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hold him in the Majesty of Omnipotence. When, like the prophet who retired to the wilderness, you hear that voice which rends asunder the mountains, which breaks in pieces the rocks, and which shakes the pillars of the world, you hear behind it a ftill finall voice, saying, “ It is I, be not afraid.”

Thus, good men see the Creator in his works; they have the Lord always before them. They know, where they can find him, and can come nigh to his feat. They go forward, and he is there, backward, and they perceive his footsteps ; on the right hand his wonders are seen ; on the left his goodness is felt. They cannot go but where he is. The Great Universe is the temple of the Deity, built by his hand, consecrated by his presence, bright with his glory.

The second thing proposed, was, To set before you the advantages which accompany this solemn approach to God, which are the following: there is honor in approaching to God, there is joy in approaching to God, there is confolation in approaching to God, there is preparation for heaven in approaching to God.

First, then, There is honor in approaching to God.

The superiority of man to the animal world has been inferred from the structure and formation of his body. While the inferior animals, prone and grovelling, bend downwards to that earth which is their only element, man is formed with an erect figure, and with a countenance that looks to the hear.

His erect figure is given as the indication of an elevated mind, and the countenance that looks to the heavens is bestowed, in order to prepare us for the contemplation of what is great and glorious. With


this formation of body, and with this tendency of mind, man feels that the earth is not his native region; he looks abroad over the whole extent of nature; he has an eye that glances from earth to heaven, and a mind, which, unconfined by space or time, seizes on eternity. The eye that glances from earth to heaven, the mind which seizes on eternity, draw the line between the intellectual and animal world. The beast of the field, indeed, beholds the face of the heavens ; the bird of the air is cheered with the fplendour of the sun; but man alone has the intellectual eye, which beholds in the heavens the handiwork of . Omnipotence, and which traces in the fun the glory of its Creator. To him, high-favoured of his Maker, a scene opens, unseen by the eye of fense; a new heaven and a new earth present themselves ; the intellectual world discloses its rising wonders, and seen by his own light, in the majesty of moral perfection, God appears. It was reserved to be the glory of man, that he alone, of all the inhabitants of this lower world, should be admitted into the presence of his Creator, and hold intercourse with the Author of his being.

Accordingly, in the happy days of the human race, when the age of innocence lasted, and the Garden of Eden bloomed, there was an intercourse between heaven and earth, and God did dwell with man. Our first parents in Paradise were sensible of his presence; they heard his voice among the trees of the garden ; they held converse with him face to face, and found that the chief honor of their nature con fisted in drawing nigh to God. Nay, it is the happiness of higher natures, it is the glory of superior

beings, of the principalities and powers in heaven, to dwell in the presence of their King, to worship at the throne of infinite perfection, and draw nearer and nearer to the fountain of all felicity. But this honor have all the saints. To thee, O Chriftian! it is given to hold communion with the Creator, and to become the friend of the Almighty. Truly your fellowship is with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. If it be great and honorable to be near the person and round the throne of an earthly king, how truly glorious are they whom the King of heaven delighteth to honor ! No wonder then, that though exalted to the highest dignity which the world can bestow, the king of Israel was ambitious of higher ftill: “One

thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek “after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all “ the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the “Lord, and to inquire in his temple.”

Secondly, There is joy in approaching to God. “I “ will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding

joy." The idea of a perfect being is the most joyful subject of contemplation that can be presented to man.' Moral qualities, even when they shine in a lesser degree, have a charm for the soul. The prosa pect of natural beauty is not more pleasant to the eye, than the contemplation of moral beauty to the mind. A great and good action, a striking instance of benevolence, of public spirit, of magnanimity; interests us strongly in behalf of the performer, and makes the heart glow with gratitude to him, although he be unknown. We take delight in placing before our eyes the illustrious characters that stand forth in hiltory, wise legiflators, unshaken patriots, public benefactors of mankind, or models of goodness in private life, whose virtues shone to the past, and shine to present times, whose lives were glorious to themselves, and beneficial to the world. If an imperfe& copy gives so much fatisfaction, how will we be affected at the contemplation of the great Original? If a few faint traces and lineaments of goodness, scattered up and down, yield us so much pleasure, the pleasure will be supreme, when we contemplate His nature in whom every excellence, every moral perfection, all Divine attributes, reside as in their native seat, flow as from their eternal source, and ever operate as vital and immortal principles. For all created beauty is but a shadow of that beauty which is uncreated; all human excellence but an emanation of that excellence which is Divine; all finite perfection but a faint copy of perfections which are infinite; and all the traces of goodness to be found among men or angels, but a few faint rays from the Father of lights, the uncreated, unclouded and unsetting Sun of nature, who at first gave life to the universe, who kindled the vital flame which is still glowing, who supplies all the orbs of heaven with undiminished luftre, and whose fingle fmile (preads joy over the moral world.

Thus, the very idea of a perfect Being is a source of high pleasure to the mind; but to us there is more implied in the idea of the Deity. For these perfections are not dormant in the Divine nature, they are perpetually employed for the happiness of man. This glorious Being is our Father and our Friend. He called us into being at first, to make us happy; he hath given us many proofs of his goodnels, and he hath allowed us to hope for more. He

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is soon to give us an opportunity of commemorating the most signal display of his grace, his noblest gift to the children of men. And, if he spared not his own Son, but freely gave him up to the death) for us all, may it not be depended upon, that with him he will give us all things? Entering into these ideas, and animated with this fpirit, the pious man is never fo much in his element, as when he is drawing nigh to God. The mind never makes nobler exertions, is never so conscious, of its native grandeur and ancient dignity, as when holding high converse with its Creator : the heart never feels such unspeakable peace, as when it is fixed upon him who made it, as when its affections go out on the supreme beauty, as when it rests upon the, Rock of ages, and is held within the circle of the everlasting arms.

Hence, the good men of old, in approaching to God, broke forth into the language of rapture, “ As " the hart panteth after the water-brook, so pantet ir my

foul after thee, O Lord. O God, thou art my . " God, early will I seek thee. My soul thirsteth for os thee. My flesh longeth for thee in a dry and parch"sed land, wherein no water is; that I may fee ihy

glory as I have seen it in the sanctuary. Because

thy loving-kindness is better than life, my mouth «s shall praise thee with joyful lips. Surely tre “ shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, " and thou wilt give us to drink the river sfily “ pleasures.-Whom have we in the heavens but " thee, and what is there upon the earth that we can “ desire beside thee? My flesh and heart shall fail, s but thou art the strength of my heart, and my por« tion for ever."

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