Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

40 FIRST SERMON frown of yours may sometimes do as much service to Christ as a sermon of ours. And he cannot but take it very unkindly from you, if you will not bestow your countenance on him, who bestowed his blood on you. That you would let the strictness of your lives, and the piety of your examples put wickedness out of countenance, and make it appear (as indeed it is) a base and a sordid thing. If we would thus seriously set ourselves against the sins of the land, no power, no malice, no policies should stand between us and God's mercies ; religion would flourish, and peace would settle, and trade would revive, and the hearts of men would be reunited, and the church be as a city compacted, and this nation would continue to be as it hath been, like the garden of Eden, a mirror of prosperity and happiness to other people ; and God would prevent us in the second part of our petition, with the blessing of goodness : as soon as ever iniquity were removed, he would do us good, which is the second thing here directed to pray for, " Receive us graciously." In the original it is, Take good, to wit, to bestow upon us ; so taking is sometimes used for giving. He received gifts for men, so in the psalm ; he gave gifts to men, so in the apostle : and it is not impro- bable, that the prophet here secretly leads us to Christ the Mediator, who first receiveth gifts from his Father, and then poureth them forth upon his church, Acts ii. 33. The meaning, then, is, Lord, when thou hast par- doned, weakened, mortified sin, go on with thy mercy, and, being in Christ graciously reconciled unto us, give further evidence of thy fatherly affection, by bestowing portions upon us. They shall not be cast away upon unthankful persons ; we will render the