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ble; but under the influence of a benevolent heart, they are great and amiable perfections. The moral beauty and excellence of the Deity lies altogether in his heart, which is purely and perfectly benevolent. God is love, which constitutes his supreme beauty and comprizes all that is virtuous and morally excellent in his nature.--Pure, disinterested, universal benevolence forms the most beautiful and amiable character conceivable.--We ca.not conceive of any greater excellence in God than a heart full of perfect goodness; and such goodness the scripture assures us fills and governshis vast, allcomprehensive mind.” “There is none good but one, that is God. He is good, and does good. He is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” When Moses besought him to shew him his glory, and he granted his petition, he did nothing more than to cause all his goodness to pass before him. All his goodness comprehends all his moral perfections. His holiness, his justice, and his mercy and grace, are only so many branches of his universal goodness. In a word, every thing that is beautiful, amiable, and praise worthy in the Supreme Being, consists in the infinitude of his goodness. I now proceed to show, II. That good men are capable of seeing this moral beauty of the divine character. Sinners can see everything in God but this moral beauty. To this they are totally blind. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The more fully and clearly the moral beauty of the Lord is displayed before the minds of sinners, the more they hate and oppose it. None, therefore, but real chris
tians, or those, who have been born again, and become
holy creatures. They are holy as God is holy, and .
feel as God feels. Being benevolent, they discover the beauty of benevolence, wherever it is displayed by the kind parent of the universe. And as he has infinitely more benevolence than all other beings; so he appears infinitely more amiable and beautiful than any other being in the universe. They see him to be just such a being, as they desire him to be. They do not desire the least alteration in one of his perfections. They are pleased to see him as holy, as just, as good, and as gracious as he is ; and as wise and powerful as he is to do all his pleasure. They see God as he sees himself, glorious in holiness, and of consequence, glorious in all his other attributes, which are under the influence of his perfectly benevolent heart. They see supreme beauty and excellence in his power and wisdom, in his justice and sovereignty, in his mercy and grace, as they are continually exercised for the highest good of the universe. This leads me to show, III. Why good men sincerely desire to see the beauty of the Lord Moses besought God with great importunity to show him his glory. Job ardently desired to draw near to God, and to have clear views of his supreme excellence. He says, “O that I knew where I might find him " that I might come near unto his seat Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot find him. On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him.” Job saw the natural perfections of God in all his works; but he did not, at this time, see the beauty and glory of his moral perfections, which had often afforded him the highest enjoyment. David had very strong desires, from time to time, to see and enjoy the supreme beauty and glory of the divine character. It was the one thing, upon which, above all others, he set his heart. Hear what he says in the fourth psalm, on this subject. “There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and wine increased.” And in the sixty-third psalm, he describes the longings of his heart after peculiar discoveries of the divine glory. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee : my soul thirsteth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is ; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” Such are the strong and sensible desires of good men to behold the beauty of the Lord, and enjoy the manifestations of his glory. But the question before us is, Why do good men have such peculiar desires to see the moral beauty and glory of God Here several satisfactory reasons may be given. And, 1. Because the goodness of God, which forms his supreme excellence, spreads a glory over all the other perfections of his nature. Saints as well as others can see no excellence in the greatness and majesty of God, separately from his perfect holiness and benevolence. David beheld God and was troubled, when he saw him without a view of his moral beauty. Good men can take no satisfaction in contemplating upon the mere existence, immensity, majesty, and supremacy of the creator and governor of all things, while they do not realize his pure, perfect, universal goodness. But when they view him as the God of love, and see the beauty of his benevolence, they take complacency in his eternity, immutability, almighty power, and ab
solute sovereignty. His goodness spreads a glory over the greatness of his wisdom, the greatness of his knowledge, the greatness of his power, and of his material ano intellectual kingdom. His goodness, which is pure and perfect benevolence, renders his wisdom a benevolent wisdom, his knowledge a benevolent knowledge, his power a benevolent power, and his universal supremacy a benevolent supremacy. Those, who have seen and tasted that the Lord is good, view all his great and adorable perfections as adorned with the beauty of holiness; and can say to him as David did, “whom have we in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that we desire beside thee.” And as they know that a view of the beauty of the Lord, will put them into the sensible enjoyment of all his perfections; so they ardently desire to see his moral beauty and excellence. Nothing short of this can afford them complete satisfaction. David did not expect to enjoy perfect blessedness, until he should have clear and constant views of the beauty of the Lord in the kingdom of glory, which he joyfully anticipated. “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.” 2. Good men desire to see the beauty of the Lord, because it spreads a beauty over his works as well as character. It is his ultimate end in creation, that gives a glory to every thing he has made. If his goodness be not seen in creating the heavens and the earth, in forming angels and men, and in giving existence to every sensitive nature, there is no moral beauty perceived in any of the works of his hands. It is only when saints see the earth to be full of the goodness of the Lord, that they discern the moral beauty of the