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An Invitation to Praise.

1 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.   2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.   3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.   4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.   5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;   6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.   7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.

Our devotion is here warmly excited; and we are stirred up, that we may stir up ourselves to praise God. Observe,

I. The duties to which we are here called, and they are many, but the tendency of them all is to give unto God the glory due unto his name. 1. We must give thanks to him, as one who has always been our bountiful benefactor and requires only that we give him thanks for his favours—poor returns for rich receivings. 2. Call upon his name, as one whom you depend upon for further favours. Praying for further mercies is accepted as an acknowledgment of former mercies. Because he has inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him. 3. Make known his deeds (v. 1), that others may join with you in praising him. Talk of all his wondrous works (v. 2), as we talk of things that we are full of, and much affected with, and desire to fill others with. God's wondrous works ought to be the subject of our familiar discourses with our families and friends, and we should talk of them as we sit in the house and as we go by the way (Deut. vi. 7), not merely for entertainment, but for the exciting of devotion and the encouraging of our own and others' faith and hope in God. Even sacred things may be the matter of common talk, provided it be with due reverence. 4. Sing psalms to God's honour, as those that rejoice in him, and desire to testify that joy for the encouragement of others and to transmit it to posterity, as memorable things anciently were handed down by songs, when writing was scarce. 5. Glory in his holy name; let those that are disposed to glory not boast of their own accomplishments and achievements, but of their acquaintance with God and their relation to him, Jer. ix. 23, 24. Praise you his holy name, so some; but it comes all to one, for in glorying in him we give glory to him. 6. Seek him; place your happiness in him, and then pursue that happiness in all the ways that he has appointed. Seek the Lord and his strength, that is, the ark of his strength; seek him in the sanctuary, in the way wherein he has appointed us to seek him. Seek his strength, that is, his grace, the strength of his Spirit to work in you that which is good, which we cannot do but by strength derived from him, for which he will be enquired of. Seek the Lord and be strengthened; so divers ancient versions read it. Those that would be strengthened in the inward man must fetch in strength from God by faith and prayer. Seek his strength, and then seek his face; for by his strength, we hope to prevail with him for his favour, as Jacob did, Hos. xii. 3. "Seek his face evermore; seek to have his favour to eternity, and therefore continue seeking it to the end of the time of your probation. Seek it while you live in this world, and you shall have it while you live in the other world, and even there shall be for ever seeking it in an infinite progression, and yet be for ever satisfied in it." 7. Let the hearts of those rejoice that do seek him (v. 3); for they have chosen well, are well fixed, and well employed, and they may be sure that their labour will not be in vain, for he will not only be found, but he will be found the rewarder of those that diligently seek him. If those have reason to rejoice that seek the Lord, much more those that have found him.

II. Some arguments to quicken us to these duties. 1. "Consider both what he has said and what he has done to engage us for ever to him. You will see yourselves under all possible obligations to give thanks to him, and call upon his name, if you remember the wonders which should make deep and durable impressions upon you,—the wonders of his providence which he has wrought for you and those who are gone before you, the marvellous works that he has done, which will be had in everlasting remembrance with the thoughtful and with the grateful,—the wonders of his law, which he has written to you, and entrusted you with, the judgments of his mouth, as well as the judgments of his hand," v. 5. 2. "Consider the relation you stand in to him (v. 6): You are the seed of Abraham his servant; you are born in his house, and being thereby entitled to the privilege of his servants, protection and provision, you are also bound to do the duty of servants, to attend your Master, consult his honour, obey his commands, and do what you can to advance his interests. You are the children of Jacob his chosen, and are chosen and beloved for the fathers' sake, and therefore ought to tread in the steps of those whose honours you inherit. You are the children of godly parents; do no degenerate. You are God's church upon earth, and, if you do not praise him, who should?" 3. Consider your interest in him: He is the Lord our God, v. 7. We depend upon him, are devoted to him, and from him our expectation is. Should not a people seek unto their God (Isa. viii. 19) and praise their God? Dan. v. 4. He is Jehovah our God. He that is our God is self-existent and self-sufficient, has an irresistible power and incontestable sovereignty: His judgments are in all the earth; he governs the whole world in wisdom, and gives law to all nations, even to those that know him not. The earth is full of the proofs of his power.




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