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not an idol, whether in himself or out of himself, whose life was not kept pure from the deadly error of believing evil to be good ?

This, however, is a difficulty most affecting a later stage of life than yours. A few years hence indeed, the idol may so cunningly seat itself in the Temple of God, and so invest itself with God's name and authority, as to try your spiritual discernment to the


utmost. But here, at your present time of life, it is not so. To you God is in His holy place, and into that place no idol ventures. To you the idols before which you bow down, are idols as confesged as were ever Moloch, or Dagon, or Remphan; not for one moment do you believe while serving them that you are serving God.

To you, then, the turning to God is a turning to Him in truth; in your case, faith would put you, without doubt, among God's people. And if you cannot now turn from what are idols beyond all doubt, nor resolve to serve the living and only God, may not the judgment on this your sin assume two apparently opposite forms, though they are one in their reality. Some who will not turn from their boy's idols now, will continue to follow man's idols hereafter; and will neither then nor now ever pretend to turn to God, or to belong to His people. But others may find their judgment to be of another sort; that as now they would not leave what they knew to be an idol, so at a later


period of life, when they would turn to God, they
may be deceived by an idol under his name; that
thus, whilst believing that they are serving Him,
they will, in fact, be idolaters no less than now:
hating truth and justice, and worshipping a lie in
truth's place; persecuting God's people, while they
think that they are doing God service; and this,
because they have neither known the Father nor
the Son, but have worshipped idols all their days,
wilfully and knowingly first, and afterwards by
that judgment of God which takes the power of
sight from those who had refused to use it.


November 1st, 1840.

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Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power ; for thou hast created all things ; and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

BEFORE we enter any farther into the consideration of these words, it will be proper to notice one expression in them, which may perhaps leave a false impression on some minds, from their comparing it with the words of another passage in Scripture. I mean the expression, “ for thy pleasure,” which, by a comparison with what is said of human fathers, in the 12th chapter of the Hebrews, that they " chasten their children after their own pleasure,” may at first seem to convey a notion somewhat at variance with the fatherly love of God. But it should be noticed that the expressions, though so nearly alike in our translation, are not so in the


original; and that what is translated in the text,
“ for thy pleasure,” would, according to the general
practice of our translators, be rather rendered,
“ because of thy will;" a difference which, strictly
speaking, indeed comes to nothing, but which,
notwithstanding, is of consequence; as in our lan-
guage respecting God, the impression conveyed to
our minds is of quite as much importance as the
actual correctness of the language itself, when
strictly inquired into.

The text then says, that “ because it was God's
will all things are and were created.” It means to
convey to us the notion of God's entire sovereignty,
but apart from any thing which in a man we should
call capricious and arbitrary. God's will is a will
of infinite justice, and wisdom, and goodness, and
can be no other, because it is the will of God.

“ Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things:" all things, visible and invisible. There is one Maker in the universe, even God, and all things else are His work. There is one Lord in the universe, even God, and all things else are His ministers; whether they be things with life or without life, whether they act by instinct or by will.

amongst these His ministers, --- that is, amongst created beings, the differences may be greater than we can estimate. Even within our

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own knowledge, who can measure the difference between a grain of sand and the sun of our system? or between the lowest creature that seems to form the link between the animal and vegetable world, and the mind of Solomon or of Paul ? But the differences may be, and indeed are, far greater than these; we do not know to what minuteness, to what humbleness God's creation may descend on the one hand, nor to what greatness it may arise on the other; we know not the nature of the smallest created atom, nor of the mightiest angel.

Still all these beings, so different, extending from things lower than we can conceive, up to things higher than our conceptions; all, from the highest angel to the feeblest atom, are yet, religiously speaking, all classed together, as though they were all equal. They are all creatures, and however different when compared with themselves, yet they seem actually to be all on one level, when contrasted with that infinite difference which exists between the highest creature and God. All then are servants, all are ministers; and there is one only Lord and Master of all, whom all may, and all must worship.

But this is a matter of Revelation. Man's natural tendency has been to worship creatures, or rather to worship many beings in an ascending order, some less powerful, others more so; till after

many steps, at the end of an almost infinite


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