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chains which bind together human society would be dissolved, and the world would quickly go to disorder and ruin.

Lastly, it must be remembered, that, here we are in a state of probation and discipline, wherein our faith and obedience are put to the test, and our virtues, by adversity and trial, are refined and exalted. Now, such a state as this, necessarily, implies that we shall have some temptations to struggle with, and some difficulties to surmount. For if everything were on the side of religion, and nothing was to be gained by vice but immediate destruction, it would be no state of probation at all, we would have no trial to abide, we would want that peaceable fruit of righteousness which is wrought by the salutary chastening of the Lord. In short, since adversity has an excellent influence on the character, it is evident, that, a state wherein there is a considerable share of pain and suffering has an ultimate tendency to promote the perfection of God's works.

The extensive prosecution of this argument, which is intimately connected with the subject under consideration, and which cannot be foreign to this place, if it tend in any degree to exhibit the divine character in a more amiable light, prevents me from examining that second wonder and glory of God's works where there is no room for argumentation, but all is love and mercy and grace unspeakable. I shall conclude my observations at this time with stating the moral influence of this doctrine, " that God is love."

If God is love, if all his works declare his goodness, how careful ought we to be, to cultivate this principle, and to imitate so perfect an example ! If we wish to recover that image after which we were originally formed, if we are ambitious to gain the favour and approbation of that great Being who upholds all things by the word of his power, we must study to acquire a spirit of universal benevolence, charity and meekness ; we must be, daily, employed in works of goodness, in diffusing peace and joy and happiness around us by a kind and peaceable behaviour. Thus, only, can we resemble the great Parent of nature who is good unto all, and whose tender mercies are over all his works. To excite such dispositions, nothing can be better fitted than frequent meditation on the divine tove : For whoever contemplates the character of God must be struck with admiration of such infinite

perfection ; and from admiration, the transition to imitation is easy and natural. We find, that, we gradually acquire a resemblance to those with whom we daily associate and converse : we, insensibly, imitate their manners, and adopt their modes of thinking. And, surely, nothing can be more noble and more worthy of attention than that which tends to assimilate us to God, who is the source of all perfection. Besides, if God is love, how opposite to his character must be all malevolence, cruelty and oppression ? He abhorreth the bloody and deceitful man. None shall be admitted to his favour and enjoyment who have not, in this life, been at pains to cultivate that temper of benevolence and love which characterizes the inhabitant of the regions of eternal love.

Since God is so kind and beneficent to all his creatures, both in their original formation, and in the constant care which he exercises over them; since he has distinguished us above all his works, and daily loads us with his benefits, what strong obligations do we lie under to love and serve and praise him ! Gratitude is a feeling natural to the human mind. It arises, spontaneously, upon receiving a benefit,

and we cannot help esteeming in some degree, the man, however unworthy, who has been our benefactor. We behold with horrour that man who has received of our kindness, but who has made us no returns of love and regard,

If these are the principles which regulate our conduct and judgment concerning our fel. low men, with how much greater force ought they to influence our conduct towards God! to whom we owe every thing which we enjoy, and who is every way worthy of our holiest esteem. If the obligation be increased in proportion to the favour ; if our esteem correspond with the merit of the object, what infinite obligations are we under to God! What friendship is like to that of the Almighty ?

the sons of men can be compared unto him? Neither are the returns which he requires grievous nor hard to be paid. They are no costly sacrifice nor offering ; but the simple incense of prayer and praise, and the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite heart. O! then, give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. O! that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men ! Bless the Lord, O! my soul ! and

Who among

forget not all his benefits who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies. Amen.

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