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Mercy Remembered in Wrath

Mercy Remembered in Wrath

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN M. MASON, D. D.


PSALM

He hath not dealt vnth us after our sins^ nor re-
umi'ded us according to our iniquities.
BY JOHN M. MASON, D. D.


PSALM

He hath not dealt vnth us after our sins^ nor re-
umi'ded us according to our iniquities.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 29, 2013
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MERCY REMEMBERED I WRATHBY JOH M. MASO, D. D.PSALMHe hath not dealt vnth us after our sins^ nor re-umi'ded us according to our iniquities.MY BRETHRE,The providence of God, which threatened thespeedy punishment of our crimes, lately calledus to humble ourselves under his mighty hand.We came to his sanctuary in the character of pe-nitents ; vv^e professed to afflict our souls for theevil w^e had done in his sight ; we addressed histhrone in the language of contrition ; we im-plored respite ; we implored pardon. Abstinencefrom bodily food, in the self-denial of fasting, weemployed as the symbol of inward bitterness, andas an aid in the mortification of sin.86For purposes of a different nature do we thisday tread the courts of the Most High. The oilof joy succeeds to mourning ; and the garmentof praise to the spirit of heaviness. We cometo offer nnto God thanksgiving : We come tocelebrate his recent benefits : We come to kin-dle on the altar of common gratitude the mingledincense of our praise.But where, may some ask, where is the pro-priety of bringing, at this time, the sacrifices of  joyfulness 7 Is Jehovah's controversy with our
 
guilty land completely removed 7 Is his angerturned away, and his hand, stretched out nolonger? Have our citizens, br^eaking off theirsins by repentance, returned to him from whomthey have deeply revolted ? From his judgmentswhich are abroad in the earth, do they ap-pear to have learned righteousness 7 And has theSpirit of grace shed down the large effusion of his quickening and purifying influence? Wouldto God, my brethren, that facts could warrant aprompt and exulting affirmative. But truthobliges us to confess, with blushes, that we havelittle reason to boast of rectified principle andnew obedience. We are still a sinfid nation, apeople laden icith iniquity, a seed of evil-doers ;children that are corrupters ; we have forsakenthe Lord ; we have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger ; we have gone airay hackicard.87It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not con-sumed. But this cannot supersede the necessi-ty, nor lessen the propriety, of thanksgiving. Itis rather one of the most cogent reasons for sing-ing aloud of his mercy. Besides, we are to con-sider, that within a short time the procedure of holy Providence, contrary to our most distressingfears, hath, in matters intimately affecting ourhappiness, assumed a more favorable aspect.Therefore, although we are not authorized toconclude that the Lord is pacified towards us forall that we have done, yet we may and oughtto utter abundantly the memory of his good-ness; we may and ought to thank him, andthank him publicly, that he hath not dealt withus after our sins^ nor rewarded us according to ouriniquities.
 
The text, which significantly describes ourcondition, asserts, that God hath not treated usaccording to our desert; and vStrongly impliesthat this dispensation is replete with singularkindneSvS — subjects which lead to discussion pro-fitable in itself, and obviously corresponding withthe design of this day.I. Let us endeavor to be deeply impressed withthe fact, that the Lord hath not dealt with usafter our sins, nor rewarded us according to ouriniquities.88How numerous our sins are, how black theiratrocity, how peculiar and malignant their ag-gravations, it is neither my intention nor mybusiness to state. This would lead us againover the ground of which, not long ago, we hadoccasion to take a sorrowful review. That wehave merited those varied plagues by which theEternal scourges a rebellious and stiff-neckedpeople, we may not deny, for we have alreadyconfessed. The symptoms of their approach-startled the most thoughtless ; our hearts throb-bed with painful apprehension ; and we hastenedto the mercy-seat to deprecate those evils of whicheven the remote appearance filled us with terror.That he hath had compassion ; that in wrath hehath remembered mercy, we are all witnesses ;for we are all living monuments of his forbear-ance. The gathering darkness hath not beenpermitted to concentrate and pour down itstempest. It hath ceased, in part, to overcloudour sky ; and, in some degree at least, hath yieldedto brighter prospects.

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