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opposition of heart to God's | brethren," saith the apostle, "I moral character, and the nature came not with the excellency of of holiness; that mankind, while speech or of wisdom, and my in their natural state, do not like speech and my preaching was the truths contained in the word not with enticing words of man's of God, but are displeased with wisdom, but in demonstration of them, and with all holy things. the spirit and of power; that The truth of these observations your faith should not stand in is confirmed by what he has left the wisdom of men, but in the on record in his epistles written power of God." to the Romans, Corinthians, E- The apostle, in the next place, phesians, and others, also, by the did not fail to describe in lively doctrine of the atonement.. colors, that benevolent spirit
After this gloomy view of the which was, and still is, and for sinful state in which all the nat- ever will be the ornament and ural descendants of apostate essence of Christianity. That Adam were, the apostle explain it not only taught the sons of ed the way of life and salvation | men to love God supremely, but through the atonement which that the benevolence taught by Christ had made, consistently the author of the Christian reliwith the moral character of God gion, required them to love their and his holy law. This led him neighbors as themselves : to reto illustrate the character of the gard the prosperity, the peace, Mediator'as the Son of God, and happiness and good of others in Saviour of the world ; that thro’all respects as they did their him life and immortality were own. Let no man seek his own brought to light, and endless life I (is the language of inspiration ;) was promised to all who would but every man another's wealth. receive him, and embrace him It teacheth men to be kindly afastheir prophet, priest, and king, fectioned one to another, to love their hope and portion. He without dissimulation ; for every showed them the purity, spiritu- man to look not on his own ality, and extent of the divine | things, but on the things of othlaw, that it required the whole ers; in lowliness of mind, let heart, or supreme love to God, I each esteem others better than and perfect obedience to the di- themselves. Charity seeketh vine commands. That theatone- not her own, charity never failment which Jesus had made did eth. not make void the law, but mag- Repentance toward God, and nified it, and made it honorable; faith toward our Lord Jesús vindicated the character of God, | Christ, as the only method of his justice, and every perfection, pardon and salvation for their and had declared his righteous. I perishing souls, he urged in a ness, that he might be just, and most pathetic and solemn manthe justifier of him who beliey ner. Neither is there salvation eth in Jesus.
in any other; for there is none These interesting truths he other name under heaven given recommended to every man's among men whereby we must conscience, and with more than | be saved. human energy, urged his audi- The resurrection of Jesus rence to embrace them : “ My Christ was a favorite doctrine
with the apostle ; it was a neces- II. To notice the fitness and sary part of the Christian sys- propriety of those means which tem, and that which insured the the apostle used, to accomplish resurrection of all Adam's race. the benevolent purpose propos. This led him to discourse on fu- ed in the text. ture rewards and punishments ; Those truths, which the aposand to impress upon their minds tle laid before their minds, were the important truths which he well calculated to show them had taught, he introduced the the difference between the true last solemn scene of judgment, God and their heathen gods ; when the vail which hides an between idolatry and Christianawful eternity should be lifted ity. The illustrations which the up, when they and all men apostles gave in their hearing, should appear before the judge of the character of Jehovah, ment seat of Christ, that every the simplicity and excellence one might receive the things of the Christian religion, would done in his body, according to naturally enlighten their underthat he hath done, whether it be standings, convince their minds good or bad.
of their folly, and gain their That the sacred truths which assent to the truth. Truth, adhe had taught them, or should dressed to the understanding, teach them, might not be for- affords light and knowledge ; gotten ; that they might under- it is means the best calculated stand the whole counsel of God, to open the eyes and turn men and feel that they were shut up from darkness to light, and from unto the faith ; he showed them, the power of Satan unto God, that they were in the hands of of any which can be named. God, and were absolutely de- When the Gentiles heard the pendant on sovereign, distin- descriptions which the apostle guishing grace and mercy. That gave of Jehovah's true character, impenitent sinners were so wil- they must be led to consider him fully opposed to God, and; the preferable to their gods, and gospel plan of salvation for their that a being of such attributes perishing souls, that they would and perfections was fit to govern never accept the offer of life. the universe ; that the religion Therefore divine agency was of which he taught was far supenecessity used, to prevent them rior to their idolatrous worship; from destroying themselves ; to that it would enlarge and exalt change their stubborn hearts, the human mind, and if they and bring them into that meek, would embrace it, would raise humble, and benevolent spirit them from their low, groveling which the gospel enjoins. This state, to be kings and priests must be acknowledged right, to God for ever. just, and truly benevolent. This It may be observed, also, that is goodness in its highest exer- those means which the apostle cise ; on this principle it is that used, were admirably well calJehovah hath mercy on whom culated to accomplish the benevhe will, that he might accom- olent purpose mentioned in the plish more good in this way, text, as they point directly to than could be in any other. men's hearts and consciences,
| Those truths which the apostle
taught were in the first place ad- that they may receive forgive. dressed to the understandings of ness of sins, and an inheritance his audience; and then pointed among them which are sanctified. to their hearts and consciences, Has not this been the case in a that they might feel what they | greater or less degree, in every were, what God is, and what age since the promulgation of they must become, to enjoy his Christianity? Does not the hisblissful presence.
tory of the church from its com: When those important and in- mencement sufficiently justify teresting truths of the gospel the observations which have been were illustrated before their eyes, made? Will not the age in and pressed home upon their which we live, clearly confirm consciences, with the apostle's them? Particularly, when we usual, conclusive and forcible find the same truth taught from manner of reasoning; could they the highest authority. So then avoid reflecting upon their con- faith cometh by hearing, and dition in a moral view? that hearing by the word of God. without an influence from the
IMPROVEMENT. divine Spirit they should never 1. We may infer that it is the yield to take their seats at the immediate duty of every one, footstool, and place God on the who has heard the gospel, to, throne in their affections ? The embrace it. If the offer of life conclusion must be, in their and salvation has been made to moments of cool reflection, that us, to Jews, or heathen, and the they were justly in the hands of conditions upon which they are an holy God, and at his disposal. attainable have been clearly exAre not such means calculated plained and illustrated in our in the best manner to bring sin- hearing, can it be otherwise than ners to see and feel that they reasonable, and true, that all are encompassed on every side such ought immediately to comby an holy God, and their only l ply with those conditions? Is it hope, is immediately to surren- not their reasonable duty to make der their whole souls to him, a surrendry of their whole through Jesus Christ? Better souls to God through Jesus means cannot be devised to awa- Christ immediately; and present ken sinners, to open their eyes, their bodies living sacrifices, hoand to turn them from darkness | ly, and acceptable ? To repent of to light, and from the power of sin, to believe on the Lord Jesus Satan unto God.
Christ, and love God with all Again, the divine blessing and their hearts ? success which have attended the A review of our subject natadministration of the words of urally shows us the obligations eternal life, show their fitness men are under to embrace the and propriety. This is a strong | gospel plan with the most corevidence that such means were dial affection ; especially, from appointed of heaven, therefore this consideration, that the Most were blessed ; and they carry | High has extended his arm of their own evidence with them, mercy to rebellious subjects, that they were devised in the when there was none to pity, nor highest wisdom to accomplish any other possible way of escape. the purpose mentioned in the text, ) Redemption for sinners was pro
Vol. VI. No. 1,
cured, at no less expense than place to place, from country to precious blood ; in this, was in-country, preaching the word of finite benevolence displayed ; a God with great success, gatherview of which ought to inspire ing churches and ordaining them every man with gratitude, and Elders in every church. At the lead all to feel the force of the appointed time, they returned, obligations they are under to be and rehearsed all that God had come immediately religious. done with them, and how he had
2. From the light in which opened the door of faith unto this subject hath been consider the Gentiles. Is there not an high ed, and the wonderful events of resemblance of these things, in the present day, may we not what has, and does still take conclude there is some resem- place in the present age? Parblance between the present and ticularly in many parts of Christhe apostolic age ? From the in- tendom, and in parts on which formation given us in our text, the light of the gospel had never men were raised up soon after beamed. Many are sent on misChristianity had beamed on the sions, not only into new and desworld, and sent to preach good titute settlements, but into heatidings of peace and salvation to then lands. Turn your eyes perishing sinners. Is not this northerly, southerly, easterly, the case at the present day? and westerly, and what pleasing Those who were raised up in scenes will unfold to view ? God the apostles' days, for this benev- | is carrying on his work, not only olent purpose, were not confined in America and Europe, but in within the limits of Jerusalem South Africa, and the East Innor Judea, but were sent among dies. Are not these tidings that the Gentiles, to carry them good God has opened the door of faith news from heaven; that good unto the heathen ? will was proclaimed to mankind through Jesus Christ. Barnabas
But another prominent feaand Saul appear to have been ture in this resemblance is the among the first, who were pur
opposition which the apostles posely sent to preach the gospel
met, and which is now.met from among the Gentiles. Previously
the enemies of religion. Is this to this there had been a small
any thing more than is to be exchurch formed at Antioch in
| pected from the human heart, if Syria; and these pious men
it be as it is described in the pawere members of the same, and
| ges of inspiration ? Has not this by direction of the Holy Ghost,
| always been the case, and will it were set apart for this important
not continue while the irnpeniwork. They sailed first to Cy
tent heart remains the same ? prus, and preached the word of Have not error and infidelity God, at Salamis, then they went
always made rapid progress, to Paphos, to Perga in Pamphi.notwithstanding the increase of Jia, from thence to Pisidia. - In light and knowledge, and the
these places they preached the clear manner in which divine ... sospel, but not without much truth has been illustrated ? Was
opposition from the Jews who | not this the case in the days of riwelt in those parts. In this the apostles, when the unbelievmanner they proceeded from / ing Jews stirred up the Centiles and made their minds evil affect- 1 is approaching when the Jews ed against the brethren ? shall have an hearing ear given · 3. When we candidly reflect them, and an understanding on the manner in which Chris- | heart, and shall be gathered in tianity has been promulgated a- with the fullness of the Gentiles, mong mankind, may we not rest and the appearance of this assured, that its author and sup- | world, in moral things, shall be porter must be divine, and that like a new creation of God ? all the promises of good to the From this view of things as church, which are found in the they are now directed by infinite record of God, will be accom wisdom, will not every one be plished. No other weapons have animated with the pleasing prosbeen used to overcome the oppo-pects of Zion's prosperity, and sition made by the depraved readily lend his aid by prayer, heart than light and truth ; and and giving liberally as God has these, attended by the divine ef- enabled him, remembering that ficacy, will eventually prevail the earth is the Lord's and the and be completely victorious. fulness thereof; that all having Many promises of good to the freely received ought freely to church have been accomplished, give; for the cause is the Lord's, and others are now accomplish- and the boundless bliss belongs ing, which may be considered to men. May we not when we as the earnest that those which look forward to the future prosremain shall be fulfilled.
perity of the church, adopt the Has 'not Jesus come in the language of the prophet, Arise, flesh, and did not the Jews do shine, for thy light is come, and unto him as it had been foretold ? | the glory of the Lord is risen Do they not now answer the ve- upon thee. The Gentiles shall ry description given of them by come to thy light, and kings to Moses their leader, and lawgiver the brightness of thy rising. under God? When we cast our eyes upon the heathen world, does not the wilderness begin to blossom, and Ethiopia to Thoughts on Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. stretch out her hands unto God?
NO. II. Behold, Philistia, and Tyre with “ FOR it is impossible for Ethiopia, this man was born those, who have been once enthere. Is it not true that the lightened," &c. heathen now testify that they are given to the Son for his in- TN the thoughts on this pasheritance, and the utterinost sage, which were published parts of the earth for his posses. in Vol. V. No. 12. Page 448 of sion ?, Is it not evident that he | this Magazine, an attempt was is saying to the north give up, made to show, that it must be to the south keep not back, understood, with reference to bring my sons from far, and my real saints. daughters from the ends of the Setting aside the construcearth ?- That the river Euphra- tion there given, it has beeh urtes is drying up, and the way ged, that, when saying, in a subpreparing for the kings of the sequent verse, Beloved, we are east to come in ? That the time I persuaded better things of you,