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would then be our dangerous directors through the thorny path of our pilgrimage upon earth. The wiles of Satan would prove too much for the feebleness of our resistance, if we could not repose in utter security upon the omniscience of him“ whose wisdom ruleth over all."
We are never to forget that the spiritual enemy to whom we are opposed in a continual and difficult warfare is an immortal being endued with faculties and powers far transcending any thing to be found among us.
How then should we ever prevail in such a conflict with such an adversary, if we had nothing but our own feeble wisdom to guide us--if the “Lord of all power and might” “ unto whom wisdom belongeth,” did not direct our steps in that perilous contest which every descendant of Adam is doomed to carry on; a contest which, if it does not terminate in our triumph, must terminate in our doom. We may, nay, we shall find the struggle painful and arduous, “but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let us only further look to what we are indebted for the divine attribute of mercy. Could any thing less than Omnipotent mercy have redeemed a race of fallen creatures from the curse of the law by the sacrifice of himself? What love, what condescension, what beneficence ! “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened us together with Christ; hath raised us up together and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, for by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.” If then the ear of divine mercy had been closed against our crying, what would be our inevitable condition in the life eternal ? But look at God's lovingkindness ; not only did he redeem us from the curse of the law, but became a curse for us, because this only could release us from the wrath to come. When his rebellious creature had rashly provoked that awful doom originally denounced against transgression, and in which all his posterity became involved, the outraged God of Heaven and earth, still “remembering mercy,” “ made a way to escape," by which the sin was expiatedand the sinner pardoned. We have been raised from the condition of condemned outcasts to that of adopted children, through the effectual intercession of a crucified Saviour. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God !” We who were “dead in sin" have been “made alive unto God through Jesus Christ.” This indeed was no common act of grace, but one which Omnipotent love alone could have conceived, which nothing short of Omnipotent mercy could have consummated.
Mercy! what a word of soothing to a strickeri spirit ;—what a term of consolation to a penitent heart! Mercy from the Author and Giver of all good things ! what an expression of solace to such as sensibly feel that they are exposed to those ensnaring temptations which would bring them under the dreadful domination of the author of all evil! Let us only reflect what sinners we are, the most ennobled among us,
the most intellectual among us, the best among us. “We are all as an unclean thing, we do all fade as the grass, our iniquities like the wind have taken us away." How little have we done to induce any favourable dispensation from heaven in our favour! How few of our thoughts, how small a portion of our time, how little of our love do we devote to God! How unmindful are we of bis gracious favours ; how reluctantly do we approach him, and often, when we do, with what fear and trembling! And yet“ he delighteth in mercy,” he is very pitiful,” “ forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” “ Lord, what is man, that thou hast such respect unto him ?" But thou art a God “which doeth great things and unsearchable, marvellous things without number.” If the Almighty were severe in proportion as we are wicked, what must be our eternal destiny! Could we hope for the divine love in eternity, yielding none in time? Nevertheless, in spite of all our miscarriages and of our
little affection for him, he pours the brightness of his love upon us, and receives us ever as his penitent children, 'when we return to him with broken and contrite hearts.
The third great attribute of the Divinity, namely his truth, is our only security against error, since it is evident that we here through a glass darkly," and the less holy we are before God, the darker is the medium through which we behold his glory. He will “ guide us into all truth,” if we only search after “ that wisdom which is from above,” without which the brightest understanding is but as a burnished mirror whereon objects, though distinctly reflected, are obscured by every breath that
passes over it, from which too the reflections may in a moment vanish, never to be renewed, for the least accident may shatter it.
From the known truth of God arises our confidence in his word, in which he speaks a language that can never die, and with a wisdom that cannot err. What spiritual darkness would prevail even in Heaven if his truth were subject to doubt or controversy! The angels could have no trust, their inheritance would be insecure, and “ the blackness of darkness" would ascend even to the celestial dwelling place. Upon the divine truth all moral and spiritual results are based as upon a rock which the wave dashes against but stirs not. The wild waters surround and assault it in their ungoverned might, when the storm curls the foaming crests of their billows above its bleak and rugged head, but they do not upheave it. It stands stern and defiant amid the mightiest convulsions of the elements. I am sensible that this image gives but a faint impression of the fixedness and immutability of truth that truth of which God is at once the origin and dispenser. If in this attribute the Deity were not Omnipotent, where would be his perfection ? what would be the value of his other attributes ? They would be all deficient in the quality which can alone render them perfect. How could God be wise, how could he be merciful, how could he be just, how could he be infallible, and not true? He is all this, and more than all.' He is eternal and Almighty, as good as he is Almighty, as just as he is good, as wise as he is just, as merciful as he is wise-in short, “he is God and none else.”
Is not this then a being to obey, to honour and adore ? « He hath made the earth by his power, , he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the earth by his discretion.” What a God of power !
“ The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger,” and “very pitiful :” “ the Lord is good to all.” What a God of mercy !
“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven; thy faithfulness is unto all generations :"