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that he should bring into existence works of his hand. These ideas, and prepare materials for the ac- though essential to the character of complishment of his plan. And a being of infinite perfections, are lhough reason and scripture affirm rejected and condemned by many. that the plan of God is the result of They claim a privilege to theminfinite wisdom and goodness, yet selves, which they deny to their how do the hearts of many rise with Maker. These things, they highly indignation at the declaration 'that approve and commend in themGod hath fore-ordained whatsoever selves and their fellow-creatures, comes to pass ?' - That God hath and practise so far as their limited determined or decreed to accom- capacities will admit.: Those, thereplish a plan, dictated by infinite fore, who object to the foreknowlwisdom and goodness?
edge and eternal purposes of God, The Psalmist saith, that the coun- are not only fighting against reason sel of the Lord standeth forever and revelation, but are judged and the thoughts of his heart to all gen- condemned by their own conduct: erations;"-which evidently shows, 2. When a person has concerted that God did, before he began to a wise and good plan, he will procreate, concert a plan-determine ceed to execute it. sy ; *** to what use he should appropriate Should be neglect or refuse to all the works of his hand ;-and do this, his conduct would be conthat his plan is eternal, immutable sidered very inconsistent and blameand unfrustrable. And God saith worthy. And the more perfect his by the mouth of his prophet, "I am plan, the more criminality would God
, and there is none else; I am be attached to his conduct, in not God, and there is none like me; carrying it into complete exécution. declaring the end from the begin- of what avail would it be to a perning, and from ancient times the son, if he should concert a wise and things that are not yet done, saying, good plan of a house, and even promy counsel shall stand, and I will cure materials for the same, unless do all my pleasure.” In this the he proceed to prepare his materials eternal and unalterable purposes or and complete his building? Of decrees of God are as fully and for- what avail would it have been to cibly taught, as the power of lan- these United States, to have conguage is able to communicate. certed their present plan of governThe end is declared from the be- ment-to have formed a wise and gianing. It must, therefore, have good constitution, if they had not been made certain. And if the proceeded to organize their governend be made certain, then all the ment accordingly and carry their means to accomplish that end must plan into execution ? And who be fixed upon and made certain would not have considered them as likewise. And before a being or criminal, in neglecting or refusing thing exists, nothing can render its to: use all their exertions to comexistence certain, but the cause of plete a plan, calculated to secure its existence. And as God is the the peace and happiness of the nacause of the existence of all creat- tion? And where is the person to ares and events, he must, in order be found, who does not approve and to declare the end from the begin- highly commend every person who ning, determine, before he began to endeavours to the utmost his create, what he should create, and ability, to carry into execution a for what end he designed all the well concerted, good plan? Bat the
feelings of many are quite the re- all things according to the pattern verse of this towards their Creator, or plan; if it be good ? in regard to his carrying into execution his great and glorious plan. od of procedure in their Maker.
But many disapprove this methAlthough they are constrained to They feel unwilling that the Lord acknowledge, that he has devised God, omnipotent should reign. and adopted the best possible sys. And they will not admit that he tem, and does bring into existence does work all things after the counmaterials for the accomplishment sel of his own will. To this, they of his own gracious and benevolent feel decidedly opposed, though they purposes; yet they are unwilling practise what is similar and apthat he should prepare the materials for their respective uses :—that prove it in their fellow-creatures. he should superintend, direct, and Their own conduct does, therefore, govern all things. They revolt judge and condemn them. from what God claims as his pre 3. When a person is treated injurogative. He saith, “I form the riously, when he is unjustly deprived light, and create darkness: I make of his property, or his character de. peace and create evil. I the Lord famed, he thinks it just and proper do all these things.” And it is re- to obtain redress, by the punishpeatedly and abundantly declared ment of the offender. This manin the scriptures of truth, that the kind generally practise and apDivine agency is continually ex- prove. Almost all who live in a erted in forming, upholding, gov. Christian country, acknowledge erning and directing all things, civil government to be a great blesboth in the natural and moral sing. And the main design of that world—that his agency extends is, to protect and defend the innoto the very hairs of our heads- cent, and punish the guilty:that the preparation of the heart in Hence laws are enacted, defining man and the answer of the tongue the boundaries of right and wrong is from the Lord—and that he between man and man-penalties worketh all things according to the are annexed to them-courts of counsel of his own will.
justice are established and imple. These declarations of divine in-ments to inflict condign punishspiration fully coincide with the ment are prepared. Whoever is most familiar dictates of reason ; essentially injured, in his property, that a divine influence is continual
character, or person, repairs to a ly operating throughout the whole proper officer, discloses the atrocity created, dependant system that of the villain, and causes him to be God does constantly survey, move brought to deserved and exemplary and direct all the works of his punishment. hand, and that he is preparing Rulers, to merit the approbathem all for the accomplishment of tion of their subjects, must prehis wise and holy designs ; or in the serve an unshaken attachment to language, of scripture, that the the laws of justice and equity. And worketh all things according to the they are considered as exhibiting counsel of his own will.' And as great a degree of benevolence in does not every person practise and condemning and punishing the highly approve in their fellow- guilty, as in freeing and protecting creatures, the method of working the innocent.
Every chief magistrate of a na reasonably transgressed his holy tion is considered as worthy of es- and righteous requirements; so teem, who preserves tranquillity that judgment has passed upon all and maintains peace throughout, men io condemnation, in that all his dominions, by distributing jus- have sinned. And of course, the tice, and by punishing offenders., consciences and conduct of manAnd if a number of his subjects kind, would have acquiesced in the should make an unprovoked at- dispensations of Jehovah, had he tack upon his person or character, inflicted eternal perdition upon the what would be the language of the whole human race. gation? Would they not cheer But God, through his abundant fully acquiesce in the punishment mercy, has, at the expense of the of the criminals ? And should he, blood of his only begotten and well. at a large expense and great sacri- beloved Son, made an infinite fice, provide a way in which he atonement, in consequence of could maintain the honour and which, he can maintain the honour dignity of his government in the be- and dignity of his character and stowment of pardon upon the offen- government, in the bestowment of ders, on the condition of their con- pardon and eternal life upon all fessing their fault and returning to who cordially comply with the conobedience under his government; ditions upon which they are offershould he hold out to them this ed. These conditions are, repenproclamation of pardon, for a cer- tance towards God, and faith totain space of time, stating to them wards the Lord Jesus Christ.
the conditions, and likewise send This proclamation of pardon is E messengers to them to show them held out to all mankind. Whoso
the necessity of a compliance- ever will may comply. The pristo pourtray to them the beneficial on doors are set open, and all are effects which would result to them entreated to escape for their lives. from a compliance, and also the And the greatest assurance is givdeplorable consequences of a refu- en, that those who do not comsal ;-and should they obstinately ply—that those who reject the reject and despise these gracious grace of God till their probation is overtures of his clemency; would ended, will be treated as enemies, not all mankind applaud the chief and be made to suffer the just de magistrate's conduct, in causing merit of their deeds. For, "except them to suffer a punishment, ade- ye repent, ye shall all likewise quate to their crimes ?
perish.” And " he that believeth' But are there not 'many, who dis- not shall be damned.". Agreeably approve and complain of what is to these declarations of divine truth, similar to this, in the Judge of the witness the antedeluvians, Sodom universe ? Are there not some, so and Gomorrah, Pharaoh and his blinded and infatuated, aś to de- host, Korah and his impious crew. clare, that it will be cruelty in God, These are set forth for an example, to inflict future punishment, acil suffering the vengeance of eternal: cording to personal desert ?, porsiy fire. But notwithstanding this in
It is an incontrovertible. fact, finitely gracious offer of pardon, that all mankind. have revolted and the absolute certainty of the from their Maker that they have utter and remediless destruction made an unprovoked attack upon of those who do not comply with the his character--that they have un- terms of life; yet many are regard
less of these things, totally averse ing this, God injures none of his from a disposition to repent and be creatures. Impenitent sinners are lieve-continue fighting against treated, in this world, infinitely betGod, till their day of probation is ter than they deserve ; and it is closed, and sink into the grave at owing to their own chosen opposienmity with their God and Judge. tion to God that they are not made And some people object to the idea happy in heaven hereafter. In the of God's punishing such, in a fu- world to come, they will be punture world, according to personal ished neither more nor less, than desert. They are unwilling that their personal desert. And of God should maintain peace in his course, they will have no ground of dominions, support the authority, complaint. And as mankind pracand dignity of his law and govern- tise and approve this method ment, which are founded in infinite of procedure in themselves, they wisdom and goodness. They rep are thereby judged and condemnresent him as a cruel and merci, ed for their unreasonable comless being, unless he make all hap plaints against their Maker. py in the world to come. They .5. Mankind always claim the are, therefore, condemned by their right of choosing their own society, own consciences, by their own They never consider themselves unconduct, for thus judging their Ma- der any obligation to associate with, ker ;--for they themselves practise or receive into the circle of their what is similar, and approve it in intimate, friends, their professed their fellow creatures.
; and inveterate enemies. They 4. Mankind think they have a always select for their companions right to bestow favours upon whom and associates, those whom they they please, and they practise ac. have reason to think are friendly cordingly. They dispense this fan, to them, and whose feelings in some vour to one, and that to another, c measure correspond with theirown. And if they neither injure them- The wise and virtuous always disa selves, nor their fellow creatures, claim the company and society of they feel justified in bestowing a fa- the vicious and immoral. Who vour upon one and in withholding it does not claim the privilege of exfrom another. They always concluding from his family those who sider it optional with themselves to are unfriendly to his interest and select the objects of their gratuity, happiness? Were people debarred But some people complain of God this privilege, domestic repose and for doing that which is similar to social intercourse would be at an this. They are unwilling that he end. Even the most profligate and should have mercy on whom he abandoned claim this prerogative. will have mercy. They have the But many complain of God for acteffrontery impiously to affirm, that ing in the same manner. They are if he exercise this prerogative , unwilling that he should take whom which they claim to themselves, he he pleases to heaven, and make is deserving the odious epithet of them, completely happy. They partiality, and is a respecter of per- hate and condemn the ways of God, sons. They disapprove and con-, because he does not grant to his demn the ways of God, because he most inveterate enemies, a mansion grants renewing and sanctifying in his kingdom of glory. God grace to some, and prepares them has, through his abundant mercy, for heaven, while he leaves others given the greatest assurance, that to perish in their sins. "But in do- all who are reconciled to him
that all who are friendly in heart the arms of his providence ! Do to his interests and kingdom-shall they not live and move and have be received to dwell with him in their being in bim! And, of course, glory. And should he receive any, ate his property, and at his dispoexcept those who are cordially at- sal. And yet, some people, who tached to his interest and glory- contend so strenuously for the should be admit his enemies into right of disposing of their own propthe society of the blessed—the erty, complain and murmur at their practice of mankind in this world Maker for doing what he will with would testify against it. Those, his own. They are unwilling to therefore, who object to the idea of be in his hand as the clay is in the God's excluding all impenitent hand of the potter." They are unsinners from his kingdom of glory, willing that the great Creator and are judged and condemned by their Proprietor of the universe should own conduct.
form some vessels unto honour, and 6. Every person thinks that he others unto dishonour, as shall be has an undoubted right to do what most conducive to his glory and he will with his own. Whoever the good of the intelligent system; has property, which he considers as though he does no injustice thereby his own, contends that he has a to any of his creatures. And they right to appropriate it to whatever feel totally opposed to the idea that use he pleases. And if he neither they themselves are in the hand of i injures himself, nor his fellow crea- God and at his disposal; though tures thereby, he obtains the gener- they do in fact belong to him, and al approbation of mankind. As are his property. But this is a people have various objects of pure right which they claim to them! suit, and various employments; selves, and exercise. They are, some apply their property to one therefore, judged and condemned use, and some to another. Those by their own conduct. who make use of their property in,
IMPROVEMENT. such a manner as to be most beneficial to themselves and to the pub
1. In view of this subject, it is", lic, generally receive the greatest obvious to remark, that the heart applause. Por this prerogative of of man is exceedingly depraved. disposing of their own property,
It has been the general opinion people have fought and bled and of mankind, in all ages of the world, died. For this, nations have wad- that 'some fatal malady has befallen ed through 'seas of blood. But no the human race. The conduct of person has any thing which he can, people plainly shows, that they are with so much propriety, call his not as they ought to be. Hence own, as God can, every being and wrath, strife, seditions, murders, thing in the universe." Where is heresies, and numerous other dethe object which does not excluo testable crimes and vices have ever sively belong to God? Wete not blackened the faithful pages of hisall things created by him and for tory. him ? Did he not create the heaver But where the disorder is seated, ens and the earth? Are not all'in=" has been a súbject of much debate. telligent creatures the work of his Some contend that it is wholly in bands? Do they not all owe their the understanding, and that whenexistence to him? And are they ever that is rectified, so as to dis not all constantly supported in cover the truth, people will cordi