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As there are the most noble principles, so there are the most sacred ends and aims suitable thereto. The christian proselite must live to God; he yields himself to God, as one devoted to his name and service. Nemo fibi nafcitur is usually said. The christian, to be sure, is not his own. He was made by and for God. He was bought with a price. He must glorify God, both in body and spirit; for (on that double account) they are his. He must not live to himself, or die to himself, but to the. Lord. In all the passages and transactions of life, must he design for God; design to serve and please and glorify God. Which will include such sacred, spiritual designs and aims as these.
1. To imitate God, wherein he may be imitated and copyed after. Be ye followers (imitators) of God, as dear children. Be ye boly, as I amerholy. Love your enemies, bless them that curse ye.--- that ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven.
II. To commer.d the institution to others; to give a visible luftre to theit's undefiled religion. That we may adorn the doctrine of God, our Saviour, to in all things.
III. To induce others to be good, and acknowledge God to his honour and praise. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.
IV. To assure ourselves of the salvation of God, in the way of his own promise. To them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for: glory, honour, and immortality, (will he render) eternal life.
V. To procure honour and glory to the Mediator, as Lord of all. To. me to live is Christ. We must live to Christ. That Christ may nified in our body, whether by life or by death. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord--- Knowing that of the Lord ye shall reseive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, , according to the grace of our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
VI. To glorify God, the great maker and governor of the world. The great author of all things must be the intentional end of all things; and have all things referr'd to him and the honour of his name. Glory to God in the highest! Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Being filld with the fruits of righteousness (or of religion) which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Here we may observe the eminence and the harmony of this religiloon, in reference to this article of glorifying God, in making or design. ing: him, as the ultimate end of all things. The gentile theology is de
jative in representing either the perfection or causality, or the finality p}for final causality, as it is wont to be called) of God. The mahometan cheology gives a very imperfect account of the essence of God; such as
leems to degrade his efficient caufality; and to render him also unsuitable thy:
the honour of being the ultimate end of all things. But here is an adstrez
irable correspondence and connection in these respects. The most extxcellent Being is worthy to be the ultimate end of all things ; and must (if fic act at all) have the prime and chief causality. The uitimate end of all things (and he that has the high honour or glory of being so) ought (we may say) to be the best of Beings, in himuli, auid iú harückej me caufality of things. He that has the prime causality of things must be the prime and most excellent Being, and must be the ultimate end of all things. All these requisites concur in respect to the God of the Christians. He is the most excellent, perfe& Being, that is possible to exist; not only above our thought, but beyond the comprehension of any other Being. He is, in the dignity of his own essence, meet to be the ultimate end and final cause of all things. He has the prime and supreme causality in all things, whereby he is more immediatly worthy to be the ultimate end of all things. And then the honour and glory of being so is absolutely and intirely refunded into hiin. He is author of entity, morality, and bliss; the God of nature, grace and glory; and as such to be acknowledged and admired for ever,
For of him, and through him, and to (or for) him are all things; to whom be glory for ever, Amen. Unto him be glory in the church (where he is thus excellently reveald) by Christ Jesus, throughOilt all ages, world without end; Amen, .
Here are designs and doxologies for Angels! Here are intentions and intentional aspirations, suitable to the world of perfection. Principles and ends of life, of conduct and a&ion, higher and nobler than which, no religion can propose and pretend !
The Christian Institution eminently sets up an Inter
course with Heaven.
ND no wonder it does so. Every religion pretends to do so in it's
way. It must be the end and business of religion to bring us to God. We pretend not now to any visible apparitions of the great God,
, or of his holy angels; nor to any audible responses from him, or imimmediate dictates and suggestions of his spirit, beyond the compass of the revelation already imparted to us. But a gracious, spiritual correspondence may yet be maintain’d with God and the Redeemer. And truly our fellowship (or communion, or communication) is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. And this communion consists in mutual giving and receiving. The gracious God gives to us, and receives from
We give to him (as we can) and receive from him. And in the way, and by the means following, is this correspondence and intercourse to be supported and carried on.
1. God has sent his word to us, inviting us to himself, and to communion with him. Here he calls us to be reconciled, to walk with him in mutual love and friendship, and to serve him in humble hope of seeing and enjoying him above. In this word of his, we behold his excellency,
we see his glory richly displayed in the face (in the person and personal transactions) of Jesus Chrift: we hear his attractive' voice, his invitations, promises, and encouragements to continue and abide with him.
II. He has set up his house in the world, in which he will be attended by his fervants. But because all his family on earth cannot mect together in one place; they have their feveral appartments, in which they are to wait upon him. Here he speaks by messengers. And here his word, opened and applied by some judicious and qualified interpreter, is blest by him, to the conversion and reconciliation of souls. His house alfo is an house of prayer and praise. Here he often warms the hearts of his attendants, quickens them in their service and makes them glad in his house of prayer. Here three thousand have been proselited in a day; which (probably) was never done by the fages of philosophy, or by the ministers of any other religion whatever.
III. He has graciously appointed an advocate, to introduce us into his presence, and to procure us acceptance and welcome there. A sure sign that the great God will converse with us, and admit us into communion. By reason of our sin and guilt, we have no name or interest of our own in heaven. But the Mediator (who has been the propitiation) has for himself and for us too. He hath made us accepted in the beloved. By whom also we have accefs by faith, into this grace (this gracious state) in which we stand, and rejoyce in hope (of an higher and nearer access)in hope of the glory of God.
IV. He promises, and accordingly he fends his holy Spirit to draw our hearts, to inliven and invigorate our Spirits, to assist and encourage us in services; to testify his love to us, to fuccour us in afflictions, and feal us unto the day of redemption.
Thus, on God's side the intercourse is begun and continued. Then, on our side, it is thus exercised and maintain’d.
I. In the fight and transactions of faith. We arc led into a marvelous light; into the prospea of worlds unseen; and here we are taught to
fet God always before us ; to walk as in his fight and to approach a peculiar presence of his, and demean as before him, and with him.
II. In our approaches, we are admitted to speak freely to him and with him; to open to him (though he knows them already) our sins, and fears, our forrows, wants and desires; to make our confessions, deprecations, petitions and intercessions, to him. And in this service, he has promiled the spirit of grace and supplication. And where there is such address to God, under such influence, there will be eminent intercourse with heaven. To which end, our Lord has furnish'd us with such a system of desirable, good things (for any of which, we may at any time, address our selves to God) the parallel to which (I suppose) is not to be found among the gentile moralists, or any profesors of an exotick religion. Á model of prayer, which for matter and method and fullness of comprehension, for suitableness to our state, and designation of the divine glory, seems, of itself, to bespeak a divine extract.
Here we address ourselves to the great God, as to our Father, who is in keaven. Goodness and greatness is at once intimated. He reigns in heaven, and presides over all the powers of it, and yet is our Father. Our reconciled, adopting Father, in the christian economy. Reverence and allurance is, at once, demanded. Hallowed be tby name. Divine ardour will first dictate this petition. May all the notifications of the Divine Majesty be observed, received and suitably regarded! May his excellencies and glories be seen, admired and celebrated throughout the earth! And all honours and acclamations be given to his name! Thy kingdom come! Sad, that the kingdom and government of the earth is lo little the Lord's! That the diabolical empire is so widely extended, and has so long prevaild! “ Take to thyself the sway of men's minds and “ hearts! Teach them to submit to thy sceptre; and turn the nations to “ the dominion of thy word and grace!
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven! Thy will is worthy to be the universal law. It is perfeâly observed above; may it be so below! Since there must be a conjun&tion of the inhabitants of heaven and earth, let there not be so wide a disparity now! May mortals love and obey that will, that sways, with out any opposition or controul, in the heavenly society! Give us this