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shall you be in your cities, and blessed shall you be in your fields, but blessed shall you be in your bonds, and blessed shall you be in your banishment;u
u blessed shall you be when you are persecuted, and when you are reviled, and your name is cast out as evil; yea, then, doubly blessed. My choicest blessings, greatest good, and richest sweets, will I put into your evil things." These happy immunities, these glorious liberties of the sons of God, by this immutable charter I do for ever settle upon you.
The privileges and prerogatives of the covenant.
Yea, I will not only free you from your miseries, but will confer upon you royal privileges and prerogatives, and instate you into higher and greater happiness than ever you have fallen from. Lo, I give myself to you, and all things with myself.
Behold, O ye sons of men! Behold, and wonder! Be astonished, O heavens! Be moved, ye strong foundations of the earth! For you shall be my witnesses. This day do I, by covenant, bestow myself upon my servants.*
u Matt. xix. 29, 30. 1 Pet. iii. 14. v Matt. v. 10_18. w1Pot. iv. 13, 14. Luko vi. 20, 21, 22. x Gen. xvii. 7.
He gives himself to us : 1. For our God. I will be your God for ever and ever,y your own God ;- nothing in the world is so much your own
The houses that you have built, that you have bought, are not so much yours as I am. Here you are tenants at will; but I am your eternal inheritance:a these are loans for a season, but I am your dwelling place in all generations. You have no where so great a propriety, so sure and unalterable a claim, as you have here. What do you count your own ? Do you count your bodies your own, your souls your own? Nay, these are not your own, they are bought with a price. But you may boldly make your claim to me; you may freely challenge an interest in me.d
To be to us, instead of relations, 2. Our friend.
and fear not; where should you be free, if not with your own? Where should you be bold, if not at home? You were never in all the world, so much at home, as when you are with me. You may freely call on me, whenever you have need ;e I will be all to you that you can wish; I will be a friend to you. My secrets
y Psalm xlviii. 14. Jer. xxxii. 38. Rev. xxi. 3. z Ps. Ixvii. 6. a Psalm xvi. 5. lxxiii. 20. b Psalm xc. 6. cl Cor. vi, 19, 20. d Jer. iii. 19. Isa. Ixiii. 16.
e Psalm 2 15. Jer. xlix. 11. Psalm cxlv. 18. f Isa. xli 8. James it.
shall be with you, and you shall have all freedom and access to me, and liberty to pour out all your hearts into my bosom.
3. Our physician. I will be a physician to you. I will heal your backslidings, and cure all your
diseases. Fear not; never did any soul sink, that left itself in my hands, and would but follow my prescriptions.
4. Our shepherd. I will be a shepherd to you. Be not afraid of evil tidings, for I am with you; my rod and my staff shall comfort you. You shall not suffer or want, for I will feed you. I will cause you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside the still waters.j I will gather you with mine arm, and carry you in my bosom; and will lead on softly, as the flock and the children be able to endure. If officers be careless, I will do the work myself. I will judge between cattle and cattle. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away; and bind up that which was broken, and strengthen that which was sick : but I will destroy the fat
f Psalm xxv. 14. John xv. 15. g Eph. iii. 12. Heb. iv. 16. h Hos. xiv. 4. Psalm ciii. 3. i Psalm xxiii. 1. lxxx. 1. j Psalm xxiji. k Isa. xl. 11. Gen. xxxiii. 13, 14.
and the strong, and will feed them with Judg. ment. I will watch over my flock by night.Behold, I have appointed my ministers as your watchmen, and overseers that watch for your souls. Yea, mine angels shall be your guar. dians, and shall keep a constant guard upon my flock.° And if, peradventure, the servants should sleep,P mine own eyes shall keep a perpetual watch over you, by night and by day. The keeper of Israel neither slumbereth nor sleepeth, nor withdraweth his eyes from the righte. ous. I will guide you with mine eye, I will never trust you out of mine own sight.
5. Our sovereign.
I will be a sovereign to you. The Lord is your judge, the Lord is your lawgiver, the Lord is your king. Fear not the unrighteousness of
men; I will judge your cause, I will defend your rights." You shall not stand at man's bar, you shall not be cast at their vote; let them curse, I will bless ; let them condemn, I will justify.
When you come upon trial for your lives, to have your eternal state decided, you shall see
1 Ezek. xxxiv. 2, 3, 4, 16, 17. m Lsa. xxvii. 3. n Heb. xiii. 17. Acts xx. 28. o Dau. iii. 28. vi. 22.
p Psalm xxxiv, 7. Matt. xiii. 25, 27. q Psalm xxxv. 15. xxxiii. 18. 2 Chron. xvi. 9. r Psalm cxxii. 3, 4. & Job. xxxvi. 7. t Psalm xxxii. 8. u Isa. xxxiii. 22. v Deut. xvii. 36. Psalm cxl. 12. ix. 4.
your friend, your father upon the bench. Into my hands shall your cause be cast, and you shali surely stand in judgment, and be found at the right hand among the sheep, and hear the king say, “Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom.”
6. Our husband.
I will be a husband to you. In loving kindness and in mercies will I betroth you unto me for ever. I will espouse your interest, and will be as one with you, and you with me:a You shall be for me, and not for another; and I also will be for you. Though I found you as an helpless infant, exposed in its blood, all your unworthiness doth not discourage me. Lo, I have looked upon you, and spread my skirt over you, and put my comeliness upon you. Moreover, I enter into covenant with you, and you shall be mine. Behold, I do (as it were) put myself out of my own power, and do here solemnly, in this my marriage-covenant, make away myself to you;d and, with myself, all things;e I will be an everlasting portion to you.' Lift up now your eyes eastward, and westward, and northward, and southward: Have ye not a worthy portion,
w Psalm 1. 6. Eccl. iii. 16, 17. x Matt. xxv. 33, 34. .. 32. y Isa. liv. 5. z Hos. ii. 19, 20. a Jobn xvii. 11, 22, 23. 1 John iv. 15, 16. Rev. xxi. 3. b Hos. iii. 3. c Ezek xvi. 4 to 10. d Jer. xxiv. 7. xxx. 21, 22. xxxi. 33, 34. e Romans viji 32. Rev. xxi. 7. f Ezek. xliv. 28. Jer. li. 19. Psalm cxix. 57,