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their duty, and suffer a proportional loss in point of comfort.
1. Then, running to the name of God as their strong tower, implies the lively exercise of faith both in the power and willingness of God to protect them. It is only by faith that we can go to an invisible God. As faith must be the principle of all acceptable fervice to God, fo faith is evidently the immediate mean of all trust in or enjoyment of God. Therefore it is said, with the greatest propriety, the just shall o live by faith.'
You may observe, I have faid the lively exercise of faith; for, besides the habitual persuasion of the great truths of religion, as the foundation of our adherence to God as our portion, there must be an actual contemplation of them as the mean of our support in trial or deliverance from danger. Whatever be the nature or source of temptation, we must meet it, as it were, and resist it, by taking suitable views of the fulness and all-fufficiency of God. Does the believer stand in need of any thing spiritual or temporal ? is he diftressed with the want of it ? does he fee no human or probable way of his being supplied with it? He runs to the name of God as his strong tower, by considering, that 'the earth is the • Lord's, and the fulness thereof;' that his wisdom is infinite; and that, if it is really necessary, he can easily find a way of bestowing it. Pfal. xxxiv. 9, 10. * O fear the Lord ye his faints; for there is no want s to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, • and suffer hunger ; but they that seek the Lord shall not want apy good thing. He dwells upon
the universal presence and the special providence of God, and endeavours to reason down his anxiety and fear. Perhaps he may do it in the words of our blessed Saviour, Matth. vi. 25. to the 33. verse, ‘There• fore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, ! what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet • for your body what ye shall put on; is not the life . more than meat, and the body than raiment? Be• hold the fowls of the air; for they fow not, nei. ! ther do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your • heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much • better than they? Which of you, by taking thought, • can add one cubit unto his stature ? And why take ye * thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the • field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do
they spin ; and yet, I say unto you, that even So• lomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like ope • of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of • the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is caft • into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, • Oye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, • saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink?
or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? (For after all
these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your hea• venly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these . things.. . Is the believer distressed with enemies, malicious, powerful, implacable? does he suffer, or is he afraid of suffering from them, in his name, in his person, in his life itself? he considers the power of God to shield him from their attacks, or more than compensate all the injuries which he may receive from them, and Strengthen and animate him to a vigorous discharge of his duty in opposition to them. Pfal. iii. 5, 6, 7, 8, “I laid me • down and Nept, I awaked; for the Lord sustained 'me: I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; fave me, O my God; for thou hast • fmitten all mine enemies upon the cheek-bone; thou • halt broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation be- . • longeth unto the Lord; thy blessing is upon thy • people. Selah.' He endeavours to deliver himself from the distressing fear of man, by the reasonable and dutiful fear of offending God, Luke, xii. 4, 6. * And I say unto you, my friends, be not afraid of
them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you • whom you shall fear : Fear hith, which after he . hath killed, hath power to cast into hell, yea, I say . unto you, fear him. Dan. iii. 16, 17, 18. Shadrach, • Melhech, and Abednego, answered, and said to the • king, O Nebuchadnezzar! we are not careful to an• swer thee in this matter. If it be fo, our God,
whom we ferve, is able to deliver us from the burn.. ing fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of
thine hand, O King ! But, if not, be it known un• to thee, O King ! that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.'
Is the believer afraid of the ordinary evils of life? is he of a timorous nature, trembling at the thoughts of the accidents that may befal him ? he runs to the Dame of God as the supreme disposer of every event, . and thinks of the invisible power that governs and directs all visible things, and that the very ministers
of providence have received a charge concerning all his people: Psal. xci. 1, 12. He that dwelleth
in the secret place of the Moft High fhall abide un• der the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the • Lord, he is my refuge, and my fortress; my God, • in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee • from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome * peftilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers; * and under his wings shalt thou trust. His truth • shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not • be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the ar. row that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that • walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that * wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shallfall at thy fide, • and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall
not come nigh thee: only with thine eyes shalt * thou behold, and see the reward of the wicked, • because thou hast made the Lord, which is my re«fuge, even the Most High, thy habitation. There • shall no evil befal thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling: for he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. .
To the power I joined the willingness of God to preserve and protect his people, on their fincere and humble application to him for it. This is absolute. Jy necessary as a part of the object of faith. It would be in vain to run to any strong place, with a view of being preserved from our enemies, unless we have fome ground to hope we shall be received into it; and it would be madness to flee to a fortress kept by an enemy: but God is every righteous man's friend : all the divine perfections are engaged for his wel
fare: and therefore he may confidently run to God from every danger, and be assured both of a kind welcome, and of all that safety which is necessary for him.
Faith, in this respect, has an immediate relation to the promises of God. It is his name, as I observed on the former head, to which we are to flee, as revealed in his written word; and much of the life of practical religion consists in attending to the tenor, and in a daily application of the promises. God himself rea quires us to call upon him in a time of trouble, Pfal. 1. 15. • And call upon me in the day of trouble; I. • will deliver thee ; and thou shalt glorify me.' Nay, he is graciously pleased to reckon our calling upon him an essential character of his own people, Zech. xiii. 9. "And I will bring the third part through the ' fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and • will try them as gold is tried; they shall call
on my name, and I will hear them; I will say, it
is my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my * God. He is pleased to esteem this, as giving him the glory of his truth and faithfulness, wisdom, power, and goodness, which we find represented in fcripture as so many chambers of protection into which the righteous are called to enter for safety and preservation, Ifa. xxvi. 20. • Come, my people, en• ter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
I shall only further observe that faith in both these respects, as applying the power and promise of God, receives very much strength from the e