Imatges de pÓgina

tendency of God's judgments to spread a convic tion of the truth among unbelieving nations, the heavenly choir acclaim, "Who shall not fear and glorify thy name? For thou art holy. All nations shail come and worship before thee, for thy judgments are made manifest." The success of the gospel, which follows the destruction of its enemies, is celebrated in heaven in such language as this, "AlJeluia; salvation and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God." But the destruction of these enemies is thus recognized, "Just and true are his judgments, for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hands."

In the future punishment of irreclaimable sinners, God is just; and the final judgment will be a revelation of his justice. It will show, that there is no wrong, no unrighteousness in consigning to eternal misery those incorrigible creatures, who by their obstinate impenitence in sin, and their proud contempt of offered mercy are become vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. In this negative sense God will be glorified, as all imputation on his righteousness will be removed. And we cannot tell how far their just punishment may be made subservient to the virtue of God's subjects in other parts of his dominion, and may conduce in this way to the display of his wisdom and goodness. His glory, however, comes not directly or simply from their punishment : It comes rather from those holy and benevolent ends, which their punishment answers in the grand scheme of his government. But in the salvation of believers God is glorified directly. He is "glorified in the saints"-" glorified in them, and they in him." They are found to the praise of the glory of his grace." We are not then to imagine, that God is more honored in those who perish in their sins, than


he would have been in their repentance and salvation. The scripture teaches no such doctrine. Let us never admit the supposition, that God may be more glorified in our destruction, than in our final happiness, and that consequently we ought to have no determinate choice of our own. The scripture directs us to make a full and decided choice of happiness, and to pursue it with ardor. We glorify God, when we repent of sin, believe in the Savior, obey the gospel, accept of pardon, and work out our salvation.

5. Our subject teaches us, that submission in our prayers cannot respect those things, which are essentially connected with our final salvation, but merely things which relate to the present life. When we ask for temporal blessings, or for spiritual refreshments, we are to ask with submission to the will and glory of God; for in respect of these, he has not told us, what is his will, or what will be for his glory. But with respect to the temper and practice of religion, an attendance on the means, and a compliance with the terms of salvation, he has instructed us what his will is, and how he is glorified. In the business of our salvation, the only submission to his will, the only acting to his glory, is to seek eternal life by diligence in every duty-by prayer for all needed grace, and by patient continuance in well doing. The more earnest our prayers, the more ardent our pursuit-and the more active our diligence to obtain the object, the more fully we comply with his will and the more conspicuously we glorify his name.

Finally: This subject naturally applies itself to us who are ministers of the word; and with reference to such it may have been primarily intended. We have all received gifts from God-we received from him our mental abilities, and our literary en

dowments-we have received the precious gift of the gospel, and, I trust, the gift of the Holy Spirit in his renewing and assisting influence-we have the gift of the ministerial office, and with it the charge of an important part of Christ's church; and for all the gifts which we have received, we are accountable to him who bestowed them. As we have received the gift, so let us minister the same, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. When we speak, let us speak not according to the inventions of men, but agreeably to the oracles of Godwhen we minister, let us minister not slothfully and deceitfully, but according to the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.-Amen.



God's Goodness the Hope of the Penitent; but no Security to the finally Impenitent.

PSALM cxix. 68.

Thou art good, and dost good; teach me thy statutes.

THAT God is good, we justly conclude, because he does good. His works indicate what a being he is. As he is a Spirit, he is invisible to the human eye. But his works are visible. The Apostle says, "The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and godhead." His goodness in relation to men and to other creatures in this world, we see in the ordinary course of his Providence. But in relation to the future world we learn his goodness from the discoveries only of his word. It is in respect of the life to come that David says, "God is good and does good;" for he hence draws an argument for learning God's statutes.

We will here consider,

I. What evidence we have, that God is good to men in relation to their souls and their future life.

II. How this goodness of God is an argument why we should desire and pray to be taught his stat


I. We will consider the evidence, which God has given us of his regard to our souls, and care for our future happiness.

From the perfection and goodness of his nature we may conclude, that he will take care of the creatures which he has made. This care we in fact perceive to be exercised toward us, and observe to be extended to others. But that God will prolong our existence, and provide for our happiness beyond this life; and, especially, that he will shew mercy to such as in this life, have offended him, and will, on any terms, admit them to happiness in the next, we learn with assurance only from his revelation. This teaches us, as in general, that he is good; so, in particular, that he is gracious and merciful, ready to forgive penitent offenders, and free to receive them into his everlasting favor. It is the language of scripture," He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. He would not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."


1. This goodness of God is evident from his giving men a revelation, which describes the nature, proclaims the promises, and states the terms of eternal happiness.

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In all ages of the world mankind have been favored, in a greater or less degree, with divine revelation. It began with Adam, was continued to his sons, handed along to his remoter posterity and often renewed, as their occasions required. We find, that God condescended to an immediate intercourse with

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