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this account we are sometimes commanded to " serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with " trembling.” Pr. ii. 11. and at other times to " serve him with gladness," Pf. c. 2. Upon the whole, it means a perfect attachment of soul to this greatest and best of beings, so as to have no will but his, and to respect no interest or authority whatever in comparison with his.

Our Lord, quoting from the law of Moses, says, that “ the first and greatest commandment is, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy “ heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy « mind, Matt. xxii. 37 ; and we are exhorted by him, Luke xii. 4. " Be not afraid of them that " kill the body, and after that, have no more that " they can do. But I will forewarn you whom

you ct shall fear: fear him, who after he hath killed, « hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto

you, fear him.” Upon this principle, the apostles Peter and John fay, with confidence, to the chief priests and rulers of the Jews, Acts iv. 19. “ Whether it be right in the fight of God to “ hearken unto you, more than unto God, judge

" ye.

This habitual regard to God, and entire confidence in him, is also represented as the best fupport of the mind under all the difficulties and trials of life. David says, Pf. xvi. 8. “ I have fet “ the Lord always before me: because he is at my Vol. II.


" right right hand, I shall not be moved.” The prophet Isaiah, exciting to confidence in (jod, says, ch. xxvi. 3.

“ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee." Solomon also gives this excellent advice, Prov. iii. 5. &c. " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and « lean not unto thine own understanding. In all " thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct " thy paths:" and the apostle Peter encourages christians, in time of trial, to “ caft their care “ upon God, who careth for them.” 1 Pet. v. 7.

From a firm persuasion that every thing is under the direction of a wise and good providence, we find in the scriptures, such expressions of hope, joy, and even exultation, in the most calamitous and trying scenes, as heathens could have no idea of; because they had no principles from which such sentiments and language could possibly flow. The calm acquiescence of Job under a most afflictive dispensation of divine providence, has been mentioned already. When Eli heard a message from God by Samuel, the import of which was the greatest calamity that could befal his family, he replied, 1 Sam. jii. 18. 66 It is the Lord : let him “ do what seemeth him good.” The prophet Habakkuk gives us a most admirable description, not merely of the acquiescence, but of the chearfulness with which afflictive providences should be borne, ch. iji. 17 “ Although the fig-tree shall not

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« bloffom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the « labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall “ yield no meat; the flocks shall be cut off from “ fold, and there shall be no herd in the.Stalls : " Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the

God of my falvation." . David gives the general ground of this satisfaction and confidence in the most obscure scenes of providence, when he says, Pf. xcvii. I. &c. “ The Lord reigneth, let the $6 earth rejoice : let the multitude of illes be glad 66 thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about “ him: righteousness and judgment are the habi66 tation of his throne."

On the foundation of this firm perfuafion of the favour of God to the righteous, and the certainty of the reward which he referves for them, our Lord encourages his followers to the most chearful bearing of persecution for conscience fake, Matt. V. 10. &c.

“ Blessed are they who are perfecuted “ for righteoufnefs' fake: for theirs is the kingdom « of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile “ you, and persecute you, and shall say all “ manner of evil against you, falsely, for my “ sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for “ great is your reward in heaven: for so perfecuted w they the prophets who were before you.” Our Lord took the most effectual method to inculcate an entire submission to the will of God, by directK 2


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vi. 10.

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ing it to be the subject of our daily prayers, Matt.

“ Thy will be done on earth, as it is in “ heaven;" and he exhibited an example of this entire submission in a scene of the greatest distress to which it is probable that human nature was ever subjected, I mean in his agony in the garden, when “ his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even "punto death;” when yet he prayed, saying, Matt. xxvi. 39. “O my father, if it be possible, let “ this cup pass from me ; nevertheless, not as I “ will, but as thou wilt.” And again, in his sea cond prayer on that occasion, v. 42.

Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, “ except I drink it, thy will be done.” Lastly, the apostle James makes use of exhortations exactly similar to those of our Saviour in the case of persecution, James in 2. 12. “ My brethren, " count it all joy when ye fall into divers temp66 tations. Blessed is the man that endureth temp66 tation : for when he is tried he shall receive the o crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to " them that love him.” And the apostle Peter, on the same occasion, says, 1 Pet. iii. 14. “ suffer for righteousness fake, happy are ye: 66 and be not afraid of their terror, neither be " troubled.”

The propriety of praying to God is far from being satisfactorily proved from the light of nature, and much less can the obligation of it as a moral duty,


66 If ye

be strictly demonstrated upon those principles. Had the practice appeared ever so desirable, the humble and the diffident might have thought it too presumptuous, as much as others would have thought it unnecessary. It is, therefore, with peouliar satisfaction, that, in the scriptures, we find all the indigent and dependent race of mankind en. couraged in the freest and most constant access to God by prayer. And notwithstanding the infinite distance that subfifts between the divine being as our creator, and us as his creatures, in the whole of the scripture history, he appears in the condescending and amiable character of our Father, as ready to attend to our wants, as he is able to supply them; being to us, in reality, what our occasions require him to be; insomuch, that though he is represented as knowing every thing that we can tell him, even the thoughts of our hearts; yet, because our nature is such, that we cannot keep up that constant regard to him, in the whole of our conduct, which our own improvement and happiness require, without a free and familiar intercourse with him, such as we maintain with our earthly governors and parents (our attachment to whom is greatly strengthened, by the genuine and natural expressions of it) he has been pleased not only to permit, but absolutely to require that intercourse; expecting that we should both make acknowledgments to him


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