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rise and rage:
worldly or spiritual; Immanuel is our best, ous, only never-failing refuge.
4. In point of duration.
He is a covert, not from the present storm only, but from every future storm that may He can not only shelter us just now, but, in case of any return of danger and distress,
“ His power and grace are still the same:
And let his name have endless praise.” Here then, as in every thing else, he hath the preeminence. Creature dependencies are soon exp hausted: they may relieve us once or twice, or oftener; and so engage our confidence; but they all prove lying vanities at last. Physicians, for instance, are successful in preserving our lives in repeated fevers; but they cannot always cure us: the disorder will one day or other come, which medicine cannot reach. Friends may relieve us in repeated straits ; but they cannol, or they will not, always relieve us. So that, I say, sooner or later, earthly dependencies will all of them appear to be refuges of lies.
1 But Jesus Christ is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." We know how kind and compassionate he was formerly : “ In all their affliction hệ was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isai. Ixiii. 9.) And“ his mercy en-, dureth for ever.” He is as tender-hearted., and, strong as ever. Those that fly, to him to-day, shall find him as willing and able to protect and them, as they found him to be who applied to him a thousand years, ago; for. he is Alpha, andes. Omega ; the beginning and the end, the first and
the last; which is, and which was, and which is to come: the Almighty.”.
."...“ Trust ye therefore in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” " He will deliver in six troubles; yea, in seven." He is the us Rock of ages ;' not only of former ages, but of ages long to come.
yet this we are very apt to do. If the sun shine for two or three days together, we think it will never rain more. If things go on smoothly and prosperously for a little while, we hastily conclude that our mountain stands strong, and can never be moved. Those especially who are just setting out in the world, are ready to promise themselves a great deal of pleasure; but if you live any time in it, you may depend upon it that a shaking time will come : the Lord may shake your bodies over the grave, and your souls over hell, and your possessions and comforts over the depth of distress and sorrow. What I therefore would recommend, is, that you think of this before-hand; think what the lot of God's servants hath been formerly ;--think what many eminent saints and dear children :: of God are at this very time suffering; what storms they are called to go through ; what lifting up and casting down ; sometimes in affluence, and then in straits ; sometimes walking in the light of God's countenance, and then in the valley of the shadow of death ;---think of those remarkable , words ; * For whom the Lord loveth be chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth: -ifye endure'chastening, God dealeth with you ás with
sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? but if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Heb. xii. 6.)---I say, think of approaching storms ; not indeed so as to hinder your thankfulness for present mercies, or so as to unfit you for present duty : but reckon upon days of darkness and distress so as to prevent sloth and security, and to quicken you in the way and work of the Lord.
2. Let us be thankful to God for providing such a Hiding-place for us.
I am now speaking, principally, to those who have in some measure experienced what a blessed refuge Christ is, in the several storms above mentioned. You, that have been pierced with deep convictions, and have been ready to sink under the tormenting load of guilt and wrath, and by applying to Jesus have found rest to your souls ;---you, that in your conflicts with Satan have found, that, when you went forth in the name and strength of Jesus, you were more than conquerors ;---and you, that have been often, and long, in the burning fiery furnace, and yet have not merely escaped injury, but have always come out considerable gainers by the trials :--) call upon you to bless God for Jesus Christ. You can thank him with a peculiar relish, which others cannot; and you may look forward with joyful hope, that he that hath delivered, and doth deliver, will hereafter deliver, when flesh and heart, and all present things, shall fail, Think what you should have done in past storms, think what you could ever hope to do in those storms that are yet to come, without such a defence and shelter: you had been ruined, both for time and
eternity, long ago. And have you escaped, or been carried safely through, so many storms already, and can you look beyond the rest, and not acknowledge with gratitude and joy the amazing goodness and mercy of God, who, to make early and abundant provision for your safety and comfort, parted with his own Son from his bosom, and sent him down to our world to be a hiding-place for us? - What did not our blessed Lord condescend to, for our sakes !-Our text, which was a prophecy of him, calls him a man; and he was afterward a man in reality; and there was nothing in his appearance in the world to distinguish him from a mere man--yea, and from a mean man but the words that he spake and the works that he did. And to this circumstance it is that we owe all the protection and comfort we enjoy in this tempestuous wilderness—I mean, to Christ's becoming man. There wanted not power in God to save us; there wanted not mercy in God to save us: but holiness and justice stood in the way ; and these could in no way be satisfied, nor their honour be secured, but by Christ's generous, gracious undertaking. “ Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. ii. 17.)-0 Christians ! to what a dreadful storm did this dear man-I may say, this divine man---expose himself, in order to procure a hiding place for us! " He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." What must we be
made of, if our souls do not magnify the Lord, and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour !
3. Let us all be persuaded to secure an interest in Christ;
That, when the wind begins to blow, and the tempest to roar, we may not be at a loss for a covert, We read, “ And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand ?” (Rev. vi. 15 ) What day of divine . vengeance this passage refers to, we stay not to inquire ; but we learn from it, that their case is very deplorable who have nothing but rocks and dens to screen them from the Lord God Omnipotent:---we learn, that the stoutest hearts will fail when God enters into judgment with them :---We learn farther, that as the greatest are not above being punished, the meanest are not beneath it: kings and slaves--- all, all, will be confounded and terrified, and will endeavour (though, alas ! too late!) to fly from the wrath to come ;- and we must be stupid if we do not learn this too, that whatever our hand findeth to do, we should do it with our might; and give diligence to make our calling and election sure: it will be too late to begin to prepare an ark, when the deluge is pour. ing down.---Think what a hazardous condition you are in, who yet live in your sips.; whọ are all