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lessly perplexing, solaces our hearts, supplies us with sublime contemplations, and is the very means of our spiritual restoration. Let us impart this best boon of heaven to those who are destitute of it. Let us desire fervently that by it “ the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus" may cover the earth, and penetrate into



VI. That among the ways of God the mystery of redemption is not only most interesting to us, but also of vast comparative importance.

It holds the first, the directive place in his purpose and plan. By it he hath provided for a manifestation of his Being, Attributes, and Government, inconceivably more glorious than could have been possible by any other system, physical or moral. And in it his triumph over the only opposite of his nature is perfected.

VII. That civil government ought to be greatly respected as a most necessary and beneficial institution.

Deriving its origin from an ancient notification of the divine will, (Gen. ix. 6,) holding in all ages a conspicuous place in the plan of control, and now put under the Messiah to be rendered efficient according to its true ends,—it is sanctioned as an ordinance of heaven, to be honoured and upheld by the worthy deportment both of rulers and subjects.


VIII.—That there will be a universal judgment for the final settlement of all things.

If there be a God, reason instantly concludes from the present aspect of things, that there must also be a future state; and the Scriptures direct us to the existence of such a state as the proper solution of all difficulties respecting the present unequal distribution of rewards and punishment. But they notify farther, that “ God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness,” by him to whom the execution of his grand purpose has been committed. The propriety of this appointment will at once be acknowledged by reason. It was evidently required by the same justice which demands a resurrection of the dead. The decision passed on individuals at death, though it fixes their eternal state, affects only the soul. But it is right that sinners should be punished and

. saints glorified in the whole of their physical frame, and that both classes should be judged as human beings, distinguished from angels by consisting of a soul and a body. The measure


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of the iniquity of fallen spirits, in the concern they have with human wickedness, cannot be filled up till the termination of the present constitution of things. At that period, when the judgment must sit upon them, it is surely proper to summon those whom they have seduced, or by whom they have operated, to appear together with them, that God may judge between both parties, and assign to each the due reward of their deeds. Besides this, the appointment of such a day was evidently proper on account of the social and relative state of mankind. Many causes to be decided by the Supreme Judge, may lie between monarchs and their subjects, or between the people of one nation and another. Though nations and civil communities will then be no more, the individual criminality, arising from mismanagement in former public relations, remains to be judged, and it is fit the parties be confronted at the judgment

One generation, too, may be accessory to the evil committed by others, either as originating a criminal course, or prosecuting to its consummation one commenced ages before. Nay, the full amount of all the good or evil done by individuals may not have discovered itself till long after they are dead; and though there may be enough to determine their lot at death, yet final judgment ought to proceed upon a just estimate of the whole case, and cannot then be anticipated. When we consider farther that the decision which passes at death is unknown, and that mystery often rests on the visible circumstances of the death both of the righteous and the wicked, the appointment of such a day will appear to be proper for the full vindication of the Deity. The whole plan of divine operations, accordingly, and particularly the administration of Messiah, as revealed in Scripture, naturally tends to such a day of God. The Most High will put the finishing hand to the present constitution of things, in a manner worthy of all that went before, and of all that shall follow.

IX. That the Sabbath has a moral foundation, on account of which it ought to be reverentially kept.

The importance of a due observance of the Sabbath to the interests of society, and its vast utility in preparing rational and accountable beings for appearing before the judgment-seat of Christ, are sufficiently obvious. Its moral basis is thus established.

If there be a God, it must be essential to his nature, that the whole of his existence be occupied in doing honour to himself, and enjoying happiness by the contemplation of his own

glorious perfections, either as with himself, or as manifested in his works. The full display of his perfections in any work, that is, so far as the work can admit, supposes it to come under the idea of a finished work,—actually executed and perfect. With regard to works, therefore, the Sabbatism of the Deity, the highest we can possibly conceive, supposes his resting from the work as finished, and denotes his resting in the manifestation of his glory by it, including the ideas of contemplation and complacency.

Now, since what is essential to the divine nature is the basis of morality to the creature, it must be morally incumbent on rational beings, as far as is practicable, to devote the whole of their existence to the contemplation of the Deity, as manifested by his works, and to a complacential resting in the discovery, accompanied with the expression of such homage as befits them according to their relation to the Deity, and concern in his works. This may be called the Sabbatism of the creature; and it consists in entering into God's rest.

If the rational creature be a spirit disconnected with matter, or if it exist in a spiritual body, superseding all care about animal life,—then the entire duration of its being may be devoted to such a Sabbatism.

If it be a creature of animal life, this will not be practicable. Such was man originally, such he still is. Therefore God, without granting any release from the proper frame of mind on other oceasions, was pleased to sanctify such part of our time, as seemed to his wisdom neither too much nor too little, and to devote this to the express purposes of contemplation and homage. “ The Sabbath was made for man,” or in accommodation to our circumstances.

As the works of creation were to be the first medium of divine manifestation to human beings, God indicated the relation of the Sabbath to these, by occupying six days in arranging our world, and sanctifying the seventh, the day on which he rested from his work, and pronounced it good.

The seventh was originally the last day of the week, and this, though a new order of things was introduced by the fall, God allowed to continue to be the Sabbath during all the period of the Old Testament, because, till the coming of Messiah, creation was the only great finished work in which he could rest, the very law and Mosaic system, testifying that as yet his more glorious rest was not actually established. But after Jesus had finished the work of divine glorification, which founded the new order of things, and secured its completion, the first day of the week, the day on which he entered into his rest, and on which God proclaimed his rest in the accomplishment of redemption, -was set apart to be the Christian Sabbath.

As the seventh day in recurrence, it is still related to creation, and calculated to remind us of the glory of God in the works of nature. As no longer the last, but the first day of the week, it is more closely connected with the New Creation, and all that belongs to this work. But in both views it is the pledge of that celestial Sabbatism to be enjoyed hereafter, when, our present mode of existence being changed, the whole duration of our being may be occupied in resting with God, contemplating all his works, celebrating and rejoicing in his glory as displayed in the universe, but especially in the new heavens and earth, the grand result of his peculiar purpose and plan.

X. That a devout and submissive temper becomes us in the mean time, with regard to all that seems strange or mysterious in the ways of the Deity.

An awful commission was given to the prophet Isaiah, relating to the manner in which all the prophets, and our Saviour himself, would be treated by the great body of the Jews, nay to the conduct of thousands even under the last and most effective economy, “Go tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not: Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed.” But previous to his receiving this strange

" mandate, which involves the permission not only of sin, but of judicial obduracy, and thus both the temporal and eternal

perdition of thousands,—the views of superior Beings are disclosed, and the song of the seraphim proclaiming the divine equity in such dispensations, is heard ; they veiled their faces with their wings, and said, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” Is. vi.

The same remarkable prelude introduces the grand prophetic view of our Lord's administration, under which, contrary to what might have been expected, there were to be convulsions of nations, and many and severe persecutions of the faithful, while a mystery of iniquity was to arise and prevail for a long period in the earth, longer than the very triumph of religion in the millennial age. During all this

, however, the living creatures, who represent the ministry of the church, the directors of her worship, continue the song which precedes its commencement, “ They rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

So let us believe and adore when we cannot understand ; fully persuaded that all the ways of the Deity are worthy of himself, and ever disposed to conclude even our most enlarged and pleasing contemplations with the reverential acknowledgment: “Lo! these are part of his ways; and how small a portion is known of him!"

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