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truth because it condemns ourselves or our fellow men ? Is it uncharitable to think and speak according to the truth, and to censure those who are cenfured by the God of truth? True charity, or love, “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth." If the subject we have been considering has been juftly represented, and the truth established by undeniable evidence ; then this inference that has now been made follows with the greatest certainty, and must be admitted, however many are censured and condemned by it, and be they who they may

It is to be carefully observed, that the inference is, " Whosoever in their hearts, and in the exercise of what they call piety, oppose this doctrine of God's foreordaining whatsoever comes to pass, have no real real religion.” Persons may, through the prejudices of education, or some other way, be led to misunderstand this doctrine, and have very wrong conceptions of it, and imbibe prejudices against it, in their speculations ; and yet the exercise of their hearts be in some measure agreeable to it, in the practice of real piety. Their piety may not prevent or remove all their wrong and mistaken speculations and conceptions on this point. But if their hearts oppose this truth, which is the foundation of all true piety, their hearts are not right with God, but they must be enemies to him, and in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity, whatever fpecious prétences, they may make of love to God, and of devotion.

On the other hand, persons may be right in their speculations on this point, and be fully convinced of the truth of this doctrine, yea, be very zealous in arguing for it, and vindicating it against opposers ; and yet never heartily submit to it, but really oppose it in their hearts, and be wholly strangers to every exercise of true piety.

On the whole, he who cordially submits to this doctrine, and bas exercises of heart answerable to it, is a pious man, and fears before God, whatever his fpeculations may be. And he whose heart opposes this doctrine, in the whole tenor of his exercises, is a stranger to

true

true piety, though he may be orthordox in his fpeculative opinion. It is desirable, however, that every man's judgment and speculations should be according to the truth: and it cannot be easily accounted for that a person whose heart is truly pious and benevolent should continue to disbelieve and reject this doctrine, when under ail proper and desirable advantages to get light and instruction, to have all his false conceptions of it removed, to know what it is, what is, and what is not, implied in it, and to learn the foundation and reason of it, and how expressly and abundantly, and in a variety of ways, it is taught and inculcated in the holy fcriptures.

And if a person under all these advantages and inkrucions perleveres in renouncing and opposing this doctrine, as very disagreeable, and overthrowing all religion, with an obstinacy and zeal which appear to proceed from the disposition and feelings of the heart, we have reason to fear, yea, to determine, that the heart is not right with God, and that such opposition flows from this root of bitternefs.

That the unrenewed, selfish, impenitent man shoulddislike and oppose this doctrinc, can be easily accounted for. For it appears from what has been said on this, lubject, that it must be, of all things most disagreeable to him, and that to which one of such a disposition and character can never submit. But that he who is born of God, and has a humble, benevolent heart, and loves. and fears God, and delights in the Bible, meditating therein day and night, is pleased to have God exalted, as a glorious, omnipotent, unchangeable, infinitely wife and good sovereign of the universe, and to have proud man humbled and abased before him ; that such an one fhould not believe that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, but oppose and be displeased with such a, doctrine, is quite unaccountable.

II. This subject teaches us the reason and importance: of making the glory of God our fupreme end in all we do.

1. Because

1. Because this is the highest, best and most important end that can be proposed and pursued, and therefore most agreeable to wisdom and benevolence.

Because God himself makes this his end in all his works. This is aflerted in the truth which is eftablithed in the foregoing discourse, viz. That God hath, for his own glory, foreordained whatsoever comes to pass ; and it has been shown that this must be the supreme end of the infinitely wise and benevolent Being, in all he does, and that this is neceffarily included in the affertion in our text, “ That whatsoever God doth, it shall be forever.” It is certainly reasonable that we should pursue the same end that God does in his works, and herein imitate him, as his children. If it be wise and benevolent in God to lay a plan and pursue it to glorify himself, to make the brightest display of his own perfections, wisdom and benevolence will lead us to do allfor the same end.

3. Because the glory of God, the greatest manifefta-tion and display of the divine character and perfections, includes the greatest possible good of the created universe ; for in producing and effecting this, the omnipotence, infinite wisdom and goodness of God are acted out and manifested to the greatest advantage; to be seen by creatures. The glory of God, and the greatest happiness of the creation, therefore, cannot be separated, as two diftinct and different ends, since the one necefsarily implies and involves the other.

The highest happiness of a creature consists in the knowledge and enjoyment of God, in beholding, loving and glorifying him; and therefore the more his perfections are manifested to the creation, the more happy will creatures be ; and the greater the happiness and glory of the creation is, the more is God glorified, the greater is the display of his power, wisdom and goodness. Does it not hence follow, that the glory of God implies all possible good, and therefore is to be sought as the fupreme end? How reasonable and important then is it that we should with zeal and fervour of mind constantly aim at this end, in

obedience

obedience to the apostolic injunction, “ Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God!"

4. Because he who makes the glory of God his supreme end, and consequently seeks the greatest good and happiness of the creation, in the kingdom of God, is necessarily happy himself. His benevolence, by which he makes this grand object his fupreme end, and places his happiness in the glory of God, and the greatest general good, will necessarily render him happy, in feeing this end completely accomplished, as it will be to the utmost of his wishes, and far beyond his present conceptions. He must necessarily share in all this good, when it takes place ; because, by the supposition, this is his chosen good. And while he seeks this as the grand object of his desire and happiness, and is at the same time ailured that it shall be accomplished, he has a great degree of enjoyment. He in a measure enjoys the good he seeks, in the assured prospect that it will take place. Thus universal, disinterefted benevolence, which feeks the glory of God, and the general good, is the only affection which can intereft us in that good which will take place to the highest degree, and give us our full share in it : whereas the contrary affection, self love neceffarily excludes from all true happiness, because the selfish person places not his happiness in the glory of God, and the public good, the happiness and glory of his kingdom ; but in his own exaltation and private, personal good. He is, of course, an enemy to the only true good and happiness, and so far as that takes place he is necessarily excluded and unhappy.

He therefore who, in this fense, denies himself, gives up all that separate, personal, private interest which felf love seeks, and, in this sense, loses his own life, shall find or fave his life ; that is, shall be truly and eternally happy, in the exercise of disinterested affection to God and the members of his kingdom, which neceffarily puts him in possession of the public good and happiness, and gives him his share in this social felicity, as one of the mem

bers

U u

bers of the fociety. But he who saves bis life, that is, who, having no public, disinterested affection,

seeks him self only, and is pursuing and seeking to save to himself a separate, private intereft, for the fake of which he is ready to facrifice and oppose the glory of God, and the general good-he fhall lose his life; that is, shall lose or miss of all happiness, and must necessarily be miserable.

Thus we fee in what respects, and for what reafons, it is our indispensable duty, and of the highest importance to us, to make the glory of God our fupreme end in all we do; and, by what has been observed, we may learn what is implied in this. It is to set this above every thing else; to aim at and pursue nothing but this, and what is implied in it; ' to fubordinate every thing with which we are concerned to the glory of God; to give up and devote ourselves, with all we have and are, to answer this end, without making any referve, freely renouncing all fuppofable or poslīble interest or good, for ourselves or others, which is inconsistent with the glory of God, or which will not conduce to it and promote it.

III. They who defire to know their own character, and the nature of their religious exercises, whether they bear the stamp of true piety, may examine and try them. felves by what has been exhibited on this fubject: whether the God which is revealed in the Bible, unchangeable in his being, perfections, designs, decrees and works, is the chosen and delightful object of their religious affections ; of their love, fear, hope and trust; of their gratitude and joy; of their adoration and praise, to whoin they make confession, and pray with perseverance and pleasure ; and whether they are conscious that a God, who has not foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, could not be the object of these their pious affections.

As to those who dislike and oppose this doctrine, and fay, they cannot love and worship such a God; and yet think themselves truly pious, and in the way to heaven, and that they are serving and honouring God in their

opposition

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