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from humanity itself, and fo far from being made S E R M. good Chriftians by thefe principles, that they are hardly left to be men; "being blinded, and led by "the blind, they fall into the ditch" of the groffeft and fouleft immoralities; fuch as are plainly enough condemned by the light of nature, if there were no bible in the world.

Not but that we proteftants have our faults and our follies too, and thofe (GOD knows) too many and too visible; we poffefs more truth, but there is little peace among us; and yet God is as well and as often in fcripture called "the GoD of peace," as "the "Gos of truth." In this great light and liberty of the reformed religion, we are apt to be wanton, and to quarrel and fall out; we are full of heats and animofities, of fchifms and divifions," and the way of peace we have not known." God grant that at laft in this our day" (when it concerns us fo much) we may "know the things that belong

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to our peace, before they be hid from our eyes." You fee in what things the practice of religion mainly confifts, in our likeness to GOD, and refemblance of him in holiness and goodness; and without this we are utterly incapable of happiness: we cannot fee GOD, unless we be like him. The prefence of God can adminifter no pleasure, no felicity to us, till we be changed into his image; till we come to this temper, to hate fin, and delight in purity and holiness, we can have no delightful communion with the holy GOD; till our paffions be fubdued, and our fouls difpoffeft of thofe devilish and ungodlike qualities of hatred and malice, of revenge and impatience, and till we be endued with the fpirit of univerfal goodness and charity, we are not fit company for our heavenly Father; we are not qualified


SERM. to dwell with God, who is love, and dwells in love. CXXXI. So far as we are defective in thefe divine qualities and perfections, fo far we fall fhort of the temper of happiness.

There is a direct and eternal oppofition between the holy and good GOD, and the evil difpofitions of wicked men, and till this oppofition be removed, it is impoffible we should find any felicity in the enjoyment of God. Now the nature of GOD is fixt and unchangeable; Go» cannot recede from his own -perfection, and therefore we must quit our fins: thou canst not change GoD, therefore change thy felf, and rather think of putting off thy corrupt nature, which may be changed, than of altering the divine nature, "with whom is no variableness nor "shadow of turning." GOD condescended to take our nature upon him, to make us capable of happinefs; but if this will not do, he will not put off his own nature to make us happy.



The happiness of God.

1 TIM. i. 11. The bleffed GOD

The whole verfe runs thus,

According to the glorious gospel of the bleffed God, which was committed to my trust.

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INCE all men naturally defire happiness, and thirst after it; methinks we fhould all defire to know what it is, and where it is to be found, and



how it is to be attained by us, in that degree in which SERM, creatures are capable of it. What Job fays of wif dom, may be said alfo of happiness; "GOD under"ftandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the "place thereof." He only, who is perfectly poffeft of it himself, knows wherein it confifts, and what are the true ingredients of it.

So that to direct us in our fearch after happiness, the best way will be to contemplate and confider the divine nature, which is the perfect pattern and idea of happiness, the original fpring and fountain of all the felicity that creatures are capable of. And to that end, I have pitched upon thefe words, wherein the apostle attributes this perfection of bleffedness or happiness to GOD, "The bleffed GOD."

And though this be as effential a part as any other of that notion which mankind have of God from the light of nature, yet I no where find in all the new teftament, this attribute of happiness given to God, but only twice in this epiftle. 'Tis true indeed, the title of bleffednefs is frequently given both to GoD and CHRIST, but in another fenfe, and in a quite different notion as Mark xiv. 61. where the highprieft afks our SAVIOUR, "Art thou the CHRIST, "the Son of the bleffed, r soyle, of him that "is celebrated and praifed;" and 2 Cor. xi. 31. "The GOD and Father of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, "who is bleffed for evermore." So likewife, Rom. i. 25. "The Creator bleffed for evermore :" Which likewife is faid of CHRIST, Rom. ix. 5. "Of whom CHRIST came, who is over all, GoD "bleffed for evermore; that is, for ever to be

praifed and celebrated." But in all these texts the Greek word is sunoynès, which though we tranflate bleffed, yet it is a quite different notion from




SER M. the title of bleffednefs which is given to God in the text, where the word is not evλoynlès, but μaxápi, "the bleffed, or happy GOD;" and this title is not any where in all the new teftament (that I know of) given to GOD, but here in the text, and Chap. vi. v. 15. where our LORD JESUS CHRIST (who alfo is GoD) is called "the bleffed and the only potentate." And whether this title of "the "bleffed or the happy GOD," be here in the text given to God the Father, or to his eternal Son, our LORD JESUS CHRIST; is not fo much material to my prefent purpose to inquire. For, fuppofe it be CHRIST who is here called "the bleffed GoD ;" this however is certain, that blessedness or happiness is a title belonging to Gon, which is all that is neceffary for a foundation of my present discourse.

In fpeaking of this argument, I fhall do these three things.

I. Shew what we are to understand by the happinefs of GOD, and what are the effential ingredients of it.

II. That this title doth belong to God, and that the divine nature is perfectly bleffed and happy.

III. How far creatures are capable of happiness, and by what ways and means they may be made partakers of it and fhall then make fome inferences from my difcourfe upon this argument.

I. I will confider what we are to understand by the blessedness or happiness of GOD, and what are the effential ingredients of it. Now the notion of happiness taken at its highest pitch (as we must neceffarily do when we apply it to GoD) is no other than a fixt and immoveable ftate of contentment and fatiffaction, of pleasure and delight, refulting from the secure poffeffion, and enjoyment of all that is good



and defirable, that is, of all excellency and perfecti- SER M. on; fo that these following ingredients must make up a perfect state of happiness.

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1. Perfect knowledge, to understand what it is that constitutes happiness, and to know when one is really poffeft of it. For as he is not happy, who is fo only in imagination or a dream, without any real foundation in the thing; for he may be pleafed with his condition, and yet be far enough from being truly happy: So on the other hand, he that has all other neceffary ingredients of happiness, and only wants this, that he doth not think himself fo, cannot be happy. For this we often fee in the imperfect felicity of this world, that many men who have all the materials and circumstances of a worldly happiness about them, yet by the unfkilful management of the matter, and from a lightness and injudicioufnefs of mind, not knowing when they are well, they make an hard shift, even when they are in as good circumstances as it is almoft poffible for men to be in this world, to be very difcontented and miferable in their own opinions. But GoD perfectly knows both what makes happiness, and that he is poffeft of it.

2. To perfect happiness is likewife required a full power to do whatever conduceth to happiness, and likewife to check and controul whatever would be an hindrance and disturbance to it; and therefore no being is as happy as it can be, that is not all-fufficient, and hath not within its power and reach whatever is neceffary to an happy condition, and neceffary to fecure and continue that happiness against all attempts and accidents whatfoever.

3. There is wisdom alfo required to direct this power, and manage it in fuch a manner, as it may effectually conduce to this end; and this is very dif


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