What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray to him?
Religion, or the service of God, is an equivalent expression for a virtuous and good life. Religion is grounded on the very best reason, having its foundation in these three things —
I. THE EXISTENCE AND NATURE OF GOD. The being of a God is not an idle, fanciful notion, but a sacred and eternal truth, witnessed by the whole universe; so that we may as reasonably doubt whether anything at all is, as whether there be a God, who is the cause of all other things. God's working everywhere is a plain proof of His presence everywhere. The same God, whose presence, power, and knowledge are infinite, is likewise most holy, just, good, merciful, faithful and true, and in all these attributes is "without variableness, or shadow of turning." Religion must be a reasonable service, being founded in the existence and nature of this Almighty Being.
II. THE NATURE OF MAN. It is therefore reasonable. Creatures that are part bodies and part souls. Our bodies surrounded with innumerable dangers, and naturally weak and defenceless; subject to manifold wants, passions, and diseases. Our souls of a rank and order much advanced above our bodies; possessed of powers and faculties excellent in their nature, but that may become the foundation of our guilt and shame, and the means of our greater torment and misery. Religion only can preserve the peace of the mind, or restore it when lost. It is not peace alone that religion bestows, but pleasures too. The soul lives when our body dies.
III. RELIGION IS FOUNDED IN THE RELATION BETWIXT GOD AND MAN. I am related to God as the author of my being, and all belonging to it. God is the fountain of happiness, the object as well as the author of it. Reflections —
1. How thankful we should be for the Gospel of our blessed Saviour, and how very highly should we value it.
2. Christianity is wonderfully suited to the nature of man as a fallen creature.
3. Appeal to every man's conscience, whether it be not a plain case what his choice ought to be?
Parallel VersesKJV: What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?