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stition. ; But most pernicious is that error by which men imagine that they glorify God, not by mercy, forbearance, and benevolence; but the diabolical engines of hatred, malice, and persccu. tion. As if God was glorified, not in the happia ness, but in the destruction of his creatures : As if it was the most effectual way to recommend themselves to the favour of God, to counteract his Qwn gracious intentions and conduct; and to breathe 'a spirit, the most contrary to that mercy and clemency, with which he ever acts towards, mankind.
.. 2d. I consider the reasonableness and advantage of consulting the glory of God, as it has been cx. plained above.
I ... I shall avoid entering into a long detail of the obligations we lie under to consult the glory of God, and to shun every thing in our conduct that might dishonour him, by giving offence to, or any way injuring, our fellow creatures ; and shall content myself with summing them up as briefly as possible. Since it may be shown in a very few words, that all the obligations that are deemed fit to enforce obedience to any superior on earth, con. cur to enforce our obedience to God; besides se. Labore is '
veral obligations which are peculiar to this, the highest of all our connexions and relations.' :
Ist. We are under obligation to glorify and serve God as our creator and preserver.' This is an inference which St. Paul teaches us to draw froma this consideration. Since we are not our own, let us glorify God with bodies and with souls which are his. Shall I prostitute those members of my body, or powers of my mind, to any other use, than that for which they were given me? Is not the end for which he made them the noblest for which they could be made ? Shall I then, either vainly presume to mend the design, or impiously presume to contradict him, in what I am sensible is wisest and best? To use the argument of the apostle, Hath not the potter power over the clay? Are not my passions of his forming and moulding? Should they not then be applied to the purposes for which he intended them? And am not I crimi. nal in indulging them to my own or others prejua dice, contrary to his gracious intention? Should not my reason conform itself to the dictates of that eternal reason, from which it is derived? And should not conscience be put into the full posses. sion of all the power and influence, my maker intended it should have? Let me not then dispute
the authority of God. Or, with the potters vessel, in the apostle, absurdly ask, why hast thou made me thus? My powers of body and of mind are not my own, and therefore not at my disposal, but I am accountable to him, that made me, for the pura poses to which I apply them.
2d. Setting aside the authority of God, as our creator, gratitude should oblige us to consult the glory of God in all our actions, i An ingenious: mind that is sensible of its obligations, and of the pleasure of its benefactor, cannot hesitate what part it has to act. To return the obligation, is its first thought, its immediate resolution, and its fixo ed steady pursuit. Are any of us ignorant what God hath done for us? Is it not from him that we derive all our capacity for pleasure, and all our means of avoiding pain? Hath he not provided us with pleasures proper and sufficient to satisfy all the regular calls of nature? Hath he not crowned our lives with loving kindness and tender mercies? What is the whole course of our lives, but a con=; tinued experience.of the goodness of God? Whos is the giver of every good, and of every perfect gift, and of whom do we receive, life, breath, and all things ? And is not cvery mercy we receive at the hands of God, of the nature of our obligation to
study; and conform Ourselves to, his will and plea sure; to consult his glóry rather than our own And should we not deny ourselves the most favo rite gratification, upon understanding, that thê îna dulgence of our desire in this case, would be look ed upon as a slight or dishonour cast upon him. I
Knowing then that the will of God is the virtue and happiness of men, should we not, setting aside all private regards, disinterestedly, and from a prin ciple of gratitude to God, study the welfare and édification of our fellow creatures, and avoid any thing, however innocent in itself, and to us, that might wound and hurt their minds? This is the Tove of God that we keep his commandments; that we conduct ourselves in such a manner, as will be most pleasing to him, and beneficial to man kind, and in this is God glorified. By the shining example of a virtuous life and conversation, we should provoke to love and to good works; bé.. Cause when our light shines before men, otkers see, and are induced to imitate, our good works, and thereby glorify our Father who is in Heaven..
3d. Our obligation to serve and glorify God; may be further enforced and illustrated by èoma? paring it with human obligations, of a parallel, though inferior nature. - Should servants, consult
the pleasure and the honour of their master, and şübjects of their sovereign ? We too have a master. in Heaven : We too are subjects to the king of kings, whose pleasure and honour we are un. der a like obligation to consult before all things else. And to act in disobedience to his com. mands, or to dishonour him, is in this light as the sin of rebellion, and treason. Should the filial affection of children prompt them to consult the, pleasure and the honour of their parents ; We too, have a father in Heaven, intitled to an infinitely, higher regard : he is both more beneficent, and more wise in dispensing his fayours; and there. fore should command more of our affection and esteem.
Lastly, do all men think themselves, in some measure, obliged to maintain the honour of persons of distinguished abilities, and great worth? Alas, what are all human characters, to the all-perfect character of the ever-blessed God? What is their worth, merit or deserts compared to his! If then we shew so great zeal for the honour of men we admire ; Should not we be more zeaa lously affected in a better cause ? Should we not, enter more warmly into the interests of virtue; because it is the cause of God; and labour to