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greatness: but his infinite wisdom, justice, truth and love, constitute his holiness and goodness. The display of his greatness should awe us into reverential submission: but that of his goodness should win us to admiring, adoring love. "Thy name only " is excellent, and thy praise is above heaven and "earth." And what can be more irrational and perverse, than to neglect, despise, or dislike infinite loveliness and excellence? What more reasonable than the command, "Thou shalt love the "Lord thy God with all thy heart?"


But we should also recollect, that this great and glorious God, is the Creator, and consequently the Proprietor, Governor, and Judge of the Universe. Observe the language of scripture on this subject, "The Lord made all things for himself." "For "thy pleasure they are, and were created." Indeed this is no mean proof of our Saviour's deity, that it is not only said, "All things were made by him," but likewise "All things were made for "him." "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, " and the glory, for ever and ever: Amen." This was David's view of that God against whom he had sinned. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and "the power, and the majesty: for all that is in the "heaven and in the earth is thine. Thine is the "kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head "above all."1


Against this great Creator, and universal Proprietor and Lord of all, every one of our sins is committed: and not merely against our fellowcreatures against one infinitely above us, and not

1 Chron. xxix. 11.

one who is on an equality with us, as partaker of

our common nature.

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This great Creator of all worlds is also the author of our existence; the Father of our spirits; the giver of all our powers and abilities; the God" in "whom we live, and move, and are.' "Hear, O "heavens, and give ear, O earth, I have nourished " and brought up children, and they have rebelled "against me!" The God, against whom every sin is committed, stands at once related to us, as our Creator, Benefactor, Governor, and Judge. The authority of a sovereign, the kindness of a parent, and the liberality of a benefactor, are all here united; yea, far, far exceeded: and can we but feel the emphasis of the language used in the text, Against thee, thee only, have I sinned?"

It is possible in human affairs for these different obligations to unite in one case. Thus Absalom, the son, the indulged son, as well as the subject, of David, after manifold favours confered on him by his affectionate parent, proved a traitor to his prince, and a monster of ingratitude to his benefactor, and intentionally a murderer of his father! While David felt himself deeply shocked at his son's atrocious violation of such accumulated obligations, what must have been his reflection on his own past conduct against God, in the instance before us? Could he help saying to himself, Men justly exclaim against the behaviour of Absalom 'towards his kind father and sovereign: but my 'heart reproaches me with the violation of far higher and greater obligations to God, my Crea'tor, Benefactor, and Judge?',

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In this part of our subject, It may be proper to

recollect, that all the various differences, by which men in society, or in respect of religious advantatages, are distinguished from each other, whatever they may be, should be considered as enhancing the obligation, and aggravating the criminality of violating it. This was the way in which Nathan addressed David, when he recapitulated the special benefits which God had conferred on him, in order to bring home conviction to his conscience: and here I shall leave to your consideration the providential benefits, and every advantage, with which you severally have been distinguished, as increasing your peculiar obligations, and aggravating every transgression which you have committed.

The aggravated evil of sin, as committed against God, may be shewn by another view of our relation and obligations to him, as transgressors favoured with the discoveries and proposals of the gospel. Having broken the holy law of our Creator, and fallen under his righteous displeasure; instead of leaving us without remedy, to the consequences of our disobedience, he hath revealed himself to us as "merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, "transgression, and sin;" as "in Christ recon"ciling the world unto himself;" as "not sparing "his own Son, but delivering him up for us all, "that with him he might freely give us all things." And, in the most urgent manner, he invites even the vilest of sinners to come and partake of this great salvation.

Beyond all doubt, every additional discovery of the excellency, loveliness, and glory of our great Creator and Judge, proportionably shews the baseness and perverseness of our alienation from him :

and, the more fully the sinner is encouraged to expect forgiveness and reconciliation, the more inexcusable must he be, if he persist in rebellion. Now, the character of God, as revealed in the gospel, comprises such an union of greatness and condescension, justice and mercy, holiness and love, wisdom and truth, as constitutes "the perfection "of beauty," and excites the most fervent adoring and admiring praises of the heavenly worshippers: while at the same time such a foundation is laid for our hope, that. nothing but " neglecting so great salvation" can prevent our attaining everlasting felicity, notwithstanding all our crimes, and all our depravity and temptations!

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This may lead us to consider a still further aggravation of sin: namely, when it is committed by one who has experienced the pardoning love and renewing grace of God, who has come to him, and walked with him; who has found him faithful and merciful: who has rejoiced in him with joy unspeakable, and been animated to call on others to share in his satisfactions; who has gloried in God, as his all-sufficient portion, his sun, his shield, and his exceeding great and everlasting reward; and who has been favoured with signal deliverances and comforts, in manifest answer to his believing prayers. To sin against such mercy and love as this, to rebel against so gracious a father and friend, seems to form the highest aggravation of transgression that can be conceived. Thus the sins of believers, instead of being slight offences, are in fact the most inexcusable of all crimes and the conviction of this, even in respect to those failures which bring no scandal on reli

gion, powerfully tends to keep the true Christian humble before his God; as well as to enhance his admiring gratitude for the riches of pardoning


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This was especially the case with David. He had been taken from the sheepfold, and raised to the throne. He had been honoured in providence ; made a prophet; and inspired, as "the sweet psalmist of Israel," to compose songs of praise for the use of spiritual worshippers through successive generations. But, above all, he had enjoyed such consolation in his own soul, while employed in the worship and service of his God, as dictated language so animated, and even rapturous, that to this day it seems unequalled. And yet, after all, this very person had to say, " Against "thee, thee only, have I sinned!" For he had "despised the commandment of his God;" yea, he had even "despised God" himself, who " had "comforted him on every side;" and who was ready to add still more, and that abundantly, to all his former benefits!

And have not some, here present, had occasion in many instances, though not so awful as this of David, to look back on the Lord's past kindness, and on the comforts they have enjoyed in communion with him; and then to confess, with shame and sorrow, that they have most basely treated their gracious Benefactor with contempt and ingratitude? And can the violation of any other tie be so heinous, as thus " sinning against "the Lord ?”

Take into consideration, then, my brethren, the majesty and authority of God; his holiness and

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