Page images

the Lord's, they would see themselves obliged to employ for God whatever they are or have.

5. It will be a preparative for the hardest piece of service God may put into your hand. He puts into the hands of all, the cutting off of right-hand lusts, and plucking out of right-eye fins. If this impression wear off men's spirits, they will then stand and dispute the divine orders; they will debate with God, as if they had not already made the bargain; they will preserve these, as if in their covenant they had been expressly excepted. But, • I am the Lord's,' would put an end to the difpute, and learn us to obey without quarreling, knowing we are in nothing masters of ourselves. Thus it did with Abraham, Gen. xxii. Heb. xi. 17: By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Ifaac, and he that received the promises offered up his only-begotten fon.” You know not what hard piece of work for God may be put into your hand, but O think ye are the Lord's wholly, and therefore are to obey without reserve. You have put a blank into the Lord's hand, saying with Paul, Acts, ix. 6. « Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” Whatever, then, he fills up must be welcome; and will be fo, if you look on yourselves as no more your own, but as the Lord's.

6. It will reconcile you to your lot in private trials : Psal. xlvii. 4. " He shall chuse our inherite ance for us." It may be, God takes from you the comfort you expected in your relations, he takes away your health, your substance, in a greater or less degree, your credit and reputation, in regard they are laid under reproach. But the man who can solidly say, "I am the Lord's,' sits down resigned under all these, reasoning thus with him. self, · My comforts, my health, my wealth, and reputation, are all the Lord's, he may do witli them as he will. I have put them all in his hands, to give or with-hold as he sees good. I am the Lord's, let him do with me as to him it seems good.'

them belide

7. It will determine you to the right side in public or private trials. When the Lord says, is Who is on my fide ?” while many are drawn away to side with sin and Satan, this will determine you to take part with Christ, his people, and cause.' When a generation is associating together against God, it is good for a person to think with himself, that he is already disposed of to the Lord, while those who are not looking on themselves as the Lord's, are ready to fall in with the multitude going the wrong way:

Lafly, It will help you to suffer for Christ, This was what bore up Paul's heart, when he was a prisoner in that ship which was ready to be swala lowed up in the waves. If you be the Lord's, your substance, your liberty, your life, are all the Lord's, and at his disposal. And the consideration of God's interest in them will help you to lay them down at his feet.-We shall now consider,

Secondly, This in respect of consolation.. Your looking on yourselves as the Lord's will be of notable use for your consolation. He who can, on solid ground, say, I am the Lord's,' has thus a storehouse of comfort, more than if all the world was his. He who can say this, can express a great deal more than he who can say, A kingdom, a crown, an empire, are mine. Three marks of persons who can avow thus much shall be offered.

1. He who can say, My heart is the Lord's ; he has the chief room in my affections above all persons and all things, may fay, I am the Lord's :' Pfal. Ixxiii. 25. “ Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire

beside thee." 1 Pet. ii. 7. “ Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” Hast thou seen a glory in him, which has fo darkened all created excellency, that he reigns in thy affections ? Thy heart is his captive; so that he is dearer to thee, than what is dearest in the world. Say then, I am his, for he has thine heart.

2. He who can say, "My life is his,' so that thou makest it thy habitual endeavours, to live to him, not to thyself, not to thy lusts, Phil. i. 21. “ For to me to live is Christ;" is it the great design thou hast in the world, to please him, to walk before him, unto all well pleasing in heart, lip, and life? and what is displeasing to him, is displeafing, and a burden to thee, whether it be in thyself or others : Say, "I am his,' for thy life is his.

3. He who can say, My all is his,' art thou content rather to part with the whole of what is dear to thee, than to part with him and his way? and art thou resolved honestly to lay thy all down at his feet, to be disposed of in what way he orders ? Say, then, I am his,' for thy all is his, Luke, xiv. 26.

Thus, you see who they are who may say, as Paul did, God, whose I am." And he who can say this, he may, in consequence of it, speak these lix comfortable words.

1. He may fay, God is mine : Song, ii. 16. « My beloved is mine, and I am his ; " for the covenant-relation is mutual : « The Father is my Father, the Son is my Saviour, the Holy Ghost is my Sanctifier.' Nay, thou mayest run over all the attributes of God, and call them thine ; thou mayest say, “His power is mine to defend me, his wisdom to guide me, his mercy, grace, and love, all are mine. Even as a wife, in her right

[ocr errors]

to her huiband, may call every thing which is his, her own.“

-He may fay, 2. All the promises and benefits of the covenant are mine : 2 Pet. i. 14. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the pollution that is in the world through luft." In that day in which the foul gives itself to Christ, Chrift gives himfelf to that soul; and with him they have all the promises and benefits of the covenant, as of the marriage-contract; fo that the foul may fay, Peace with God is mine ; pardon, and every blessing, are mine.' They may read Christ's Teftament, and of all the precious promises in it, may say, They are mine : 2 Cor. i. 20. “ For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us." They may fay,

3. I thall get fafe through the world to the other side: John, xvii. 12. “ While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled." Satan and the world may get back their own, though they have been pretending to leave them ; but they never can get back so much as one of those who are truly the Lord's. The bond of the covenant, favingly entered into, is a sure bond, it will keep them who cannot keep it. They may fay,

4. - I shall be cared and provided for in all cases and conditions. Surely God will care for his own, come of others what will. He will provide for those of his own house. He who feeds his birds, will not starve his babes : “ Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the fea; though the waves thereVOL. II.



of roar, and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof: There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High,” Pfal. xlvi.— They may say,

5. "All I meet with in the world shall turn to my good : Rom. viii. 28. “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Art thou his? Then every thing shall be for thy advantage in the end. The stones of affliction thrown at thee shall be as precious stones, and all the paths of God fhall drop down fatness. - They may say,

Laftly, All is mine :' 1 Cor. iil. 21. 22. 23. « For all things are yours ; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." ' For, having a right to Christ, they have a right to all things with and through him.

IV. I AM now to make some improvement. From what has been observed, we may learn, 1: How foolish those are who cannot be

persuaded to give themselves away to the Lord in his covenant. They neglect their great duty, they are blind to their great interest. Think on this, you who will be your own, and fay, « Who is Lord over us?” You will have your own will to be your law, and will not be the Lord's. It is but a poor affair, even though thou couldst say, " All the world is mine,' for God will say of you, " I never knew you.”. He will disown you at death, at judgement, and through eternity.Learn, 2. That it is the duty of those who lay hold on


« PreviousContinue »