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SERMON X
The service of God and Mammon impossible.
Matthew vi. 24. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

118

SERMON 1.

THE ORIGINAL STATE OF THE WORLD FAR MORE EXCEL

LENT AND DESIRABLE THAN THE PRESENT.

Genesis i. 31.

And God saw every thing, that he had made, and, behold,

it was very good. THESE words present us with the view which the Lord had, when his works of creation were completed. And they are represented to be glorious and excellent; worthy of a Being supremely wise and good. Mankind readily discern and acknowledge that some of the divine works bear evident marks of divine goodness; and they are ready to conjecture, that some are not stamped with wisdom nor benevolence. But the Creator himself has declared them all not only to be good, but to be very good. All the works which God created, in six days, have, in the view of infinite wisdom and goodness, been considered as superlatively excellent; and as such they are announced to man, who should view them in the same light. Doubtless, one reason, why mankind are no more astonished and affected with the displays of the wondrous goodness of God in his works of creation, is, that they have such limited or scanty views of the divine works, consequently they are unable to discern to a very great extent. the supremely benevolent design. The more any one becomes acquainted with cause and effect, and the more he is enabled to search into the nature of things, so far as man is capable, by contemplating the works of nature; the more is he led to see and admire infinite wisdom and goodness.

Another reason, why many do not see, that every thing which the Lord has made, is very good, is, that they confine their views to the world and its inhabitants as in a state of condemnation and not in their original state. They do not consider how very different the appearance and reality of things were, before the flood, and especially before the entrance of sin into the world. The earth and every thing that pertains to it, are materially changed and under the curse of God in consequence of the sin of our first parents and of the sins of the world. By contrasting the present and the original state of God's works of creation, our views may be enlarged concerning the divine goodness. Let me repeat the words of the text: “ And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”. Thus the great Creator viewed his works, on the sixth day, when the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. They not only as a stupendous system exhibited the wisdom and goodness of God, but every part both in the natural and moral creation was admirably designed to manifest the being and perfections of Jehovah. Infinite wisdom and benevolence devised the wondrous scheme; and almighty power gave existence. As the Lord is by nature invisible, so the manifold works of creation are the book of nature, in which finite intelligencies may read, and form consistent and exalted views of his true character. In the illustration of the present subject, but few things can be noticed. The object will be to show, that the original state of the world both in a natural and moral point of view, was far more excellent and desirable than the present. Scripture, reason, and probability are to be the aids to establish the point. Man and his varied situations and relations will constitute the chief part of this discourse, though not exclusive of the material world and the animal creation.

Ist. The goodness of God will appear very con

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