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TION OF HIMSELF WHICH HE HATH MADE
love of goodness, harmony, and order, friendship and support in our weakin the works of God and in his ness and afflictions, prepare us to creatures, leads us to love him. entertain the love of God.
3. Orur natural desire and need of II. But GOD HATH IN THE REVELAlove and support prepare us to entertain the love of God. To communi- BY HIS SON, POURED OUT THE EXCEEDcate our pleasures and to give sub- ING ABUNDANCE OF HIS LOVE, AND HATH stance to our enjoyment by means of CALLED US BY THE WORKING OF MIRAsociety--to seek for those who are of CLES OF MERCY TO LOVE HIM. the same mind and desires with our- “ He that loveth not, knoweth not selves; this is human. God alone is God, for God is love." Herein is the all sufficient in himself, yet is re- love of God manifested, in that he vealed to us as delighting in the friend- sent his Son to be the propitiation ship of the holy. Thus doth he con- for our sins. Here is the spring in descend to instruct us. Thus we read the Christian's heart of that purifying that the delight of eternal wisdom affection which searches the ground was with the sons of men !
of the heart, does not suffer transBut where is solitude so full of gression, under any form, to take up peace, so reconciled to our social its abode in it, and makes our duty nature, as when contemplation feels the meat and drink of the soul, its no hunger, nor is sensible of any life and health and joy. thirst, but of that after God. How For if this truth be but presented frequent and exalted a pleasure did to him who knows, and feels, and laDavid find from bis meditation in the ments his own unworthiness, how divine call ! All the day long it shall he fail of love, of self indignawas the theme of his thoughts: the tion, and of astonishment, at the affairs of state, the government of his mercy which thus spared him, thus kingdom might indeed employ, but sent down the Son of God to be it was this only that refreshed his made man, that he might plead for mind.
us with strong crying and groans And to God do all our weakness, to him whom we had despised, the all our disappointments, all our dan- Father of mercies, the Almighty God, gers lead us back, however unwilling. whom neither his glory nor his lovingThen the sleeper awakes and calls kindness had preserved from our negupon God. Then the proud man hum- lectful disobedience and unreasonbles bimself, and when the world for-able disregard ? sakes him, knows that God hath pity To be a Christian a man must love yet, and is never wearied. Then the that God who thus forgives -- that man of pleasure becomes a penitent, Saviour who by his life, his agony, and renounces the vanities that had and death, thus powerfully delivers deluded-him, flying henceforth to the from death to life. Let us reflect, merciful kindness of God to supply then, let us wonder and adore. We his thirst from purer fountains, and to have brought before us the greatest, heal his wounds by.more sincere, more the most marvellous of the works of lasting consolation than this world God. When his Son was sent forth can afford.
to make reconciliation for our tres . Thus do our natural desires of passes, the last and greatest proof of knowledge and truth, our natural ad- the divine power and love was let down miration of goodness, and need of from heaven.. “ Herein is love," saith
the Holy Ghost, “not that we loved nature. For love apprehends the God, but that God loved us, and sent mystery of his nature. Love willingly his Son to be the propitiation," the bows to that glorious truth which way of pardon, “ for our sins.” pride put away from her with disdain.
When we behold the excellent Love reverences the Creator, and beauty of creation, when we search with simplicity pours forth her daily into the glorious works which we see, prayer, saying, “ Our Father which and the nature of which it is the art in heaven.” Love lies low at the delight of the mind to search out, we Redeemer's feet, and confesses to him are the more disposed to confess how her sins, and looks upon his merits boundless is the power of God! before every prayer that she utters,
But when our faith shews us the and every good work that she perSon of God made man, the eternal forms. Love confides herself in his wisdom veiled in human flesh, is this hands, and fears not to go down with too cold, or too low and poor a con- her to the chambers of the tomb. templation to fix the soul in wonder Lov ever beseecheth the inspiration and in praise?
of the Holy Spirit, and in every How must we have been lovedthought and act hath regard to his how must you, how must I, how must presence. Thus Love knoweth the the most wretched and obscure and nature of God, and is in a high demiserable being upon earth have been gree a partaker of it. loved by his Creator, that God should 2. Love knoweth his will, undernot keep back his only beloved son! standeth his laws ; not only that there It is a mystery received only by a is a law by which all should direct child-like faith ; but so received, there themselves, but that this law is a is nothing that can be compared with delight, honourable and full of peace ; it. It is called the wisdom of God, not a law only but a reward to him and unspeakable; and when God is that doeth it. For the love of God said to love the world, the Evangelist leads us to search into the excellent deems it enough to give this as the spirit of its purity, shews us how proof that God is love.
perfectly it tends to secure the hapTo this one act of Almighty love piness of all; proves to us how much four thousand years pointed. This we owe to every restraint it places one act eternity bore in solemn silence upon our desires, every check it in the mind of God! This act has maintains over our passions, every been the divine life of frail and weak trial of prudence and of self-possesand sorrowful men like ourselves, sion it appoints to our faith. through eighteen hundred years. The love of God thus seeth that This act is to dwell for ever and for God is love : that he is no arbitrary ever on the tongues of men and master, no severe exactor, but a angels, when time shall be no more. faithful parent, watchful over our
III. Let us now pass, my beloved good ; providently ensuring our brethren, to CONSIDER THE EFFECT of peace, when, for the moment, we THE LOVE OF GOD ON OUR HEARTS ; would imagine he seeks only to les. HOW HE THAT LOVETH GOD KNOWETH sen our pleasure, to break our spirits, HIM AND MORE FULLY, MORE HAPPILY and to 'tempt our impatience. FROM DAY TO DAY. And here we may The love of God makes the mediimmediately adore the kindness of tation of his law sacred to us, and the Him who makes known according to performance of it, natural. our love, his majesty and his very 3. The love of God knoweth the wisdom of his providence, that all is suffereth calumny and persecution of good that seemeth good to him. To soul and body. Love contentedly follow God in all his ways, and to honours him in silence and obscurity; confess them all worthy of a good for he seeth, and it is enough. For and faithful Creator, is a knowledge God is love. that Reason alone cannot attain unto, So every day increases the knowbut only Faith ; and not faith of itself, ledge of God, unfolds his naturebut only by love. For it is the love Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; knows of God alone that satisfies us, that as the excellent power of his law, and he is good, so he can only do that the goodness of his providence, and which is good. Love teacheth us to lives by this truth, that God is love! consider his very justice as a part of And now, my brethren, what is our his goodness; his love of goodness it affection toward God? Great as he is which prompts his displeasure is, unspeakably great, he wills not against transgressors. And how that we should serve him through a often, how continually, are those who slavish fear, or be contented to dwell love God reminded, that his provi- at a distance from him; he wills not dence is altogether gracious. For to shut us out from his presence, or whether we suffer, it is for our own that we should for ever abide apart good, or to be an example to lead from him. Our faith is to be the others to God, and to keep them from submission of the understanding with sinning. And patience turns all our love. Our duty, as it is various and sufferings to glory; for if we are often difficult, and as it is always at denied our wishes, is it not because hand calling us to action, requires a God knoweth that he can do better constant, a prompt, and a powerful for us than our wisdom or our self- principle -- that principle we have regard can desire? But love doubts seen to be Love. not: “ Hath he given us his own dear And to this end we have seen that Son? He will, then-he only can do with our heart we are to believe, and us good.
to obey. The merciful forgiveness Love will not suffer us to think of our sins through the sufferings and evil of him, but only of ourselves, death of our most blessed Saviour, is and our degenerate and weak nature. to be as the dew upon our souls, Love asketh not to pry into the morning and evening, that we may secrets of his government, any more be fruitful and abound in all goodthan the bodily eye dares to hold ness to the praise of his name who communion with the searching bright- loved us and gave himself for us ! ness of the sun. Love is assured that Talk we of religion, and yet forget God is love. Therefore doth she our redemption ? It is unchristian fear no tidings of ill, for God cannot ignorance ; it is a worthless offering, be moved ; and she hideth herself when we present any thing to God, under his wing till all the darkness not hallowed by the name of his of life, all the tyranny of wrong, be beloved Son. Nor can we love God overpast. For the end of all things perfectly till we love the Son who shall vindicate the glory of that bath redeemed us. Power, in whom she confideth, and Nothing but the love of God can shall manifest to every creature the restore us to that high purity of the righteousness of his ways.
affections and will to which we must Therefore doth love endure all be brought before we can see the things, for God is with her. Love kingdom of God. In this respect
the wisest of men are but children. ness of our indolence, and proud naThey have all severed from the truth, ture is soonest opposed. Otherwise, however well they may be acquainted it would be as general to enter eagerly with its fitness and beauty. All are upon religion with alacrity as it is liable to be deceived; all are inter- now to take up a lukewarm show of ested judges of their own motives ; religion, yet it remains true that hapall are ready to stop short at that piness and innocence and the love of heavenly state to which it hath pleased our blessed Father and Lord dwell God to call them.
together. Receiving these truths, be But let the love of Christ, their ye men in understanding, whilst as Saviour, open their hearts to the ex- children ye love God in order to tent of his claims upon their service, know him. and all this self-satisfaction will be Seek not to exercise your underbrought low; this danger of self- standing but with a spiritual mind, esteem will be taken away, and love a bias rather of humility than of cuwill convince us that every day must riosity. Seek to know by meditation advance our steps in the paths of upon all the works of God, how great heavenly wisdom, every day must his care for you. Learn by the cross add zeal and freshness to our will, of Christ, how he loveth you Read and build us up more firmly on the in every thing that God permits or revealed word of God, and godlike doth, that he is the same good God, love to men.
making all things work together for Cruel and hard-hearted is the spirit good. of the world that separates men from Let your youththus contemplate their Creator, and sinners from their him. Then wisdom shall temper only Saviour. Dead and appalling is your thoughts with prudence; your that spirit which places the duties appetites and wills shall cheerfully we owe to heaven, to ourselves, and yield to God, and you be early formed to each other, on utility and decorum to that pure knowledge of him which only; which represents the love of will make you alike honorable, and God as a something unattainable. preserve you alike secure in prosPitiful and miserable is our nature, perity and in adversity. By the love when trusting, in fact, to fortune and of God you may glorify him, whether to itself, it has no union to the Di- in the enjoyments or in the affections vine will and Providence through of life-in health, or on the bed of love to the Author and Giver of every death. Only let this be the ground good and perfect gift. Yet this filial of your heart -- let this be your spirit, the very strength and pecu- highest wisdom, and your sweetest liarity of true religion, the very means content; that God is love, and is known by which it enables us to fulfil its effectually by love. precepts, is that to which the sinful
a Funeral Sermon,
DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. BLUNT,
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF W. WILBER PORCE, ESQ., AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH,
CHELSEA, ON SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 4, 1833.
2 Kings, ii. 12.-" And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of
Israel, and the horseman thereof! And he saw him no more.”
The departure of a man of God must | ance, every instance of success is at all times, and under all circum- declared in the revealed word of stances, afford matter of deep and God, to have been the result of Eliprayerful reflection to the survivors : jah's prayers. At his effectual ferthe departure of a prophet, and of vent prayer the rains of heaven were such a prophet as Elijah, must have intercepted for the astonishing period been, at the time of its occurrence, of three years and six months; and one of the most striking events in the at the prayer of this same righteous history of the Israel of God. In man the heavens gave rain, and the himself he might be almost said to earth brought forth her fruit: at his have combined the offices of a pro- prayer the widow's barrel of meal phet, a priest, a king, and a con- wasted not, neither did the cruse of queror; and this although he has oil fail : at his prayer the false pronever put on the priestly ephod, or phets of Baal were disgraced and worn the kingly diadem, or drawn discomfited ; the armies of the aliens the conqueror's sword.
were utterly destroyed; the bodies And, brethren, whence was this? of kings were given to the dogs; fire How came it that a wbole nation was came down from heaven to destroy thus deeply indebted to one of whom the enemies of God; and even the the apostle declares that he was “a very, dead were brought to life again. man subject to like passions as we He was pre-eminently a
man of are.” The cause was this; not merely prayer; and so deeply indebted was that he was miraculously endowed the whole nation to the prayers of with the superior gifts and graces of Elijah, that, when he was miraculously a prophet, but that, as he himself de- received to his divine inheritance, his clares, he was very jealous for the beloved companion broke forth into Lord God of Hosts." He bent all the the apostrophe of the text. “ My energies of his supernaturally en- father, my father, the chariot of dowed mind to this one all-important Israel, and the horseman thereof!" subject; and while he devoted him- intending by this remarkable expresself to the service of his Creator, he sion to imply, that the real safeguard might have said with the apostle, “I of Israel was not her thousand chagive myself unto prayer.” This was riots of iron, that the true cavalry of the great secret of his abundant use- Israel were not her horsemen; but fulness, and unexampled success : that both were to be found in one prayer was his all-prevailing weapon prayerful and one devoted man of throughout his long and remarkable God. life. Almost every incident of import- The words of the text, and the in