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boliness, including his regard to moral virtue in general, and then his goodness, mercy, and veracity, in the order in which they are here mentioned.
Passages which express the purity or holiness of God in general, are exceedingly numerous, and many of them very emphatical ; as Lev. xix. 2. “ Ye shall be holy: “ for I the Lord your God am holy.” The angels, in the vision of Isaiah, vi, 3. are represented as crying one to another, “ Holy, “ holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole “ earth is full of his glory. Moses, in that remarkable song which he composed for the Ifraclites, in order that they might commit it to memory, says, Deut. xxxii. 3. “ I will ~ publish the name of the Lord : ascribe ye “ greatness unto our God. He is the rock, “ his work is perfect : for all his ways are “ judgment: a God of truth, and without “ iniquity, just and right is he.” Habbakuk, addressing himself to God, says, ch. i. 12. “ Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord “ my God, mine holy one? Thou art of “ purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst
“ not look on iniquity.” When David enumerates the particulars which constitute the character of the man who is most in favour with God, he draws a picture of the most distinguished moral virtue, Pf. xv. I. &c. “ Lord who shall abide in thy taberna“ cle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He “ that walketh uprightly, and worketh “ righteousness, and speaketh the truth in “ his heart, &c.” Lastly, the apostle James says, ch. i. 13. “Let no man say when he is “ tempted, I am tempted of God: for God “ cannot be tempted with evil, neither “ tempteth he any man.”
A thousand passages in the scriptures express the pleasure which God takes in good men, and the happiness which he reserves for them, Pf.cxlvii. 11.“ The Lord taketh “ pleasure in them that fear him, in those “ that hope in his mercy.” Pf. xxxvii. 23. 24 “ The steps of a good man are ordered by “the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. “ Though he fall, he shall not be utterly “cast down : for the Lord upholdeth him “ with his hand.” Pf. ciii. 13. Like as a “ father pitieth his children: fo the Lord “ pitieth them that fear him.” Pf. lxxxiv. II.“ For the Lord God is a fun and shield: “ the Lord will give grace and glory : no “ good thing will he with-hold from them “ that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, 6 blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” On the other hand, the wicked are always represented as the sole objects of the divine difpleafure and vengeance, as Il. xlviii. 22. and lvii. “ 21. There is no peace, saith my God, to the “ wicked.” And all the judgments which the divine being is represented as interposing to inflict, are always faid to have been on the account of wickedness only, as in the case of our first parents, the inhabitants of the old world, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites, and many others.
Whereas the favour of the heathen gods was supposed to be gained by the performance of certain rites and ceremonies, while moral virtue was seldom thought to be of any use for that purpose ; the contrary is exprefsed, in the strongest terms, with respect to the true God; and admonitions of this kind
are repeated again and again in the books of scripture. David, confessing his fins before God, says, Pf. li. 16. “ Thou desirest not “ facrifice, else would I give it: thou “ delightest not in burnt offering. The “ facrifices of God are a broken fpirit: a “ broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou “wilt not despise.” One of the finest passages in the sacred writings to this purpose is Il.i. 13. &c. “ Hear the word of the Lord, “ ye rulers of Sodom, give ear unto the law “ of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To “what purpose is the multitude of your “ facrifices unto me?' faith the Lord: I am “ full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the “ fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the "blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of “he goats. When ye come to appear before “me, who hath required this at your hand, “to tread my courts : Bring no more vain “ oblations, incense is an abomination unto “me, the new-moons and fabbaths, the “ calling of assemblies I cannot away with, “it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. “ Your new moons, and your appointed "feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble
“ unto me, I am weary to bear them. And “ when ye spread forth your hands, I will “ hide mine eyes from you: yea, when “ ye make many prayers, I will not hear : “ your hands are full of blood. Wash ye, “ make you clean, put away the evil of your “ doings from before mine eyes, cease to “ do evil, learn to do well, seek judgment, “ relieve the oppreffed, judge the fatherless, “ plead for the widow. Come now and let “ us reason together, faith the Lord: though “ your fins be as scarlet, they shall be as “ white as snow; though they be red “ like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The fame sentiment is also admirably expressed in Micah vi. 6. &c. “ Wherewith shall I “come before the Lord, and bow myself “ before the high God? shall I come before “ him with burnt offerings, with calves of a “ year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with “ thousands of rams, or with ten thousands “ of rivers of oil ? shall I give my first “ born for my transgression, the fruit of “ my body for the fin of my soul ? He “ hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; " and what doth the Lord require of thee,