiescence in both, that will be a good evidence that he accepts our works : and if so,
we have reason to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Eat thy bread with joy, for it is thy Father's gift....the bread wherewith the Lord thy God feeds thee in this wilderness, through which he is leading thee to the land of promise. Drink thy wine with a merry heart, remembering Christ's love more than wine. What thou hast, though mean and scanty, thou hast it with the blessing of God, which will make the little thou hast better than the riches of many wicked...Psal. xxxvii. 16.
Rejoice in the Lord, now, O my soul rejoice is him always. Having kept this feast with gladness, (as Hezekiah and his people did, 11 Chron. xXx: 23.) carry with thee some of the comforts of God's table to thine own, and there eat thy meat with gladness, as those primitive Christians did - Acts ii. 46. Live a life of holy cheerfulness; and the joy of the Lord will be thy strength.
Fourthly, We should come from this ordinance much quickened to every good work. Seeing our selves compassed about here with so great a cloud of witnesses....bound by so many engagements....invited by so many encouragements, and obliged to God and godliness by so many ties of duty, interest, and gratitude ; let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that most easily besets us, whatever it is, especially the evil heart of unbelief, which is our great hindrance, and let us run with patience the race that is set before tus, looking unto Fesns....Heb. xii. 1, 2. Let the covepants we have here renewed, and the comforts we have here received, make us more ready to every good duty, and more lively in it-more active and zealous for the glory of God....the service of our generation, and the welfare and prosperity of our own souls. From what we have seen and done here, we may fetch powerful considerations to shame us out of our slothfulness, and our backwardness to that which is good, and to stir us up to the utmost diligence in our Master's work,
When Jacob had received a gracious visit from God, and had made a solemn vow to him, (Gen. xxviii. 12, 20.), it follows, Chap. xxix. 1.... Then Jacob went on his way. The original phrase is observable.... Then Jacob lift up his feet. After that comfortable night he had at Bethel, knowing himself to be in the way of his duty, he proceeded with a great deal of cheerfulness; that strengthened the weak hands, and confirmed the feeble knees. Thus should our communion with God, in the Lord's Supper, enlarge our hearts to run the way of God's commandments. After such an ordinance, we should lift up our feet in the way of God; that is, (as it is said of Jehoshaphat, 11 Chron. xvii. 6.) we should lift up our hearts in those ways, abiding and abounding in the work of the Lord.
Rouse up thyself now, my soul, from thy spiritual slumber; up, and be doing, for the Lord is with thee. Awake, awake-put on thy strength....put forth thy .strength, that thuu mayest push on thy holy war....thy holy work with vigor: shake thyself from the dust, to which thou hast too, much cleaved : loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, with which thou hast beep too much clogged.... Isa. lii. 1, 2. Meditate more fixedly...pray more earnestly...resist sin more resolutely
keep sabbaths more cheerfully....do good more readily, Thou hast heard the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees-plain indications of the presence of God with thee; therefore, now thou shalt bestir thyself....II Sum. v. 24. Let the comforts of this ordinance employ thy wings, that thou mayest soar upwards....upwards towards God: let them oil thy wheels, that thou mayest press forwards....for. wards towards heaven: let God's gifts to thee stir up his gifts in thee.
Fifthly, We should come from this ordinance with a watchful fear of Satan's wiles, and a firm resolution to stand our ground against them. Whatever comfort and enlargement we have had in this ordinance, stiil we must remember that we are but girding on the harness, and therefore we have no reason to boast or be secure, as though we had put it off. When we return to the world again, we must remember that we go among snares, and must provide accordingly it is our wisdom to do so.
(1.) Let us therefore fear. He that travels with a rich treasure about him, is most in danger of being set upon, and is most afraid of being robbed. The ship that is richly laden, is the pirate's prize. If we come away from the Lord's table replenished with the goodness of God's house, and the riches of the cove nant, we must expect the assaults of our spiritual enemies, and not be secure. - A strong guard was constantly kept upon the temple ; and there needs one upon the living temples. The mystical song represents the bed which is Solomon's, thus surrounded by valiant men, of the valiant of Israel, because of fear in the night....Cant. iii. 7, 8-the Holy Ghost thus signifying, that believers in this world are in a military state, and the followers of Christ must be his soldiers. They that work the good work of faith, must fight the good fight of faith.
We must always stand upon our guard ; for the good man of the house knows not at what hour the thief will come; but this we know, that immediately after our Saviour was baptized, and owned by a voice from heaven, he was led into the wilderness to be tempt ed of the devil, (Mat. iv. 1.)—and that immediately after he had administered the Lord's Supper to his disciples, he told them plainly, Satan hath desired to havc you, that he may sift you as wheat, (Luke xxii. 31.)
and what he said to them then, he saith to all, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation....Mat. xxvi. 41. We must then double our guard against temptations to rash anger, and study to be more than ordinarily meek and quiet, lest, by the tumults and transports of passion, the Holy Spirit be grieved and tempted to withdraw. If we have, in this ordinance, received Christ Jesus the Lord, let a strict charge be