Because we receive every day family-mercies from the hand of God. He loads us daily with His benefits (Ps. 68:19). When you wake in the morning and find your dwelling safe, not consumed with fire, not broken through by thieves, is not this a family-mercy? When you wake and find none dead in their beds, that news is not brought you in the morning, there is one child dead in one bed and another in another, and there is not a lodging-room in the house but the last night one or other died in it; but on the contrary you find all well in the morning and refreshed by the rest and sleep of the night— are not these and many more such mercies to the family, that when you rise you should call them all together jointly to bless God for? If it had been otherwise, [if] master or mistress [were] dead, children or servants dead, would not the rest say, “It would have been a mercy to us all, if God had spared him, her, or them?” If your house had been consumed by flames, and God had turned you all out of doors before morning, would you not have said, “It would have been a mercy, if God had safely preserved us and our dwellings and caused us to rest and sleep and rise in safety?” Why, Sirs, will you not acknowledge mercies to be mercies, till God hath taken them away from you? And if you do, should you not give the praise daily unto God? Was it not God Himself that watched over you while you did sleep, and could not, did not, watch yourselves? “Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain…for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Ps. 127:1-2).
And as you have had many family-mercies in the night to bless God for in the morning, so you have many family-mercies in the day to give thanks to God for at night before you go to bed. Methinks you should not quietly sleep till you have been together on your knees, lest God should say, “This family that hath not acknowledged My mercy to them this day, nor given Me the glory of those benefits of which to them I gave the comfort, shall never see the light of another day, nor have the mercies of one day more to bless Me for. What if God should say unto you when you are laid down in your beds, “This night your souls shall be required of you, you that went to bed before you had given Me the praise of the mercies that I had given unto you all the day, and before you had prayed for My protection over you in the night.” Take heed: though God be patient, do not provoke Him.
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