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tual union to Christ, in time. In mies, and becoming his reat proof of this point, see Romans friends. It implies a real conix. 11-14. “For the children formity of heart to the characbeing not yet born, neither having ter of God, and all those duties done any good or evil, that the which arise from the law of their purpose of God according to elec- relation to him, both as creation might stand, notof works but|tures and as sinners. This prinof him that calleth. It was said ciple is very extensive in its naunto her, the elder shall serve ture and exercises, as it hath the younger. As it is written respect to a great variety of obJacob have. I loved, but Esaujects, and relative duties; but have I hated.” See also, that it is all summed up in one comdeclaration of the Most High, prehensive term-it is the exby the prophet Jeremiah. “Iercise of true, supreme love to have loved thee with an everlast. God. This is what is implied, ing love, therefore with loving- and the whole that is implied in kindness have I drawn thee." | reconciliation to God. The soul Remember, it is God in Christ thus reconciled, is freely and who reconciles the world unto cheerfully disposed to take his himself. God, in Christ, loved proper place and character, and the elect sinner from eterni- give God the throne. He is ty and it is only in Christ that willing that Jehovah should be God hath any complacency in God, which none others are ; the sinner after his conversion and he has such a feeling sense -But,
of his own criminality, in being 2. Positively. To be recon- ever opposed to God, and his ciled to God implies a great, a government, that he sees, and thorough and essential change, feels and acknowledges how hoin the feelings and affections of ly and righteous God is in the the sinner ; as great as is the threatenings of his law, and that difference between variance and he would be perfectly just in reconciliation, hatred and love. making him the monument of It implies that the sinner before his eternal wrath and vengeance. he is reconciled is at variance He therefore accepts the punishwith God, and in the temper of ment of his iniquities, exercises his heart wholly opposed to his repentance towards God, and character and law ; for, if he submits himself unconditionally were not, there would be no pro- | into his hands. Again, . priety in speaking of his becom-! He loves the character of the ing reconciled, or exhorting him Saviour who hath taken the part to it, since he hath that already of God, in utterly condemning the in which reconciliation consists: sinner, and magnifying and hon. for, so far as he is not opposed oring the divine law by his obeto God, he is essentially recon- dience unto death. The mediaciled to him. It is plain, that torial character will appear lovethe coinmand or exhortation is ly and glorious in the view of addressed to God's enemies ; him who is truly reconciled to for reconciliation implies friend. God; and from the sense which ship, agreement, and harmony, he has of his own character, as and their becoming reconciled, I a sinner and transgressor of is their ceasing to be his ene- | God's holy law, an insolvent
debtor to divine justice, and ex- | to thine own conscience, as thou posed to and deserving of eter. must hereafter to thy Judge. nal punishment, he will feel his
ASAPH. dependence on sovereign mercy, and put his trust alone in Christ, as his only and all-sufficient Saviour, who is the end of the law An evil Heart the source of Inh. for righteousness to all them
delity. that believe. Such is the nature, and such the distinguish- IN every age there hath aping exercises of reconciliation 1 peared in the hearts of men to God. Were it proper, in this a natural indisposition to receive essay, we might greatly enlarge the truth. The truth condemns upon the subject, and trace the them, and whatevever condemns operation of this divine principle them they endeavor to reject. of love to God, as it extends it. There can scarcely be found a self through all the various re- more remarkable instance of lations of being. Do this, rea- this, than in the conduct of the der, in thine own meditations, Jewish rulers in their treatment and come to a ready and imme- of Jesus Christ, at the hour of diate compliance with the duty his sufferings. ~ Likewise also of being reconciled to God. the chief priests mocking, said This, as I have endeavored to among themselves with the explain, is nothing less than the scribes, He saved others, him. exercise of supreme love to God. self he cannot save. Let Christ And doth not thine own con- the king of Israel, descend now science tell thee, that this is thy | from the cross that w
from the cross that we may see immediate and indispensible du- and believe.”—The chief priests ty ? Only consider what a glo- and scribes, who spoke these rious and good being God is— words were men of education, what infinite obligations thou art instructors and judges in their under to him! What great own nation, and accustomed, in things he has done for thy sal- other matters, to examine, comvation, in giving his Son to die- pare and weigh the strength of what means he hath used, and is evidence ; so that their infidelistill using with thee-how long ty in this instance, and after all he hath already waited upon that they had seen, their requirthee-what light and advantages ing other evidence that Christ thou enjoyest under the glori- was the Son of God, evidently ous dispensation of the gospel, to arose from an indisposition to know thy duty, and comply with receive the truth. It proved that his will; and canst thou feel, when divine restraints were that thou hast any cloak for thy withdrawn and their hearts were impenitency, or the least possi- rancorously fixed against the ble color of excuse, why thou truth, no possible degree of evshouldst, for another moment, idence was sufficient to silence *neglect to love God and be recon- their cavils, or reconcile them to ciled to him! Is not the exhor- their duty. tation perfectly reasonable, and The same heart is now found the duty infinitely binding upon in men. After the full and comthee? Answer these questions, plete evidence, which God has
furnished for Christian doctrines there were many. In these wriand moral duties, they call for tings of Moses and the prophets, more ; and they would do the almost every thing was foretold same, if an angel were to come literally which related to the birth, from heaven, and in their hear- life, miracles, doctrines, and sufing confirm the words of divine ferings of Christ. His family, the revelation.
place of his birth, the history of The question with the chief his life, and his griefs as well as priests and scribes was, whether his glory were written aforeor not Jesus Christ was a pro- hand, by those prophets whom phet sent from God; for if this they accounted true. It was dewere allowed, they inust ac- clared that he should be poor knowledge the truth of the doc- and despicable in the eyes of trines he taught, and that all his mankind ; that he should be injunctions to duty ought to be denied and rejected ; that he obeyed. . Their demand was for should be smitten for our iniquimore evidence- Let him now ties; that the chastisement of descend from the cross that we our peace should be upon him ; may see and believe." Let us that he should go to his sufferenquire what evidence these per- ings, as a sheep that is dumb sons had, who still required before the shearers ; and that more ; and if we find it was suf, he should die for the sins of the ficient to satisfy reasonable and people. All these things were honest men, we must ascribe foretold, not only typically, but their infidelity to an evil heart of expressly ; so that the very unbelief, which blinded their un- sufferings which they beheld, derstanding, because they hated and his hanging on the cross, the truth which reproved them. which they upbraided, were a And if we attend only to a sum principal part of the evidence mary of the evidence set before that he was the Christ of God. : them, we shall be surprised, that Or if they looked to his mothey could demand, “ Let him ral conduct, how pure ! how descend now from the cross, that chaste ! how humble ! how temwe may see and believe.”
perate! how benevolent! how They were in possession of disposed to instruct men in the Moses and the prophets, whom most important duties ! how filthey professed to believe, and it led with reverence of God, and is probable they did believe them, love of his law! In all things so far as sinful men can receive how divine !-Neither were his the pure oracles of God. In doctrines or manner of teaching these were the promises made less evidential of his mission as to the fathers, of a prophet who a prophet, a priest, and king should be the Saviour of men. come from the Lord to bless a On these promises they relied, I guilty and miserable world. In and the expectation of the peo- | his doctrines he taught the beple that the Messiah would come ing, the infinite perfections, the about this time, was so highly law, the providence, the governraised, that although they reject- ment of God, who was the Faed Christ, they encouraged eve-ther and Lord of all inen by crery seditious person and pretend- / ation, and his own Father in the er to divine authority, of which highest sense, as he claimed to
VOL. VI. NO. 3.
be one with him, and proved er descended from the cross, his claim by bis works. which he was abundantly able to
He taught the nature of moral do, is there any probability that virtue, as it was never taught by these sinners would hare believa mere man ; the depravity of ed? On a brief review of the human nature; the necessity of evidence they before had resista new heart and a new life, both ed,, we shall doubtless agree for our duty and our happiness; there is no probability, this would the grace of God in forgiving have softened their obdurate sin, together with the terms of hearts. It was not want of eviacceptance, faith, repentance and dence, but a sinful heart, which new obedience; and this obedi- held them in unbelief. They ence he enforced by the solemn disliked the doctrines of Christ, consideration of a judgment to and the duties he required; they come, and a state of eternal re- could not bear his just reproof, wards. While he held himself and therefore determined to reup as the Saviour of men, these sist the highest evidence, that were the doctrines which he he was a teacher sent from God taught and enforced with all au- and the Saviour of the world. thority ; doctrines which encou- And the case is the same with rage virtue, reprove sin, and at those, who at the present day, the same time place the well- pretend to doubt of the essential being of man on the sovereign doctrines, duties and institutions grace of God, and his attention of religion. Either through a to his own daty. To all this ey- dislike of the truth, they will not idence, he added that of such examine the evidence; or they mighty and miraculous works wilfully determine to reject it, as no other ever wrought. He and call for other evidence, gave sight to the blind, hearing which is impracticable in the nato the deaf, speech to the dumb, ture of things, or which would and life to the dead. While one give no additional light if it were hour he fed an immense multi- granted. They say, we wish tude with a basket of loaves and for stronger evidence, and that. fishes, the next he commanded the truth might be made still the evil spirits and they obeyed piainer; little considering, that him. The winds and seas hear- the darkness is in themselves, in . ed his voice, and by directing their own sinful hearts, in their the laws of nature in their course, opposition to the holy doctrines he proved himself to be the God of God, in their dislike of duty, of nature ; and all these things and their reluctance to part with he did in his own name.
the pleasures of iniquity. It This is but a summary of the was the sinfulness of the chief heads of evidence which those priests and scribes, which made persons had, that he was a pro- them overlcok all the miracles phet from the Lord and spiritual which Christ had wrought in king of Israel; still they said, the sight of their whole nation, Let him descend now from the and call for a new miracle ; so cross that we may see and be it is the sinfulness of modern lieve. If this presumptuous de- disbelievers and immoral permand had been granted, and the sons, which makes them overSon of God had by his own pow. I look a system of past evidence,
which is as perfect as infinite the completion of the sacred cawisdom could form it, and call non, may now be more distinctfor new light, new evidence to ly understood than it possibly make things still plainer. If could have been at the time of new evidence could be granted, Christ's death ; both the harand God were pleased to give it, mony and the usefulness of the with the hearts which they now Christian doctrines are more aphave, something further would parent; the mighty working of be demanded. The difficulty is providence in favor ofthe church, not from a deficiency of evi- and the power of the Spirit in dence, but from a heart unwil- converting sinners from the evil ling to receive and obey the of their ways, and supporting his truth. Although a sinful heart people under their troubles; the of unbelief is no excuse for a fulfilment of the Christian prosinner, it will always make di- phecies in every age, and in none vine things appear obscure to more remarkably than the preshim by hiding their beauty. ent ; together with the preser
So long as men endeavor to vation and gradual increase of disbelieve, and quiet their con- the church in opposition to all sciences in disobedience to the the power and art of its oppogospel, they will continue to say, sers, are a volume of evidence we need some clearer evidence ; for the truth, which hath been and they will mistake the blind increasing from the time of ness of an evil heart, for a de- Christ to the present day; and feet in the light that is set be- it will continue to increase by fore their understanding; still the mighty working of divine this will not excuse them before providence, until the glory of an impartial Judge. When we the Lord, and his church shall consider the evidence offered to fill the earth. How inexcusathe Jews, we are ready to con- ble are those, who, through a demn them for requiring that distaste to the truth and their he should come down from the own duty, neglect to search whecross as authority for them to ther these things be so ! or who, believe. This was demanding to quiet themselves in unbelief, an unreasonable sign, and done say, we wish for clearer eviin a cruel manner.
dence that we may know our Those, who now disbelieve, 1 duty. should consider the additional It is acknowledged that doubts evidence, which hath since aris-on particular subjects may honen for the system of Christian estly arise ; also, that all truths truth and duty, and that as they are not of equal importance ; sin against greater light, they but when we see persons who must finally appear more guilty | have been educated in the midst in the sight of the Judge, for of a Christian land, with the crucifying Jesus Christ afresh, faircst advantages for instruction, and putting him and his doc- questioning thie whole scheme trines to open shame before the of revelation; we may justly world. The method of salva- impute their doubts to unholition through a divine Redeemer ness of heart. They dislike the by the merits of his blood, and restraints, they do not love the the sanctification of the Spirit, by I'duties of religion. When an