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henfively. But as they exift in his nature, they unite; and as they are exercised in his government, they co-operate. His power is directed by wisdom, and his wisdom is combined with goodnefs. His goodness confults the happiness of his creatures, but in ways confiftent with justice. He never injures one of his creatures to promote the intereft of another, or to increase the happinefs of a multitude. To many he gives more than they could claim; but from none does he withhold the good, to which they are entitled. He never perverts his juftice, violates his promife, or departs from the settled laws of his moral gov. ernment in prejudice to fome, or in partial favour to others. He inflicts punishment on irreclaimable offenders; but never lays on them more than is right. And in punishing these, he has kind and benevolent ends towards his fubjects in general. The mifery to which the incorrigible are doomed in the future world is doubtless intended for the greater happiness of his moral fyftem. In the fevereft difpenfations of his providence in this world, goodness operates, and happiness is promoted. The wicked are afflicted, that they may awake to repentance, and escape the mifery of the world to come. The godly are chaftifed for their profit, that they may be made partakers of God's holinefs in a larger measure. As many as he loves, he rebukes and chaftens, that they may be zealous and repent.

No one fingle attribute, if taken by itself, would be glorious. The glory of his character confifts in the union of them all. Power without wisdom would be blind cafual force. Wisdom without juftice and goodness would be artifice and craft. Juftice without goodness would be rigour and feverity. Goodness without justice would be tame

nefs. But all these attributes united form a complete, an amiable, a glorious character. This character is the beauty of holiness-the beauty of the Lord, which angels admire, which faints love to contemplate, and in which they will ever rejoice.

It was the defire of the Pfalmift, that he might dwell in the house of the Lord, to behold his beauty, to fee his power and glory, and to enquire at his temple.

In this union of all perfections, God appears to be a worthy object of prayer and praife, of hope and love, of submission and obedience. On him we depend for all that we want, and to him we may go with all our requests. We are indebted to him for all that we enjoy, and to him we fhould offer the facrifice of praife continually. His commands, like his nature, are holy, juft and good, requiring nothing, but what tends to happinefs, and forbidding nothing, but what tends to mifery; and to them we may fafely yield an implicit and unreserved obedience. His eye beholds us in all our dangers; his mercy pities us in all our afflictions; his prefence furrounds us wherever we dwell; and in him we may confidently trust in all our fears.

How happy is the good man, interested in the favour of fuch a being? Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous. Let all the upright in heart fhout for joy. No evil fhall eventually happen to the just; no real good will be withheld from them, who walk uprightly.

But let finners tremble before him. The God who is able to fave, is able alfo to deftroy. He who is merciful, is alfo holy. He who loves the righteous, is angry with the wicked. He who forgives the penitent, will punish the bold tranf

greffors. Let the guilty confider their danger, and confider alfo their hope. Let them hear the voice, and accept the call of mercy, left justice arreft them, and there be none to deliver.

Some may perhaps imagine, that God's character would be more glorious, if no punishment were denounced against the ungodly, but happinefs enfured to all.

But would his kingdom appear more honorable now, if there were in it nothing but vice? Or would heaven feem a more excellent place, if they who love and practise vice were admitted into it? Does not God appear more amiable as a holy being, than in an oppofite character? If no punishment were threatened to finners, would not wickedness more abound among men, and fewer be fit to enter into that world, where nothing enters that defiles?

If moral impurity be inconfiftent with human felicity, and with the glory of God's kingdom, then the threatenings denounced against the finally impenitent, and the judgments executed now on a guilty world, are wife and juft; for they display the beauty of God's character, and conduce to the general happiness of his moral fubjects. Do you think, that if God's character were all goodness and mercy, without holiness to reject, or justice to condemn the finner, or truth to execute his threatenings, it would be more lovely and beautiful? You greatly err. Its whole beauty would be blotted out, like the beauty of the rainbow, if but a fingle colour remained.

Who are they, that wish for a God all mercy, without holinefs and truth? They are the fame, who wish for a life all fin, without repentance and virtue. It is corruption of heart and consciousness of guilt, which make men with to

place God's whole glory in mercy to the exclufion of every other attribute. other attribute. But let God be true, though man be condemned as a finner."

3. The rainbow around God's throne is an emblem of the grace of the gofpel difpenfation.

The bow was anciently a fign, that God would often fend fhowers to refresh the earth, but would no more fend floods to drown the world. The appearance of it in heaven denotes, that the throne of God is a throne of grace. Such the apostle calls it. "Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

When God brought in a flood on the world of the ungodly, he faved the family of righteous Noah. It hence appears, that he knows how to deliver the godly of temptation, and how to referve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished.

Though the waters of Noah will never return to cover the earth, yet judgments of different kinds are still executed on guilty nations, and a day is appointed in which the world fhall be judg ed in righteousness, and retribution made to every man according to his works. In the mean time, God has placed us under a difpenfation of grace, which offers pardon to the penitent, the holy fpirit to to the humble, and eternal life to them, who patiently feek it. He exhibits himself on a throne with an emblem of mercy to invite us to him, and encourage our reliance upon him. Thither we may go in the name of Jefus the mediator; there we may confefs before him our guilt and corruption, and may fupplicate his pardoning mercy and fanctifying grace; there we may plead our impotence and mifery, and his allfufficiency, and boundless goodness; there we may fill our



mouths with arguments drawn from his love in fending his fon to be our Saviour-from the facrifice which this Saviour has offered, and the interceffion which he is still making in heaven-from the promises contained in his word, the mercy he has fhewn to others, the calls he has fent to us, and the defires he has awakened in us. We may go to him under our doubts and fears, and pray for light to guide us and strength to fupport us. We may go to him under our temptations and dangers, and feek grace for our fuccour and defence. We may go to him in seasons of affliction, and tell him all our pains and forrows, and may plead his promifes to the afflicted, and the confolation given to his children in trials like ours.

How delightful must be a view of this throne to humble, and believing fouls? They behold it, not as a throne of judgment furrounded with lightenings and flaming fwords to punifh the guilty, but as a throne of grace, encompaffed with the foft and charming colours of the rainbow, which betoken mercy to pardon the guilty, help the impotent, comfort the afflicted, fuccour the tempted, and fave the humble. There is nothing to terrify and affright them from it; but every thing to invite and allure them to it.

Yea, even finners, awakened to a sense of guilt, may there fee hope of deliverance from the wrath to come. Thither they may refort, and lay hold on offered pardon. From this nothing will ex clude them but their own impenitence. Let them turn to God, and, however great is their guilt, he will have mercy on them, and abundantly pardon them. But if they hold faft their iniquities and refufe to return, foon the throne of mercy will to them be a throne of judgment; the rainbow will disappear from their eyes, and an horri

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