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Common, but infinitely important things: If we form a proper estimate of ourselves, of our relationship to God, and of what he is doing every day for us, (I mean so far as it comes within our finite conception,) we shall then assuredly be truly useful to others, fill up our station in earth and heaven, and proclaim the praise and glory of God in his own communicated excellencies to all around.
As every thing bears the stamp of divinity, and our souls and bodies in particular, and as the everlasting Gospel most glori ously confirms this testimony, by a written language, let us attend to the evidence, with all our faculties and powers that we may be obedient to the end of our creation, and grow wiser and better to all eternity. Some secret things God hath kept, and will for ever keep to himself. For this grand reason, because they never can be necessary nor possible for us to know; and, there is a line of order, separation, and distinction between the life of the infinite Creator and that of finite creatures, notwithstanding that conjunction called heaven and eternal bliss. Nevertheless, we are exhorted to
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, and to go on to perfection." We are to grow wise unto salvation, to examine and know ourselves, and attribute all that is good and true to the Lord alone. The most common blessings, if duly reflected on, and improved, are as wonderful, and worthy of divine praise, as extraordinary and miraculous deliverances. And the duty of a Christian is a daily and perpetual duty. It is also a sacrifice or offering of the whole man to the will and disposal of the Lord his God. Every principle, faculty, and power, every thought, intention, word, and work are all due to the honour, praise, and glory of the Creator, to whom we are indebted for all things, natural, spiritual, temporal, and eternal: and we are not machines or automatons, but living, rational, and immortal free agents. Let us therefore praise him, for all his mighty acts in creation, redemption, and providence towards us. Not merely at stated intervals, and with sonorous accents, but by evey thing within us, and without us; By contemplating his mercy, truth, and righteousness, studying the laws of his
divine order, and bringing into effect to the utmost of our power, whatever appears most suitable, useful, and universally proper, to promote his eternal purpose. Let us act up to the dignity of our character and station, as men formed in the image and likeness of God. And, at the same time, bow with profound humility before the majesty of the infinite God, And though body and soul are both impaired by sin, yet as there is a way of restoration and eternal salvation for the better part, which shall have a spiritual and eternal body suitable thereto; let us " not neglect so great salvation," but look to the Lord Jesus Christ alone, sincerely deplore our past follies and transgressions, steadfastly resolve to be entirely his, for the time to come, and by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for honor, glory, and immortality. So shall we be redeemed from the power of sin, death, and hell, increase in the perceptions of divine wisdom, and in the affections of divine love; till the mortal body is no longer useful, and till regeneration is finished, and exchanged for eternal improvement in the angelic heavens. And, there we
shall have still cause to sing, and feel the meaning and propriety of, this song better than ever we did before. "I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. That this state of mind may be your's and mine, may the Lord grant, forhis name and mercy's sake. Amen.
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SOUL OF MAN
CLEAVING TO THE DUST,
ELEVATED AND ENLIVENED
The Word of God.
On PSALM CXIX. 25.
MY SOUL CLEAVETH UNTO THE DUST: QUICKEN THOU ME, ACCORDING TO THY WORD.
Preached at St. Anne's Chapel, Halifax, April 23, 1809.
REV. G. NICHOLSON,
LATE PERPETUAL CURATE OF LITTLE BUDWORTH, Cheshire.
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