Friday, July 24, 2009

hearts penetrated and softened...

Dependence and gratitude are vital elements of piety and they are explored by John Emery Abbot in this continuation of his sermon:

"The Piety of Our Savior"

2. In the second place, the piety of our Saviour was manifested by his referring all his own powers and advantages to the Father, and considering all as derived from him.
He not only continually assures us that he "came not of himself," but that " the Father sent him;" thus attributing, with the Apostle, all the benefits which flowed from his coming into the world, to the mercy of God, who so loved the world that he gave his Son to save it...

He assumes nothing to himself. Every thing is referred to God as its Author. And his expressions of gratitude for all that he had given him, are continually implied or expressed.

The same feeling of dependence, the same grateful sense of God's goodness, ought we to exercise. All our blessings, like all his, flow from God. We are called indeed to a different service, and different powers are demanded for our work. But as God invested him with all the powers necessary for his undertaking, so he has given to us all the ability which we need to accomplish the work given us to do...

And ought not the capacities and powers which God has given us, though they be not miraculous, to be acknowledged with gratitude ? 'Though our condition be so unlike to his, though we see no visible interpositions of providence on our behalf, though we discern not angels ministering to us when deserted and in trouble, and see not the spirit of grace descending on us as it descended to rest on him; yet are we not entirely dependent on God's care? Is not his providence continually encompassing us, protecting us in danger, supplying our minutest wants, and surrounding us with numberless comforts ? Is not God's spirit granted, though it operates silent and unseen, to help our infirmities, to sustain our feeble and failing exertions, and to sanctify our souls, and prepare us for heaven ? Why then shall we not imitate the grateful piety of Jesus, and look up from amidst all the blessings and privileges he has conferred upon us, with hearts penetrated and softened with fervent thankfulness ?


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