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lieve, that God may be,and do, what is absolutely above our comprehension. If he has told us, that he made all things by the word of his power, we may believe it, because he has said it. And if he has told us, that

. he can say, I, Thou, and He, and mean only himself, we may believe it because he has said it. “If we receive the witness of inen, the witness of Gol is greater.

Again, God has told us, tiat his Son, the second person in the ever blessed Trinity, who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made himself of no reputation, and took up- on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This God has told us, and this we may believe, though we cannot comprehend how the divine and human natures could be personally united.

Again, God has told us, that he has formed all his purposes from eternity, and this plain truth we are obliged to believe upon the divine testimony, though we know not what his purposes are. There is no mystery at all in God's forming purposes. It is as easy to conceive that God should form his own purposes, as that any other moral agent should form his. It is as easy to conceive, that God should form all his

purposes from eternity, as that he should form them in time.

And it is as easy to conceive, that God should reveal this truth as any other in the Bible. Where. then is the mystery of the divine decrees? And where is the propriety of calling this, rather than any other divine truth in question?

Again, the inspired writers tell us, that the scheme which God formed from eternity is absolutely perfect. Solomon says, I know that whatsoever God doth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor any

thing taken from it.” The divine plan cannot be enlarged, diminished, nor, in the least respect, altered for the better; it is absolutely the best possible. Now since God has clearly revealed this truth, it is not presumption to believe it, but presumption to deny it.

Though we may imagine, there are ten thousand defects and imperfections in the divine scheme; yet we ought to believe what we are expressly told: “God is the Rock; his work is perfect.” The incomprehensible nature of the divine perfections are no objection against the perfection of the divine plan, but an argument in favor of it. Nothing can clear up the divine conduct but this great truth, that whatever is, is right.

6. This subject shows us, that ministers ought to make it their great object in preaching to unfold the character and perfections of the Deity

This is the object which lies nearest to the heart of God, and which he uniformly and constantly pursues in all his conduct. He made the heavens and the earth, that they might dicover his nature and declare his glory. He governs all events, in the course of his providence, to make the inhabitants of the world to know, that he is GOD In a word, he concerted the astonishing scheme of our redemption, through the sufferings and death of his Son, that the perfections of his nature might be unfolded before all the intelligent creation. This the apostle Paul tells us with the most grateful emotions—“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the felloweship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.It was the original purpose of God, that the work of creation should be subservient to the work of redemption; and that the work of redemption should finally issue in the fullest display of his glorious perfections.

Now, this is the ultimate design of the gospel; and therefore this should be the ultimate design of ministers in preaching the gospel. The more they exhibit of the divine character and counsels, in their public discourses, the more they fall in with the designs of God, and the more they answer the end of their appointment. We might naturally conclude from Paul's Epistle to the Romans, as well as from his frequent appeals to his hearers, that he dwelt much upon the character of God in his preaching; but we have a more striking evidence of this from the discourse which he delivered at Athens, before a most learned and most venerable audience. "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars-hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are loo superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appeinted, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be

not far from every one of us. For in him we live, and move, and have our being.This discourse upon the omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, foreknowledge, predetermination, universal benevolence and agency of God, Paul delivered, not to aged, full grown Christians, not even to babes in Christ, but to those who were totally ignorant of the first principles of the oracles of God. He could think of nothing more proper to exhibit before ignorant, perishing Pagans, than the true character and incomprehensible perfections of the Deity. And he tells us, that he meant to be a profilable preacher, and never kept back any thing which he thought would be profitable to his bearers. According to the opinion and practice of Paul, therefore, the most instructive, practical, and profitable preaching, is that which most clearly and fully diplays the divine character. And it is easy to perceive, that this must of necessity be the case; for there is not one valuable and important end to be answered by preaching, but what the exhibition of God's character is directly suited to


All religious errors and delusions originate from some false notions of God; and therefore a clear exhibition of the divine character, will destroy the hopes of those, who are placing their expections of divine favor upon any false and sandy foundation. Let it be made to appear, that God is the supreme disposer of the hearts as well as actions of men, and where is the first principle of Arminianism? Let it be made to appear, that God is supremely amiable and excellent, and worthy to be loved for what he is in himself; and where is the first principle of Antinomianism? Or let it be made to appear, that God is incomprehensibly wise and good, and that he may have sufficient reasons in his own mind, for saving a part, and not the whole of mankind, and where is the first principle of Universalism?

Let the divine character be properly exhibited, and the nature, necessity and sufficiency of the atonement of Christ will appear, and the whole gospel scheme be unfolded.

Let the divine character be properly exhibited, and the human heart will be disclosed; for the bare view of the divine character, is instead of all other arguments, to convince sinners, that their hearts are enmity against God.

Let the divine character be opened, and the best motives to repentance will be exhibited. Though Job justified himself before men, yet when God by a series of solemo interrogations, gave him a clear view of his great and amiable character, he is melted into contrition and self-abasement. I have heard of thee, by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,"

Let the divine character be exhibited, and saints will be edified. For the divine character has a transforming influence upon the hearts of Christians, and a powerful tendency to assimilate them to the divine likcness. [Ve all,says the apostle speaking in the name of Christians, "Je all, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, arc changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

All obligations to religious duties originate from the excellency and perfection of the divine Being, and therefore the clear exhibition of his character is best suited to lead men to the practice of religion. Hence the apostle exhibits this motive, to induce Christians to make an unreserved dedication of themselves to the service of God. I bescech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a liting sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

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