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He is spoken of accordingly “ as a “ consuming firers to the impenitent, as “ a God who will by no means clear the “ guilty,” as one, who will execute wrath upon every' soul that doeth evil, and that refuses to turn from the evil of his doings with hearty repentance, and lively faith in the merits of a Redeemer. I beg of you to believe, that if a man, in defiance of the threatenings of God's word, “ shall still " bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall “ have peace, though I walk in the imagina“tion of mine heart, to add drunkenness to “ thirst; the Lord will not spare him, but " then the anger of the Lord and his jea“ lousy shall smoke against that man, and " all the curses that are written in the Scrip“ tures shall be upon him.” If, in short, you so får presume upon God's mercy, as to think that you may fearlessly continue in wilful sin; if you imagine that he will so forget his justice and his truth, as that one event will happen unto all, and that the wicked will not fare worse than the
• Exod. xxxiv. 7.
Deut. iv. 24. Heb. xii. 29.
righteous; you do not believe in God as he is revealed in the Bible; you cannot consistently join in the Apostles' Creed; you cannot say, I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, in the sense in which that profession is made by real Christians,
One of the most interesting features in the representations which the Scriptures give of the Most High, is his providential, his fatherly care of all the works of his hands. We profess to believe in God the Father Almighty:the Father in a peculiar sense of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father also of the whole creation, and in particular of man; our Father, as he graciously permits us to call him. He not only at first made every living creature, but still continues to watch over and uphold them by the word of his power. He preserveth both man and beast, and giveth « food to all flesh","?, Holy David says of the brute creation, «these wait all upon 6 thee, that thou mayest give them meat in * due season : when thou givest it them
Psalm cxxxvi. 25,
they gather it, when thou openest thine “ hand they are filled with good*.” And with regard to ourselves, he is styled the Preserver of men; we are told that “in him “ we live, and move, and have our being.' We are assured that “ they that fear the “ Lord shall want no manner of thing that “ is good ;” that he hath said, "I will never " leave thee nor forsake thee." Surely, my friends, if we believe these things, if we thus believe in God the Father Almighty, it will have a strong tendency to prevent our being over-anxious and careful about worldly things. It will induce us, in compliance with the admonition of our Saviour, to feel persuaded, that he who feeds the fowls of the air, and clothes the lilies of the field, will not neglect to take care of us,
And thus also, when visited with affliction, belief that he is our Father, and that he is Almighty, will prevent us from murmuring and repining, and induce us to sụba mit with resignation and cheerfulness to whatever he layeth upon us, The Scriptures assure us, that “as a father chast56 eneth his son, so the Lord our God chast“ eneth us ' ;” that “it is good for us to be " afflicted”;” that “he chasteneth us for “ our profit'.” If we really believe, that whatever befals us, happens by the direction or the permission of him, by whom, as Our Lord assures us, 66 the hairs of our
* Psalm civ. 27, 28,
head are all numbered b,” happens by the will of God the Father Almighty, we shall suffer with meek resignation. We shall be disposed to say from our hearts, “it is the “ Lord, let him do what seemeth him good®;" “Lord, not my will, but thine be done.» If instead of thus submitting, we give way to murmuring, and repining, and discontent, is there not reason to fear that we do not firmly believe in God's providence ? Do we not, in some degree, deny by our behaviour the God whom we profess to acknowledge
The apostle says, “ be careful for nothing, “ but in every thing, by prayer and suppli“cation, let your requests be made known “ unto God.” . And this naturally leads me to another observation, which is, that the Scriptures, represent God as being a “ God who heareth prayerf.” If we believe this representation, we shall consider prayer not only as a duty, but as a glorious privi. lege; weshall “continue instant in prayers,” and " watch unto the same with all perse“ verance";” we shall pray constantly and fervently in private, and shall be regular in joining in the public prayers of the Church ; shall be “glad when they say unto us, We “ will go into the house of the Lordi.” If, on the other hand, you neglect to offer your supplications to the Most High, if you restrain prayer before God, you act decidedly in the spirit of those unbelievers, who say, “What is the Almighty, that we should
y Deut. viii. 5. 2 Psalm cxix. 71. Heb. xii. 10. • Matt. x. 30.
a Luke xxii. 42. • Phil. iv. 6.
1 Sam. iii. 18.
serve him, or what profit shall we have if “ we pray unto him?" And whether such a person can truly and consistently say, that he believes in God the Father Al. . mighty, judge ye.
My friends, let us “take heed, lest there “ be in any of us an evil heart of unbe
Psalm lxv. 2. Psalgı cxxii. 1.
8 Rom. xii. 12. * Job xxi. 15.
5 Ephes. vi. 18.