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belief of the truth respecting his has no existence, and that the
being and character ; nor with God whom he hates, a God who
out this, can we know whether is disposed to and will punish
we love or hate, honor or dishon- many with endless misery, is in
or, acknowledge or deny him. fact the true God; it will then
How is it possible that we should appear, that he thought he love
exercise proper feelings and af. cd and honored the true God,
fections towards the Deity, when when in fact he hated and deni.
we have no knowledge or belief ed him.
of the truth respecting his being These cases may be suffi-
and character? And in case cient, as specimens, to show,
our ideas respecting his charaç, that sound doctrine or the truth,
ter are essentially erroneous and with respect to the being and
contrary to the truth, we shall character of God, is of the last
be liable to think we love and importance to be known and be. •
honor him, when in reality we lieved by us, in order to our ex:
hate and deny him.

ercising proper affections to-
If we verily think the true wards him, and to guard us a.
God is a being of such a dis- gainst the most pernicious and
position, as to approve and be fatal delusion.
pleased with persons of our tem- 2. The importance of sound
pers and ways, when in truth doctrine may further appear,
he disapproves and hates them; from a view of the natural tend:
we shall naturally think we love ency and consequences of the
him, when in reality we hate ideas, which men entertain res
the only true God. This ap- pecting the divine law.
pears to have been the case with If we think there is no divine
the Pharisees, when Christ was law, and that virtue and vice,
on earth. They saw and hat- as applied to the volitions and
ed both Christ and his father ; actions of men, are mere empty
and yet thought that they loved names--if we persuade our-
God, and were approved and ac- selves into a belief, that every
cepted of him. So very errothing being immutably fixed by
neous were their ideas of his re- fate, or by a divine decree, it is
al character.

impossible that men should be A man may be copsious, that morally commendable or blamethe idea of God as a being, who worthy for any of their exercisis disposed to punish, and will es or actions--that it is a matactually punish, many of the ter of perfect indifference, as to sinful children of men, with end- desert of reward or punishment, less and inexpressible misery, how we feel and conduct : if we is cordially disapproved and ha- think and believe thus, as some ted by him ; and yet, being per have professed to do, the consesuaded in his own mind, that no quence will naturally be, that such God exists, but that the we shall feel ourselves under true God is disposed to and will no obligation to refrain from make all mankind eternally hap-| the things commonly accounted py, he is highly pleased with wrong and vicious, or to prachim and heartily loves him. tise what is commonly accountNow if it should finally appear, ed virtuous, any further than we that the God whom he loves, find necessary for cu personal

safety, or present interest. Or, if the law of God doth now reIf we believe there is a divine quire perfect holiness in heart law binding upon us by the au- and life, on pain of the curse ; thority of God, but entertain we are condemned by it for evegrossly wrong ideas of its tenor ry imperfection--for every failand import if we think it re- ure of perfect obedience or of quires only external actions, but perfect holiness in thought, word has no regard to the temper and and deed, and have no way to exercises of the heart ; we shall escape the curse, but of mere naturally think we keep it, if our grace through the atonement external actions are such as we made by the blood of Christ suppose it requires, whatever Hence, it evidently appears to be the disposition and exercis- be of great importance to us, es of our hearts: and therefore, to understand and believe sound if the law doth really regard the doctrine, the real truth, with reheart, and that primarily and spect to the nature of virtue and chiefly, we shall think we keep vice, sin and holiness, and to it, when we yield no true obedi- the real tenor, import and extent ence, and feel ourselves free of the divine law. from obligation to that which is 3. The same truth may also principally regarded and requir- appear, if we consider how difed by it.

ferently we shall naturally feel So likewise, if we think the di- and act, according to the difvine law, in requiring us to ferent ideas which we entertain love our neighbors as ourselves, of our own character and state, means only that we shall love or of the character and state of our friends and those who love mankind. us, but hate our enemies, when If we verily believe, that we in truth it requires us to love our are in a fallen, guilty state, dead enemies, to bless them that curse in sin, and under a righteous ys, and to do good to them that sentence of condemnation, and hate ys; we shall naturally think that there is no way of deliverwe keep it when we live in the ance and saivation for us, except habitual, allowed transgression of of the free and sovereign grace it.

Or if we think the divine of God, through the mediation law, as in force with respect to and merits of Jesus Christ; inankind in their fallen, impo- this view and belief will naturtent, depraved state, requires ally tend to make us feel that our only such sincere, imperfect obe- present condition is awfully clandience, as we are now in all re- gerous and threatening, and not spects able to perform ; then, in, to be rested in that we are lost case we think we perform this for ever, without the interposisincere, imperfect obedience, we tion of divine power and grace shall naturally conclude that we for our recovery ; that this is of do as much as the divine law infinite importance to us; and doth or can reasonably require it will accordingly tend to excite of us in our present circumstan- us to inquire and seek or cry for ces ; and accordingly feel as mercy, with great earnestness. though we were justified in the Whereas, if such as now mensight of God on the ground of tioned be our real character and our own obedience. Whereas, state ; and gre, nevertheless,

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belief of the truth respecting his has no existence, and that the
being and character; nor with God whom he hates, a God who
out this, can we know whether is disposed to and will punish
we love or hate, honor or dishon- many with endless misery, is in
or, acknowledge or deny him. fact the true God ; it will then
How is it possible that we should appear, that he thought he lov,
exercise proper feelings and af- ed and honored the true God,
fections towards the Deity, when when in fact he hated and denj.
we have no knowledge or belief ed him.
of the truth respecting his being These cases may be suffie
and character? And in case cient, as specimens, to show,
our ideas respecting his charac. that sound doctrine or the truth,
ter are essentially erroneous and with respect to the being and
contrary to the truth, we shall character of God, is of the last
be liable to think we love and importance to be known and be-
honor him, when in reality we lieved by us, in order to our ex:
hate and deny him.

ercising proper affections to-
If we verily think the true wards him, and to guard us ac
God is a being of such a dis-gainst the most pernicious and
position, as to approve and be fatal delusion.
pleased with persons of our tem- 2. The importance of sound
pers and ways, when in truth doctrine may further appear,
he disapproves and hates them; from a view of the natural tend-
we shall naturally think we love ency and consequences of the
him, when in reality we hate ideas, which men entertain res,
the only true God. This ap- pecting the divine law.
pears to have been the case with If we think there is no divine
the Pharisees, when Christ was law, and that virtue and vice,
on earth. They saw and hat, as applied to the volitions and
ed both Christ and his father ; actions of men, are mere empty
and yet thought that they loved namesif we persuade our.
God, and were approved and ac- selves into a belief, that every
cepted of him. So very errothing being immutably fixed by
neous were their ideas of his re- fate, or by a divine decree, it is
al character.

impossible that men should be A man may be copsious, that morally commendable or blamethe idea of God as a being, who worthy for any of their exercisis disposed to punish, and will es or actions--that it is a matactually punish, many of the ter of perfect indifference, as to sinful children of men, with end- desert of reward or punishment, less and inexpressible misery, how we feel and conduct: if we is cordially disapproved and ha- think and believe thus, as some ted by him ; and yet, being per have professed to do, the consesuaded in his own mind, that no quence will naturally be, that such God exists, but that the we shall feel ourselves under true God is disposed to and will no obligation to refrain from make all mankind eternally hap- the things commonly accounted py, he is highly pleased with wrong and vicious, or to prachim and heartily loves him.- tise what is commonly accountNow if it should finally appear, ed virtuous, any further than we that the God whom he loves, I find necessary for oil personal

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safety, or present interest. Or, if the law of God doth now reIf we believe there is a divine quire perfect holiness in heart law binding upon us by the au- and life, on pain of the curse ; thority of God, but entertain we are condemned by it for evegrossly wrong ideas of its tenor ry imperfection--for every failand import--if we think it re- ure of perfect obedience or of quires only external actions, but perfect holiness in thought, word has no regard to the temper and and deed, and have no way to exercises of the heart ; we shall escape the curse, but of mere naturally think we keep it, if our grace through the atonement external actions are such as we made by the blood of Christ, suppose it requires, whatever Hence, it evidently appears to be the disposition and exercis- be of great importance to us, es of our hearts : and therefore, to understand and believe sound if the law doth really regard the doctrine, the real truth, with reheart, and that primarily and spect to the nature of virtue and chiefly, we shall think we keep vice, sin and holiness, and to it, when we yield no true obedi- the real tenor, import and extent enee, and feel ourselves free of the divine law. from obligation to that which is 3. The same truth may also principally regarded and requir- appear, if we consider how difed by it.

ferently we shall naturally feel So likewise, if we think the di- and act, according to the difvine law, in requiring us to ferent ideas which we entertain love our neighbors as ourselves, of our own character and state, means only that we shall love or of the character and state of our friends and those who love mankind. us, but hate our enemies, when If we verily believe, that we in truth it requires us to love our are in a fallen, guilty state, dead enemies, to bless them that curse in sin, and under a righteous us, and to do good to them that sentence of condemnation, and hate us ; we shall naturally think that there is no way of deliverwe keep it when we live in the ance and saivation for us, except habitual, allowed transgression of of the free and sovereign grace it. Or if we think the divine of God, through the mediation law, as in force with respect to and merits of Jesus Christ ; mankind in their fallen, impo- this view and belief will naturtent, depraved state, requires ally tend to make us feel that our only such sincere, imperfect obe- present condition is awfully klandience, as we are now in all re- gerous and threatening, and net. spects able to perform ; then, in to be rested in that we are lost .case we think we perform this for ever, without the interposisincere, imperfect obedience, we tion of divine power and grace shall naturally conclude that we for our recovery ; that this is of do as much as the divine law infinite importance to us; and doth or can reasonably require it will accordingly tend to excite of us in our present circumstan- us to inquire and seek or cry for ces; and accordingly feel as mercy, with great earnestness. though we were justified in the Whercas, if such as bow mensight of God on the ground of tioned be our real character and our own obedience. Whereas, l state ; and yre, nevertheless,

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think that we are not in a fallen, | ture, or assumed a human body, guilty, condemned state, to be &c. sure, that we are not totally de- A third opinion is, that he is a praved, but have, at least, some mere man, and had no existence remains of moral goodness, and before his conception by Mary ; are capable of securing the di- and that he died, not as a substivine favor and our own happi- tute for sinners, to make atoneness ; we shall accordingly feel, ment or satisfaction for their and be likely to act, as though sins, but as a martyr, &c. our danger was comparatively If a man is utterly undeter. small, when, in truth, it is ex- mined in his own mind, which ceedingly great.

of these opinions is true ; he 4. The vast importance of must feel himself greatly em. sound doctrine may further ap- | barrassed, as to the respect and pear, from a view of the embar- homage which he may and rassment and pernicious conse- ought to render to Christ. quences, naturally resulting If we verily believe that Jesus from ignorance of the truth, or Christ is a divine person and liolding essentially wrong opin- really by nature God, we shall ions, concerning the person and feel ourselves obliged, and be character of Jesus Christ. naturally led, to pay him the

Among the professed believ- respect and render to him the ers of the New-Testament, there homage, due to God; which, in have been, and still are, more case he is a mere creature, especially, three materially dif- would be idolatry. But if we ferent opinions concerning the think he is a mere created bereal character of Jesus Christ. 1 ing, however great, or a mere One is, that he is by nature God, man, we shall not dare to renthe second of three divine per- der to him we shall deny and sons in the Godhead ; and that withhold from him, the rehe assumed the nature of man spect and worship due to God; into personal union with his which, in case he is truly God, divine nature, so that he is both we ought to render to him.-God and man in two distinct na- Moreover, If we think, with the tures and but one person. This Socinians, that Christ is a mere is called the orthodox opinion man, and died, not as a substior faith.

tute for sinners to atone for their Another opinion is, that Christ sins, but only as a martyr, to is not by nature God, though seal with his blood the truth of vastly superior to any mere man his doctrine, and to set us an ex-that his superior nature was ample of patient suffering for as really created by God, as righteousness’ sake ; we shall any other creature that he is place no dependence on and have the first and by far the greatest no regard to his death as an atonecreature which God ever made, ment for our síns ; vut shall enand taken into some peculiar re- deavor to establish our own rightlation to or union with God, cousness, as the only ground of though not a strict, personal un- justification and a title to eterion ; and that he in time be- nal life ; and thereby, if the orcame united to the human na- thodox opinion is true, exclude

ourselves from any benefit by

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