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come weary in well-doing. If you do not forsake him, he will never leave, or forsake you, but punctually fulfil the great and precious promises, that he has made to you, and bound himself by an oath to fulfil. Trust in him and he will keep you in perfect peace.
SAINTS DESIRE TO SEE THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD.
PSALM XXVII. 4-One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
David was a man of war from his youth ; and during the greater part of his reign, his duty called him to head his armies and lead them forth against his enemies, who were almost perpetually invading his kingdom. And though he was willing to follow the voice of God in his providence, yet he sincerely regretted his necessary absence from the house of God.--Every revolving sabbath renewed and increased his strong desires after the precious privileges and enjoyments of the sanctuary. And he was led, on some saered day of rest, to compose this psalm, in which he expresses the pious feelings of his heart, and his ardent wishes to meet God in the place where he recorded his name, and displayed the moral excellencies of his character, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” It was his sincere desire, that his business might always admit of his being in the house of God every sabbath ; and he determined, as far as possible, to order his secular concerns so, as he might constantly attend the services of
the sanctuary. For, he says, he viewed this the greatest privilege on earth. “ One thing have I desired,” that is, I have desired one thing above all others; and that is, to enjoy, without interruption, the public worship of God in his house. This he desired above all things, because it gave him the best opportunity of beholding the beauty of the Lord, and of knowing his mind and will revealed in his word. All good men feel as the King of Israel felt, and desire to behold the beauty of the Lord, as he displays it in the assembly of his saints, who have a spiritual discerning of spiritual things. This is the plain truth suggested to our present consideration ; That good men desire to see the beauty of the Lord. It is proposed,
I. To show in what the beauty of the Lord con
II. To show that good men are capable of seeing his beauty ; And
III. To show why they desire to see it.
I. Let us consider in what the beauty of the Lord consists. We call nothing beautiful but what is pleasing; and we call nothing pleasing in a moral agent, but what is morally excellent, or truly virtuous. The beauty of the Lord, therefore, must signify that in his moral character, which is pleasing to a virtuous and benevolent heart. His beauty is the beauty of holiness. There is no moral excellence in his necessary existence, independence, omnipresence, omnipotence, or omniscience. These natural attributes, separately considered, are neither morally good, nor morally evil; and are either lovely or hateful, according to the heart that governs them. Under the influence of a malevolent heart, they would be infinitely odious and detesta
ble ; but under the influence of a benevolent heart, they are great and amiable perfections. The moral beauty and excellence of the Deity lies altogether in his heart, which is purely and perfectly benevolent. God is love, which constitutes his supreme beauty and comprizes all that is virtuous and morally excellent in his nature.--Pure, disinterested, universal benevolence forms the most beautiful and amiable character conceivable.... We ca..not conceive of any greater excellence in God than a heart full of perfect goodness; and such goodness the scripture assures us fills and governs his vast, allcomprehensive mind.”
“ There is none good but one, that is God. He is good, and does good. He is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” When Moses besought him to shew him his glory, and he granted his petition, he did nothing more than to cause all his goodness to pass before him. All his goodness comprehends all his moral perfections. His holiness, his justice, and his mercy and grace, are only so many branches of his universal goodness. In a word, every thing that is beautiful, amiable, and praise worthy in the Supreme Being, consists in the infinitude of his goodness. I now proceed to show,
II. That good men are capable of seeing this moral beauty of the divine character.
Sinners can see every thing in God but this moral beauty. To this they are totally blind.
“The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The more fully and clearly the moral beauty of the Lord is displayed before the minds of sinners, the more they hate and oppose it. None, therefore, but real chris
tians, or those, who have been born again, and become
, sheds abroad his love in them, he gives them a spiritual discerning of spiritual things, and causes them to discern the supreme excellence of his moral character. This the apostle John deciares in the most explicit terms. He says, “ He that loveth not knoweth not God.” But on the other hand, he asserts, “That love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” And again he says, God is love : and he, that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.” These declarations are agreeable to reason as well as to the feelings of all real christians. For seeing the beauty of any object, and loving that object, are precisely the same thing.
After the heart perceives the amiableness of any object, there is nothing more implied in loving it. So when any man perceives the divine character to be lovely, there is nothing more necessary in order to love it. Of course, all who love God, do actually see his moral beauty and excellence. This will more
. clearly appear, if we consider it in another point of view. Those, who love God, have the same kind of love, that God has and exercises towards them and all holy creatures. They are holy as God is holy, and