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benevolence and in contemplating the fruits and effects of it, through the whole universe, God is truly blessed. The whole of his felicity results from or consists in these benevolent views and feelings. Nor can we conceive, that a pure and perfect Spirit should derive the least degree of happiness from any other source.His natural perfections, without his moral could yield him no pleasure, or satisfaction. His power, knowledge and wisdom, though infinitely great, could only enable him to do and see all things, without enjoying any thing. For the bare view of objects, without any exercises of heart, can afford neither pleasure, nor pain to a percipient Being. Happiness is seated in the heart and not in any mere intellectual faculties. This is true of beings, that are composed of flesh and spirit; and much more of him, who is a pure, uncreated mind. If this great, original and external Spirit be truly happy, his happiness must exist in his heart. And if it exist in bis heart, it must flow from his pure, benevolent feelings; for no other kind of feelings can afford real happiness to any intelligent, moral being. Were the Deity a pure Intelligence, as many

heathen philosophers and Christian divines have supposed, it would be impossible, in the nature of things, that he should be truly blessed. But if he possesses true benevolence, he must enjoy self approbation, which is real happiness. I now proceed to show,

II. That be is perfectly and forever blessed. This will appear from various considerations.

1. The blessedness of the Deity is without the least alloy, or mixture. It is as pure as his perfect benevolence, from which it flows. God is love and in him is no malevolence at all. Though the benevolence of saints in this life affords them some real happiness, yet it is mixed with many painful feelings, which arise from the mixture of their selfish with their benevolent affections. Their selfishness opposes their benevolence and obstructs the happiness, which they would otherwise enjoy. But there is no such contrariety of feelings in the divine Being.. His goodness is without alloy, his love without defect and his benevolence with


out malevolence. All the affections of his heart are uniform and harmonious. Though his affections are infinitely strong, yet his mind is perfectly serene. There is no perturbation in his feelings; and though they are as various as the immense variety of creatures and objects in the universe, yet as they are all of the same benevolent nature, he never feels the least conflict or discord in his own mind. If his benevolent feelings, therefore, yield him the least degree of happiness, they must necessarily give him pure, perfect and permanent felicity.

2. The blessedness of the Deity must be not only unmixed, but uninterrupted. There are many things, which serve to interrupt the happiness of saints here in this imperfect state, besides their discordant feelings. But there is nothing in the universe to interrupt the pure and unmixed felicity of the divine Being. He never slumbers, nor sleeps, nor falls into state of insensibility a single moment. He is never obliged to turn his attention from one object to another, as all his intelligent creatures are. They cannot view two worlds, nor even two distant objects in the same world at once. But God can be. hold all things done in heaven and earth and all parts of the universe at one and the same time. He can feel and express his benevolence and see all the effects of it, among all his creatures, without a moment's interruption, or intermisson. He never finds any difficulty or obstacle in the way of extending his benevolent regards to any of his creatures, who are always in his sight and in his reach. He never sees a good to be done, which is out of his power to do. He never sees an evil to be removed from his creatures, which it is out of his power to remove.

And he never meets with any resistance from any other being, which he cannot with infinite ease surmount. There is indeed nothing within himself, nor without himself, which can in a single instance, or for a single moment, interrupt the most free and perfect exercise of his benevolence. It necessarily follows, that his happiness which flows from his benevolence, is constant, uninterrupted and

permanent. His perfect love is a fountain from which perpetual streams of happiness must constantly flow and fill his vast, unmeasurable mind. Any interruption in the divine blessedness would be a great imperfection in it; but there can be no imperfection in the nature, or happiness of the Deity. He so absolutely fills and governs the universe, that he can never be disappointed, or obstructed in the gratification of bis perfect benevolence, which constitutes his felicity.

3. The blessedness of God must be unlimited, as well as unmixed and uninterrupted. The happiness of some created beings is unmixed and uninterrupted, but never can be unlimited. Their finite natures will forever set bounds to their enjoyments. Their felicity must necessarily fall short of perfeetion. But the blessedness of the Deity can admit of no limitation. It is as great as possible. This is evident from the great scheme or mode of operation, which God formed from eternity. Among all possible modes of operation, which stood present to his omniscient eye, bis infinite wisdom chose the best, to give the most free, full, extensive expressions of his perfectly benevolent feelings. Among all possible things to be done, he determined to do all those, which would diffuse the greatest sum of happiness through the universe. He determined to make as many worlds and to place as many creatures in them and to give those creatures as great capacities for enjoying good, as would be necessary to form a system, which should contain the highest possible happi

In short, be meant to display his infinite wisdom and almighty power, to give the benevolence of his heart the largest possible field of operation. And by forming this scheme of operation, which would give the most unlimited indulgence to his benevolent feelings, he laid a foundation for his own unlimited felicity and self enjoyment. For he is so absolutely able to fulfil his purposes, that he views them all as absolutely certain of accomplishment. Of consequence, he enjoys his whole benevolent scheme before it is consummated and brought to a close. If infinite wisdom could bave conceived of any creature, or of any object, or of any


event, which does not belong to that eternal scheme of operation, which God has adopted, he would certainly have taken that creature, or that object, or that event into his original design of displaying his benevolence to the greatest advantage. We may justly conclude, therefore, that God has devised and adopted the best possible inethod to act out the perfect benevolence of heart and to promote bis own highest possible blessedness

This leads me to observe, 4. That his blessedness is as perfect in duration as in degree. The apostle says in the text, “ He is blessed forever.” “ He is in one mind and who can turn him ? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” He

le can never see any reason to alter his designs ; and therefore it is certain that he never will alter them. He can never meet with any insurmountable difficulties in carrying his designs into effect ; and therefore he will infallibly accomplish them. And if he does eventually accomplish all his purposes, his joy will be full and his blessedness complete and eternal. He was blessed in forming his benevolent designs ; he has been blessed in carrying them on ; he will be blessed in bringing them to a close ; and he will be blessed in contemplating them, through interminable aces. His blessedness will certainly be as great at the e !, as at the beginning of the world. Nor does it io ply any absurdity, to suppose that it will be much

At the end of the world, all the fruits and effects of his infinite benevolence will rise into view and actually appear as realities in all their variety, excellence, magnitude and importance. We must sur. pose that God views things as they are and not as they are not.

He views things, which do not exist, as not existing ; and things, wbich do exist, as actually existing. He now views the end of the world and the consummation of all his designs, as things future and not to come into existence. But when they have come into existence, he will view them as present, and actually existing. Where, then, is the absurdity of supposing, that the happiness of the Deity will rise higher when bis great and benevolent scheme is accomplished, than


it ever was before ? And where is the absurdity of supposing, that his blessedness should perpetually rise bigner and higher, as the successive scenes of eternity are perpetually opening and displaying new effecis of his benevolence ? It is certain, that the felicity of saints and angels will perpetually and eternally increase as they perpetually discover new and glorious effects of the divine benevolence in the works of creation, providence and redemption. And why should not the divine felicity increase, as God perpetually and eternally sees the growing holiness and happiness of all his holy creatures, which are new effects of his infinite benevolence ? This does not imply, that the divine bles. se iness has not been and will not be as great as possible in any moment of infinite duration. But whether his blessedness will forever increase or not, yet there is a foundation in his nature and designs for being supre nely and infinitely blessed for ever and ever.

IMPROVEMENT. If the blessedness of God essentially consists in the benevolence of his heart; then we may clearly understand what is meant by his acting for his own glory. The scripture represents him as making this bis supreme object in all his conduct. We read that “ the Lord hath made all things for himself”---that “of him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever." God himself often declares in his word, I will do this and that, for my name sake---for my praise-- for my glory. These expressions are all of the same import and signify that God always acts with an ultimate and supreme regard to his own glory. The question now is, what is to be understood by his glory? It is often said, that his acting for his own glory consists in displaying his perfections before the eyes of his inte'ligent creatures. It is true, indeed, that when he acts for his own glory, he does display his perfections before the eyes of his intelligent creatures; but this is only an end subordinate to his supreme end, which is his own glory, or the most perfect gratification of his infinitely benevolent heart. If the

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