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Job, “ and the inspiration of the Almighty “ giveth him understanding.” A quick apprehension, a retentive memory, a lively imagination, and other mental powers, these are favours which the great Author of our being dispenseth to whom, and in what measure, it pleaseth him ; and never was any man so arrogant as to pretend, that he bestowed thefe qualities upon himself.
It is no less evident, that the light of divine revelation is an additional blessing, which flows, immediately from the same fountain of beneficence; according to that grateful acknowledgement of the Psalmist, “ He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his sta« tutes and his judgements unto Israel : He “ hath not dealt so with any nation.” And we must be sensible, that it is purely owing to “ the tender mercy of our God, that the “ day-spring from on high hath visited us, “ to give light to us, whose fathers fat in “ darkness and in the shadow of death, to so guide our feet into the way of peace.”.
Nay, we are taught, that the virtue and : efficacy of this external light must be wholly attributed to the blessing of God. This is
plainly and strongly asserted at the 6th and 7th verses of the preceding chapter : “ I " have planted, Apollos watered; but God “ gave the increase. So then, neither is he $6 that planteth any thing, neither he that #6 watereth ; but God that giveth the in- : “ crease.”— “ It pleased God,” faith our Apostle, speaking of himfelf, 'Gal. i. 15. ' “ who separated me from my mother's “ womb, and called me by his grace, to “ reveal his Son in me.” And in another part of his writings, “ By the grace of God “ I am what I am.” Nor did these express fions of humility take their rise from the peculiar circumstances of his own conver. sion; for he applies the same principle to the Christians at Corinth, and urgeth it as an argument against every degree of boasting or self-attribution, 1 Cor. i. 26. &c." “ For ye see your calling, brethren, how " that not many wise men after the flesh, « not many mighty, not many noble, are « called. But God hath chosen the foolish “ things of the world, to confound the « wise; and God hath chosen the weak ll things of the world to confound the : . T 4
“ things which are mighty ; and base things “ of the world, and things which are despi. “ fed, hath God chofen, yea, and things “ which are not, to bring to nought things
“ that are: that no flesh should glory in his I « presence.” And then adds, “ But of him
« are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is “ made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, “ and fanctification, and redemption: that, " according as it is written, He that glorieth, “ let him glory in the Lord.”
Were it necessary to descend to other particulars that might be named, it would be easy to show, that all our advantages, of what kind foever, whether they belong to the body or outward estate, are equally derived from God, and dependent upon him, Hear what God said to Mofes, Exod. iv. 11, « Who hath made man's mouth? or whọ “ maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the feeing, “ or blind? have not I the Lord?” How sublime, and how just, were the sentiments which Hannah expressed ! i Sam. ii. 3. &c, “ Talk no more so exceeding proudly, and " let not arrogancy proceed out of your « mouth : for the Lord is a God of know
“ ledge, and by him actions are weighed.“ The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He s bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth “ up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh “ rich: he bringeth low, and liftech up. " He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, " and lifteth up the beggar from the dung“ hill, to set them among princes, and to s make them inherit the throne of glory: “ for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, 66 and he, hath set the world upon them.” And with what humble, but elevated devotion did David, in the height of his prosperity, ascribe all that he possessed to the free bounty of God, when he blessed the Lord, and said before all the congregation of the children of Israel, “ Thine, O Lord, is the şa greatness, and the power, and the glory, $6 and the victory, and the majesty : for all ** that is in the heaven, and in the earth, is
thine ; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and “ thou art exalted as head above all. Both “ riches and honour come of thee, and thou “ reignest over all; and in thine hand is
power and might, and in thine hand it is ps to make great, and to give strength unto
« all. Now therefore, our God, we thank is thee, and praise thy glorious name. Bue' se who am I, and what is my people, that s we should be able to offer so willingly afs ter this fort? for all things come of thee,
and of thine own have we given thee, “ O Lord our God, all this store that we ,* have prepared to build thee an house for so thy name, cometh of thine hand, and is “ all thine own."
I might quote many other passages to the fame purpose ; but you have heard enough to satisfy you that I am supported by the highest authority when I say, that all the blessings we possess are the gifts of God, the effects of his free and unmerited liberality.
This doctrine, as' I observed in the entrance, hath none of the charms of novelty to recommend it. But is it on that account less needful to be insisted upon? Most afsuredly it is not. I believe we shall find, upon inquiry, that the most obvious truths are universally the least regarded, and therefore have most need to be frequently brought in view, that men may be constrained to