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These words seem to allude to David's dedication of himself to God. In this view, they mean, that with a full conviction of the judgment, a fixed determination of the will, a humble confidence in his mercy, and a heartfelt delight, he had said to the Lord, Thou art my Lord.

But we shall confine our attention to this idea suggested by our text; the benefit of keeping in remembrance what has solemnly passed between God and our souls.

In the first place, this may be useful to us in the hour of temptation.

The merely binding ourselves, either mentally or verbally, will neither prevent the assaults of sin, nor hinder our being overcome. The eleven disciples left Christ the same night in which they had joined in communion with him, and solemnly engaged, that they would never forsake him. They had promised, and intended, the strictest fidelity; but sudden fear seems to have effaced the remembrance of all their promises. Now a good preservative against this, under divine grace, is to be often reviewing the engagements into which we have entered ; and saying to our

1 souls,“O my soul, thou hast said to Jehovah, Thou

Lord. I dare not hearken to the solicitations of the world or Satan; I have renounced them both,

i and declared myself a servant of the Lord. I have vowed, in the most solemn manner, that I would serve him in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life, that I would be no more conformed to this world, that I would not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor have fellowship with any

of the unfruitful works of darkness. There

art my

fore depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God. I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot go back. I have devoted my heart and life to him, and I dare not alienate

, any part of either to his avowed enemies; and I am resolved, by his help, that no terrors nor allurements shall make me prove false to my engagements with God.” While such a sense of our vows is retained, it will arm us against sin, and chase away temptation. And surely in a world where innumerable evils compass us about, any help against their influence should be thankfully accepted, and faithfully improved.

Secondly, a recollection of our devoting ourselves to God is useful, as a bond of diligence and consis. tency in duty.

Many, after they have given up themselves to the Lord, and publicly declared that they are his servants, would start back from wilful sins, and be shocked at the thought of the grosser vices of the world; yet they may sadly, and soon too, grow remiss in their duty, and become less lively and circumspect; though conscience be not sufficiently awake to observe the declension, or warmly and effectually remonstrate against it. To make us steadfast and immoveable, it would be useful to preserve a remenibrance of our covenant engagements. The Psalmist found the good effects of it, when he said, “Thy vows are upon me, O God; I will render praise to thee.' For thou hast delivered my soul from death ; wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living ” We should fear drawing back, or becoming cold, while we recollected what we had done ; and were seriously apprehensive of the

VOL. I.

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sad consequences of dealing treacherously with God. Much of the instability that we find in ourselves, and observe in others, is owing to forgetfulness. When our hearts are enlarged and elevated in our approaches to God, how ready, and forward, and profuse are we in our promises ! We bind ourselves to do a thousand things which we have hitherto neglected, but which we resolve to neglect no longer. We think that we can never undertake enough; and determine that every hour shall be filled up with suitable duties; and that, whatever others do, we will walk in all the ordi. nances and commandments of the Lord blameless. For a day or two, perhaps, we persevere, and discover a greater degree of liveliness and diligence. But we forget our vows, and a deadness succeeds. It was therefore excellent advice that was given to the angel of the church of Sardis, “Remember how thou hast received and heard ; and hold fast, and repent.” A sanctified and tenacious memory is very useful to a Christian.. “ Remember, O my soul, what thou hast said to the Lord, and what the Lord has done for thee; who forgiveth all thy iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies. At such a time, and in such a place, when I was greatly affected at the sight of so much goodness, I made grateful vows to God, and solemnly said to him, Thou art my Lord, my sovereign, my master. Lord, what wilt thou have me do? I will object to nothing which thou shalt appoint. When one duty is finished, I will begin another; and I defy all the world ever to find me idle in thy service. So, indeed, I said ; but who would think so, from the slothfulness

a

which now I discover? My soul cleaveth unto the dust ; quicken thou me according to thy word.”

Thirdly, such a review will afford great relief in the day of distress.

They who, in their general course, are sincere and diligent, may be sometimes the subjects of great spiritual distress. God may withhold the light of his countenance, and grace may be so feeble, as to give but poor satisfaction as to its reality. In such a condition, it may be very useful thus to look back on former transactions :“O my soul, thou hast said to the Lord, Thou art my Lord; and dost thou not willingly adhere to it still ? Dost thou repent of thy choice? Art thou weary of his service; and if thou wert thy own master again, wouldst thou dispose of thyself to another ? No, no, no, blessed Lord : thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; and that if I could but hope that thou wouldst accept and own such an unprofitable servant, I desire nothing but to continue in thy service for ever.” If such a transaction has passed, and we were deliberate and sincere in it, it will be strange indeed if no traces of it should remain. It will be of great advantage then to recollect it as David did, when mourning under bis absence from the house of God. God," says he,“ my soul is cast down within me; therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan ; and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar; places probably where God had appeared to him, and by meditating on which, he found much refreshment. For presently he brightens even in the midstof flowing tears; and before he concludes the psalm, is enabled to say with confidence, that the Lord was his God.

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“O my

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Have you 'never found it so, Christians, when “his waves and his billows passed over you ?” When you

? have been ready to form hasty and unfavourable conclusions both against God and yourselves, have you not experienced a sensible, and an almost immediate relief, by looking back to former times, in which you “ avouched the Lord to be your God,” and joined yourselves to him in a perpetual covenant? What a stupid creature have I been, you were ready to say, not to recollect it before! It might have prevented many a gloomy day, and waking night. But now it comes fresh to my remembrance ; and I am ashamed, that I should ever harbour a thought so dishonourable to God, as if he were not mindful of his covenant. O! he is; he is. It was I, ungrateful wretch! It was I who forgot it, and deprived God of his glory, and my soul of its comfort. But now recollecting his goodness, I will rejoice, that he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure; and this is all my salvation, and all my desire."

Fourthly, a review of our dedication to God will be a support and encouragement in the immediate prospect of death.

Nothing then, but what is real and substantial, will serve. The world, that has amused and contented us in the giddy years of life, tries in vain to soothe the languors of sickness, and ease the agonies of dying. The largest possession of riches will not then give us any comfort. The most affectionate and faithful friends will not be able to ward off the fatal arrow; and when the last dreadful conflict begins, can only drop over us the unavailing tear of compassion. Our heart and flesh fail, and a total dissolution is rapidly

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