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(speaking after the manner of men) the first thing ever done by the Deity was, for the several persons in the Godhead to concert the great plan for raising up a church from the ruins of the fall of man; and, the Son of God take upon himself the great and most important offices, , which he was to perform in this most wonderful of all God's works. This was the device and work of the whole Godhead.The several persons in the ever blessed Trinity uniting in it. Accordingly, when man, the ta. vored creature out of which the church was to be formed and rise, was to be created, God said, Let us make man.

That there are, and will be, displays of divine power and wisdom and love in the salvation of sinners, and in the formation and completion of the Christian church, inconceivably more bright and glorious than there would have been any opportunity for under that order and course of things, which was established in the first creation of the world, will admit of no reasonable doubt. Had man remained innocent, and things continued and gone on agreeably to the constitution originally formed and established with him ; that manifold wisdom of God, which is known by the church, never would have been visible to creatures, or apprehended, or conceived by them. It never would otherwise have been seen and known, with what infinite strength, and to what an infinite extent God's heart is set on doing good-on diffusing happiness; nor, what unbounded sources there are in Him for raising creatures to such an incomprehensible height of holiness and happiness, as his church will yet be raised, to the eternal glory of his own great name. But that there is wisdom enough, and power enough, and love enough in the Great God, to do all this and that, too, for enemies—for such as deserve nothing but eternal banishment from his blessed presence and favor, is now put beyond all doubt, by God's being manifest in flesh-dwelling with mon, and doing the works he did on earth--making his soul an offering for sin-and, ascending to the right hand of God, and forever making intercession. All that height of happiness, to which the Christian church will, hereafter, be raised in heaven, together with all the wrath, which will be poured out on

the enemies of Christ, and of his glorious work, will serve unitedly to illustrate the strength and infiniteness, the purity and glory of divine love.

5. Let no one, then, complain of our first parents, as though they, by their fall, had subjected him to great evil and irretrievable disadvantage ; but, remember that, where sin has abounded, God has caused his grace much more to abound, by Jesus Christ, towards us. True it is, that Adam brought sin and evil into this world ; and, was the criminal occasion of involving his whole posterity in a ruin, from which nothing but Almighty pow. grace

could recover them. Though Adam meant it for evil, yet the infinitely wise Disposer of all events, meant all for good And has made his sin and fall the occasion of opening a door for far, very far greater good even to our fallen race, than could, otherwise, ever been known or enjoyed by man.

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But, yet, what bitter complaints are, often, uttered by men, against Adam. But thou, who judgest another, doest thou the same things thyself? Do you judge and condemn Adam for disobeying the command of God, and yet live in constant disobedience yourself? If you have one wish to get back to that innocent and happy state our first parents were in before their fall, there is a way open to you to be immediately in a state far

preferable to that, in which they were originally placed. If it be any griet and pain to you, that they introduced the reign of sin into the world; the second Adam, you may remember, has introduced the reign of holiness, and set up a kingdom of righteousness here ; and he invites you to come and join him, and espouse his glorious cause ;' at the same time, assuring peace, rest, and protection to you, if you will. .

INSTEAD, therefore, of complaining of Adam, and murmuring that things have been so ordered and disposed, in divine providence, that sin and evil have taken place ; we ought, all, to unite in thankful adorations and praise to God, that, through his unsearchable wisdom and grace, he has made it the occasion of inconceivable good to the human race, and of raising men to far high


er degrees of, both holiness and happiness, than woulæ or could have fallen to their lot, had they never became fallen creatures. No one can entertain a doubt of this, when he considers how much more is seen of the power, the wisdom, and the love of God, in the great work and kingdom of redemption, than could have been seer by man, had he never fallen. And, when we take any . proper view of our own character, we cannot but be sensible, that we have far greater experience of the compassion, the love and goodness of God, than our first parents could have any apprehension of, in their primeval state-Add to this, that never failing and infinite fountain of love, now open to us, which brought God's only begotten Son into the world, and to the cross, tor the salvation of sinners, of enemies !

Our opportunities and advantages-our means of instruction, and of knowing and enjoying God-of beholding his glory, and of being eternally happy in his blessed presence and favor, very far exceed those, of our first parents in innocency, if we had but hearts and dispositions to improve them. But, instead of that, we our. selves neglect to improve the price which is put into our hands, and abuse far greater goodness than our first parents did ; and then, excuse ourselves by throwing all the blame on them. How unspeakably more becoming would it be in us, to repent of our own sins, and turn to God as they did-and, are now enjoying an inconceiva. bly clearer knowledge of God, and greater blessedness in him and nearness to him, than they ever could have been brought to by virtue of the covenant originally proposed to them, had they closed with it, and ever so faithfully kept it. But you will say, “ Shall we, then, “ bless and praise God, that sin and evil have been

brought into the world, and still so greatly reign and "prevail ?" I answer, No; these are not the objects, which cail for our gratitude and praise ; but, God's own infinitely wise and wonderful disposal, and his boundless love, in making these the occasion of unspeakably greater good and felicity to the sinner.

6. EVERY thing, in divine providence, concurs to lead us to acquiesce in it, that God should govern his

own world, and to rejoice that he actually does, and forever will govern it. When we look back to the original creation, and observe the order, the several steps, by which it rose, under God's forming hand, to such a state of perfection, that God saw all to be very goodWhen we view that wisdom, which is so conspicuous, in adapting every thing to its end, and so peculiarly forming and fitting it to the use, for which it was designed And, when we survey the beauty and uniformity of the whole, and reflect upon the wonderful preparation, which was made for the comfort and good of man-When we take a view of all these things, how can we but break forth, in the devout and joyful strains of God's pious servant, of old, Ps. civ. 24.

“ O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all : 66 the earth is full of thy riches." But, when we turn our eye and thoughts upon the still brighter scenes, which soon began to open, on the fall of man ; and, which will be opening and unfolding more and more forever ; how can we help being struck at once with conviction, that no one can be so hit to reign as the Lord That, no government can possibly be so wise, so perfect as his, or productive of so much felicity and good to man! God, both devises and executes infinitely better for us, than we could possibly do for ourselves : And it is obviously for the best, and infinitely so, that all creatures and things should be in his hand-all events depend on his will-and all be at his disposal. In whatever condition we, any of us, find ourselves, or however exercised and tried respecting our own particular concerns or duty; whenever we leave all with God, and give up and commit all to him, we find things ordered much better for us, on the whole, than we could possibly have done for ourselves. Therefore it is said, Prov. iii. 6. “ In all 66 thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy . paths.

No one ever trusts in God, in vain. Every one, who loves God, and submits his concerns to him, will find, on reflection, that God has ordered things for him, much better than he could possibly have done for himself. That, had he had his own way and choice, it would have been to his hurt-That for many of his disappointments, he has reason to bless God. Therefore, the Apostle directs, to cast all our cares upon the Lord,

because he careth for us. There can be no real danger to any of us, respecting any interest, either present or future, if we will but leave all with the infinitely wise and good God.

What matter of joy, that there is such a God, as the Lord is And, that he does, and forever will reign! Well might the prophet express himself as he does, Isaiah lii. 7, 10. 'How beautiful upon the « mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good ti. " dings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good ti“dings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith un“ to Žion, Thy God reigneth.“ The Lord hath made « bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations ; and " all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our « God."

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