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trines is to promote “ peace on earth, “ good will towards men.” However, therefore, men of the best intentions may be led, from different views and conceptions of things, to differ in opinion about points of faith or modes of worship, they must all agree in approving and applauding that amiable spirit of philanthropy on which the gospel is founded, and every friend to mankind must be a friend to the generous and affectionate principles which it inculcates. . !
Accordingly. we find, that in the first and purest ages of the church of Christ, his disciples were so distinguished from the rest of the world by the uninterrupted harmony and affection which prevailed amongst them, and by their kindness to the poor and distressed, as to extort even from the mouth of prejudiced heathenism that reluctant, but undeniable, testimony of their superior benevolence-See, how these Christians love one another! :'3
Should the same spirit of harmony no longer prevail in the world; should the
various sects and parties into which the Christian church is now divided, and that bitterness and animosity which too often subsist among them, excite in us a sad · and very contrary reflection; let us drop a tear of compassion over the weakness of human nature," which, by blending its own perverse passions with the pure doctrines of the gospel, has inverted the prophetic description of the kingdom of the Messiah, and turned the ploughshares and pruning-hooks of peace into the swords and spears of war and contention.".
But whilst we deplore, and sure I am that every sincere Christian will join in deploring, that' our “ Jerusalem is no --"longer at unity in itself,” let us not be insensible to the blessings we enjoy from that charitable regard to our fellowcreatures, which still continues to breathe the genuine spirit of the gospel, and is ever ready, with healing in its 'wings, to alleviate every species of human distress. Nor will it be deemed, I hope, the language of flattery, or of a contracted national partiality, to say, that, in this respect, we may, justly challenge a distinguished pre-eminence to our own age and country; which, by the many and recent charitable institutions established in almost every part of the kingdom, have exhibited the most illustrious examples of humanity and Christian benevolence. And happy is it for us, amidst the dark cloud of horror which surrounds us on every side*, that we are able to derive one ray of consolation from the great abounding of these virtues; that we can presume humbly to hope that our attention to the cries of our distressed brethren may gain us a longer space for repentance, by staying back the hand of an offended God from such a nation as this, which is, in all other respects, so ripe for divine yengeance.
It is therefore with an honest confidence, and with cheerful forebodings of success, that the Preacher addresses himself to his audience upon occasions like
the present; when he knows that the far greater part of it are zealously disposed to promote the good work which it is his province to recommend; and when he cannot suppose that there is even one person presenti, who is an enemy, Inay, who is not a friend, to that cause of the widow and the fatherless, Pifor which he stands here this day a willing, though imperfect, advocate:. ' :
,' .:. :. :. :..:.:.. 5. Convinced, therefore, of your spon
taneous good-will and propension to this "labour of love, I shall pass over many arguments, addressed to the hopes and fears of mankind, which might be used on this occasion, and confine myself principally to the consideration of that more noble and ingenuous argument suggested in the words of the text, that charity to 1 the poor iso á mecessary consequence of the love of God: :: 66. Whoso hath this o world's good, and seeth his brother Tosi have need, and shutteth up his bowels - % of compassion from him, how dwelleth
the love of God in him?"9:01 at each ei si o'i
ofru IS VOL. IV. G .
That we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our souls, is a truth which no man can either deny or be ignorant of, who acknowledges his existence. For, when we acknowledge God as our Creator, we virtually acknowdedge that all we are or have, all we enjoy or hope for, is owing to the free and unmerited bounty of this infinite and allgracious Being; the clear confequence of which must be, that every possible return of gratitude and affection is due from us to this our kindest friend and greatest benefactor. The duty, therefore, of loving God can admit of no doubt. The only question upon this point can be, in what -mode we shall best express that love?
For, as holy Job said of old, “ How can f“ man be profitable unto God?”: Or Chow is it possible that he should receive any thing at our hands, who is in himself completely happy and for eyer blessed?
al The first and most hatural idea which presents itself to a mind, solicitous to express its love "to God, his that of earnestly endeavouring to be like him. For it is JOT