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harmonizes with the benevolence of the Deity, and makes them ardently desire that every creature should be treated, and every event should take place, according to the dictates of unerring wisdom and unlimited goodness. While they taste the goodness of God, they are entirely willing to be in his hands themselves, and entirely willing that all other creatures should be in his hands. They can see nothing to fear, unless they fear that God should do wrong; but they cannot see that it is morally possible he should do wrong, while they taste and feel that he is perfectly good. Hear the fearless language of the Church upon this subject : “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea ; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof."

4. Tasting the goodness of God unites the hearts of saints to one another. While they are in this happy frame, they feel united with all holy creatures in heaven and earth. So far as any appear to taste the goodness of God, they appear morally beautiful and amiable. They are experimentally acquainted with their views, desires, and affections, and love them for the same reason for which they love their own benevolent exercises. Their hearts are united like the hearts of David and Jonathan, who loved one another as their own souls. David felt this union of heart to all who had tasted the goodness of God as he had tasted it. He says, “O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.” Christ prayed that all his true followers might be one, even as he and his father are one; and his prayer is heard and answered in respect to all real Christians. Their hearts are united in benevolent affections. Having experimentally tasted the goodness of God, they know how all Christians feel, which unites them in the tender and indissoluble bonds of brotherly love.

5. Tasting the goodness of God excites in the hearts of saints an ardent desire that all others would taste his goodness. It had this effect upon David, which he expresses in the most tender and affectionate language : “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” He sincerely and ardently desired that all others should taste the goodness of God that he tasted, and enjoy the happiness that he enjoyed, in consequence of it. He cried, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” And he uttered the same ardent desire in still

stronger and more emphatical language in the one hundred and seventh psalm. “O that men would praise the Lord' for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men !" He repeats it again and again. “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men !" It is the nature of true benevolence to desire the happiness of others, and especially that happiness which flows from tasting the goodness of God. All who have tasted divine goodness, sincerely desire that others should taste and enjoy it. Paul says,

Paul says, " Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." And he more solemnly declares, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh.” When saints approach the nearest to God, and most sensibly taste his goodness, they feel the most ardent desire for the salvation of others. And at such seasons, it appears to them that all might see and taste the goodness of God, and secure his everlasting favor. They find no difficulty in seeing and tasting the goodness of God, and it seems to them that others need find no difficulty in this. They know that the goodness of God is great enough to save any, however ill deserving; and they are ready to wonder why any should refuse to see, to taste, and to enjoy the goodness of God forever, which must make them completely and forever happy

V6. Tasting the goodness of God gives saints a humiliating sense of their stupidity, blindness, and ingratitude, in so often refusing to see and taste his goodness. When they really see and taste the goodness of God, they are astonished and selfcondemned that they should not uniformly and constantly see and taste the profusion of divine goodness with which they are always surrounded. They realize that God has been good to them, while they have been blind and stupid, evil and unthankful. They can find no excuse for their stupidity and ingratitude. They feel as Job did, when he said unto God, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” They are ready to say to God, as David did when his eye had been evil, because God was good to others, “So foolish was I and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee.” Nothing gives saints a deeper sense of their vileness and ill desert, than a clear view of the astonishing goodness of God to them, and their ungrateful returns to him. It fills them with shame,

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self-reproach, and self-abasement before the Father of mercies, whom they have so often stupidly and ungratefully abused.

But yet, V 7. Their tasting the goodness of God makes them long for still greater and greater discoveries of it. After Moses had been in the Mount with God, and conversed with him face to face, as a man converses with his friend, and had often tasted his goodness, he still more ardently desired and besought the Lord to give him brighter displays of his glory, and cause all his goodness to pass before him. The more David tasted of the goodness of God, the more he desired to taste of it. thing,” says he, “have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after ; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." Yea, he declares, " As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God ?" Such are the views, and feelings, and desires of all real saints, while they think and taste of the goodness of God in the sanctuary, and in their nearest approaches to him. Like the disciples in the Mount, they desire more constantly to see, and more largely to taste, the goodness of the Lord.


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1. It appears from what has been said concerning tasting the goodness of God, what is properly to be understood by a moral taste, principle, or disposition. These terms are very often used at the present day; but perhaps little understood. Many suppose that a moral taste, principle, or disposition, means something previous to, and the foundation of, all holy and virtuous exercises, volitions, or affections, which is implanted or created in the minds of saints in regeneration. They suppose it exactly resembles the natural taste in point of passivity; and that it no more depends upon the desire, will, or choice of men, , whether they shall have a taste for the goodness of God, than whether they shall have a taste for honey, or any particular kind of food or fruit. But there appears no foundation in nature for such a passive, involuntary moral taste. There is a foundation in nature for a natural taste. It arises from the peculiar organization and contexture of the palate, that different persons have different tastes, with respect to food and fruits, and the same persons at different times. But we cannot conceive of any different construction or contexture in the human mind, that should make one man, and not another, taste the goodness of God, or the same man to taste it at one time, and not at another. The truth is, when the inspired writers use the word Taste, in respect to moral things, they use it figuratively, not for a dead, dormant, inactive, natural principle; but for an active, voluntary, moral exercise. Hence they exhort men to taste the goodness of God, as an immediate, indis. pensable duty. But this would be absurd if men could not taste and see that the Lord is good, until a new natural taste or principle was created in their minds. It is of the utmost importance that men should understand the essential difference between a natural and moral taste. It is impossible for those who deny this distinction, to make sinners see the propriety and justice of God's requiring them to love him immediately and supremely, upon pain of eternal destruction. But if à moral taste consists in free, voluntary, and benevolent exercises, then it is easy to make every one see the propriety and consistency of God's requiring all men to love him immediately and supremely, upon pain of his everlasting displeasure. In the view of this distinction every sinner's mouth is stopped, and his only excuse for not obeying every divine command is completely removed.

2. If we have properly described an experimental tasting of divine goodness, then it is something very different from men's tasting their own happiness. Saints never taste the goodness of God in their own happiness, without exercising the same kind of goodness that God exercises towards them. The men of the world have a high and keen sense of their own happiness, while they never taste the goodness of God from which it flows. The Israelites, at the side of the Red Sea, had a high sense of the happiness they enjoyed in consequence of their miraculous deliverance; while they did not experimentally taste the goodness of God in the least degree. Though they sung God's praises, yet they were destitute of every holy and grateful affection. The multitudes that followed Christ for the loaves and fishes, tasted their own happiness, but not his kindness and compassion. The whole world are continually rejoicing under the effects and influence of divine goodness; but how few taste and see that the Lord is good. None but those who experience goodness in their own hearts, can taste the goodness of God. As soon as any actually become good, they find the wide difference between tasting their own happiness, and the goodness of God from which it flows. And they feel a much higher enjoyment in tasting the goodness of God, than in tasting their own happiness. But there is reason to fear, that many make a fatal mistake upon this subject. They rejoice in the effects of that goodness of God, which they do not taste, but perfectly hate.

3. If tasting the goodness of God produces such happy effects as have been mentioned, then it is impossible, that sinners should be so happy as saints, even in this life. Sinners never do, nor can enjoy any higher happiness, than that which they derive from the effects of divine goodness; but saints enjoy a purer and higher felicity, which flows from the enjoyment of the fountain of all blessedness. Sinners drink at the streams, which they know may, and must soon fail; but saints drink at the fountain which never can fail. The thought which sinners cannot entirely banish from their minds, that all the streams of goodness which are at present flowing in upon them, will soon cease to flow, often drinks up all their joy, and sinks them in fearful gloom and despondency. They are all their lifetime subject to bondage, through fear of death, which must destroy all their hopes and happiness. Their happiness is short, uncertain, and mixed with misery; while "the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” They taste the goodness of God and its happy effects, which is a prelude to their future and eternal enjoyment of all good. 14. If saints sometimes taste the goodness of God, and enjoy its happy effects, then they are extremely unwise as well as criminal, in neglecting their duty. Their duty is, “ to keep themselves in the love of God." And if they would only do this, they would bring God near to them, and continually taste his goodness. For while they keep themselves in the love of God, they dwell in God, and God in them. This they know

, to be true, by their actually tasting the goodness of God from time to time. If they would constantly exercise that disinterested benevolence, which God constantly exercises towards them and all mankind, they would be perfectly satisfied with his dealings with them, and every other person. They would see and feel no cause to murmur or repine with respect to themselves or any other person, object, or event. They would see and taste God's goodness in every place, and in every event. Angels who attend them, see, and enjoy, and taste the goodness of God towards them; and why should not they see, and taste, and enjoy the goodness of God continually? They can find no excuse for their neglect of this important duty.

5. If none can taste the goodness of God, who do not exercise goodness themselves, then it is extremely absurd and dangerous for impenitent sinners to rely upon the mere good

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