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chide; neither will he keep his anger forever." Psalms ciii. 8, 9. "The Lord will not cast off forever. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." Lam. iii. 31, 33. "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, who corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? For they verily, for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness." Heb. xii: 5, 6, 9, 10. Thus are we assured that the design of punishment is for the reformation, or the good of the punished. Punishment is used, in the hands of the Great Judge, as a means, and not an end, in his wise and holy government. And consequently, according to the scripture testimony here adduced, and the inference drawn from that testimony, the conclusion is as plain as the sun at noon day, without a single cloud to veil it, that the doctrine which teaches that the sinner shall be tormented "without relief, and without end,"
has no foundation in reason, or in truth. Did not Jehovah chastise mankind for their benefit, he would not be entitled to their reverence and praise. If he has determined to punish the sinner, in the coming world, throughout all ages, merely to gratify a spirit of revenge, or to exhibit his awful power, he is no more worthy of the love of his intelligent creation, than an earthly parent would be, who should torment his offspring merely to gratify a spirit of malignant revenge. Such a God, in the language of the gifted Channing, "We would not love if we could, and we ought not if we would."
Oh! then, let us trust in the goodness of God-let us submit to his authority, and reverence his holy character; and rejoice that he hath determined, instead of punishing the children of men without a view to their welfare, to bring sin and its direful consequences to a final termination, and to bestow upon all the families of the earth, a salvation forever to be enjoyed.
This delightful truth, presents Jehovah to the human mind in the most charming light, and incites it to every good and perfect work. It was spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. The Savior
often dwelt upon it, and the divinely inspired Apostle, who spake the words of the text, bore witness to it in the following manner: "The creature (or creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the CREATION itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Romans viii: 20, 21. Having a full assurance that we shall live beyond "The valley of the shadow of death," may we rejoice in the government of Him who reigns without a rival, and in the blissful triumphs of the faith of the Redeemer, leave all things of a fading nature, and enter upon the lovely scenes of another and a better world. AMEN.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, we desire to render unto Thee our thanks that we are permitted to come into Thy holy presence, and address Thee by the endearing appella
tion of Father. Wilt Thou lift upon us the light of Thy divine countenance, and fill our souls with all needed good. May our assembling together this day, improve our minds in the knowledge of those things which make for peace. We thank Thee, O! Lord, for our existence, and for the varied blessings Thou has conferred upon us. Numerous are the testimonials of Thy goodness. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." We would devoutly thank Thee, that Thou hast, in thine unbounded love, commissioned thine only and well-beloved Son, and sent Him into the world, for the purpose of teaching us the way, the truth, and the life. Enable us to follow His examples — to comply with His glorious requisitions, and to adorn the beautiful spirit of Christianity. Oh! that we may be the recipients of that wisdom "which is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits," that we may "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." Imbue our minds with those Chris
tian graces, which shall sustain and comfort us in sorrow's dark hour, that we may feel resigned to the dispensations of Thy Providence; believing that the afflictions of life come from a Father's hand-are directed by a Father's love, and are designed to bring us into subjection to Thee, and live. Forgive us our manifold sins, and blot out our transgressions. Raise up the bowed downcomfort the mourner impart liberty to the down-trodden and enslaved, and illumine the benighted world with the light of divine truth. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, be ascriptions of praise, and glory, through Jesus Christ, world without end.