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God the Father of All.

God the Father of All.

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Published by glennpease
JOHN BUDD PITKIN


Malachi ii. 10. ' Have we not all one father, hath not one God
created us?'
JOHN BUDD PITKIN


Malachi ii. 10. ' Have we not all one father, hath not one God
created us?'

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 03, 2013
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GOD THE FATHER OF ALL.JOH BUDD PITKIMalachi ii. 10. ' Have we not all one father, hath not one Godcreated us?'Most men agree in tracing the origin of the uni-verse to the exercise of a creative power, whatevermay be their respective notions of the essential natureof that power, whether it be matter or spirit ; orwhatever may be the names by which they choose todesignate it, whether c Jehovah, Jove or Lord.' oexercise of our minds is more natural than to contem-plate an effect, as proceeding from some cause capableof producing it. To an effect which exhibits evidentmarks, of design we hesitate not to assign a cause ca-pable of designing. Such a cause is an intelligentagent. We look at a dwelling suited in its construc-tions to the wants and conveniences of a human ten-ant, and the inference is irresistible that every houseis built by some man. We look on the great fabric of the universe ; we find as far as our observation extends,the most manifest tokens of contrivance ; and we havea right to infer the existence of a contriver as much224 SERMO X.superior in intelligence and power to the builder of the house, as the workmanship of the universe is morevast and complicated than the buildings which man isable to plan and erect. Hence our notions of an in-telligent Deity. A self-existent creative power mustexist somewhere; and from the order and harmonywhich every where meet our view in our contempla-tions of nature, we most naturally come to the conclu-sion that this self-existent power is an intelligent agent.Such we conceive to be the plain doctrine of aturalTheology. Revelation not only sanctions this doctrine,but it enters into a detail of the moral qualities of thiswonderful intelligence, clothes it with the properties of a person, and brings into view the moral relations whichsubsist between him and all intellectual beings. Inour text, as in many other passages, God and men are
 
represented as bearing to each other the relationshipof father and children. Jehovah is revealed to us,not only as the creator of all men but as the father of all men. In what sense God is said to be a father tous all, and in what respects he exhibits the parentalcharacter towards us, will form the subject of our pres^ent consideration.I. Let us inquire, first, in what sense God is said to bea father to us all. God may with great propriety becalled the creator of an object of which it would beimproper to call him father. An ingenious workmanbuilds a machine ; he is properly said to be its builderor maker, but not its father. There are no naturalties of affection, no similarity of moral qualities, no' SERMO X. 225moral obligations betwixt the workman and his unintelli-gent machine. So God is the creator of inanimatematter, but not its father; he is the creator of thebrute, but not its father. He is the creator and or-ganizer of the unthinking substances which composeour mortal bodies, but not their father. He is thesource from which emanates the immortal spirit crea-ted in his moral likeness, bearing the impression of hismoral image ; and he is its father. He is * the formerof our bodies and the father of our spirits.' { TheLord God formed man of the dust of the ground.'ow this formed or organized mass of inanimate mat-ter was the mechanism of divine skill and power, butno more the child of God, than was the dust whichcomposed it before the Almighty artificer had mould-ed it into an organic shape. But when the Creatorbreathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, and hebecame a living soul, endowed with such moral proper-ties of the divine nature as enabled theinspired writer todeclare, 'in the image of God created he him,' — I say,when God thus breathed a vital and moral essence of his own nature into man, when he thus imparted tohim a principle of being which existed in himself, heestablished by a single act between himself and manthe relationship of fether and child, — a relationshipfounded in the most endearing ties of natural affection,and embracing in itself the strongest obligations of re-
 
gard and protection on the one hand, and of submissionand obedience on the other. Thus we find the originof this kindred connection existing between man and226 SERMO X.his Maker, on which inspiration loves so much to dwell,in the fact that God stamped on the soul of man In hisoriginal creation, the impression of his own moral im-age, that is, imparted to him qualities which appertainto the divine nature, and endowed him with capacitiesto understand and ohey the same law of love whichGod makes his own rule of action.In this relationship consists God's right to enforce amoral law, and man's duty to obey it. ow the truthof no proposition can be more evident than this, ' thatthe same natural relationship which any individual of the human race bears to God, is common to the wholehuman family,' or, as the Prophet Malachi implies, thatone God is the creator and father of us all. St Pauldeclares, in his appeal to the Grecian poets, { We arealso his offspring.' ' He has made of one blood all na-tions of men to dwell on the face of the earth.' All thisis evident, whether we seek for the proof in the pages of Revelation or ature, in the organization of our bodiesor the structure of our minds. So strong is the resem-blance of one human frame to another, that the medi-cal professor is able, by acquainting himself with all theparts of a single subject, to detect the natural formationof all men. So striking is the analogy of mind, that thephilosopher in investigating the operation of his ownmental powers, is able to produce a theory of the mindwhose general features are recognized to be true of themoral and intellectual faculties of all men. The dis-cerning advocate, from a sense of what argumentsweigh on his own understanding, and what impulses actSERMO X. 327on his own passions, is able by one effort of eloquenceto pour conviction on the minds, and incline to his fa-vor the feelings of a learned Court, a sober Jury, and

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