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malice, and iniquity among men, and justly held in the utmoit detestation. But every idea of this kind is utterly inapplicable to the blessed God. What puritive justice was displayed in the awful sufferings and cruel death of Jesus Christ? What must be the excruciating pains he sustained in the garden of Gethsemine, when his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground? What must be the tormentmg agony of his horrid crucifixion And was there ever such discoveries of benevolence, love, and unbounded goodness made to the universe of intelligences, as nn these dreadful transactions? Is not this tremendous tragedy the sole foundation of the salvation of all pious 'and good people? And that which encreases the felicity of angels, and secures the eternal blessedness of all penitent, believing, and righteous men, must exhibit the goodness of Jehovah in the highest fullness and perfection.
These are only a few imperfect hints of the goodness and glorious moral excellencies of thg Most High. Your own meditations may enlarge upon them, to the utmost extent of your capacities, but eternity itself can never fully develope, much less exhaust the subject of inconceivable and infinite goodness. "Justice and "judgment are the habitation of his throne, mercy and truth shall "go before his face. I will make all my goodness to pass beforft « thee.
A very few conclusions, must bring thi6 theme at present to a period.
First, We conclude that all w.ho would repent, forsake their sins, and turn to God according to the gospel, must make his goodness, mercy, and grace their only plea. Their chief prayer must be, "God be merciful to us sinners'." All imaginary merit and self-righteousness, must forever be banished from our hearts. O let us, with our whole souls, embrace the mercy of God in Christ Jesus; and let us trust and depend upon his abundant goodness and truth.
Secondly, We conclude that these perfections of Jehovah, ar displayed in the holy scriptures, afford the greatest encouragement to poor, helpless and broken hearted sinners, to rrpair to this overflowing ocean of goodness. Here, O distress^ souls, are enough and to spare. What is your petition, and what is your request? What are your hungerings and thirsting, and the, longing desires of your hearts? Come hither, and they shall be satisfied with the fullness of God, with a perfection of grace, rrercy, and goodness. Yea, "the Lord will rejoice over you for "good. O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the "man that trusteth in him." He keepeth mercy for thousands.
A Third conclusion is, that the righteousness and justice of God, though dressed in all the amiable robes of celestial goodness, must be a terror and dread to all the workers of iniquity, and to all the finally impenitent. Remember, O sinners, "The "wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness "and unrighteousness of men." The compassionate Saviour himself, who is all goodness and love, "Shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels to take vengeance." He is now/as it were, shedding tears of tenderness and love over you. He is saying, " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have ga"thered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; "but ye would not. As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no "pleasure in the death of the wicked. How shall I give thee up "Ephraim ? How shall I deliver thee Israel ?. How shall I make "thee as Admah and Zebaim? My heart is turned within me, "my repentings are kindled together." Wherefore, be entreated not to despise the riches of his goodness, but flee from the wrath to come; flee into the open arms of divine compassion,. mercy, and love.
Lastly, We conclude with the highest certainty, that if Goi be thus good, and abundant in goodness, that he ought to be lovtd with all our hearts, with all our minds, and wit all our strength. "Take diligent heed to love the Lord your God. O "love the Lord all ye his saints. Keep yourselves in the love of "God, looking lor the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal "life. If a man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ? anathema, maranatha."
TEE PRIMITIVE RECTITUDE OF MAN.
Genesis I. 26, 27.
And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; mnd let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and ever every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.
COMPARISON is a peculiar characteristic distinction in our world. Few consider the implication and extent of this term. What is it that has formed the distinction among men, as philosophers, politicians, warriors and divines, but this criterion ?— What placed Sir Isaac Newton at the head of all the philosophers Land mathematicians that preceded him, but comparison; comparison between him,5 Galileo, Copernicus and others; and he was favored in his calculations, demonstrations, and especially in the run of popularity above all his predecessors. What raised the fame of the great Mr. Locke, in the investigation of the operations of the human mind, but a comparison with those who had preceded him? What made Nimrod, Alexander, Cesar and olhf r generals great in war, but their pre-eminence above other warriors, in the butchery and destruction of the human race? In like manner among divines: one important matter with them has been to investigate man in the original state in which he was created, and compare the same with his present condition.
With regard to the present situation and character of manr this shall be a matter of future attention—but what his state and tondition was, when he first came from under the hand of his Creator, is to be the subject of our consideration at this time. If we can from reason and revelation, clearly delineate man in his nature, qualities, and endowments in his primitive state, as formed by his God, and exhibit with justice, truth, and precision his present character, situation, and condition, we will then sea what man was, and what he now is—and thus it will be rendered easy to the unprejudiced mind, and even the feeblest understanding, to make the comparison. It is impossible for me to work up the picture to a perfect likeness in one case or the other, but I •hall honestly endeavor to follow the scriptural descriptions of both, as far as my abilities, aided by the Spirit of God, shall enable me.
In respect to man in his original state, as brought into existence by his Creator, the text before us, with a few others illustrating it, must comprehend our meditations in this discourse. And here we will learn the Maker of man,. the materials of his formation, the excellency of his character, and the happiness of his primitive condition.
These things are expressed in a summary way in our text. "And God said, let us make man, in our image, after our like"ncss, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and "the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, "and over every creeping thing that crecpeth upon the earth. So "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created "he him." We are here plainly informed, that God is the author, maker, and creator of man. He was not made from nothing, as the world was, but he was made from what we should naturally eousider very improper materials, to wit, the dust of the earth.