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large description of the creation. We can refer but to few particulars. Observe the power of God in the greatness of some bodies, and in the smallness of others. The earth, which we inhabit, is eight thousand miles in diameter (or across); but what is this to the body of the sun, which is said to be a million of times larger than the earth, and ninety millions of miles distant from it? Some of the fixed stars are, perhaps, suns of other systems, and at such an immense distance, that it is supposed their light would be many thousands of years in reaching us, were it to travel with the velocity (or quickness) of a cannon ball.
The smallness of many creatures is as surprising as the greatness of others. There are living creatures so very small, that many thousands of them may be contained in the bulk of a single drop of water. These all proclaim, with a loud voice, the almighty power of God; they constrain us to cry out, in the words of the prophet, “ Ah, Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” Jer. x. 17. They oblige us also to exclaim, in the language of the Psalmist, “Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him!” Ps. viii. But this condescension of the Almighty God will perhaps appear more won. derful, when we consider, in the second place, .
II. The power of God as it is displayed in the preservation and government of his creatures.
The whole system is preserved in its beautiful or. der by the same almighty hand which gave it being, “ He upholds all things by the word of his power."
The planets, those vast bodies, revolve in their appointed circuits with the most minute exactness, as is evident from the nicety with which eclipses and other wonders of the heavens are calculated. The earth, for instance, performs its annual revolution in three hundred and sixty-five days, five hours, and forty-nine minutes, never varying its course a single înch, nor its period a single moment. The moon
also faithfully attends the earth, and sweetly lessens the gloom of our tedious nights. The various seasons succeed each other in their appointed order; and, according to the divine promise, “summer and
winter, seed-time, and harvest” continue to this day. “The great and wide sea, whose billows roar and
threaten to overwhelm the earth, is kept by the pow. er of its Maker, within its proper limits! and “shall we not fear him who has placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it?-and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail ?--though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?" Jer. V. 22.
Mark the display of the same almighty power in making constant provision for the vast family of the universe. All the innumerable tribes of beings which inhabit the air, the earth, and the water, " these all wait upon God, that he may give them their food in due season; that which he giveth them, they gather; he openeth his hand, they are filled with good.” Ps. civ. 27. '
The continuance, from age to age, of the various orders of animals, beasts, birds, fishes, insects; and all the multitudes of trees, plants, and flowers, must be ascribed to the same almighty power. How remarkable is the uniform proportion of males and females in the human race ! and how kind the providence which multiplies the creatures useful to man, while lions and tigers, whales and sharks, are comparatively few!
The moral government of God is still more wonderful. To his power in restraining evilspirits we owe much of our safety and comfort. We are more sensible of his power in restraining wicked men. Bad as the world is, it would be infinitely worse, if God did not withhold bad men from their purposes; but all hearts are in his hand. He that restrains the ra. ging waves of the sea, subdues also the madness of the people. " The floods have lifted up their voice ; the floods lift up their waves ; but the Lord on high
is mightier than the noise of many waters; yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Ps. xciii. 3, 4.
The power of God was in ancient times most marvellously displayed in the miracles, which were wrought for wise and great purposes. He who gave laws to nature, can suspend or reverse them if he thinks fit. Once he permitted the waters to cover the whole earth, and drown its guilty inhabitants ; again, he restrained the floods and caused them to retire. By a train of most wonderful works he rescued Israel from the yoke of Egypt, formed a path for them through the Red Sea, and sustained them for forty years in the wilderness. When he commands waters shall not drown, fire shall not consume, lions shall not devour. The miracles of Christ exceeded all others, for he was power itself in a human form. “The blind received their sight, and the lame walked; the lepers were cleansed, and the deaf heard; the dead were raised up, and to the poor the gospel was preached.” Matt. xi. 5. Now in that gospel so confirmed, we shall find the grandest displays of divine power, and those in which we are most concerned. We proceed then, in the third place, to consider,
III. The power of God as it shines in the redemption of sinful men by Jesus Christ:
Observe this power in the person of the great Redeemer. The production of his human nature, in the womb of the Virgin, is ascribed (Luke i. 45) “ to the power of the Highest,” that is, of the Holy Spirit; in consequence of which, though he “ was made of a woman,' and made “ in the likeness of sinful flesh," his nature was without sin, and “that holy thing." which was born, was the pure and immaculate Son of God. Wonderful was the power which preserved him from his cruel and implacable enemies, for he constantly endured the opposition of men and devils ; nor could any of his adversaries prevail against him, till “his hour was come;" that appointed hour when, « according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,” with “ wicked hands" they crucified" the Lord of glory.” Nor could death itself detain " the Lord of life;" he burst asunder the bars of the grave, and by his resurrection, more than by all that went before, “ he was declared to be the Son of God with power." change. The corruption of our nature renders this change absolutely necessary; and it is a change so considerable, as to be called in Scripture "a New Creation;" this, of course, can be effected only by the power of God, and therefore, true converts are said to be made “ willing in the day of his power.” Ps. cx. 3. The mind of man, in his natural state, is in darkness, unacquainted with the way of salvation through faith in Christ, and frequently contentedly ignorant, yea, wilfully ignorant; for there is an unhappy aversion to the truth, a strong prejudice against it, insomuch that many persons “ love darkness rather than light.” There is a strange dislike to private religion-the reading of the Bible and prayer ; while in some persons there is a strong attachment to vanity, to gaiety, to amusements ; in others, vicious habits are formed, and wilful sins indulged. Some are profane, and venture without fear cf the threatened punishment, to take the holy name of God in vain, perhaps to utter curses on themselves or others. Some, in open defiance of divine authority, instead of remembering the Sabbath-day to keep it holy, turn their backs on their Maker, and prove that they love him not, by preferring their pleasures to his service and worship, to the utter neglect of their souls and salvation. Others launch out still further into the ocean of Vice, and plunge themselves into guilty pleasures and filthy vices, to which God has annexed everlasting punishment. The multitude among us, it may be feared, forget God; they live without God in the world ; and their hearts are as far from him as those of the Pagans themselves.
When we consider the first planting of our holy religion in the world, by instruments so feeble, and notwithstanding obstacles so great, we shall see with what propriety the gospel is said to be “the power of God unto salvation." The apostles were plain men, who had been under the instruction of Christ for three or four years, and were well qualified to teach mankind; but they had not the sanction of learning, the eloquence of orators, nor the authority of the magistrate. They had to encounter the deeply rooted prejudices of the Jews ; the superstition, idolatry, hatred, and vices of the heathen; the customs of the world, the laws of nations, and the interests of priests, aided by all the malice, cunning, and cruelty of the great destroyer, whose kingdom and influence among men the gospel was intended to subvert. But they went forth in the name of Jesus, filled with his love, inspired by his Spirit, animated by his promise, and the weapons of their warfare, altogether spiritual, became “mighty, through God, to destroy the strongest holds of the devils ;" even in Jerusalem, where Christ was crucified, many thousands were converted to him. In Cæsarea, in Antioch, in Corinth, in Ephesus, in Alexandria, and even in Rome, Christian churches were formed; the altars of the idols were abandoned ; and the gospel tri. umphed over millions of souls !
But it concerns us most of all to trace the effects of divine power in the application of the gospel to the heart, without which, its publication to the world, and its preservation to this day, will not avail to our personal salvation..
The gospel is designed to produce a great inward
Taking this view of things, we are ready to say, as in the prophet, “ Can these dry bones live ?" Can these careless souls become diligent disciples of Christ? Can their love of vanity be cured? Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ?” Can the habits of profaneness, of drunkenness, of uncleanness, be subdued? Can these vain and worldly people be so changed, that they may