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II. We

may further comfort ourselves, that as the virtuous perfection and happiness of his creatures is the glory of God, and that nevertheless he has appointed sufferings of one sort or other to be the way to happiness, this kind end and design could not be promoted, nor his creatures of mankind become so happy, without them. It is the necessary discipline, and preparatory for their future and more blissful state.

This the apostle Paul confirms by a most powerful argument and example, (Heb. ii. 10.) “ For it became him, of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Never, also, was there any truly great and good man, but was eminent for labour and pains voluntarily undergone, or brought upon him in the way and course of his generous exertions for the good of others.

Let us not then murmur at the plan of die vine Providence, or repine at our lot, assigned to us, whatever it be. The greater the sufferings, patiently endured, or willingly under


taken in the cause of virtue and for the benefit of others, the greater will be your proportion of the divine favour and qualification for future blessedness. And what is the labour and toil of the longest span of human life, compared with eternity !

O foolish mortals ! to forgo that immense reward and unfading crown of righteousness, for the sake of the false deceitful pleasures. and ambitious pursuits of this life, which are far from making you happy here, and lay in you the seeds of future misery !


Our Saviour's glory, which he here speaks of, had nothing in it that regarded himselfhis own private ease or emolument or advancement,--which are the things that the men of this world prize and covet, and for which they sacrifice time and life itself, and incur the loss of virtue and the favour of God, which nothing can repair.

The object of his most ardent desires, that which he pursued and which lay nearest his heart, was to be the instrument of God, in calling men out of the depths of sin and wretchedness, to holiness and to eternal life.


And herein lay the perfection of his character,

that he had a disinterested affection for mankind, uniformly pursuing their welfare, whilst they themselves opposed him, and put the strongest bars they could to his kind designs for them : herein imitating the heavenly Father of himself and of us all, in following his divine pattern, which he prescribed to us to follow; “to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect ; who doeth good to the unthankful and the evil, and maketh his sun to shine on the just and on the unjust.”

This is that example of our Lord, which the apostle exhorts us to follow, in the midst of the calamities and trials of this life, and especially when under oppression for righteousness' sake; (Heb. xii. 2.) “ To look to Jesus, the leader and complete pattern of the faith : who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God!”

His joy, the promised reward that animated him, was not, as is commonly supposed, the joy of being exalted to be Lord of all, to dominion next to God, according to our mean ideas of human sovereignty ; but the joy of

contributing contributing to, of being the chief instrument in, bringing about the restoration of mankind to holiness, and the loving countenance of God inseparable from it.

How glorious is the character of Jesus in this just light in which we contemplate it!

What a bright and lovely idea does it inspire into us of his religion, that tends to make his followers like himself: to pursue the present and future everlasting

uture everlasting happiness of others as their own!

And what a new and desirable scene of things would take place here below, if men's lives did, in any reasonable degree, correspond with that honourable name of Christian which they wear!

Pride, ambition, avarice, injustice, each black and dark passion, would vanish away; for no place would be found for them in that breast, which, instead of treating others contemptuously, lessening or envying their happiness, would strive to increase and perpetuate it as its own.

It must be false representations of Christianity which are made in the writings, and the unchristian lives of Christians, which bring it under an evil name; or else


men must be totally ignorant of the Gospel, who can reject and vilify it.

I shall conclude with the saying of an excellent person;

66 Whoever hath heard or read of the Christian religion, if he wish well to mankind, let him stand up and bless that doctrine ; and let him say of it, as Solomon of the excellent woman; “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them



Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; who art, and who wast, and who art. to come!

Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.

Praised be thy name and thy goodness for ever,

in that thou hast made known to us, that thy pleasure, thy supreme glory, consisteth in promoting the virtuous improvements of thy reasonable offspring, especially of us thy feeble offending creatures of mankind; and thereby to fit us for a happiness in thy nearer presence.

We thank thee also, O thou, the light of life, the joy of thy creation ! that thou hast delivered us from all dark fears of danger


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