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can repose on any earthly protector is extremely imperfect. Man, in his highest glory, is but a reed floating on the stream of time, and forced to follow every new direction of the current.
But God is the rock of ages. All time is equally in his hands. Intervening accidents cannot embarrass him; nor any unforeseen obstacle retard the performance of his most distant promise. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day. There is no vicissitude in the human state in which good men cannot take sanctuary with him as a sure and abiding friend; the safe conductor of their pilgrimage here, as well as the eternal rest of their souls hereafter. All their patrons may desert them, and all their friends may die; but the Lord still lives, who is their rock ; and the most high God, who is their Redeemer. He hath promised that he will not leave them when they are old, nor forsake them when their strength faileth ; and that even when their hearts shall faint, and their flesh fail, he will be the strength of their heart, and their portion for ever. His immutability is not only the ground of trust in him during their own abode on earth, but gives them the satisfaction of looking forward to the same wise and good administration as continued to the end of time. When departing
hence, and bidding adieu to life, with all its changeful scenes, they can with comfort and peace leave their family, their friends, and their dearest concerns, in the hands of that God who reigneth for ever, and whose counter nance shall always behold the upright with the same complacency. My days are like a shadow that declineth, and I am withered like the grass. But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance to all generations. The children of thy servants shall continue ; and their seed shall be established before thee. *
Such are the benefits which good men derive from meditating on God, as without variableness or shadow of turning. It inspires them with sentiments of devout, humble and grateful adoration. It points out to them the unvarying tenor of conduct which they ought to hold; checks their fickleness and inconstancy; and, amidst all distresses and fears, affords them comfort. The immutability of God is the surest basis on which their hopes can be built. It is indeed the pillar on which the whole universe rests.On such serious and solemn meditations let our thoughts often dwell, in order to correct
Psalm cii. 11, 12, 28.
that folly and levity which are so apt to take possession of the human heart. And if our minds be overawed, and even depressed with so high a view of the divine nature, let them be relieved by the reflection, that to this unchangeable God we are permitted to look up,
up, through a gracious Mediator, who, though possessed of divine perfection, is not unconscious of human distress and frailty.
ON THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST.
(Preached at the Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.)
HEBREWS, iv. 15.
We have not an high priest which cannot be
touched with the feelings of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
When we compare the counsels of Providence with the plans of men, we find a like difference obtain, as in the works of nature compared with those of art. The works of art may, at first view, appear the most finished and beautiful ; but when the eye is assisted to pry into their contexture, the nicest, workmanship is discerned to be rough and blemished. Whereas the works of nature
gain by the most accurate examination; and those, which on a superficial survey appear defective or rude, the more intimately they are inspected, discover the more exact construction and consummate beauty. In the same manner, the systems of worldly policy, though at first they seem plausible and profound, soon betray, in their
progress, rowness of the human understanding; while those dispensations of Providence, which appear to furnish objections either against the goodness or the wisdom of Heaven, have, upon a more extensive view of their consequences, frequently afforded the most striking proofs of both.
God manifested in the flesh, was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. It contradicted every prepossession which their confined ideas of religion and philosophy led them to entertain. If a superior Being was to interpose for the restoration of a degenerate world, they concluded that he would certainly appearin celestial majesty. But the thoughts of God are not as the thoughts of men. The divine wisdom saw it to be fit that the Saviour of mankind should in all things be made like unto those whom he came to save. By living as a man among men, he dispensed instruction in the most winning manner. He add