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wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence. Be not wroth, very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever! behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people!" Isa. Ixiv. 1-9. See also lxiii. 17-19.
Once more. When the Lord from the repeated backslidings of his people manifests his displeasure, and makes sad threatenings to them. "And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not god; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation," Deut. xxxii. 20, 21.
And what saith the church under an awakened sense of her departure?" O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake, for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against thee! O the hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Hast thou utterly rejected Judah ? hath thy soul loathed Zion? Why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble! We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquities of our fathers, for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us for thy name's sake; do not disgrace the throne of thy glory; remember, break not thy covenant with us!" Jer. xiv. 7-21.
Lastly, to mention no more. We find the church brought under a sense of her backslidings, and the Lord instantly noticing the change, and expressing his approbation. "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning
himself thus; thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth!"
And what are the gracious answers of God? "Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still, therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord," Jer. xxxi. 18-20.
SEVENTHLY.-I have but one point more to accomplish in this chapter, in shewing what abundant provision God the Holy Ghost hath made in his sacred word, for the Lord's people to come with before the Lord: and that is, to gather a few of the many short, but sweet and savoury hymns of praise, with which the scriptures are every where so richly full; as if that Almighty teacher (and which is indeed the case) would not leave his regenerated children (and it is of such only I speak) without praising words, as well as praying words, when drawing nigh the mercy-seat, in and through the glorious Person and finished redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ. A few from the old testament scriptures first.
"And David said to all the congregation, now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord," 1 Chron. xxix. 20.
"Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever. And blessed be thy glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise," Neh. ix. 5.
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God! And all the people answered, Amen! Amen! with lifting up their hands, and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground," Neh. viii. 6. "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who
only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen,” Ps. lxxii. 18, 19.
And now a few from the new testament. And let the regenerated child of God (for it is of such only I speak) observe with me, that old testament saints, as well as new testament believers, had their souls tuned by grace to the same divine song; all directed to the God of Israel; for Jehovah from the very early days of the church, said unto the children of Israel by Moses, "the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations," Exod. iii. 15. Hence Israel's God is our God, for ever and ever, and this is his memorial to all generations. But though the Holy Ghost hath not altered a single word in this divine song, yet since the open manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, he hath added that sweet and precious note to the same string, when calling him by that endearing name, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. One or two quotations will explain.
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," Eph. iii. 14, 15.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ," Eph. i. 3.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away; reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 3-5.
"Now unto him that is of power to establish you, according to the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ; according to the revelation of the mystery,
which was kept secret since the world began; but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God. To God, only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever, amen," Rom. xvi. 25-29.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort! who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God!" 2 Cor. i. 3, 4.
"Now the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thess. v. 23.
"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory, for ever and ever, amen." 1 Tim. i. 17.
"Now the God of peace, which brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever, amen," Heb. xiii. 20, 21.
"That God in all things may be glorified, through Jesus Christ; to whom be praise and dominion, for ever and ever, amen," 1 Pet. iv. 11.
"Now the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, amen," 1 Pet. v. 10, 11.
"Now unto him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy. To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, amen," Jude 24, 25.
"Grace and peace from him which is, and which was, and which is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, and to his Father; to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever, amen," Rev. i. 4-6.
The old testament blessing. "The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace," Numb. vi. 22, to the end.
The new testament blessing. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with us all, amen," 2 Cor. xiii. 14.
A SELECTION FROM THE SCRIPTURES OF GOD, OF SEVERAL PRAYERS AND SONGS OF PRAISE, OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN THE EARLY AGES OF THE CHURCH, WHICH BECOME SAMPLES TO ALL THE SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS, FOR SPEAKING TO GOD, IN GOD'S OWN WORDS; AND AS FOLLOWERS OF THEM, WHO NOW THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE, INHERIT THE PROMISES.
I stay not, at the introduction of this chapter, to offer more, than just to state, that nothing can more decidedly manifest what the Lord's will is, concerning the use of his holy scripture on the subject of prayer and praise; than from having caused to be recorded those exercises of the saints of God in their approaches to the throne. Evidently they are meant as so many models for the church to frame her communions with the Lord. And as they take in a great variety of cases, in which at various times the Lord's people are exercised, they minister, as they were intended, under divine