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He is so watchful and careful of his charge, that his mercy and goodness follow his people all their life long. He'is ever mindful of his covenant, and of his people; and will perfect that which concerns them : and if at any time his people run into evils, and go astray, during all such time, his eye and care are towards them; yea, and over them then most; to weaken the temptation, to restrain corruption, and, even when actually fallen, to restore and recover his people, and bring them back again to him, who is the great Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. His care is principally exercised about preserving his people, that fin may not have dominion over them. So that we are to understand such promises of God's keeping us from all evil, and preserving us blameless, to have respect to keeping us from the evil of fin, so as not to suffer us to be tempted above what he enables us to bear; or of his keeping us from being finally conquered, and eternally overcome with it. He takes special care of our goings in his way, and will there. fore, when we wander from him, be sure to reduce us again by repentance, and bring us back. He will keep the feet of bis saints. He keeps his people from the evil of sin, as it respects the love, guilt, and power of it. And he preserves his people from all evil, not by preserving them so as they do not experience what evil is, but by so working for them, in and by it, that all things work together for their good; and though they are not always victorious, but are sometimes foiled by sin and Satan, yet they have a complete victory in Christ their head; and when they refift fin,

every moment.

felf, and Satan, in his name and strength, they also conquer; yea, the feelings and conflies they have of and with sin, make them to hate it the more perfectly, and groan for perfect deliverance from it. For though the child of God is not freed from the inbeing of fin, yet

he hates it, and loathes himself on the account of it. Every real evil that he is preserved from, is owing to the Lord alone.

I pass on to the second thing pointed out under this head, which is the Lord's concern to water the souls of his people. I, the Lord, do keep it ; I will water it

The care of God towards his vineyard, the church, appears most divinely in his keeping it, and watering it. And the clouds wherewith he refreshes his people are the ministers of the everlasting gospel; who as clouds are in the visible heavens, so are they in the visible churches of Christ : as the clouds are for watering the earth, that it may bring forth fruit, so the ministers of the gospel, as filled with the gifts and graces, with the word and doctrine of Christ Jesus, refresh the Lord's people with showers of divine bles. sing. The Spirit of Christ accompanying his word and ordinances, the souls of his people are quickened and strengthened. I will be (faith the Lord) as the dew unto Israel. In a sovereign, gradual, free, and wonderful manner, the Lord quickens, refreshes, exhilarates, and comforts his people.' As the glorious perfections of God's nature shall fail before the church of Christ be forsaken and left to the power and

of her enemies, so she is also assured of constant supplies and nourishment from the Lord himself, and that with. out fail, even for the least moment. 1, the Lord, do keep it, and will water it every moment : left any burt it, I will keep it night and day. He will water her with his heavenly doctrine to preserve her verdure, and increase her fpiritual growth, and promiseth to be her guardian night and day ; in the darkness of adversity, and in the day of prosperity : so that Satan shall not outwit,' nor the craft and subtilty of heretics and de, ceivers waste and insnare her, I wall water it


every moment. Christ is a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters and freams froni Lebanon. He it is who waters, refreshes, and makes glad the city of our God, his chosen and beloved ones. As rain refreshes the earth, waters the hills, and defcends to the refreshment of both man and beast, so Christ's gracious presence, the sacred influences, the blessed showers of heavenly communications from him to his people, cause their souls to revive, their hearts to rejoice, and their graces to be excited and drawn forth towards him whom their fouls love. The river of God's love ran, as it were, under ground from eternity, and broke forth in the heart of Christ when he hung upon the cross; and when it once breaks forth towards, and upon any of us in conversion, it never ceases to be flowing forth in the communication of some blessing or other to the believing soul. Our Christ is the fountain of living waters: he is full of grace, and he is continually watering his church and people, and bestowing upon them real good. I will water it. That Christ waters his church none will deny; that it is an infinite bles: sing, his people will confefs and acknowledge ; that it is all of grace, no faint will object unto: but that this should be every moment, here, ten thousand to one, but unbelief will start and raise objections. I will therefore personate the believer, and suppose him arguing against the truth of the promise as it respects his own experience of it, thùs : Surely, though I believe the word of God is immutably true, and that God cannot deny himself, yet, fure I am, that this is not true concerning me: I am not watered by the Lord every moment; I have not his refreshing and comforting presence. Give me leave here to ask, Is God no further gracious to thy foul, O believer! than thou canst see, feel, and discover ? Depend upon it, whoever thou art, who doft believe on Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost, thou hast experienced, art interested in, and doft partake of more grace than thou dost conceive.

This promise of the Lord, I will water it every moment, respects all and each of the children of the Mot High; and it is continually fulfilled. Consider, believer; who continues fpiritual life in thee? Who quickens thee in prayer, and draws out thy soul in desires after God? Is it not the Holy Spirit? What is this but the real fulfilment of this promise ? Thou wilt have no objection against this; but how this Ahould be the case every moment, is the greatest wonder. And yet, believer, if Christ did not water thy soul every moment, though it is altogether imperá ceptible by thee, thou wouldit die : for inherent grace could not support itself. This plant would wither and fail without the constant care of Christ, and


did he not renew thy soul, and water thee afresh every moment. To this, it may be, thou wilt yet object : surely it is not so, it cannot be; for the truth is, I have been in sinful frames, I have even fallen under sinful influences; how can I think God has been watering my soul every moment, when thus it has been with me? To this I answer, that believers would be in a miserable state, if in the worst of frames, if at any time, even when they sin, and have sinned most, they were not secretly renewed by the Holy Spirit; for then this would follow upon it, that we should fall back instantly into unregeneracy; but in the worst days we do not, He upholds by renewing something of his grace and gracious conflicts in us against fin : and though we feel not these renewings, yet we are thus daily, yea momently, renewed: which caused that holy man, Mr. Dodd, once to say in the hearing of that man of renown Dr. Thomas Good. win, “ I believe that I am thus renewed every day, “ though I discern it not.” So it is also, as it respects the Lord's watering the souls of his people every moment. This is certainly the case, though they do not every moment perceive it. Blessed be God for it, his going forth in the church is prepared as the morn. ing. His appearance for her and in her, is as certain as the morning light at the appointed hour. All the clouds which threaten a perpetual night cannot hinder it ; all the workers of darkness cannot prevent it: the morning will dawn, whether they will or not: Christ will not fail his people, nor forsake them for one Qipgle moment :

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