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fon, diforder and unhappiness can follow. If any circumftan ces could alter this fupreme right, it might be altogether abo lifhed; a right which may be impaired, may alfo be extinguifh. ed; and this would reduce heaven to earth; and in this fitua tion all would be hell.

The bleffed principle in our text places all things in their proper order, God as fupreme, and all intelligent creatures in their respective ftations, commanding and diffufing happiness to the utmost extenfion of creation. The actions of common, civil, and religious life, muft all originate from this principle. Thefe give life its value in a fpiritual and moral view, and raise the meanneft actions, even a cup of cold water, to an eternal reward. If any inferior principle leads our conduct, and habitually directs our actions, whether felf intereft, felf-love, or whatever elfe, our actions however fplendid and fhowy before the world, there is no virtue and goodness in them before God. They are mere tinfel and appearance, and have no reality in them.

There are three things which form actions for the glory of God. First, they must be lawful; fecondly, expedient and proper in time and place; thirdly, they must be impregnated with a fupreme refpect to the honor of God in their perfor mance. If actions be unlawful no goodness of intention can make them virtuous; if the motives be finifter, no perfection of external materiality, can give them value; all must be tinc tured with an habitual and predominant refpect to God, or be an abomination in the divine fight.

Thefe things being obferved in illuftration of the principle in the text, I proceed to offer fome things farther in confir mation and establishment of its truth.

First, this doctrine is confirmed by all thofe paffages of R

feripture, which declare that chriftians ought not to live to themselves. Their own individual interest and perfonal advantage, ought not to be their chief end in life, and the ultimate view in their actions. An aphorifm of the gospel is, "that believers fhould not live to themselves. None of us, "faith St. Paul, liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself;

for whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether "we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or "die, we are the Lord's." All know that to live to ourselves, is to act under the influence of a principle to please and serve ourselves, or our own corrupt propenfities and inclinations, to promote our own feparate intereft and happiness, afide from the honor of God. Whether our own individual happiness 'be present or future, in exclusion of a fupreme refpect to God, the issue will be the fame. If we are not to live, and eat and drink for ourselves, it must be for the glory of God. No other idea can enter into the heart of man, of living to God, but living with a view to glorify him.

Secondly, the doctrine of the text is illuftrated and estab lifhed by all thofe fcriptures which state it the duty of man to intend the glory of God as the highest end of all his actions. "If any man fpeak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if


any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God "giveth, that God in all things may be glorified, thro' Jefus "Chrift, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever." This shows us that the ultimate end of all our actions, ought to be the great Supreme.

Another thing of equal import is afferted with regard to Chriftians; "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a "price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, "which are God's." Remark here, chriftians are not their own, but God's, his right and property, not merely by creation but by redemption and fanctification. The inference is, we

are not our own; no member or faculty is to be difpofed of according to our carnal pleafure, but all we have and are must be confecrated to God. They are his under every view, and ought to be devoted to his glory in all refpects.

Thirdly, this doctrine is evinced from all thofe fcriptures which show that God ought to be loved above all creatures. The true reason of love is the excellency and amiableness of any object; and it ought to be ever proportioned to the meafure of worthinefs. Agreeable to this idea, the fcriptures teach us to love God with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourfelves. We are to love God to the utmost of our capacity, because he is infinitely amiable; but this is not due to ourselves nor to any other creature. To love ourselves more than God, is the fource of all evil; but to love God fupremely is the foundation of all virtue and goodness. In this confifts not only religion but happiness. All real happiness is acquired in fubferviency to the love, glory and majefty of God. It would be easy to fhew in a demonstrative manner, how the denial of fupreme love to God tends to the ruin of the divine character, and the fubverfion of his throne. For God to relinquish this requifition, would be to relinquish his honor and the glory of his name.

Fourthly, this doctrine is manifefted from the example of Jefus Chrift as Mediator. It was his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. He glorified him upon earth. The conduct of all the glorified faints in heaven, the testimony of all true faints in this world, y ea, the holy angels, cherubim and feraphim, unite in the affirmation of this doctrine. Thus fpeaks St. John, "Every creature which is in heaven and on "the earth, and under the earth, and fuch as are in the fea, "and all that are in them, heard I faying, bleffing and honor "and glory and power be unto him that fitteth upon the throne, "and unto the lamb forever and ever."

This doctrine is readily granted, but the inference from, and the improvement of it, is of the greatest importance.

First, it appears from this subject, that thofe actions in which the chief governing refpect of the heart is only to ourselves, our own interest and exclusive happiness, can have no true virtue or real goodness in them. To fuppofe a fubordinate respect to God, and a fupreme refpect to ourselves, is a fubversion of the very nature and order of things. This can imply no love to God at all, no regard for his glory, but is an expreffion of the higheft inftance of pride and contempt. Therefore, where a refpect to God in any actions is not the habitual and governing principle, there can be no moral goodness in them, and they can profit nothing. If God's glory must be the chief end of all our actions, and if the value of actions arife from refpect hereto, then all thofe deftitute of this refpect contain no virtue. There can be no virtue in actions where the effence and life of virtue is abfent. A fupreme refpect to God is the effential nature of virtue; wherefore, all actions deftitute of this, are not merely deftitute of virtue, but they are wicked and finful, being not fuch as God requires.

Secondly, it appears, there is no true goodness or holiness in the performances, prayers and duties of unconverted finners. Whatever difference there may be between them in other cir cumflances, there is none in this. The performance of one is as really destitute of virtue as another. The reafon is, there is no refpect of heart to the glory of Cod. Tho' our prayers may be as pompous and fhowy as the Pharifees, all will be nothing without divine love. Therefore there can be nothing in a finner's duties by which he can make himfelf better, or render himself more meet for the divine mercy. Hence you will always hear finners crying, "O! if I was not fo wicked, I "might hope for favor, but I am fo heinous a tranfgreffor, "grace can never be extended to me." And thus they are

continually worrying to make themfelves better, and fit themfelves for the reception of Chrift. But be affured, O finners, you will never be better by all your wailings, tears and cries, till you go to Jelus poor and miferable, wretched and naked as you are, until you become washed and cleanfed by his blood. Wait not for delufive impoffibilities; stand not in the vain expectation of making yourfelves better by your faftings, prayers and mortifications, but inftantly in all your corruptions lay hold on an offered faviour; flee from Sodom to Zoar-tarry not on the fulphurious plain--efcape to the mountain--look not behind you. Chrift never fays, make yourselves better and then come; but his language uniformly is, "Come unto "me and I will give you reft. Ho, every one that thirfteth, "come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without mo. "ney and without price."


Thirdly, we here learn that all acceptable duties in their very nature, involve in them true refpect and a fincere love to God. Make the tree good and the fruit will be good. Our prayers, in our appearance, pofture and words, fuppofe a ref. pest to God. You would think it ftrange to fee a perfon fet about to pray, and worship the God of Ifrael, and at the fame time declare he did not intend to fhow him any respect, or holy reverence. Such a declaration would even shock the depravity of man. Hence all prayers, public homage and religious performances, proceed upon the fuppofition of a respest and love to God. And where this is not their foundation they cannot meet with acceptance. "Whatfoever therefore ye "do, whether ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God."

Fourthly, it appears from this doctrine, that as there is no virtue in the doings of the wicked and impenitent, there can be no promifes of grace and falvation made to performances originating from an heart full of enmity and infincerity. The


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