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mation his character as a counsellor has been held by the christian publick. His talent at composing differences was almost peculiar to himself. He has, more than once, when called to act as mediator, in the heat of controversy, extinguished the flame of animosity and discord, and dropped upon the conflicting parties the mantle of kindness and benignity.
It would be a grateful employment, did time permit, to dwell upon many other features of Doctor Lathrop's character, but I must leave to your own recollection, to fill up the imperfect outline which has been presented. We do not pretend that he was free from the infirmities of human nature, or hold him up to you as a model of christian perfection; but for intellectual greatness, for the most amiable and kind affections, for exemplary prudence and enlightened, consistent piety, we believe that few men have sustained a more exalted character. Multitudes, who have only heard of the splendour of his virtues, will contemplate, in his death, the extinction of one of the brightest luminaries of the church; while those, who have been blessed with his instructions and example, who have revered him as a pastor and loved hina as a father, will delight to embalm his memory in the most grateful and tender recollections.
The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked
for the day of evil.
The first clause in the text is similar to many other
passages, which we meet with in scripture. “God hath created all things for his pleasure.”—“He worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will."-" He does whatsoever he pleases-and does it for his name's sake."
Such expressions cannot be understood as importing, that God in his works aims to increase his felicity or gloriousness; or to make himself more happy, or more excellent, than he is in his nature. As he is an infinite, eternal, independent being, and pos sesses all perfections, he cannot be more happy, or more glorious, than he is in himself. “ With him is no variableness or shadow of turning." But, as we learn from scripture, one end which God intends in his works, is to manifest to intelligent creatures his own existence and perfectness, that they may know him, believe in him, honor and adore him; and he has made intelligent creatures, that they might behold him in his works, render due honor to his name, and be happy in his favor.
There has been some dispute in the world concerning God's supreme and ultimate end in his works. But perhaps the subject is too deep for us. “Who can by searching find out God? Who can find out the Almighty unto perfection ?". If we cannot comprehend an infinite being, how shall we reach the remotest end, search the profoundest depth, and climb to the loftiest height of his designs ? “They are higher than heaven; what can we do? Deeper than hell; what can we know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.”
In our speculations on this subject, we can go no further than the admiring angels go, in their song of praise which St. John has recorded. Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure,” for thine own will," they were created.” We can go no further than the inspired writers go. They say, “God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he pleased. He worketh according to the counsel of his will. Manifold are his works; in wisdom he hath made them all. How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out.”
But though we cannot comprehend the works of God, or say they were made solely or supremely for this or that purpose, yet there are various uses to which we see them adapted, and for these uses we know they were designed. 6 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work. The earth is full of his riches; all his works praise him." As they manifest his wisdom, power and beneficence, so it his will that we attend to the manifestations which he makes of himself in them, and exercise toward him correspondent regards. Though we cannot affirm that this or that was the sole or ultimate end of all creation, yet we know that God made rational creatures to serve him, discovers to them his character, that they may love and fear him; bestows on them his goodness, that they may imiitate and trust him; calls them to himself, that they may enjoy him.
The words under consideration admit another construction, which seems to convey
- The Lord hath disposed and adjusted every thing to itself; or to the end for which it was designed."