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perfections in a still clearer light; the glory of God shines exceedingly bright in the face of Jesus Christ. But God's universal plan, comprehending law and gospel, and all God's dispensations from the foundation of the world to the final Consu inmation of all things, sets his moral character in the completest and most striking point of lights and puts us uno der vast advantages, even in this present state, to make a swift progress in the knowledge of the Deity. Indeed, had we that high relish for divine knowledge; that good taste for divine beauty which they in heaven have, our proficiency might bear a great resemblance to theirs. But, Oh, how stupid are we to divine things! Having eyes to see, and see not; ears to hear, and hear not; neither do we understand; hearts of stone, that have no feeling. We are even as beasts before him; so that while his glory shines all around us, we are in profound darkness. Oh, for the influences of the blessed spirit, to awaken our attention to the manifestations he makes of himself, and to give us a true taste and relish to the beauty of divine things ! Then would our hearts be enlarged to love the Lord our God, and to fear him, and to walk in all his ways, and to rejoice in the wisdom of his universal government. Oh, for that blessed day, when we shall receive the holy spirit in a full and perfect measure! Then shall we see no longer in this dark manner, but, as it were, face to face; shall, in a measure, at once, take in the idea which God has exhibited of himself, and be ravished with the wisdom, glory, and beauty of his universal plan.

2. What has been said, may be of use to assist us not only to form right notions of all finite intelligences as being, in their best estate, at an infinite remove from self-sufficiency and absolute independence; the peculiar prerogatives of him who alone is by nature immutable: but it may also be of special use to assist us to form just notions of the true character of mankind now in their fallen state. Facts are stubborn things. The steady conduct of mankind, from the fall to this day, gives their true character beyond dispute. Only think what they ought to be, perfectly in love with God, and full of love to one another; and see what their conduct has always been towards God, and towards one another. Towards God." Ye

do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted ? And they have slain them which showed before of the com. ing of the just ONE; of whom ye have been now the betray. ers and murderers." (Aets vii. 51,52.) Towards one another-“ Living in malice aud envy, hateful and hating one another.” (Titus iii. 3.)

“ Who live in hatred, enmity and strife,

Among themselves, and levy cruel wars,
“ Wasting the earth, each other to destroy ;
“ As if, (which might induce us to accord,)
“ Man had not hellish foes enough besides,
" That day and night for his destruction wait."


And so obstinate in their sinful ways, that, in fact, no external means have ever been able to reclaim them; so alienatod from God, that no arguments can persuade them to be reconciled; so that notwithstanding all the outward means which have been used, yet still the world is as it was. The christian nations very little better, if so good, as some heathen have been. (Matthew xii. 41.).

3. What has been said may be of use to realize to us the infinitely evil nature and dreadful consequences of sin. Let us view the lake of fire and brimstone, and see what will be the issue of the grand rebellion. Sin has turned angels into devils, and banished them from heaven, and will confine them for ever to the burning lake, with all their adherents from this apostate world. Let us view God's conduct towards sin, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things, and we may see how infinitely he hates it, and how resolved he is to suppress it. Oh, how infinitely dreadful had been our case in this fallen world, had a Saviour never been provided !

4. What has been said tends to give us the sublimest ideas of the divine interposition on the fall of man, to defeat satan's designs, and bring infinite good out of all the evil that satan intended. O, the depth of the knowledge, wisdon, and grace of God! Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders! This theme is worthy of eternal contemplation,

and will appear new, and fresh, and ravishing, through eters nal ages, to all the blessed inhabitants' of the upper world ; especially to the bride, the Lamb's wife. The saved from among men will have some ideas and joys peculiar to themselves, that even the elect angels will not intermeddle with; and “sing a new song, that none can learn but those who were redeemed from the earth." Rev. xiv. 3.

5. What infinite madness are the sons of men guilty of, that they can be inattentive to all this glorious grace ; go on secure in sin, and persist in their adherence to satan's interest, although they know that salan and his hosts, and all his adherents, are destined to the lake of fire and brimstone? “ O poor, blind, infatuated creatures ! to adhere to satan, our first enemy, who so maliciously sought our total ruin, deceived the happy pair, and plunged all this world in wo! to be deaf to the kind calls of the son of God, who means to defeat satan's designs, and has died in the cause, and now reigns in heaven with the same views, and invites us all to submit to his government and trust in his blood ! And can

go on,

in bold defiance of almighty vengeance, and make a jest of eternal burnings ?" Oh, how horrid the thought! infinitely horrid the thought, that so many of the human race are daily imprecating damnation upon themselves; calling upon God to damn their souls to hell ! Poor creatures, they little think what damnation means! they little think what it is to fall into the hands of the living God? Who that loves God, or has any compassion for inmortal souls, can think of the present blind and miserable state of a fallen world, and not long for the blessed day when satan shall be bound, and the Messiah reign on earth?

6. But let me conclude the whole with an address to the spiritual seed of Jacob.

As Jacob was in great distress, when his son's coat, all besmeared with blood, was brought into his presence, and said, “ Surely he is rent in pieces, and I shall see hiin no more !” and afterwards, when Simeon was left in Egypt, things looked darker still, “ Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and now will ye take away Benjamin also? All these things are against me!" and yet, in the end, he saw the wisdom,

beauty, and glory of the whole plan which God had laid : So shall it be here. How dark soever the present state of the world is, and how dark solever it has been for long agès past, that it has hardly looked like God's world, but rather like a world where satan reigns; and how impossible soever it may seem that all should issue well; yet we have the greatest réason to believe it will, and to rejoice in the prospect of that blessed day. For this is the very plan which infinite wisdom ehose before all other possible plans; the very plan which God himself laid out; all the parts laid out upon design; every thing adjusted by infinite wisdom. The whole, therefore, must be perfect in wisdom, glory, and beauty; and will appear so, when once it is finished.

Look through the lesser parts of God's great and universal plan; his dispensations to Jacob and Joseph, to Moses and the Israélites of old ; these, although oncé very dark, are now full of light, and easy to be understood. And if God's works are wise and beautiful, so far as we can understand them, this argues the whole are so. For doubtless all are of a piece, the Author being the same, and always acting like himself.

Besides, notwithstanding the dreadful state of the world in our day, and in all ages past, there may be time enough yet, before the day of judgment, for such great events as may put quite a new face upon the whole." Nor need we doubt the accomplishment of these great events, because they have been so long delayed. It is God's way to promise, and make his people wait; but he was never known to disappoint their expectations. To Adain he said, The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." Adam lived above nine hundred years, and looked, and waited, and died; but it was above eleven hundred years after his death before God ever so much as mentioned his ancient promise. All his posterity on earth, eight only excepted, destroyed, meanwhile, in the general deluge. That some, perhaps, were ready to think God had quite forgot his promise ; till, in the days of Abrabam, it was renewed. Again they look ; but still it does not come; but long, dark ages intervene, and his people are put to wait about two thousand years more. And then, behold,



wbile, at the same time, the name of God is blasphemed through their unrighteous and ungodly lives. So once there was a mixed multitude came out of Egypt, and joined in the general joy at the side of the red Sea, merely from selfish views; but the Lord knew how to try them, and their joy, ere long, was turned to murmuring. For their hearts were not yet right; and their carcasses fell in the wilderness.

O, ye seed of Jacob ! trials, many trials are yet to be expecta ed : dark and gloomy days, while the dawning light of the glorious morning comes gradually on. Get ready, therefore, for trials. Be willing that all flesh should be brought low, und that the Lord alone should be exalted. (Isaiah ii. 17.) Seek meekness, ye mrek of the earth, for it may be, ye may be hid in the dau of the Lord's anger. (Zeph. ii. 3.) For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble ; and the day that cometh shull burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings. (Ma), iv. 1, 2.). Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Dan. xii. 4.) Many shall be purified and made white, and tried ; but the wicked shall do wickedly ; and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand. (Verse 10.) Blessed is that man who shall gyercome all trials, and be true to the Messiah's interest through all changes i for he shall stand in his lot at the end of the duys, in the gene, ral assembly of the just in heaven. (Verse 13.) Watch, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be äccounted worthy to escupe all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke xxi. 56.)

Humility, self-diffidence, entire dependance on God, the inward source of constant watchfulness and prayer, perfectly become us, and are exactly suited to the state of things in the intellectual system. Satan, a glorious archangel, fell; Adam the father of the human race, fell; all mankind are now in a fallen state ; the powers of darkness determined on our ruin. No room, therefore, is left for pride, self-confidence, self-dependance. Hell is our proper due ; and free grące, through Jesus Christ, our only hope. Snares and dangers

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