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5. And it is natural for us to make the same reflection, and to entertain the same fear. But how may we prevent this uneasy reflection, and effectually cure this fear? First, by considering what David does not appear to have taken at all into his account, namely, That the body is not the man: that man is not only a house of clay, but an immortal spirit; a spirit made in the image of God, an incorruptible picture of the God of glory; a spirit that is of infinitely more value than the whole earth! Of more value than the sun, moon, and stars, put together: yea, than the whole material creation. Consider, that the spirit of man is not only of a higher order, of a more excellent nature than any part of the visible world; but also more durable, not liable either to dissolution or decay. We know all the things "which are seen are temporal," of a changing, transient nature but "the things which are not seen, (such as is the soul of man in particular,) are eternal." "They shall perish," but the soul remaineth. They all shall 66 wax old as a garment;" but when heaven and earth shall pass away, the soul shall not pass away.

6. Consider, secondly, That declaration which the Father of spirits hath made to us by the Prophet Hosea, "I am God, and not man: therefore my compassions fail not.” As if he had said, If I were only a man, or an angel, or any finite being, my knowledge might admit of bounds, and my mercy might be limited. But "my thoughts are not as your thoughts, and my mercy is not as your mercy. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts higher than your thoughts," and "my mercy, my compassion, my ways of shewing it, higher than your ways."

7. That no shadow of fear might remain, no possibility of doubting; to shew what manner of regard the great eternal God bears to little, short-lived man, but especially to his immortal part, God gave his Son, "his only Son, to the end that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." See how God loved the world! The Son of God, that was God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God: in glory equal with the

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Father, in majesty co-eternal, "emptied himself, took upon him the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man, was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." And all this he suffered not for himself, but for us men and for our salvation. "He bore all our sins in his own body upon the tree," that "by his stripes we might be healed." After this demonstration of his love, is it possible to doubt any longer of God's tender regard for man, even though he was "dead in trespasses and sins?" Even when he saw us in our sins and in our blood, he said unto us, Live! Let us then fear no more. Let us doubt no more. He that .66 spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, shall he not with him freely give us all things?"

8. "Nay," says the Philosopher, "if God so loved the world, did he not love a thousand other worlds, as well as he did this? It is now allowed, that there are thousands, if not millions of worlds, besides this in which we live. And can any reasonable man believe, that the Creator of all these, many of which are probably as large, yea, far larger than ours, would show such astonishingly greater regard to one than to all the rest ?" I answer, Suppose there were

millions of worlds, yet God may see, in the abyss of his infinite wisdom, important reasons that do not appear to us, why he should shew this mercy to our's, in preference to thousands or millions of other worlds.

9. I speak this even upon the common supposition of the plurality of worlds; a very favourite notion with all those who deny the Christian Revelation: and for this reason; because it affords them a foundation for so plausible an objection to it. But the more I consider that supposition, the more I doubt of it. Insomuch that, if it were allowed by all the Philosophers in Europe, still I could not allow it, without stronger proof than any I have met with yet.

10. "Nay, but is not the argument of the great Huygens, sufficient to put it beyond all doubt? When we view, says that able Astronomer, the Moon through a good telescope, we clearly discover 'rivers and mountains on her spotted globe.' Now where rivers are, there are doubtless

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plants and vegetables of various kinds. And where vegetables are, there are undoubtedly animals, yea, rational ones as on earth. It follows then that the Moon has its inhabitants, and probably near akin to our's. But if our Moon be inhabited, we may easily suppose, so are all the Secondary Planets; and in particular, all the Satellites or Moons of Jupiter and Saturn. And if the Secondary Planets are inhabited, why not the Primary? Why should we doubt it of Jupiter and Saturn themselves, as well as Mars, Venus, and Mercury ?”

11. But do not you know, that Mr. Huygens himself before he died, doubted of this whole hypothesis? For upon farther observation, he found reason to believe, that the Moon has no atmosphere. He observed, that in a total eclipse of the Sun, on the removal of the shade from any part of the earth, the Sun immediately shines brightly upon it; whereas if the Moon had an atmosphere, the Solar light, while it shone through that atmosphere, would appear dim and dusky. Thus, after an eclipse of the Moon, first a dusky light appears on that part of it, from which the shadow of the earth removes, while that light passes through the atmosphere of the earth. Hence it appears, that the Moon has no atmosphere. Consequently, it has no clouds, no rain, no springs, no rivers; and therefore no plants, or animals. But if there be no proof or probability that the Moon is inhabited, neither have we any proof, that the other Planets are. Consequently, the foundation being removed, the whole fabric falls to the ground.

12. But, you will say, "Suppose this argument fail, we may infer the same conclusion, the plurality of worlds, from the unbounded wisdom, and power, and goodness of the Creator. It was fully as easy to him, to create thousands or millions of worlds as one. Can any one then believe that he would exert all his power and wisdom, in creating a single world? What proportion is there between this speck of creation, and the Great God that filleth heaven and earth! While

"We know the power of his Almighty hand

Could form another world from every sand!”

13. To this boasted proof, this argumentum palmarium of the learned infidels, I answer, Do you expect to find any proportion between finite and infinite? Suppose God had created a thousand more worlds than there are grains of sand in the universe, what proportion would all these together bear to the infinite Creator? still, in comparison of him, they would be, not a thousand times, but infinitely less than a mite compared to the universe. Have done then with this childish prattle, about the proportion of creatures to their Creator: and leave it to the all-wise God, to create what and when he pleases. For who besides himself, "hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor ?"

13. Suffice it then for us to know this plain and comfortable truth, That the Almighty Creator hath shown that regard to this poor, little creature of a day, which he hath not shown even to the inhabitants of heaven, "who kept not their first estate." He hath given us his Son, his only Son, both to live and to die for us! O let us live unto him, that we may die unto him, and live with him for ever!

SERMON CVIII.

ON ATTENDING THE CHURCH SERVICE.

1 SAMUEL II. 17.

"The Sin of the young Men was very great."

1. THE corruption, not only of the Heathen world, but likewise of them that were called Christians, has been matter of sorrow and lamentation to pious men, almost from the time of the Apostles. And hence as early as the second century, within a hundred years of St. John's removal from the earth, men who were afraid of being partakers of other men's sins, thought it their duty to separate from them. Hence in every age many have retired from the world, lest they should be stained with the pollution of it. In the third century many carried this so far, as to run into deserts and turn hermits. But in the following age this took another turn. Instead of turning hermits, they turned monks. Religious houses now began to be built in every christian country. And religious communities were established, both of men and women, who were entirely secluded from the rest of mankind, having no intercourse with their nearest relations, nor with any but such as were confined, generally for life, within the same walls.

2. This spirit of literally renouncing the world, by retiring into religious houses, did not so generally prevail after the Reformation. Nay, in Protestant countries, houses

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