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Then will my raptur'd soul repeat,
The wonders of thy grace ;
I view thee face to face.
X. ON THE IMMENSITY OF GOD.
It is from the Holy Scriptures alone, that we can attain just views of the being, nature, and character of God.
How sublime are the revelations of the divine perfections there made known to us!
Who can grasp this one thought? “Thus saith the high and lofty one, that inhabiteth eternity.”
We are astonished when we read of the Egyptian pyramids, and the magnificent palaces of mighty monarchs; but what sightless atoms are they, when compared with eternity, that boundless habitation of the King of kings.
“ From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” The existence of one supreme Being, who is without beginning, is consonant with right reason; for he, who made all things, must necessarily be before all things. A creature cannot make itself. This would imply exertion before existence, which is an absurdity. And yet how far above our finite comprehension is the nature of the self-existent, eternal Jehovah.
Our minds are lost when we plunge into infinity. 66 Who by searching can find out God? who can find out the Almighty to perfection
The volume of creation displays the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. What wonderful contrivance, what wise adaptation of one part to another; what power in upholding, what goodness in preserving the myriads of creatures which fill the
air, the earth, the sea, is discoverable around us.
"A late eminent astronomer found that in 41 minutes not less than 258,000 stars in that part of the heaven called the milky way, had passed through the field of view in his telescope! What must God be, who made, governs and supports so many worlds, who telleth the number of stars; and calleth them by name !"
It is however from the volume of Inspiration that we derive our knowledge of the moral attributes of the Deity; and obtain those awful, yet sublimely interesting views of him, with whom we have to do, which at once elevate and purify the soul.
The Holy Bible may well be called the Book of God; not only because it has God for its author, but because it is filled with such revelations of his glorious character, as surpass the powers of human reason fully to comprehend.
How fervently did the apostle pray for his Ephesian converts; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give unto them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him : that the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, they might know the hope of his calling; and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; and the exceeding greatness of his power towards those who believe: that being rooted and grounded in love, they might be ahle to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, and thus be filled with all the fulness of God."
We stand upon the sea-shore, and survey with admiring delight the wide extended ocean, whose distant waters lose themselves in the blue horizon. But what is this great abyss of waters, compared to
that ocean of Almighty love, which is without a bottom and a shore ?
0! my God, when I contemplate thy sovereign will, which, from eternity, in highest wisdom, consulted my welfare, I am lost in astonishment.
When I reflect upon thy omnipotence, thy omnipresence, thy omniscience, thy infinite holiness, thy inviolable justice, thy unerring wisdom, thy faithfulness and truth, thy everlasting love, thy sovereign grace, thy patience and long-suffering-how I am filled with awe and dread. Yet faith can contemplate this bright display of uncreated excellence, and rejoice in thy infinite perfections as exhibited and harmonized in Jesus, the incarnate Word. Here I behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. 0! that whilst beholding, I may be transformed into the lovely image of the Saviour, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Who does not long to feel the purifying effect of these sacred views of God in Christ? Lord, make me humble, whilst I meditate on thy humility; loving, whilst I think upon thy love; holy, whilst I dwell upon thy purity; just, whilst I contemplate thy righteousness; merciful, whilst I behold thy grace , joyful, whilst I review thy everlasting covenant. O! fill my heart with gratitude, and my mouth with praise. To thee, blessed Jesus, do I look. Remove all spiritual darkness from my mind; all spiritual deadness from my heart. Cause me to know thee, as my Saviour; to follow thee, as my leader; to love thee, as my friend; to trust in thee, as my atonement; to be found in thee, as my righteousness; to feed on thee, as the living bread; to walk in thee, as the way to the Father; and to dwell with thee in heaven for ever.
What comfort may every humble believer derive from the declaration of his Lord : “ am I a God at
hand, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him ? Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord ?"
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “Lo, Í
you alway, even unto the end of the world." How happy must that soul be, whose refuge is always near. But to have an enemy always near us; an enemy armed with omnipotence-an enemy, made so by our wilful transgressions; is a consideration most appalling.
Yet this is the case, as it respects every impenitent sinner. The thought of such a God being ever near, whose eye is ever upon us; whose power can crush us in a moment; and drive the outcast spirit into outer darkness; would, one would think, awaken every dormant sensibility, and arouse every sleeping sinner. Yet, alas ! surrounded with such peril, the soul sleeps on in dreadful security, till either grace quicken it to repentance, or justice awaken it in the fire that shall never be quenched.
Lord, awaken my drowsy sense. Quicken all my powers. Draw me by the powerful constraining influence of thy love; and cause me to rejoice in this sacréd truth, that thou art always near, my help in trouble, and my life in death.
When we begin to measure distances with respect to natural objects, we are lost in astonishment. What thought can reach the boundary of creation ? Many suns have probably been sending forth their rays in quick succession from the first moment of creation, whose light has not reached our earth. Who then can measure such distances ? And yet, what are millions of worlds revolving round each other, compared with infinite space, and eternal duration ? If we cannot by the boldest flight of imagination conceive the mighty stretch of creation; how shall we dare to sin against that inconceivably glorious Being, who filleth heaven and earth with his presence—who inhabiteth eternity!
How truly sublime are the questions of the enraptured prophet Isaiah: “ Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand; and meted out heaven with a span; and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ?"
“ Behold the nations are as the drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance : behold he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” “ All nations before him are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity.”
“ It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers : that stretcheth out the heaven as a curtain
and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”
“ Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary; and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Every doctrine of Scripture is designed to promote our growth in grace. They are given to us, not for speculation, but for practice. From this view of the divine immensity, we are taught humility, reverence, and circumspection.
Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, the eye of God is upon us, viewing us, not as an indifferent spectator, but taking cognizance of every action, of