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to beflow every thing that is for our real interest. It is to fay with the prophet, Hab. iii. 17. Although the fig tree fhall not bloffom, neither ⚫ fhall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive 'fhall fail, and the fields fhall yield no meat; the flock fhall be cut off from the fold, and there fhall be no herd in the ftalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my falvation.' I fhall only add, that the divine all-fufficiency is to be confidered, as regarding our fanctification as well as comfort. What diftrefs does not the Chriftian often fuffer from the treachery of his own heart, and from the power of furrounding temptations? Covered with fhame for his past unfteadfastness, convinced, by experience, of his own weakness, he bath no other refuge but in God. And what courage does he derive from the fulness of divine perfection, the greatness of divine power, and the faithfulnefs of the divine promife? My grace fhall be fufficient for
thee, and my strength (hall be made perfect in weak' nefs.' He then fays, with the Pfalmift, Pfal. Ixxi. 16. 'I will go in the ftrength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.'
II. I proceed now, in the last place, to make fome practical improvement of what hath been faid. And, t, Let us admire the divine condefcenfion, in admitting his faints to a difcovery of his glory. Solomon fays, with very great propriety, in the language of aftonishment: "But will God in very deed ⚫ dwell with men on the earth?' The lame ought to
Ser. 2. The object of a Chriftian's defire, &c. be, nay, the fame certainly are, the fentiments of every real believer. But let us remember what has been hinted at above, that our accefs to God, and our communion with him, is, and only can be, through the Mediator of the new covenant, in whom we have accefs, by faith, unto God.
2dly, Let me befeech you to try yourselves, whether this ever hath been your attainment, and whether it is your fincere defire? Do you know, in any measure, what it is to fee the glory of the true God? Hath he appeared before you in terrible majefty? Have your very fouls been made to bow down before him, and to give him the glory that is juftly due to his name? Have you seen the glory of a reconciled God? Have you chofen him, in Chrift, as your portion? Have you devoted yourselves, without referve, to his difpofal? Again, have you feen the gloan all-fufficient God? Surely I fpeak to many ry of who have feen the vanity of the creature. Probably you have tafted a little of the fufferings of a finful ftate. Where did you feek your confolation? where do you find your fupport? Have you learned the holy and happy art of pouring out your fouls to God? Have you felt the fweetnefs of it? And have you faid, with the Pfalmift, Return unto thy reft, O my foul ! for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee? Is it your earnest defire to fee the glory of God? Can you fay with the Pfalmift, Pfal. Ixiii. 1, 2. ‘O God! thou art my God, early will I feck thee: my foul thirfteth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirfty land where no water is, to fee thy
power and thy glory, fo as I have feen thee in the
3dly, I will now proceed to exhort you, in the moft carneft manner, to diligence in feeking after real communion with God in his inftituted worship. How highly are we favoured with light and liberty? how little are many fenfible of their privileges? I have often, on fuch occafions, put you in mind of the fatal effects of a heartlefs, cuftomary, formal worship: it is provoking to God, pernicious to others, hardening to the heart, and ruining to the foul. Were but a fociety of thofe Proteftants abroad, who are lying under perfecution, to enjoy the feafon which we now enjoy, what an edge would be upon their fpirits? what a fenfe of gratitude in their hearts? what fire and zeal in their affections? Strange, indeed, that publick profperity should be so stupifying, and the approach of eternity to every individual fhould not be awakening, while the young and strong are hurried off the ftage, while every day is bring. ing us nearer to our laft, while every ordinance is adding to our charge, that we should not defire to fee the glory of God in his fanctuary here, that it may be the earneft of our future inheritance, and prepare us for his immediate prefence hereafter.
Suffer me to speak a few words to thofe that are young. God is my witnefs, that their welfare is at my heart. Perhaps you will think, what hath been faid hardly applicable to you. The defire of Mofes, the man of God, intimate communion and fellowship with God, the attainment of ripe and experienced Chriftians, all this you will fay, is unfuit
able to me: nay, perhaps, by a baftard humility, you will fay, to expect it, would be prefumption in me. But you are greatly deceived; there are none who have more gracious invitations to come unto God than young finners: there are none who have greater reafon to expect nearnefs to God than young faints. Do you not read, that God revealed himfelf to Samuel, the child, when he neglected Eli, the old prophet? Befides, I would recommend earnestness and affection to you; not only for your greater profit, but to prevent your apoftafy. A little religion is very hard to hold; it is like a lamp which is hardly lighted, which the leaft breath of wind will extinguish, or a tree that is but newly planted, which a rude thrust will overturn. Unless you make God, and his fervice, your hearty choice, you will not carry it long as your burden, but will be soon tempted to throw it down. Be concerned, therefore, I befeech you, to attend on his instituted worship, not in a careless and formal manner, but let the 'defire ' of your fouls be to his name, and the remembrance
of him.' I shall now conclude the fubject, by offering to thofe, who would fee the glory of God, a few directions, as to the best preparation for fuch a discovery. ft, If you would fee the glory of God in his fanctuary, be ferious in felf examination, and in the renunciation of all known fin. Holiness is an essential attribute of the divine nature; and, therefore, he must be worshipped in the beauty of holinefs. Thus the Pfalmift refolved with himself, Pfal. xxvi. 6. 'I will wash mine hands in innocence, fo will I compafs thine altar, O Lord!' It is true,
none, who have any knowledge of the corruption of their own hearts, can reafonably hope to be perfectly free from fin in the prefent life: yet a real Chriftian will have it, as the object of his daily study, to cleanfe himfelf from all filthinefs of the flesh and fpirit, that he may perfect holiness in the fear ' of God.' It was fin that firft rendered us unfit for communion with God; and, therefore, our recovery of this happy privilege will be but in proportion to our fanctification. To bring finful difpofitions, indulged, and ftill fuffered in the heart, to the worship of God, and to expect acceptance in such a ftate, is implied blafphemy, and the greatest dishonour we can poffibly do to him.
2. In order to fee the glory of God, you must be cloathed with humility. No difpofition more effentially neceffary to a Chriftian at all times, but more especially, when he makes an immediate approach to God in his worship: Ifa. lxvi. 2. For all thofe
things hath mine hand made; and all those things have been, faith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite fpirit, and trembleth at my word.' And, indeed, how can we confider the nature of that God whom we worship, and our own finful and miferable cftate, without being struck with a sense of the necessity of deep humility and self-abasement in our inter course with him? It is particularly to be noticed, that felfabasement, and even felf-abhorrence, is the immedidiate effect of a sense of the divine presence. See to this purpose, Ifa. vi. 1,5. In the year that King Uzziah died, I faw alfo the Lord fitting upon a