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happy affections and purposes; from the household serenity of a satisfied conscience, and of a blameless life, it is forced abroad, to seek without success to slake its thirst for happiness in streets and taverns, in routs and riots. Sickly, pained, and languishing, it looks for health and ease in medicines which cannot reach the disease, and turns in vain for relief to sports and sounds, for which it has neither eye

nor ear.

But when the love of doing good has once gained dominion over the man, he is become reconciled to his Creator, and to all his commands. This ruling disposition, wholly excellent and lovely in itself, is of course seen to be lovely and excellent. The conscience smiles with approbation on all the dictates of the heart. The mind becomes at once assured of its own amiableness and worth; and, surveying the landscape within, beholds it formed of scenes exquisitely beautiful and desirable. The soul, barren and desolate before, is clothed, by the influence of the moral sun and the rain of heaven, with living verdure, and with blossoms and fruits of righteousness. All is pleasant, all is lovely to the eye. No tumult ruffles, no storm agitates. Peace soothes and hushes every disordered affection, and banishes every uneasy purpose; and serenity, like the summer evening, spreads a soft and mild lustre over the cheerful region. Possessed of new and real dignity, and assuming the character of a rational being, the man for the first time enjoys himself; and finds this enjoyment not only new, but noble and expansive; and, while it furnishes perpetually varied and exquisite good, it sweetens and enhances all other good. From his happiness within, the transition to that which he finds without, is easy and instinctive. Of one part of this, himself is the immediate parent. When he surveys the objects to whom he has communicated happiness, by relieving their distresses, or originating their enjoyments, the first thing which naturally strikes his attention is, that ther happiness is the work of his own hands. In the exalted character of a benefactor, a voluntary and virtuous benefactor, he surveys and approves himself, not with pride and self-righteousness, but with humble gratitude to God, for vouchsafing to raise him up to such exaltation and worth, and to make him a willing instrument in his hand of the good of his fellowcreatures.

In this character, the man who seeks happiness in gaining good has no share. A child of sense, a mere animal, his only business has been to taste and to swallow, while nobler and more active beings have been employed in producing the food on which he regales his appetite.

In this character of a common benefactor, the virtuous man is seen and acknowledged by others, as well as by himself. By all who see him he is approved, and by the wise and good he is beloved. Conscience owns his worth, virtue esteems and loves it, and the public testimony repeats and applauds it. To the world he is considered as, a blessing; and his memory survives the grave, fragrant and delightful to suc'ceeding generations.

In the mean time, those who are most unlike him in character pay an involuntary testimony to his worth. Whenever they seek esteem and commendation, they are obliged to profess his character, and to counterfeit his principles, to pretend to do good, and to seem to love the employment. In this conduct they unwillingly declare, that there is no honour and no worth, even in their view, beside that of which his character is formed.

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In addition to these things, he is daily conscious of the approbation of God; a privilege, a blessing, transcending all other blessings; a good which knows no bounds of degree or duration. The proofs given of his approbation to this character are such as leave no room for doubt or question. It is, he has declared it to be, his own character. 'GOD IS LOVE.' His law has demanded it, as the only article of obedience to himself. Love is the fulfilling of the law. To this character, as formed in the soul through the redemption of Christ, all his promises are made. In consequence of the existence of this character, sin is forgiven, the soul justified, and the man adopted into the divine family, as a child of God and an heir of eternal life. Of the approbation of God therefore he is secure. Think, I beseech you, of the nature of this enjoyment. Think of the character of him who approves. Think what it is to be approved by infinite wisdom. What a seal of worth, what a source of dignity, what a foundation of honour! How virtuous an ambition may be here gratified! What an immense capacity for happiness may here be filled!

Beyond the grave his excellence will find a complete re

ward. There all around him will be wise and good, and will joyfully feel and acknowledge, will esteem and applaud his worth. Of their esteem and love the testimonies will be sin- . cere, undisguised, unchanged, and eternal. There he will be acknowledged and welcomed as one of the virtuous and happy number who have voluntarily glorified God and befriended the universe, during their earthly pilgrimage, and who are destined to the same delightful employments and to the same glorious character for ever. His heavenly Father will also there testify his own divine approbation in an open, full, and perfect manner; will adorn him with every grace, remove from him every stain, and advance him through successive stages of excellence, which shall know no end.

It is the actual, and probably the necessary law of intelligent nature, that we love those to whom we do good, more than those who do good to us. Thus God loves his intelligent creatures incomparably more than they can love him. Thus the Saviour loved mankind far more intensely than his most faithful disciples ever loved him. Thus parents regard their children with a strength of affection unknown in children towards their parents. Thus friends love those whom they have befriended, more than those who have befriended them. Thus also in other, and probably in all, cases. According to this undeniable scheme of things, he who seeks his happiness in doing good, is bound to his fellow-creatures, and to the universe, and will be eternally bound, by far stronger and tenderer ties than can otherwise exist. He will contemplate every fellowcreature primarily as an object of his own beneficence; and, while he feels a parental, a godlike attachment to all, will enjoy a delight in their prosperity, not unjustly styled divine. This glorious disposition will make the happiness of every being his own, as parents make that of their children. Even in this world he will thus multiply enjoyment, in a manner unknown to all others; and in the world to come will, in a progress for ever increasing and enlarging, find the most pure and exquisite delight springing up in his bosom, wherever he dwells, and wherever he roves. His mind, a bright and polished mirror, will receive the light of the Sun of Righteousness, and of all the stars which adorn the heavenly firmament; and will, at the same time, warm and brighten within itself, and return the enlivening beams with undiminished lustre.

III. To do good is the only and perfect character of the ever blessed Jehovah.

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When God created the universe it is most evident that he could have no possible view in this great work, but to glorify himself in doing good to the creatures which he made. Whatever they were, and whatever they possessed, or could ever be or possess, must of course be derived from him alone. From them, therefore, he could receive nothing, but what he had given them. Accordingly, he is not worshipped as though he needed any thing; seeing he giveth unto all, life, and breath, and all things.' The whole system of his designs and conduct is a mere system of communicating good; and his whole character, as displayed in it, is exactly summed up by the psalmist in these few words; Thou art good, and dost good, and thy tender mercies are over all thy works.' The same character was anciently proclaimed by himself to Moses, on Mount Sinai, in that sublime and affecting annunciation; The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness and truth.' St. John has, in a still more comprehensive manner, declared his character in a single word; God is love. This peculiarly divine and glorious character was still more illustriously manifested by the Son of God, in the wonderful work of redemption. Infinitely rich' in all good himself, for our sakes he became poor, that we through him might become rich;' rich in holiness, rich in the happiness which it produces. We were fallen, condemned, and ruined; were poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, and in want of all things.' To do good to us, to redeem us from sin, and to rescue us from misery, he came to this world; and while he lived,' went about doing good' unto all men' as he had opportunity,' and ended his life on the cross, that we might live for ever.

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On the third day he arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. At the right hand of God the Father, while he sits on the throne of the universe, he makes perpetual intercession for the sinful, backsliding creatures whom he left behind, and with infinite benignity carries on the amazing work of redeeming love, in the world of glory. In that world it is his employment and delight to feed all his followers, and lead them to fountains of living waters; to enlighten them with wisdom, to improve them in virtue, to adorn them with

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strength and beauty, and to dignify them with immortal glory.

All these things have flowed, and will for ever flow, from his own love of doing good. Of them, he could not possibly stand in need. Of the stones' of the street, he could raise up children' and followers, beyond measure better, wiser, and nobler than they are, and in numbers incomprehensible. For him they can do nothing; for them he does all things.

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But God is infinitely blessed. This superior and unchangeable happiness of Jehovah springs entirely from this glorious disposition. As he can receive nothing, his happiness must lie wholly in the conscious enjoyment of his own excellence, which is formed of this disposition, and in the communication of good to his creatures.

If we would be happy like him, we must be disposed like him; must experience and exercise the same love of doing good, and must find our own supreme enjoyment in this exalted communication. Happiness grows out of the temper of the mind which enjoys. Its native soil is benevolence. When this is the temperature of the soul, it springs up spontaneously, and flourishes, and blossoms, and bears, with a rich and endless luxuriance, and with beauty supreme and transcendent; but when selfishness predominates, like an exotic in a sterile ground and a wintry climate, it withers, fades, and dies.

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In the mean time, God loves and blesses those whose disposition and conduct resemble his own. In giving this character to his children, he gives them the first of all blessings, the source of peace, dignity, and enjoyment within, and the means of relishing every pleasure from without. Thus, in the possession of this character, they have,' in the scriptural language; and therefore, to them,' (in other respects,) shall be' largely given.' Their internal excellence and enjoyment shall be perpetually improved, and their external happiness in the like manner extended. As the mind becomes more beneficent, more pure, more active in doing good, all the sources of its felicity will multiply around it; its consciousness of being like its Father and Redeemer will expand and refine, virtuous beings will more clearly see, approve, and love its beauty and worth, and the smiles of infinite complacency will beam

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