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a chief good where it may not be found, and forsaking “ the fountain of living waters,” to chase the desert's deceitful visions, and to exasperate, not to slake, your thirst of felicity at its unsatisfying and ofttimes bitter pools; and, finally, in the hour of world-wearied languor, or of crushing sorrow, to sink unaided, unconsoled, untaught to flee to the sheltering “ Rock of Ages,"—to the Spring of divine and heavenly comforts! This, my brethren, if the delineations of God's infallible Spirit are accurate, this is the true picture of your condition; and is it one in which ye will be satisfied to continue? God forbid. Oh ! turn and flee while yet we are invited to the sanctuary of the Saviour's mediation,—to the covert of the Saviour's protection,

to the refreshing stream of the Saviour's grace,-the reviving shadow of the Saviour's love. To believe the Gospel is so to turn and flee. To receive the offered Saviour for your own, with humble submission of mind and heart, as he is proposed to you in the Gospel of the Almighty's grace, this is to enter the refuge,—to pass under the covert, -to drink of the fountain,—to sit down beneath the shadow. Oh! be persuaded, therefore, without hesitation, for the invitations are free, and without delay, for the time is short, to “ flee for refuge, to lay hold of the hope set before you," to obey the far-sounding and attractive call, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden,

and I will give you rest.” .“ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.”—“The spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst, Come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

In reference to those who have already truly embraced the Saviour, I have only, in one word, to pray you, brethren, habitually to remember and to use your lofty privilege of access to Christ Jesus, as the author of your safety and your joy, in all the changing scenes of your spiritual experience. “ So may the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."

Let this which the apostle mentions be the happy effect of all the comfort wherewith your hearts are comforted of God,—thus to stablish you in holiness,-to prepare you for pursuing your journey with vigour and alacrity, for fulfilling your appointed course of duty, with decision, and fidelity, and perseverance, for running in the way of God's commandment, when he hath quickened and enlarged your hearts, and for being led forth by a right way, until ye come in peace to that better Canaan which lies beyond the wilderness,—where the fainting and the weariness, the scorching and the thirst, of the desert-path are all forgotten,

they hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; but the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, feedeth them, and leadeth them to living fountains of waters, and God wipeth away all tears from their eyes."

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Psalm xxjii. 1, 2.-" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : he leadeth me beside the still waters."

In this beautiful psalm, which, for the richness and simplicity of its spiritual meaning, the tenderness and beauty of its imagery and expression, has always been peculiarly precious to the hearts of God's believing people, the sacred poet makes use of a twofold image to express the confidence which he reposed in the care and favour of Jehovah, by which he trusted to be not merely protected against every danger, but enriched with every blessing. The first image, which you find developed in the first four verses of the psalm, is derived from the circumstances and scenery of the pastoral life, in the use of which he compares Jehovah, his guardian God, to a kind and watchful shepherd, and himself to the safe and happy sheep, which the shepherd both with the utmost diligence protects, and with the utmost indulgence feeds and cherishes. The second figure, which is contained in the last two verses, is taken from the exercise of hospitality on the part of some affluent and generous entertainer welcoming a friend to a sumptuous banquet, and, by the accumulation of every kind of delicacy and refreshment, studiously declaring how much he rejoices in his guest's arrival, and wishes to promote his satisfaction. This festival of welcome, with which he had been received into Jehovah's house, having been described in the 5th verse, the Psalmist concludes in the 6th by expressing the persuasion which the kindness of his Divine Benefactor encouraged him to entertain, that this was to be no singular and transient occasion, but that, through all the days of his life and of his immortality, he should enjoy like ample and delightful entertainment; that goodness and mercy should follow him all the days of his life, and that he should dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. The first of these two images is that to the development of which I wish at present to invite

your attention.

Among all the figures employed in Scripture to express the ideas of blended sovereignty and love on the part of Jehovah towards his chosen people, there is none perhaps more engaging to the fancy and the heart than that before us, and none more frequently employed therefore by Holy Writ. In all countries the pastoral life has been hallowed to the hearts of men by many sweet and picturesque

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