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hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job xxiii. 10.) He forsaketh us not in sickness or in death. “ Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him ; for he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust : as for man his days are as grass ; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth: for the wind passeth over it, and it is not, and the place thereof, shall know it no more: but the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to them that fear him." If the ox should not know his owner, nor the ass his master's crib, the own. ER will know his own and seek them. That we understand and know the Lord, is matter of greater joy and glorying, than all other wisdom or riches in the world. (Jer. ix. 24.) But that he knoweth us in life and death, on earth and in heaven, is the top of our rejoicing. “ The Lord is good ; and our strength in the day of trouble ; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nah. i. 7.) Sickness may so change my flesh that even my neighbours shall not know me; and death will make the change so great, that even my friends will be unwilling to see so unpleasing, and loathsome a spectacle : but while I am carried by them to the place of darkness, that I may not be an annoyance to the living, I shall be there in the sight of God, and my bones and dust shall be owned by him, and none of them shall be forgotten or lost.

7. It may be that under the temptations of Satan, or in the languishing weakness or distempers of my flesh, I may doubt of the love of God, and think that he hath withdrawn his mercy from me; or at least may be unmeet to taste the

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sweetness of his love, or to meditate on his truth and mercies : but God will not lose his knowledge nor turn away his mercy from me. foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his ; and let him that nameth the name of Christ de. part from iniquity.” (2 Tim. ii. 19.) He can call me his child, when I doubt whether I can call bim Father: he doubteth not of his right to me, nor of his graces in me, when I doubt of my sincerity in him. " Known unto God are all his works.” (Acts xv. 18.) What meaneth Paul thus to describe a state of grace. (Gal. iv. 9.) “ Now after ye have known God, or rather are known of God ?” but to notify to us, that though our knowledge of God be his grace in us, and our evidence of his love and the beginning of life eternal, (John xvii. 3,) yet that we are loved and known of him is the first and last, the foundation and the perfection of our security and felicity. He knoweth his sheep, and none shall take them out of his hand. When I cannot through pain distemper remember him, or not with renewed joy or pleasure, he will remember me and delight to do me good, and to be my salvation.

8. And though the belief of the unseen world be the principle by which I conquer this, yet are my conceptions of it lamentably dark : a soul in flesh, which acteth as the form of a body, is not furnished with such images, helps or light, by which it can have clear conceptions of the state and operations of separated souls : but I am known of God, when my knowledge of him is dark and small : and he knoweth whither he will take me, and what my state and work shall be! He that is preparing a place for me with himself, is well acquainted with it and me; all souls are his, and therefore all are known to him: He that is now the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as being living with him while they are dead to us, will receive my departing soul to them, and to himself, to be with Christ, which he hath instructed me to commend into his hands, and to desire him to receive.—He that is now making us living stones for the New Jerusalem, and his heavenly Tem. ple, doth know where every one of us shall be placed : And his knowledge must now be my satisfaction and my peace. Let unbelievers say, 6. How doth God know?(Psal. Lxxiii. 11.) But shall I doubt whether he that made the


be Father of Lights, and whether he know his dwelling, and his continued works ? Be still, O my soul, and know that he is God, (Psal. xl. 10,) and when he hath guided thee by his counsel, he will take the glory; and in his light thou shalt have light : and though now it appear not, to sight, but to faith only, what we shall be, yet we know that we shall see him as he is, and we shall appear with him in glory.

And to be KNOWN of God, undoubtedly includeth his PRACTICAL LOVE, which secureth our salvation and all that tendeth thereunto. It is not meant of such a knowledge only as he hath of all things, or of such as he hath of the ungodly. Why then should it be hard to thee, O my soul, to be persuaded of the love of God?

Is it strange that he should love thee who is Essential Infinite Love, any more than the sun should shine upon thee, which shineth upon all capable, recipients though not upon the incapable, which through interposing objects cannot receive it? To believe that Satan or wicked men, or deadly enemies should love me, is hard : but to believe that the God of Love doth love me, should in reason be much easier than to believe that my father or mother, or dearest friend in the world, doth love me: if I do not make and continue myself incapable of his complacence by my wilful continued refusing of his grace, it is not possible that I should be deprived of it. (Prov. viii. 17.) “I love them that love me. (Psal. cxlvi. 8.) “The Lord loveth the righteous.” John xvi. 27.)

2. Why should it be hard to thee to believe that He loveth thee, who doth good so universally to the world, and by his love doth preserve the whole creation, and give all creatures all the good which they possess ? When “his mercy is over all his works,” and his goodness is equal to his wisdom and his power, and all the world is beautified by it, shall I not easily believe that it will extend to me? “The Lord is good to all." (Psal. cxlv. 9; Luke xviii. 19.) None is good (essentially, absolutely and transcendently,) but he alone. “ The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” (Psal. xxxiii. 5.) - The goodness of God endureth continually." Psal. lii. 1.) “He is good and doth good.” (Psal. cxix. 68.) And shall I not expect good from so good a God, the cause of all the good that is in the world? 3. Why should I not believe that He will love

who so far loved the world, yea, his enemies,


as to give his only begotten Son, “ That whoso. ever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John iii. 16.) Having given me so precious a gist as his Son, will he think anything too good to give me? (Rom. viii. 32.) Yea, still he followeth his enemies with his mercies, not leaving himself without witness to them ; but filling their hearts with food and gladness, and causing his sun to shine on them, and his rain to fall on them, and by his goodness leading them to repentance.

4. Why should I not easily believe his love, which he hath sealed by that certain gift of love, the Spirit of Christ, which he hath given ? “The giving of the Holy Ghost is the shedding abroad of his love upon the heart.” (Rom. 5.) I had never known, desired, loved, nor served him sincerely, but by that Spirit : and will he deny his name, his mark, bis seal, his pledge, and earnest of eternal life ? Could I ever have truly loved him, his word, his ways and servants, but by the reflection of his love? Shall I question whether he loves those whom he caused to love him ? When our love is the surest gift and token of his love; shall I think that I can love him more than he loveth me; or be more willing to serve him than he is willing and ready to reward his servants ? (Heb. xi. 6; 1 John iii. 24 ; iv. 13.)

5. Shall I not easily hope for good from Him, who hath made such a covenant of grace with me in Christ? Who giveth me what his Son hath purchased, who accepteth me in his most beloved, as a member of his Son ? Who hath bid me ask, and I shall have ? And hath made

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