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die in the Lord; and, according to the divine promise, that their works will follow them; that the pity which Christians now express for the poor, the alms which they now bestow, will be like seed sown in the earth, from which they will hereafter reap plenteously-God will not forget their labour that proceedeth of love. He believes, that constant attention to God's holy word and sacraments, to all the offices of devotion, has a direct tendency to produce in us those qualifications which will be the source of bliss through an unchangeable eternity. God grant, that all who now hear me, may be persuaded to act upon these divine principles, for the sake, and through the merits of our compassionate Redeemer; to whom be all praise, honour, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

SERMON XVI.

On the Existence and Government of God.

ROMANS xi. 36.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

FOR the regulation of human conduct, and the wellbeing of mankind, nothing is so essentially necessary as a solemn sense of the existence, and the moral government of Almighty God. In every age of the world, and under every form of civil society, this principle has been brought into operation, in order to retain depraved man in the, performance of his duty. Some modern refiners, indeed, have impiously attempted to destroy its influence over the human mind; and we all know the lamentable consequences. Religion is the only sure foundation on which to build our felicity for time, as well as eternity; and this entirely depends upon our belief, that the universe was created, and is still governed by a Being of infinite power and wisdom; and that man is a moral agent, an accountable creature, who will hereafter be called into VOL. II.

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judgment for the deeds done in the body-for his whole conduct during this probationary state.

At sundry times, and in divers manners, God has formerly revealed himself to patriarchs and prophets. To the whole people of Israel he gave visible tokens of his more immediate presence, by the cloud of glory which went before them during their march through the wilderness, and which, after their settlement in the promised land, rested over the mercy-seat in the tabernacle and in the temple. To us upon whom the ends of the world are come, is afforded no such extraordinary manifestation of his presence. We have, nevertheless, two volumes from which to learn the greatness of his glory: the book of nature, bespeaking his power and wisdom, is open to the inspection of every eye; and, in the sacred Scriptures are to be found the most sublime representations of his glorious attributes. Among numberless passages which might be adduced to this purpose, I have selected, as the subject of our meditations at this time, that awful declaration of St. Paul, “ Of him, and through him, and to him, are all "things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." "Of "him are all things," as he is the Creator, the efficient cause of whatever exists. "Through him are all "things," as he is the Director and providential Disposer of the universe of matter and spirit. "To him "are all things," as the design and end of all is the illustration of God's glory, and the manifestation of his divine perfections. And, to this high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity; to him, whom his inspired servants have emphatically styled the most Highest, it is unquestionably the duty of the whole intelligent creation to ascribe majesty, dominion, and power: to

him be glory for ever; and, let every heart that swells with the slightest emotions of piety, say, Amen.

What an astonishing thought! The great object of our adoration existed from eternity, alone. He who is the Author of all being, never began to be: he truly is; all other things are but shadows of his glory. All the knowledge that is displayed among intelligent creatures, from the highest archangel, to the lowest of the human race; all the power, and wisdom, and beauty, which is exhibited throughout the immensity of his works, springs from this exhaustless source of all that is great, and wise, and good. Dreadful excellence! How our souls are beaten back with the light of thy glories! We may reach forward; we may burn with eager desire to comprehend thy essence, and to yield thee suitable adoration; but still, thou art above the warmest affections of our heart, and the most enlarged conceptions of our understanding!

This self-existent Being, by whose powerful word the universe was spoken into existence, now presides over the works of his creation with uncontrollable sway. Far beyond this great system of which our earth is a part; far beyond the spheres of other planets circling other suns, no doubt the effects of his power extend, But, however our imaginations may range through the immensity of space, wherever creatures exist, there the government of the Creator prevails: "through him

are all things." This mighty system of nature appears to be governed by stated laws; but still, in his hand is the constant regulation of the whole stupendous machine. He can suspend or alter its operations, to answer the purposes of his universal government: he can make the waters of the sea forget their usual

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course, and rise on an heap to open a passage for his chosen people: at his command, the sun himself will stand still.

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In the works of nature, however, we find that these deviations from the established order of things, seldom occur. In the moral world, to a much greater degree, disorder unhappily prevails. Among the numberless beings who are the offspring of the great Parent of all, some were called into existence, intelligent creatures; free and moral agents; capable of understanding the laws of their Creator; endued with the power of standing in their first estate, but at the same time liable to fall. The rational creature, man, fell from his original rectitude: God made him upright, but he sought out many inventions. Hence, sin and misery pervade the world. Hence, the violence of passion too often subdues the feeble efforts of reason. Hence arise civil broils, wars, and commotions, afflictive changes in families, and convulsions of mighty empires. But still, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, be the foolish people ever so unquiet: he ruleth among the armies of heaven, and over the inhabitants of the earth: he saith to the folly and madness of mankind, as he said to the raging of the sea, "Hitherto shalt thou come, and no "farther." He controls all the passions and violent exertions of men, so as best to answer the purposes of his universal dominion: even from their follies and their vices, he takes occasion to display his own wisdom and mercy; as it is said by the pious Psalmist, "Surely, the wrath of man shall praise thee; the "remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." This truth is abundantly confirmed by the history which is afforded us in Scripture, of the transactions of those ancient

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