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If we are dependent upon God and every good gift comes from him-if we are sinners under a forfeiture of all his favors-if we have done nothing to deserve, and can do nothing to remunerate his benefits, but all proceed from his selfmoving love; then we must be "What eternally bound to render praise to his name. shall we render to the Lord for all his benefits? We will offer him the sacrifice of thanksgiving."

Praise is pleasant, as well as comely. Prayer reminds us of our wants, confession wounds us with a sense of guilt. But praise refreshes the soul with the memory of God's exceeding goodness, and brings to view the happy circumstances of our condition, 0, taste and see that that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man who trusteth in him."

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What more delightful sentiments can fill our souls, than such as these? The great ruler of the universe graciously regards us and daily watches over us, makes us the subjects of a thousand blessings, and employs us as agents to scatter his bounties among our fellow creatures; admits us into his presence, and allows us to converse with him; imparts his influence to direct our way, and gives us his grace to prepare us for heav

en.

Thanksgiving is better than prayer and confession, for it will never fail. When all our sins are purged away by divine grace, and all our wants are swallowed up in the divine fulness-when we dwell in God's presence, where is joy supreme, and sit at his right hand where are pleasures never failing, there will be no more occasion for penitent confession of sin, strong cries for mercy, and groanings which cannot be uttered. The glories of divine wisdom, grace and love will be all our theme-gratitude and praise will be all our devotion.

Habitual thankfulness adds much to the happiness of life. This softens our cares, lightens our troubles, mitigates our griefs, dispels our gloom, brightens up the soul, and smoothes the temper into serenity and cheer.

fulness. Ingratitude is sullen, morose and peevish; it gives a disrelish to every favor, and increases the smart of every affliction.

Praise has been the work of saints on earth, and is the employment of angels in heaven. Let us therefore give thanks always, for all things, to God through Jesus Christ, that we may now be prepared, and hereafter admitted to join with happy spirits above, in ascribing blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, and thanksgiving to him who sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever.

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SERMON XLIII:

Mutual Submission.

EPHESIANS ▼. 21.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

THE Apostle, having exhorted the Ephesian Christians to the duties of social worship, next passes to inculcate several relative duties. This subject he begins with a general exhortation to all Christians to "submit themselves one to another." His subjoining this to his exhortation concerning social worship, intimates, that one great use of joint devotion is the promotion of peace, humility and condescension.

This submission to others can no farther be a duty, than it is consistent with our obligations to God. Therefore the Apostle says, "Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God." "The wisdom which is from above, is first pure, and then peaceable." The Christian, who is bought with a price, must not be a servant of men. The sense of our text is fully explained by other parallel instructions. "Ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder, and be ye all subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.""Let nothing be done through strife and vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than him

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self."-" With brotherly love in honor prefer one another."

This temper was exemplified and recommended by our Lord, when he washed his disciples feet, and instructed them to wash one another's feet. He tells us, that in his kingdom the ostentatious distinctions, so common in the world, shall be unknown; that in point of obligation to justice and charity, all shall stand on a level, with only such difference as arises from their respective abilities: That the highest in office and condition shall claim no other preeminence, than a superior obligation to usefulness. This is his meaning when he says, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and they who exercise authority upon them, are called benefactors: But ye shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister."

Among men God dispenses his blessings with a sovereign hand; to some he gives more, and to others less. But no man is exalted to a state of independence. They who are in highest authority, and in most affluent condition, whatever pride they may feel in themselves, and whatever envy others may feel toward them, are really as dependent, as helpless and as incapable of subsisting by themselves, as the poorest of the human race; yea, more so; for they are less able to endure the hardships, and perform the labors of life. And it Qught to be remembered, that in the continual fluctuation of human affairs, the rich and the poor may exchange conditions; and the former be reduced to such impotence, as to need the help of those whom now they despise.

This diversity among men displays the sovereignty, wisdom and goodness of God; reminds us of our constant dependence; renders us mutually useful; and VOL. III.

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gives opportunity for the exercise of many virtues, for which in a state of equality there would be no room.

The duties which we owe to one another in this diversity of rank and condition, our Apostle expresses by mutual submission. This will best be illustrated by considering it in the different relations of life.

1. It will easily be perceived, that a degree of submission is due to superiors. Particularly,

You must reverence your superiors in age, not treat them with insolence, or assume an impudent familiarity; but pay a respectful deference to their hoary hairs, long experience, grave deportment and sedate advice. "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head," says Moses," and honor the face of the old man." It is a proof of great depravity, when "the youth behaves himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.”

To superiors in knowledge and wisdem you must shew submission, by consulting them in your doubts and paying respect to their judgment. And if you see reason to dissent from them, let it be done, not with haughty assurance, but with modest caution.

Honor a pious and virtuous character, wherever you see it; whether in the rich or poor, in the learned or illiterate. Never attempt to detract from it, but place it before you for your imitation, and propose it to

others for theirs.

Obey your superiors in authority. Cheerfully sub. mit to their just commands, and by your peaceable behavior support and extend their influence. Though in civil society, legitimate authority originates from the people, yet when they have, in any form, consent ed to lodge certain powers in the hands of particular persons, these persons then become their superiors, and are entitled to their obedience and support in the execution of the powers committed to them. Every attempt to control or embarrass officers of government

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