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such investigations do often lead to suspicion, it ought not to hinder our hearts from discharging copiously their streams of affection ; that we know it doth in the end often lead to judge and condemn the niggard and unfair return of others.

The conclusion is, that from no existing state wherein man stands related to man, can judgment and execution of judgment be spared, though they ought never to be introduced till all other measures have failed. Bearing this conclusion in mind, let us go forward to examine the responsibility whereto God hath subjected us.

He hath given a law for the regulation of the heart and life of man, and hath been at pains to make it manifest as being from himself, by visitation of angels and of his own awful presence, by inspiration of holy men whom he clothed with heavenly powers-and, finally, by the hands of his own son, whom he raised from the dead and took up into heaven until the restitution of all things. With these tokens of its being his will, it is offered to the world, to take it or not as they please. Some have never had the offer of it, with whose case we have not to deal. We have had the offer of it, and in our next discourse we are to examine whether it will do us good to accept it, or whether there be in it any thing to disconcert the nature of man. In the mean time, we go into the previous question upon what God builds his claim to prescribe to us in any form, and by what feelings the sense of responsibility in this new instance is bound upon our minds.

Now, in turning over the sacred books to examine into this previous question, we find them full of various information concerning the interest which God hath taken in man from the very first, and the schemes which he hath on foot to ameliorate our state, the desire he hath to contribute to our present happiness, and the views he hath for our future glory. He presents himself as our father, who first breathed into our nostrils the breath of life, and ever since hath nourished and brought us up as children.-He declares himbelf to have prepared the earth for our habitation ; and for our sakes to have made its womb teem with various food, with beauty and with life.- For our sakes no less he garnished the heavens and created the whole host of them with the breath of his mouth, bringing the sun forth from his ehamber every morning with the joy of a bridegroom and a giant's strength, to shed his cheerful light over the face of creation, and draw blooming life from the bosom of the earth.-From him also was derived the wonderful work

manship of our frames--the eye, in whose orb of beauty is pencilled the whole orbs of heaven and of earth, for the mind to peruse and know and possess and rejoice over, even as if the whole universe were her own the ear, in whose vocal chambers are entertained harmonious numbers, the melody of rejoicing nature, the welcomes and salutations of friends, the whisperings of love, the voices of parents and of children, with all the sweetness and the power that dwell upon the tongue of man. His also is the gift of the beating heart, flooding all the hidden recesses of the human frame with the tide of life,-his the cunning of the hand, whose workmanship turns rude and raw materials to such pleasant forms and wholesome uses,—his the whole vital frame of man, which is a world of wonders within itself, a world of bounty, and, if rightly used, a world of finest enjoyments.His also are the mysteries of the soul within the judgment, which weighs in a balance all contending thoughts, extracting wisdom out of folly, and extricating order from confusion; the memory, recorder of the soul, in whose books are chronicled the accidents of the changing world, and the fluctuating moods of the mind itself; fancy, the eye of the soul, which scales the heavens and circles round the verge and circuits of all possible existence; hope, the purveyor of happiness, which peoples the hidden future with brighter forms and happier accidents than ever possessed the present, offering to the soul the foretaste of every joy; affection, the nurse of joy, whose full bosom can cherish a thousand objects without being impoverished, but rather replenished, a storehouse inexhaustible towards the brotherhood and sisterhood of this earth, as the storehouse of God is inexhaustible to the universal world; and conscience, the arbitrator of the soul, and the touchstone of the evil and the good, whose voice within our breast is the echo of the voice of God.- These, all these, whose varied action and movement constitutes the maze of thought, the mystery of life, the continuous chain of being-God hath given us to know that we hold of his hand, and during his pleasure, and out of the fulness of his care.

It is upon these tokens of his affectionate bounty, not upon bare authority, command, and fear, that God desires to form a union and intimacy between' himself and the human soul. As we love our parents because we derived our being from them, sustenance and protection while we stood in need of them, and afterwards proof of unchanging and undying love, so God would have us love him in whom we live and move and breathe and have our being, and from whom proceedeth every good and every perfect gift. And as out of this strong affection we not only obey, but honour the commandments of our father and mother, so willeth he that we should honour and obey the commandments of our father in heaven. As we look up to a master in whose house we dwell, and at whose plentiful board we feed-with whose smiles we are recreated, and whose service is gentle and sweet -so God wisheth us to look up to him, in whose replenished house of nature he hath given us a habitation, and from whose bountiful table of providence we have a plentiful living, and whose service is full of virtue, health, and joy:As we love a friend who took us by the hand in youth, and helped us step by step up the hill of life, and found for our feet a room to rest in, and for our hands an occupation to work at; so God wisheth to be loved for having taken us up from the womb, and compassed us from our childhood, and found us favour in the sight of men.-As we revere a master of wisdom, who nursed our opening mind, and fed it with knowledge and with prudence, until the way of truth and peacefulness lay disclosed before us; so God wisheth us to be revered for giving to our souls all the faculties of knowledge, and to nature all the hidden truths which these faculties reveal. In truth, there is not an excellent attachment by which the sons of men are bound together, which should not bind us more strongly to God, and lay the foundation of all generous and noble sentiments towards him within the mind-of all loving, dutiful, reverential conduct towards him in our outward walk and conversation.

Therefore we greatly err when we imagine his revelation to be nothing, save a code of laws and statutes enforced by awful authority and awful judgment to come.

Doubtless it contains a code of laws, but these laws set in the bosom of a thousand noble sentiments and warm affections and generous promises towards us—such as are wont to catch and captivate and ravish the spirit when uttered by a mortalwhy they should not when uttered by the great immortal, eternal, and invincible, I know not, except that we are so lost in bustle and agitation as seldom to be in sufficient repose to hear and meditate his voice. No one calls filial obedience, friendly offices, grateful returns, honourings of the wise, tribute to the good no one calleth these bondage ; they are the effusions of generous hearts, the aspirations of noble desires, and the sure promise of future excellence ; and he who can afford them not and calls them bondage, is himself a bondsman to his niggard selfishness and his

wretched temper. No more shall any one call veneration of God the common father-gratitude to God the common giver-obedience of God the great fountain of wisdom-devotion to God the length of our days and the strength of our life, --call these most exalted most refined sentiments of the soul, bondage, slavery, and blind subserviency; or I hold him heartless, thoughtless, and unholy-a man divested of his crown of glory, blind to the excellencies of the earth, deaf to the harmonies of nature, dead and insensible to the ebbs and flows, the wants and the possessions of human life.

Let no one accuse God of tyranny or self-willedness, or wrest him from his fatherly seat of affection and bounty among his children, to instate him in a throne of stern and unreasonable sovereiguty, from being a most generous parent and patron, convert him into a frowning judge, because he hath seen it necessary, when presenting his scheme of government unto men, to introduce into it the judgment of all and the punishment of the rebellious—iwo conditions which we found were never wanting in any kind of society or association. If a son complains not against his father for entering among his affections both command, inquiry and judgment if a subject complain not against the law for entering amongst its wise and wholesome provisions interdicts, threats and penalties if a friend is content to recognise the obligations and to bow contented to the dissolution of friendship, as well as to taste its enjoyments. And so of love, of marriage, of intimacy, of acquaintance, and every other form of union, fast or loose, why, in the name of consistency, will any one revolt that God, when he presented every tie of affection, duty and interest, and sought to come about the heart by every fond enticement, did also add the other element of all relationship, that if we failed, were obstinate and rebellious, there should be an açı count and a punishment.

Had there not been such an account and punishment, God might have spared his pains in promulgating any laws for the guidance of man. For it has been well shown by the greatest philosopher, and perhaps the best man* that England hath produced, that a law is nothing unless it be supported by rewards and punishments. And certainly there never was a law upon the earth that was not so supported. But if these laws of God were mere expressions of

Locke-in the Essay on Human Understanding,

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his will, not consultations for our welfare, having more of rigour in them than was necessary, harassing life out of its natural joy and contentinent, and reducing us all into an unmanly servitude-then there might be reason to complain of inquisitorial judgment and undue severity. But waving the right of the Creator to have his will out of his creature, which is an argument God never uses, except when the creature sets himself into a most daring attitude (I know only once in scripture it is used, in the ixth of the Romans, against a most inveterate and incorrigible faultfinder and objector, whom there was no other way of bringing under)-waving God's right, which he seldom rests his commandments upon, it is most apparent from the whole tenor of Scripture, that the happiness of the creature, not his own will, is his aim. He had thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers enow to rule over, if it was power he wanted. He could have created another world in room of this, if he had found his empire incomplete. He could have rid the universe of us if we had been an eyesore to him—or put us out of the way as he did the angels that kept not their first estate. It was an interest in us, a deep and pathetic interest, which moved him to interfere so often, and draw us out of sin under his own good government-to commission counsellor after counsellor, and to part at length with his own well-beloved Son. It is manifest from the whole tendency and language of the revelation, that it is intended for our happiness. Its name is the Gospel, that is, good news—it sets forth redemption, that is, deliverance out of slavery-salvation, that is, keeping from the power of evil, forgiveness, comfort, and consolation. It summoneth to glory and renown, to victory and triumph, and an immortal crown. It commandeth not to penance or monastic severity, but to honest, comely deeds ; forbideth dishonesty, dishonour, and untruth ; encourageth love and kindness; hateth hardness of heart and harshness of behaviour ; breathes gentleness, peace, and charity ; renounces strife, war, and bloodshed; knowledge it encourages, purity and love still more: all these virtuous and worthy qualities of heart and life it sustains and crowns with the promise of life and blessedness everlasting. The spirit of the law therefore, is to rejoice the heart, to convert the soul, to enlighten the eyes, and give understanding to the simple. And, if we had leisure to trace its effects upon the world, we should find that it hath tended in every instance to promote its happiness and prosperity.

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