sentiment is expressed with y eat fervour and devorion: “O Lord our God, all this store, wbich we have prepared "to build thee an house for thine holy name, cometh of "thine hand, and is all thine own. Men of property, ye look on fields and farm-yards, on corn and stock, on houses and estates, and call them your own. Ye may do this lawfully, and honorably: In a lower and popular sense, they are your own. But it should never be forgotten, that in the strict and proper sense, these belong unto God; and that you are only factors of his providence, invested with powers of administration and use, and accountable to him at any appointed day for all your intromissions. Acknowledge his propriety in all; and, by using according to his law whatever his power produces and his hand bestows, glorify his goodness and praise his name.

2dly, Rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord our God, “who giveth us fruitful seasons, and filleth our heart with ufood and gladness.”. Joy in his name is a chief part of praise. Though the good be a material or sensible good, the joy in which we praise hiin is a spiritual joy. The creature is the occasion, the Creator is the object. We do not joy in corn and wine, but in the Lord who bestows and blesses these. When ye sit down to meat witli appetite, and rise from it with satisfaction, remember, O remember, that it is the goodness of tle creature, considered and enjoyed in Christ, as the goodness of the Creator, which nourishes and satisfies, and in which we are commanded to rejoice. To affect his people with this consideration of his goodness, convivial institutions were bound upon them with pointed solemnity: “Ye shall eat "before the Lord your God"--what?-_"the tithe ofthy corn, “wine, and oil, the firstlings of thy herds and flocks, thy vows, free-will-offerings, and leave-offerings,--tbou "must eat them before the Lord thy God, in the place “which the Lord thy God shall choose.”.

Sdiy, Serving the Lord our God, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life. Obedience flowing from faith in him as the Lord and our God and Redeemer; obe. dience measured by his law, directed to his glory, animated with his love, and performed in the Spirit and strength of Christ,--this obedience, is the spirit and essence of gram.

*1 Chron. cxix. 16; Deut: xil: 7; 17; 18..


titude and praise. Psalm-singing, which is the fruit of our lips, is an instituted form of praise, and the observation of it is bound upon us by the authority of the Lord our God; but he hath no pleasure in it unless it be also practical, and sung, or expressed, in life and manners. Here we are defective, and with contrition and shame should remember our faults. Kindness and calamities, peace and war, sea. sons of pleaty and scarseness, have not reformed our man

These dispensations found us unthankful and unholy, and we continue unthankful and unholy still. Britain,.. as well as Canaan, is concerned in these words: “Because “thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and ssgladness of heart for the abundance of all things; there"fore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall “send against thee, in hunger and in thirst, and in nakeden *ness, and in want of all things.”

."**Let us nut forget to observe,

4thly, Exercises concerning the person, and office, and beauty, excellence, riches, treasures, fulness, and sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, are essentially in the praise which glorifies the name of the Lord our God. Praise which pleascth God is offered by and accepted through Christ. Christ given for us, and with his treasures given unto us, is unspeakably better than all that springeth out of the earth, and an assurance to our faith of every promised good. “He that spared not his own Son, but delisovered him up for us all; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”+ In trusting, hoping, rejoicing, and glorying in Christ, we do not deny the Father, nor rob him of the glory of his name and goodness. “The Father shath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men 6'should honour him, even as they honour the Father; and she that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father “which hath sent him." To Christ is given a name which is above every naine. "In this name every knee must "bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, *"10 the glory of God the Father." Praise, O praise the name of the Lord for Christ, who is the foundation of all the counsels of salvation; for the folness which dwelleth in Christ; for the revelation and gift of Christ; for the testimony which the Spirit beareth in Scripture to Christ; for

* Deut. xxviii. 47, 48.

Rom. viii. 32.

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wliat Christ is made, and hath done, and is doing, and will do for the people of his love! If Christ had not interposed, sinners would never have enjoyed a good year, a full table, nor even a dry morsel. The curse, that holy devourer, would have prevented or destroyed all enjoyment. From this Christ hath redeemed us, and in testimony of our desire, aod assurance of redemption and acceptance through his blood and name, we will begin all our praise at Christ, sing it all in Christ, end it all with Christ. "Sal(vation to our God which sitteth on the throne, and unto whe Lamb. Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, "and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be "unto our God for ever and ever! Ainen."*

After explaining the promise, we proceed to the consi. deration of the motive to humble themselves, and to praise the Lord their God, something in his dealing that is woudious. The double use of this motive appears in the context, and should not be overlooked. To that afflicted people it was a motive to present humiliation, and to future gratitude. When Joel summoned the nation and the sanctuary to humiliation, the whole country was impoverished, and in great distress. In this extremity, wondrous dealing in mercy, wbich they had ground to expect, encouraged them to obey the sunimons, and humble themselves before the Lord. The wondrous dealing in mercy did not exist, but this neither enervated the motive vor impedest its operation. Having received promiscs, believers proceed immediately to obedience; and, in consideration of the omnipotence and faithfulness of the promiser, find present strength in future and distant good things. Look into the context, and behold wondrous dealing toward that people, when the Lord performed the promise and bestow.. ed the blessings.

First, Calling off and destroying the devouring army is wondrous: “I will remove far off from you the northern "army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, bwith his face toward the east sea, and his binder part totwards the outmost sea; and his stink shall come up, and “his ill-savour shall come up, because he hath done great

things." This body is called the northern army, because

* Rev. vii, 10, 1%.

it came in by the north wind, upon the northern extremi:y of the country. Its retreat and destruction are pointedly expressed. The retreat is not slow and voluntary, but sudden and violent: I will drive him, saith Jehovah, with his face, or van, toward one sea, and his hinder part, or rear, towards another; -drive him into a land barren and desolate, where insects which live upon herbage must perish. The ill-savour of the corpses is a circumstance strongly marked, and the cause is assigned, he-the devouring army, hath done great things, hath committed great devastation, and, by rioting upon the fat and good of the land, is grown thick, and swelled into monstrous sizes. This is wondrous dealing. To human power the devourers were invincible; palmer-worins, canker-worms, locusts, caterpillars, would have laughed at bows and arrows, and weapons of war. The military strength of the country, 'set against them battle array, could not hare routed a single detachment. The Lord of hosts, strong and mighrty in battle, was the only power to disperse and destroy them. “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord Goet "Alinighty!"* «Through the greatness of thy power shall "chine enemies subniit themselves unto thee."'+

Secondly, After the devastation made by the devouring army, and a burning atmosphere, the spring of the earth is wondrous. In describing the miseries of the country, Joel mentions the perplexity of herds and the desolation of flocks, and enriches his description of the succeeding prosperity with an address unto these: "Be not afraid, ye. “beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do : ssspring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the svine do yield their strength.” After an innumerable host of insects had devoured all that was vegetable, and after the sun, with burning rays, had exhaled the moisture, scorched the surface, and turned the dust into brimstone, it is wondrous to hear the prophet crying, “The pastures Wof the wilderness do spring, the fig tree and the vinc do “yield their strength.” The country were afraid, lest the poisonous teeth of so many monstrous vermin, attended with the uncommon heats, should have cankered the roots of every vegetable; and lest rivers and springs, being dried up, and ile surface become powder and dust, the land.

Rev. 27. 3.

Psal. lxvi. 3.

Joel ii. 22,

would lic barren and waste from generation to generation. But in the name of the Lord, who is the resurrection and life of vegetation, the prophet cried, "Fear not, O land; be "glad and rejoice, for ihe Lord will do great things."*

Thirdly, The seasonable rain, which cooled the air and moistened the earth, is wondrous. “Be glad then, yc chil. 36«Iren of Zion), and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he "hath given you the former rai moderately, and he wilt “cause to come down for you the rain, the former and the Watter rain in the first month.”+ Showers of rain and Elouds of dew were blessings to that people, not only as men, but as children of Zion. Temple services in these days were maintained from the flock and the fold, the herds and the stalls. Meat offerings and drink-offerings came out of the field, and lithes of corn, and wine, and oil, were eaten before the Lord in his sanciuary. Ifthe land had continued barren and waste, the sanctuary must have been shut up and deserted. Dews and rain, and fruitful seasons, to people so circumstanced, were not blessings which affected merely the wealth and prosperity of the nation. By a special constitution, these blessings operated upon the dispensation of religion, the magnificence of the temple, and the worship and gratitude of the Church. This consideration of temporalities is frequently unobserved in reading the Old Testament.

Fourthly, The uncommon fertility of the years whickr succeeded the ravages of the army and the drought is wondrous. “And ihe floors," continues the prophet, "shall be full of wheat, and the futs shall overflow with (wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years "that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the ca. "terpillar', and the palmer-worm, my great army which [ (sent among you.

And ye shail eat in plenty, and he sa• tisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that chath dealt wondrously with you."In these instances the Lord promised, and dealt wondrously with that generation of his peoplc; and, to the praise of the glory of his goodness, he hath, according to lvis promise, in other in. stances dealt wondrously with this generation of his people: For,

18t, After a spring of uncommon rigour, the powers of vegetation, uneasy at being so long frost-bound, awaked

*Jacl ii. 31. Joel ii. 23, #Joel ii. 24, 25, 26.

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