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of the man ; they are appendages ; additions suppose deficiences : he is the most perfect who needs them not. - Suppose our Saviour had passed through the world smoothly, attended with all the littleness. of riches, and all the insignificance of pomp ; how limited would have been his example ! how insipid the narrative of his life ! how uninteresting his character! If there had been any thing of the beautiful, there would have been nothing of the sublime. How does he appear 6 Christ, the wisdom of God, and the power of God?” “ As crucified.” Where did he spoil “principalities and powers, making a shew of them openly, and triumphing over them ?” On the cross." To what period does he refer, when he says, “ now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out?” The hour of his death. This he viewed as the season, in which he was to be magnified and adored : “the hour is come, that the son of man should be glorified.” This was the consummation of his unexampled career of excellence : “I must do wonders to day and to-morrow, and the third day I must be perfected.” Here is the finish; and the wonders and miracles which attended his sufferings, were not to be compared with the principles and virtues, which he displayed in enduring them.
Of what in his history did Mozes and Elias speak, when they appeared in the transfiguration ? " They spake of the decease, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.” In what does every Christian rejoice ? “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. What is the theme of every minister ? “I determined to know nothing, save Je. sus Christ, and him crucified.” What is the language of the glorified above? “ Worthy is the lamb that was slain." Thus the sufferings of the Saviour were the means of displaying the glories of his character, and of procuring for him unbounded and everlasting honours.
PURE RELIGION AND GENUINE
The great sentiment which, upon this subject, I wish to impress upon your mind, and which I seize every opportunity to inculcate, is this that in what. ever point of light you place religion, whatever you consider it as an act, or an affection ; morality, from a pure and proper principle, comprises the whole of it. The spirit of religion is the love of rectitude, rectitude living and realized in the divine nature; the exercise of religion is the practice of that rectitude. Justice and mercy are not the adjuncts of religion, but religion itself.
In giving this account of it, I repeat the definitinn which one of the apostles has left us. “ Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father” “pure religion”- not only calls for, as its appendage, but " is this,” this is its constituent substance, “to visit the widows and the fatherless in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”_ This,-the exercise of humanity to the whole circle of its objects, from among whom the particular situations of distress, which are set before us in this passage, are selected by the scriptures, as being promi. nent figures in the group of human miseries, to express, in one word, the various objects of mercy, and to represent the sons and daughters of affliction ;this discharge of the duties of humanity, this active service of God, this worship of the life is all that, in itself considered, communicates any pleasure to the Almighty.,
The great sacrifice which is alone immediately, and directly acceptable to the Infinite Spirit is neither any thing that cometh out of the ground, or that goeth forth from the mouth of man: it is the sacrifice of our faculties upon the broad, immortal aiter of society. The substance of divine service is social
service. Benevolence to man is the “beauty of holiness." The ground, wherever it be, upon which honest goodness relieves the indigent; consoles the dejected ; protects the oppressed; defends the defamed ; cominunicates the truth ; or inculcates virtue ; the ground, wherever it be, upon which good is done from a good principle; or upon which impotent pity drops an honest tear, and but wishes to do it; is better consecrated, in the eye of heaven, by such transactions, or by such tears, than by all the religious ceremonies, which could have been performed upon it.
The house of mourning, the hovel of poverty, the prison of despair, when they receive the visit of charity, are temples, upon which the object of worship looks down with more complacency, than upon any other temples. The sphere of usefulness is the chief church of man : this is the most “ holy place :” the “ holy of holies :" the most sacred court in the temple of God: those that minister here are the high priests, whose office has most sanctity in his sight. Devotedness to society is the truest dedication to God. Generous offices are the noblest sort of religious ex. ercises. Ile that teaches the sighing a heart to sing for joy," awakes the harp which best befits the fingers of devotion. IIe that tunes his animated instrument, he that raises this holy hymn, he that sends up this sacred music, he is the psalmist that, in the ear of heaven, excels all others in sweetness. Whoever wipes another's tear, lifts another's head, binds another's heart; performs religion's most beautiful rite, most decent and most handsome ceremony. To go on an errand of mercy, is to set out on the only holy pilgrimage.
All other worship with whatever height of solemnity, with whatever sublimity of circumstance, with whatever comeliness of form, it be accompanied, considered independently of this, and as terminating in itself, contains no degree of recom:nendation to the Divine Being. All the voices of assembled man.
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kind, joined together in a chorus of praise to God; all the musical instruments in the world, united in a sacred concert; all knees of all the nations, bent together before the throne of high heaven ; the sort of praise, ascending from all the earth at once, in itself considered, would yield no satisfaction to the object of worship, any more than all the frankincense of the earth, ascending in one cloud to heaven, or all the fruits of the earth, presented upon one spacious altar :-but peace prevailing among all nations : equity reigning all around the globe ; all mankind concurring to promote the general good, and dwel. ling in fraternal amity together; this social order, this moral harmony, this concord of faculties, this music of minds, were an anthem that would enter the ear of him who “is a spirit:" of him who heark. ens to the silver chime of the spheres, and who set the silent harmonies of nature. .
TRANSITION FROM TIME TO ETERNITY,
Whoever left the precincts of morality without casting a wishsul look on what he left behind, and a trembleing eye on the scene that is before him ? Be. ing formed by our Creator for enjoyment even in this life, we are endowed with a sensibility to the objects around us. We have affections, and we delight to indulge them: We have hearts, and we want to be. stow them. Bad as the world is, we find its objects of affection and attachment. . Even in this waste, and howling wilderness, there are spots of verdure and of beauty, of power, to charm the mind and make us cry out, “ It is good for us to be here."
When, after the observation and experience of years, we have found out the objects of the soul, and met with minds congenial to our own, what pangs
must it give to the heart, to think of parting forever? We even contract an attachment to inanimate objects.
The tree under whose shode we have often sat ; the fields where we have frequently strayed; the hill, the scene of contemplation, or the haunt of friendship, become objects of passion tothe mind, and upon our leaving them, excite a temporary sorrow and regret. If these things can affect us with uneasiness, how great mast be the affliction, when stretched on that bed from which we shall rise no more, and looking about for the last time on the sad circle of our weeping friends,-how great must be the affliction, - to dissolve at once all the attachments of life: to bid an eternal adieu to the friends whom we long have loved, and to part forever with all that is dear below the sun! But let not the Christian be disconsolate. He parts with the objects of his affection, to meet them again ; to meet them in a better world, where change never enters, and from whose blissfel man. sions sorrow flies away. '
At the resurrection of the just, in the great assem- . bly of the sons of God, when all the family of heaven are gathered together, not one person shall be missing that was worthy of thy affection or esteem. And if among imperfect creatures, and in a troubled world, the kind, the tender and the generous affections, have such power to charm the heart, that even the tears which occasionaly delight us, what joy unspeakable and glorious will they produce, when they exist in perfect minds, and are improved by the purity of the heavens !
Now is your golden age. When the morning of Life rejoices over your head, every thing around you