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authority; and hence you must deduce all your sentiments as to God, in his attributes, in his requisitions, and in the sanctions by which those attributes are vindicated, and those requisitions are enforced. You must receive him as there he appears,—the God of creation, who formed the universe by the word of his power, and is the parent of all that live, and move, and have being ;-the God of providence, whose tender mercies are over all his works, who manages all the affairs of men and empires, and exercises a wide and watchful superintendence over his vast dominions, so that from his Spirit none can flee; -the God of redemption, who sent forth his Son to reconcile and pardon our rebellious race, to make, by the shedding of his blood, an allsufficient atonement, and to open, by faith in bim, the glowing and glorious prospects of glory, and honour, and immortality. It is demanded, as essential to the service of Jehovah-the necessary basis of all—that thus, from the authority of his word, he should be recognized. I know indeed, that objections are often raised against deriving the knowledge of God and of his laws from the source whose claims we urge: I know indeed, that men often profess to study only from the light of nature, and to accept of moral systems only as they appear to be formed without the assistance of Scripture: I know indeed, that there is often a direct denial of many of the statements proclaimed in the book of God, and the application, to that book,
of epithets prompted by the spirit of rancorous infidelity. There is much in these habits of mind, calculated to seduce the young; and many have been early attracted by the false glare of iniquitous sophistry, to the embrace of opinions, which alike murder the usefulness of time, and the happiness of eternity. In terms the most unqualified, and with feelings the most abhorrent, do we denounce those opinions : we guard you, while at the outset of life, against lending a moment's hearing to the insinuations of the tempter; we enforce on you the grand principle—" To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them;" we insist upon the absolute necessity, to all that is morally right and good, of settling and grounding yourselves in the belief of revealed truth; and we warn you, on the ground of irrefragable evidence, that if you comply not with the principle affirmed, you must remain fearfully exposed to the evils which will be consummated in everlasting doom.
These right apprehensions of the divine character will properly induce a practical obedience to the will of God, whether expressly declared, , or whether to be inferred from his revealed attributes. To keep the commandments of God, was a mode of giving "service," directly urged by David upon his son. You cannot look into the holy oracles without at once
observing the claim of God upon man, that there shall be a ready obedience to his laws, and a holy conformity to his image. The grand design of the system of truth transmitted to us in the dispensation of the gospel, is, that, by receiving its doctrines, we may be excited to avoid whatever constitutes transgression, and to be supremely earnest in cultivating a personal similarity to Him, who is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon iniquity.” If you would consecrate your service to the Lord, learn and practise what that means—“ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” If you would consecrate your service to the Lord, learn and practise what that means _“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him." If
you would consecrate your service to the Lord, learn and practise what that means“ Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” If you would consecrate your service to the Lord, learn and practise what that
“Be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.”* The belief of the truth, will conduct you to the obedience of the truth ; and it is by
* Deut. vi. 5. xiii. 4. Rom. vi. 13. 1 Peter i. 15, 16.
this practical surrenderof the powers in subjection to the Almighty, that there is truly the consecration of service to him. There are, I know, temptations of awful power and frequency pressing around the young, to prevent them from thus giving themselves as living sacrifices to God. Natural tendencies and passions prompt to indulgences and pursuits far different in their nature and in their results. You are in the midst of elements, which would constantly exert a relaxing and polluting influence; and there may be those among you, who start, and retire from the exhibition of the purity held up to you in the mirror of the word. Yet I remind you, that the God before whose bar you are to stand will admit no compromise, and that if you would serve him, you must resign all things which assume an attitude of hostility to the institutions of his will: temptations, they must all be resisted; indulgences,—they must all be denied; conformities,—they must all be forsworn ; you must trample under foot whatever stands not the test of truth and holiness, and cultivate a regular, fervent, prayerful preparation for the abodes of an eternity, where Jehovahis seen in his glory, where nothing that defileth can enter, and where all is spotless purity for ever.
The consecration of service to the Lord, involves in it, also, the use of active exertion, to promote the divine glory in the world. They who rightly estimate the rights and require
ments of God will perceive it a part of their obligation, to attempt with persevering diligence the diffusion of his spiritual dominion on the minds of others, that they also may be made his servants, and prepared for his kingdom. Religion does not only direct our attention to duties which pertain immediately and exclusively to our own personal characters and interests; it also prompts a concern for the improvement and welfare of our fellowmen; and as under that concern we act, we alone fully hold the character the text is framed to recommend. It is of vast importance to impress upon those to whom this discourse is specially devoted, that zeal for God, and benevolence for man, which are now claimed. It is no equivocal testimony that your own hearts are given to God in faith and true holiness, when you
to be instrumental in restoring the authority
his law over the minds and lives of others. There is a mighty work which God would have to be performed in the world, and which he has ordered to be performed by the employment of human agents. That work is to conquer the powers of evil which have reigned so long and só widely over the human heart; it is to dethrone and cast out the prince of the power of the air; it is to annihilate the opinions and systems of falsehood so long triumphant over insulted and prostrated truth; it is to bring millions of wandering rebels back to penitence and obedience; to propagate the gospel