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He is also a field. God is not only a light to guide and direct, but likewise a shield to protect and defend. He can fecure us in the midst of dangers, and defend from the violent and artful defigns and attempts of enemies.

The Lord will give grace and glorie: no good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly. He will beftow every kind of good, both favour and honour. Nor will he give fparingly but will plentifully enrich, and abundantly blefs them that walk uprightly.

By which uprightneffe is not meant abfolute perfection, but fincerity; ferving God in truth, and with a willing mind: and having a refpect to all his commandments: not only obferving, very punctually, ordinances of pofitive appointment, and the ftated seafons of public worship: but living in the practise of all righteoufneffe. It is, to be faithful to God in all circumftances, in profperity and adverfity, and in the general tenour of our life and converfation. Such as thefe God will abundantly blefs.

Having thus briefly explained thefe words, I fhall mention fome obfervations.

1. Here

I. Here is a property of the Divine Being, which deferves our ferious attention. As God is full and perfect in himself, fo he favors, and has a fpecial regard for righteous and upright men.

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The Pfalmift, and other good men, who lived under the Mofaic difpenfation, did, poffibly, expect temporal advantages for the truly religious, more than it is reafonable for us to do under the gofpel. But in general the observation must be right: the truth of it may be depended upon, and ought to be maintained in all times: that God loveth Pf. xi. 7. righteoufneffe: his countenance beholds the upright. These he approves and favors: whilst he is difpleafed with fuch as wilfully tranfgrefs, or contemptuoufly neglect and difregard, his holy laws.

H. We fhould emprove this truth for our establishment in the fteady and delightful practife of all holineffe.

Virtue, real righteoufneffe, has an intrinfic excellence: It is fit in itself, and very becoming. But we ought to take in every other confideration, that tends to fecure the



SERM. practife of virtue, and perfeverance therein, in this ftate of temptation. We should strengthen ourselves by a refpect to the divine will, as well as by a regard to the reason of things.

When we do fo, mindful of the divine authority, defirous of his favour, and fearing his displeasure, we may be faid to walk with God. There will be then a comfortable fellowship between God and his rational creatures. We steadily and confcientiously eye his commands. He graciously approves us, and the way we are in. And will manifeft himself favorable to us.

III. We may hence receive encouragement, to trust in God, and ferve him faithfully in every circumftance of life, even though we are in fome difficulties and troubles, as the Pfalmift now was. For virtue, though well-pleafing to God, may be tried and exercised. The reward is fure, though deferred. And it may be the greater in the end, if by afflictions it is refined, emproved and perfected.

IV. This

IV. This text may teach men to be cautious, how they injure, offend, or grieve any fincere and upright perfons, whom God approves.




It is fpoken of as a remarkable inftance of the folly of bad men: Have all the workers of Pf. xiv. iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people, as they eat bread, and call not upon God!

We ought to be careful, how we offend any walking in the way of righteousneffe: though they appear to us to be mistaken in fome things. It must be imprudent to oppose those, who have God for a fun and shield. At the fame time it appears to be our duty, to uphold to the utmost of our power the cause of the righteous. This feems to be what David engages to do, if fettled in peace and profperity. O my foul, thou haft faid unto God: Pf. xvi. Thou art my Lord. My goodnese extendeth not 2. 3. unto thee, but unto the faints, that are in the earth, even to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. "I have always trusted in God. "And it has been my unfeigned defire to "serve him. Not that I thereby merit of "him. Nor is he advantaged by my fer"vices. But I fhall think it a happinesse,



"if ever I have it my power, to protect and


encourage upright men, whom I fincerely "love and esteem."

V. We are also led to obferve upon thefe words, that from the divine perfections may be argued a future ftate of recompenfes.

This obfervation I intend to enlarge upon. 1. In the first place I fhall propofe an argument for a future ftate from reafon. 2. I fhall confider fome objections against this doctrine.


I will endeavor to anfwer divers enquiTies relating to this matter.

4. And then conclude with fome infe


1. The argument from reafon in behalf of a future ftate of recompenfes is to this purpose.

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It appears to us agreeable to the perfections of God, that he should fhew favour to good and virtuous men. But it is obvious to all, and more efpecially evident to careful obfervers, that good and bad men are not much diftinguished in this world. This, I fay, is obvious to all, and efpecially manifest to thofe, whofe obfervations are of the great


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