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When we discern the footsteps of wildom and goodness in the works or the word of God, how just is it to acknowledge, and delightful to admire them? It Pr.cxlvii. is a joyful and pleafunt thing to be thankful. Yet all our religious sentiments may be properly tinctured with awe: Serve the pr. ii. 11. Lord in fear; even rejoice unto hiin with

I.

reverence.

To represent also the divine wisdom to others, in order to awaken the fame just sentiments in them, is on every account highly commendable. But here too, let Understanding be our leader, and our companion Modesty. Our charity should be illuminated by knowledge, and the flame of zeal tremble. Otherwise, the apologies we make for Providence may themselves want pardon; and our panegyricks on the Almighty be the sacri- Eccles. V. fice of fools. My wrath is kindled against job xlii. thee, said the Lord to one of his three 7, 8. famous advocates, and against thy two VOL. II.

friends :

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friends: therefore offer up for yourselves a burnt offering ; left I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right.

Our good will may not always atone Job xiii.7. for our presumption. Will ye speak wick

edly for God? Dare we draw near even to vindicate the most holy without some sense of our own defilement? He is at

tacked impiously, we rush in irreve. 2 Sam. vi. rently: The ark is shaken, we put forth

unhallowed hands.

6.

Pfal.
Ixxxix. 8.

God is very greatly to be feared in the council of the Saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are round about him.

Humility, the most profound and perfect submission, is the proper disposition of every creature in his presence; of angels, archangels, all, and the highest orders of celestial Beings that minifter before the throne of God: how much more

of

of Man that is a worm, and the son of man Job xxv.

6. which is a worm.

We submit then, after inuch disputing on a dark subject; after much dilputing, perhaps darker; we submit, Lord, ourselves to thee; our conduct to thy command, and our blind reason and wordy wisdom to thy heavenly light. The very sentiments of trust and gratitude, which are inspired by thy unnumbered mercies, we temper with reverence and godly fear. Thy goodness we cannot search to it's source; but we are sure we have not deserved it: and thry judgments, if they fall on our head, will only descend

upon the guilty. No opposition can be made to this instance of thy ju-, stice; and however disposed to complain or cavil, we must at least approve the sentence of our own condemnation,

What can we do, but flee for refuge to Hab. vi, lay hold upon the hope fet before us? Him, 18.

30.

1 Cor. i. who of God is made unto us wisdom, and

righteousness, and san Etification, and redemption; we, unprofitable servants, rewarded for His merit; we, finners, sheltered from the storm of deferved wrath under His sufferings.

We dispute against God's providence, and call his attributes into question, when the innocent are afflicted: Behold

here the only person who was truly such: Isai. liii. it pleased the Lord to make his foul an offering

for fin, which he committed not: he had done no violence'; yet was he stricken, fmitten of God, and affli&led: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. All we like sheep have gone afiray; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Will you accept these offers of divine goodness? Do you consent to be saved

on such terms? Is the grace of God Rom. v. welcome, though it be a Free gift? and

if

15.

if you

could not merit such mercy; Can you be thankful for it?

Or will you rather, perhaps, stand up in vindication of your rights ? refuse to be punished, when you have not offended; and for another's sufferings disdain to be forgiven?

Alas! we know not what we do, when we do other than conform to the purposes of God. It is His world: and submission to Him is the summit both of virtue and of wisdom. All is right which He wills; every thing good that comes from God.

The pestilence that walkeih in darkness, Pl. xci. 6. the sickness that destroyeth in the noon day; the most extensive and terrible of his judgments, which distinguish not, to our eye, the righteous from the wicked; pitying neither the innocence of infancy, nor the infirmities of

but laying D3

age;

waste

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