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SE R M O N XX.
AN INCITEMENT TO TRUST IN THE
1 TIMOTHY, Chap. vi. Ver. 17.
Tbe living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
HIS epistle was written with a peculiar view,
and is of a peculiar contexture. It was indited from the Holy Spirit, written by the apostle Paul, when a prisoner for Christ at Rome, and directed to Timothy, his dearly beloved son in the faith, who was an evangelift, an extraordinary officer in the church of God in the apostolic day and age.
The particular design of the Holy Spirit in it, is to give from Paul, as his amanuensis, directions how Timothy should behave himself in the house of God, which he styles the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. He enumerates a most glorious set of gospel truths and principles, saying, And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, feen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. A particular mention is made, and a perfect account given of the offices and officers which Christ appointed in his house, the church, and the particular graces and qualifications of each and every officer in it. In the first chapter, the apostle celebrates the praise of God for the high honour he had conferred on him, by putting bim into, and calling him to exercise the office of apostleship; and thanks the Lord for this grace, almost as much as for his own salvation. In the chapter from whence my text is taken, he exhorts to the exercise, pračice, and discharge of fundry duties, all which are enforced from motives truly spiritual, experimental, and evangelical. He exhorts to contentment, and argues for it, from the gain of it along with godliness, and from the consideration of what men are when they come into the world, and what they will be when they go out of it. Не speaks of the love of money, or the fin of covetoufness, as the root of all evil, an enemy to true religion and godliness, and the cause of ruin and destruction. He would have Timothy avoid every thing of this kind, to fight the good fight of faith, and gives him a solemn charge before God and Chrift, that he would observe what had been commanded him, in the most impartial and perfect manner, until the appearing of Chrift. He would that Timothy should charge the rich members of the church not to be elated with their riches, nor trust in them, since they are uncertain things; but in God, from whom they have received such a plentiful measure of them. Charge them that are rich in
this world, who have health, wealth, and abundance of temporal good, that they be not high minded; which is too generally the case with such, they valuing and thinking too highly of themselves on account of their temporalities, supposing their knowledge, wisdom, and judgments more excellent than those of others : whereas this is not always the case. Nor truf in uncertain riches; not in them because of their uncertainty, for they sometimes fly away from such as have largely shared in the possession of them: but he would they should trust in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. These words are delivered to the evangelist, to be applied to such of God's people as have much of this world's good, to the end they might cease from dependence upon it, lay it out to the best of purposes for the interest of Christ, to relieve his poor, maintain his ministers, and serve them with it in their day and generation. I have at this time no concern but with the words which I have read for my textThe living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. They are a glorious encouragement to faith, every word in them serving to increase and strengthen it. He, in whom we are to trust, is God, The living God, the giver of all good, who giveth us all things; yea, be giveth us richly all things to enjoy. I will, with a view and design to edify and profit, divide my text thus :
First, consider this title and epithet, The living God.
Secondly, I will exhibit him to your view, as the author, giver, and bestower of all things.
Thirdly, will shew that be giveth us richly, or aburidantly, all things. And,
Lastly, that he giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
I am first to consider this title and epithet, The living God, which may be, and is most juftly applied to God essentially, and also to God as personally confidered. JEHOVAH, as the essential and incomprehenfible fountain of life, being, and existence, hath this title given him by the prophet Jeremiah, chap. x.
The Lord is the true God, be is the living God, and an everlasiing King. Thus David, in the 18th Pfalm, The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock. The word JEHOVAH, which we translate Lord, is expresfive of the incommunicable nature of the Godhead, which exists by a necessity of nature, independent of all beings and things, Jehovah being the fountain of existence to all worlds, creatures, and things : He is before all things, and by him all things confift. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadft formed the earth and the world: even from everlajiing to everlafiing, thou art God, says Moses in the goih Pfalm. God liveth in himself, and of himself, a life of infinite blessedness, of effential holiness, abfolute and supreme sovereignty over all things, visible and invisible. He ever liveth. I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. And it is in him we live, and move, and have o! being. As each of the divine persons in the incomprehensible Godhead, is God and Lord, and is so called in the infallible word; so the title, The living God, belongs to each of them, personally considered, as they coexist by essential union in the one incomprehensible nature or essence. Thus the title, The living God, is given to Jehovah, the Father. Peter faith unto Jesus, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, Matt. xvi. 16. Our Lord Jesus has this title given to him in the 3d chapter of the Hebrews, The living God. Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in deparling from the living God. By our examination of the context, it will be found that Christ is The living God, whom they are exhorted not to depart from. And the Holy Spirit is styled, The Spirit of the living God, which is equivalent to calling him The living God. The title, living God, leads us to consider that God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the one true and living God, hath life in himself, originally, independently, essentially; that raising creatures out of nothing into a state of being and existence, giving them life, bestowing and imparting good unto them, are all owing to the good pleasure of Jehovah's will.
Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Creation is the fruit of sovereignty, an act of almighty power; infinite wisdom likewise shines forth in it, and the goodness of God is manifested by it. All being is from God; all existence is in him; he made all things, and ordained all to their several ends: he disposes of all for his own glory, and worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. And as, from everlasting, he chose the persons of his people in Christ his Son, so he willed their being, and their utmost well-being; and formed all his counsels, purposes, and decrees concerning them, so as to do good unto them, and