Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

56 FIRST SERMON. look through the anger of his chastisements unto the beauty of his commands ; and to the sweetness of his loving countenance, as by a rainbow we see the beau- tiful image of the sun's light in the midst of dark and waterish clouds; when by how much the flesh is the fuller of pain, by so much prayers are fuller of spirit ; by how much the heavier are our earthly sufferings, by so much the stronger are our heavenly desires . when God threateneth punishments, and we pray for grace, this is a sanctified use of God's judgments. And this we should all be exhorted unto in the times of distraction, to make it the principal argument of our prayers, and study of our lives, to obtain spiritual good things ; and the less comfort we find in the world, to be the more importunate for the comforts of God, that by them we may encourage ourselves, as David did in his calamity at Zikiag, 1 Sam. xxx. 6. When the city Shechem was beaten down to the ground, then the men and women fled to the strong tower, and shut that upon them, Judg. ix. 51. " The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous fly to it, and are safe," Prov. xviii. 10. Herein we shall more honour God when we set . him up in our hearts as our fear and treasure, and mourn more towards him, than for the miseries we feel, and pant more after him, than all the outward . contentment which we want. Herein we shall more exercise repentance, for it is worldly sorrow which droopeth under the pain of the flesh, but godly sorrow is most of all affected with the anger of God. Herein we shall more prevail with God ; the more heavenly the matters of your prayers are, the more prevalent they must needs be with a heavenly Fa- ther ; we have five spiritual petitions unto one for