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"Hear his gracious invitation :

'I have life and peace to give; I have wrought out full salvation, Sinner, look to me and live.

"You had been forever wretched,
Had not I espoused your part;
Now behold my arms outstretched
To receive you to my heart.

"Well may shame, and joy, and wonder,
All your inward passions move;
I could crush you with my thunder,
But I speak to you in love.'

"Dearest Saviour! we adore thee

For thy precious life and death;
Melt each stubborn heart before thee,
Give us all the eye of faith."

"Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth, and good will to men!" Amen!

SERMON XI.

ALL IS WELL.

MARK vii. 37. He hath done all things well.

GOD's way is in the sea, and his path in the mighty waters. The dispensations of his providence are sometimes bright, and sometimes shrouded in darkness. They are often so mysterious and so unlooked-for, that it requires a state of mind not always enjoyed, to take in the whole extent of them, and be satisfied that "All is well."

All is well! A soothing, cheering cry is this, when the watchman utters it, in his solitary walks of vigilance and care through the crowded and slumbering city; and when the warder utters it, as he patrols the walls of the castle that borders on the enemy's country! It is indeed a delightful state of mind to feel this truth; and when we look abroad over the world, and over the universe God has made, to have the inward and calm assurance that "he hath done all things well." It is the highest privilege of a good man, in the midst of the most violent tempests that assail his earthly hopes, with his hand on the truth and promises of God, and his eyes directed toward heaven, to be satisfied that All is well. Like the fabled stone of the alchemist which turned everything it touched into gold, this is a confidence, a faith in God, which changes

night into day, and transforms evil into good. Let us attempt both to explain and prove this great truth. I. Our first object is to explain it.

Men are very partial and poor judges of the works and ways of God. We have no evidence that even the pure and lofty minds of angels fully understand them; for "who by searching can find out God, who can find out the Almighty to perfection?" It is only the infinite mind of God himself that comprehends all that he does; that views everything in its true light, because it sees everything as it is, and in all its connections and consequences. He alone appreciates everything according to its real worth, because "he sees the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done."

When the Patriarch Jacob was bereaved of his dearest earthly hopes, he exclaimed, in great gloom and depression of mind, "All these things are against me!" But he could see but a little ways. He could not see far enough to know what the end of them would be, nor how easily God could govern, and direct, and overrule “all these things," and make them "work together for his good." What is well in our view is not always well in God's. What often appears to us to be our best seasons, prove in the end to have been our worst; and what often appear to us to be our worst seasons, prove to be our best. What is best for us to-day, may not be the best for us to-morrow. What is best for us

in time, may not be best for us in eternity. What is best for our worldly prosperity and comfort, may not be for the real and substantial good of our immortal souls.

All is well that ends well. All is well that makes us in the end the most holy, the most useful, and the most

happy. All is well that establishes us in the faith and hope of the Gospel; that promotes our sanctification, and fits us for death and heaven. All is well that concurs in conducting us safely through the difficulties and dangers of this short life, to "the rest that remaineth for the people of God."

Nor is this all. God not unfrequently makes his people suffer, not for their own sakes only, but for others' sakes. And it is well when he does this. Job was a great sufferer, and so was Paul; but the narrative of their sufferings, and of their spirit under God's dealings with them, has made thousands holier and happier than they would have been, had these holy men never have been such sufferers. "None of us liveth to himself, and none of us dieth to himself." It matters little what we enjoy, or suffer, in the present world, if we thereby best promote the mutual and collective benefit of our fellow-men, advance the kingdom of God in the earth, promote the enlargement, stability, and purity of his cause, and glorify his great name. All good men form a part of that kingdom; if that kingdom prospers, and prospers the more through their toil, and self-denial, and suffering; not only is it well, but it is better for them themselves, than though they had never thus toiled and suffered. When the saints of God reach their Father's house, and are with Christ in heaven, and there see that, through those very dispensations of which they complained on earth, others have been brought to those "many mansions," and they themselves are compensated a thousand fold for all their sufferings; how will they wonder at their short-sightedness, in not having seen beforehand that it was all for the best!

God always makes the means he uses answer the ends he intends they shall answer. He means well by everything he does; and he does well because he never fails to accomplish the end he has in view. He does not now tell us all the reasons for all that he does; but they are wise and good reasons, and though we may not know them now, we shall know them hereafter. does all things well-prosperous and adverse, small and great, everywhere and always. Single events, and those which, when isolated and taken apart, are gloomy and distressing, collectively and in their final issues, are full of light and joy.

He

Thus much for the explanation of the truth, that he hath done all things well.

II. Let us turn our attention, in the second place, to the proof of it. Our proof shall be confined to the following considerations:

1. In the first place, let us look at the perfection of the Divine goodness. "God is good, and he does good." "He is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." There is not one malignant or evil affection in his nature. There is not one emotion even of cold indifference. 66 "God is love;" in all its purity, in all its expansiveness, in all its ardor and intensity, God is love. His goodness shines forth in the heavens, is showered down from the clouds, and overlays the

earth and sea. It stoops to guilty man, and visits him with one continued flow of blessings. Like the sun in the heavens, his goodness everywhere sheds its benign influence to warm and animate, and make the earth on which we tread glow with its sacred fires.

He who sent his Son to seek and to save that which was lost, must be a great and good Being. No man

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