« PrécédentContinuer »
them drink of the River of thy Pleafures. For with thee is the Fountain of Life, and in thy Light fhall we fee Light. In thy Prefence is Fulness of Joy, and at thy right Hand there are Pleasures for evermore.
Fourthly, We should delight ourselves in God as a Being of fpotlefs Purity and Holiness, of impartial Righteousness and Equity. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye Righteous, and give Thanks at the Remembrance of his Holiness. Pf. xcvii. 12. God is called in Scripture, by Way of Eminency, the Holy One, and is faid to be glorious in Holiness. Righteous is God in all bis Ways, and holy in all his Works. Pf. cxlv. 17. He is the Rock, his Work is perfect, and all his Ways are Judgment; a God of Truth and without Iniquity, juft and right is he. Deut. xxxii. 4. This is the Voice of Scripture, and is perfectly agreeable to the foundest Reason. As his Understanding is infinite, he must have a clear and perfect Discernment of whatsoever is juft and pure, and virtuous and lovely; and can never poffibly, through Error and Mistake, in any fingle Instance, put Wrong for Right, or Right for Wrong. And agreeable to the pure Light of his infinite Mind is the perfect Rectitude of his Will, whereby he is in
variably and eternally determined to will and to do that which his unerring Understanding fees to be juft and good, to delight in Righteoufnefs and Purity, in moral Beauty and Order, and to abhor whatfover is contrary thereunto. That Obfervation of St. James carries its own Evidence with it: God cannot be tempted with Evil, neither tempteth be any Man. Jam. i. 13. He can have nothing to turn him afide from an inviolable Regard to the facred Rules of Juftice, Righteoufnefs, and Equity; no falfe Judgment to mislead him, no private Intereft to biass him, no irregular Appetites and Paffions to corrupt or pervert him. naturally gives us "Pleafure to behold, even in an imperfect human Character, a steady Love and Practice of Righteoufnefs and Virtue, and a generous Abhorrence of Vice and Wickedness, though mixed with Weakness and Defects: And fhall we not then admire and adore the great Original of Righteousness and moral Excellency in whom it is to be found in the highest poffible Degree of Perfection, from whom that of all other Beings is derived, and to whom as their glorious Exemplar they fhould be all conformed! We read in Scripture of the Beauty of Holiness. As Sin is the fouleft Blemish
and Deformity of a reafonable Nature, fo Holiness and Righteoufnefs is it's true Beauty and Glory, and perfect Rightebufnefs is perfect Beauty in an intellectual and moral Senfe. With what Admiration and Delight then fhould we raise our Views to the pure unblemished Glories of the fupreme Being, whofe unpolluted Effence can never admit the leaft Stain of moral Defilement: On this Account the bleffed Angels celebrate and adore him, faying Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hofts! If. vi. 3. and the Church joins in that noble Hymn of Praife: fuft and true are thy Ways, O thou King of Saints: Who shall not fear thee, and glorify thy Name? For thou only art boly. Rev. xv. 3, 4. It cannot but yield the highest Satisfaction to a well-difpofed Mind to be affured that infinite Righteoufnefs governs the World, and prefideth over the univerfal Adminiftration of Things! to obferve the Holiness and Righteousness of God fhining forth in the Precepts of his Law, and admirably exemplified in the Life and Practice of his well-beloved Son Jefus Christ our Lord! And then to confider that infinitely holy and righteous Being as encouraging the imperfect Beginnings of Holiness and Virtue here on Earth,
Earth, and fending his Holy Spirit to affift our fincere Endeavours! The righteous Lord loveth Righteoufnefs, his Countenance doth behold the Upright. Pf. xi. 7. The great End of his Difpenfations towards us is that we may be made Partakers of his Holinefs Heb. xii. 10. This therefore is that to which a good Man ardently afpires, to make a conftant Progrefs in real Holiness of Heart and Life; and he looketh forward with Joy to the heavenly World, where he hopes to be free from all moral Defilement, and to be holy as God is holy, as far as the limited Capacity of his Nature will permit.
Fifthly, It is delightful to contemplate God as a Being of fteady Faithfulness and Truth. This indeed may be justly regarded as a Branch of his Righteoufnefs, but it well deferves to be diftinctly confidered, and is frequently celebrated in the facred Writings. God is there faid to be abundant in Goodness and Truth. Exod. xxxiv. 6. and is called by Way of Eminency the God of Truth. If. lxv. 16. It is a melancholy Reflection, that there is fo little Truth to be found among Mankind, fo that we are sometimes ready to fay in our Hafte with the Pfalmift, All Men are Liars. Pf. cxvi. 11. Their
Words, their Promifes, their profeffed Friendships are little to be depended upon. But it is God's glorious Character, that he cannot lie. Tit. i. 2. It is as impoffible for him to lie, as it is for him to deny himself. On him therefore we may fafely rely, believing the Revelations he hath given us, trufting in his Word, and rejoicing in his Promifes: He will ever be mindful of his Covenant. Juftly therefore may we cry out with Joy and Tranfport: For ever, O Lord, thy Word is fettled in Heaven; thy Faithfulness is unto all Generations. Pf. cxix. 89, 90. O praise the Lord, all ye Nations; praife him, all ye People: For his merciful Kindness is great towards us; the Truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praife ye the Lord. Pí.
This leads me to obferve, That it mightily heighteneth the Pleasure which a good Man taketh in the divine Perfections to confider that this infinitely perfect and glorious Being is from everlafting to everlafting the fame. All finite created Beings are liable to Change: The moft perfect of them all may poffibly, if left to themselves, fall from their Excellency, their Righteoufnefs and Goodness, in a greater or leffer Degree, But God is D 2. abfolutely