py and the nation to humble themselves under the hand of the Lord, and turn unto him with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. The Lord knoweth our frame; and, to the praise of his wisdom and goodness, useth means'adapted to its peculiarities. When he employs men to reclaim and reconcile to their duty the disobedient and rebellious, they receive instructions from him, to sweeten authority with promises of good things, and to soften the terror of power in the kindness of love. Accordingly, to provoke and encourage his people to obey the summons, Joel is instructed to promise the retreat of the army, the cooling of the atmosphere, and in the text the comforts of a plentiful season: “Ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and "praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt “wondrously with you."

The branches of this promise we shall consider as so many heads of discourse. When these are explained, in the order of the text, we shall illustrate the motive to humiliation and gratitude annexed to the promise, something in the dealing of the Lord which is wondrous; and conclude with addresses and exhortations unto distinct classes of hearers. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be exceeding abundant toward speaker and hearers, that, in speaking and hearing, God who giveth us all things richly to enjoy may be glorified!

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The first branch of the promise is in these words, “Ye shall eat in plenty.”. To eat, and to eat in plenty, are pleasures which threatenings have disjoined and separated: “They shall eat, and not have enough."* “I will break (the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread "by weight and with care, and they shall drink water by "measure and with astonishment.”+ But promises unite these pleasures which threatenings have separated. “The Wand shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill.” “Ye shall eat your bread to the full."'S “Thou shalt eat "bread without scarceness."|| And in the text, “ye shall "eat in plenty." In the impoverished state of that people this promise was most seasonable, and gave the motiye to humiliation and gratitude double force. The co.


* Hos. iv. 10. Ezek. iv. 16. Lev. xxv. 19.
SLcv. xxvi, 5. HDeut, viii. 9.

venant descends to eating and drinking, to bread and wa. ter.

Bread and water are sensible good things, and eating and drinking are sensible actions. But in the present state, our heavenly Father knoweth that we need bread and water; and by promising, giveth ground to expect these from his hand. In believing the promises, and receiving and enjoying what is needful for the body, we glorify the promiser, and nourish and strengthen our souls. Though we have not been punished with famine, it is a fact that for sonie years many have eaten with scarceness. \Veather settled, serene and dry, uncommon in this variable climate at so late a season, hath crowned the harvest, and @pened a smiling and reasonable próspect of eating in greater plenty, and at less expense, ihan some months beforc was expected. The Lord bath done this for the sake of his name and covenant. Admire his goodness, and pray for bis blessing. In one consideration harvest is the performance of promises, and in another the answer of prayer, and both considerations are calling us to praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works unto the children of men.

The second branch of the promise is satisfaction. Ye shall not only eat in plenty, but ye shall “be satisfied.” To eat, and to be satisfied, are also disjoined in threatenings. “Ye shall eat and be satisfied."'*

“ His offspring Sishall not be satisfied with bread.”+ In like manner, these are united in promises. “The fatherless shall eat and be "satisfied." "My people shall be satisfied with my goodness."'S “The meek shall eat and be satisfied."'ll Heirs of promise have enjoyed it. “The righteous cateth to the crsatisfying of his soul.” “Bless the Lord, O my soul,“who satisfieth thy mouth with good things."** tisfaction which is promised is not merely animal, but spiritual; and the following description of it may be considlered. 1st, Appetite is satisfied with food agreeable to its nature and relish. A riolous appetite is a penal disease, as well as a tormenting lust. “At evening let them return,' “let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about athe city. Let them wander up and down for meat, and

The sa

* Lev. xxvi. 26. ŞJer. xxxi. 14. ** Psal. ciii. 1., 5.

tJob xxvii. 14. Deut. xir. 29. 1] Psal. xxii. 26. Frov. xii. 25.

"grudge if they be not satisfied."* "Icar thou, my son, "and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be pot “amongst wine-bibers, amongst i iotous caters of flesh: For "the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty.”+ Appetite, degenerated into lust, like other fleshly lusts, casteth down many wounded, and slayeth many strong men. Moderated and regular, appetite is a blessing, and the satisfaction of it is also a blessing. Without it the best food is tasteless and loathsome. “But when thou sittest to

eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee, "and put a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to “appetite."

2dly, The body is refreshed and nourished. Good and wholesome food may be eaten and nourishment not be received. The powers of digestion and nourishment depend upon the blessing of God, and are communicated or withheld according to his pleasure. “His meat in his "bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. When he “is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath soupon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating."S Refreshment is the subordinate end of eating, and eating the means of refreshment. If these two be disjoined, there will be no satisfaction. How great is the goodness of God in nisjoining them so seldom!

3dly, Contentment with our portion. If conteniment be not enjoyed there will be no satisfaction. A murmuring and discontented person hath not satisfaction in any good, small or great. But the man who is pleased with the quality of the portion Providence hath bestowed, though it be coarse, and with the quantity, though it be small, hath a continual feast: “Better is a dry morsel and quietness "therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife."'li

4thly, The power to eat. This, though really in the satisfaction which is promised, doth not always attend upon great possessions. Solomon had seen instances, and who has not seen instances, of power to eat being disjoined from possession. “I have seen under the sun-a man “to whom God hath given riches, wealth and honor, so "that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desir(eth; yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof."?

* Psal. lix. 14, 15. † Prov. xxiii. 19, 20, 21.
Prov. xxiii. 1, 2. Job xx. 14, 23.
I Prov. xvii. 1. Eccl. vi. 1, 2.

Possession and power to eat are gifts of God, and ille former may be bestowed where the latter is withheld. Power to eat is not a license to riot on the goodness of the Lord, and abuse it in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable impurities; but a disposition, or capacity, according to our rank in society, to enjoy it to his honor, our own advantage, and the benefit of those to whom we have opportunities and calls to be useful. «Behold that which I have seen; it is good and "scomely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good "of all his labour that he taketh under the sun, all the days “ðf his life which God giveth him. Every man also to “whom God hath giren riches and wealth, and hath given “him power to eat thereof, and to take bis portion, and to rejoice in his labour, this is the gift of God. For he shall sipot much remcniber the days of his life, because God an"swercth him in the joy of his heart."**

5thly, Interest in the promise of cating is manifested and apprehended. This infuses into the dry morsel essences of wine and milk; and to a rich and plcniiful table, imparts qualities which feed and satisfy llie soul, as well as refresh and nourish the body. Interest in the blessings of providence, new covenant interest through union with the second Adam, lord, and heir, and possessor of these, what is so much to be desired? You who are honored with it are rich indeed. Though ye possess neither houses nor estates, ye are heirs of the earth, and joint heirs with Christ. The earth is his by promise and reward, as well as by creation and support; and, by proinise and testament, through him it is yours: “He that overcometh shall inhesiit all things.”+ 6thly, The blessing is in satisfaction.

Natural men know not what this ineaneth. Soine of them never seek it, and others scek it only in form. But there are people who know its meaning, and seek it with the whole heart. The children of God live by his blessing, and believe it to be the essence and spirit of every good thing. Take the blessing out of the best things, and they can do no good. Io wrath, God curseth the blessings of sinners in Zion; and in love, blesseth the blessings of lier saints, and satisfieth them with bread. The curse turneth tables into snares, giveth prosperity killing qualities, cankers, and as

* Eccl. v. 18, 19, 20. Rev. xxi. 7.


to spiritual purposes, cats the substance out of every thing men who are under it call their own. The blessing maketh tables comforts, giveth food refreshing and nourishing powers, and into the dry morsel insusetii spirit which raises it above 'royal daintics.

7thiy, God is enjoyed as our God in Christ. The enjoyment of God is the honcy of every good thing, and gives lo meat those excellent qualities which refresh the body and strengthen the soul. How sweet and satisfying is the table where he is acknowledged and enjoyed as our chicfy our cply, our all.sufficient good. With hin the coarsest meal is angels food, exceedingly street and exceedingly strengthening. Without hiin the finest is a dry morsel, unsatisfying to men of spiritual taste. Go to now, ye who live without God in the world, sivide all that is in it ainong yourselves, since ye desire nothing else. If we have our bread and our water with God, even our own God, we shall hare no reason to envy you. -“There be many that bisay, who will shew us any good. Lord lift thou upthe light cof thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in «iny heart, more than in the time that their corn and their "wine increased."*

The following words, “ And praise the name of the Lord (your God," are ibe third branch of the promise. These words painted to a comprehensive duty in new obedience, and for performing it gave his people assurance of new j'easons, and new inclinations, and new spiritual powers. His special relation is accordingly expressed and held up unto their faith. The name they slıould glorily with praise is not only the name of the Lord, but the name of the Lord their God. In performing this duty, the following particulars may be observed.--1st, Acknowledging the goodness of the Lord our God in creating plenty, and bestowing satisfaction. Of the good things which spring out of the earth he is proprietor, and confession of his efficiency, in producing and bestowing thesc, is a sacrifice of pratse which men and nations are bound to offer cvery day, through Jesus Christ. In the adoration of the king of Israel, after he and bis subjects had conuibuted liberally for building a house in the name of the Lord, this

* Psal. iv. 6,7

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