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SERMON CI.

Oh, how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.—Ver. 97.

IN this psalm you have a perfect character of a regenerate man, what he is, and what he ought to be, in his meditations, his exercises, his affections; and all this recommended to us from the frame of David’s heart and example, and course of his way. Men of spiritual experience can best judge of these affections; for ‘as face answereth face in a glass,’ so doth the heart of one believer to another.

In these words you have—(1.) His love asserted; (2.) Demonstrated from the effect.

1. His love asserted, oh, how love I thy law!

2. Demonstrated from the effect of it, it is my meditation all the day.

This is an effect, for we are wont to muse upon what we love; therefore David, loving the law of God, is always thinking of it.

First, For the assertion. Observe the matter asserted, and the vehemency of the assertion. The matter asserted is love to the law; the vehemency of the assertion, ‘Oh, how I love thy law!’ It is an admiration with an exclamation. David is not contented with a naked affirmation, ‘I love thy law;’ but useth a pathetical protestation of it, ‘How love I thy law!’ The interrogation expresseth wonder, ‘How I love thy law!’ And the exclamation, ‘oh, how!’ that gives vent to strong affection, as if he had said, It is more than I am able to express. The law is taken for the whole scripture, as often in this psalm.

Secondly, For the demonstration of this affection, ‘It is my meditation all the day;’ that is, I do often meditate thereof, and can spend whole days therein. The words may signify frequency of such thoughts; they were not such as did come now and then, but all the day his heart was working on holy things, as the blessed man is described, Ps. i. 2; that is, every day he is working something out of the word of God. Or, ‘it is my meditation all the day,’ may note the depth and ponderousness of these thoughts; his mind did not run out upon the law with flighty sallies, but he had such thoughts as were solid and serious, and did abide with him.

The points from hence are two:—

1. That God’s people have a great love to his word; yea, such a hearty affection as cannot easily be expressed.

2. They that love the word will be meditating therein continually, ‘It is my meditation all the day.’

Doct. 1. That God’s people have a great love to his word; yea, such a hearty affection as cannot easily be expressed.

I will evidence that by two considerations—(1.) The word deserves this love; (2.) The saints are ready to yield it.

First, The word deserves it in respect of the author, the matter, and the use; in all these respects is the word of God lovely.

First, For the author; it is God’s word, and they love it for the author’s sake, the signification of his mind, as a letter from a beloved friend is very welcome to us. Aristotle, in his Rhetorics, mentioning the cause of delight, saith thus, They that love much, when they are 464speaking of what they love, or when they hear anything of the party beloved, or receive anything from them, it is a mighty delight and pleasure to them. So it is in this spiritual love. The word is God’s epistle and love-letter to our souls, therefore for his sake it is the more welcome to us. And upon this ground God complains of it that when he had ‘written the great things of his law ‘to a people, they were neglected and slighted and ‘counted a strange thing.’ Hosea viii. 12. I have written; God is the author, whosoever is the penman. The scriptures are a writing from him to us. Now for us to be strangers to it, and little conversant about it, argues some contempt of God; as to slight a letter of a friend shows little esteem of the writer. The saints they put it into their bosoms, and it gains upon their hearts. Why? It is God’s epistle, it is my best friend’s letter. This is certain, love God and you love his law; for the author’s sake it will be dear and precious to you.

Secondly, The saints have such a strong love to the word of God, because of the matter in it revealed, for it hath all the properties of a thing to be beloved; it is true, good, profound, and full of depth and mysteries. What would you desire in a doctrine to draw your hearts to it? Truth, goodness, and profoundness of knowledge.

1. If certainty of truth will draw love, it is be found in the holy scriptures, for they are vouched by God himself to be true: Ps. xix. 9, ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ And the gospel is called ‘the word of truth,’ Eph. i. 13, ‘After ye had received the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:’ and John xvii. 17, ‘Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth.’ To improve these places thus. Truth is the good of the understanding, and without the knowledge of which we can have no tranquillity of mind. Now of all truths this is the chiefest; it is not human, natural, or inferior truth, but a supreme divine truth, ratified by God’s authority, such as nature could never have found out; yea, such a truth as carries its own evidence with it, and shows how it comes from God, and discovers itself to be of God. As the sun is seen by its own beams, so the word of God needs no other testimony than itself to commend it to the consciences of men. Certainly it is such a truth as doth sufficiently evidence itself to be of God; all God’s works discover their author, and carry about with them their own demonstration; not only his greater works, upon which he hath impressed most of his wisdom and power, but even his lesser works: every worm and pile of grass shows who made it. To an attentive and discerning eye, a man cannot look upon a worm, or consider a gnat or any contemptible creature, but he shall see this was made by a wise God. God hath left his stamp upon every one of his works, and certainly upon his word much more; for ‘he hath magnified his word above all his name,’ Ps. cxxxviii. 2. There is a more clear discovery of the goodness, wisdom, and power of God than can be in any of his works; for upon this he hath laid forth all the riches of his wisdom and goodness. Therefore, if there be in all creatures and works of God a self-evidencing light to discover their author, and that invisible Godhead and power by which they were made, certainly there is somewhat in the word of God to discover its author; because of this objective evidence which it hath in itself it is 465more sure than an oracle or voice from heaven: 2 Peter i. 19, ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy.’ More sure than what? Than that voice which he heard from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ This was a continuation indeed, you will think; and yet Peter, that heard that voice, telleth us that comparatively we have greater security from and by the word of God; not more sure in itself, but as it is given in evidence to us; so we have a more sure word of prophecy. A transient voice is more easily mistaken and forgotten than a standing authentic record; therefore we have a more sure ground to rest upon than ever hath been or can be given to sinners, subject to forgetfulness, jealousies, and mistakes. A voice from heaven speaking to us by name might more easily be suspected to be another’s than the Lord’s voice; as when God called Samuel, he suspected that it was the voice of Eli. Therefore an oracle cannot be so sure, safe, and self-evidencing as this word of God that he hath commended to us. For if God should speak to us still from heaven, how should we be able to distinguish it from delusion, or to know it was a voice from God? Might not Satan cause a voice to be heard in the air, and deceive us? Indeed the holy men of God that immediately received those voices and oracles were certified that it was of God, because there was some divine evidence which did accompany the revelation; and if there be the same impressions of God upon the written word, we have as much certainty as they; yea, more, as we view the whole revelation of God together, and more deliberately consider the character and signature of God that is stomped upon it. In short, the word when preached by Christ himself in person came in upon the hearts of men chiefly by this self-evidencing light; therefore it is said of Christ, Mat. vii. 29, that ‘he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.’ His hearers were convinced of a sovereign majesty in his speech, proper to the divinity of his person; and when the officers were sent to apprehend him, there was such an evidence in his doctrine, that they cried out, ‘Never man spake like this man,’ John vii. 46. And still there is the same evidence in his doctrine written, for the voice could add nothing to it, and the writing can take nothing from it. The voice is but a circumstance, the word written not a dead letter, but can sufficiently evidence itself to be of God de jure; it hath the same power still, though de facto not always so received and so owned by the sons of men, but only by those that are enlightened by the Spirit to see this evidence. You find by daily experience every ingenious author leaves an image and impress of his own spirit, the mark of his genius upon every work that he doth. We can say of an exquisite painting, by some secret art in it, this is the hand of such a great master. Now, can it be imagined that God should put his hand to any work, and leave no signature or impress of it upon that work? It cannot be imagined, for it must be either because he could not, or he would not That God could not, cannot be said without blasphemy. Can men show the wisdom and learning they have attained to in every work, and cannot God, who is the father of lights and the fountain of wisdom, insinuate such secret marks and notes of his wisdom and divine authority into that writing he took care should be penned for the use and comfort of the world, that it might be known 466to be his? And that he would not, that cannot be believed neither. He that is so willing to ‘show man what is good,’ so willing to reveal himself to the reasonable creature, can we imagine he would so wholly conceal himself that there should be no stamp of himself upon that doctrine, to move our reverence and obedience, but receive it from the testimony of such a church? Therefore surely there is enough in the word to discover God to be the author. The apostles, when they went abroad to work faith, all the fruit that they expected from their preaching was from this self-evidencing light which was discovered in their doctrine; therefore doth the apostle say, 2 Cor. iv. 2, ‘Not handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.’ They did not commend themselves to the consciences of men merely by the miracles which they wrought, though that also was some seal of their commission, and that they were authorised and sent by God to preach those things to the world, but ‘by the manifestation of the truth commending themselves to every man’s conscience.’ So the apostle reckons up many things, ‘approving ourselves as the ministers of God by the word of truth,’ 2 Cor. vi. 4. Therefore certainly there is somewhat in the truth delivered that will sufficiently make out itself to be of God. And when they render the reason why this word was not received, it was not for want of evidence, as if this truth could not sufficiently be known to be of God, but because men were blinded with their lusts and carnal affections; for so he saith, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4, ‘If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,’ &c. Which shows there is a light in the gospel by which it can discover itself, and if this light be hidden from the eyes of men, it is because their minds are blinded by their own lusts and carnal affections. Now, if the certainty of truth will draw affection, certainly those truths which are conveyed in the word of God should gain upon our hearts and draw affection. Why? Because these are sublime, supreme, and weighty truths, and come in with a great deal of evidence upon the hearts of men.

2. If goodness can gain the hearts and affections of men, the word of God is good as well as true. There is a double desire in man—a desire of truth and a desire of immortality; to know the truth, and to enjoy the chiefest good; the happiness of the intellect, of the understanding, that lies in the contemplation of truth; and the happiness of the will, in the enjoyment of good. In the state of innocency, this was represented by the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to suit these two capacities and desires that were in the heart of man: the tree of life, to suit his desires of happiness; and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to suit his desires of truth. Under the law, this is set forth by the candlestick and the table of shewbread; and in the gospel by the sacrament of baptism, which is called an enlightening—Heb. x. 32, ‘After you were enlightened:’ that is, after you were baptized—and the Lord’s supper. Light and life are the two great things man looks after as a reasonable creature; to get more light, and then life, that he may enjoy God. Now, we are still at a loss for satisfaction of these desires until we meet with the word of God, where there is primum verum, the supreme truth, and summum bonum, the 467chiefest good; and therefore the directions of the word are called ‘true laws’ and ‘good statutes,’ Neh. ix. 13: true laws, all words of truth, so to perfect the understandings of men; and good laws, very suitable to their will and inclination, and so bear a full proportion with the desires of a reasonable creature. So 1 Tim. i. 15, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.’ The gospel is a faithful saying; there is truth to perfect the understanding, and then worthy of the chiefest embraces of our wills and affections. As there is plain, certain, clear truth in the word of God, a satisfaction to the understanding in the view of truth, so there is also a full compliance with the motions of the will which the scripture offereth. Now two things there are the scriptures do reveal which are good for men, and cannot be found elsewhere, and all the world have been puzzled about them how to find them out:—(1.) Reconciliation with God; (2) Salvation, or eternal happiness.

[1.] Reconciliation with God: this is the grand inquiry of the guilty creature, Wherewith shall God be appeased, satisfied, and we reconciled to him, he being offended by our sin? Micah vi. 8. How justice shall be satisfied, and men, that are obnoxious to the wrath of God, may come to have delightful communion with him, this is the great scruple that troubleth the creature, and all the false religions in the world were invented for the removing and assailing this doubt and scruple, and appeasing the hearts of men as to these fears of divine justice. Now, we can nowhere be satisfied but in the way of reconciliation and peace which is tendered by God himself to repenting sinners, through the mediation of Christ Jesus. Natural conscience will make us sensible of sin and wrath, and we have no ransom to pay it; and all other creatures cannot help us, for they are debtors to God for all they have and can do. How then shall God be satisfied? How shall we escape this vengeance? This fear would have remained upon us to all eternity, but that we have relief from the word of God: 2 Cor. v. 19, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses.’ There is more glory in these few words, and more of God discovered in them, than there is in all the world. Oh, what a deal of comfort, and what a foundation for the rejoicing of our faith, is there laid in this reconciliation in and by Christ Jesus our Lord! That short sentence discovers more of God’s intentions and good-will to man than all the bounty of his providence in and by all the creatures put together. Here was a secret which could never enter into man’s heart, nor do we find a syllable of it written in any heathen book as to the way of it, how it shall be brought about; a truth so incredible to flesh and blood, that the prophet, when he speaketh of this wonder, asketh, ‘Who hath believed our report?’ Isa. liii. 1; who hath believed that he should bear our sorrows, and be wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, and that the chastisements of our peace should be upon him, and by his stripes we should be healed? Here is the great secret God hath revealed to you in his word. This must needs be a secret in nature, for this was a work which merely proceeded from the free motion of God’s will; and therefore, being not opus naturae divinae, but opus liberi consilii, that work which God did not do by any necessity of nature, but by the free motion of his own will, 468will never be found out unless God will discover it himself; for how could any man divine what God purposed in his heart before he brought it to purpose, until he himself had revealed it? Therefore it is a good word, because it reveals reconciliation by Christ.

[2.] There is something more to draw our hearts to the word—that is, eternal salvation. We grope and feel about for an immortal good. Nature will give us some presages of a state after this world, some kind of guesses; and we are groping and feeling about for an eternal good, Acts xvii. 27. Man, who hath a soul that will not perish, must have some happiness that will last as long as his soul shall last; he would fain be eternally happy. Now, it is the word of God only reveals both the thing and the way to God; the thing itself, that there is such a state, and what it is: 2 Tim. i. 10, ‘Christ hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ It lay in darkness before, hidden under some guesses and representations to the old people of God, but now it is brought to light in the gospel. Heathens in their dark notions did stumble upon the immortality of the soul, which they did rather dream of than understand distinctly; but now all is open and clear, and God hath manifested to you that ‘there is a rest for the children of God,’ and a happiness after this life. And also God hath revealed the way how to seek it, and how to attain and get this eternal happiness; therefore the holy scriptures are said to be ‘able to make wise to salvation,’ 2 Tim. iii. 15: it doth direct you in this way; that is wisdom indeed, to be wise to salvation. To be able to turn and wind in the world, to be wise only in the present generation, as the children of this world are, it is folly rather than wisdom; as when children can set forth their toys, we do not look upon it as any piece of wisdom, but folly. Wisdom lies in fixing a right end, in a choice of fit means, and in a dexterous prosecution of those means for the attainment of this end. Now the holy scriptures make you wise to salvation—that is, to fix upon a right end, for they discover that there is a happiness that we may fix upon, and they direct us in the way; and then by mighty and potent methods of reasoning they quicken and awaken us to look after this business, that we may dexterously pursue it as the great care that lies upon us; therefore the children of God delight in the word, because this makes them wise to salvation. Here they have a perfect blessedness, and a powerful way of argumentation, and the soul is quickened to look after these great and everlasting hopes.

3. The doctrines of the word are profound truths: ‘Thy testimonies are wonderful, therefore doth my soul keep them,’ Ps. cxix. 129. They are remote from vulgar and ordinary knowledge. The word of God is not only called ‘a doctrine according to godliness,’ 1 Tim. vi. 3, but a ‘mystery of godliness.’ I Tim. iii. 16. Since the fall there is a curiosity of knowledge, a desire whereby man not only seeks what is true and good, but what is rare and profound; we have no need to run to other books. True depth and true profoundness are to be found in the word of God. There are wonders in God’s law, if we had eyes to see them: Ps. cxix. 18, ‘Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law:’ things indeed so profound and so mysterious that the angels desire to pry into them, 1 Peter i. 12. Those spirits that live in the blessed vision and constant fruition of 469God, yet they did find a depth of wisdom in salvation by Christ, such a ravishing mystery, that they curiously are taken up in the study of it, and they delight in the view of those things which are commended to us for our study: Eph. iii. 10, ‘To the intent that now, unto the principalities in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.’ God’s word is a glass wherein those glorious creatures do, as in a mirror, behold his wisdom, and are in some sort bettered by it. The state of angels is a happy state, but it is finite, capable of being improved and bettered, and that by the doctrine of the holy scriptures. Well, then, such are the depths and various excellences of the word of God, that the saints know not how more pleasantly and contentedly to spend their thoughts and time than in the search and view of those truths, where such notable mysteries are revealed about the nature of God, creation, providence, the story of man’s fall, redemption by Christ, the way to true happiness, and the like. Both the grounds of faith and rules of practice are all such as are above the pitch of human understanding; natural reason cannot find them out, and now they are revealed by God, the mind doth not fully apprehend them.

Thirdly, The use of scripture, the ends for which God hath appointed it, and the uses for which it was given.

1. To increase the knowledge of God. Now, the saints would know more of God, and better their notions of him; as Moses, his great request to God is, ‘Tell me thy name:’ when he learned that, ‘Show me thy glory;’ he would fain know more of God. So the saints would fain know more of God; therefore the word is dear and precious to them, because it discovers so much of God, Hosea vi. 3. This is their property, they ‘follow on to know the Lord.’ They do not content themselves with their first and infant notions, but aspire to know him more and more; for their love, fear, and trust, and all, doth depend upon the knowledge of God. If we had more knowledge of God, we should love him more and trust him more: Ps. ix. 10, ‘They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.’ We know God but as men born blind know the fire; they know there is such a thing as fire, for they feel it warm them, but what it is they know not; so that there is a God we know, but what he is we know little, and indeed we can never search him out to perfection; a finite creature can never fully comprehend that which is infinite. The saints are following on to know the Lord; they desire to know more and more, and there is no such means to discover God to them as this way.

2. The use of the word is to convert the soul and to bring it home to God: Ps. xix. 7, ‘The law of God is perfect, converting the soul.’ There is the perfection of God’s word, it is God’s instrument for converting of souls, or turning of them back to him again. For conversion, take it in its whole latitude, compriseth this, to humble us, to cleanse us, to bind up our broken hearts. Because of all these uses, the children of God love his word. It serves—

[1.] To humble us for sin: Jer. xxiii. 29, ‘Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?’ He appeals to it as things that we may find by experience, that the word of God is not only a hammer to break, but afire to melt. 470As a battered vessel, when it is to be new formed, must be melted, that it may be capable of this new form, so no such way to melt the heart, and make it capable of God’s purpose, as the word of God; no such thing to break the heart, no such terrors and agonies like those the word works; and to melt the heart, to make it pliable to God’s use, no such thing as the word of God to affect us for sin, for sin as it is a breach of God’s law, or an offence to God.

[2.] It hath this use, to cleanse the heart, and subdue it to the obedience of Christ: Ps. cxix. 9, ‘Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereunto according to thy word.’ Young men, who more stubborn and boisterous than they, that are carried on with great strength and fervour in the very heat of their rebellion against God? Well, the word of God can cleanse the heart of a young man. As Plato saith of youth, that it is such a beast as will not easily come to hand. Now for cicurating and taming this beast, for the captivating those rebellious affections in youth, and cleansing and working out the filthiness that is in us, nothing like the word. And it is by these spiritual weapons that every thought is brought into captivity to Christ, 2 Cor. x.; and then, as it is obstinate, the power of the word breaks the force of our lusts.

[3.] For comforting and binding up the broken-hearted. Human wisdom and eloquence can do nothing to purpose this way; but when God by the word reveals to a man his righteousness, then ‘his flesh shall come again as a child’s, he shall return to the days of his youth,’ Job xxxiii. 25. Though a man before did walk up and down as a ghost, was, as it were, a walking skeleton, and his marrow was sucked out of his bones by the terrors of the Lord that were upon him, yet when he hath God’s word to show, under God’s hand, for his pardon, this brings his comfort; his flesh shall revive, he shall return fresher than a child, and shall return to the days of his youth; his strength, joy, and comfort shall come again. Therefore, oh, how they love the law! because they have felt in their heart it must be God’s word; for that which wounds must also heal.

3. To make us perfect as well as to begin the work: 2 Tim. iii. 17, it is said, ‘The word of God is able to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works:’ so that in this perfection there are three uses for which the word serves:

[1.] For building up in faith, or increasing in internal grace. The word of God is not only for novices, but for grown persons, that there may be a continual dropping into the lamps, as it was in the vision of Zechariah: Acts xx. 32, ‘I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.’ It is not enough to lay a foundation, but there must be a building up. Now, what is that which builds us up? ‘The word of his grace;’ that is, God’s blessing upon the reading and hearing the word; for the apostle speaks it when he was taking leave of the Ephesians: ‘I commend you to God, and the word of his grace:’ that is, the word of grace sent among them, by their ordinary officers continued to them, blessing the reading and hearing the word by their ordinary officers; there would be no need of Paul, the room should be supplied. Habits of grace must 471still be maintained by fresh influences, and they always come into us by the word of God; therefore, after we are converted and born again, the word is useful, ‘that we may grow thereby,’ 2 Peter ii. 2.

[2.] To direct our practice; that is one use the word serves for; so it is said, 2 Peter i. 19, ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy, thereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place:’ in this state of ignorance wherein we are, for that is figured by those words, ‘in a dark place.’ Sure it is a great blessing to have a light shining to us that we may not wander, and fall into the snares wherewith we are encompassed. We are apt to forget and mistake our way; we are very forgetful, and our way is narrow, hardly found and hardly kept; and Satan is full of wiles and deceits, like an ignis fatuus, ready to lead us out of the way; therefore we had need have a sure guide and a sure light: Ps. cxix. 105, ‘Thy word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths.’ It is a light not only to our paths, for the choice of our general way, but for all our steps, to direct us in all our ways.

[3.] To comfort us in all conditions, under our crosses, confusions, and difficulties; we have all from the word of God: Ps. cxix. 50, ‘This is my comfort in my affliction; for thy word hath quickened me.’ Oh! when a child of God is even dead, and hath many damps and discouragements upon his heart, when he goes to the word, there he hath quickening, reviving, and is encouraged to wait upon God again. All our discomfort comes from forgetting what God hath spoken in his word: Heb. xii. 5, ‘Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children.’ There is abundant consolation in the word, but we forget it, and do not carry it always in our mind, and then we lie under much dejection of heart; if we do not study it, discomfort will come upon us. In the word there is a remedy for every malady and an ease for every smart; and therefore this is that which makes it precious to the children of God.

Secondly, The saints readily yield this love to the word. Why?

1. Because their hearts are suited to the word. The word is every way suited to the sanctified nature, and the sanctified nature is suited to it; for that which is written in God’s book is written over again upon their hearts by the finger of the Spirit. While we are in our natural state there is an enmity to the law of God: ‘For we are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,’ Rom. viii. 7. Ay! but when they come to be written upon the heart and mind, then our affections are suited to the word. Carnal men do not love the word. Why? Because it is contrary to them; as Micaiah to Ahab, ‘He prophesieth nothing but evil to me.’ It only rubs their sores and discovers their spots to them, and that is grievous; and proud spirits think it to be a simple, plain doctrine. Worldly spirits love it not, for it draweth them off wholly to think of things to come; but they whose hearts, are suited to it, they have a mighty love to it.

2. They have tasted the goodness of the word, therefore they love it: 2 Peter ii. 3, ‘As new-born babes desire the sincere milk of the word.’ Why? ‘If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious:’ if you have felt any benefit: Jer. xv. 16, ‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of 472mine heart.’ When they come to taste, digest, and have experience of the benefit in comforting, changing, supporting their own hearts, then they love the word of God that hath been the instrument of it: James i. 18. ‘He hath begotten us by the word of truth.’ Then what follows? ‘Be swift to hear.’ If a man be begotten, if he hath felt the benefit of the word, then he will be taking all occasions to delight himself, and refresh his soul in the word of God, in reading, hearing, meditating, because he hath found sensible benefit.

Use 1. To shame and humble us that we are so cold in our love. It is an admirable and an incredible affection David here speaks. Consider who it was that speaks thus. David, he that was encumbered with the employments of a kingdom, he that had so many courtly pleasures, so many great businesses to divert and draw him aside; yet all his employment could not withhold him from delighting him self in the word of God. It was David, that was a king, and mark how he doth express himself; he doth not say, I endeavour to keep thy word, but ‘I love thy word.’ Nay, he saith more, he speaks of it as a thing he could not express, ‘How I love thy law!’ No great wonder that we cannot express the excellency of the word; but that our affections, which are so finite, that these should not be expressed, this is wonderful. Then he speaks of it with exclamation too, ‘Oh, how I love thy law!’ and he speaks this to God. The Septuagint reads it, ‘Lord, how have I loved thy law!’ He makes God himself to be, judge not only of the truth of his love (as Peter makes Christ the judge of the truth of his love: I have many failings, I have fallen foully of late; but, ‘Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest I love thee’) but he makes God the judge of the strength of his love, ‘Lord, how do I love thy law!’ Have we anything answerable? Heart should answer heart. Are there such affections wrought in us as David expresseth to be in himself? This should shame us, for we have more reason, there is more of the word of God revealed to us, more of the counsel of God discovered, the canon of scripture being enlarged, more discovered than ever was to David, yet our affections so cold.

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