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them from trouble, temptations, and afflictions : he remembers all their works of love, and will reward them.' O Lord, think upon me : member me also, O my God ; and spare me,
according to the greatness of thy mercy. ReB member me, O my God, for good !.“ Remem
ber me, o Jehovah, with the favor that thou bearest unto thy people : 0 visit me with thy salvation. That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation : that I may glory with thine inheritance :" Plalm cvi. 4, 5.
As the choicest thoughts of men are express. ed by words, and by writing, so our God has been pleased to express many thousands of his thoughts in that sacred book which we call the Bible. There we may read the precious tho’ts of our kind Creator, beneficent Preserver,bountiful Benefactor, and loving Redeemer, upon a great variety of subjects, which are of the ut. most importance to us that can be conceived. There he has revealed his thoughts of love,grace and mercy towards us. He has there told us what he has done in times past, and what he will do in time to come; what he thinks fit for us to do, and what he intends to do with and for us. O how precious are the thoughts of God, which he hath revealed, and caused to be written for our perusal & instruction ! But I can only give brief hints.
4. The thoughts of God are very deep: “O Jehovah, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep ;" Psalm xcii. 5. The beart of man is deep; and how much more so
the thoughts of God! Who can understand the amazing depth of his own inward thoughts ?how much less the infinite profundity of the thoughts of God! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !” Rom. xi, 33.
We can sooner measure the depth of the sea, or dip out the waters of the ocean, than sound the depth of the thoughts of Jehovah.
5. The thoughts of God are as high as they are deep : “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts ; neither are your ways my ways,saith Febovab: For as the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts :! Isaiah lv. 8, 9.
How infinitely deep and high are the thoughts of God! We may say of them as the Scripture says of him ;
“ Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty un. to perfection ? It is, (er, he is) as high as heaven ; what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, & broader than the sea :" Job xi. 7, 8, 9.
Some men limit God's wisdom, others limit his power, and many limit his love and goodness ; but this limitation proves,
6. That they are ignorant of the thoughts of God. “ But they know not the thoughts of Fehovah, neither understand they his counsel;" Micah iv, 12. “For who hath known the - uind of the Lord; or who hath been his coun
sellor? Who hath directed the spirit of Jehovab'; or, being his counsellor,hath taught him ? With whom took he counsel, and who instruct ed him, and taught him in the path of judge: ment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding ?” Rom. xi. 34. Isaiah xl. 13, 14. . As men are incapable of teaching God knowledge, so also of knowing the thoughts of God, unles he is pleased to reveal them. We cannot pretend, with the least degret of certainty, to know the thoughts of men, which lie concealed within them; much less can we know the thoughts and counsels of the infinite Supreme, any farther than he manifests them by his works and word. “But God hath reveal. ed them unto us by his Spirit ; for the Spirit searcheth all things : yea, the deep things of God. For what ınan knoweth the things of a mari, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God :" 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. But God knoweth his thoughts towards us,'and he hath declared them to be,
7. Thoughts of peace : “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith Jchovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end :” Jer. xxix. 11.
It is well that God has good will towards his creatures, and that his thoughts are thoughts of peace, & not of evil; and these gracious peace. ful thoughts are revealed in the promises of peace and truth, wherewith the Holy Scriptures abound,
8. God 'will perform his thoughts : “ The anger of Jehovah shall not return, till he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart : in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly ;" Jer. xxiii. 20. XXX. 24.
How many devices soever are in the hearts: of men, the counsel of the Lord shall stand; he will perform his pleasure ; his will shall be done. “ The fierce anger of Jebavah shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart." How vain will all the rage of Jehovab's enemies be, to prevent the accomplishments of his thoughts and designs! What God purposeth he will fulfil. This hath often been matter of great satis. faction to me, especially in matters where Christians disagree, respecting prophecy, or future events : thus have I thought and said, All our disputings will neither help nor binder : what God bath determined, shall be, let who will contradict or oppose ! W bat his goodness desires, & bis wisdom designs, his power shall perform.
My rule for interpreting prophecy, is to take it in the plainest sense that it is capable of being understood in, consistent with the ideas that we ought to have of the Great Supreme.
As those that have been hitherto fulfilled, have been fulfilled literally, and very exactly ; I therefore take it for granted, that the remainder shall be accomplished in the same manner, as far as the nature of things will allow. Certain I am, that God hath power to perform his boughts, and most certainly he will fulfil his
wurds. The prophecies which the prophets have delivered, appear to me in their most obvious sense, to be worthy of a God to promise and to perform.
Doubtless their accomplishment shall completely answer predictions, and be as plain to the eye, as the prophetic descriptions are to the ear. Nevertheless, a latitude must be allowed to some prophecies, whose accomplishment may be slow and progressive, and inay be said at first to be partially fulfilled, afterwards more fully, but finally, they must all be completely and perfectly fulfilled.
And who can tell what thoughts God hath concerning us, our land, nation, &c. ? What great designs he may perform this year, no mortal alive can tell. Perhaps he may think proper to call us out of the world, or exercise us with great troubles and amictions in the world : but if we love God, all things shall work for our good. If we trust in him, we shall have nothing to fear from any event that can take place.
“ Trials may press, of ev'ry sort ;
“ The greatest glories God can shew.” Since God's thoughts are so towards us, let us always delight to think of him. Let God be in all our thoughts ; then we may each say with David; " In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul ;": Psalm xciv, 19.