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celebrated Mr. Boyle-equally distinguished by his learning and his piety--that he never mentioned the name of his Maker, without a sensible pause, both before and after he pronounced the word. I do not notice this as an example to be exactly imitated; but I am well assured, that just in proportion as any man advances in holiness or true piety, in that proportion will there be deep solemnity upon his spirit, whenever his thoughts turn on God! whenever he addresses him in prayer; or whenever he speaks of his Maker to others. How inexpressibly shocking is it then, to hear that great and glorious name, which angels and seraphs repeat with profoundest veneration, taken lightly and irreverentlynay in the profanest forms of expression imaginable -on the lips of thoughtless wretched mortals. My dear youth, never repeat your Maker's name with lightness, in common discourse. Never use it but with sensible reverence.
Dread also to treat any thing that is connected with the Divine Majesty with disrespect, or with levity. I am satisfied that real reverence for the Deity-his name, his word, his worship, his day, his house, his institutions—is most closely and intimately connected with every thing that leads to true piety, with every thing that is hopeful in regard to the salvation of the soul.
2. Is God every where present? Are we continually surrounded, embraced, and pervaded by the Deity? Are all the actions of our lives, all the words of our lips, all the thoughts, and feelings, and secrets of our souls, naked before his eye? How solemn is the thought! The wicked are often afraid and ashamed that men should witness their, vileness. But what are worms of the dust, in comparison with the infinite God, who is always the witness of what they think, and do, and say-however concealed in darkness; however kept from human knowledge ? Yes—and he will, at last, bring the whole into judgment, and disclose it to the assembled universe. Oh let us ever remember the presence of God, and our
responsibility to him! This will prove the most powerful and effectual guard that we can place, not only on all that we do or say, but on all that we imagine, or wish, or think. He who is duly sensible that his soul is continually open to his Maker's inspection, will be careful of all his thoughts, and all his desires-of all that passes in his bosom, as well as of all that meets the observation of the world.
But the omnipresence and omniscience of the Deity are, to the truly pious and devout mind, a subject of the most pleasing contemplation, and the source of high and holy pleasure and delight. To the friend and child of God, what can be more gratifying than to recollect that his heavenly Father, the Almighty God, is ever with him; to protect him in danger; to comfort him in affliction; to support him in distress; to enlighten him in doubt and darkness; to be a very present help in every time of trouble; to be communed with in the closet, or on the bed, as well as in every act of social worship; to witness every sigh, and every groan, and every tear; to hear the very desires of the soul; to listen to every prayer or petition, which is ejaculated from the heart when no words are uttered; to support and comfort in the hour of death; and to receive the departing spirit to the mansions of eternal peace and rest and joy—to a knowledge and an enjoyment of Himself, of which on earth we can form no adequate conception. My dear children! make God your friend. There is a happiness in having him for your friend and father, that cannot be described. It fills, and was intended to fill, the whole soul. It is not to be compared with any earthly enjoyments. They never fully satisfy; and they are fleeting at the best. Soon you must leave them, or they be taken from you. But in the friendship, and favour, and enjoyment, of the almighty and eternal God, there is a pleasure, a holy, a serene, and sometimes an ecstatic joy, that satisfies every desire of the soul-of which accidents cannot deprive you, of which death itself cannot rob
you.-Rob you, did I say?-Death will only shake off those incumbrances of flesh and sense, which hinder and debase, and circumscribe this heavenly delight; and render it pure, perfect and eternal, in the bosom of our God and Saviour. It is to this that true religion seeks to lead you. Will you not listen to her voice? Will you not yield to her solicitations? Will you prefer the dust and dross of time before this heavenly treasure? Say, in the strength of God that you will not. Say, that from this hour, let others do as they will, you will seek, till you find “the pearl of great price—the good part which shall not be taken away from you.” Father of mercies ! —may this be the resolution of every hearer; and may thine own blessed Spirit render the resolve effective. ask it in the name and for the sake of Christ our Saviour-Amen.
We LECTURE VII.
WHAT IS GOD?-CONTINUED.
In our last lecture we entered on the discussion of that answer in our Shorter Catechism which relates the being and perfections of God, and which is thus expressed—God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” A short statement was given of the manner in which the existence of the Deity is proved; and we also considered briefly his spirituality, infinity, eternity, and unchangeableness. Without further recapitulation, we proceed to consider the remaining attributes of the Deity, as specified in the answer before us.-Of these the next in order is Wisdom.
This, like all the other divine attributes, is infinite. The omniscience of the Deity is included in his attribute of wisdom. Of this something was said, in speaking of the immensity of the Supreme Being. I now add, that "all things in all their relations, all things existing, and all things possible, are the objects of the divine knowledge."* 'The Deity Himself, I repeat, is perfectly known only to himself. That which is finite never can comprehend that which is infinite. It is the highest expression of God's unbounded knowledge, to say, thai he perfectly knows Himself.
The knowledge which the Deity has of his creatures, and of their actions both present and future is, in no degree dependent on the creatures. To him nothing is contingent. He has a certain and infallible foreknowledge of all those events and all those actions, which we denominate casual or contingent. Very many of the things predicted, or prophesied of in Holy Scripture, depended on the free actions of moral agents. Yet these actions, it is plain, were perfectly known to God, hundreds of years before any of the agents existed. This foreknowledge did not impair the freedom of the agents; nor can we tell how their actions were foreknown. Still, we have the most unquestionable evidence of the fact. Nor was this only some general foresight or prescience. It was a particular knowledge of every individual creature concerned, and of every circumstance of his conduct or actions.
“ Wisdom is usually considered as respecting some end to be obtained; and it implies the clear discovery of the best and most effectual means of attaining it."* In all the works of creation and providence, the infinite wisdom of God is conspicuous. If we search into what are called the laws of nature--if we observe the order, harmony, and regularity of the heavenly bodies; or analyze the various material substances; or consider the immense number and diversity of structure of living creatures, and how each one is formed to answer the purpose of its existence; or take a survey of the all but infinite variety and beauty of the vegetable kingdoms; or contemplate the structure and organization of our own bodies, and the powers and faculties of our minds; and if, in all, we mark the wonderful adaptation of means to ends, and the provision which is made for the preservation and gratification of all sentient beings--we shall every where be struck with the infinite wisdom of the great Creator; and we shall find enough to overwhelm our minds, if we attempt to comprehend it.
But especially in the plan of redemption by Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God shines with transcendent lustre. No wisdom short of that which is infinite could have devised that plan in which "mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other."--In which all the claims of violated justice are completely satisfied, while yet the