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Its form of government is not generally chosen, but :
cuted. But ye are brethren, and yours finally is the victory, and the glory. When my hearers, religion has accomplished its end, into what a transcendantly glorious society will it form the Christian Church :
It would be doing religon an infinite injury to suppose, that it is the principle on which political society is founded. A. political society is a collection of men nationally separated from the rest of the world.
the fruit of accident or imposed. It has respect merely to the interests of the world, and will perish with the world. To say that such a society cannot exist in a state of prosperity, without religion, if by prosperous state be meant national aggrandizement, and opulence, is to assert against all evidence. Yet it may be averred, that religion has the most propitious influence on political society. It makes the good magistrate, and the industrious, quiet subject. It gives to contracts their best security, and to labor its sure reward. As it spreads among the mass of a people, crimes will cease, mutual confidence will be restored, order will prevail, and each one will sit under his vine and fig tree, having none to make him afraid.
As a farther evidence of the excellence of religion, I must be permitted to remark, that nearly all those establishments which have charity for their object, seminaries of learning, hospitals of every description, societies for the relief of persons in distress, for the recovery of those who have become the victims of seduction, and for the emancipation of slaves, have sprung from religion as their creative principle.
Thus religion, heaven descended, the image of the Creator, and the sure guide to that happiness, which is to be enjoyed in his love, scatters her bounties, spreads her lights, and extends her healing influence in every direction. It is just the opposite of bying a vain thing. It is the only object entitled to
To be religious, is to be wise, and right,
useful, and happy. To be without religion, is to be desperately wicked. It is to be a cumberer of the ground, and an heir of bell.
Shall we not then, my hearers, be grieved to the heart for all our past irreligiousness ? Shall we not lament our opposition to religion, and neglect of it? Shall we not yield to its demands, come home to God, and be his forever? Can we still go so directly in the face of evidence, law, authority, and experience, as to refuse to be religious ? Are we determined never to be what we ought to be? Are we resolved to bring shame, dishonor, and perdition upon our. selves as fast as possible ? Can we continue deliberately to prefer a portion with the wicked ? If exhortations could do any thing, they should be multiplied till evening; till I sunk down lifeless in the pulpit. And it would be a most desirable death. But if
you yield dutifully, it must be to evidence. Evidence is full before you. And with you I leave it, and with him, who shall judge the quick and the dead.... Amen,
GOD GLORIFIED IN BUILDING UP ZION.
SAMUEL AUSTIN, D. D.
Pastor of a Congregational Church in Worcester-Massachusette.
Psalms cii. 16. * When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear
in his glory.'
BY Zion in this passage, and as the term is generally used in the Scriptures, we are to understand that holy community commonly styled the Church. There have always been some individuals of this community living in the world, through every successive period of time. Before Christ, it was confined very much to the natural posterity of Abraham. Since his advent, its boundaries have been widey extended, and it has taken into its bosom multitudes of us sinful and miserable Gentiles. Every person who is sanctified in heart is a subject of this community. And every person who gives evidence that he is sanctified, is visibly a subject of it. God is the builder of Zion. He designed it in his infinite mind from eternity ; and he efficiently brings into it, all the multitude of which it consists. He forms them to that temper by which they voluntarily sink into a spiritual and holy society. He preserves them under the government of this temper, so that they never can be dismembered from it. Says the Psalmist. Ps. 149. 2. • Let Israel rejoice in him that made him : let the children of Zi.
carrying it forward, he would appear in his glory.
on be joyful in their king. In the 43d chapter of Isaiah God speaks of Zion as exclusively his work.
But now thus saith the Lord, that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.-Fear not; for I am with thee, I will bring thy seed form the east, and will gather them from the west. I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth ; even every one that is called by my name, for I have cre. ated him for my glory. I have formed him, yea I have made him.'
If a superb edifice is rising under the agency of an ingenious architect, his ingenuity as an artist will appear more and more admirable, as the work advances under his hands. As Zion is styled the fullness of him who filleth all in all, and an habitation ofGod through the spirit, it is to be expected that in its rise, his glory will be greatly illustrated. That it will, is the express assertion of the Psalmist, in the passage I have read to you. With his prophetic eye spread over this immense spiritual building, as it was to rise through the lapse of ages, he asserts that whenever God should act in
This is a sentiment justly entitled to our serious consideration, and must be capable of yielding us much instruction, and comfort. I shall lead you to consider,
Ist. When God, according to the import of this passage, may be said to build up Zion.
2d. In what respects, when he does so, he appears in his glory. And
3d. I will suggest to you the proper reflections which flow from such a view of the subject.
1st. We will attend to the inquiry, when God, according to the import of the passage, may be said to build up Zion.
The material world with all its furniture, is temporary, ! They shall perish, but thou remainest, and