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Thou hast said, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” O make all things new in my soul ; “ Create in me a clean heart; give me a new stock ; let me have new habits of grace, that I may live a new life, aim at new ends, act by a new rule, and be formed for new privileges; for now “ in Christ Jesus, that is, in this new testament dispensation, circumcision avails nothing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature:" either a new man, or no man in Christ. Lord, make me a new creature, that I may be a true Christian.
5. God created the human nature of Jesus Christ. He, he alone,is the image of the invisible God,” in a more peculiar manner than any man; “the first-born of every creature, “the beginning of the creation of God." The Holy Ghost formed the body of our Lord, in the womb of the virgin, and so divine
“ created a new thing in the earth, a woman, to compass a man;" a virgin conceiving. Thus Christ is the highest branch of all terrestrial beings, the chief of our kindred, higher than all the kings of the earth, he that unites heaven and earth in a blessed conjugal bond. O that my soul were related to him! Would to God I were of the royal family of heaven, a partaker of Christ, and anointed with that precious ointment that runs down from the mystical Aaron's head to the skirts of his garment! As Christians are so called from this sacred unction, let me feel the benefit of this holy oil: “ For both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.”+ And will the Son of God call me brother? And may I through him call God, Father? This is the height of my ambition, this is the highest title of honour, the finest escutcheon that ever was blazoned. May I “be among the first-fruits of his creatures,” by my new birth. Would to God, I were a branch of this a true vine," a member of his mystical“ body of his flesh and of his bones."
6. God created man and all things with a dependance upon himself, not to be absolute, independent, or self-sufficient beings. Because we are his offspring, therefore " in him we live, move, and have our being;" "he upholds all things by the word of his power :" | Father and Son are still working. I do as necessarily depend on God for my being and well-being, as the beams on the sun, as the streams on the fountains. God forbid, then, that I should forsake God, my Maker. Shall I be so foolish and unwise, as thus to requite the Lord that made me, bought
• Ezek. xi. 19. Xxxyi. 26. + Col. i. 15. Rev. iii. 14.
James i. 18. John xv. 2.
Eph. ii. 10.
2 Cor. v. 17. Psal. cxxxiii. 2. Acts xvii. 28.
Psal. li. 10.
Heb. ii. 11. Heb. i. 3.
me, and daily feeds me ? Shall I kick against him that holds me in his hand; or run away from him, who is my life and the length of my days ? Shall God nourish and bring me up, ånd shall now rebel against him ? Woe is me hat ever I have sinned against so great, so good a God, and bountiful benefactor ! "I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men ?"* Now will I seek reconciliation with my sovereign, because my poor territories are nourished by the King of heaven's country, Acts xii. 20. I will now cast down my arms, and rebel no more; I will ask of him every morsel of bread, every portion of raiment: for “every good gift, and every perfect gift, cometh down from the Father of lights." I will expect all from him, and ask his leave to use my lawful comforts. Away with pride and conceit of self-sufficiency, that make any mortal men say, “We are lords, we will come no more unto thee.” No, no, I will still go to God for all I want, and am sure I have daily wants; then let my trade with heaven be kept open
for 7. God created man and“ all things for himself,” Prov. xvi. 4; that is, for his own glory. It is true, God did not need his creatures, nor can any created being add to his essential glory; he is infinitely happy without us; but men must “ speak of the glorious honour of his majesty, and declare his greatness." All his works praise him passively and objectively; men, as men, speak of his glory actively and declaratively; but saints bless God spiritually and acceptably. O that as other creatures glorify God in their kind, so may my soul be, and speak, in a due and regular manner, for God's glory. Lord, help me to attain this great end. As all the streams come originally from the sea, and return back thither; so let all the lines of my life, thoughts, affections, and actions, return to their centre. There are many obligations on me to be thine; I am not my own, I am made by thee, and for thee; I am “ bought with a price," and therefore will glorify thee in body and soul, which are thine.t God forbid, that I should alienate any of thy goods to my proper use, and so commit sacrilege. In thy hand my breath is, and thine are all my ways; therefore thee will I glorify. Whether I eat, or drink, I will do all to thy glory. Of thee, and through thee, and to thee, are all things; " 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.”+
• John v. 17.
Isa. i. 3. Job vii. 20. + Jer. ii. 31. Psal. cxlv. 5, 6. Eccles. i. 7. I Cor. vi. 20.
Dan. v. 23. I Cor. x. 31. Roin. xi. 36. Rev. iv. 1).
8. God created man, that he might worship and adore him, and him alone. This is his due by virtue of the law of creation; even the devil is bound to it as a creature : “ Thou shalt
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." · But the due manner of worshipping God is by institution. O
that I could “serve the Lord with gladness,” and “ know that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." This relation to him, as my Creator, lays a great obligation on me to worship him; but I cannot worship acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, except I be in the relation of a child to a father. O make me a child of thine ; give me the spirit of adoption to cry, “ Abba, Father.” Teach me to worship thee in spirit and in truth. Help me to cry like a child, my father, and not turn away from thee. * I will own no other God, than that God who made heaven and earth; yea, the same God that made me. “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God." God forbid, I should fall down before the work of men's hands; God in Christ is the object of my worship; his glory is my end, together with the enjoyment of him; his word is my rule, and his Spirit, my assistant.
9. God made us, therefore we must daily, and especially at last, resign ourselves into his hands; whether we do or suffer, live or die.
This is that excellent use the apostle makes of this doctrine: 1 Pet. iv. 19, “ Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator," You must look to your state as well as acts; for it is not pleading the relation of creatures only, for such are devils, and there is “a people of no understanding ; therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.” Say not, he that made us will not consign us to destruction: can you think to serve Satan all your life, and be saved by God at death? With what confidence can sinners, when they have been the devil's drudges, commit themselves into God's hands ? But God's children may say, with comfort, as David, as our dear Redeemer, and as the protomartyr Stephen : “ Into thy hands I commit my spirit ;" + and God will bid it welcome. You may commit your body to the grave, as a safe repository, and your soul into the hands of him who redeemed it, and say with blessed Paul: “ I am not ashamed ; for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he
• Matt. iv. 10. Psalm c. 2, 3. Gal. iv. 6. John iv. 24. Jer. üi. 19.
is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day," 2 Tim. i. 12.
10. God created man, and therefore when you are sore op pressed, with inward or outward troubles, fly to him for relief. Thus did Job, chap. x. 9, “ Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay, and wilt thou bring me into dust again ?" as if he had said, Alas, Lord, thou knowest full well the materials I am made of, even weak and corruptible ingredients ; if thou handle me too hard, I shall faint under thy hand: “ Are not my days few ? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little." * Dost thou not pity them that fear thee? “ As a father pitieth his children, -50 wilt thou, for thou knowest our frame, and rememberest that we are dust." Why then, Lord, dost thou crush me under the severe hand of avenging justice? Is my strength the strength of stones ? is
flesh of brass? Wilt thou break a leaf driv. en to and fro ? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?t. O lighten thine hand a little from me ; give me some breathings, and intervals of mercy; but if thou lay one hand on me, put the other under me, to hold me up, and in due time to raise me.
11. God created all things good in their kind, therefore nothing is to be despised that God hath made; every thing is to be set in its proper place. At the close of every day, God saw that it was good, but the last day when he had made man, then it was very good ; t every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. God forbid, that I should despise any part of God's workmanship; he is to be admired in the least and most contemptible creature, as it is God's work, for his work is honourable and glorious. The least insect speaks much of God, as well as the glorious sun: God is great in great things, and not small in the least. || Every tree, leaf, stone, and blade of grass, declares God's glorious attributes; visible things speak the eternal power of the glorious, invisible God. I may and must spell God's name in all: I will abuse none, lest I make the creatures groan under the burden of my sin and guilt. God forbid that I should despise any of my fellow-creatures for their natural defects : “ Have we not all one Father ? hath not one God created us all?" Is not man, the humblest man, “the image and glory of God ?" Do not rich and poor meet together, and hath not God made both ? Let no man despise another for his defects, either in corporeal or intellectual endowments; for God might have made thee so. * Job x. 20. f Psal. ciii. 13, 14. Job xiii. 25. Gen. i. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21,31. || Magnus in magnis, nec parvus in minimis. & Mal. ii. 10. I Cor. xi. 7.
Stoics were wont to say, that it was better to be a fool in human shape, than wise in the form of a brute.
12. I shall add but one thing more, which is this :—that if God be our Creator, he can (if need be) effect glorious things for his church and children. He hath not spent all his power in the first works of creation, in making this stupendous fabric of heaven and earth: he that hath done this, can do more. The same almighty power that spake the word, and all things were produced out of the barren womb of non-entity, can also command deliverance for Jacob. “ By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth;” there needed no more than God's fiat for the producing of all created beings. This is that which has raised the hopes of God's fainting people, in the church's low, estate : Psalm lxxiv. 16, 17, “ The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and winter :"-therefore thou canst easily deliver thy church by thine own power, when there is no ground of hope from outward means or ordinary instruments. If God's people be in apparent danger in their dwellings, God can “ create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all
, the glory shall be a defence.” Nobody can injure God's children without his leave; for he “ created the smith that bloweth the coals,-yea, the waster to destroy.” None can lift up a hand or tool without him : “ I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil ; I the Lord do all these things.” If souls want peace, God saith, “ I create the fruit of the lips-peace." * If your mercy be all gone, he produce more ; for he is the Father of mercies. If your comforts be run out, he can create new; for he is “the God of all comfort." He is never at a loss; his mercies are “new every morning," renewed every moment. He that made the sea can command it to be dry; he that made fire, can forbid it to burn; he can make a whale to secure Jonah in a storm, and place him safe on dry land; he can cause lions to forbear their fierceness, that they shall not hurt his Daniels. O who would not acknowledge and serve such a God; see Isa. xliii. 12. Let all persons, especially the young, be sure of a covenant relation to him, and act faith in all cases upon him.
The fourth head consists of the reasons why persons must remember their Creator, or be seriously religious, in the days of their youth.
• Isa. v. 3. liv. 16. xlv. 7, 8. lvii. 19.