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1st. How honourable to himself is the exhibition, which God has in this manner made of his character.

1 call upon you, and upon the audience around you, to turn your eyes back upon the scheme of thought, presented to you in this discourse, and upon the character, here unfolded of your Creator. Remember who the Being is, concerning whom these things have been said. That they are truly said you know; and can need no proof from me. Call to mind, that he made the earth, and its inhabitants ; heaven, and the heaven of heavens, and all the host of them. The sun, the moon, the stars, the systems, which compose the universe, came into being at his word. With the same word he can call into existence an endless multi. tude of other worlds; and people them with innumerable millions of intelligent creatures, wiser, better, and more exalted, than you are, nay, than angels are ; beings ,who would find their whole happiness, employ all their powers, and spend their immortal life, in obeying his pleasure, and celebrating his praise. To him, therefore, it is impossible, that you should be necessary. It is impossible, that he should be worshipped with your hands as though he needed any thing : seeing he giveth unto all life, and breath, and all things. Why, then, has he formed you? Why from your birth has he surrounded you with blessings; and showered upon you the daily fruits of his parental love?

He has formed you, to become members of the glorious and happy family, which is named after Christ in the heavens and in the earth. Bring up to your view the nature, and destination, of this family. He has taught you, that it comprises a great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations, kindreds, and tongues. All these, you will remember, he redeems to himself out of a world of sinners by the death of his beloved Son. Can you find any thing in the character of sinners, can you find any thing in your own character, to demand, to justify, or even to explain, such a sacrifice? Why was it made? What inducement could move the Author of the universe to send his only begotten Son, his elect, in whom his soul delighted, to die for you?

All the blessings, which have been recited, he has showered upon you, that he might persuade you voluntarily to enroll yourselves in this divine family. With a wakeful and watchful eve be

has guarded you in the cradle. With an affectionate hand he has conducted your heedless, tottering steps through the periods of childhood and youth, and led you up to manhood. The bounties of his providence have regularly descended on all your progress, to sustain and comfort you. The sun of righteousness has illumined all your path ; and light, and love, dawning upon your infancy, have environed you to the present hour. The voice of the Spirit of Truth bas daily invited you to assume the character, the name, the privileges, of the Sons of God. Think of the number and value of those privileges. Think what it is to have your sins forgiven, your souls renewed, and your title to heaven secured beyond defeat. Think what it is to become, unworthy as you know yourselves to be, children of JEHOVAH; and objects of his unceasing complacency, kindness, care, and protection; to be pitied by him in all your sorrows; to be chastened only for your own good; to be sustained, comforted, and relieved; to be secured from every snare, temptation, and sin; to be assured of a perpetual remembrance before his throne; to be advanced in virtue while you live, supported when you die, and beyond the grave conducted to heaven.

Through the medium of Revelation, a window in the dark mansion, which you now inhabit, opening to the regions of immortality, cast an intense and delightful survey over that happy world. Hither the whole family of the first-born have steadily directed their course, from the beginning of time. Here they will all be ultimately gathered. How divine the assembly! All of them sons and daughters to the Lord Almighty! Every one a pure, spotless mind, adorned with the image of God; an unsullied resemblance of Infinite excellence ; beautiful and lovely to the Infinite eye, animated with unfading youth, and immortal energy; living only to bless and to be blessed; their views unclouded; their affections noble; their purposes vast; their enjoyments unmingled, and intense ; and their prospects, glorious at first, changing from glory to glory throughout ages which cannot end. Pain here, and sorrow, and sighing, and disease, and death, find entrance. The whole progress of their existence is only an endless succession of joy, flowing from their lips in an endless succession of praise. Such is the character, and such the destination, of the household of faith; and such the conduct of Him, who made the


heavens, towards the fallen, rebellious race of Adam ; and particularly towards you. What can be conceived by you, equally glorious to the Author of your being ?

2dly, What immense value, does this divine dispensation stamp upon the Scriptures ?

The Scriptures are the only means, by which this illustrious design is ultimately accomplished. Here the design is all portrayed; the means of accomplishing it are perfectly disclosed; the facts pertaining to it are completely ascertained; and the promises, which convey the blessings involved in it, are settled forever. God here directly exhibits himself in the peculiarly venerable and divine character, which has been the theme of this discourse. Here, and only here, he shows us the manner, in which he performs the interesting offices, connected with this most important Relation. Here, in a word, he permits, encourages, and requires, us to regard him, to pray to him, to love, reverence, and obey him, as our Father, who is in Heaven. Here alone he unfolds to us the prospect of a future residence in his house; an endless union to his family; and the immortal enjoyment of his presence, favour, and blessing.

How different are the views of our being, presented by the philosophy of man? The ancients, groping by the light of nature after God, in some instances doubted, and in some denied, his existence; and in all denied, or mutilated, his perfect character; without which, it would seem, he could exist to no valuable end. Whole classes of philosophers, existing through several ages,

and şeveral countries, were either sceptics, or atheists. Others taught, that he was material; that he was fire; a mixture of water and fire; a combination of the four elements; or a Soul, inhabiting and animating the world, as the soul of man, the body. A great multitude of these men denied his providence altogether; and thus cut off all connection between Man and his Maker. The good, which belongs to the mind, they all challenged to themselves, and denied to Him. At the same time, they multiplied Gods without number; and attributed to them every human frailty, passion, and crime. Of such grovelling and impure Deities how heedless, base, and polluted, must be the worshippers; and how senseless, gross, and brutal, the worship. Such beings could never become the objects of rational views, elevated affections, or

virtuous obedience. Nothing of a refined nature existed, or could exist, in the Religion of the Heathen. Their piety was a mere name: their morality, except where it was the result of a penal law, was, even at its highest elevation, a patriotism, exactly resembling the preference, which an ox gives to his own pasture; a heroism, employed only in butchery, and plunder; a philosophy, pampering itself on the pride of talents, and evaporating in the utterance of paradoxes.

The views of these men never extended beyond the sensible horizon. A great part of them believed the soul to be material and mortal. Others conjectured, hoped, and dreamed, that it might survive the body, but it was only a conjecture, a hope, a dream. Beyond the dust of the tomb, and the ashes of the urn, they saw nothing remaining of man. They looked into the grave ; and beheld it dark, and cheerless ; a prison with walls which permitted no escape; without a window to admit a solitary ray of light, or to give the eye a glimpse of the regions which lay beyond.

Concerning all these subjects the efforts of modern philosophy have been equally vain and useless. Hobbes taught, that that, which is not matter, is nothing ; Chubb, that God does not interpose in the affairs of this world at all ; Hume, that there are no solid arguments to prove his existence, and no reason to believe, that the uniderse proceeded from a cause ; and Lord Bolingbroke, that God concerns not himself in the affairs of the world at all, and that it is more natural to believe mmy Guds than one. Voltaire thought, that God is finite ; and Toland, that the world is God. A great part of these men believed the soul to be material and mortal. The morality, which they have taught, is of exactly the same general nature with that, which was uttered by the ancients. But it has been taught with less sobriety, less sincerity, less conviction ; and with an efficacy, not a wbit more desirable, either on their own minds, or the minds of others.

Of the future world they knew, and they have taught, no more than their predecessors. The light of heaven has, indeed, shined into their darkness ; but their darkness comprehended it not. After all their efforts, they have pronounced death to be an eternal sleep; and have quietly consigued man to the regions of annihilation ; that land of darkness, as darkness itself; where there is no order, and where the light is as darkness.

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To feel the true import of this doctrine, go to the grave virtuous youth, a child of piety and hope, snatched from the embrace of parental tenderness; and address to the weeping parents, while they are committing the beloved remains to the dust, the consolations which it furnishes. Say to them, “ Dry, my unhappy friends, dry up your useless tears. Lament no more. Remember no more the fate of your beloved offspring. Lovely and pleasant as he was in his life, you could not expect him to escape the doom of all living. Death is the lot of our race. Born of the dust, to the dust we return. Originated from potbing, again travel back to nothing. Him, it is true, you will see no

You yourselves, also, will soon follow him to the same world of annihilation. How fruitless, then, is your sorrow; and how unbecoming the character of rational beings the sorrow which is thus fruitless."

How would the heart of parental affection thrill with horror at the sound of this frosty consolation; at these earthborn sentiments, springing from the soul of an animal, and uttered with decency, only over the carcase of a dog. How would the eye of virtuous sorrow alternately kindle with indignation, and brighten with the full assurance of Evangelical hope? How would the voice of piety awake, and tremble with impassioned ardour, and triumphant faith, while it replied, “ Miserable wretch! formed to the honour of an intelligent and immortal being, but voluntarily become like the beasts which perish. Can these sentiments have sprung up in a mind? these doctrines dwell where reason dwells ? these declarations proceed from the mouth of a man? Can they have been addressed to human beings? Can they, most of all

, have been addressed to parents ; to parents mourning the death of a beloved child? Can they have been pronounced over the grave, and at the threshold of eternity? Away with these be. numbing, brutal consolations. Go, utter them in the stall, or in the kennel ; where only can be found a proper audience to receive them. Know, that the light of heaven has shined even into the grave; and shown to desponding man a straight passage from this gloomy solitude to the world of glory. Know, unhappy man; Faith with an eye divinely enlightened, beholds in undeceiving vision this deceased child, cleansed from every stain of earth and sin, already a pure, immortal spirit, acquitted, approf.

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