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THANKSGIVING

SERMON, &c.

Psalm xlvii. 6. Sing Praises 'to God, fing Praises : Sing Praises unto

our King, fing Praises. HE title of this Psalm is-To the chief musi

cian, a Psalm for the sons of Korah : for,.

according to the exactly literal meaning of the original Hebrew names of office and characteristic distinctions or qualifications To the victorious, A fructuofe or practic Psalm of thanksgiving, for the sons of frost i.e. either to quicken a cold devotion; or rather (adapting it to the victorious progress of the Messiah's kingdom in every age and every country where christianity prevails; plainly signified by, OUR KING, in the words of my text) To the victorous God of Israel and King Messiah or Christ; a thanksgiving Plalm or divine song of praises, to be used by the fons of retora mation from antichriftian errors now frozen up from the influences of the flames of persecution by means of the wind of doctrine proceeding from what is named by antichristianism (at this time) the northren heresy

(as

[6 ] (as Christ was called a Nazarene, which signifies an heretic or separatist; and a Galilean, i.e. a revolutioner constantly struggling for freedom from the yoak of Jewish ceremonies and unwarrantable traditions.) This relormation, the felfish craft and sensual tyrannic power of the antichriftian party has attempted first to stifle, and aftewards by hellish falsehoods and violence to destroy ; in perswading weak minds to think, and compelling others to declare (contrary to their inward thoughts and the strongest conviction : under the penalty of being reputed Infidels and unfic for christian society, and sometimes of inquisitorial racks and tortures), that ignorance is the mother of devotion; that it is sufficient for salvation, to believe they know not what, and to perform the outward works of pennance, enjoyned by the priest, they know not why; without inward holiness of life or conformity of will to the laws of God, which are to be Spiritually understood, tho' publish'd to incarnatę man by typic representations and parabolic resemblances taken from the common occurrences of human-life incarnate. Yet St. Paul cells us ( 1 Cor. xiv. 14, 15); If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also : I will Ging with the spirit, and I will fing with the understanding also. And again, speaking of God ( 2 Cor. iii. 6.) who ale so hath made us able ministers of the new teftament, not of the letter, but of the spirit : for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Let us then, with the understanding, as well as becoming fervour of spirit ; sing praises to God, sing praises : sing praises unto our King, fing praises. Therefore,

1. In discoursing on these words ; I shall endeavour, thro' the divine aslistance, first to declare those attributes of God, with their connections and distinctions, that render him supremely worthy of the

highest

highest praises and adorations of his frec intelligente creatures in their upright state, .

11. To declare those attributes of Christ our King; that render him, under God, as to his human-nature in union with the divine, fupremely worthy of the highest praises due to his mediatorial character, from man incarnate regenerated or engaged in the regeneration process." • III. To enumerate some of those numberlefs mercies and acts of divine goodness to these nations; that loudly call for the highest strains of praise and thangsgiving to God and Christ our King, not in thought and words only, but also in beneficent actions, after the divine example of Christ-incar. nate, joining our labours with the divine wisdom manifested in the spiritual powers and the laws of God and Christ. given to us for the promotion of man's happiness both here and hereafter.

IV. And lastly shew, by what steps our excellent confticution has atcain’d to its present Perfection, and wherein that Perfection consists: as containing the highest motives for praise and thanksgiving from these nations in particular, and the very materials of them.

1. To begin then with the ist, part of this discourse. Those attribures of God thát render him supremely worthy of the highest praises and adoration ; cannot be better declared than by a practical exposition of the ift. part of the Athanasian Creed, received by our holy church, and agreeable to the best lights of reason and the whole tenor of scripture. '

The love of God and our neighbour is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. xiii. 1-8-10. Mat, xxii. 36-40] : For on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. And, if ye love me (faith Christ), keep my commandments (John xiv. 15). For this is the love of God (faith

St.

1.8j St. John, 1 John y. 3); that we keep his commandments. Therefore, salvation or the regeneration of the Divine life (loft by the fall of Man), which restores the image of God in the soul of man, and is taught in the law and the prophets, as exemplified by the life of Christ and explained in the gospels; depends on the love of God and our neighbour, which confifts in keeping the laws of God and of the society we live in subordinately to God's Commandments. . Hence, the Athanasian Creed, which contains the terms of salvation, must be a practical creed describing the moral character of an holy immortal or perfectly regenerate man form'd upon the plan of the divine original in the moral system of perfections in God himself, procura for us, thro' the mediation of Christ, by the help of God's holy-spirit enabling us to work out our salvation. This makes us perfect, as our father which is in heaven is perfect. c.. . „It is to be noted once for all ; that the metaphysical pature of the holy Trinity, is no farther consider'd in this and the other two. Creeds receiv'd by our holy Church, .than is necessary for the understanding the fyftem of moral perfections in the divine · life copied from the all-perfect nature of God our heavenly father, and for the rightly conceiving and using the means appointed to recover that divine life lost by the fall of man."

For absolute infinitude or boundless perfection applied to the metaphysical nature and powers of the mind [which is the only expression mancan properly ule, to point out the supreme excellence of the divine nature, peculiar to God, unattainable by man, and incommunicable even to the most exalted creature), is too mighty for the grasp of any mind or understanding less than absolutely infinite, 2. e. of any other than God himself. Relative or growing infinitude, i, e. boundless growth ; which

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