Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

14 FIRST SERMON languishing, and make all his bed in his sickness," Psal. xli. 3. Against poverty : When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, 1 the Lord will hear them," &c. Isa. xli. 17. Psal. lxviii. 10. Against want of friends : " When my father andmother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," Psal. xxvii. 10. lxxii. 12. Against oppression and imprisonment : He " executeth judgment for the oppressed. The Lord looseth the prisoners," Psal. cxlvi. 7. Against " whatsoever plague or trouble," 1 Kings viii. 37 -39. He is the God of all consolation ; how disconsolate soever a man's condition is in any kind there cannot but be, within the compass of all consolation, some one remedy or other at hand to comfort and relieve him. In the invitation, we have the matter of it, and the motives to it : the matter is conversion ; without that, the hand which is lifted up in threatening will fall down in punishing, and where that is, God hath a book of remembrance for his jewels, when his wrath burneth as an oven against the stubble, Mal. iii. 16. But this conversion then must have two conditions in it. 1. It must be to the Lord : not merely philoso- phical, to some low and general dictates of reason, such as Aristotle, or Plato, or Epictetus, or Plutarch, or the like heathen moralists, could furnish us withal, without self - denial, lowliness of spirit, or faith in Christ ; nor merely political, to credit, or profit, or secular ends, or, as our prophet hath it, " for corn and for wine," Hos. vii. 16. as good be an empty vine, as bring forth fruit only to ourselves, Hos. x. 1. but it must be spiritual, unto the Lord. " If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the Lord, return unto me," Jer. iv. 1. And not only to the Lord, for that may