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cise of intentionally glorifying God, the redemption of the cross presents motives to this the most touch ing and urgent. This is a restoration of our being after it had been forfeited by sin, and bought for us by the sufferings and death of God's own Son, and conveyed to us as the fruit and as the reward of his sacrifice. It is a covenant of mercy offering pardon and reconciliation to rebels, and a deliverance from wrath by a substitution of the Son of the Highest in their room. It is a proclamation from the Lord and Sovereign of the universe, announcing that “God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, and not imputing unto men their trespasses.” On those who embrace the offered mercy, the most powerful obligation is laid to live to the glory of their reconciled God, and to shew forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light.
The questions for our consideration are, Whether are we heartily devoted to the Redeemer, and are we living to ourselves or to him? On the solution of these questions, our everlasting state will be decided in the judgment of the great day. We cannot see his face in peace, nor enter into his kingdom, if we do not now most willingly give to God the supremacy and the pre-eminence, if we do not submit fully and cordially to his sovereignty, and if we do not engage in his service with our first and our best affections.
ON THE QUESTION, WHAT ARE THE MEANS BY WHICH THE
DUTY ENJOINED MAY BE PRACTISED?
The question which is naturally suggested to the reflecting mind by the foregoing observations is, What. are the means which I should employ for enabling me to do all to the glory of God ?
I shall not attempt a full solution of this question; but must satisfy myself with a few observations, which may aid our inquiries on the subject.
I. We should accustom ourselves to refer every event and every blessing to God. This is what, in general language, all profess to do: it is of importance that the habit should be formed which is implied in this acknowledgment.
As the truth is unquestionable, why should we not give it that influence over our thoughts, feelings, and pursuits, which it is entitled to hold, and which it is our privilege to yield to it? In every mercy, in every trial, let us observe the hand of God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
II. Let us do every thing for God. Let every work be undertaken, every plan formed, with a designed subserviency to his will, and reference to his glory. Our secular avocations will thus be consecrated to their noblest ends by religion; and we shall accus. tom ourselves to do every thing, and to value every thing, only as it is calculated to advance the honour
of God. Our doing every thing for the great end of our being will thus become habitual to us; and we shall feel it to be as “our meat and drink to do the will of our heavenly Father.”
III. Let us be regular in the offices of devotion. In these offices we more particularly realize the presence of God, and have a more sensible impression of our being in the view of Him who is invisible. The frequent and regular recurrence of such an impression must have the tendency of keeping us in mind of the purposes of our being, and of our accountableness to God for the use of every talent. It will also be the means of counteracting the effect which the world is so much calculated to produce on the mind; and of suggesting that the favour of God should be the object of our supreme solicitude.
IV. Let the offices of devotion be discharged, not merely regularly, but aright. They cannot be performed aright without lively impressions of the perfections of God, and of the only way in which we are authorized to worship him. “ God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Hence the duty of cherishing, and more especially in devotional exercises, such affections as are suitable to the greatness, holiness, and mercy of God. It is only in this way that our regularity in the offices of devotion will be useful in leading us to do all things to the glory of God.
V. Let us habitually cherish a sense of our dependence
upon God, and of our obligations to him. It is the absence of this sense of dependence and of obligation that makes the duty of keeping the glory of God in view in every thing, so difficult to practice. Whereas, if we constantly felt, that we are indebted to God for all that we now have, or hope to enjoy, and that by no services can we ever express all that we owe to him, might we not justly expect that we should more readily think of the glory of God as the ultimate end of our actions ?