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then is due to him, from


benefits received, which can never be requited; 10.

and ought in reason to be proportioned to those Ecom -Last.

benefits. And what duty more natural than to

love our benefactors ? What love and gratitude Te can

ed the greatest benefit, even that of our being,

and every thing that contributes to the comfort 50, un

of it?--2. As his children we must honour ay

him ; that is, 'must speak honourably of him,

and for him ; and carefully avoid every thing Ots and

that may tend to dishonour his holy name and

ways. "A son honoureth his father :--If then cingd

I be a father, where is mine honour ?»*_-3. As of

our father, we are to apply to him for what we want. Whither should children go, but to their father, for protection, help, and relief in every

danger, difficulty, and distress?--And, 4. We chil

must trust his power and wisdom, and paternal ad the

goodness, to provide for us, take care of us, and ift

do for us that which is best ; and what that is

he knows best. To be anxiously fearful what res

will become of us, and discontented and perLord

plexed under the apprehensions of future evils, Chou

whilst we are in the hands and under the care of hine

our father which is in heaven, is not to act like

children. Earthly parents cannot avert-from the

their children all the calamities they fear, because their wisdom and power are limited ; but our all-wise and almighty father in heaven can.

They may possibly want love and tenderness, ET

but our heavenly father cannot. Isa. xlix. 15.

* Mal. i. 6.


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-5. As children, we must quietly acquiesce in his disposal, and not expect to see into the wisdom of all his will. It would be indecent and undutiful in a child to dispute the authority, or question the wisdom, or neglect the orders of his parents every time he could not discern the reason and design thereof. Much more unreasonable and unbecoming is such a behaviour towards God, who giveth not account of any of his matters ; whose judgments are unsearchable, and whose ways are past finding out.?*--Lastly, As children, we must patiently submit to his discipline and correction. Earthly parents may sometimes punish their children through passion, or for their pleasure ; but our heavenly father always corrects his for their profit,t and only if need be, and never so much

as their iniquities deserve.'j Under his fatherly rebukes then let us be ever humble and submissive. Such now is the filial disposition. Such a temper, and such a behaviour should we show towards God, if we would act in character as his children.

These then are the two special relations which, as creatures, we stand in to God. And not to act towards him in the manner before mentioned is to show that we are ignorant of, or have not yet duly considered our obligations to him as his subjects and his children ; or that we are

* Job xxxiii. 13. Rom. xi. 33,
+ Heb. xii. 10.

11 Pet.'i, 6.
$ Ezra ix, 13.

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as yet ignorant both of God and ourselves. Thus We see how directly the knowledge of ourselves leads us to the knowledge of God. So true is the observation of a late pious and very worthy divine, that He that is a stranger to himself, is a stranger to God, and to every thing that may denominate him wise and happy.

But, 2. In order to know ourselves there is another important relation we should often think of, and that is, that in which we stand to Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Seine • The former was common to us as men"; this is peculiar to us as christians, and opens to us a new scene of duties and obligations, which a man can never forget, that does not grossly forget himself. For, as christians, we are the disciples, the followers, and the servants of Christ, redeemed by him.

And, 1. As the disciples of Christ, we are to learn of him. To take our religious sentiments only from his gospel, in opposition to all the authoritative dictates of men, who are weak and fallible as ourselves. Call no man master on earth.” While some affect to distinguish themselves by party names, as the Corinthians formerly did, (for which the apostle blames them) one saying I am of Paul; another, 'I am of Apollos ;' another, I am of Cephas,'* let us, remember that we are the disciples of Christ, and in this sense 'make mention of his name only. It is really injurious to it, to

* 1 Cor. i. 12

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and the various duties

seek to distinguish ourselves by any other. There is more carnality in such party distingtions, denominations, and attachments, than many good souls are aware of; though not more than the apostle Paul (who was unwillingly placed at the head of one himself) hath ap prised them of.* We are of Christ; our concern is, to honour that superiour denomination, by living up to it. : And to adhere inflexibly to his gospel, as the only rule of our faith, the guide of our life, and the foundation of our hope ; whatever contempt or abuse we may suffer either from the profane or bigoted part of mankind for so doing. -2. As christians we are followers of Christ ; and therefore bound to imitate him, and copy after that most excellent pattern he hath set us, who hath left us an example that we should follow his steps.'t To see that the same holy temper be in us which was in him ; and to discover it in the same manner that he did, and upon like occasions. To this he calls us, and no man is any further a christian than he is a follower of Christ; aim. ing at a more perfect conformity to that most perfect example which he hath set us of universał goodness. 3. As christians, we are thé which servants owe to their masters in any degree, those we owe to him in the highest degree; who expects we should behave ourselves

t 1 Pet, ii, 21. 109 Matt. xi. 29.

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* 1 Cor. iii. 4.

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in his service with that fidelity ang Zeal, and
steady regard to his honour and interest, at all
times, which we are bound to by virtue of this
relation, and to which his unmerited goodness
and love lays us under infinite obligations.
Lastly, We are moreover his redeemed ser:
vants; and as such are under the strongest
motives to love and trust him.
: This deserves to be more particularly con-
sidered, because it opens to us another view of
the human nature, in which we should often
survey ourselves, if we desire to know our-
selves ; and that is, as depraved or degenerate
beings. The inward contest we so sensibly
feel, at some seasons especially, between a good
and a bad principle, (called in scripture language
the flesh and the spirit) of which some of the
wisest heathens seemed not to be ignorant:
This, I say, is demonstration that some way or
other the human nature has contracted an ill
bias, (and how that came about the sacred scrip-
tures have sufficiently informed us) and that
is not what it was when it came originally out
of the hands of its maker ; so that the words
which St. Paul spake with reference to the Jews
in particular, are justly applicable to the present
state of mankind in general, there is none
righteous, no not one; they are all gone out of
the way, they are together become unprofitable,
there is none that doeth good, no not one."*

* Rom. jij 10, 12

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