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mandments of his Creator. Now unless we advert to the discrimination here recommended, and make a distinction in our minds between such blessed occurrences in this life as we have reason to believe flow from the will and goodness of God, and such evil ones as we have the same reason to believe are caused by the corrupt will of man, and in consequence adopt the opinion of the Poet,

Of every evil since the world began,
The real source is not in God, but man,

we shall never entertain in our minds clear and distinct ideas of the mercy and goodness of God, in his government of the world, nor shall we be able properly to appreciate or feel in our hearts the force of this fine

passage

in the prophecy of Jeremiah ; “ 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 6s that glorieth glory in this, that he under6 standeth and knoweth me, that I am the

Lord, which exercise lovingkindness, judg“ ment, and righteousness in the earth ; for " in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

There is nothing in the intellectual system of God, as it respects the human species,

which more requires the serious, solemn, and exclusive attention of man, than this consideration, that the conduct of God to man is entirely regulated by man's conduct to him; an idea agreeable to reason, confirmed by Scripture, and on the due observation of which man's true and genuine happiness here, and his eternal happiness hereafter, depends. It is absurd in the highest degree to suppose otherwise than that God is every where present, because the mind of man cannot imagine any place where God is not; “Thou “ art about my path, and about my bed, and

spiest out all my ways. Whither shall I

go, then, from thy spirit ? or whither shall “ I go from thy presence? If I climb up s into heaven, thou art there: if I go down 66 to hell, thou art there also.” It is equally absurd to suppose otherwise, but that the omniscience of God must necessarily know and observe the thoughts and intentions, in short, the whole conduct of every man; “ He that “ formed the eye, shall he not see? he that “ formed the ear, shall he not hear? or he “ that gave man understanding, shall he not “ know?” It is as senseless to imagine otherwise, but that from this observation God should very materially regulate his conduct

towards each man. But in this important matter we are not left to conjecture; for God Almighty, in his goodness, is graciously pleased to express himself very fully on this subject by his prophet Samuel * ; " With the “ merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, “ and with the upright man thou wilt shew

thyself upright: with the pure thou wilt “ shew thyself pure, and with the froward “ thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury;” (or, froward, or, wilt wrestle.) In the eighteenth Psalm the same declaration of God's intended conduct towards man is expressed almost in the same words; and likewise in the Book of Chronicles, “ The Lord is with you, while

ye
be with him ; and if

ye

seek 66 him, he will be found of you; but if ye “ forsake him, he will forsake you.” Now when God observes it to be the first and fixed principle in the heart, mind, and soul of man to love him, from the consideration of the inexpressible mercies he has received from him, to honour him, from the consideration of the wisdom and power displayed in the glories of his creation, and to obey him, from the consideration not only of his power

* 2 Sam. xxii. 26, 27.

it

to reward or punish him, temporally and eternally, but chiefly from the goodness and lovingkindness he constantly experiences; is it possible to imagine that a God of infinite wisdom, justice, and goodness, will not impart his favour to such a man, in preference to those whose conduct betrays an entire neglect of him and his commands? It is impossible to suppose this, consistently with our ideas of the just and holy attributes of God, since it would be absurd to suppose the conduct of any wise monarch, father, or master, in human life; for we see all these make a marked distinction in their conduct and behaviour towards those dependents who are attentive and obedient to them, and those who are not; and therefore, as the temporal and eternal happiness of every man wholly depends on the will and arbitrament of God, there can be no such sure and certain way to establish the hope and expectation of both on a strong foundation, as to be of constant persuasion and belief, that God minutely observes the conduct of every human being, and that he will be a rewarder of such as diligently seek him; and will in consequence grant his favour and lovingkindness to each man, exactly in pro

portion to the care he takes to obtain it, by an uniform and constant endeavour to love, honour, and obey him. If he is not influenced to the observance of this conduct from motives of love and gratitude, he should from fear of punishment in both worlds; and he ought to be alarmed to do so, by these passages in Scripture; 56 Who art thou, that 6 thou shouldest be afraid of a man, that 6 shall die, and of the son of man, which “ shall be made as grass, and forgettest the 6 Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth

the heavens, and laid the foundations of * the earth? Fear not them which kill the

body, but are not able to kill the soul; 66 but rather fear Him, which is able to de

stroy both soul and body in hell. Many are called, but few chosen. Without holi

ness no man shall see God:' and especially from that denunciation in the Revelations, which so strongly corroborates the assertion, that the conduct of God to man is not only in this world, but likewise in the next, dependent on man's conduct to him ; “ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; " and he which is filthy, let him be filthy “ still; and he that is righteous, let him be

righteous still; and he that is holy, let

66

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