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And, in the first place, as the Almighty is the Creator of the world, and the Father of the human race, he is likewise their Preserver, and the author of order and harmony in the universe.

In his Providence, he takes us, the children of men, into his particular tuition, in giving us, from his immediate hand, all things requisite for our subsistence, well-being, and delight, in this world, our well-ordered habitation: in making nature spontaneously unlock to us her hidden stores; in causing the wide creation, one way or other, administer to our pleasures, as if heaven and earth contended which should be most liberal of their favours to happy man; and in fine, admitting us, above all the other inhabitants of our earth, into the plan of his creation, and making us spectators of that beauty, original and supreme, the image of himself, which he hath poured forth over all his works.

But when we consider his particular Providence, with respect to every one of us, our obligations will be infinitely heightened. Here we discern the finger of God. His goodness lent a favourable ear to all our feeble cries and complaints:- when we were upon the breast, he guarded us from a thousand dangers and diseases which hung over our heads, and cut off more than one half of our equals in age; he hath led us, as it were, by the hand through the various stages of life, affording us many deliverances, and many tokens of his loving-kindness, which only ourselves and heaven were privy to; and when all- things in the world seemed to combine against us, he was a friend that never failed. Seeing then he upholds our existence, and is the parent of so many mercies, has he not, as our Supreme Benefactor, a title to the service of our whole lives, and to all the fervour of our spirits?

This will appear still more, in the next place, when we consider the superior obligations which we are laid under by Christianity. While many nations are sitttng in darkness, and the shadow of death, on us hath the Sun of Righteousness arisen, in full glory. We are let into the mystery kept hid from ages. We have seen the Deity, in human form, descending upon earth, to teach the benighted nations the knowledge of salvation; to set a pattern of goodness and perfection for the world to imitate; and, by expiating the guilt of sin upon the cross, to finish «ur redemption. We have now a new and living way


opened into the Heaven of Heaveus, by the blood of Jesu?. Life and Immortality are brought to light, and promised to all who sincerely believe and obey the gospel. So that we may now rejoice with the poet of Israel,—" As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is the mercy of the Lord towards us; for as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed from us all our iniquities: He redeemeth our lives from destruction, and crownetli us with loving kindness and tender mercies."

When we are obliged to any of our fellow-creatures for an important favour, what pleasure is it to a generous heart, lobe able to make the least return? If our benefactor be above us in his station in life, if he bestowed the favour without any solicitation on our part, and promises still to continue our frieud, shall we not take every occasion of shewing that we are not ungrateful, and search for opportunity of serving him, as for hid treasure? What thanks, what praises, what services, shall we not then render to our Supreme Benefactor, who had translated us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his Son; who delivered up his Son unto the death for us, and with him freely gives us all things!

We have abundance of ardour and zeal in our temporal concerns. We rise early, and sit up lute: we deny ourselves the pleasures and comforts of society: we forego our native country, and all the dear connections of early life: we traverse the whole terraqueous globe, expose ourselves to the mercy of winds and waves, and bear alternately the extremities of heat and cold: we breathe in the regions of infection ami of death,—to amass a few pieces of shining dust, whose acquisition costs us such sore trouble, and whose possession gives us so little happiness. Almighty God! shall we be thus fervent and zealous in every temporal, in every trivial concern, and remain cold and unto thee !—If thus we continue, my brethren, the very heathens, issuing tbrth from their regions of darkness , will set up a tribunal and call us before them: "The men of Nineve slmll rise up in judgment with us, and shall condemn us; because they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold a greater than Jonas is here! The Quern of the South shall rise up in judgment with us, and shall condemn us;. for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth, to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here !"—" Verily, it SERMON II. 23


shall be more tolerable for tlie land of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for our city."

Do ye consider, my brethren, the dignity and importance of that religion, to which your attachment is required? Do ye reflect, that this is the masterpiece of infinite wisdom; that here the Almighty made bare his holy arm, and put forth all his strength? The introduction of this religion was the object of all the dispensations of the Deity upon earth. This is the centre in which terminates every line in the great circle of Providence. If one nation was victorious, and another put under the yoke; if war was commissioned to ravage and lay desolate the earth, or peace to make the joyful inhabitants sing beneath the vine; if kings were crowned, or were dethroned; if empires rose or fell: all watt preparatory and subservient to this grand event. The monarchies which prevailed in the world, whether Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, or Roman, were erected as introductory to the Messiah, whose kingdom was to be without bounds, and whose reign was to be without end. That great image which the Monarch of the East beheld in his dream, whose head Was of gold, whose breast was of silver, whose thighs were of brass, and whose feet were of iron, was setup by Providence, topre'pare the way for the Stone which was cut out without hands, which was destined to smite the image, become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth. All events whether prosperous or adverse, whether malignant or benign, have co-operated towards the advancement of our religion. Saints have established it, by their lives: martyrs have confirmed it, by their deaths: hypocrites have added strength to it, by their dissimulation: tyrants have purified it by their persecutions: infidels have corroborated it, by their opposition: the arrows of its enemies have lerved for its protection: the resistance which it has met with, from the combined wit and genius and malice of mankind, have brought forth those illustrious and immortal defences which establish its truth upon the basis of demonstration.

Shall we not, then, reckon ourselves eternally indebted to the infinite goodness of God, and stir up all that is within us to bless his holy name?—saying, in the language of true fervour of spirit, " We will praise thee, O G°d! we will praise thee with our whole heart! our lives shall

' be thy sacrifice! we will adore thee in death, and through eternity!"

God, from his throne in heaven, doth not behold an object more noble, and more worthy of his view, than a pious man; a man who, conscious of the dignity and immortality of his nature, employs himself with fervour and zeal, in the devout exercises which assimilate him to the Divinity, who, measuring time by his improvements in devotion and virtue, never loses a day. He is the favourite of Heaven. The arm of the Almighty is stretched out in his behalf. The Lord loves him, and keeps him as the apple of his eye; he gives his angels charge concerning him, to preserve him in all his ways, lest at any time he should dash his foot against a stone. He delights to speak his praise in the assemblies of his saints and angels above: he writes his name in the book of his remembrance, and gives him the honourable title of the friend of God. He makes al! things work together for his good in this world, and, in the dark vale of death, opens his eyes to discern the dawning of heavenly day. In fine, he holds bis very ashes sacred; and, raising him up at the last day, carries him to his throne in heaven above, with the glorious com

5>any of the redeemed, to be made partaker of his own lappiness.

These are thy palms, O piety! thine is the kingdom prepared above, thine the power with God and with man, and thine the crown of glory that fadeth not away!


Eccles. xii. 1.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.

WHEN Solomon in early youth, had ascended the
throne of Israel, the God of his fathers appeared to
him in a dream. The Almighty was graciously pleased to
condescend thus to visit his creature. He put in his offer

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all the pleasures of the world, and desired him to ask, and he should receive; to wish and he should enjoy. The young king possessed a wisdom beyond his vears, and a

{greatness above his crown. He did not ask to have his paace filled with the beauties of the east, to have his treasury stored with the gold ofOphir, or to wear the laurel of victory over the nations. He asked a greater boon than all these. "Give thy servant, O Lord," replied the wise prince, " Give thy servant wisdom and understanding."— What he then made the object of his own choice, he recommends to you under another name, in the words of the text: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth."

This is the last chapter of the works of Solomon, and these words may be regarded as his dying advice to the young. The philosophers of antiquity, who held out the lamp of wisdom to the heathen world, gave the same advice to their followers. But between them and Solomon, there is this remarkable difference. They, from the obscure retirement of the schools, declaimed against pleasures which they had never tasted, and affected to despise honours to which they never had it in their power to ascend. But Solomon, a great and powerful prince, in the pleasureable time of life, had in his own person tried the experiment. He made the tour of the sensual world. He went in quest of happiness through all the scenes of life. He extended his search over the broad and flowery way, as well as in the narrow path, as it should seem by a particular permission of Providence, to save the pains of future inquirers. Solomon acted the libertine upon a principle ol inquiry. The result of his researches was, that all unlawful pursuits began with vanity, and ended in vexation of spirit, and that the true happiness of man consisted in that understanding which teacheth us to depart front evil, and in that wisdom which instructeth us to fear the Lord.

It is common in Scripture to express all the acts of devotion and virtue by some part or principle of religion, sometimes by wisdom and understanding; at other times, by faith, love, the fear of God, walking with God, and many other phrases: all of which express the same meaning, and denote the whole economy of a religious life. So that remembering our Creator in the days of our youth,

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