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the earth, and so much oppression and SERMON tyranny to prevail among the nations. We shall see rising as from the ashes of the old world, a new and beautiful structure; new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. As wide as is the difference between the appearance of the world, when it lay in its primitive chaos, without form and void, and the appearance it has now assumed, when resplendent with the light of the sun, and decked with the beauties of nature; such is the difference between the divine plans in their beginnings, and in their full completion. At the conclusion, and not till then, the glory of the Lord shall become manifest to all; and, as it is described in the book of the Revelation, a voice shall be heard from every creature which is in heaven and on the earth, and under the earth, saying, Blessing and honour, and power, and glory, be to him that sitteth on the throne. Great and marvellous

are thy works, Lord God Almighty: just and true are thy ways, thou King of


Rev. v. 13.-xv. 3.

N 2




APPLICATION of the doctrines


have been illustrated may be made to two classes of men.

First, To sceptics; who, from the present mysterious conduct of Providence, hastily draw the conclusion, that no government is exercised over human affairs, but that all things are suffered indiscriminately to come alike to all men.-I have shewn that, from the inadequate views which we are at present able to take of the general system, such mysterious appearances of Providence must be expected to take place. Not only so, but I have also shewn it to be fit and necessary that this mixture of obscurity should now remain; as a full display of regular justice and order would be inconsistent with the moral improvement of men in this life.-Let me desire the sceptic to look to the state of the natural world. When he thinks of the order and magnificence that prevail in it, he will, perhaps, be unwilling to pronounce it the mere production of chance: He cannot but recognise the hand of intelligence, and acknowledge it to have proceeded from a design

The natural and respect, counterBoth are marked


ing Cause. I ask him, Whether in the SERMON natural world he discerns not as many mysterious and puzzling appearances as are to be found in the moral world? Are not destructive storms, burning mountains, uninhabitable deserts, as difficult to be reconciled to his preconceived ideas of supreme wisdom and goodness in the Creator, as the sufferings and afflictions which in the course of providence befal the just? moral world are, in this parts to one another. with the same characters, and carry the impress of the same powerful and gracious hand. In both, it is evidently the intention of the first Author not to render every thing level to our capacity; but in the midst of high design and order, to allow certain objects to appear, which contradict the ideas we had formed, and mock our vain researches. Now, if we are obliged to admit that the order and beauty of the natural world sufficiently prove it to be the work of a wise Creator, notwithstanding the seeming deformities which it exhibits; are we


SERMON not led by the same train of reasoning to conclude, that the moral world is under the direction of a wise Governour, though much of what he now does we cannot satisfactorily explain.

Secondly, THE doctrine of the text is to be applied not only for silencing sceptics, but for comforting the pious. Never let them be dejected by the darkness which now covers the ways of the Almighty. If he withdraw himself from their view, it is not because he neglects them; but because they are incapable of comprehending his designs; because it were not for their good that all his designs were revealed to them.--Instead of perplexing themselves about what is obscure, let them rest on the clear and authentic discoveries that have been given of the Divine goodness. Let them rest on those great and signal facts that prove it ; particularly on that illustrious fact, the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. He that spared not his own Son, but gave bim up for us all, will assuredly not always conceal himself from those who serve him.



Though what he does they know not now, SERMON the time approaches when they shall know bereafter. Till that time come, let them believe and trust; let them hope and adore. From this conclusion let them never depart, that to fear God, and keep his commandments, is in every situation the truest wisdom; that if there be government in the universe at all, the virtuous and the worthy are loved and protected by Heaven that in due season they shall reap if they faint not; for the care of them is with the Lord, and their reward with the Most High.

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