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How, then, my hearers, do we stand affected towards this practical part of our subject? Have we so much of the Spirit of God, and are we so well pleased with his supremacy, with his rank and authority as head of the universe,that we can heartily concur with the plan of his providence, and the regulations of his kingdom, and make his glory our concern, as he makes it his own? Have we such a filial reverence of God, and contempt of ourselves, that we can approve of his subordinating us to himself, and signify and confirm our consent by yielding ourselves unto him, as those that are alive from the dead, and our members as
instruments of righteousness unto God. If we are, in heart, opposed to God's claiming an absolute propriety in us, and using us, as instruments of his own glory, as our subject teaches us that he does; it is not to be supposed we shall voluntarily dedicate ourselves to him, for the purpose of being his servants to fulfil his sovereign pleaзure; but, on the other hand, if it gives us no discontent, but actual pleasure, to find ourselves in the hands of such a being, and actually made subservient to his will, we shall, most certainly, express our pleasedness with the divine system of moral rule by our own endeavours to aid in the attainment of that good end, which infinite goodness esteems worthy of supreme regard. There can be no evidence, of our being the children of God, so good as our conformity to him in making those things the motive of our conduct, which are according to his will, or the things which his own benevolent counsels are employed a bout All branches of true religion lead to this. "For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men."
5. We have reason to admire the plan of divine government for its superior perfection in connecting together, by one indissoluble bond, all that appertains to it in heaven and on earth. The divine Being, and all who serve him, are acting for a common end. They are not separated and driven asunder by opposite interests and cotrary inclinations. One principle actuates the whole great machine. This is never true of a government not planned and executed under the direction of infinite wisdom. Therefore, a perfect model is not to be found, ex
cept in that plan and order of rule, which is eternally established in the counsels of heaven. The universe no where presents to view an invention of creatures, which brings every thing to a common centre, and makes the interest of one equally the interest of all. This is eminently true of that system of things, which furnishes scope and exercise, for the divine mind, from everlasting to everlasting. A single point commands the whole. In this system there are no wandering stars, which are not bound and controled by the common attraction, and do not acknowledge their relation to the common centre. Nothing finds its way here, but must contribute something to the common stock; it must aid and help to bring forward the glorious building until infinite wisdom and power have given it the finishing touch. In God's kingdom nothing is lost. There are no useless and abortive enterprises. Though creatures may not think as God does; yet the thoughts of his heart shall endure unto all generations; and not a sparrow shall fall to the ground without his pose and influence in it, to make it conducive to the general good. Is it not a happiness, my hearers, to be indulged a place in such a system, where every thing which happens turns to advantage? If our hearts unite with God in the choice of that object, which he has chosen and inwariably pursues, we shall not be exposed to such disappointment as most persons meet with in their favourite pursuits. We shall have the most powerful auxiliaries to rely upon to strengthen dur cause, and ensure prosperity to our undertaking. And should our attention be turned from this great and all important interest towards other things, and we should be found even to fight against God; yet we cannot overthrow his kingdom, nor throw a single obstacle in the way of its prosperity; but even our opposition will serve to increase its lustre, and render it the more gloriously triumphant. Concerning the works of men, it may be remarked, that what is worst for themselves is best for the interest of God's glory. Those who raised a persecution against the christians at Jerusalem, did the worst they could for themselves, to enkindle the wrath of God against their souls; but it was, perhaps, the best they could have done for the general cause of
christianity, as it produced a great dispersion of the brethren, who improved this opportunity to carry the christian doctrines far beyond their former limits. "Therefore they that were scatterred abroad went every where preaching the word." Whether or not it be our intention to glorify God; yet he will, most assuredly, be glorified. And those very attempts, which are made to detract from his glory, will be instrumental of advancing it. It is absolutely for our interest, as subjects of God's moral gov. ernment, that it should be so, rather than otherwise. is for our interest, that God should be first and last, all in all; that all creatures should be his, rather than their own; that, by their means, he should work for his own great name; and, in fine, that the Judge of all the earth should do right. It is therefore, a proper subject of grat itude and rejoicing with us, and with all God's creatures, that things are conducted by the hand of Providence just in the manner they are; for the grand series, with all its seeming incongruities and disfigurements, will issue in that one all important end, the glory of God, and stamp such a beauty upon the system, as nothing else could give it. Here, my friends, is our great rallying point. On this spot we may commence a union with God, and with all the holy subjects of his kingdom, which will be equally inviolable, and fruitful of happiness. And with this so favourable an opportunity to ensure our eternal well being, shall we persist in building up and strengthening a wall of partition between God and our souls, until the fatal moment shall arrive, when Abraham's words to the rich man in hell shall apply to us? "And, besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulph fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence." Innumerable are the schemes of happiness which, from time to time, present themselves before us, with urgent claims to our attention. The present subject now offers one to be a substitute for them all. It earnestly invites us to understand and receive it; and promises that none shall have occasion ever to repent of such a choice. The lord enable us to consider well and act wisely. AMEN.