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ist express, in the strongest Terms, the high Affection and Esteem he had for the Laws of God, and the great Pleasure he found in them ! More to be depred are they than Gold, yea, than much fine Gold; sweeter also than Honey or the Honey-comb. Pf. xix. 10. Thy Testimonies have I taken as an Heritage for ever ; for they are the Rejoicing of my Heart. Pf. cxix. III. What Warmth of Divine Affection gloweth in those Expressions, Oh how I love thy Law !--I opened my Mouth and panted; for I longed for thy Commandments.—My Soul hath kept thy Testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. Ib. Ver. 97, 131, 167. And, in the Words I have chosen for the Subject of this Discourse, he declares it, as his deliberate Purpose, I will delight myself in thy Commandments, which I have loved. It ought greatly to recommend them to our Esteem that they are God's Commandments. How pleasing must it be to a good Man, when engaged in any Course of Action, to be able to reflect " When I am doing this, I am doing şr what God requireth of me: I am serv“ ing and obeying the greatest and best qr of Beings, my Creator and sovereign “ Lord, my moit generous and bountiful !! Benefactor, to whom I am under the

« highest “ highest poffible Obligations, and in for whom alone I can be happy.” If we were wholly unacquainted with the particular Reasons of the Divine Commands, yet we might be sure that they must be founded on the wiseft and justeft Reasons, since Nothing can proceed from a Being of infinite Wisdom, Goodness, and Purity, but what is wise, and good, and pure, But it is a mighty Advantage, when we ourselves, upon an impartial Consideration of God's Commandments, can plainly see that they are in themselves most reasonable and excellent, and that the Practice of them is conducive to the true Happiness and Perfection of our Nature, and is fitted to afford a folid Picafure and Satisfaction to the Mind.

To set this in a proper Light, let us take a View of the Divine Cominandments, as they are usually distributed under three Heads : Some of them relate to the Duties we

more immediately owe God; others to those we owe to our Fellow-creatures; others relate more immediately to ourselves, and to the right Government of our own_Appetites and Paffions. These feveral Branches of our Duty are plainly referred to in that noble and comprehensive Passage, Tit. ii. 11, 12. The Grace of God, which bringeth Sal

pation,

to

xation, bath appeared unto all Men, teaching us that, denying Ungodliness and worldly Lufts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World.

I shall begin with considering that Part of the Duty required of us which more immediately relates to God, and which the Apostle in the Passage now cited expresses by Living godly in this pre fent World. In Scripture Language the the Whole of practical Religion is sometimes called Godliness, to signify the necessary Relation it hath to the Deity ; that a religious Regard to the supreme Being is essential to a holy and virtuous Life; and that the Duty we immediately owe to God is an eminent Part of the Duty required of us in the Divine Law. And it is with a peculiar Reference to this that I shall now consider it.

Our Living godly, taken in this View, includeth the following Things :

That we must have a firm Belief of the Existence and Providence of God, and must have our Souls possessed with just and worthy Conceptions of his glorious and incomparable Perfections, and, in Consequence of this, our Hearts must be brought under the Influence of suitable holy Affections and Dispositions towards him.

That

That we must render him that religious Worship and Adoration that is justly due to him, and must be diligent in the Obfervance of those facred Rites and Ordi. nances which he hath appointed in his Word.

That we must aspire after a Conformity to him in his amiable moral Excellencies, as far as he is imitable by such Creatures

as we are.

And, finally, that we must be careful to maintain a constant Regard to him in our general Course, having an Eye to his Providence in the Events which befall us, and doing what we do as in his Sight, in Obedience to his Authority, and in a Subordination to his Glory as our fupreme governing End.

These are the Things in which true Godliness, or the Practice of the Duty required of us in the Divine Law towards God, doth eminently consist. And it will not be difficult to shew, that the Exer. cising ourselves this Way tendeth to promote our Happiness, and to produce a Pleafure and Satisfaction of the noblest Kind.

Let us consider these Things distinctly.

First, True Godliness necessarily includeth a firm Belief of the Existence and

Providence Providence of God, just and worthy Conceptions of his glorious and incomparable Perfections, and, in Consequence of this, that our Hearts must be brought under the Influence of suitable holy Affections and Dispositions towards him. It is obferved by the inspired Writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that be that cometb unta God, i.e. he that would serve him in an acceptable Manner, muft believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek. him. Heb. xi. 6.

A lively Faith in an invisible Deity lies at the Foundation of all Religion and Godliness. And indeed this is a Principle which cometh to us confirmed by such clear and ftrong Evidence, that one would think no reasonable and considerate Mind could sex riously and in good Earnest doubt of it. This vast Fabric of the Universe, which we continually behold, and particularly the wonderful Frame of our own Bodies, and the noble Faculties of our Souls, lead us by, a just and natural Consequence to one supreme original Cause, who was frame everlasting, who gave Being to all other Things, but derived his own Being from none; who created Heaven and Earth, and all Things that are therein ; and disposed them in that beautiful Order in which they

now

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