1 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 1 FEBRUARY 1770)
For an anniversary
‘Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.’ Psalm 147:12–14
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 147:1–20
Zion signifies the church: recovered by Jesus, the true David, out of the hand of his enemies; the seat of royal residence and of spiritual worship. The name is applicable to each of the hills of Zion: the congregations of believers. Happy the people that are in such a case as my text describes. The Lord grant it may in some measure be our case and that we may be thankful. I have chosen the subject as not unsuitable to what I believe is upon many of our hearts on the return of this day. Here we have protection, provision, blessing and peace.
Protection: he strengtheneth the bars of thy gates. Zion is a besieged city, but kept by the power of God. Satan is always endeavouring to break in, attempting to hurt them by erroneous doctrines or licentious practices. Therefore we are called upon to watch and stand fast in the faith, to quit ourselves like men and be strong.
He blesseth thy children. An increase in graces, making them thriving, giving them appetite as well as food and enabling them to show forth his praise in a holy conversation. An increase in numbers, calling them into the state of children who were by nature strangers and aliens.
Blest inhabitants of Zion,
Washed in the Redeemer’s blood!
JESUS, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to GOD:
’Tis his love his people raises
Over self to reign as kings
And as priests, his solemn praises
Each for a thank-offering brings.
SERMON: PSALM 147:12–14 [1/2] [ON THE COTTINGHAM ANNIVERSARY]