Monday, May 2, 2011

Praise and Gratitude

I cannot but observe to you the goodness of our God, yea, the riches of his goodness:
Who freely gave Jesus Christ out of his own bosom for us, and has not withheld his Spirit, ordinances and ministers, to reveal and apply him to us. Here is love that wants an epithet to match it:
Who engaged my heart upon this transcendent subject in the course of my ministry among you: a subject which angels study and admire, as well as we:
Who so signally protected and overshadowed our assemble in those days of trouble, wherein these truths were delivered to you. You then sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to your taste: his banner over you was love; your bread was then sure, and your waters failed not: Yea, such was his peculiar indulgence, and special tenderness to you, that he suffered no man to do you harm; and it can hardly be imagined any could attempt it that had but known this, and no worse than this, to be your only design and business:
Who made these meditations of Christ a strong support, and sweet relief to mine, now with Christ, and no less to me, under the greatest exercises and tries that ever befel me in this world; preserving me yet (though a broken vessel) for some farther use and service to your souls:
Who in the years that are past left not himself without witness among us, blessing my labours, to the conversion and edification of many; Some of which yet remain with us, but some are fallen asleep:
Who has made many of you that yet remain, a willing and obedient people, who have in some measure supported the reputation of religion by your stability and integrity in days of abounding iniquity: my joy and my crown; so stand ye fast in the Lord!
Who after all the days of fears and troubles, through which we have past, has at last given us and his churches rest; “that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear in righteousness and holiness (which doing, this mercy may be extended to us) all the days of our life.”
In testimony of a thankful heart for these invaluable mercies, I humbly and cheerfully rear up this pillar of remembrance, inscribing it with EBEN-EZER, and JEHOVAH-JIREH!”
~ John Flavel