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hath said, "That he works in us both to will and do of his good pleasure." (Phil. ii. 13.) He hath said that he will strengthen, he will uphold with the right hand of his righteousness. (Isa. xli. 10.) And hence it is, that his people can sometimes say with Paul, "I can do all things through which Christ strengtheneth me. Though we are not sufficient of ourselves, to think anything of ourselves, yet our sufficiency is of God." And hence the church, "Thou hast wrought all our works in us." (Isa. xxvii. 12.) And David, “I will cry unto God most High, unto God that performeth all things for me." (Ps. lvii. 2.)

4. Some things that he hath spoken of, relate to a day of warfare; and when that day of bloody battle comes, he doth that which he hath spoken. He hath said concerning this, even he who is the Captain of salvation; the Lord mighty in battle hath said, for the encouragement of his soldiers, "Who go a warfare on their own charges?" (1 Cor. ix. 7.) "He is the strength of their salvation, that covers their head in the day of battle." (Ps. cxl. 7.) And hence it is, that according to his word; his people are said always to triumph in Christ Jesus, and to be more than conquerors. See Ps. xviii. 30. 32. 14. "The word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. It is God that girdeth me with strength. He teaches my hands to war, and bows of steel are broken by mine arms." All their ability to stand in a day of trial and danger flows from this.


5. Some things he hath spoken of relate to the day of death: and when that comes, he will do what he hath spoken to them. He hath said, "Death shall be swallowed up in victory." (1 Cor. xv. 54.) He hath said, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave: I will redeem them from death: O death! I will be thy plague: grave! I will be thy destruction." (Hosea xiii. 14.) Ana hence it is, that as all believers in Christ are blessed in death, for, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, and that sleep in Jesus," so some believers have got the sensible and comfortable view of this, even when passing through that valley between time and eternity, and have fallen a singing in the midst of the valley, and saying, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." "Though I walk through the valley of the

shadow of death I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." With the staff of the promise in their hand, they walk through Jordan dryshod. And when the soul is separated from the body, then it enters into the rest that remains for the people of God, according to that which he hath spoken.

6. Some things that he hath spoken relate to a day of judgment; and when that day comes, then he will do what he hath spoken to them of. He hath said four times in one chapter, namely, John vi., "That he will raise them up at the last day;" and 1 Thess. iv. 14., "That if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so (upon the same ground and with the same certainty) them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him;" and that "the dead in Christ shall rise first, and meet the Lord in the air; and so shall they ever be with the Lord." He hath said, "That in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trump, the dead shall be raised incorruptible; that this corruptible shall put on incorruption; this mortal shall put on immortality." 1 Cor. xv. 52.) He hath said, "When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also арpear with him in glory." (Col. iii. 4.) He hath said, "that he will change our vile bodies, and fashion them like his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself." (Phil. iii. 21.) He hath said, "that the saints shall enter into the joy of their Lord, and shall judge the world."


What I have said may give some light on the question, When will he do what he hath spoken to his people? will do all that he hath spoken, partly here, and perfectly hereafter. He hath promised eternal life to the believer : "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." This he doth in part here, and to perfection hereafter; and we may appeal to every believer of any standing, if the promise of heaven and glory be not, even in part, allowed him here by a personal possession. He is possessed of heaven, not only,

i. By union to Christ, so as his Head is in heaven, Christ the Forerunner having taken possession, and gone to prepare the place for him, so that he sits with him in heavenly places, but also,

ii. By communion he hath some personal possession, if you consider what heaven is. Is heaven a state of light,

perfect light? The believer hath the begun possession of this, in so far as he hath "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." Is heaven a state of liberty, perfect liberty? The believer hath the begun possession of this, in so far as at any time his bonds are loosed, and the Spirit of God is poured out upon him. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Is heaven a state of love, perfect love? The believer hath the begun possession of this, in so far as the love of God is shed abroad in his heart, by the Holy Ghost; and the love of Christ constraineth him to duty and service. Is heaven a state of perfect holiness? The believer hath the begun possession of this, in so far as he is sanctified in Christ Jesus, and going on to perfection; yea is already perfectly holy in desire. Is heaven a state of perfect joy? The believer hath this also in begun possession, when he is filled with joy and peace in believing; yea, sometimes with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Is heaven a state of triumph and victory? The believer hath the begun possession of this, when he boasts in the Lord, and says, "Thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ." heaven a place of praise and wonder at the grace of God and the glorious perfections of God? The believer hath the begun possession of this also, when sometimes his heart is so filled with the high praises of God, so filled with wonder at his matchless love and distinguishing grace, that he would invite all the world to wonder and praise. Yet, O what a small portion of heaven hath he here, in comparison of what he shall have ! "He shall drink of the river of pleasure for ever." Yet that part he enjoys here, is the earnest of the full possession, and the evidence that he will do all that he hath spoken to them of, concerning grace and glory and every good thing.






Sermon 3.

THE PROMISING GOD, A PERFORMING GOD.* Being Sermon 2 upon this text.

"For I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."-GEN. xxviii. 15.

Having handled the former parts of our subject we come now to the

4th question, which was,

What is the import of this privilege, "I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of?" Why, how can it be said he will not leave them, when yet, after Bethel visits and Bethel promises given them, they may be trysted with such dark nights as I have been speaking of? For clearing this subject, there are these two remarks I would offer :

1. The first remark is, that there are some respects wherein God may be said to leave people; as,


i. When he takes away his word, his candlestick, his dinances, and brings a famine, not of bread and water, but of the word of the Lord. (Amos viii. 11, 12.) This is the worst famine in the world.

ii. When he takes away his Spirit, and commands the clouds to rain no rain. (Isa. v. 6.) This is a fearful leaving; for, though the word and ordinances remain, yet, if the Spirit be away, then the word can do no good, it hath no power to convince or convert, to confirm or comfort.

iii. When he takes away his ear, and doth not regard their prayers; when he doth not suffer them to pray, nor answer their prayer, but shuts them out. (Lam. iii. 8.)

iv. When he takes away his hand, his help and assistance, and leaves persons to themselves, to their own lusts and counsels: "My people would not hearken, Israel would have none of me; therefore I gave them up to their own

The Editor has thrown this discourse into two Sermons, desiring in future to give a complete discourse in each No. No. 3. March.] [Vol. I.

heart's lusts; and they walked after their own counsels." (Ps. lxxxi. 11.) Alas! a sad leaving! But then,

2. The second remark I offer is, that are there some respects wherein God will not leave his people. Either,

i. He will never leave them really, but in appearance. And hence they many times think, and fear he is away, when he is really present: "Verily God was in this place, and I knew it not," says Jacob. Or,

ii. He never leaves them absolutely, but in some respect. He may leave them in respect of the influence of grace, though he doth not leave them as to the presence of grace. He may leave them in respect of comfort; though he allow the influences of grace, yet he may deny the comfort of grace. He may leave them in respect of assistance; though he may allow them the comfort of grace, yet he may deny them that assistance and strength they want, and also the sensible answer of their prayers. Or,


iii. He never leaves them totally, but in some degree. He may leave them to be buffeted by Satan, but will not leave them to be overcome by Satan. And he may leave them to be harrrssed and captivated by strong corruptions, though he doth not leave them to be conquered thereby. Or,

iv. He never leaves them finally, but for some time. He may hide his face for a little moment, but with everlasting kindness will he have mercy on them. (Isa. liv. 7, 8.) He will never leave them so as to forget to do what he hath spoken to them of.

This promise then, "I will never leave thee," it says that something of God is ever with them, and in them. They have in them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. (John iv. 14.) God loves to stay where once he comes: "I will not leave thee." It says, also, that he will not stay away, though he hide himself out of sight, he will not be long away. It says that in whatever respect he may be said to leave them for a while, yet he will return to their joy: "Now you have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." (John xvi. 22.) It says, there are some things God will never deprive them of, never take away from them. He will never take away his love and favour; for he hath loved them with an everlasting love. He will never take away his covenant of peace and of promise from them;

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