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a constant and supreme solicitude to please him. It is to see and to acknowledge God in every thing.

And when the idea of God has thus taken full possession of the mind, the devout worshipper will be, as it were, a living temple consecrated to the Almighty. Every action will be dignified by the noblest motive, and holiness to the Lord will be inscribed upon every affection and every thought. It is impossible that a person under such impressions should be otherwise than habitually virtuous; or that he should fail of attaining the highest dignity and perfection of which the human character is capable, provided that he entertains just and honourable views of the great object of worship, and right conceptions of that character and course of conduct which will insure the favour of his Maker.

What God is in himself, and what the character of his government over his creatures, we learn from the express declarations of the sacred writings, and these are confirmed by all the appearances of the

natural and moral world. God is Love. Unbounded, unchangeable benevolence, armed with irresistible power, and acting under the direction of infinite intelligence, is the best conception we can form of God. The great preponderance of good in the creation, and the obvious irresistible tendencies of things to a better and happier state, demonstrate beyond contradiction this glorious truth. While the partial introduction, and the limited prevalence of evil, which, indeed, commonly tends to, and is over-ruled for good, can never be proved inconsistent with the glorious conclusion.

The practical conviction of this momentous truth, and the habitual presence of this magnificent idea, must be a source of exquisite satisfaction and delight, in proportion to the constancy and vividness of the impression. And thus knowing what God is in himself, it is easy to learn what it is that he requires of his creatures. Infinite benevolence can have no end in view, but the production of happiness. And the creatures of God then best obey the will of the all-benevolent Creator, when they place their happiness in the exercise of benevolence, and seek no higher gratification than that of doing good, under a powerful sense of duty and of gratitude. Judge then what must be the dignity of that character, and the felicity of that individual, who lives under the constant impression of the existence, presence, and providence of such a Being, and whose whole life is devoted to doing good to others, under a commanding sense of duty to God, who places an entire and cheerful confidence in the paternal goodness of the Almighty, and whose hopes are full of immortality. To such an one, if such an one is to be found, means, if I may so express it, have accomplished their ends, and cease to be any longer of use. To him who governs his whole conduct under a commanding sense of the divine inspection, a supreme concern to secure the favour of God, and an habitual impression of duty and gratitude, every day is a sabbath, every place is a sanctuary, and every action of life is an act of devotion.

He has no will, but the will of God: and whether he eat or drink, or whatsoever he may do, he doth all to the glory of God.

This, however, is the lot of very few indeed. With respect to the mass even of virtuous characters, in order to attain Christian perfection, from which they are far remote, it is necessary to persevere in the use of those means which the word of God, and the moral constitution of human nature, point out as necessary to the accomplishment of the end. Without which it cannot possibly be secured, but the persevering use of which cannot fail to insure success.

The idea of an all-perfect God, and the disinterested love of virtue, are not innate; nor do they necessarily force themselves upon the inattentive, and unreflecting mind. Much less are we to expect supernatural impressions, while we live in the neglect of proper means.

means. That elevation of virtue which I have been describing, that dignity of character, that constant powerful sense of God upon the mind, which absorbs all other considerations, is

only to be attained gradually, and is the peculiar privilege and felicity of those who have long trod in the path of virtue.

For the early formation of a habit of piety, much depends upon the judicious discipline of parents, and of those who have the charge of children. It is their indispensable duty to sow the seeds of piety and virtue in the susceptible minds of the rising generation, and to impress upon the

young and tender heart a just and practical sense of the perfections and providence of God, and of the important relations which he sustains as a Father, benefactor, and friend. It has been well observed,* that the impression of God upon the mind can be felt to the greatest advantage only by those who do not remember the time when they were destitute of it.

With respect to those who have attained to years of discretion, without having formed habits of piety, their first step must be to acquire a strong conviction that rational piety is the best foundation of social and

* By Mrs. Barbauld.

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