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tensively informed in regard to the manifold subjects of divine revelation. In proportion to the extent and propriety of our investigations into the numerous and important truths which God has revealed, so shall we be qualified to render to his name, that glory which is due. Consequently, then, if we do not make suitable exertions, and improve all the means granted us for the enlarging of our conceptions in relation to the divine works, we are guilty of robbing God of his declarative glory. Some, who profess Christianity, seem to be content with the mere consciousness, that they have a soul and body; and imagine it does not concern them to inquire particularly about them, so as to understand the human system, and the offices of the faculties of the soul. Butsuch a sentiment is indeed unbecoming a heathen. Professed infidels ought to be ashamed to behold professing Christians, satisfied with scanty and vague views of so many important subjects, presented to them in the divine word. Such conduct too much resembles that of the most brutish and stupid sinner, who would consider the highest attainments of religion to consist in the mere belief of a God, a heaven, and a hell.
To overlook the amazing scene of Divine intelligence, as exhibited in the human system, or to consider it as beneath our notice, marks a weak and undiscriminating mind, if it be not a characteristick of impiety. The man, who disregards the visible displays of infinite Wisdom, or who neglects to investigate them when opportunity offers, acts as if he considered himself already possessed of a sufficient portion of intelligence, and stood in no need of such sensible assistances to direct his conceptions of the Creator. Pride and false conceptions of the nature and design of true religion, frequently lie at the foun. dation of all that indifference and neglect, with which the visible works of God are treated, by those who make pretensions to a high degree of spiritual attainments. The truly pious man, will trace with wonder and delight, the footsteps of his Father and his God, wherever they appear in the variegated scene of creation around him, and will be filled with sorrow and contrition of heart, that amidst his excursions and solitary walks, he has so often disregarded the works of the Lord, and the operation of his hands.
These remarks are made, for the purpose of emulating professed Christians to expand their conceptions, and enable them to take large and comprehensive views of the perfections and the providence of the Almighty. It is much to be regretted that so many members of the Christian Church, are absolute strangers to such studies and contemplations; while the time and attention that might have been devoted to such exercises, have, in many cases, been usurped by the most grovelling affections, by foolish pursuits, and slanderous conversation. But shall the most trifling occurrences be deemed worthy of attention, and occupy much of our precious time, and shall the mighty acts of the Lord, and the visible wonders of his power and wisdom, be thrown completely into the shade? To survey with an eye of intelligence, the wide extended theatre of the Divine operations; to mark the agency of the eternal Mind in every object we behold, and in every movement within us and around us, are some of the noblest attainments of the rational soul; and, in conjunction with every other Christian study and acquirement, tend to make the man of God perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto every good work. By such studies we are, in some measure, assimilated to the principalities above, whose powers of intellect are ever employed in such investigations; and are gradually preparing for bearing a part in their immortal hymn, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. Thou art worthy to receive glory, and honour, and
for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.*
5th. This subject suggests the importance of daily preparation for death, and should awaken our attention to the vast concerns of immortality. Our bodies must return to the common mass of their original clay; and our souls enter the invisible world. And the voice of wisdom calls to us, to prepare for the change which is before us, and which
very near: Beings, accountable to God as we are, designed for immortality, shortly to be removed, and insecure of another day, should be making constant preparations for our departure and entrance upon another state of existence.
And in the view of human frailty, nothing can appear more reasonable than daily prayer. How does it become us to abound in ejaculations to the Framer and Preserver of our bodies, and the Father of our spirits ? Would a man who believed this day to be his last, neglect to call upon God? Would he go forth into the business and company of the world without directing a thought, or addressing a petition to him? And indeed no man knows on any day, but that it may be his last. Every one, then, on each morning, ought to commend himself to God's protection, through the day, to walk in his fear; and at evening should not dare retire to rest, till he confess his sins, acknowledge the manifold benefits of the day, and invoke the Divine blessing through the night. Every thing around us, and all the circumstances of our being, call upon us to pray without ceasing. We have the sentence of death in ourselves. Our frame declares its own frailty, and predicts its own dissolution. From our own selves we are taught the most interesting lessons, and derive the most impressive exhortations. We are fearfully made.
* This part of the discourse is chiefly selected from the Christian Philosopher.
If we hearken not to the solemn language of our own frail bodies, to the precepts of weakness and pain, of sickness and decay, what admonitions would command our attention, and impress our minds? How unaccountable is the stupidity of mortals! They complain of infirmities, and groan under pains; but do not realize that they must die, must pass to another world, and there be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body. And how easy for that Power which made our wonderful frame, to cause its dissolution. The air and food essential to life, may become the means of death. When in our full strength, we are receiving the richest nourishment and stimulous to promote vigour and activity, these may only serve to feed and render fatal some fever, and render our bodies richer food for worms. Innumerable unseen dangers surround us; and our whole frame is liable to the attack and arrest of death. Notwithstanding all our circumspection to prevent diseases, and our most vigilant exertions to promote health, we die; unless the Lord continually watch and defend all the springs of life. The king of terrours has thousands of avenues to enter our clayey tabernacle, and myriads at his command continually armed with the weapons of death. Moreover, nothing but Omnipotence can secure us one moment from his fatal arrest, or prevent any one of his legions from discharging some of his deadly instruments which they hold continually levelled at our hearts. We are constantly as dependent on God for the continuance of life, as we were for our first breath. Then may our great concern be to prepare for death, and for a glorious immortality.
6th. If we are wonderfully made in regard to our present frame, we may infer, that the bodies of the righteous in the resurrection will be incomparably glorious. When they shall be raised, they will be so much changed in their constitution, as to wear, in various respects, an entirely new character. They will be incorruptible immortal bodies, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption; and this mortal, immortality. As they will serve God day and night in his temple, so they will be raised in power, and endued with faculties suited to the never ceasing employments and enjoyments of the heavenly world. Moreover, at the resurrection they will be arrayed in glory and beauty. The Saviour will change their vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his glorious body. When the Archangel shall sound his trump, in the twinkling of an eye the earth will heave; tombs disclose; and myriads of spiritually arrayed forms, bright as the sun, arise and ascend to heaven. Are believers often affected in view of their frail, perishable bodies ? What consolation! How sublime, how delightful the doctrine of the resurrection! The future glory of these animal frames, when changed into spiritual bodies, will exceed the utmost conceptions of human imagination. They will be exalted, adorned, and enraptured as suitable mansions for glorified spirits. Though our mortal frames are a subject of interesting contemplation, yet how inferiour, compared to their future incorruptible, immortal, and spiritual attributes. The constitution, arrangement, and qualities of glorified bodies, will doubtless be truly delightsome, astonishing, and inconceivably glorious. Amen.