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joy is the fruit of his bounty; every talent with which we are distinguished was freely bestowed by him. To him, therefore, they ought to be entirely surrendered, and in the advancement of his glory at all times employed. When we serve God with the best of our faculties, and with the most valuable of our possessions, What is the whole amount of our offering? Surely if ever selfcomplacent thoughts on this point might have been indulged, David might have indulged them, when he, and a willing people with him, offered unto the Lord of their most precious substance with a perfect heart. Yet bear how humbly he speaks of all the costly oblations wbich he had brought. “ Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort; for all things come of thee, and of thine owo bave we given thee. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the ma. jesty; for all that is in the heaven and the earth are thine; thine is the kingdom, and thou art exalted as head above all."
More particularly, we must yield to God our immor. tal souls, with all the intellectual powers which they possess. We must dedicate our understanding to the Father of Lights, to be illuminated by him with saving knowledge, to be employed in contemplating his nature and perfection; above all, to know Jesus, and him crucified, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We must dedicate our will to that holy rule of resignation which David expressed when he said, “ Here am I, let the Lord do unto me what seemeth good in his sight;" and wbich David's Lord expressed in circumstances infinitely more trying: “ Father, not my will, but thine be done." We must consecrate our memories to be treasuries of divine truth, our affections
to the pursuit of those things which are above, our senses to the salutary discipline of self-denial, and our members as instruments of holiness to God.
All our possessions and enjoyments must be devoted to God. Our wealth and power, our time and our facul. ties, nay life itself, which is the foundation of all our comforts, must be entirely resigned to him. Neither must we count death itself grievous, so that we finish our course with joy and true honour. We must yield ourselves to God in all capacities and relations wherein his providence may have placed us, and improve the advantages of our different conditions in life for the advancement of his glory. Are we masters or servants, parents or children, pastors or people, rulers or subjects, let us, in all these relations, be devoted to God, and discharge the various duties which result from them with fidelity and zeal, that we may glorify our Father in heaven, who hath appointed to every man his proper work, and will at length demand an account of the manner in which we bave performed it.
If it be inquired for what purposes we are thus to yield ourselves unto God, the following particulars will furnish the answer.
1st. We are to yield ourselves to God, to do whatsoever he commands; in all instances of duty, to give a prompt and cheerful obedience to bis authority. It ought to be sufficient for us, in every case, to know what God hath pronounced to be an obligation, whatever the world or the flesh may have to say against it. This is the true way to keep our minds in a steady decisive frame. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." He who seeks to ascertain other points besides his duty, will find himself perplexed with perpetual difficulties. Embarrassed with attending to distracting and opposite
counsels, his conduct will neither be firm nor graceful ; and, even when he does what is right, he will be unable to enjoy the satisfaction of it, conscious that he did it not in that simplicity and godly sincerity which alone can render our obedience acceptable. We are therefore to yield ourselves to God as our supreme Lawgiver, who hath an unquestionable title to the service of all our active powers, saying with Samuel, " Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth;" and with the apostle Paul, “ Lord · what wilt thou have me to do?"
2dly. We must yield ourselves to God not only to do but to suffer his will. The rewards of active obedience are not found in the present life: on the contrary, the most faithful servants of God are often visited with the severest dispensations of Providence. We must there. fore not only have our loins girt about for cheerful obedience, but our minds prepared also for patient suffering. We must be ready to resign our most valuable possessions, and our dearest comforts, the moment that they are reclaimed by him who at first bestowed them, saying with Job, “ The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord;" and, with David, “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that in very faithfulness thou hast afflicted me."
We are already in the hand of God, by our essential dependance, as the clay is in the hands of the potter; let us likewise be so by our own consent and choice. This is the true balm of life. It is this that softens adversity, and alleviates the load of sorrow. In this we unite the noblest duty which we can perform, and the most precious benefits which we can reap. What wisdom can compare with the wisdom of resignation, which not only softens inevitable evils, but turus them into real and permanent good; which not only sooths the sense of suffering, but secures a happy and a glorious reward.
Bdly. We must yield ourselves to God, to be disposed of by his providence, as to our lot and condition in the world. “He hath made of one blood all that dwell upon the face of the earth.” He hath fixed the precise is. sues of life and death, and hath appointed where we shall dwell, and what station we shall occupy in the world. To one he saith, Be thou a king; and to another, Be thou a beggar. All these things come forth of the Lord of Hosts; and in his will we must cheerfully acquiesce, with a firm and meek resolution to be disposed of as he sees meet, and to glorify him in the place and station which he hath assigned us; to serve him cheerfully, while he hath service for us to perform in this world; and at last to resign our souls into his hands, when he shall require them.
4thly. As we must be resigned to the will of God with respect to our outward lot, so we must be satisfied with his disposal, as to the measure of spiritual gifts which he is pleased to bestow on us. Should he make us but as the foot, we must be as well contented as if be had made us the hand or the head, and rejoice that we are found qualified for being even the least honourable member in Christ's mystical body. We must not envy our brother for being wiser or better than we, more than for being richer or nobler. And though we may covet earnestly the best gifts, yet if, in the use of appointed means, we cannot attain to them, we ought, with resignation to the Father of lights, to make a diligent and faithful use of what God hath given us, trusting that they who have been good stewards over a little, shall not fail to receive their proportional reward in the day of retribution. Every vessel of honour bath not the same capacity, but every vessel of honour shall be completely filled. None shall have a mean station in the VOL. II.
heavenly temple, although some shall be more gloriously distinguished than others. They shall all be kings and priests unto God, and mansions shall not be wanting to accommodate every class of guests in the New Jerusalem.
I proceed now to give you some directions as to the manner in wbich we ought to perform this duty, of yield. ing ourselves unto God.
I. Before we can perform this duty in an acceptable manner, it is necessary that we bave just views both of God and of ourselves. In a particular manner, we must have a deep sense both of our original apostacy, and of the actual transgressions with which we are chargeable. We must yield ourselves to God, like condemned rebels, who cast themselves on the mercy of their sovereign. Yet while we are sensible of our miserable and condemned state, we must also have a view of those riches of mercy which are open to the chief of sinners. We are to remember, with faith and gratitude, that God so loved the world, as to send his only begotten Son, pot to condemn the world, but that the world through him might have life; that he only is the way, the truth, and the life; that he is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God' by him; that in him dwelleth all the ful. ness of the Gollhead bodily; and that he is made of God to all that believe on him, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. The knowledge of these fundamental truths must influence the surrender which we make of ourselves to God, that it may be an act of our understanding, accompanied both with humili. ty and with hope. But,
II. We must yield ourselves unto God with serious, attentive, and awakened minds. It is seldom that any permanent good is obtained, in consequence of a hasty choice. Even when the object of our choice is just and