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have life ; to lay hold of his per-mayest be rich, and white raifect righteousnes as the only co- ment, that thou mayest be clothed. vert from the storm ; to appro All Scripture, all the writings of priate bis meritorious obedience, the Old and New Testament, are and his atoning blood, to them- of divine original, and they are selves for justification from all all of great use and advantage, their sins, inherent, imputed, and some in one way and some in actual. It administers awful another. They are of use either threats, soul-piercing denuncia- for revealing important doctrines tions, the stingings of an awaken- respecting God and ourselves ; ed conscience in case of disobe- for reproving and for convincing dience. John ii. 18. He that of sin and of error ; for rectifybelieveth not is condemned al- ing and reforming what is amiss ; ready, and the wrath of God and for direction, in a way of abideth in him.
faith and obedience, unto the ob2. The Scriptures inform us taining of a righteousness, both that the Holy Ghost is sent from for justification and sanctification, the Father and the Son, to con- that we might be righteous in vince the world of sin, to implant Christ, and from him derive all righteousness in the souls of sin- renewing and purifying grace Ders ; to change the heart ; to for the performance of every repair the damages of the fall; to duty, and making us holy in heart lead them in the ways of holiness, and in life. It is true, indeed, whose end should be life ever that this light is come into the lasting. The Scriptures exhort world, and that we have chosen sinners to watch the motions of darkness in its stead. The Scripthe Spirit, and not to resist its tures are, however, the real impulses; to acquiesce in its sug- means and medium of saving opegestions, and yield the soul to its rations ; and the Spirit of God, guidance through life and death ; wbich efficaciously performs the to practise righteousness, to pur- business, does it ordinarily sue after its beauty, and to be through their instrumentality. constantly attentive to the dis- John xv. 3. Now are ye clean charge of every personal and so- through the Word which I have cial duty. The Scriptures threat- spoken. John vi. 63. en us with rods and with stripes, if we break the covenant of God; Two short inferences shall with the desertion of the Comfort- now close this treatise. er from us, if we refuse to obey his voice; with terror and an 1. The first inference we shall guish of conscience, if we yield draw is this: it is from a real our members as instruments of perversion of mind that infidelity uprighteousness; and with eter-proceeds. pal torments, if we persist in ne The proofs of divine revelaglecting the righteousness of tion are so many and convincing, Christ to cover us, and that of his they have been discussed by so Spirit to sanctify and cherish our many eminent pens, that no caninward man. Rev. ii. 18. I did mind can harbour any doubt counsel thee to buy of' me gold upon the subject, unless the aftried in the fire, that thou fections be perverted and preju
diced against the purity of life want of proper attention to the which Christianity requires. In evidences of our holy religion. fidels are generally men of cor. We have, at least, two chances to rupt inclinations : the precepts their one. The whole host of and threats of the divine law unbelievers may be challenged to torment their guilty conscience. comment upon our sacred oracles,
They begin to wish there was and show a single injury that no God, no heaven, no hell. In would accrue to any individual, this state of mind they snatch at or to any community, from an exevery straw ; they greedily catch plicit obedience to them. at every thing calculated to flat-scheme then is right and true, it, ter their wishes. The witty sar- must needs follow that they are casms of Voltaire, the open criti- mischievous members of an earthcisms of Bolingbroke, and the ly society, and that they will be low, abusive scurrility of Paine, tormented with everlasting pun. afford them some glimmerings of ishments in the fire of hell. If hope.
they are in the right, and we in Carnal conversation corrobo- an error, we at any rate enjoy as rates their wishes, and the coun- much of the comforts of life as tenance of some more seared they do, and our errors in reality wretches than themselves, soon afford us more consolation and enables them to renounce the joy than their truths can do. And faith of the Gospel. Those infi- we are certainly equally safe with dels who do not fall within this them hereafter. description, who are men of ta Oye, who, from the pride of lents, of erudition, and of general a false philosophy, from the demorality, have argued against re- praved habits of a corrupt and ligion from its abuses : they have wicked life, despise or reject the neglected the investigation of its pure precepts of Christianity, own intrinsic excellence. How could you but one hour feel its blindly did the revolutionists in comforts, were you once admitEurope palm upon the Gospel ted into the banqueting-house of that tyrannical oppression which the Lord Jesus, did the spirit of the corruptions of Popery and the bride actuate you wben she prelacy have appended to so lovingly sung. Isa. lxi. 10. it; but which its doctrines and Song v. 10. Nay, even did you precepts constantly condemn. drink of these waters of Marab, Never was there a piece of com- when the soul is fainting under position that reproves tyrants desertion, and longing for the rewith more power and authority turn of its God, you would at this than the sacred volume. Never moment be constrained to acknowwas there a piece of composition ledge, that these sorrows you that enforces a spirit of equality would not exchange for your more than it does. These inti- former joys ; much less would dels are ignorant of the history you be content, on any earthly of Christianity, if they are yet to account, to lose the anchor of be told that a zealous Christian your Christian hope. and an enemy to Cesar are syno 2. Unsanctified believers are nymous terms. Infidels ought to utterly inexcusable. consider their great danger from While the thunders of mount
Sinai are denounced against those tion and instruction which they
known and experienced, to their The condition of how many unceasing comfort, that “all thousands, alas, is this ! Scripture is given by inspiration
To embrace the Scriptures of of God, and is profitable for doctruth, to acknowledge their utility, trine, for reproof, for correcto give a historical assent to the tion, and for instruction in rightedoctrines delivered, to confessousness.” the justice of their renroofs, the salutary tendency of the correc
JOY IN HEAVEN OVER ONE REPENT- not like bloated Pharisees, but
humble publicans ; not as learned
scribes, but merely as ruined sinIT is a singular fact, that when ners. The work of the Lord our Lord Jesus was upon the Jesus is only with and for sinners, earth, and “ went about doing as such ; and however vile and good," persons of the most noto- unworthy, however unrighteous rious profligacy and wickedness and upholy, all who believe on his followed his footsteps, while those name are " washed, and sanctiwho boasted of their righteous-fied, and justified” through the ness and purity disdained his ad- obedience of their faith. The monitions, despised bis doctrines, Gospel is all grace-free, sovepersecuted his person, or, if they reign, abundant, exhaustless attended his discourses, did it to grace. This is its value, its beauentrap and ensnare him. Very ty, its life, its glory. There is few, eminent for their rank, their no sin so attrocious which it cantalents, or their learning, waited Dot pardon ; no sinfulness so great upon the ministry of Him wbo which it cannot remove; no sin" came from heaven to seek and ner so abandoned which it cannot save them that were lost.” We receive and renovate. There is shall not endeavour to enumerate no conscience so enanguished but the many reasons that might be it can sooth its pain ; no heart offered to explain this apparent so hard which it cannot soften ; mystery We may, however, none so vile which it cannot pureadily solve the phenomenon, in rify. It lays the axe at the root the power of that impenetrable, of human pride, and levels in the stubborn, relentless, ungoverna- dust the vanity of human glory ; ble pride, the pride of sect. This and hence arose the great virukept the Pharisee, the Sadducee, lence and opposition of the selfand the Scribe, from the Lord righteous, the wise, the mighty, Jesus, while publicans, and bar- and the noble, against the Son of lots, and sinners, drew near God. The scribes and Pharisees, to him who spake as never more especially, were continually man spake,” to listen to the murmuring at his manners, and words of eternal life, and to com- and carping at his doctrine. “ This pose the retinue of the Son of man,” say they, “receiveth sinGod. While the one class were ners, and eateth with them.” offended at his doctrine, his per- Our Lord was neither deaf nor son, and his cross, the other insensible to their multiplied thirsted for his redemption, and cavils and calumnies ; and, after were enrolled among the heirs of listening to their objections, spake his glory. “I camne not,” said several parables unto them, from Christ, “to call the righteous, which he would lead them to inser, but sinners, to repentance; and that his work and delight were all that the Father giveth to me alone with lost and ruined sinners; shall come to me, and him that and that the more vile and abancometh to me I will in nowise doned they were, the greater cast out.” Whoever they are, would be the glory of his grace, that hope for his pardoning mercy, and the joy of heaven at their and renewing virtue, must come, conversion.
The objeet of this article is to is the Lamb that was slain to reshow that the repentance of sin-ceive all blessing, and honour, ners upon earth is a source of and glory, and power,” is the happiness and joy above, in the song of triumph that strikes the presence of the angels of God; strings of every golden harp, and that as often, and as soon, as an calls forth the sweetest notes of heir of perdition is rescued from praise from the bright myriads of the error of his ways, and the admiring seraphs and adoring bondage of his corruptions, the saints. glad tidings are heard in heaven, And is there any thing that can and the King of glory says to his add to this their happiness and angels, and the spirits of the just their joy? any thing that can made perfect, “ Rejoice with me, swell the alleluias of the spirits for another sinner was dead and of the just made perfect, and call is alive again ; he was lost and is forth loftier strains from the anfound.”
gels with whom they dwell ? any Indeed, in that world of life, of thing that can pour new brilliancy light, and of glory, there is no- around the throne of the Eternal, thing, and can be nothing, but raise yet higher the jubilee joy; joy which is unspeakable of praise, to the Lamb that was and everlasting ; joy which“ eye slain ? Yes, there is. “There is hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor joy in heaven, in the presence of hath entered into the heart of the angels of God, over one sinman to conceive.” None but the ner that repenteth.' It is the happy, the blest, and glorified ci- repentance, the regeneration of tizens of the Jerusalem above, a sinner upon the earth. It is can tell how happy, and blest, and the recovery of another lost sheep glorified, the citizens are. There, to the fold whence he has wanthere is neither sin nor sorrow, dered. It is the return of anoneither pain nor death. There ther ruined prodigal to the love the wicked cease from troubling of his heavenly Father. and the weary are at rest. There This is the source of new blessevery tear is wiped from the eye, edness and praise in the courts and weeping and sadness are for above ; and, as soon as another ever done away. There, in the captive of the pit is numbered presence and communion of their among the followers of Jesus in God and Saviour, all the arınies the church below, the church of the redeemed, who endured triumphant, triumph with increasgreat tribulation on the earth, ap- ed joy. The angels who are conpear arrayed in white robes, with tinually ascending and descending palms of victory in their hands, from heaven to earth and from with crowns of glory upon their earth to heaven; who wait around heads, and songs of praise upon the throne of God ready to retheir lips. They reign with Je-ceive the intimations of his will, sus, and with him are blest. He and swift as the lightning to exeleads them to rivers of living wa- cute them ; who are all ministerters, and pours into their hearts ing spirits, sent forth to minister the plenitude of his love, and un- to the heirs of salvation--have no veils to their enraptured view the greater blessedness than to celefulness of his glory. “ Worthy brate their triumphs, and pro