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the will of God as to that measure and decision : and a most heinous sin this was, is, and ever will be, in any created being, and such as will doubtless attract the high displeasure and punishment of Almighty God; yet this very crime all Deists, Atheists, and despisers of revealed religion, are guilty of at this day.

Since the fall of man, the commands of God are so far from being grievous, that they are such as his reason and conscience must tell him are all calculated in the highest degree for the promotion either of his social or his individual happiness, for that of his temporal as well as his eternal felicity. What are all the commandments in the Decalogue, but so many rules for the accomplishment of the general welfare of the human species, forbidding such crimes as strike at the existence of its happiness, and enjoining an observance of that virtuous and pious career of conduct, which does not ask, but commands the esteem and respect of man, and in which consists the very essence of human felicity? Collect all tlie ethics, all the best systems and moral observations of Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, and of those excellent men Epictetus and Marcus Antoninus ; put them all toge

ther, and add to them the essence of the codes of Solon, Justinian, and Theodosius, and see if you can make an extract from the whole, which shall comprise such practical rules for the general economy of human life, so compendious and so intelligible to all ranks of men, as are comprised in these two short sentences; “ Do justly, love mercy, and walk

humbly with thy God. Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you,


ye “ also unto them.”

The Psalmist thus describes the laws of God; “ The statutes of the Lord are perfect, “converting the soul, and making wise the

simple; right, rejoicing the heart; pure, en“ • lightening the eyes; true and righteous al

together: more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb; and in keep

ing them there is great reward:” and that “ the law of God's mouth was better to him “ than thousands of gold and silver.” If the laws of God to man, then, so far from being in any respect grievous, or beyond his ability to perform, are such as his reason and conscience are obliged to confess are calculated to promote his social and individual bliss in the highest degree, his temporal as well as

his eternal happiness ; (for the restrictions in those laws are all calculated to curb and keep under subjection the bad, and to call into action and exertion the good passions of his mind ;) and since God has assured him that he shall not be tempted above what he is able to bear, but that a way shall be made for his escape; and since God graciously promises to pardon his crimes on repentance and amendment; can the goodness of God be more fully displayed, can it be better illustrated, than in this his longsuffering and merciful conduct to the human species?

And ought not the consideration of this goodness to influence and induce man to strive with all his might to yield up his heart and soul to him, and to make an obedience to these laws the basis of his whole conduct? Can he be so irrational as to expect that the thing formed can know the springs of the human mind, or the efficient causes of that essential happiness in which its true and real welfare consists, as the Being who formed and framed it? It is impiety, it is folly in the extreme, to foster and entertain so absurd an opinion. The whale may as well expect to find its pleasure by plunging and floundering on the mountains of Caucasus, or the eagle in flying

ten fathom deep in the seas of Greenland, as man may expect that human happiness can be found from the adoption of any system of conduct which militates against the one which God has decreed for his observance: and the folly, the madness of

any such adoption is infinitely increased, when it is considered, that the invaluable assurances of peace of mind in this life, and of eternal happiness in the next, are expressly promised to that observance; and when, from that exact coincidence and agreement, proved in this proposition to exist between the promises and actions of God, no doubt can be entertained by any reasonable man, but that as the former of these gracious and important promises is found by all good men to be realized in the present life, by their enjoyment of the peace of God; so will the latter be equally, through the goodness of God, and the merits of our blessed Saviour and Redeemer, in that which is to come, by their enjoyment of those pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore. faith in these promises, and in the lovingkindness of God towards man, is the true basis, the proper foundation for the structure of human happiness : and this may be inferred from the following gracious declara

A just

tion to the human species, made by our heavenly Father himself, in these words ; « Thus saith the Lord ; Let not the wise man

glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches : but let him that

glorieth glory in this, that he understand“eth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord, “ which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, “ and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

How much may the happiness of man be augmented by a due, a serious, a solemn attention to this gracious declaration of Almighty God! It communicates that essential, that important intelligence, which every rational being so anxiously and ardently wishes to possess, but which no heathen ever did possess; and the want of which knowledge was the chief cause of that superstition, polytheism, and idolatry, which so degraded the Pagan character. By this heavenly intelligence man is now informed, from the source of all truth, (“ for all the promises of « God are yea, and Amen *,') in what consists his true glory and happiness ; and told,

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