« VorigeDoorgaan »
genus, to preach a spurious gospel, and spend their lives in advancing his cause, making their own bed in hell. How wonderful, that reasonable men will consent to wear such a galling yoke, and endure such unending bondage.
Truth never can suffer loss by a conflict with error. Truth, rolled upon the intellect and heart, will never multiply the enemies of God. It may bring out the concealed depravity of this world in various forms, but it would be a libel upon God to say that its publication can augment the number of his enemies. The hope, probability and promise are, that the truth, faithfully enforced, will make inroads upon satan's empire till that empire shall become extinct in all the earth. As the great system of Christianity is brought to bear upon the world, with all its irrefragable evidence and its momentous truth, it will convert men or secure their deference, and that deference will exhibit itself in the establishment of counterfeit systems, or it will drive them, with almighty force, into the ranks and dark dominions of atheism. But those who, under the administration of truth, wish to occupy middle ground, will not long be able to defend their positions. Christianity recoils from their unhallowed and corrupting touch on the one hand, and atheism ridicules them for their incon
sistency on the other. They may in name wish to rank on the side of truth, but in fact they stand with all the enemies of God. They may boast of their increase, but it is the increase of perdition. They may tell of the spread of their counterfeit systems, but it is only the finger of a departing God, writing a name on the different sections of the great empire of wo. May the note of warning in these pages awake many a deluded and sleepy soul, before the clangor of the judgment trumpet shall summons the deceived to the bar of God, and to the fearful doom of the damned.
Also, unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
Psalm lxii. 12.*
THE Psalmist in the text asserts the grand peculiarity of the government of God. A peculiarity which distinguishes it from all human government, viz. that every man receives according to his work. It is not so in earthly governments. The mercy or justice of human tribunals, even under their most perfect operations, is but an imperfect adjudication upon the character and conduct of men. Judgment is often turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: truth falls in the street, and equity cannot enter. From the scenes of oppression and injustice around him, the
* The Rev. John Perry, of Reading, (Pa.) a Universalist minister, preached a sermon from the above text. The author was so amazed at the sentiments which he attempted to draw from it, that he arose and asked leave to give notice that he would preach from the same text, on the next Sabbat in his own church. He consented also to furnish the Rev. A. C. Thomas a copy of it for publication, if he would publish Mr. Perry's. But the author has waited in vain for its appearance. Quere?
mind of David naturally turned away to the contemplation of that government and throne where man should receive according to the deeds done in the body.
The questions which may be raised from the text are three. These three questions will bring into view all the material points of discussion contained in the passage.
I. What are the works of man? Thou renderest to every man according to his work.
II. What recompense must their work receive at the hand of God? Thou renderest to every man according to his work.
III. Wherein consists the mercy of God in rendering to every man according to his work? Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.
I. What are the works of man? The works man referred in the text, are evidently his works which he performs as a moral agent. It is upon the works of man as a free, moral agent, that God looks with the eyes of a judge, and for which man shall and must receive impartial, and therefore merciful or just retribution. And as every work of man is sinful or holy, according to the motives and principles from which it is executed, so it is upon man's motives or principles of action that God will sit in judgment. As if David had said, Also, unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy for thou renderest to every man