2 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 1 FEBRUARY 1770)
Peace and provision
‘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: Leviticus 26:3–13
Provision. The quality: the finest wheat, the doctrines and truths of the gospel in their power and purity. This is the bread of life Jesus Christ dispensed in the word and received by faith. The quantity: filleth, when ordinances are attended not only now and then, but frequently, and when by the Spirit’s application they are made lively and savoury.
Peace. Peace is threefold:
(i) peace in their own souls, when they grow into an established peace with God by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
(ii) peace amongst themselves, when the power of his grace prevents all those jealousies, envyings, discords, which wherever they prevail are dishonourable, uncomfortable and hurtful to the works.
(iii) outward peace. A full peace with the world cannot be expected, but I mean liberty to enjoy our privileges without interruption or ill-treatment—a mercy with which we are singularly favoured.
Now the most of the blessings and benefits I have mentioned depend under God upon the continuance of a gospel minister. This some of you will know, and therefore when the Lord seemed to threaten a removal you were pained. Woeful are the consequences when the Lord removes his candlestick—then profession languishes, errors creep in, dispensations and discords take place—the spirit of the world takes place, and the most established feel a want and a loss. Let us remember we are still dependent upon him. As the time of distress is his time of help, so the hour of security is the hour of danger.
Round each habitation hovering
Thus deriving from their banner
See the cloud and fire appear!
Light by night and shade by day;
For a glory and a covering,
Safe they feed upon the Manna
Showing that the LORD is near:
Which he gives them when they pray.
SERMON: PSALM 147:12–14 [2/2] [ON THE COTTINGHAM ANNIVERSARY]