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and on the unjust.” Or to extend our benevolence from temporal to spiritual concerns, we may imitate God in his goodness more efsentially, by labouring to promote their peace with heaven, and to place them in a condition for acceptance and good will with God. This also we may do by several means; by intercession to God in their behalf; by admonition, exhortation, and reproof; and above all by the silent yet most persuasive argument of a good example. This our Lord himself advises, as an effectual means of rendering glory to God; “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
While thus we glorify God in the temper of our hearts and in the tenour of our lives, we shall bring our dispositions in unison with those, who continually stand before the throne of God; we shall harmonize our affections to the melodies of the heavenly Sion, and shall prepare ourselves in some degree to bear our part in the chorus of celestial fong; when having made our peace with heaven, and obtained acceptance and good will with God, we shall find it not merely our delightful office, but our most honourable privilege, our fupreme beatitude, to sing glory to God in the highest
· Of this blessed exercise fome brief examples are given us by the beloved Disciple and Evangelist Saint John, who was admitted even in the body to look into the heaven of heavens, to see the glories, and to hear the melodies of that blissful realm. All these no doubt are recorded for our edification in a state of discipline. May we therefore so meditate upon the subjects they present, as to be qualified through the mercies and the grace of God to partake hereafter in these heavenly strains !
“ Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth--The Kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and be shall reign for ever and ever ;King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.-Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty: Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints.— Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever s.”
s Rev. xix. 6. xi. 15. xix. 16. xv. 3. v. 13,
MATTHEW iv. 23.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their syna.
gogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
THE Apostle in these words relates the transactions of Jesus Christ at the beginning of his ministry; all which displayed an active and unwearied zeal both for the spiritual and the temporal welfare of men. And as he persevered, while he abode on earth, in the practice of the fame benevolent operations, they form a compendious history of his human life, and they present a general view of his mission and character. At the same time they delineate, what I propose for the subject of our present meditation, the method and economy employed by the Author of our faith, in preaching the Gospel of his kingdom through the world.
The wisdom of God has adopted various
modes of representing his nature and of imparting his will to men. To the Heathens he was manifested in the operations of his providence. In the beauty and order of the works of nature, in the grateful vicissitudes of the seasons, in the general and impartial distribution of genial suns and showers, they might readily contemplate the great Founder and Upholder of the universe in all his attributes of power and wisdom and benevolence. From this conception of his nature they might reasonably infer, by what kind of fervice they might please him best, and render him their Friend. · But this train of inference was very rarely drawn among the nations of the Heathens, except by a very few of fuperior penetration and reflexion : And even among these it feldom produced any folid influence on their moral practice ; since they continued to do what was right in their own eyes, and to consult their own pleasure rather than the will of God.
To the Children of Ifrael he was shewn in a fuller and more conspicuous manner. Befide an immediate communication under Moses the Minister of the Legal Economy, he revealed himself to all the people by signs and by wonders beyond the ordinary course of nature. Having inflicted an exemplary
vengeance on their Egyptian tyrants, he wrought their deliverance by a mighty hand. He divided the red sea before them, and die rected their march through the bottom of the deep. He went before them in the pillar of a cloud by day and of fire by night. Thus having prepared them by unquestionable tokens of his immediate presence, and having ratified them by special testimonies for a chosen generation, a peculiar people, he gave them a Law in thunders and lightnings from Mount Sinai. This method of communicating his counsels was ‘no doubt very powerful and impressive. But then it was calculated not so much to conciliate as to alarm. It compelled by fear rather than engaged by love. And highly as they were distinguished above all other people by this divine visitation, they shrunk with trembling from this awful scene, as appears from their fupplication to Moses, " Speak thou with us, and we will hear ; but let not God speak with us, left we die a.”
In the last Revelation of himself by the Gofpél he has taken a method which is equally conciliating and impressive. In this dispensation of united grace and truth he appears in a
à Exod, xx, 19.