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glorified soul. But what that difference will be, we cannot now understand. Fix not your minds on sensible things. Remember that your God, your home, your portion, are unseen: and therefore live in hearty affections to them, and serious prosecution of them, as if you saw them. Pray, as if you saw God, and heaven, and hell. Hear, as if you saw him that sends his messenger to speak to you. Resist all the temptations to luşt, and sensuality, and every sin, as you would do if you saw God stand by. Love him, and fear him, and trust him, and serve him, as you would do if you beheld him. “ Faith is the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. xi. 1.) Believing must be to you instead of seeing; and make you as serious about things unseen, as sensual men are about things sensible. In every thing that you see, remember it is he that is unseen that appeareth in them. He lighteth you by the sun; he warmeth you by the fire; he beareth you by the earth. See him in all these by the eye of faith.
3. The Immortality, Incorruptibility and Immutability of God, must, 1. Teach the soul to rise up from these mortal, corruptible, mutable things, and to fix upon that God who is the immortal, incorruptible portion of his saints.
2. It must comfort and encourage all believers in the consideration of their felicity; and support them under the failings of all mortal, corruptible things. Our parents, and children, and friends, are mortal: they are ours to-day, and dead to-morrow : they are our delight to-day, and our sorrow and horror to-morrow: but our God is immortal. Our houses may be burned; our goods may be consumed or stolen ; our clothes will be worn out; our treasure here may be corrupted. But our God is unchangeable, the same for ever,
Our laws and customs may be changed; our governors and privileges changed; our company, and employments, and habitation changed ; but our God is never changed. Our estates may change from riches to poverty; and our names that were honoured, may incur disgrace. Qur health may quickly turn to sickness, and our ease to pain: but still our God is unchangeable for ever. Our friends are inconstant and may turn our enemies : our peace may be changed into war; and our liberty into slavery : but our God doth never change. Time will change customs, families, and all things here ; but it changeth not our God. The creatures are all but earthen metal, and quickly dashed in pieces: Our comforts are changeable; ourselves are changeable and mortal : but so is not our God.
3. And it should teach us to draw as near to God as we are capable, by unchangeable, fixed resolutions, and constancy of endeavours; and to be still the same as we are at the best.
4. It should move us also to be more desirous of passing into the state of immortality, and to long for our unchangeable habitation, and our immortal, incorruptible bodies, and to possess the "kingdom that cannot be moved.” (Heb. xii. 28.) And let not the mutability of things below much trouble us, while our Rock, our Portion, is unmoveable. God waxeth not old: heaven doth not decay by duration : the glory of the blessed shall not wither, nor their sun set upon them, nor their day have any night; nor any mutations or commotions disturb their quiet possessions. O love and long for immortality and incorruption !
CHAP. VII. 6. Having spoken of the effects of the attributes of God's essence as such, we must next speak of the effects of his three great attributes which some call subsistential, that is, his omnipotency, understanding, and will; or his infinite power, wisdom, and goodness : by which it hath been the way of the schoolmen and other divines to denominate the three persons, not without some countenance from Scripture phrase. The Father they call the infinite power of the Godhead; and the Son, the wisdom and word of God, and of the Father; and the Holy Ghost, the love and goodness of God, of the Father, and Son. But, that these attributes, of power, understanding, and will, or power, wisdom, and goodness, are of the same importance with the terms of personality, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we presume not to affirm. It sufficeth us, I. That God hath assumed these attributes to himself in Scripture. 2. And that man who beareth the natural image of God, hath power, understanding and will; and as he beareth the holy moral image of God, he hath a power to execute that which is good, and wisdom to direct, and goodness of will to determine for the execution: and so while God is seen of us in this glass of man, we must conceive of him after the image that in man appeareth to us, and speak of him in the language of man, as he doth of himself.
And first, The Almightiness of God must make these impressions on our souls. 1. It must possess the soul with very awful, reverent thoughts of God; and fill us continually with his holy fear. Infinite Greatness and Power, must have no common, careless thoughts, lest we blaspheme him in our minds, and be guilty of contempt. The dread of the heavenly Majesty should be still upon us; and we must “be in his fear all the day long." (Prov. xxiii. 17.) Not under that slavish fear that is void of love, as men fear an enemy, or hurtful creature, or that which is evil: for we have not such a Spirit from the Lord, nor stand in a relation of enmity and bondage to him: but reverence is necessary; and from thence a fear of sinning and displeasing so great a God. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Prov. i. 7; ix. 10; Psal. cxi. 10.) “By it men depart from evil.” (Prov. xvi. 6.) Sin is for want of the fear of God. (Luke xxiii. 40; Prov. iii. 7; Jer. v. 24; Lev. xxv. 36.) The fear of God is often put for the whole new man, or all the work of grace within us, even the principle of new life. (Jer. ii. 19; xxxii. 40.) And it is often put for the whole work of religion, or service of God. (Psal. xxxiv. 11; Prov. i. 29; Psal. cxxx. 4; xxxiv. 9.) And therefore the godly are usually denominated, such as fear God. (Psal. xv. 4; xxii. 23; cxv. 11. 13; cxxxv. 20; xxiv. 7.9, &c.) The godly are “devoted to the fear of God.” (Psal. cxix. 38.) It is our “ sanctifying the Lord in our hearts, that he be our fear and dread.” (Isa. viii. 13.) If we fear him not, we take him not for our master. (Mal. i. 6.) Evangelical grace excludeth not this fear. (Luke xii. 5.) Though we receive a kingdom that cannot be moved, yet must our acceptable service of God, be with reverence and godly fear. (Heb. xii. 28.) With fear and trembling we must work out our salvation. (Phil. ii. 12.) In fear we must pass the time of sojourning here. (1 Pet. i. 17.) In it we must converse together. (Eph. v. 4.) Yea, holiness is to be perfected in the fear of God; (2 Cor. vii. 1;) and that because we have the promises. The most prosperous churches walk in this fear. (Acts ix. 31.) It is a necessary means of preventing destruction; (Heb. xi. 7;) and of attaining salvation when we have the promises. (Heb. i. 7.) God puts this fear in the hearts of those that shall not depart from him. (Jer. xxxii. 40.) See therefore that the greatness of the Almighty God possess thy soul continually with his fear,
2. God's Almightiness should also possess us with holy admiration of him, and cause us in heart and voice to magnify him. O what a power is that which made the world of nothing ! which upholdeth the earth without any foundation but his will! which placed and maintaineth all things in their order in heaven and earth! which causeth so great and glorious a creature as the sun, that is so much bigger than all the earth, to move so many thousand miles in a few moments, and constantly to keep its time and course! that giveth its instinct to every brute, and causeth every part of nature to do its office! By his power it is that every motion of the creature is performed, and that order is kept in the kingdoms of the world. "He made the heaven and the earth by his great power and stretched out arm, and nothing is too hard for him: The great, the mighty God, the Lord of Hosts is his name; great in counsel, and mighty in works." (Jer. xxxii. 17-19.) “The great, the mighty, the terrible God." (Neh. ix. 32.) To him therefore that alone doth great wonders we must give the greatest praise. (Psal. cxxxvi. 4.) "O how great are his works, and his thoughts are very deep.” (Psal. xcii. 5.) " Great is our Lord and of great power.” (Psal. cxlvii. 5.). And therefore in Zion must he be great. (Psal. xcix. 2.) And his great and terrible name must be praised.
3. In the church where he is known, must his name be great, (Psal. lxxvi. 1.) “For we know that the Lord is great, and our God is above all gods.” (Psal. cxxxv. 5.) His saints delight to praise his greatness. " Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honour and majesty, who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain, who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind, who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire,” &c. (Psal. civ. 1-4.) From Almightiness all things have their being, and therefore must honour the Almighty “ Alpha and Omega, the begin
ning and the ending; saith the Lord ; which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. i. 8.) They that magnify the Lord with the song of Moses and of the
“ Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways thou King of Saints.” (Rev. xv. 2.)
3. The Almightiness of God must imprint upon our souls a strong and steadfast confidence in him, according to the tenor of his covenant and promises. Nothing more certain than that impotency and insufficiency will never cause him to fail us, or to break his word. O what an encouragement is it to the saints, that they are built on such an impregnable rock, and that Omnipotency is engaged for them! and 0, what a shame is this to our unbelief, that ever we should distrust Omnipotency!
If God be Almighty, 1. Remember in thy greatest wants, that there is no want but he can easily and abundantly supply.
2. Remember in thy greatest sufferings, pains, or dangers, that no pain is so great which he cannot mitigate and remove, and no danger so great from which he is not able to deliver thee. The servants of Christ dare venture on the flames, because they trust upon the Almighty. (Dan. iii. 16–18.) In confidence on Omnipotency they dare stand against the threatenings of the greatest upon earth. are not careful (said those three believers to the king) to answer thee in this matter : if it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us," &c. He that is afraid to stand upon a slender bow, or upon the unstable waters, is not afraid to stand upon the earth; and he that is afraid of robbers when he is alone, is bolder in a conquering army ; what will man trust, if he distrust Omnipotency? Where can we be safe, if not in the love, the covenant, the hands of the Almighty God? When storms and winds had frighted the disciples, lest they should be drowned when Christ was in the ship, their sin was aggravated by the presence of their powerful Lord, whose mighty works they had often seen ; “Why fear ye, (saith he) O ye of little faith !" (Matt. viii, 26.) Cannot he rebuke our winds and waves! and will not all obey the rebukes of the Almighty? When thou hast a want that God cannot supply, or a sickness that he cannot cure, or a