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on us by God, and strongly conveyed to our minds, by the name of Father, when we view him at once as creating us out of the dust of the earth, as preserving that being which he gave, and safely conducting us through all the storms of life, as redeeming us from the claim of Hell, regenerating us by his blessed Spirit, and adopting us in his blessed Son, all is joy, all is wonder, expressing itself in the words of the Pfalmidt, Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the Son of man, that thou regardeft him? Upon cooler recollection, gratitude induces us to think of making fome return, and to cry out, What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me? What reward shalt thou give unto him indeed! Thy intentions are good, but never to be executed. The mercies of God are as much above any returns of thine, as they
are above thy deserts. Thy Wealth is Poverty, thy Power Weakness, and thy Wisdom Folly in the sight of God. Prudently then, and piously, content thyself with acknowledging his goodness, and setting his mercies ever before thine eyes, with saying, in the lively and grateful eloquence of the Psalınist, Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise his holy name; Praise the Lord, O my foul, and forger not all his benefits; O God, our God, our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
The order in which this petition stands doth very properly point out to us what all of us must know, and yet many of us are very apt, and too willing to forget, that the glory of God ought to be the great and chief pursuit of man. It is apparent, that whatsoever hath a right to our first consi
deration in our prayers, should have the same preference in our lives and conversations. Man may indeed, and too often doth divert and amuse himself with vain and idle pursuits, with worshipping idols of his own creation, and following pliantoms which he himself hath formed, but he can have no solid and rational views, which have not a regard to, and do not ultimately terminate in, the glory of God; that most noble and lively principle, that most worthy and happy end of all his actions,
The design of God in the creation of the world was the glory of the Creator, and the good of the Creature; and then only doth the Creature attain to the utmost perfection of his nature, when both these ends are happily answered. But the miffortune is, that these things, which in the
design of the Deity, and in the nature of things, are strictly and inseparably connected and united, become divided by the folly and corruption of man, and are considered as incompatible, as two distinct and opposite pursuits, of which both are not attainable; and it is plain to be seen by the practice of the world, how much weight the glory of God will have with us, and how far it will influence our actions, when once it comes to be considered as inconfiftent with, and opposite to, what we imagine to be our happiness.
The greater part of mankind calling inclination reason, and corruption happiness, direct their course to some distanț goal, where imaginary happiness takes up her abode; whilst the wiser and the happier few pursue the road which leads to the glory of God, and to the only true, solid,
and lasting happiness of man. Our wise Creator, well acquainted with the nature of the Creature which he had made, contrived to implant in us a principle more quick and powerful to advance his glory than gratitude itself, when he made the same means which conduced to his glory, necessary to our own happiness; and that man who leads a religious and Christian life, doth at the same time give glory to God, which is the one end of his creation, and procure happiness to himself, which is the other.
Thus much observed in general, I proceed more particularly, to consider the petition before us, and shall Thew,
First, What we are to understand by God's Name. And,