« FöregåendeFortsätt »
The Miracles of the Divine Mercy.
[From Bishop TAYLOR'S Sermons. ]
PSALM lxxxvi. 5. I bou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all them that call upon thee.
AAN, having destroyed that which
God delighted in, that is, the
beauty of his foul, fell into an evil portion; and, being seized upon by the divine justice, grew miferable, and condemned to an incurable sorrow. Adam, being driven out of paradise, had no means ever to return thither; for God was his enemy, and by many of his attributes op posed himself against him. God's power was ármed against him, God's knowledge
was man's accuser, his severity was the judge, and his justice the executioner.
But in the midst of these sadneffes, God remembered and pitied his own creature, and by his mercy rescued him from the hand of his power, and the sword of his justice, and the guilt of his punishment, and placed him in that order of good things wherein he ought to have stood.
It was mercy, that preserved the noblest of God's creatures here below. He who stood condemned and undone, under all the other attributes of God, was only faved and rescued by his mercy; that it may be evident, that God's, mercy is above all his works, and above all ours, greater than the creation, and greater than our fins. As is his majesty, so is his mercy, that is, without measures and without rules; sitting in heaven, and filling all the world; calling for a duty, that he may give a blessing; making man, that he may save him; punishing man, that he may preserve him. And God's juftice bowed down to his mercy, and all his power passed into mercy, and his knowledge converted into care and watchfulness for man's avail; and heaven gave its influence for man, and rained showers for our food and sustenance; and the attributes and acts of God fat at the foot of mercy, and all that mercy descended upon the head of man : For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all them that call upon thee. · But for him that considers God's mercies, and dwells a while in that depth, it is hard not to talk confusedly, and without art and order of discoursings. St. Peter spoke he knew not what, when he entered into a cloud with Christ upon mount Tabor, though it passed over him like the little curtains that ride upon the north wind, and pass between the fun and us. And when we converse with a light greater than the sun, and taste a sweetness more delicious than the dew of heaven, and in our thoughts entertain the ravishments and harmony of that atonement which reconGiles God to man, and man to felicity; it will not be wondered at, if we be like petfons that admire much, and say but little : and indeed we can best confess the glories of the Lord, by dazzled eyes, and a faultering tongue, and a heart overcharged with the miracles of this infinity.
But because the subject leads us to speak of the divine mercies, that is, as it were, to tell the drops of the ocean, and to span the measures of infinity, we must do it by the great lines of revelation and experience, and tell concerning God's mercy as we do concerning God himself, that he is that great fountain of which we all drink, the great rock by which we are all suftained. on which we dwell, and under whose thadow we are all refreshed. God's mercy is all this, but we can only reckon of it by what we feel and see. And though there be in every one of these mercies, 'enough to engage us for ever to do God service, and to give him praises; yet it is certain, there are very many mercies of God upon us, and towards us, and concerning us, which we neither feel nor see, nor under
stand ftand as yet; but yet we are blessed by them, and are preserved and secure; and we shall then know them; when we come to give God thanks in the festivities of eternal joy.
But that we may confine our thoughts into fome order, in treating upon this subject; let this be considered in the
ist Place, That mercy, being an ema. nation of the divine goodness upon us, Supposeth us and found us miserable,
In this account, concerning the mercies of God; we are not to reckon the miracles and graces of the creation, or any thing of the nature of man; nor tell how great an endearment God passed upon us, that he made us men, capable of felicity; fitted with instruments of discourse and reason, of affections and desires, of notions of sense and reflections upon that sense, that we were not made beasts, or worms, or serpents. Our excellent bodies and useful faculties, the upright motion and the tenacious hand, the fair appetites and pro. VOL. IV,