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frowned, and the rebel spirits fled to their proper hell, carrying with them that which made it; when, in altered tone, he called Adam out of his hiding place, and touched him with death ; when, at his command, heaven and earth contributed their waters to cleanse a corrupted world; when he commanded the fire to come out of its harmless latency and consume the guilty cities; when he gave up Ephraim, and when he cut off Israel, the same he is now, oh! sinner, the same determined enemy of sin, so fearful in threatening, so faithful in fulfillment, so terrible in vengeance; and will be, oh! neglecter of this salvation, when thou liest down to die. Thou wilt have him to do with, oh! impenitent, disobedient man. What art thou that thou canst escape ? When angels, his first born, could not, and the old world could not, and Sodom could not, though for it Abraham, God's friend, addressed himself to the loving kindness of God; and Israel could not, and Judah could not, and even Jesus Christ could not. Oh! what height of self-love, and strength of self-delusion. Is there nothing for thee to fear from him ?. What hath possessed thee to think so? What has infatuated you, oh men, to choose for the resting place of your souls, a spot that has been seared so oft and scathed by the bolts that have burst upon it. I would allure you
from it; but if I cannot, I would frighten you away from it. There is wrath. I have proved it to you. Tempt it not. Mercy has opened a refuge, fly to it, agree with your God, can you contend with him? “His way is in the whirlwind, and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet; he re
buketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers, Bashan languisheth, and Carmel and the flower of Lebanon languisheth, the mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea the world and all that dwell therein; his fury is poured out like fire. Who can stand before his indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger ?" Can you contend with him? Dare you enter the lists against him? Then, submit, be reconciled to-day-now.
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them
that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men !--PSALM XXI. 19.
How much there is to excite in us the feeling of admiration! How many and strong the appeals continually made to that principle which God has implanted in the soul! There is much in art, man's workmanship, to admire, but more in nature, God's handy work. All his works are wonders. He is to be admired in all he does. In the physical creation there is much which is admirable, but there is more in the moral. These are specimens of the moral sublime, with which no natural sublimity can compete. What is the symmetry of form when compared with the comeliness of virtue. What is skilful contrivance, and wise adaption when brought into competition with virtuous action? There is no beauty like that of holiness; no grandeur comparable with the grandeur of goodness. But if there be in the moral works of God so much to admire, how much more there must needs be in the mighty workman, in God himself. What wisdom can there be in mere contrivance like that which belongs to the contriving mind? what expressed goodness of God can bear compari
son with his essential goodness? We must look at the perfections of God. We must contemplate the divine nature, if we would have our admiration elevated to its highest pitch. There is nothing either of a moral or physical nature out of God, which is in any wise so wonderful as God himself.
The divine attributes are distinguished into the natural and moral. Of the former power,
is one. How wonderful, glorious, awful is the power of God! But not so much so as his goodness, which is one of his moral attributes. All his perfections are excellent, but how excellent is his loving kindness! Oh!“how great,” the Psalmist exclaims, is thy power? no—thy goodness!
There is wonderful sublimity in the declaration, “ Let there be light.” There was a display of power. But what is even this to the sublimity of the statement, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God chooses the name which is to designate his nature not from among his natural, but from among his moral attributes. God is not power. God is love.
"Oh how great his goodness." The Psalmist bursts out here into an expression of admiration in view of the goodness of God. What more worthy of being admired by us! We see all that he saw of it, and we see more. New and numerous displays of divine goodness have been made since he died. He saw not the cross, the great radiant point of goodness, the chief work of love! If he dimly described it in the future, yet we have it in near and distinct retrospect. Nay more, before our eyes hath
Jesus Christ been evidently set forth, crucified, as it were, among us. Nor have we seen merely, we have felt his goodness. Not only our judgments pronounce upon it, but our hearts bear testimony to it.
Let us contemplate it, that we may admire it. God grant we may more than admire. God grant that while we admire, we may repent, and praise, and confide and love. May God graciously mingle penitence and gratitude, trust and hope, and love with our admiration.
But where shall we look ? Where not look rather ? Wherever we turn our eyes, we meet goodness in some of its diversified forms.
The earth is green with it. The air is balmy with it. The deep blue vault of heaven proclaims it. Day unto day tells of it. If we look at the past, it is a history of goodness; if at the present, our eye sees the display of it; our ear hears the report of it'; our hearts are gladdened with the experience of it. It mingles in every thing. How great it must be, when the loss of one of its ten thousand benefits can give such pain. The future we have reason to know, is still more full of it; we may look abroad or at home; we may contemplate others as its objects, or ourselves; we may look around ouselves or within ourselves. Its forms how innumerable, its varieties how diversified; how many good things there are, and no good thing withholds he from them that walk uprightly. Its adaptations how nice; for every want a supply, for every malady a balm, and even for every desire satisfaction! “Thou openest thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” Think of the number