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A BROKEN SPIRIT, A BROKEN AND CONTRITE HEART.pdf

A BROKEN SPIRIT, A BROKEN AND CONTRITE HEART.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. COGSWELL, D. D




The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ; a broken and a contrite
lieart, O God, thou wilt not despise. — Psalm li. 17.
BY J. COGSWELL, D. D




The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ; a broken and a contrite
lieart, O God, thou wilt not despise. — Psalm li. 17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 13, 2013
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A BROKE SPIRIT, A BROKE AD COTRITE HEART. BY J. COGSWELL, D. D The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ; a broken and a contrite lieart, O God, thou wilt not despise. — Psalm li. 17. Such are the capacities of the human soul that the worship of God is essential to its highest happiness. A dependent being must look to one who is indepen- dent, not only for protection but for the supply of his numerous wants. An atheistic state of mind must be a state of darkness and wretchedness. Had man, created perfectly holy, never sinned, his submission to the will of God would have been without reserve, his obedience would have been constant, and his offerings the expressions of gratitude and love. It seems to be the dictate of conscious guilt, con- nected as it always is with fearful apprehensions of evil, that something must be done to restore trans- gressors to the favor of God. Repentance, which is only a return to those duties, which would have been indispensible, had we never sinned, it must be evident to every man of reflection, can make no amends for past offences. 120' A BROKE SPIRIT, A BROKE That mankind might have a view of the method, devised by infinite wisdom and adopted by infinite benevolence, by which God can be jnst and the justi- fier of him that beheveth in Jesns, sacrifices were in the earhest ages of the world institnted. Though
 
numerous and burdensome under the former dispen- sation, yet, except in times of declension, they were cheerfully and punctually offered by the professed friends of God. It may also be remarked, it was thought so reasonable to offer sacrifices to God, or the gods worshipped, in order to obtain deliverance from evils actually experienced, or apprehended, that all nations adopted the practice. To ofter many and very costly sacrifices could not, therefore, be consider- ed any proof of real piety, unless we admit that all mankind were the friends of the true God. The psalmist seemed to have a clear discernment of the difiference between that worship, which is spirit- ual, and which proceeds from right feelings of heart, and that which consists in the observance of external rites. Many were willing to worship God outwardly, who were not at heart his true friends. It has been found difficult in every age to persuade men to worship God in spirit and in truth. Selfdenial, which is one of the essentials of true piety, is the last thing to which they can be induced to submit. Great zeal may be manifested in the observance of religious institutions, when the heart is unmoved and unsanctitied. Men are willing to be religious, if they can have a religion which is aofreeable to their natural feelings. If what passes for religion in the world were care- fully examined by the light of revelation, and if the wheat were separated from the chalf ; we should be AD COTRITE HEART. 121 surprised to find so little of the former and so much of the latter. Witho\it some motive, or stimulus which is not holy, few are disposed to maintain the worship of God with vigor. Religion, when stript of every thing not essential to it has no charms for those, who
 
have not been born of the Holy Spirit. But, if our gospel be hid, said the apostle, it is hid to them that are lost ; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. As we must one day be judged by him that search- eth the heart and trieth the reins of the children of men; it is of immense importance that we carefully and impartially examine the foundation of our hope, and that we rest satisfied with nothing short of clear scripture evidence of its soundness. If any error have been embraced, it may now be corrected. O Lord, said the psalmist, open thou my lips ; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it : thou de'ight- est not in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. To explain and enforce the duty contained in the text is the design of the following discourse. 1. It has already been observed that there has been a disposition in all nations to offer expensive sacrifices to the god, or the gods worshipped. There has been a willingness to submit to great mortifications and priva- tions to quiet a troubled conscience. These fiicts are noticed, where the light of revelation is not enjoyed. They are no evidence of a right state of heart. 122 A BROKE SPIRIT, A BROKE In Christian countries, when any are excited and roused from the skimbers of stupidity by the mighty operations of the Spirit of God, they are anxious to do

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