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of his appearance. This must have been known to many besides the Jews; and from hence probably arose the prevailing expectation in those parts of the world, that some extraordinary person would appear, who should have a general dominion. Hence he is called the desire, or expectation, of all nations. And doubtless the great success, which the apostles found in preaching the gospel among the Gentiles, was, in some measure, owing to these preparatory means.

The time is coming when the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, and all nations shall see his salvation. The gospel will not always be confined to a small part of the human race. It will have a universal spread. Those means which have introduced, and hitherto maintained it, were designed for the benefit of generations to come, as well as of those which are past. God's particular favour to the Jews, will eventually prove a blessing to all nations.

REFLECTIONS.

1. This passage, in its connexion, teaches us, what is intended by the phrase, so often used in scripture, of God's working for his own sake, and for his name's sake. It is working, that his name may be more extensively known and regarded among men.

This is evidently the sense, in which it is used in this chapter. I do this for my name's sake, and I will sanctify my great name; and the heathen shall know, that I am the Lord. So it is repeatedly used in the 20th chapter. Iwrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted among the heathen, in whose sight I made myself known.

When we meet with such phrases, we must not understand them, as if the independent, allperfect,

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selfsufficient God, had some design diverse from, and opposite to, the good of his creatures. For as he is completely happy in himself; and as nothing can increase, or diminish his felicity and selfenjoyment, so it is impossible, that, in this sense, he should do any thing for his own sake. But his acting for his name's sake, is acting for the sake of making his name, or character, known among his rational creatures, and bringing them to acknowledge, fear and obey him. What he does for his own sake, has respect to their good, and is suited to render them virtuous and happy. So that the phrase, in the strongest manner, expresses his free and disinterested goodness.

When a man is said to do any thing for his own sake, we consider him as acting selfishly, and without regard to the interest of others. But the phrase is, in scripture, applied to the Deity in a higher and nobler sense, as importing his kind and gracious intentions toward moral beings. When he makes his name known, it is, not that he himself, but that his creatures, may be better and happier.

In like manner we are to understand the similar phrase of God's acting for his own glory. This is not to make himself more glorious; for he is infinitely glorious in his nature: His gloriousness consists in his unlimited and immutable perfection: But it is to manifest and display among his creatures his glorious character, that they may know and love him, adore and serve him. And he requires them to admire and worship him, not because he is benefited by their affections or praises; for he is not worshipped by men's hand, as though he needed any thing from them-their goodness cannot extend to him; but because these regards are due from them as rational creatures, and are necessary to their own happiness.

In a sense consistent with this, we must understand the command, to do all things to the glory of God. We must not imagine, that our righteousness is gain to him-that our services turn to his real benefit-that our praises add any thing to his excellency. Such ideas of him would be impious. But we then act to his glory, when we imitate his goodness by doing good to mankind-when we obey his commands on the motives which he proposes-and when we shew forth the glory of his character, in such a manner as to promote the virtue and happiness of our fellow creatures. Herein is our heavenly Father glorified, that we bring forth

uch fruit. We are to abound in the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Our light is to shine before men, that, seeing our good works, they may glorify God. We are to give glory to God, by exercising repentance and making confession of our sins. Whatever we do, we are to do it to his glory, giving no of fence to any man, and not seeking our own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

2. Our subject leads us to admire the grand scheme of God's providence.

His dispensations, both of mercy and correction toward particular persons and nations, look beyond those who are the immediate objects of them; and produce effects more distant than we can trace more extensive than we can comprehend-more numerous than we can conceive. The mercies granted to the Jews, were not for their sakes only, but for his name's sake, that it might be known among the heathen. When we contemplate the history of his dealings toward them, we see consequences of great and general importance produced by means, which seemed at first to respect them only. The ways of his providence are still as wise and gracious -still as complex and interesting, as those which are the subject of sacred history.

When we review those dispensations, which more immediately concern ourselves, we often find great effects produced by causes which to us seemed small-happy consequences following, at a distance, from events which in the time of them, promised nothing-substantial good issuing from occurrences, which had a contrary aspect-and trouble growing out of measures, which we fondly adopted and eagerly pursued. And besides this connexion of things, which we are able to discover, there is doubtless a more remote and important connexion, which, in the present state, we never discern. "What God does we know not now, but shall know hereafter."

We see, or think we see, worldly good and evil distributed with great inequality. Some are rich, and others poor. Health of body and success in business, attend one man; sickness, disappointment and perplexity, are the painful lot of another. We wonder why there is this difference. Impatience complains, that God's ways are not equal. But these are matters concerning which we are not capable of judging. We see but in part. The inward pains which corrupt the rich man's enjoyments, and the hidden consolations which refresh the spirits of the poor and afflicted, may essentially alter the balance. The external difference which we observe, may be more owing to men's different tempers, aims and manner of conduct, than we imagine. And even so far as this difference is properly and directly providential, it is the effect, not of partiality in the Supreme Disposer, but of his general goodness. The circumstances of a particular person are ordered, not for his sake only, but for the sake of others. These circumstances may be productive of consequences which we cannot foresee, and do not even suspect. Until we can comprehend the various relations and connexions of things, and discern how one man's

condition will affect another, and what consequences will issue from particular events, we are incompetent judges of the wisdom and equity of providence. He who governs the world, is a God of truth, and without iniquity. He is a rock, his way is perfect; just and right is he. Let us never suspect his ways are unequal. Let us never indulge an impatient, murmuring spirit; but learn in every state to be content.

3. We see the proper foundation of submission and gratitude under all the dealings of God. It is a humble sense of our unworthiness. Be ashamed and confounded for all your ways, says the prophet.

If you enjoy prosperity, imagine not, that heaven gives it for your sake, either for your worthiness, or solely for your use; but remember that God distributes the bounties of his providence, with a sovereign hand, to the just and unjust, as his wisdom sees best that his bounty is the source of all your enjoyments that you are not worthy of the least of all the mercies which he has shewed you-and that you are to glorify him by an imitation of his goodness, in promoting virtue and happiness among your fellow mortals.

If you suffer adversity, utter no complaints-indulge no impatience; but be confounded for all your iniquities. These have forfeited the blessings which you have lost, and merited the pains which you feel. Every good is undeserved every affliction is less than you deserve. The more humble thoughts you entertain of yourselves, the more contented and thankful you will be, and the less disposed to complain of Providence, and to envy or despise your fellow men.

Humility in the heart, is the groundwork of religion. Till we know ourselves, we shall neither love God, nor our duty. When we know ourselves, we shall be humble, for we can find nothing VOL. I. E

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