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He is also a field. God is not only a light to guide and direct, but likewise a shield to protect and defend. He can secure us in the midst of dangers, and defend from the violent and artful designs and attempts of enemies.
The Lord will give grace and glorie : no good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly. He will bestow every kind of good, both favour and honour. Nor will he give sparingly: but will plentifully enrich, and abundantly blefs them that walk uprightly.
By which uprightnesse is not meant abfolute perfection, but fincerity ; serving God in truth, and with a willing mind : and having a respect to all his commandments: not only observing, very punctually, ordinances of positive appointment, and the stated seasons of public worship : but living in the practise of all righteousnesse. It is, to be faithful to God in all circumstances, in profperity and adversity, and in the general tenour of our life and conversation. Such as these God will abundantly bless.
Having thus briefly explained these words, I shall mention fome observations.
SERM. I. Here is a property of the Divine Being, X.
which deferves our serious attention.
righteous and upright men.
, possibly, expect temporal advantages for the truly religious, more than it is reafonable for us to do under the gospel. But in general the observation must be right: the truth of it may be depended upon, and ought to be maintained in all times ; that God loveth Pf. xi. 7. righteousnesse : his countenance beholds the upright. These he approves and favors: whilst he is displeased with such as wilfully transgress, or contemptuoufly neglect and disregard, his holy laws.
H. We fhould emprove this truth for our
establishment in the steady and delight
ful practife of all holinesse. Virtue, real righteousnesse, has an intrinsic excellence : It is fit in itself, and very becoming. But we ought to take in every other consideration, that tends to secure the
SERM. practise of virtue, and perseverance therein,
strengthen ourselves by a respect to the divine
When we do so, mindful of the divine au-
III. We may
hence receive encouragement,
troubles, as the Psalmist now was.
be tried and exercised. The reward is
tious, how they injure, offend, or grieve
God approves. It is spoken of as a remarkable instance of the folly of bad men: Have all the workers of Pl. xiv. iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people, as they eat bread, and call not upon God!
We ought to be careful, how we offend any walking in the way of righteousnesse : though they appear to us to be mistaken in some things. It must be imprudent to oppofe those, who have God for a sun and shield. At the same time it appears to be our duty, to uphold to the utmost of our power the cause of the righteous. This seems to be what David engages to do, if settled in
and prosperity. O my soul, thou hast said unto God: Pl. xvi. Thou art my Lord. My goodnese extendeth not. 2. 3. unto thee, but unto the saints, that are in the earth, even to the excellent, in whom is all
my delight. “ I have always trusted in God. “ And it has been my unfeigned desire to “ serve him. Not that I thereby merit of « him. Nor is he advantaged by my fer“ vices. But I shall think it a happineffe,
SERM. " if ever I have it my power, to protect and X.
encourage upright men, whom I sincerely r love and esteem."
V. We are also led to observe upon these
words, that from the divine perfections
may be argued a future ftate of recom: This obfervation I intend to enlarge upon.
1. In the first place I shall propose an argument for a future state from reason.
2. Í fhiall consider fome objections against this doctrine. 3.
I will endeavor to answer divers enquiries relating to this matter.
4. And then conclude with some inferences.
1. The argument from reason in behalf of a future state of recompenses is to tồis purpose. It
appears to us agreeable to the perfections of God, that he should shew favour to good and virtuous men. But it is obvious to all, and more especially evident to careful obfervers, that good and bad men are not much diftinguished in this world. This, I fay, is obvious to all, and efpecially manifest to those, whose observations are of the great