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spirits of all men, because it is One part of his work, as the expressly declared in the Holy Saviour of his people, is to delivScriptures, that “ all things were er them from the punishment of made by him.” But, though their sins. No language can deall men are Christ's by creation scribe the greatness of the evil and preservation ; yet they are to which sin exposes those who not all his by covenant and adop- commit it. To be a sinner is to tion. By his people in the re- be a transgressor of that laui, stricted sense in wbich they are which threatens eternal death, spoken of by the inspired writ- and which knows no mercy. ers, we are to understand that The sinner, therefore, viewed part of the fallen race of Adam, out of Christ, as he must be while which was given to Christ in the he remains in unbelief, is in a covenant of redemption. Some, ruined, helpless state. He is who were given to him by the represented in the word of God Father, have long since finished to be a lost creature. No creattheir mortal race, and are now ed arm can rescue him from in heaven, liberated from all sin, eternal punishment, nor give a and, in ceaseless anthems, prais. ransom which will meliorate, in ing God and the Lamb. Others the least, his condition. They, are now dwelling in the flesh, who are given to Christ, are by subject to labour and toil, and nature, like all other men, in this struggling against foes without ruined state. But, he has come and foes within. A far greater to save them from the punishnumber, we have reason to be- ment to which their sins expose lieve, are yet unborn, and are re- them. To effect this great and served as future trophies of the important work; he gave his own victorious grace of the incarnate life a ransom. He died in their God.
stead. It is true, there is efficacy · Before the Lord Jesus will enough in his blood to atone for have done with this world, he the sins of the whole world ; and will renew by his grace, and call the finally impenitent will be coninto his kingdom, the whole of demned, in the great day, for rethis chosen number, from all jecting mercy, freely offered to nations and languages. They them, through his mediation. will then be known to be his peo- But, meritorious and extensive ple, " his jewels,” in distinction as is the atonement, it will eventfrom the rest of men, and he will ually benefit none who are not " spare them, as a man spareth united to Christ. The unbeliev. bis own son that serveth him.” ing and incorrigible it will not He is now, as he has been for save from the punishment of many ages, sealing them, and he their sins. On the contrary, 'it will shortly make it manifest, will be a mean of greatly agthat he “ knows them that are gravating their condemnation, his." He will say to the Father, and will, in fact, be to them a “I have manifested thy name un- savour of death unto death." to the men which thou gavest Widely different from this arc me out of the world ; thine they the condition and prospects of were, and thou gavest them me, believers. Though their sins and they have kept thy word.” are numerous and aggravated
beyond all description, yet they tongues. It renders them deaf are pardoned for Christ's sake, to all that can be said of the and through him, they will be wretchedness of the wicked in saved from deserved wrath. hell, on the one hand, and of the They will experience the worth blessedness of the righteous of Christ as a Saviour. Reflect- in glory on the other. While · ing, as they now often do, on the in this state all their actions are demerit of sin, and the punish- defiled, and are so far from re: ment threatened to sinners in the commending them to the favour divine law, they are led lo ex- of God, that they are an abomi. claim in the language of the nation in his sight. They' arę evangelical prophet; " Wbo a- restless and unhappy in every mong us shall dwell with the de- condition, and are continually vouring fire? Who among us "treasuring up wrath against shall dwell with everlasting burn- the day of wrath.” This is a ings?" From such a punish- faint representation of what it is ment, yea from everlasting burn- to be under the dominion of sin, ings, Jesus came to save his peo- and to be chained down in unbeple. The language of the gos- lief. Who can name any kind of pel is, “ He that believeth on the bondage that is so unfriendly to Son hath everlasting life.” peace, and so destructive in its na“ There is now no condemnation ture as this? From thisbondage the to them that are in Christ Jesus.” Lord Jesus saves his people. He From these Scriptures, however, can do that which no created we are not to infer, that since arm could effect. He can speak Christ has come, the law is the word, and they, who are dead abated, cither in its requirements, in sing will hear his voice, or in its penalty. The law stands and come out of their bon: in full force. Christ did not dage. To this salvation from come to destroy, but to fulfil it. the dominion of sin the Saviour He took on him the iniquities reserred in his conference with of us all, and by offering his own the Jews, Joho viii. He said to precious life a sacrifice for sin, them, “ The truth shall make he became the end of the law for you free.”. They, not under righteousness to every one that standing him, answered, “We believeth.”
be Abraham's seed, and were Another part of the work of never in bondage to any man ; Jesus is to save his people from how sayest thou, Ye shall be the love and dominion of sin. All inade free? Jesus answered men are by nature in bondage to them; Verily, verily, I say un. their vile affections. They are
to you, Whosoever committeth bound with a chain, which is so sin is the servant of sin. If the strong, that no created arm can Son, therefore, shall make yoy break it; and this chain is their free, ye shall be free indeed.” unconquerable love of sin. Though In effecting this deliverance, sin destroys all their present so happy in its consequences, peace, and brings a dark, impen- Christ acts as a physician. He etrable cloud over all their future heals the maladies of the soul, prospects, yet they roll it as a and gives spiritual life, where sweet morsel under their before reigned spiritual death,
This is a work, which is conse- etion, he has engaged to carry quent on the atonement; but no on, until they are ripened for less essential ; a work which the glory. Having "come out of Saviour performs by the agency great tribulation," occasioned by of the Holy Spirit, whom he the wickedness of the world, and sends from the Father.
the remaining corruption of their When the eyes of men are own hearts, and having a washed thus opened by the Holy Spirit, their robes, and made them white they behold wondrous things in in the blood of the Lamb," they the law and in the gospel. Con- will be “before the throne of viniced of the turpitude of sin, God, and serve him day and night they condemn themselves, and lie in his temple ; and he that sitlow before God. They wonder teth on the throne shall dwell aat their former stupidity and mong them. They shall hunblindness, and feel as if they ger no more, neither thirst any could not do or say enough to more; neither shall the sun light mortify themselves, at the foot- on them, nor any heat. For the stool of Him, on whose authority Lamb, which is in the midst of they have trampled, and who, the throne, shall feed them, and they are conscious, has pondered shall lead them unto living founall their steps. Were they be- tains of waters ; and God shall fore addicted to bad habits ? wipe away all tears from their Were they enslaved by the love eyes."
H. of the world, or by their corrupt appetites and passions ? They dow feel themselves in a meas.
ON INFIDELITY. ure liberated. Jesus has come, In noticing the moral evils of by the influences of the Holy the present day, we may with Spirit, and made them free. They peculiar propriety direct our atare willing to part with sins, iention to Infidelity, or a specuwhich once appeared as dear to lative disbelief and rejection of them, as a right hand, or a right divine revelation. No other eje. Did they before view all history was ever so fully attestreligious duties as a weariness? ed, as the gospel ; and no other They now have been taught, that system of doctrines and morals in keeping God's command- ever exhibited such clear intrinments there is great reward. sic evidences of a divine origiNever have they more enjoy. nal. Considering that it is a ment than when they can be do- system so admirably calculated ing something, which they trust, to promote civil, social, and perwill promote the honour of God. sonal happiness in this life, as
Although imperfection will be well as to train up creatures, found in Christ's people, as long formed for immortality, in a as they dwell in the flesh, yet course of preparation for a state they have an assured hope, that of everlasting felicity hereafter ; after they have finished their war- one would think that a fair profare on earth, he will raise them posal of it to the understanding to a state of perfect holiness and would be alone sufficient to inhappiness. The work which he duce mankind to receive it. But began in their hearts in regenere experience has taught the contrary. There have been some ty, as a fable ; it is natural to in every age, who have taken lend a favourable ear to that, unwearied pains to oppose and which he wishes to find true. discredit divine revelation ; but In proportion as arguments are at no former period has either palatable, they will appear plausitheir number, their influence, or ble. The moral principle is their assurance of success, been weakened, the probable success so considerable, as in the prese of the gospel is marred, and the ent day.
way prepared for his becoming a The late revolution in France, thorough infidel. conducted avowedly on the prin- Temptations of this kind are ciples of universal skepticism, at this day numerous, and many if not of absolute atheism, has have listened to them with too had a tendency to render in- much partiality; and, while fidelity more popular. It is not books, calculated to instil the fato be doubted, that the secret in- tal poison, circulate freely, and Puence of such demoralizing are read with avidity, what can principles has been much more we reasonably expect, but a grad. extensive, than their open avow- ual, if not a rapid increase of al. As the truly virtuous man infidelity?' For, although real loves religion, and chooses wis. Christians, who love the duties, dom's ways for their pleasant. and have tasted the comforts of ness, as well as for the peace, vital religion, are in little danger which they afford, he feels a dis- from such writers, as Boulanger, position candidly to examine the Thomas Paine, &c. and rather evidences of Christianity, and is turn with horror from their blaswell pleased with the thought of phemy; yet, as evil men and finding it true; on the other seducers are evidently, at this hand, as the vicious man has an day, waxing worse and worse, inward dişlike to religious re- deceiving and being deceived; straints ; he is disposed to listen as it is natural for one, who has with partiality to whatever tends been deceived himself, to wish to to weaken or invalidate the testi-, deceive others; and as there are mony in its favour. It is not to always some to be found, ready be doubted, that in this way, a to swallow the pernicious bait ; sense of moral obligation is often the scheme becomes fatally suco greatly weakened, and in some cessful. Doubtless one reason instances nearly destroyed, al-, of this rapid success is, that though the pernicious maxims of infidelity usually begins rather infidelity are not openly es- in the heart, than in the head. poused. When it is but barely The heavenly and spiritual docsuggested to a person, predispo. trines, and the holy precepts of sed to free himself from religious the gospel, are in the first place restraints, and to stifle the pain- disrelished and disliked, because ful remonstrances of conscience, contrary to those corrupt inclinathat such and such eminent men, tions, which cannot brook, remen of great literary endow- straint; and, that conscience ments, statesmen, and philoso- may gire no disturbance, while phers, disbelieved revelation, and violating the precepts of religion, esteemed and treated Christiani- its evidences are called in question, disputed, and denied. But certain prospect of poverty, dis. the proofs of our holy religion grace, and dishonour, and even have hitherto always brightened of death itself in the most cruel by opposition. In the most vir- forms; and, if they believed an plent attacks, which have been hereafter, in expectation of fu. made upon Christianity from ture misery ; is a supposition so time to time, it has in the issue extravagant, that to admit it constantly appeared, like gold would require a degree of faith, tried in the furnace. This will or rather of blind credulity, inbe the result of the late and pres- finitely stonger, than is requisite ent attacks. The religion of for the belief of any of the supJesus carries its own evidences. posed mysterious, or improbable Had man been the framer of the doctrines of Christianity. system, the complexion of it Of late the opposition to Chriswould have been totally different. tianity has been conducted by apIt has bitherto prevailed in spite peals to the passions, rather than of the fiercest opposition, and it to the reason of mankind. One will prevail, until the stone, cut popular topic, much insisted on by out of the mountain . without the enemies of revelation, in orhands, shall become great, and der to invalidate its evidences, fill the whole earth.
has been to charge Christianity, The evidences of Christianity as being the cause of all the need not now be particularly wars, by which the world has considered. I will only remark, been ravaged. This topic has that if the Christian religion be been abundantly urged by almost a forgery, it must be one, which every infidel writer from Volhas been effected by the worst of taire down to the meanest scribe men, for the worst of purposes; bler in the cause of impiety. ander the influence of some very Could we give full credit to their powerful, though corrupt mo- assertions, we must bclieve that, tives. But to suppose that the if Christianity, and with it all most benevolent system ever pretences to revealed religion, devised and published to the were discarded, as useless and world, a system every way cal- pernicious, and reason set up, as Culated to promote civil, social, the only universal guide in all and individual happiness in this matters of religion and morality, world, as well as to open the all mankind would quickly be prospect of a glorious immortali- united, as a band of brothers, and ty hereafter, owed its origin to a reign of peace, benevolence and a combination of the worst of harmony would soon universally men for the worst of purposes, prevail throughout the world. and acting under the influence How fluently have the French of the basest of motives ; not on- philosophers, from time to time, ly without any of those incite- declaimed on this topic ? The ments, derived from the pros- deluded nation, listening to the pect of riches and honour, which syren song, has proceeded to have frequently great influence make the fatal experiment; on the human mind and conduct, Christianity has been formally but in direct opposition to every and publicly renounced. The such inducement, and with a Bible baş been, in some places, Vol. II. No 6.