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Assuredly, in the first instance, ourselves; our souls and bodies should be devoted to Him, who created us for His own glory. He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. In Him we live, and move, and have our being.91 We are therefore called upon to give up ourselves to His service. And it is reasonable that we should do so. A great Benefactor deserves to be requited according to the benefits He has conferred. Creation is a benefit, for which every thing that hath breath should praise the Lord. The blessings and comforts of this life demand the gratitude of those who enjoy them; that they should thank and praise the bounteous Giver of all good. But above all, redemption is a benefit for which glory to God in the highest should ever resound from the children of men. That when man had fallen from the state of uprightness in which he was created, and had destroyed himself by his iniquity, God should become manifest in the flesh,93 and be the Redeemer of our ruined race; in human nature should obey the law which man had broken, and suffer the penalty incurred by our disobedience, should give up His life for our ransom: O what hallelujahs of praise and thanksgiving should this wonderful kindness and love of God our Saviour94 excite in the hearts of the children
91 Acts xvii. 25, 28. 92 Psalm cl. 6. 931 Tim. iii, 16. 94Titus iii. 4.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.95
These benefits conferred upon the sinful and lost children of men, whom the Son of man came to seek and to save,96 demand that we should "believe in Him, and fear Him, and love Him, with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength;" that we should "worship Him, and give Him thanks, and put our whole trust in Him, and call upon Him, and honour His holy name and His word, and serve Him truly all the days of our life." These are the things which our Catechism informs us, comprise our "duty towards God."
Thus it is that we are to render to God the things that are God's, or those which properly belong to Him. But do we thus requite the Lord? Do we render to the Lord our God the homage of our souls and bodies which we owe to Him, in return for the benefits He has bestowed upon us? It is our bounden duty as His creatures to devote ourselves and all that belongs to us to His glory and praise. It is our reasonable service that we should so act. It is nothing more than giving back to Him what
951 John iv. 9, 10.
96 Luke xix. 10.
is His own, what properly and of right belongs to Him. The heavenly hosts we are told fall down before Him, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created. It becomes us to copy their example for the same reason, because we also are the creatures of His power, created for His pleasure and glory.
But the blessings of redemption, as it was before observed, demand our loudest songs of praise and thanksgiving. The Apostle reminded the Corinthians, Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.98 In this respect likewise the saints in heaven set us an example of praise, while they sing, Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.99 If we are interested by faith in the redemption of Christ, we shall be ready to join in this song of praise and thanks
97 Revelation iv. 10, 11. 98 1 Corinth. vi. 20. 99 Rev. i. 5, 6. v. 9.
giving, ascribing unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; and we shall humbly and earnestly devote ourselves to His service in soul and body, that God in all things may be glorified through Christ Jesus. Let us form our principles and practice upon the word of God, and then all will be well. God has in His infinite mercy given us His holy word for this purpose. Let us search the Scriptures. Let us treasure up the word of God in our memory, and beseech Him to write it upon our hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit. As all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works3 let us seek to derive these advantages from it, that we may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things, that our light may so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Vain is our profession of Christianity if this be not our desire and endeavour.
But if through grace we are numbered among those who seek to render to the Giver of all good according to the benefits which He has bestowed upon us, our hearts and minds will be raised above this present evil world. Our
1 Psalm xxix. 2. 21 Pet. iv. 11. 31 Tim. iii.'16, 17. 4Matt. v. 16.
conversation will be in heaven, the blessed abode of our heavenly Father. Our hope will be in heaven, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus. This hope will be to us as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast," so that we shall be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. And seeing that we have a great high Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we shall therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need, we shall draw near to the God of heaven, as our reconciled Father in Christ Jesus, to supplicate from Him those blessings which we need; in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving making known our requests unto God; that the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And thus building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, we shall keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And while we consider it to be our paramount duty to render unto God the things that are God's, we shall be careful to fulfil all social and relative duties according to His holy word, from a principle of gratitude for the blessings which, of His undeserved mercy, He has be
5 Heb. vi. 20, 19. Heb. v. 14, 16. 7 Philip. iv. 6,7. Jude 20,21.