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great doctrine of redemption through Emmanuel's blood, as the central point in which every part of the revelation, that God has made of himself to man, must meet. But, without further anticipating this part of the subject, we may observe, that the Scriptures every where describe Jehovah, as perfect in wisdom, holiness, justice, truth, goodness, and mercy in all its various exercises; they represent these attributes as the glory of his nature, and as constituting him the proper object of our supreme love, adoration, and service; as all harmonizing in his consummate character; and each subserving the exercise and glory of all his other perfections.
II. In more exactly investigating the Scriptures, we find these attributes exemplified, in the works and dispensations recorded of God. The display of his omnipotence and other natural perfections, in the works of creation, and in the miracles which he wrought for the deliverance of his servants or the punishment of his enemies, is too obvious to need a particular discussion; nor is it requisite to enlarge on his providential goodness. But that combination of justice, holiness, truth, and mercy, which has been stated as comprising the divine character, is manifested in his dealings with his rational creatures.-Infinite in holiness and justice “he spared not the angels that sinned, " but cast them down to hell." He denounced on fallen Adam and his race, the awful sentence, “ Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return;" and, in consequence of it, unnumbered millions have been swept into the grave by various dire and torturing diseases. The destruction of the old world by the deluge; that of Sodom and the neighbouring cities by fire; the plagues of Egypt; the vengeance executed on the Canaanites; and all the judgments inflicted on the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness, in the promised land, and through every age; are such exhibitions of these awful attributes, that our minds naturally turn from the narrative with aversion: nor can any man fully understand them, till he has acquired a deep-sense of the evil of sin, and of the justice of God. Indeed the corrections inflicted on Lot, David, and other offending believers, whose sins were eventually pardoned, display the same attributes, and authorize the same conclusions; so that the Psalmist might well say, “ My flesh trembleth for fear “ of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments."
On the other hand, the Lord's patience, compassion, mercy, and grace are exhibited in all his dealings with fallen man: os he endured with “much long-suffering the vessels of wrath;" he hath ever appeared ready to forgive the penitent, to pity the wretched, to relieve the distressed, to lift
up the self-abased, and comfort the brokenhearted.
“ His mercy is on those that fear him " from generation to generation :” his dealings
with Israel and with individuals of that favoured nation, prove this; nor did any sinner ever humbly seek his face in vain.-The faithfulness of God is so illustrated in the accomplishment of his promise concerning “ the Seed of the woman, four thousand years after it was given, that other instances need not be adduced.—His judgments coincided with his threatenings, except as repentance intervened; and a reserve of mercy was in that case in plied in all of them. The manifold wisdom of God is also most conspicuous, in so arranging these displays of justice and mercy, às to secure the glory of all his attributes, and to leave no one any ground to presume, or to despair. And the discoveries made to 'us of the future judgment, and the eternal state of happiness or misery, most perfectly coincide with the declarations relative to his harmonious perfections. But of this, and of redemption by the incarnation of Emmanuel and his atoning blood, we must forbear to speak further in this place. We 'máý observe, however, concerning this last, which is doubtless the greatest of all the discoveries God hath given of himself, that it unavoidably leads us to fix our especial attention upon those mysteries of the Deity, which are so peculiar to 'revelation, that they, who, “ lean to their own 'understanding,” would represent them as contradictory and impossible. Yet, it will be shown that they are certainly revealed in Scripture; and thence it will follow,
that they are appropriated to the true Object of all adoration, and distinguish him from every idol : so that those who reject the mysteries which it reyeals, and adore not the One “ Name of the Fa
ther, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” into which christians are baptized, cannot be said to worship that God, whose nature and perfections are declared in the sacred Scriptures. And as all the divine attributes are seen, in perfect harmony, only “in the face of Jesus Christ;" they “ whose
eyes are blinded, that they should not see the " light of his glory,'” certainly worship the invention of their own hands, and not the God who hath revealed himself to man, in the person of Jesus Christ. Indeed this is manifest, from the imperfection of the object of their worship, whom they delineate as so clement, that he cannot hate and punish sin according to its desert; and by the blasphemies which they often utter against the justice and holiness of God, and the judgments which he has executed and threatens to execute.Let us then regard this, as a matter of the greatest possible importance, and seek the knowledge of God, from his word and the teaching of his Spirit, as the fundamental concern in all our religious enquiries: that so we may be engaged, above all things, to fear, love, trust, worship, and serve him; and to seek all our happiness in enjoying his favour, and glorifying his name.
12 Cor. iv. 3-6.
A brief exposition of the Ten Commandments, as com
prising the substance of the Moral Law.
ROM the scriptural character of God, we proceed to the consideration of his moral government, as made known to us by revelation: and the clear knowledge of his holy law is peculiarly requisite, in forming our judgment on this subject. This was delivered to Israel by Jehovah himself, from mount Sinai, with most tremendous displays of his majesty, power, and holiness; and though other parts of Scripture must be adduced, as a divinely inspired comment; yet the decalogue may properly be taken for our text, in examining . the demands of the moral law.
It is evident, that there is a distinction between moral precepts and positive institutions. Some things are in themselves so indifferent, that the same authority, which commanded, might have forbidden them; as the use of bread and wine in one ordinance, and that of water in another: but it is absurd to suppose, that God could have re