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many nations, and shalt not borrow.' And in Psal. i. 3. He ← shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, - and whatsoever he doth shall prosper.'
6thly, There are promises of an intail of blessings on our families, in Psal. cxxviii. 3. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine, by the sides of thine house; thy children like oliveplants round about thy table.' And, in Psal. ciii. 17. The < mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him; and his righteousness unto children's < children.' And, in Psal. cii. 28. The children of thy ⚫ servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established be<fore thee.' And, in Psal. xlv. 16. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.'
I might have mentioned many more promises of outward blessings, which God will bestow on his people, though with this limitation, so far as it may be for his glory, and their real good, viz. such as respect riches, as in Psal. cxii. 3. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness en• dureth for ever;' or honours, as in 1 Sam. ii. 30. and these accompanied with long life; as, in Prov. iii. 17. 'Length
of days are in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.' And, in Psal. xxxiv. 12, 13. What man is 'he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see "good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speak
ing guile;' or, if God does not think fit to give them this, he will take them out of the world in mercy, and gather them into a better, to prevent their seeing the evil he designs to bring on the inhabitants thereof, Isa. lvii. 1. The righteous is taken away from the evil to come.' He has also promised some blessings that respect their good name, in Zeph. iii. 20. I 'will make you a name and a praise among all people of 'the earth.' And in Prov. x. 7. The memory of the just is blessed.' But that which I shall principally add concerning these and such-like outward blessings, is, that God has not only promised, that he will give them to his people, but that he will sanctify them to them for their spiritual advantage, and enable them to improve them aright to his glory, which will render them more sweet and desirable to them. Thus God has promised,
1st, That he will free his people, who enjoy outward good things, from the sorrow which is oftentimes mixed therewith, and tends greatly to imbitter them, in Prov. x. 22.
blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow 'with it. He has also promised to give them inward peace, together with outward prosperity, in Psal. xxxvii. 11.
'meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in ⚫ the abundance of peace.'
2dly, He has promised to give them spiritual and heavenly blessings, together with the good things of this life, in Job xxii. 24-26. Thou shalt lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir ' as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver: For then shalt 'thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy 'face unto God.' And in Psal. xxiii. 5, 6. Thou preparest 'a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest mine head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will, or, I shall, dwell in the house of the Lord for 'ever.'
3dly, God has promised together with outward blessings, to give a thankful heart, whereby his people may be enabled to give him the glory thereof, in Deut. viii. 10. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God, for the good land which he hath given thee.' And, in Joel ii. 26. Ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously 'with you; and my people shall never be ashamed.'
4thly, He has not only promised that he will confer outward good things on his people, but that he will make them blessings to others, and thereby enable them to lay out what he gives them for their good, to support his cause and gospel in the world; and to relieve those that are in distress, in Gen. xii. 2. I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou 'shalt be a blessing.' And, in Deut. xxvi. 11. Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee and unto thine house, thou and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.' These promises more especially respect those who are in a prosperous condition in the world.
But there are others which are made to believers, in an afflicted state; and, indeed, there is scarce any affliction which they are liable to, but what has some special promises annexed to it. Accordingly,
(1.) There are promises made to them when lying on a sick bed, in Psal. xli. 5. The Lord will strengthen him upon the ' bed of languishing; thou wilt make all his bed in his sick'ness.' And, in Deut. vii. 15. The Lord will take from thee 'all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt '(which thou knowest) upon thee; but will lay them upon all 'that hate thee.' And, in Exod. xxiii. 25.' I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.'
(2.) There are other promises made to believers, when poor
and low in this world, in Psal. cxxxii. 15. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.'
(3.) There are other promises that respect God's giving a full compensation for all the losses which his people have sustained for Christ's sake, in Matt. xix. 29. Every one that <hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or 'mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, 'shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit life everlast ́ing.' And, in chap. x. 39. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my name's sake shall ' find it.'
(4.) There are other promises made to believers under oppression, in Psal. xii. 5. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise (saith the Lord) "I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.' And in Hos. xiv. 3. In thee the fatherless findeth mercy.' And, in Psal. Ixviii. 5. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the 'widows, is God in his holy habitation.'
(5.) There are other promises made to believers, when reviled and persecuted for righteousness' sake, Matt. v. 11, 12, 'Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, C and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your ' reward in heaven.' And, in 1 Pet. iv. 19. Wherefore 'let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful • Creator.'
(6.) There are promises made to God's people, when they are in distress, and, at present, see no way of escape: Thus when Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the prison, he had this promise given him, in Jer. xxxiii. 3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, ( which thou knowest not.'
(7.) God has made promises suited to the condition of his people, when their lot is cast in perilous times: Thus it is said, in Isa. xliii. 2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Now there are several mercies which God has promised to his people, under the various afflictions which we are exposed
(1st) Sometimes he promises to prevent the afflictions which we are most afraid of, in Psal. cxxi. 7. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evils; he shall preserve thy soul.' And, in Job v. 19. He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven 'there shall no evil touch thee.'
(2d) He has promised to preserve his people from, or de fend them in, a time of trouble, in Gen. xv. 1. Fear not Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.' And, in Ezek. xi. 16. Thus saith the Lord; although I have cast them far off among the heathen; and although I have scattered 'them among the countries, yet will I be to them a little sanc'tuary in the countries where they shall come.'
(3d) He has promised to moderate their afflictions, in Isa. xxvii. 8. In measure when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it; he stayeth his rough wind in the day of his east 'wind.' And, in Jer. xlvi. 28. Fear thou not, O Jacob, my
servant, saith the Lord, for I am with thee, for I will make a 'full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee, but I ' will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; ' yet I will not leave thee wholly unpunished.'
(4th,) He has also promised, that if need be, he will shorten the affliction, in Psal. cxxv. 3. The rod of the wicked shall 'not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put 'forth their hands unto iniquity.' And, in Mark xiii. 19, 20.
In those days shall be affliction such as was not from the be❝ginning of the creation : And except that the Lord had short'ened those days, no flesh could be saved; but for the elect's 'sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
(5th,) God has also promised his people that he will enable them to bear those afflictions which he lays upon them, in Psal. xxxvii. 24. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; ' for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.' And, in 2 Cor. xii. 9. He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'
(6th.) He has promised to shew his people the particular sin that is the cause of the affliction, that they may be humbled for it, in Job xxxvi. 8, 9. If they be bound in fetters, and 'be holden in cords of affliction; then he sheweth them their work and their transgressions that they have exceeded.'
(7th.) He has promised to bring good to them out of their afflictions, in Isa. xxvii. 9. By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin. And in Psal. xcvii. 11. light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. And in Zech. xiii. 9. I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, that it is my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.' Thus concerning the promises that more especially respect outward blessings which God bestows on his people.
[2.] There are other promises contained in scripture, that
relate more especially to spiritual blessings, which are of great use to us, when we are asking them of God in prayer.
1st, There are promises that relate more especially to the ordinances or means of grace: These are various,
1. Some respect the duty of prayer, and also the event and success that shall attend it, in God's giving gracious returns, or answers thereof, in Psal. xci. 15. He shall call upon me, ⚫ and I will answer him.' And in Jer. xxix. 12, 13. Then • shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and "I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, < when ye shall search for me with all your heart.' And, in Psal. l. 15. Call upon me, in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.'
2 Another ordinance to which promises are also annexed, is meditation about spiritual things, in Prov. xiv. 22. ' Mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.'. And, in Josh. i. 8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou • shalt have good success.' There are also promises made to those who read the word of God, to wit, that he will make known his words to them, so that they may understand them, Prov. i. 23. Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.'
3. There are promises made to those who attend on the public worship of God, in Psal. xxxvi. 8, 9. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou 'shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.' And, in Psal. cxxviii. 5. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion; ⚫ and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy • life.'
4. There are promises made to religious fasting on special occasions, as in Mat. vi. 17. When thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.'
5. There are promises made to alms-giving, in Prov. xi. 25. 'The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall 'be watered also himself.' And, in Eccl. xi. 1.' Cast thy bread ⚫ upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.'And in 2 Cor. ix. 6, 7, 8. He which soweth bountifully shall
also reap bountifully: God loveth a cheerful giver, and is ' able to make all grace abound, &c.'
6. There are promises made to believers, when they appear in the behalf of truth, at those times when it is opposed and