he may justly withhold from a rebellious subject, effectually prevents the salvation of all who do not receive it. The case is parallel; except that bodily blindness is not generally in any sense a man's fault, or a defect in his moral character; whereas the want of humility, spirituality, and love of God, is sin, original sin, the fruitful parent of all other sins, in fallen men and fallen angels.

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Let the blessings of the gospel be fairly proposed, with solemn warnings and pressing invitations, to two men of exactly the same character and disposition: if they were left to themselves, in entirely similar circumstances, the effect must be precisely the same. But, behold, while one proudly scorns and resents the gracious offer; the other trembles, weeps, prays, repents, believes ! "Who maketh this man to differ" from the other? "or what hath he that he hath not received?" The scriptural answer to this question, when properly understood, decides the whole controversy. Human depravity produces different effects in vast variety, and gathers strength by habit; but, in its root and nature, it is the same and equal in all men. This can be effectually overcome by nothing except a new creation, a work wrought by "the exceeding greatness of that mighty power, "which raised Christ from the dead." I do not now argue with such as oppose the doctrine of original sin.

In the case before stated, the man who proudly scorned and resented the offer of free salvation from merited perdition, had this work been wrought in his heart by the energy of the Holy Ghost would certainly have embraced it: and, had the


other, who believed, been left to himself, he would as certainly have rejected it. This distinguishing grace is previously neither deserved, nor desired, by either of them: it might justly have been withheld from both; but it is graciously communicated to one, and not to the other, by a sovereign God, according to the counsel of his own will." He, and he alone, "hath made one to differ" from another. Now, was this distinction intentionally made by the sovereign Disposer of all things, or was it not? If intentionally, was that intention first conceived at the moment of execution, or previously? If previously, why not from eternity? Indeed, if any of the works of God, when actually accomplished, be righteous, holy, wise, good, and faithful; the eternal purpose of performing them must have been equally righteous, holy, wise, good, and faithful: unless it can be wrong to determine to do right, because that determination was formed long before it was executed! If it consists with divine justice and goodness to leave one sinner to perish, and to save another equally guilty, by an act of sovereign grace and power; it must have been equally consistent with justice and goodness to decree the destruction of the one, and the salvation of the other. In short, the two doctrines, that of man's entire depravity, and that of a new creation unto holiness by the sole energy of the Holy Spirit, without any help, and notwithstanding every hinderance, from nature, can never consistently be separated from that of personal election : nor upon this ground can a satisfactory reason be given, why any are saved and sanctified, but this ;* Ephesians, i. 4-7.

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that "God hath chosen us in Christ before the "foundation of the world, that we should be holy,

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and without blame before him in love: having "predestinated us unto the adoption of children by "Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will; to the praise of the glory of "his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in "the Beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgivenes of our "sins."

"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." In his unsearchable judgments, (oh, how deep are they!) doubtless for wise and righteous purposes, though not clearly discernible by us purblind mortals, he was pleased to permit the first entrance of sin, the fall of Adam, and the depravation of the human race. It suits not my present limits to descant on this subject: I may scarcely pause to drop a tear for the awful catastrophe. But that man is fallen and depraved; that "the whole world lieth in wickedness;" all we see, hear, read, or experience demonstrates : and all confirms the testimony of God, in scripture, to this humbling doctrine. Utterly destitute of love to the holy character of God, desire of his favour, delight in his service, gratitude for his benefits, or regard to his glory, man is universally disposed to inordinate idolatrous self-love, and love of worldly objects. His own honour and glory he seeks; his own imagined excellences he admires; his crimes he vindicates or excuses; he affects to be at his own disposal; wishes to be independently his own master; and would have all others admire and honour him, as much as he does himself. At

the same time he also idolizes worldly objects: "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the "pride of life," he chooses as his portion. These are his "good things" for which he most ardently thirsts, on which he chiefly depends, and in which he places his highest felicity. Hence eventually proceed all unrighteousness, licentiousness, and ungodliness, according to the different constitutional propensities, educations, and habits of different men. "The law of God is weak through "the flesh," and cannot restrain their impetuous desires. In the pursuit of their self-exalting or carnal projects, the will and worship of God are neglected; the rules of justice, truth, and benevolence violated; and every excess committed. But "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against "all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men ;" and eternal punishment is annexed to the transgression of this holy law, by him "to whom ven

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geance belongeth :" and, when this is made known to the proud rebel, his neglect and contempt break forth in enmity against the holy character, perfect law, and righteous judgment of God; "because the carnal mind is enmity against "God: for it is not subject to the law of God, "neither indeed can be. So then, they that are "in the flesh cannot please God."

This state of the human race God foresaw; and he, who alone is competent to estimate the tendency of such a temper of heart, and the malignity of such a conduct, evidently considered all men both as meriting eternal misery, and as "vessels "of wrath fitted for destruction."

Redemption by the blood of Christ was a most

distinguished part of his original plan. He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Whatever other method God in his infinite wisdom could have devised, for his own glory in the salvation of sinners, this was doubtless the best; for it was actually chosen. But this plan can have no foundation except in the humiliating truth, that all men were so exceedingly guilty, and deserving of everlasting misery, that it would have been derogatory to the justice and holiness of God, to have been reconciled to any of them, or to have rescued any of them from destruction, except through the interposition of such a sacrifice, as that of" his well beloved Son, in whom he was "well pleased." If man does not deserve damnation, deliverance from it is "not of grace but "of debt."* And, though eternal life must in strict propriety of language be an unmerited gift of God to any of his creatures; yet, as far as we know, it might have been honourably given to us, had not man been so guilty and God so holy, that, without the atonement made by the death of the divine Saviour, it would not have consisted with his holiness to save so vile a rebel. If this be not "then Christ is dead in vain.”


But, if the proud, carnal, ungodly heart of sin

* If we could not by other arguments prove the justice of God in the damnation of sinners, the method of redemption would alone demonstrate it. And it is more our interest, and more becoming us, to submit to his righteousness, and apply for his mercy, than, in the midst of our ignorance and blindness, to spend our time in vain reasonings upon a subject for which we are incompetent; and in making objections to those appointments, which are unalterably determined, whether we submit. to them or not.

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