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the Mediator, center in him. They maybe distinguished, but they are inseparable.
Happy are they who can, upon solid and scriptural grounds, exult in the thought that the Lord reigneth, and can make his government the subject of their hallelujahs and praises! Happy they, who fee, acknowledge and admire, his management in the kingdom of providence, and are the willing subjects of his kingdom of grace. Let us take a brief survey of his reigning glory in these kingdoms.
I. Great and marvellous is this Lord God omnipotent in his kingdom of Universal Providence 1 His mighty arm sustains the vast fabric of the universe. He upholds the stars in their courses. If we attentively consider their multitude, their magnitudes, their distances from us and from each other, and the amazing swiftness, variety and regularity of their motions, our minds are overwhelmed, our thoughts confounded, by the vastness and the wonders of the scene. But He spoke them into being, and they are preserved in their stations and revolutions by his power and agency. If we fix our thoughts upon the earth, though in comparison of the immensity mensity of his creation, it is but as a point, or a grain of sand, it is the object of his incessant care. All its various inhabitants derive their existence and their support from him. He provides for the young ravens when unable to fly, and for the young lions that traverse the woods. The instinct of animals, whereby they are unerringly instructed, in whatever concerns the welfare and preservation of their species, so vastly exceeding the boasted wisdom of man, that he can neither imitate nor comprehend it, is communicated by him. He teaches the birds to build their nests, the spider to weave his web, and instructs the communities of bees, and insignificant emmets, to form their admirable policies and government among themselves. If we speak of intelligent beings, He does what be pleases in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. He directs and overrules the counsels and purposes of men, so that though they act freely, the event of all their different interfering schemes, is only the accomplishment of his purposes. When they arc employed as his instruments, from small beginnings, and in defiance of difficulties apN 2 parently
parently insuperable, they succeed beyond their own expectations. When unhappily engaged against his designs, in vain they rage and plot. He takes the wife in their own craftiness, pours contempt upon their power and policy, and all their great preparations melt like a mist, or like snow before the sun, and leave no trace behind. Still more wonderful, to the eye of faith, is his controul over Satan and the powers of darkness. Whatever, for wife reasons, though unknown to us, he may permit them to do, they cannot, with all their subtlety or strength, detain one foul in their bondage, longer than till his appointed time of release; nor recover one soul back to their dominion, os which he is pleased to undertake the care. On the contrary, he breaks the heads of these Leviathans in pieces, turns their counsels against themselves,, and makes them instrumental in purifying his people, and extending his church, by the means they employ for the destruction of both. Thus they who dwell under his lhadow are safe; for all things are in his power, and he always careth for- them, and keepeth them, as the pupil of his eye. And therefore though they are exercised 4
er-cised with trials, and suffer many things for their good, his eye being always upon them, and his ear open to their prayer, they are supported, supplied, relieved, delivered, and a.t last made more than conquerors.
II. He has a peculiar kingdom, which, he has established distinct from the kingdoms of this world, though diffused and extended among them, and which, in due time, like leaven, will pervade and assimilate them all to himself. This is the kingdom of the gospel, his church. It is founded upon a rock, and though the gates of hell continually war against it, they cannot prevail. For he is a wall ofjire round about it, and a glory in the midjl of it *,
Here he reigns upon a throne of grace. He possesses and exercises unlimited authority as a sovereign, to save whom he pleases, to pardon all manner of sins and offences, and to admit rebels and enemies, when they submit themselves and bow so his golden sceptre, into the number of his children and his friends. Seldom do the kings of the earth publish an act of grace in favour of those who have been guilty of rebellion, without
* Zcch. ii. 5,
N 3 clogging
lies, should at last fee them, with whom you have been very nearly connected in this world, received into the kingdom of heaven, and you yourselves be shut out.
. 3. The catholic church, in any one period, is that part of the visible church, which is united to the Lord by living faith. It comprizes all who agree in the profession of the fundamental truths of the gospel, and whose Conversation is regulated by its precepts, or in the apostle's words, All who love the Lord yesus Chrijl in Jincerity. f. This catholic church, through the policy of Satan, and the deceitfulnefs of the heart, is too much divided against itself. Prejudice, bigotry, and remaining ignorance greatly prevent that desirable union amongst true christians, which would promote their peace, comfort and increase, and would contribute, more than a thousand arguments, to put their adversaries to shame and to filence. That shameful contention for denominations, parties, and favourite preachers, for which the apostle reproved the Corinthians -f, is still greatly to be lamented. But though they are too backward in acknowledging and, assisting each * Eph. vi. 24. t 1C01. jii. 4.