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proach unto thee; that he may dwell in thy SERMON courts, and be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, and of thy holy place. -O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. I will lift up my bands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Whom have I in Heaven, but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire, besides thee *. When such language as this expresses the native sentiments of our hearts, we join ourselves in some measure to the angelical choir above, and anticipate the employments of the blessed.
Some may perhaps imagine, that what has been said of the importance and the advantages of drawing near to God, approaches in some degree to mysticism and enthusiasm. I admit, that if religion were represented as consisting wholly of internal devout Psalm lxiii. 3-6. lxv. 4. lxxiii. 25. N
SERMON emotions, the representation of it would be imperfect and false. It is designed to be an active principle, regulating the conduct of life, and exerting itself in good works. But very ignorant he must be of human nature, who perceives not, that in order to produce such effects, it is of high importance to engage the affections and the heart on the side of virtue. It is not by reasonings addressed solely to the understanding, that men's characters are formed, or their general conduct actuated. If you wish to work any considerable effect on their life, you must bring over the affections and inclinations to your side. You must not only show them what is right and true, but make them feel what is desirable and good. If you attempt to make religion so very calm and rational, as to exclude from it all warmth of sentiment, all affectionate and devotional feelings, you will leave it in possession of small influence on conduct. My son, give me thy heart, is the voice of God; and the voice of reason is, that according as the heart is affected and disposed, such will be the general character and conduct.
The application of the whole subject to SERMON the Holy Sacrament, which we are now to celebrate, is natural and obvious. No more solemn opportunity can be afforded us of drawing near to God, than what we there enjoy. All that is encouraging and comforting in Christian faith is set before us, in this most effectual proof of God's mercy to mankind, giving up his Son to the death as a sacrifice for our sins. In celebrating the memorial of this great event, we are placed as under the immediate brightness of heavenly light, and under the warmest ray of divine love. If there be any consolation in Christ, any fellowship of the Spirit, any pleasing hope of eternal life and joy, it ought on such an occasion to be drawn forth, and deeply felt. Let us endeavour to kindle, at the altar of the Lord, that sacred fire, which shall continue to diffuse its vivifying influence over our hearts, when we go abroad' into the world, and mingle again in the ordinary concerns of life. We are now to draw near to God. Let us draw near to him as our Father; but with that reverence and humility which becomes us on approaching to a Father who is in Heaven.
SERMON Let us draw near through that great Mediator, by whose merits and intercessions alone our services find acceptance at the divine throne. No man cometh unto the Father but through him, and none who cometh unto God by him, will be cast out.
On WISDOM in RELIGIOUS CONDUCT.
PSALM ci. 2.
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.
WISDOM, says Solomon, excelleth folly, as SERMON far as light excelleth darkness*. In our present state, there is no situation in which we can, consistently with safety to ourselves, act thoughtlessly and at random. In whatever enterprise we engage, consideration and prudent thought are requisite to bring it to a good issue. On every occasion, there is a right and a wrong in conduct; there is one line of action which is likely to terminate according as we wish; and another, which, for certain, will land us in disappointment. If, in the ordinary transactions of life, we * Eccles. ii. 13.