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Of the Goodness of God.
PSALM cxlv. 9.
The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are
over all his works. The goodness of God is a frequented theme; to $ E R M. many perhaps it may seem vulgar and trite; so that discourse thereon, like a story often told, may be nauseous to their ears : but in truth neither can we speak too much upon this most excellent subject, nor ought we ever to be weary in hearing about it; for it is a sign that the palate of our mind is diftempered, if we do not with delight and affection relish any mention of divine goodness. Yea, the observation of men's common practice would induce us to think, that either this point is not so well known, or but little believed, or at least not well considered and applied. For how could we be so void of love to God, of gratitude toward him, of faith and hope in him, were we throughly persuaded, did we seriously consider, that he is so exceedingly good toward us? How can we be so insensible of the benefits we enjoy, so distrustful of finding succours
SER M. and supplies in our need, so diffatisfied and discon
tented with what befalls us, if we conceive and weigh, that all things do proceed from, are guided and governed by immense goodness? How also, if men have such an opinion of God impressed on their minds, comes it to pass that they are so little careful to resemble and imitate him in kindness, bounty, and inercy to one another? How is it, in fine, that the most powerful argument to all manner of good practice, and the mightiest aggravation of fin, if well known and pondered, hath so little force and efficacy upon us? From experience therefore this argument may seem scarce sufficiently inculcated. We may add, that discourse upon this attribute? (which above all other attributes doth render God peculiarly admirable and amiable) hath this special advantage beyond other discourses, that it doth, if our hearts con1pire therewith, approach most nearly to the formal exercise of the most high and heavenly parts of devotion, praise and thanksgiving ; that it more immediately conduces to the breeding, the nourishing, the augmenting in us the best and noblest of pious affections, love and reverence to God; trust and hope in him ; willing resolutions to please and serve him ; whence it is consequent, that we cannot too much employ our thoughts, our words, or our attention upon this point. Besides so much reason, we have also good example to countenance us in so doing: we have the precedent of the holy Psalınist refolving to make it his constant and continual em
ployment: I will sing (saith he) of the mercies of the lxxxix. 1. Lord; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulPfal. cxlv. ness to all generations. And, Every day will I bless thee,
and I will praise thy name for ever; (that blessing and praifing God, the context shews to have consisted especially in the declaration of God's great goodness:)
-Θεός, ού πολλών άντων, εφ' οίς θαυμάζεται, έδέν ότως ως το πάντας ευεργέτειν ιδιωταθόν. Νaz. Οrat. 26.