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us a most marvellous and delightful Scene, in which God's infinite Love to Mankind fhines with the brightest Glory. And now what should be the Effect of all this Goodnefs upon our Hearts? The properest Return we can make, is to love him with a superlative Affection, and to manifest the Sincerity of our Love by the best Expreffion's of it that are in our Power, viz. not only-by praising and blessing his great and most excellent Name, but by keeping his Commandments, and making it our continual Endeavour to please and serve him, and to glorify him in the World, and efpecially by imitating his supreme Goodness and Benevolence, in doing Good to all as far as we have Ability and Opportunity, and even rendering Good for Evil... By such a' Conformity to him in his infinite Goodness, we shall be fitted for the Enjoyment of him, and for being happy in his Love to all Eternity.

Lastly. I would conclude with warning you to beware of abusing the divine Goodness. There is nothing which aggravateth the Evil of Sin fo much, as that it is committed against the Love and Goodness of the best of Beings, our most gracious and bountiful Benefactor. To take Encoué şagement from the Mercies of God, to peta


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fift in a presumptuous Opposition to his Authority, and Laws, has fomething in it so strangely base and disingenuous, that it exceedeth the Power of Language to der scribe the Malignity of it, If any Man fhould declare in express Words, because God is infinitely good, and is daily loading us with his Benefits, therefore I will offend and dishonour him, I will difobey his Laws, and cast Contempt upon his Government: I say, if we should hear any, Man openly declare this in so many Words, it would appear fo monstrous, that it would be apt to fill our Souls with Hort

yet thus it is that Sinners agt; whatever they may profess in Words, this is the real Language of their Practice They presume upon his Mercy and Indulgence, and flatter themselves that he is so good that he will not be severe to punih their Transgressions, and therefore they, ali low themselves to violate his holy Comi mands, and fly in the Face of his Authority, and Government ; and instead of being led by the Blessings he vouchsafes them to love and obeys chim, employ them in making Provision for, the Fleth to fulfil the Lufts thereof. Thus they despise: the Riches of his Goodnefs and Faro bearance, and Long-suffering, not knowings HB dis



And yet

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eu DISCOURSÈ XIII. 301 1. e. not considering, that the Goodness of God leadeth to Repentance. Rom. ii. 4. But let such Perfons consider that the Goodness of God is not a foft weak Tenderness like that of a too fond and indulgent Parent, br of a good-natured, but unsteady Prince, who has not Resolution enough to vindicate his Authority and Laws from Contempt : But his Goodness, as was before obferved, is such as becometh the wife and

uf Governor of the World, and is exertised in such a Manner as is agreeable to his most perfect Wisdom, Righteousness, and Equity. If therefore we be so base and dilingenuous as to continue and abound in Sin, because Grace aboundeth, we shall find in the Iffue that abufed Goodness

is the most dreadful Thing in the World." By wilful continued Impenitency and Difobedience we Thall shut our Souls against the Influences and Irradiations of the fupreme Love and Goodness. And then though God be infinitely good, we shall be miserable, we shall banish ourselves from the Joys of his beatific Presence, and thall draw down upon us the most awful Effects of his righteous Displeasure. It is only

ly in a Course of sincere Piety and Virtue that we can expect to be admitted to the sacred Intimacies of Communion with


the God of Love, and may upon good Grounds look forwards with Joy to that glorious State where infinite Love shall take us into its nearest Embraces, and we shall be perfectly happy in the immediate Vision and Fruition of the Deity to all Eternity.

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The Lord is good to all, and bis tender Mera

cies are over all bis Works.

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N my former Discourse on these Words

several Principles were laid down for leading us into right Notions of the divine Goodness, and the Manner in which it is exercised towards his Creatures; and then we proceeded to make a general Representation of the Goodness of Providence towards Mankind in this present State, 3


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