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theme is calculated to inspire? Compare it with another song of the choir of angels and of saints: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”. Rev. iv. 11. No one will imagine this ascription of praise to be more glowing and fervid than the exalted theme demands. Are then the operations of God's universal providence a less copious or a less glorious theme? Are they not commensurate, in extent of space, with the remotest worlds; and commensurate, in extent of time, with the whole duration of created things? When, in the view of the blessed spirits encircling Jehovah's throne, the book of his purposes is open, 'how can they read without adoring admiration, or celebrate, without transports of delight, the history of mercies dispensed, promises fulfilled, mysteries unfolded, and enemies subdued ? If such be the feelings of those who dwell above, may not some kindred emotions of joy and exultation pervade the hearts of Christians on earth? Let us rejoice that our world is one of the regions comprehended in the universal agency of Him whose every attribute claims our admiring love, whose every operation demands our adoring praise.
The doctrine of Divine providence delights the heart of the believer in Christ,
2. By the assurance, that all events shall be subservient to the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom.
When no power in earth or heaven was found equal to the mighty attempt to open the volume of the Divine decrees, or to superintend their execution, behold, He who was slain for us, advances, and takes the book out of the right hand of Him who sits on the throne, breaks open each successive seal, presides over the fulfilment of each irreversible purpose, and receives, as to him most justly due, the united and rapturous acclamations of those who constitute an encompassing cloud of witnesses, and who sing a new song, saying, “ Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Rev. v. 9. Is it not then a thought most delightful to the minds of the redeemed on earth, as well as in heaven, that amid all the changes affecting the nations of this world, and all the events which involve the destinies of empires, the Saviour reigns supreme; that his august title is “ King of kings, and Lord of Lords," Rev. xix. 16; and that he will assuredly employ all the power and all the resources of the mediatoral crown, for the salvation of men, the prosperity of his church, and the subversion of the kingdom of the destroyer? While courts and cabinets are intent only on schemes of territorial or of commercial aggrandizement, he is controlling all events, so as to render them subservient to his own purposes of grace and mercy. Why then is it, that our favoured country has
attained an eminence so distinguished, and an empire so extensive? Why is it, that her ships have opened an intercourse with all the nations of the earth? Is it not that she may exert a glorious instrumentality, in extending the conquests of the cross, and advancing the kingdom of the Redeemer? And are not the enterprises, the transactions, and the successes of her missionaries opening to us, even already, a source of hallowed joy, and encouraging us to expect, ere long, the dawn of that blest day, when a shout in heaven shall proclaim that.“ the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God, and of his Christ?" Rev. xi. 15.
The doctrine of Divine providence delights the mind of the Christian,
3. By the assurance, that the superintending care of his Father in heaven extends to his personal concerns, and will cause all events to co-operate in the promotion of his welfare,
The view which we have taken of the agency of God in all the productions and all the processes of nature, has a tendency to prepare our minds to conceive aright of that superintendence, which directs our most minute concerns. What occurrence is there too minute, to exert some influence either on the health of our bodies, or the energies of our minds, or the development of our character? And what event, which affects our own disposition or enjoyment, may not produce some impression, or exert some influence on the circumstances or the happiness of others ? Is
there, among the tribes of animated existence, a single bird whose life is not by him sustained, whose cessation of being is not by him determined? Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke xii. 6, 7. If you are reconciled to God by the death of his Son, “ all things are yours, whether life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." i Cor. iii. 21-23. 66 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom. viii. 28. Think, my Christian friends, of any particular event in the history of your past life, whether of a pleasurable or of a painful character. If you insulate that event, and consider it as unconnected with those occurrences by which it was preceded, and those by which it was followed, it would be too much to assert, that it was productive of actual good. But it occurred when the mind was in a certain state of susceptiblity, from the influence of prior and existing circumstances, and it therefore produced a desirable impression. It was the oc-. casion of a new state of feeling; and another event then occurred, exactly adapted to act upon the mind, when under the influence of the feeling thus induced. A series of occurrences has been connected with a series of
impressions. These are constituting so many links of the chain which extends from the cradle to the grave. The events and incidents of life take place in a continuity of succession; and are as admirably adjusted to each other, as are the various parts of a complicated and well constructed machine. They are so arranged as to be co-operating for the accomplishment of the greatest good. Now can you conceive of any representations or assurances more consolatory than these? We live in a world distinguished by perpetual alternations of joy and of sorrow, of pleasure and of pain. We are subject to changes in the state of our health, in the state of our affairs, and in the state of our endeared connexions. Many of these appear adverse to our happiness; how soothing then, and how delightful is it to be assured, that they are positively for our good! What confidence then should we feel! what gratitude should we cherish! what resignation should we display! what serenity should we enjoy!
But, be it remembered, this happiness belongs to persons of a specified class and character, “ All things work together for good to them that love God.” Rom. viii. 28. Do we love God? Do we love the Saviour? If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of being interested in all this blessedness, he is.labouring under a most tremendous curse, and exposed to future and remediless woe! Oh, it is distressing beyond expression, to meet with individuals who, without the