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3. F/'a. That zeal ministers most efiectually to the glory al God. For if zeaj. be in itself thusiovely, thysneceslary; if the fruits and effects of it be thus serviceable to the temporal and eternal.interest of man; what a lovely, what an agreeable notion of God shall we fovun from this one consideration of him, that he is the. great Author of it? That he is the Origin and Fountain of that light and heat, of that strength- and power of which it is compounded and constituted? He commands and exacts it; he excites and encourages to it by the promise of an eternal crown, and th? ravishing fruition of himself: he has planted the feeds of it in our nature, and he cherishes them by the blessed and vigorous influences of his Word and Spirit. How gracious is the divine Nature! how gracious is the divine Government! when the substance of his laws is, that we should love as brethren, that we should cloath the naked, feed the hungry, deliver the captive, instruct the foolish, comfort the afflicted, forgive one another, if need be, seven times a day; and such like. Jf to do all this be an argument of being regenerate > and forn of God; if this be a proof of his Spirit ruling in us, his Nature communicated to us, and his Image stamped upon us, how amiable must God be, when
we we discern so much benefit, and so muchi pleasure, and so much beauty, and so much] loveliness in those qualities which are but faint and imperfect resemblances of him \ in a word, the holiness of his children and servants, is a demonstration of the holiness of God himself; and in this consists the very lustre of divine glory. Holiness is the flower of all his attributes; the most perfeSi, because the most comprehensive of all his divine perfections; for holiness includes wisdom, power, and goodness. As to goodness, the cafe is so plain, that holiness and goodness are commonly used as terms equivalent. As to wisdom, 'tis evident, that no action is commendable and lovely, whatever the matter of it be, unless the principle, the motive of it be wise and rational; therefore wisdom cannot be separated from the notion of holiness. Lastly, As to power, this must heeds be comprised in it too; for beneficence, which is at least one great branch of holiness, must unavoidably imply power in the benefa&or, and impotence and want in the beneficiary. And this is the notion wherein holiness, when ascribed to God in fcrfpture, is generally taken. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts; heaven and earth are full of' thy glory, does . express the greatness and majesty, as well as the rectitude and parity of the divine Nature; and tosan&ijy(tbe Lord God in
our hearts, is, in the language of the scripture, not only to love him for his goodness, but revere and fear him for his majesty and greatness. Need I here add, that the excellencies of the creature, their fitness and subserviency to the great ends of their creation, is the glory of the Creator , just as the beauty, strength, and convenience of the work, is the honour of the architeSl? If the fun, moon, arid stars, the irrational and inanimate parts of the creation, shew forth the glory of God; how much more do spiritual and rational beings? And virtue is the perfection of reason, and zeal of virtue ; for this is that which does directly and immediately advance those great ends that are dearest to God, as I have, I think, abundantly made out.
Of Humility. How necejj'ary it is to Perfection.
OUR Saviour has so often pronounced the humblest, the greatest in the kingdom of heaven; he has so often promised the first place and the greatest exaltation to the lowest condescensions: he was himself so illustrious an example of lowliness of heart, of poverty of spirit; and the apostle has so exprefly asserted his joy and crown,,_ to be the reward of his humility, Phil. ii. that I can never think, that man can ever rife to a more eminent height, than that to which the imitation of this virtue of Christ will advance him. The more perfedt therefore man is, the more humble must he be too: the clearer view and the more assured hope he has of heaven, the more unconcerned must he be for all those things which the world pays a respect and honour to, the more he must be above them: the more fervent his love of God and his neighbour grows, the more confidently must he place all his glory in this one thing, the conformity of his affections and life to that of the blessed Jesus. Then is heperfeB, and the same mind is in him that was in Christ Jesus. Finally, The more he knows God, the nearer he is admitted into communion with him; the more plainly will he discern at how infinite distance he stands from the divine Majesty and Purity, and will prostrate himself even into dust and ashes before him. The perfect man admires adores, obeys, loves, relies, trusts, and resigns up himself, and all that is dear to him, to God. He is nothing in his own eyes; he pretends to nothing, he lays claim to nothing, or any other title than
that that of the goodness and bounty of God: whatever virtues he has, he ascribes them to the grace of God; and the glory and immortality he expects, he expects only as the gift os' God through Je/us Christ our Lord. And whatever he be in himself he compares not himself with others, but he proves his own work, that he may have rejoicing in himself alone, and not tn another. Nothing but zeal for God, or charity for man, can put him upon the asserting his own merit or service; but when he glories, it is like St. Paul, in his infirmities, that the sower of Christ may rest upon him.
Need I here insist on thefruit of humility? Surely 'tis conspicuous to every one that thinks at all. Great is the peace and rest of the humble foul here; and great will be his glory hereafter. He, who loves not the world nor the things of it, the lust of the flesh% the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, enjoys a perpetual calm and serenity of mind. There is no object that can raise any storm in him; there is nothing that can breed in him uneasy desires and fears. He, that loves the Father, is £xed on an immutable and perfect good; and he that Ttow quits ail for God, shall one day participate of the fulness of God, and that forever.