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der-seed, yet suited every taste; as milk unto babes, and strong meat to grown persons. Whether this supposition be founded on fact or not, the observation will hold good in a great measure respecting the sayings of David; for if we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, if God has been pleased to take away the veil from our hearts, we shall find, by happy experience, that let our circumstànces be what they will, the book of Psalms may serve as a spiritual magazine, out of which we may draw spiritual weapons in the time of the hottest fight, especially those that are under trouble, when the hand of the Lord is gone seemingly forth against them; when unbelief is apt to make them say, all these things are against me! if we can have the presence of mind to turn to the book of Psalms, we may find something there suitable to our case, a word to refresh us in pursuing our spiritual enemy. This is true of the 46th Psalm in particular, part of which I have just now read to you, and which I pray the blessed Spirit of God to apply to every one of our hearts. It is uncertain at what time, or upon what occasion, David wrote it ; probably under some sharp affliction, which made him eloquent; or when the affliction was over, when his heart was swimming with gratitude and love, and when out of the fulness of it his pen was made the pen of a ready writer. It was a favorite Psalm with Luther; for whenever Melancthon, who was of a melancholy turn, or any other of his friends, told him some sad news, he used to say, come, come, let us sing the 46th Psalm ; and when he had sung that, his heart was quiet. May every true mourner here, and afflicted person, experience the same! I know not when I read it which to admire most, the pie

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ty, or the poetry ; the matter, or the manner; and I believe I may venture to defy all the critics on earth to show me any composition of Pindar, or Horace, that any way comes up to the diction of this Psalm considered only as human: he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Stop here, my friends, let us pause a while, and before we go further, may the Lord help us to draw some comfort from this very first verse : for observe, it is not said, God is my refuge; David says so in another Psalm, but he says here, God is our refuge: he speaks in the plural number, implying that this Psalm was of no private interpretation, but was intended for the comfort and encouragement of all believers, till time shall be

Observe the climax, God is our refuge, is one degree; God is our strength, another; God is our help, and not only so, but is a present help, yea, a very present help, and at a time when we want it most, in the time of trouble. It is here supposed, that all God's people will have their troubles, man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward ; and if we are born to trouble as men, we are much more so as christians. We forget ourselves, and the station in which God has placed us, when we so much as begin to dream of haying much respite from trouble while we are here below. The decree is gone forth like the laws of the Medes and Persians, it alters not ; through tribulation, through much tribulation, we must all go; but blessed be God, we are to be carried through it; and blessed be God, glory is to be the end of it: may God give us to know this by happy experience! In the world, says our blessed Lord, ye shall have tribulation; tribulation

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and trouble of different kinds : and in another place, if any man will come after me, says he, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me ; so that the day when we take up no cross, we may say as Titus did, when he reflected that he had done no good that day, I have lost a day! But then what shall we do, my dear hearers, when trouble comes, when one trouble comes after another, and afflictions seem to pursue us wherever we go, seem to arise up out of the ground, meet us as we are walking along? Why, blessed be God, if we have an interest in Christ, mind that, if we have an interest in Christ, God is our help, God is our asylum, our city of refuge, a place appointed by God himself, to which the pursued saints may fly by faith, and be safe. The wicked have no notion of this; when they are in trouble, what is their refuge ? Let a soul be under spiritual trouble, and cry out, what shall I do to be saved ? let him go to a carnal minister, an unconverted wretch that knows nothing about the matter, he shall be told, oh! go and play an innocent game at cards, and divert yourself; that is to say, the devil must be your refuge. Worldly people have worldly refuges s and Cain would seem as if he was in earnest when he said, my punishment is greater than I can bear : what does he do? he

and diverts himself by building a city, goes and amuses himself by building. The devil, my brethren, will give you leave to amuse yourselves; you may have your choice of diversions, only take care to be diverted from God, and the devil is sure of you; but the believer has something better : faith sweeps away the refuge of lies, and the believer turns to his God, and says, O my God, thou shalt be my refuge. The devil pursues me, my false



friends have designs against me, my own wicked heart itself molests me, my foes are those of my own house ; but do thou, O God, be my refuge, I will fly there ; by these it may be said, God is our refuge. The question is, what shall I do to make him my refuge? how shall I be helped to do so? you bid me fly; you say, I must fly there, but where shall I get wings? how shall I be supported ? Here is a blessed word, God shall not on-ly be our refuge, but God shall be our strength al

Strength, what is strength? why, my brethren, to make every day of trouble so easy to us by his power, as to carry us through it; God has said, and will stand to it, as thy day is, so shall thy strength be. Afflictions even at a distance will appear very formidable, when viewed by unbelief. Our fears say, O my God, if I come to be tried this or that way, how shall I bear it? but we don't know what we can bear till the trial comes, and we do not know what strength God can give us, or what a strong God he will be, till he is pleased to put us into a furnace of affliction; and therefore it is said, not only that God is out" refuge and our strength, but that God is our help also. What help? why, my dear friends, help to support us under the trouble ; help so as to comfort us as long as the trouble lasts; and blessed be God, that the help will never leave us, till we are helped quite over and quite through it. But what kind of a help is it? O blessed be God, he is a very present help. We may have a helper, but he may be afar off ; I may be sick, I may want a physician, and may be obliged to send miles for one ; he might be a help if he was here, but what shall I do now he is at a distance. This cannot be said of God, he is not only a help, but:

he is a present help: the gates of the New Jeru. salem are open night and day. We need not be afraid to cry unto God; we cannot say of our God as Elijah does of Baal, perhaps he is asleep, or talking, or gone a journey : it is not so with our God, he is a present help; he is likewise a sufficient help, that is, a very present help; and that too in the time of trouble. It is but to send a short letter, I mean a short prayer, upon the wings of faith and love, and God, my brethren, will come down and help us. Now to this David affixes his probatum est, David proves it by his own experience, and therefore if God is our refuge, therefore if God is our strength, if God is our help, if God is a present help, if God is a very present help, and that too in a time of troudle, what then? therefore will we not fear.-Therefore, is an inference, and it is a very natural one, a conclusion naturally drawn from the foregoing premises ; for Paul says, if God be for us, who eun be against us? There is not a greater enemy to faith, than servile fear and unbelief. My brethren, the devil has

got an advantage over us when he has brought us into a state of fear ; indeed in one sense we should always fear, I mean with a filial fear ; blessed is the man, in this sense, that feareth always : but, my brethren, have we strong faith in a God of refuge? this forbids us to fear says Nehemiah, shall such a man as I flee? and the Christian may say, shall a believer in Jesus Christ fear? shall I fear that my God will leave me? shall I fear that my God will not succour me ? no, says David, we will not fear; how so? why though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the

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