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a crown, a kingdom ! such things are the happy result of these sure mercies of David. Do these mercies bring forth such felicity ? O happy lot, that my soul hath an interest in these sure mercies! but how long shall my soul be kept from the full possession of these mercies? when shall I come and appear before God? how long shall I sojourn in Meshech, and be detained from my Father's plenteous table above ? shall a captive long for his deliverance, and a young heir for his full inheritance ? and shall not my soul long to be with Christ above ? shall my body be so weary, and hath not my soul more cause to be weary of its burden and absence from home? shall creatures groan, and shall not I, much more, to be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God ? * shall the Spirit and the bride say come, and shall not my soul that hears these things, echo, come ? shall he say, himself, I come quickly, and shall I not answer, Amen, even so come Lord Jesus? | Come, Lord, I long to see the end of these wonders of grace; I much desire to enjoy those mercies which eye hath not seen, ear heard, or heart conceived, after another manner than here I am capable. Come, my God, I beseech thee shew me thy face; and because none can see thy face and live, let me die that I may see thy face, and be swallowed up in the ocean of mercy, whither these covenant mercies flow. Dear Lord, either come down to me, or take me up to thee; “ make haste my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart upon the mountains of spices. I
* Rom. viii. 19—23. + Rev. xxii. 17–20. # Song viii. 14.
THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID ARE CALCULATED TO
ENCOURAGE BELIEVERS, AND TO EXCITE THEIR GRATITUDE.
VII. From the subject which has been discussed, encouragement, comfort and refreshment may be derived. Here is an abundant spring opened to revive all the heirs of promise ; but because I want room, and because much of that which hath been already delivered, tends this way, I shall rather improve it, to excite the people of God and heirs of promise to the great and delightful duty of thankfulness.
And here I might enlarge upon the nature, use, comfort and acceptance of the duty of praise in the account of God and men ; but I must wave that, and only insist on some few particulars that concern the nature of these mercies, which may engage us to be thankful, which are these :
1. They are free mercies; they may be had without money or price, saith this prophet—free grace was the fountain, cause, and origin of these; he had mercy because he would have mercy ; nothing moved his bowels of mercy on our part-free grace had no impulsive cause but itself. When you are to purchase these mercies, the price is fallen to just nothing—he gives liberally and upbraids not.* O what cause of thankfulness and admiration!
2. They are costly mercies. This doth not contradict the former—they are costly to Jesus Christ, but free to us; they are purchased with the warmest blood in the veins of the Son of God ; yea, he thought his dearest heart blood well bestowed to purchase these sure mercies; he sees of the travail of his soul and is well satisfied; the fruits of his purchase are the joys of his heart; he thinks these worth all his pains, pain and suffering; God the Father is well pleased and accounts these mercies a valuable fruit of his son's purchaseand shall not we be thankful ?
* Quanti, O homines, profiteremini vos esse empturos, si salus æterna venderetur? ne si Pactolum quidem, qui totus aureo, ut est in fabulis fluit fluento, quis dederit, pro salute justum pretium numeraverit.-Clem. Alex. Adm. ad Gentes.
3. They are extensive mercies, deep, high and broad, they have all the dimensions of greatness, Psalm xxxvi. 5, 6; these mercies can fetch up a drooping, despairing soul out of the grave, yea, out of hell-be the soul sunk as low as sin can depress it in this world, these mercies can recover it, and raise it out of the grave and pit of silence, and save to the uttermost.* O what a long arm of
mercy hath been reached forth unto your troubled hearts in your low estate ! and doth not this deserve thankfulness ?
4. They are designed mercies, purposely designed, aimed and intended to set forth the riches of infinite contrivance of the blessed God, to magnify the riches of his love to sinners. It is true, God intended to set off his power, wisdom, justice and truth, but he hath magnified his mercy above all the rest of his name; it is beyond the greatest of his works, all the attributes of God are set very high, but mercy sits on the chief throne; he declares to angels and saints what he can do for wretched man. O advance free grace.
5. They are dignifying mercies. Such honour have
* Aquæ quo sunt profundiores, eo sunt puriores, quoniam et crassa et terrea materia in profundum depressa est-hinc profunditatem aquarum bibere. Ezek. xxxiv. 18.
all his saints. O what a height doth God raise his covenant children to! he deals bountifully with them; by these covenant mercies was David raised up on high, * and therefore acknowledgeth, that God “regarded him according to the estate of a man of high degree,” 1 Chron. xvii. 17; and truly it is the highest preferment in the world to partake of these sure mercies; we have, therefore, great cause of thankfulness.
6. They are sanctifying mercies. They season all other mercies, and make common mercies to become covenant mercies; yea, they make crosses, mercies ; they perfume the most distressing grief, and are like Moses's tree that sweetened the waters of Marah. If you pour a pail of water on the floor, it seems a little sea, but pour it into the ocean it is swallowed up and seems nothing ; so afflictions out of the covenant are intolerable, but as in covenant love they are inconsiderable, the depth of mercies drowns the depth of miseries—and is not this ground of thankfulness ?
7. They are separating mercies. Hereby are God's children distinguished from all the people that are upon the face of the earth, even in their finding grace in God's sight, and having his presence with them, and making his goodness pass before them. * If there be any discriminating mercies for any of the children of men, as protection, provision, direction; these covenant mercies usher them in, and portion them out to the heirs of promise—and if you partake of them and find them to be good for you, then bless God.
8. They are sealing mercies; they signify, exhibit, and represent God's love to the soul. Wherever these mercies are laid up in the breast of a sinner, he is the Jedidiah, or beloved of God—they testify such a person's relation to God, and God's affection for him ; * 2 Sam. xxiii. 1.
+ Exod. xxxii. 16-19. VOL. II.
wicked men are strangers to covenant love. God's people are the proper subjects of these endeared thoughts of his heart—and are you of that number? O give God the glory of this mercy.
9. They are comprehensive mercies—they are exceeding capacious, and embrace all the heirs of promise, not a gracious soul, though ever so poor, is left out, yea, they reach every Christian's state, case, exigency, and necessity. Let doubts be what they may, let fears, falls, faults be sad, and soul overwhelming, yet these sure mercies will answer all; they are commensurate and proportioned to all conditions of soul, body, estate, or relation. O bless God for them.
10. They are diversified mercies; they have respect to all the good that God promiseth, or a soul needeth, peace and pardon, grace and glory, holiness and happiness, all our fresh springs are herein, the good things of this life and of a better : many are the precious things put forth by the sun of righteousness in a covenant way. O what cause have we to bless God and admire free grace, that hath not only given us the spiritual good things of his kingdom-righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, but temporal good things by a sure and pleasing tenure; so that these sure mercies of the covenant ensure unto us the temporal things that are good for us; and also after another and better manner than any uncovenanted persons, though ever so great, can enjoy them ; for, in a covenant way, believers do enjoy common mercies,
(1.) More refinedly, taken off the dregs of cares and sorrows, Prov. x. 22; a saint's bread, though never so coarse, is of the finest of the wheat, and he is satisfied with honey out of the rock ; * yea, they come
(2.) More substantially: other comforts are but seeming comforts ; as man walketh in a vain show, so what
* Psalm lxxxi. 16.