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not moved at the call, it is because they would not. We must let them alone, while we pray for them, that the Lord would make them willing in the day of his power ; and must, meanwhile, proceed with our directions to those unto whom it is given to believe. To them we say,
II.--Entertain high and honourable thoughts of the divine perfections and character, and magnify and praise your God with joyful lips. It was the reproach of the Gentile world, that, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools; and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” They fell from those grand conceptions of God suggested to an intelligent mind by the displays of eternal power and godhead, which are conspicuous in the visible creation. They disliked the idea of an infinite superintending Deity, exercising universal government, and judging the actions of men impartially. Of such a Being they desired not the knowledge, but rather
chose to think that God was such an one as themselves; and to give confirmation to the wished-for delusion, they gave him a palpable form, limiting his immensity, and changing the glory of the divine spirituality into the image of corruptible mortals. Then, having thus divested him of perfection, and dethroned him from the sovereignty of the world, they exonerated themselves from the obligation of obedience, worship, or gratitude; for when they ceased to retain God in his true character in their knowledge, to glorify him was impossible.
For, in order to that end, we must know God in his revealed attributes and character, and must take pleasure in retaining true and becoming thoughts of God in our hearts. We must think of him with love and delight; esteeming his excellence, and rejoicing that he is such an one as the Scriptures represent; so just, so holy, so merciful, beneficent, and kind; so exalted too in his majesty, and so sovereign in the administration of his universal kingdom. Such a frame of mind stands opposed to that expressed in the parable, in which the slothful servant justified his own unfaithfulness, on the perverted views which he had entertained of the character of his Lord, as if
he were austere, unjust, inexorable ; having no amiableness to be loved, nor righteousness to be esteemed; and exacting, without a title, from his oppressed and injured creatures. Such views of God are highly dishonourable to his infinite and amiable attributes, which call for heart-felt approbation, and complacent gladness, when we inwardly contemplate them with religious regard. Nor must we rest in abstract contemplation and silent complacency; but in order to glorify God, we need, like the Psalmist, to excite our souls, and all that is within us, to bless his holy name..
6 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.”
That such devout acknowledgment glorifies God, his own word thus testifies : “ Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” It is thus that saints and angels are at this moment glorifying God in heavenly places; and in this manner do we ourselves hope to glorify God, world without end. The ho liest and the happiest are they who most praise God, and these also do most glorify
him.. And hence the Psalmist so often cries out, “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men !” for he knew that by praise would God be greatly glorified. For the same reason, he charges the saints to abound in praise : “O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed say so.” Surely they do not want reason to say so! The redeeined in heaven say so, in hallelujahs and songs that are ever new. And shall not the redeemed on earth, those who are bought with a price, say that he is good, and that his mercy endureth for ever? Shall they brood over an unthankful frame in language like this : “ Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone
for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?” 6 No!” said the Psalmist, “this is my infirmity;" and truly an infirmity it is in redeemed men to cherish dishonourable thoughts of God, or to restrain his praise; “ for how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty?” “O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he
hath done marvellous things ; his right hand and his holy arm have gotten him the victory!” Such celebration becomes those who are bought with a price.
There is a silent veneration, a grateful remembrance, and a secret joy, to be cherished in the inner-man, which glorifies God apart from human converse: But his glory calls also for express and open acknowledgment, for devout recognition of his mercies before men, and for audible ascription of all excellence, and all bounty, and all grace, unto the Most High. There is a sinful reserve in this matter which it is not well to justify in others, or to cherish in ourselves ; for though loud and unseasonable pretensions are offensive in all, and especially in men of doubtful sincerity, and unanswerable lives, yet there is a showing forth the praises of our God with a devout solemnity, and a decent joy, that is both comelyin itself, and required of us in order to glorify his name.
If “ the heavens declare his glory” with speechless emphasis, and with aspects the most expressive of the divine power, wisdom, and beneficence--shall man, so wonderfully framed, the object of so much love on the part of God, and the recipient of so many blessings shall man,