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persons and give praise to him, that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb. The more the angels look into the work of redemption, the more clearly they perceive the great mystery of the sacred Trinity and rejoice in it. By the same medium, they gain the fullest and clearest knowledge of the divine perfections. Without the plan of redemption, they may learn the power, and wisdom, and goodness of the Deity. But it is only in the gospel, that they can learn the justice, and grace of God, and his sovereignty in the display of these glorious attributes. In the face of Jesus Christ, they can see the manifold wisdom, the inflexible justice and the astonishing, distinguishing and sovereign grace of God. Their knowledge of God was vastly increased by the revelation of the divine purpose to save sinners by the death of Christ. And while God was preparing the way for his incarnation, by looking into the great and gracious design, they made constant and rapid advances in the knowledge of God. And ever since his incarnation they have been discovering more and more of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. When Peter wrote they were still desirous of contemplating the wonders of redeeming love. And they will for ever desire to look into these things and find a peculiar pleasure in the contemplation of them, because they unfold the divine perfections. For nothing gives them so much real

happiness as a view of the character and perfections of the Deity The knowledge of God is the source and basis of their supreme felicity. And the more they know of God, the more do they rejoice in him.

2. Angels take pleasure in contemplating the work of redemption because it enlightens them into the knowledge of themselves. They were all created at one time and in the full maturity of their intellectual powers. They had no work to do in order to maintain their existence. They were formed perfectly holy and fit for the enjoyment of God. And they had no other test of their fidelity than only loving their Maker and rejoicing in his perfections. Hence their own existence and the noble powers they possessed, were a mystery to themseves. Especially it was a mystery to them that some of their number should be suffered to sin and fall into remediless destruction. From the time of their creation to the fall of Adam, it seems they must have been very ignorant of the end of their being and of the great work for which they were formed. And when this work was pointed out, it appears, that some of them utterly refused to minister to Christ and the heirs of salvation, for which they were banished from heaven and reserved in everlasting chains of darkness. But those, who kept their first estate, joyfully accepted an employment, which gave them peculiar opportunity to contem

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grace. And the more they have looked into this great and glorious design, the more they have become acquainted with themselves and the divine conduct towards them. In the work of redemption they discover many reasons, why they were created first of all intelligent creatures, why they were endowed with such superior powers and faculties, why they were placed in a state of probation, why they were elected while others were reprobated, why they were established in holiness and happiness, while others were doomed to fall and perish; and why these things took place before the human apostacy. In the work of redemption they see, that they were intimately connected with mankind and were to be instrumental both in their fall and recovery. If there be ten thousand worlds, as philosophers dream, yet it is certain, that only the angelic world is connected with mankind and actually concerned in promoting their eternal happiness and misery. And it is by contemplating the work of redemption, that angels discover their connection with this world. And the more they trace this connection, the greater pleasure it gives them to pursue their most benevolent employment. Hence it is, that they are represented to be so sensibly affected with whatever conduces to the prosperity of the church. They rejoice exceedingly, when sinners are converted, and their joy is no less when the ene

and destroyed. And while they look into the testimony of God, and contemplate the predictions and promises respecting the work of redemption, their knowledge of themselves, as the active instruments of promoting that glorious scheme of divine wisdom and grace, affords them peculiar enjoyment and satisfaction. And at the same time they learn why their former associates in holiness and happiness are what they are and where they are, and allowed to exert their malignant influence over the minds of men. In a word, angels take pleasure in contemplating the work of redemption, because it continually unfolds more and more the end of their being and the mystery of God's dispensations towards them.

3. Angels are pleased with the work of redemption because it enlightens them in the knowledge of mankind. The human race would be a mystery to all other intelligent creatures, were it not for the work of redemption. One generation of men after another are brought upon the stage of life and carried from it and appear to answer no very valuable purpose. They generally live a very low and insignificant life. They do but very little good and a great deal of evil. They bury their noble talents; or employ them in spreading misery and destruction through the world. It seems strange, therefore, that God should not put an end to their existence,

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or make it better or worse. the work of redemption unfolds the mystery. It appears that that glorious scheme of mercy requires such a mixed state of things for the present, in order to give a brighter display of all the perfections of God in the salvation of the elect. It is by the incarnation of Christ, that the angels learn why mankind have such gross bodies and impure spirits; why they live in such a mixed state of good and evil; why God causes the vilest of mankind to enjoy such a profusion of earthly blessings, and the best to suffer such a series of temporal evils; why God does not put an end to the world, nor reform it any faster. It is by looking into the work of redemption, that they discover the reasons of the rise and fall of nations, and of all the changes and revolutions in the kingdoms of men. These are all means of promoting the work of redemption, and the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. The angels take pleasure in tracing the connection of means and ends in the great work of redemption. Their knowledge, and consequently their holiness and happiness are constantly increased by studying the great system of divinity contained in the gospel of our salvation. By comparing predictions with events, they attain to greater and greater improvements in that knowledge, which is the food of holy and benevolent minds.

4. The work of redemption enlightens the angels into the know

ledge of the universe. It is the gospel only, which unfolds the ultimate end of God in creation. The scheme of redemption combines, connects and unites all parts of the creation of God. It forms a whole, composed of all the parts of the created universe. And nothing but a knowledge of the whole can give a clear and just view of any of its parts. Were the angels acquainted with all heaven and hell, with all the suns and stars, and with all the visible and invisible parts of this lower world; still their knowledge would be essentially defective, without knowing the ultimate end of God in forming the various parts of the creation and their design and use in promoting his ultimate end. This knowledge the scheme of redemption conveys to their minds. For the gospel represents the work of redemption as God's ultimate design in creation. The apostle says, "that he purposed in himself that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him." And again he says, "It pleased the father, that in him should all fulness dwell, and having made peace through the blood of the cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things on earth or things in heaven." God has made Christ head over all things to the church; and the salvation of the church is the ultimate end

of creation, to which all its parts are subservient. Hence by looking into the scheme of redemption by Christ, the angels discover the ultimate end of God in all his works, which gives them the true knowledge of the universe. It is by studying the work of redemption, that they learn all that can be learned of God and his works. It comprehends all real knowledge and gives entire satisfaction to a wise and holy mind. It is not strange, therefore, that angels are extremely pleased in looking into that mirror, which reflects the greatest light upon the universe. Especially if we consider,

to the existence of the greatest degrees of holiness and happiness. The more they look into the great and glorious scheme of redemption, the more they see of the wisdom and goodness of God, in respect to all the sin and misery that exist in the universe; and the more they are satisfied, that death and every other evil will be swallowed up in victory. The scheme of redemption spreads light and glory over the face of all things in heaven, earth and hell. In the light of man's redemption, they see light in all the dark scenes and dark places of the universe. They are fully convinced, that there is no absolute evil in the creation of God; that is, none but what is necessary to raise the holiness and happiness of the intelligent system to the highest possible degree. This conviction has already taken place in their minds; but yet new light is continually opening upon them, the more they look into the astonishing scheme of redemption, which does now and will forever engage their delightful contemplation. In the great plan of God there are sufficient materials to employ their minds forever in contemplating his great and wonderful works of wisdom and goodness. Their know ledge, their holiness and happiness will continue and increase forever, while they behold the riches of God's glory and the exceeding riches of his grace, as they will be forever displayed with increas

5. That in contemplating God's ultimate end in the work of redemption, they discover that end to be the greatest possible degree of holiness and happiness. The holy angels love holiness and the happy angels love that happiness, which flows from holiness. They are perfectly benevolent and desire to see the highest possible displays of benevolence. They hate misery in itself considered and desire to see it swallowed up in the highest happiness of the universe. And while they contemplate the work of redemption, they see that where sin has a bounded, there grace and holiness will much more abound; and where misery has abounded there happiness will much more abound. By the light of the gospel they see that the sin and misery which exist in the universe, and which will exist forever, are subservient ing clearness and fulness by the

wonders of redemption through Jesus Christ.

JAMES.

SERMONS-No. VI.

THE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF CHIL

DREN.

PSALM LXXVIII. 7. That they might

set their hope in God.

God promised to bestow upon the descendants of Abraham, for many generations, the most important blessings. Yet the bestowment of these blessings God connected with the diligence and fidelity of Abraham, in the government and instruction of his children and household. Of Abraham God said "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." After the law was given at mount Sinai and the peopłe promised obedience, God said, "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me and keep my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever." That his ancient people might be obedient and be blessed in their successive generations, God said, "These words, that I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy

children, and shalt talk of them,
when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the
way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up." These
divine declarations respecting the
religious instruction of children
show, that this duty is, in the view
of God, an object of the greatest
importance. Indeed, the peculiar
privileges and enjoyments of his
ancient people were suspended
upon their performance of this
duty. In our context this subject
is placed before us in a very strik-
ing manner.
The psalmist says,
"What we have heard and known
and what our fathers have told us,
we will not hide from their chil-
dren, showing to the generation to
come the praises of the Lord, and
his strength and his wonderful
works that he hath done.
established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
that they should make them known
to their children; that the gene-
ration to come might know them,
even the children who should be
born; who should arise and de-
clare them to their children; that
they might set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments."
This whole passage exhibits the
duty and importance of giving re-
ligious instruction to the rising
generation. And the desired and
expected consequence of giving
children such instruction is declar-
ed in the words of our text. It
was, "that they might set their

For he

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