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. These remarks, which, I presume, will not be unacceptable to the serious reader, I have made, because I am aware of the inclination of the human mind, even after it has experienced the powers of regenerating grace, to rely on its own natural principles for the performance of duty, for the acts of self-denial, for the conflicts with temptation, which may occur ; and for the recovery of that peace, which, at any time, it may loose, on occasion of relapses or any sinful indulgence. The principles of degenerate nature cannot perfect, or in any measure support, or advance, the work which they are wholly unable to begin. Those principles, after regeneration, still remain as incompetent to combat the wiles of Satan and the energies of in-dwelling corruption, as before. That divine power only " which began the good work, is able to per, form it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The spiritual understanding therefore, and the spiritual frame and tendencies of the soul, must be preserved, if we would prosper in the way of peace and holiness unto the end.
I am sensible, that the subject of this discussion is by no means grateful to the bulk of mankind. Spirituality in religion is with them an object of contempt, and the butt of their most poignant sarcasm and ridicule. But, blessed be God! his testimony is stedfast; it cannot be shaken. Their hatred and severest obloquy, instead of being an argument against, is a proof in point, of the necessity and truth of our doctrine. Men may try to deceive themselves and others: they may even affect to frame into the sem. blance of a system, a religion better suited to their taste and high conceit of their natural powers; but what will it avail in the end against the truth of Him, who is the only true “light of the world.” Poor and worthless must all that peace and confidence be, which, for a while, may be rashly assumed from sentiments and conduct so fatally deceptive.
No. I. Men of inventive minds or undaunted courage, acquired, no doubt, a name in the antediluvian world, and rose above the common level, but the most of their names and particular distinctions have been swept away by the flood; yet the name acquired through piety, and the distinction to which it advances its possessor, are permanent. The pious are held in everlasting remembrance. Of Enoch's contemporaries, many of whom were celebrated in their day, we know little more than that they once existed; but Enoch's reputation still lives, his example was useful to the inhabitants of the world during his own life, it has been useful in every age until the present, it is useful now, and shall continue to be useful whilst time itself remains.
“Enoch walked with God.”
Creation had gone on for five succeeding days, before Adam was produced. His production was reserved for the sixth. He was produced in manhood, capable of the perfect and vigorous exercise of every power, both of body and of mind. His eye surveyed the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land: the survey was mortifying, as it discovered his solitary state. Made for society, he found no society for his mind; there was none to whom he could communicate his ideas, and, by a reciprocal communication, increase his knowledge and happiness. He was permitted to feel the want, that he might more gratefully prize the supply. It was not good that he should be alone, and he was not left alone. “ And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman; because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one fesh.” During this bodily sleep the spirit, probably was awake, enjoying communion with God, who informed him what he had done, and for what purpose. Adam's body was formed of dust, Eve's of a rib taken from Adam's side. This is mentioned as what was peculiar in her formation. It had been promised, “I will make him an help meet for him," and the historian expressly declares, “ God created man in his own image,—male and female created he them.” Both were distinguished for a spiritual nature, bearing the impression of the divine image; but the body of the one was formed from a substance taken from the body of the other, that they might be considered as one in affection and good offices, who claimed the same origin, and were equally distinguished as immortal beings.
The order and welfare of society required a precedence somewhere. Without supposing the highest degree of wisdom and excellence in those who preside, nay, though a higher degree of both should be found in others, yet without subordination, even in such circumstances, society could not exist. Adam claimed this precedence from seniority and otherwise. The fall has con:
firmed this claim, and enlarged its sphere. In the sentence passed upon Eve, after her transgression, it was declared, “ thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Some truths, from the propensity in human nature to oppose the divine institutions, however important in themselves, are treated with contempt; and none more so in our day than that subordination which prevails in all the works of God. Who is independent but God? Has he not fixed all the relations in which we stand to one another? What so pernicious in its tendency, or a more evident proof of a mind hostile to his government, than to dispute any of his appointments? The scripture, notwithstanding the scorn of rebellious creatures, asserts the wisdom and necessity of the order of things which God has established. The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, takes occasion to inform them, “ I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” Eve yielded Adam the precedence, as a debt due to good order, and essential, in the present state, to the welfare of society, and in this will be followed by all her daughters who feel the force of genuine christian principles.
A capacity for understanding the various relations and order of things is the consequence of that spiritual nature by which men are distinguished. “ The spirit,” separated from what is material and mortal, “ returns to God.” Thus a new order of things shall take place. Then spirits made perfect, neither marry nor are given in marriage; they lead the lives of angels and shall die no more. A spiritual and immortal nature was the glory of the human pair, it was necessary for their being happy in one another, and necessary also (to use a phraseology frequent in scripture,) that they might " walk with God.”
Walking with God, supposes an agreement in character as well as in nature.
I have already said that a spiritual and immortal nature is necessary that we may walk with God; but it is not the only necessary thing, for such a nature may be greatly depraved. There are apostate as well as holy angels, reprobate as well as elect men. The apostate and reprobate have no communion with the holy and elect. The apostle Jude introduces Michael, the arch-angel, contending with the devil about the body of Moses, in which the mild dignity of the one obtains a complete triumph over the outrageous blasphemy of the other. The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent are at constant variance; which began when Cain slew his brother Abel, and has raged ever since with a violence, which, unrestrained by that power which brings good out of evil, had long before now depopulated our world.
There is something congenial between the holy and elect, the apostate and reprobate. On this account, the devil is called the father of the wicked; and the righteous are represented as connected with holy angels, as guarded and ministered to by them, and ultimately as coming to mount Zion, and to an innumerable company of angels. The fallen angels have a rooted and an universal aversion at every chosen holy spirit, wherever found; taking every measure within their reach to extirpate religion and to dishonour God. On the contrary, attachments as naturally arise among holy spirits in heaven, as they do on earth-in one part of the universe, as in another. Angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, the church triumphant and church militant, are members of one family; in affection they tend to one another, and are bound by ties which neither distance of place nor length of time can dissolve.
As the hearts of angels and of holy men are united, and this union proceeds from God, in whom all their hearts centre, they love their God; they do his will, and keep his commandments; they worship him in spirit and in truth: Such love, such obedience, such worship is the detestation of the wicked in every part of God's vast dominion. All men naturally are on the side of the wicked. The carnal mind is enmity to God; it is not subject to his law, neither indeed can it be. The whole world lieth in wickedness. There is none righteous; no, not one. The same power, which at first impressed the divine image upon the soul, alone can renew that image, when defaced. Assurances of this kind are frequent in scripture. Such is that promise in one of the prophets, “ A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” God was under no necessity to give man such promises, and he acts in the most sovereign manner in the accomplishment: he takes one of a city, and two of a family, and brings them to Zion. His gracious purposes are generally effected by the gospel, upon which he puts distinguished honour, displaying therein his wisdom and power for the salvation of men.
Walking with God, supposes that change in the character
which corrects the evil tendencies of our nature. Enoch was thus changed. For purity of heart and life he was exemplary. Ordinary attainments did not satisfy him; he aspired to the greatest eminence. Walking expresses progress; one act of faith followed another; one duty introduced another; found in wisdom's way this day, he was found therein also the next. He did not wander from the path. The tree having been made good, the fruit also was good and abundant.
PHILOLOGOS. [To be continued.)
SUCCESS NOT THE SUBJECT OF REWARD.
3. We are to consult the direct testimony of scripture on this subject. But what shall we call direct testimony? I am not acquainted with any passage of scripture which says, in so many words, that success shall, or shall not, be considered in the reward which we are to receive from God. If such a passage could be produced, it would, at once, decide the present question; for I doubt not that my opponent is sincerely disposed, as well as myself, to bow implicitly to the decisions of holy writ. Still I think that something which may not improperly be called direct testimony, in regard to the point under discussion, may be found in the sacred volume. Wherever a principle is explicitly and formally settled, every thing that is clearly and unequivocally embraced by that principle, is also thus settled. Now it seems to me that we have, from our Saviour himself, a decision, in regard to a principle which clearly and unequivocally embraces the subject in controversy. I refer to what he says on the case of the poor woman who cast her two mites into the treasury. “ And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." Mark, xii. 41, 42, 43, 44. That this passage teaches several important truths is readily admitted; but I think it will not be easy to deny that the drift and scope of it was intended to decide and fix this principle, that it is the heart only that God regards,