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ed, and he should neglect to defend it in the best manner he could, it would expose him to the reproaches and upbraidings of his own mind? Would he not be conscious to him. self, that he had failed of discharging a duty, a duty which he owed to himself, to his own reputation and usefulness in the world ? Then it will be allowed, without further argument upon it, that one may be obligated to himself, to do those things which will redound to his own dignity and credit. But if he stand alone in the universe, he can certainly have none to consult, or contrive for, but himself, To be under obligations to nonexistent beings, would be an absurdity with a witness. Were we, then, to go back, in contemplation, to the period when creatures did not exist, and ask ourselves, for whom did God then work, and exert the prerogatives of his divinity ? would not the answer be, for himself? Then, it was right he should propose himself as the end of all his counsels and operations. He must then have purposed all the future doings of his hand, out of regard to himself, or that his attributes might be broughtinto view. All active beings, who feel themselves at liberty to dispose of theinselves and their time as they please, will engage in such an enterprize, or such a species of employment, as they judge will be most certain of procuring them honour, by discovering their best and most useful qual ities. This propensity among men leads one to his farm, and another to his merchandise,
and another to the mechanical arts, each one being studious to show his ingenuity, or other valuable accomplishments, to the best advantage. God, the great architect and governor of the world, in rearing up so great a fabric, and giving it its various mod. ificacions, must have solely designed to glorify himself. This agrees with many ex. press declarations of his word, particularly with the following : “ The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. 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. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout ail the earth. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen whither ye went. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to whom be glory for ever. Ainen.". If it was right for God to enter upon the creation and government of a world, out of regard to himself, it is right, that he should continue to have the same end in view, in all his dispensations. Justice to himself requires, that he act in such a man. her, as will most effectually dignify and render illustrious his own most holy name,
Acting thus, is rectitude in God. not do wrong, until he shall cease to pay supreme regard to his own glory, and shalt abandon that line of conduct which is the best adapted to procure veneration and rev. erence to his name. It was that he would preserve his own character and kingdom from ignominy, that Moses so earnestly interceded with him for the pardon of that great sin,by which Israel had provoked him to anger in the wilderness. And it was for his great name, that God wrought, in those signal deliverances, which that people enjoyed, that it might not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight he had brought them out. Moses requested only that such measures should be taken, as would secure the greatest honour and renown to God, and he would rest upon that, as the firm; unfailing basis of his own happiness and glory. That rectitude of the Most High, upon which we may repose ourselves with the greatest assurance of hope, is his inflexible adherence to the interest and glory of his own kingdom, his unshaken determination of giving the brightest displays of his own unbounded excellencies. While this work is going on without interruption, there is no reason to be afraid that the Judge of all the earth will not do right. All, who have a just view of his character, who are pleased with it, and have dedicated to himn their hearts and af. fections, are so well established in this truth, that they can cheerfully rest their all upon
it. Upon this ground, they are sure of sev. eral things.
1. That God will never condemn the in. nocent, and treat them as if they were guilty. “ He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are aboinination to the Lord.” In giving proofs. of his own infinite purity, Jehovah cannot betray such indifference to the cause of equi. ty at large as to abolish all distinction between opposite characters. In exemplifying the absolute moral perfection of his own nature, he must necessarily appear on the side of rectitude, wherever it shall be found, and give it all that countenance and encouragement, which it can expect from the most un. exceptionable and shining example of goodness, that the universe can produce. It is said, that as the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, lest the righteousput forth their hands untoiniquity."
2. They, who believe that God's ultimate end, in all his works, is to glorify himself, to bring into view the most perfect sample of moral beauty, derive assurance from it, that he will not suffer his wordyin any instance, to fail, or prove false. Nothing is more necessary to full confidence in any being, than complete evidence of his veracity. This is a quality, which stands high on the list of virtues, of moral perfections. If truth be not an inviolable principle with the one with whom we have to do; if we have reason to suspect, that what goes out of his lips does not prom
ceed from his heart, and is not too sacred to be cast to the ground, there is an end forever to all confidence in hiin. The veracity of God is infinitely too important to be dispensed with. Without an entire belief in it, no one can cordially and unreservedly give himself up into his hands, and patiently wait the issue of those providences, which are to bring him to his appointed destiny. But if the principle and end of God's government be the most perfect expression of himself, or the bringing forth to view of his own excellencies, his veracity will, of course, be rendered conspicuous, and raised above all suspicion. His truth will shine with a lustre, that shall infinitely exceed the brightness of the firrnainent. 66 Heaven and earth shall pass away ; but my word shall not pass a. way. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful ; he cannot deny himself. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?" If God be really framing and perfecting the great scheme of Providence, purely to get honour to himself, he cannot do wrong by practising deceit, or going counter to his own declarations. Maintaining unimpeachable veracity, is but doing an indispensable act of justice to himself. It is but pursuing the plan of getting praise to his own name.
3. The divine government, by terminating on the glory of God as its object, gives assurance, that the righteous shall be blessed with
peace, while the wicked are separated