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the religion of a lukewarm man. On the contrary, zeal is a fire animating all the emotions of the piety of the man who has it, and giving them all the worth and weight of vehemence. But as the most noble exercises of religion are such as have God for their object, and as the virtue of virtues, or, as Jesus Christ expresses it, "the first and great commandment" is that of divine love, zeal is particularly taken (and this is the precise meaning of the word,) for loving God, not for a love limited and moderate, such as that which we ought to have for creatures, even creatures the most worthy of esteem, but a love boundless and beyond moderation, so to speak, like that of glorified spirits to the Supreme Intelligence, whose perfections have no limits, whose beauties are infinite.

The idea thus fixed, it is easy to comprehend, that a soul animated with zeal, cannot see without the deepest sorrow, the insults of fered by sinners to his God. What object is it that kindles flames of zeal in an ingenuous soul? It is the union of three attributes: an attribute of magnificence, an attribute of holiness, and an attribute of communication. This union can be found only in God, and for this reason God only is worthy of supreme love. Every being in whom any one of these three attributes is wanting, yea, any being in whora any degree is wanting, is not, cannot be an object of supreme love.

like his, with flames of divine zeal? Then you can finish the first part of my discourse, for you know by experience this disposition of mind, "my zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes because they keep not thy law."

Sinners, I do not mean such as sin through infirmity and surprise, the text does not speak of them, I mean such as sin openly, freely, and deliberately, these sinners attack the perfections of God, either his attributes of magnificence, or those of holiness, or those of communication, and sometimes all three together. They endeavour to disconcert the beautiful harmony of the divine perfections, and so to rob us of all we adore, the only worthy object of our esteem.

They attack the magnificence of God. Such are those madmen who employ all the depths of their erudition, all the acuteness of their genius, and all the fire of their fancy to obscure the eternity of the first cause, the infinity of his power, the infallibility of his wisdom, and every other perfection that makes a part of that complexure, or combination of excellences, which we call magnificence. Such, again, are those abominable characters, who supply the want of genius with the depravity of their hearts, and the blasphemies of their mouths, and who, not being able to attack him with specious reasons and plausible so phisms, endeavour to stir up his subjects to rebel, defying his power, and trying whether it be possible to deprive him of the empire of the world.

In vain would God possess attributes of charitable communication, if he did not possess attributes of magnificence. His attributes of communication would indeed inspire me with sentiments of gratitude: but what benefit should Some sinners attack the attributes of holiI derive from his inclination to make me happy, ness in the perfect God. Such are those deif he had not power sufficient to do so, and if testable men, who presume to tax him with he were not himself the happy God, that is, falsehood and deceit, who deny the truth of the origin, the source of all felicity, or, as an his promises, who accuse his laws of injusinspired writer speaks, "the parent of every tice, and his conduct of prevarication, who good and every perfect gift?" James i. 17. In would persuade us, that the reins of the unithis case he would reach a feeble hand to help verse would be held much more wisely by their me, he would shed unavailing tears over my impure hands than by those of the judge of all miseries, and I could not say to him, my su- the earth. preme "good is to draw near to thee; whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee," Ps. Ixxiii.

28. 25.

In vain would God possess attributes of holiness, if he did not possess attributes of communication. In this case he would indeed be an object of my admiration, but he could not be the ground of my hope. I should be struck with the contemplation of a virtue always pure, always firm, and always alike: but in regard to ine, it would be only an abstract and metaphysical virtue, which could have no influence over my happiness. Follow this reasoning in regard to the other attributes, and you will perceive that nothing but a union of these three can render an object supremely lovely; and as this union can be found only in God, it is God only who can be the object of zeal, or, what is the same thing, expressed in other words, God alone is worthy of supreme love.

As we make a progress in our meditation, and in proportion as we acquire a just notion of true zeal, we shall enter into the spirit and meaning of the words of our psalmist. Do you love God as he did? Does your heart burn

Some sinners attack the attributes of communication. Such, in the first instance, are those ungrateful persons, who, while they breathe only his air, and live only on his aliments, while only his earth bears, and only his sun illuminates them, while they neither live, nor move, nor have a being, but what they derive from him, while he opens to them the path to supreme happiness, I mean the road to faith and obedience, pretend that he is wanting in goodness, charge him with all the miseries into which they have the madness to plunge themselves, dare to accuse him with taking pleasure in tormenting his creatures, and in the sufferings of the unfortunate; who wish the goodness of the Supreme Being were regulated by their caprice, or rather by their madness, and will never consent to worship him as good, except he allows them with impunity to gratify their most absurd and guilty passions.

Observe too, people may be profane by action as well as by system and reasoning. If sinners attack the attributes of God directly, it is equally true, they make an indirect attack upon the same perfections.

Here I wish, my brethren, each of us had accustomed himself to derive his morality from evangelical sources, to hear the language of inspired writers, and to judge of his own actions, not by such flattering portraits as his own prejudices produce, but by the essential properties of morality as it is described in the word of God.

For example, what is a man who coolly puts himself under the protection of another man without taking any thought about the guardianship of God? He is a profane wretch, who declares war against God, and attacks his attributes of magnificence by attributing more power to the patron, under whose wing he creeps and thinks himself secure, than to that God who takes the title of King of kings.— What I say of confidence in a king, I affirm of confidence in all other creatures, whoever or whatever they be. On this principle the psalmist grounded this exhortation, put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish.' On this principle is this other declaration of a prophet founded, "cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." And it is on this principle that sacred history imputes so great a crime to Asa, because when he fell sick, and saw himself reduced to extremity, "he sought to the physicians, and not to the Lord."

What is a man who gives up his heart to idolize any particular object? What is a man who follows certain sympathies, a certain secret influence, certain charms omnipotent to him, because he chooses to yield to their omnipotence? He is a profane wretch, who declares war against God, and who attacks his attributes of communication; he is a man, who attests by his conduct that there is more pleasure in his union to his idol than there can be in communion with God; he is a man, who maintains by his actions that this creature to whom he gives himself up without reserve, merits more love, and knows how to return love with more delicacy and constancy than that God, who is the only model of perfect love; he is a man who resists this invitation of eternal wisdom, "my son, give me thine heart," and who disputes a truth, that ought to be considered as a first principle in a system of love, "in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore," Ps. xvi. 11.

Let us abridge this part of our discourse, and let us return to the chief end proposed. A sinner, who sins openly, freely, of set purpose, attacks the attributes of God, either his attributes of greatness, or his attributes of communication, or his attributes of holiness, sometimes all the three together. A good man, who sincerely loves God, can he look with indifference on such insults offered to the object of his love? And in which of the saints whom the inspired writers have proposed as examples to you, have you discovered this guilty indifference?

Behold Moses! He comes down from the holy mountain, he hears the acclamations of those madmen who were celebrating a foolish

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feast in honour of their idol, and he replies to Joshua, who thought it was a war shout," Ah! no, it is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of thern that cry for being overcome, but the noise of them that sing do I hear," Exod. xxxii. 18. Convinced by his own eyes, he trembles at the sight, breaks the tables of the law, on which God had engraven with his own adorable hand the clauses of the covenant which this people were now violating, he runs to the "gate of the camp," and cries, "who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me!" And when "all the sons of Levi gathered themselves unto him, he said unto them, put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate, throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour," ver. 26, 27. See Phinehas. He perceives Moses and Aaron weeping at the door of the tabernacle," because the people had forsaken the worship of God, and gone over to that of Baal-peor; touched with their grief he "rises up," quits the congregation, "takes a javelin in his hand" and stabs an Israelite (with the immodest Midianite,) who had enticed the people, into this abominable idolatry. Behold Elijah. "I am very jealous," says he, "for the Lord God of hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken his covenant, thrown down his altars, and slain his prophets with the sword," 1 Kings xix. 10, Remark St. Paul. "His spirit was stirred in him, to see a nation, in other respects the most learned and polite, rendering to "an unknown God" such homage as was due to none but the Most High, whose "glory the Heavens declare, and whose handy work the firmament showeth." Behold the royal prophet, "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them mine enemies," Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law." "Rivers of tears," tears of which my zeal for thy glory is the first cause.

II. Although the sinner be hateful as a sin ner, yet as an unhappy person he is an object of pity, and it is possible he may preclude future ills by repentance. As to love God with all the heart is the first and great commandment, so "the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Sin is a source of misery to a sinner, and it is impossible for a good man to see, without shedding tears of love and pity, the depths of wo into which people united to him by bonds of affection plunge themselves by their obstinacy in sin.

Every thing favours this subject. In regard to the present life, a man living according to laws of virtue is incomparably more happy than he who gives himself up to vice. So the Holy Spirit has declared, "godliness hath promise of the life that now is," 1 Tim. iv. 8. Though this general rule has some exceptions, yet they cannot regard the serenity of mind, the peace of conscience, the calm of the pas sions, the confidence of good men, their steadiness in the calamities of life, and their intrepidity at the approach of death. All these

advantages and many others, without which the most brilliant condition, and the most delicious life, are only a splendid slavery, and a source of grief, all these advantages, I say, are inseparable from piety. A charitable man cannot see, without deep affliction, objects of his tenderest love renounce such inestimable advantages, poison the pleasure of their own life, open an inexhaustible source of remorse, and prepare for themselves racks and tortures.

But, my brethren, these are only the least subjects of our present contemplation. We have other bitter reflections to make, and other tears to shed, and there is an exposition of charity more just, and at the same time more lamentable, of the words of my text, "Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law."

I am thinking of the eternal misery in which sinners involve themselves. We are united to sinners by ties of nature, by bonds of society, and by obligations of religion, and who can help trembling to think that persons round whom so many tendrils of affectionate ligaments twine, should be threatened with everlasting torments! Some people are so much struck with this thought, that they think, when we shall be in heaven all ideas of people related to us on earth will be effaced from our memory, that we shall entirely lose the power of remembering, that we shall not even know such as share celestial happiness with us, lest the idea of such as are deprived of it should diminish our pleasure, and imbitter our happiness. It would be easy, in my opinion to remove this difficulty, if it were necessary now. In heaven order, and order alone will be the foundation of our happiness; and if order condemns the persons we shall have most esteemed, our happiness will not be affected by their misery. We shall love only in God; we shall feel no attachment to any, who do not love God as we do: their cries will not move us, nor will their torments excite our compassion.

calamitous event compels us to flee to the aid of the unhappy object of our esteem, to pluck him from the jaws of destruction by reclaiming him from his errors with the force of exhortation and the power of example. To combat these sentiments is to oppose the intention of God; to tear these from our hearts is to disrobe ourselves of that charity, without which there is no religion.

Accordingly, the more a mind becomes perfect in the exercise of this virtue, the more it has of this kind of sensibility. Hence it was that St. Paul so sharply reproved the Corinthians, because they had not mourned on account of that incestuous person, who had disgraced their church. Hence it was that Moses, when he discovered that gross idolatry of which we just now spoke, gave himself up to the deepest sorrow, and said to the Lord, "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin! Yet now, forgive their sin, and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book." Hence it was that Jeremiah said to the Jews of his time, who were going captives into a foreign land, where they would be destitute of the comfort of religion, "give glory to God before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride, and mine eyes shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord's flock is carried away captive." Hence this declaration of Paul to the Philippians, "Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ." Hence it was that Jesus Christ, the chief model of charity, when he overlooked the unhappy Jerusalem, and saw the heavy judgments coming upon it, wept over it," saying, "O that thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."

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Here I venture to defy those of you, who glory in insensibility, to be insensible and void of feeling. No, nothing but the most confirmed inattention to futurity, nothing but the wretch

But while we are in this world, God would have us affected with the misery that threatens a sinner, that our own feelings may excite used habit we have formed of thinking of nothing to prevent it. You have sometimes admired one of the most marvellous phenomena of nature; nature has united us together by invisible bonds, it has formed our fibres in perfect unison with the fibres of our neighbour; we cannot see him exposed to violent pain without receiving a counter blow, an unvaried tone that sounds relief to him, and forces us to assist him. This is the work of that Creator, whose infinite goodness is seen in all his productions. He intends that these sentiments of commiseration in us should be so many magazines to supply what the temporal miseries of our neighbours require. So in regard to eternity, there is a harmony, and, if you will allow the expression, there is a unison of spirits. While we are in this world, an idea of the eternal destruction of a person we esteem suspends the pleasure, which a hope of salvation promised to ourselves would otherwise cause. It is the work of the Creator, whose goodness shines brighter in religion than in the works of nature. That horror, which is caused by a bare appearance, that the man we so tenderly love should be reserved for eternal torments, I say, the bare suspicion of such a

but the present world can hinder our being affected with subjects which made the deepest impressions on the soul of the psalmist. Consider them as he did, and you will be affected as he was. You hardest hearts, try your insensibility, and see whether you can resist such reflections as these! This friend, who is my counsel in difficulty, my support in trouble, my comfort in adversity; this friend, who constitutes the pleasure of my life, will be perhaps for ever excluded from that happiness in heaven, to which all my hopes and wishes tend: when I shall be in the society of angels, he will be in the company of devils: when he shall knock at the door of the bridegroom who opened to me, he will receive this answer, "Verily, I say unto you, I know you not." This catechumen, in whose mind I endeavoured to inculcate the truths of religion; a part of the men, whom I thought I had subdued to Jesus Christ; a great number of these hearers, whom I often told, that they would be my joy and crown in the day of the Lord (certainly "you are our joy and crown,") will perhaps be one day disowned by Jesus Christ in the face of heaven and earth.

This pastor, whom I considered as my guide in the way to heaven, this pastor will himself experience all the horrors of that state, of which he gave me such dreadful ideas. This husband to whom Providence united me, this husband whom I esteemed as part of myself, I shall perhaps one day consider as my most mortal foe, I shall acquiesce in his damnation, I shall praise God and say, "Hallelujah, power belongeth unto the Lord our God! True and righteous are his judgments! Hallelujah, the smoke of the torment" of him whose company once constituted my happiness, "shall rise up for ever and ever!" This child, in behalf of whom I feel I exhaust all that the power of love has of tenderness, this child whose least cry pierces my soul, and who feels no pain without my feeling a thousand times more for him, this child will be seized with horror, when he shall see coming in the clouds of heaven surrounded with holy angels that Jesus whose coming will overwhelm me with joy: this child will then seek refuge in dens, and caverns, and chasms, he will cry in agony of despair, "Mountains and rocks, fall on me and hide me from the wrath of the Lamb!" He will be loaded with chains of darkness, he will be a prey to the worm that never dies, and fuel for the fire that will never be quenched, and when Jesus Christ shall say to me in that great day, "Come, thou blessed of my Father," I shall hear this dreadful sentence denounced against this child, "depart, thou cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Too just a subject of grief! "Rivers of waters," tears of love and pity, "run down mine eyes: because they keep not thy law."

A good man, on the contrary, is happy in the company of another good man. What countrymen feel, when they meet in a foreign land where interests and customs, maxims and views, all different from those of the land of their nativity, resembles the pleasures believers experience when they associate in a world where they are only strangers and pilgrims. Accordingly, one of the most ardent wishes of our prophet was, to be always in company with people of this kind, "I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts," said he to God. In another place, "I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord." And again, "All my delight is in the excellent saints that are in the earth."

But how few of these saints did he find! Most of his misfortunes were brought on him by the very sinners whose depravity he deplores. They were the poison of his life, and them he always saw standing ready to persecute him, and to discharge against his person the impotent malice they had against that God whose servant he considered it as his glory to be.

Does our age differ in this respect from that of David? Are saints more numerous now than they were then? May a good man promise himself among you more approbation, more countenance and support, than the psalmist found?

This is an odious question, and our doubts may seem to you illiberal. Well, we will not press it. But if the bulk of you be saints, this country must be the most delicious part of the whole universe. A good man must be as happy as it is possible to be in this world. In these III. So earnestly do I desire to have your provinces, free by constitution, opulent by attention fixed on the objects just now men- trade, invincible by alliances, and perfectly safe tioned, that I shall hardly venture to finish the by the nature of their government from tyrants plan proposed, and to proceed to a third part and tyranny, if the number of saints be greater of this discourse. I wish you were so alarmed in these provinces than that of the wicked, it with the eternal misery that threatens to over- must be the most delicious of all residences in whelm your fellow-citizens and friends, your this world for a good man: if he stumbles, you husbands and children, and so employed to pre- will charitably save him from falling, if he errs, vent it, that you were become as it were in- you will patiently bear with him, and gently sensible to the temporal ills to which the ene-reclaim him; if he be oppressed, you will assist mies of God expose you. However, we do not pretend that love to our neighbours should make us forget what we owe ourselves. As the excesses of the wicked made our prophet shed tears of charity, so they caused him to shed tears of self-interest.

The wicked are the scourges of society. One seditious person is often sufficient to disturb the state; one factious spirit is often enough to set a whole church in a flame; one profligate child is often enough to poison the pleasure of the most happy and harmonious family. Good people are generally the butts of the wicked. A wicked man hates a good man. He hates him, when he has not the power to hurt him, because he has not had the pleasure of hurting him; he hates him, after he has injured him, because he considers him as a man always ready to revenge the affront offered him; and if he thinks him superior to revenge, he hates him because he is incapable of vengeance, and because the patience of the offended and the rage of the offender form a contrast, which renders the latter abominable in the eyes of all equitable people.

him with firmness and vigour; if he form schemes of piety, charity, and reformation, you will second him with eagerness and zeal; if he sacrifice his health, and ease, and fortune, for our good, you will reward him with gratitude, yea with profusion. May a good man promise himself all this among you? Alas! to be only willing to devote himself to truth and virtue, is often sufficient to cause him to be beset round with a company of contradictors and opposers.

But we will not engage too deeply in such gloomy reflections, we will finish the discourse, and can we finish it in a manner more suitable to the emotions of piety that assembled you in this solemn assembly, than by repeating the prayer with which we began? Almighty God! whose adorable judgments condemns us to wander in a valley of trouble, and to live, sometimes to be united by indissoluble ties, among men who insolently brave thy commands, Almighty God! grant we may be gathered to that holy society of blessed spirits, who place their happiness in a perfect conformity to thine august laws.

The occupation of the blessed in heaven,


(and this is one of the most beautiful images | dren, the dear objects of your grief and your under which a man who loves his God, can represent the happiness of heaven,) the employment of the blessed in heaven is to serve God; their delight is to serve God; the design of all the plans, and all the actions, and the motions of the blessed in heaven, is to serve God. And as the most laudable grief of a believer in this unhappy world, which sin makes a theatre of bloody catastrophes, and a habitation of maledictions, is to see the unworthy inhabitants violate the laws of their Creator, so the purest joys of the blessed, is to see themselves in a society where all the members are always animated with a desire to please God, always ready to fly where his voice calls them, always collected in studying his holy laws.

This is the society to which you, my dear brethren, are appointed; you who, after the example of Lot, vex your righteous souls from day to day at seeing the depravity of the world; you, I mean, "who shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation." Into that society those happy persons are gone, whom death has taken from us, and a separation from whom has caused us so many sighs and tears. Behold, faithful friend! behold the company where now resides that friend to whom your soul was knit, as the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David! See, thou weeping Joseph! See that society where thy good father now is, that good Jacob whom thou didst convey to the grave with tears so bitter, that the inhabitants of Canaan called the place where thou didst deposit the body, "AbelMizraim, a grievous mourning to the Egyptians." Look, frail father! look at that society, there is thy son, at whose death thou didst exclaim, "O Absalom, my son, would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" And you, too, distressed Rachels! whose voices are heard lamenting, weeping, and mourning, refusing to be comforted, because your children are not; see, behold there in heaven your chil

Oh! "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord! I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Let us apply this thought of the prophet to ourselves, and may the application we make, serve for a balm to heal the wounds, which the loss of our friends has occasioned! "They shall not return to us," they shall never return to this society. What a society! A society in which our life is nothing but a miserable round of errors and sins; a society where the greatest saints are great sinners; a society in which we are often obliged to communicate with the enemies of God, with blasphemers of his holy name, violaters of his august laws! No, they shall not "return to us," and this is one consolation. But (and this is the other,) but "we shall go to them." They have done nothing but set one step before us into eternity; the pleasures they enjoy are increased by the hope of our shortly enjoying the same with them. They, with the highest transports, behold the mansions which Jesus Christ has prepared for us in the house of his Father. "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God," said our divine Redeemer, to raise the drooping spirits of his apostles, stunned with the apprehension of his approaching death. This is the language we have heard spoken, this is the declaration we have heard made by each of those whom we have had the consolation of seeing die full of the peace of God, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." O may we be shortly united in the bosom of this adorable Being with our departed friends, whose conversation was lately so delightful to us, and whose memory will always continue respected and dear! May we be united with the redeemed of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, in the presence of the blessed God! God grant us this grace! To him be honour and glory, for ever. Amen.

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