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God is a Jealous God

God is a Jealous God

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Published by glennpease

REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.

Exodus xx. 5.
For I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God.

REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.

Exodus xx. 5.
For I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 10, 2013
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02/17/2014

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GOD IS A JEALOUS GODREV. HERY WOODWARD, A.M.Exodus xx. 5.For I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God.WHERE human affections are, in any passages of Scrip-ire, ascribed to God, I am aware that such ascriptionsmst be meant and understood in a high and peculiar•i^se. But still, where God has been pleased to revealrirtiself, it is not for us to refine away the plain termsthe revelation by notions which we ourselves may*"rn of the Divine counsels or the Divine nature. We^11 best, perhaps, receive the impressions we are in-h instances intended to receive, when, to the utmostour power, we divest whatever quality God con-»cends to attribute to Himself of every imperfection^lloy ; and then feel and act towards God as one in>in that quality actually resides. If God, then, says" He is a jealous God, let us not be wise above whatritten. Let us not grope in the depth of the incom-ensible mind, to find how this can be : but let us*mplate only what is most elevated and tender intemper of the soul ; and then remember that the• on whom our highest interests depend, is, in thata jealous God.i's jealousy appears in this, that He will not give^ry to another.IS8 SERMO XIII.It is according to the order and constitution of things ^— ,that greatness should, command and receive the homag^^sof respect. And even where the distinction is merely ^human, those who wear it feel that tribute to be thei^^right, and resent the refusal of it with high indignation — .
 
And, in truth, to earthly greatness this homage is inrmgeneral most amply yielded; not merely with tha^^Btmanly and cheerful submission to the powers ordainedof God which the Scripture everywhere enjoins,' butwith a certain prostration and servility of soul, often feltmost keenly by those who keep the secret best fronothers — nay, who conceal it even from themselves. Tht^-^brilliancy and splendour, the thousand nameless marks^^of conscious superiority which wealth can purchase and — -greatness throw around it, have an almost magical effectrrupon the natural mind. Many men boast of inde-pendence merely because they are mortified at their ownexclusion from these envied prizes. Others rise up earlyand late take rest ; put genius, talents, time, and labour,all upon the stretch ; satisfied with a life of toiling andclambering up the hill, if peradventure, at the close of evening, they may reach the shining eminence. Such isthe general passion. Thus do all people, nations andlanguages, however disunited in other respects, fall downand worship the golden image.This moral apostacy from God is easy to be ac-counted for. Admiration is a passion originally im-planted in the soul. Like every other appetite, it seekswith restless anxiety for its connatural food. But it canrange only within the circle of its own experience, andselect only amongst those materials which are presentedto its view. If our minds, then, are bounded by thispresent scene, its artificial lustre must intensely andSERMO XIII. 159>werfully engage them. othing can give to admira->n its right direction, nothing can convert it fromfeverish distemper into an ennobling principle of theul, but that which can outshine the dazzling lights of ne, namely, the sober dawn of eternity. Let faithice remove the veil, and the soul will recogpise at
 
glance the real purposes for which God had formedr with such lofty aspirings and such high ambition.ke one who, amidst the lingering dregs and fadedups of some mingled scene of mirth and heaviness,aws aside the curtain, throws up the window, and letsthe pure breath and blessed light of nature : so faith?ens another system to the mind, the morning of andless day begins, and God the Sun of that new worldies in perfect beauty. The soul then recoils with horror3m the objects of its former worship. It wonders at5 past delusions. It asks itself how it could haveifused this happy and familiar intercourse with theang of heaven, that it might crouch beneath the foot-tool or touch the hem of the garment of some perishingmortal. It sees that it had been placing idols in theemple of the living God. It understands the meaning>f these words : /, the Lord thy Gody am a jealous God ;mi I will not give my glory to another.o jealousy is so strong as what arises from the^nsciousness of having highly benefited and deeply^oved the object of that passion. But in applying thisprinciple to the relations in which God stands to us, no•ongue of men or angels could shew forth all His praise,^r recount those endless mercies in the midst of which^c live and move and have our being. Upon so vast^ field the mind is lost, and wanders through the bound-^^ prospect without the power of fixing its affectionsl60 SERMO XIII.anywhere. If we would appreciate God's claims uponthe heart, we must narrow the circle. We must view Hisperfections, not as they are in themselves, or in the widespread of their general bearings upon us, but as theScriptures paint them ; clothed in circumstances, iacts,and instances, wrought into the texture of real life, andstanding forth, as it were, embodied to the mind.

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