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manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the fons " of God.” Nor is this a mere title of ho-' nour: the perfons on whom it is conferred are invested with a full and unalterable right to all those privileges which the title imports ; for, as St Paul reasons, “ If chil<dren, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint “ heirs with Christ.” And can it be suppofed, that the Father of mercies will abandon his own offspring? Do earthly parents care for their children and can he who hath implanted that disposition in their nature, be unconcerned about those whom he hath adopted into his family, and regenerated by his Spirit? Is it poslible that the streams fhould have more sweetness than the fountain whence they flow? No, surely. “ If
men, being evil, know how to give good
gifts to their children, much more will “ the Father of mercies give good things un“ to them that ask him." And is not this a solid ground of confidence and hope? Every believer in Christ may expect all from God, and infinitely more, than
child can expect from the most affectionate and
tender-hearted 'parent upon earth.
But this is not all; for
Our Father in heaven hath in a manner laid
open his heart to us, and told us plainly what we may lawfully ask and hope to obtain. He hath published his good-will in a variety of great and precious promises; promises that extend to all the necessities of his children ; insomuch that, be their condition what it will, they may find some gracious declaration of what God hath
purposed to do; which suits their case with as much precision and exactness, as if their particular distress had been the immediate occasion of it. Or if any calamity should present itself to their imagination, against which no effectual provision appears to have been made, there is one promise upon record, to which the believing soul may at all times retreat, Rom. viii. 28. 66 We know “ that all things work together for good, to " them that love God, to them who are the “ « called according to his purpose.” These are the words of him who is unchangeable, " the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, 66 without
“ 'turning.” Hear what he faith, Il. xlix.
“ Can a woman forget her sucking “ child, that she should not have compaf« fion on the son of her womb ? yea, they
may forget, yet will I not forget thee." And that we may have fuller assurance of this, we are told by the Prophet Malachi, " that a book of remembrance is written " before God, for them that fear the Lord, " and that think upon his name.” Nay, the Scriptures inform us, that there is One in heaven, infinitely dear to the Father, who is not only a faithful Remembrancer, but a powerful Advocate, and unwearied Interceffor, in behalf of all “ who come to God by " him."
And this may be considered as an additional ground of assurance, that believers are the objects of God's peculiar care. " have a great High-Priest, who is passed “ into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, " who constantly appears in the presence of “ God for us.” Thus John beheld him in vision, « standing in the midst of the of 'throne, as a Lamb that had been slain," displaying those wounds which he received,
when “ he bore our fins in his own body
on the tree,” as so many mouths, filled with the most prevailing arguments for mercy
and grace to his redeemed ones, , whom he then did, and still doth, represent. We have a specimen of his intercession recorded by that Apostle in the 17th chapter of his gospel'; where, among other tender and affectionate requests, we find the following remarkable words: “ Now I am no
more in the world, but these are in the « world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, " keep through thine own name those whom 66 thou hast given me:
I pray not that 56 thou shouldst take them out of the world, “ but that thou shouldst keep them from s the evil. -Neither pray I for these alone, « but for them also which shall believe on
me through their word.” In such terms did our Lord recommend his immediate followers, and all his disciples in succeeding generations, to the protection and care of his heavenly Father. And
And may not this beget in us the fullest and most joyful affurance, that God doth, and always will, care for them ?-And still more, when we con
sider, that he who thus intercedes n their behalf, is himself possessed of all power in heaven and in earth, and is constituted Head over all things for the church. “ I am he,” faid he, “ that was dead, and am now alive, “ and behold I live for evermore, and have “ the keys of hell and of death.”
These are some of the evidences which the Scriptures afford us, that God careth for fanctified believers. The relation he bears to them, the promises he hath given them, the constant prevailing intercession of his Son, together with the power committed to him as King of Zion, all concur to secure this important benefit.
But I have further to add, that we have the evidence of facts, as well as of arguments, to establish our faith of the divine care and protection. The facred records bear witness, that God hath been the dwelling-place of his people in all generations, and give us abundant reason to say, with David, “ Our fathers trusted in thee: they “ trusted, and thou didst deliver them, “ They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trụsted in thee, and were not con
“ founded," !