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Can such children claim from their insulted benefactor a continuance of his kindness? Much less can they expect, or even hope from him further means of enjoyment, and a more splendid establishment! I leave this case, my dear brother, to be decided by the advocates of a religion consisting of moral duties; re. ferring you however to a single passage of Scripture, in which Jehovah, as the Father and Ruler of men, claims his rights with the affecting benignity of a God. 66 A Son honoreth his father, and a servant his master; if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear?" Mal. i. 6.

If I understand any thing of God's character and moral gov. ernment, and of our relation to him as his dependent creatures, a supreme regard to him as the first great cause and last end of all things, is the foundation of all true religion in the heart-as indispensable to the perfection of his moral government, as it is to the happiness of his rational creatures. Perfect excellence being entitled to supreme love and regard, and God being perfect excellence and the only Being of that character in the universe, it results that intelligent creatures must give to him the first place in their hearts, or they do not conform to the standard of moral rectitude, which God has established; and if they do not conform to that standard, they cannot be entitled to the happiness which results from such conform. ity. Hence we are repeatedly in. formed in the Scriptures, that "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom;" the foundation on which the whole system stands,

God then claims from us, as the first duty, a supreme regard to his character and laws, which is to be manifested by the duties of piety, prayer, worship, fear, love, attendance upon his instituted ordinances, and a reference to his will as the only rule of our moral and religious conduct; in short, an unreserved submission to his laws and government. He, as the Sovereign of the universe, has a right to this regard, he demands it as his right, and accord. ing to my view of his character and government, he cannot dispense with it. I should even say, with reverence, it would be an imperfection in his government if he could.

But this is not all. While God makes his own glory the chief object of his works and government, he has made holiness or conformity to his image, the condition, on which his ra tional creatures are to enjoy supreme happiness. The connex. ion between holiness and future. felicity is inseparable. The happiness of a future life, is represented as consisting in the enjoyment of God's favor and presence. How, let me ask, can a soul enjoy the divine presence, without supreme love to the divine character? What joy can a soul experience in the presence of a God, to whose attributes and laws, it is not previously reconciled? How can a soul be delighted with the favor of God in heaven, which has never loved him supremely on earth? Is the heart to be changed after death? This, we are forbid to believe. A man may, in this life, perform moral duties, without any par. ticular regard to his Maker, and without any particular relish for


his character and government. He may perform good works to his fellow men, even from a sense of their fitness and propriety, without performing a single act of homage to the Supreme Being, although, as I have before remarked, without a reference to God's will, he will rarely perform them with uniformity, even in the view of the world. the natural heart is enmity against God; and if such moral man dies without a change in the affections of his heart, what qual ification will he possess for that heaven, whose employment consists in loving and praising God? How will he relish the joys of pure and holy spirits? It is impossible. Even in this life, nothing is more painful to a man than the presence of a kind ben. efactor whom he has injured. Were a man of mere morality to be instantly transferred to the presence of the glorious Jehovah, his sense of ingratitude to his Maker and Benefactor, would fill his soul with unutterable tor. ment. To a soul, not previous ly prepared, by pious affections, to relish the joys, that must spring from the presence and favor of a pure and holy Being, heaven it. self would be a hell. Au unho. ly being cannot be happy in the immediate presence of a holy God; at least, in my apprehension it appears to be impossible. Hence it appears that regeneration and holiness of heart, are in the very nature and fitness of things necessary to the enjoyment of heaven; and the gospel doctrines really stand as well on the immutable order of things in the universe, as on the positive declarations of Christ and his apostles. We are placed on this

earth in a state of trial and proba tion, furnished with intellectual powers to learn the character of God and our own duty; with the word of God to direct us, and a free will to accept or reject the offers of salvation. To complete the means of salvation, a Mediator has been provided, to make an offering of himself for our sins and satisfy that law which we have violated, and which we ourselves are certainly unable to satisfy. In this state, the seeds of holiness are to be planted in the heart, and are destined to grow and ripen into a full harvest of felicity in a future life. Holiness, in this life, is the germ of heaven, But holiness, in a scriptural sense, and indeed in any sense, is a distinct thing, from a principle of morality. Morality or good works respect our fellow-men; holiness respects God. It is that state of the heart which proceeds from supreme love to God, faith in Christ, and entire submission to the divine commands. out this holiness, the Bible informs us, no man shall see the Lord. And this holiness is in. dispensable to the performance of good works. As faith without works is dead; so good works are the fruit of faith. And according to the gospel, it is not possible for moral duties to be acceptable to God, unless they proceed from faith and holiness, or from a supreme regard to God's will, as their spring or motive.


These doctrines involve the necessity of regeneration, a doctrine which many men, called Christians, deny, and which the morality-system utterly excludes. I know not how men who believe the Scriptures can reason away a

doctrine so fully and expressly revealed as that of the new-birth. The passages of Scripture which directly assert the necessity of such a change, I need not recite; they must be familiar to you, but I will make a few remarks on this subject.

That the heart of man is nat. urally destitute of holiness, or true love to God, is equally proveable from the Scriptures and from observation. That the natural heart is at enmity with God, one would think any person must admit, who reads history, or observes the state of society within his own view. But I want no other evidence of the fact, than that which is furnished by the men who make morality or good works the basis of all religion and the ground of acceptance with God. The disposition to exclude the duties of piety as of primary importance, in a scheme of religion; or a disposition to obtain salvation, by the merit of moral duties, in exclusion of the merits of Christ's righteousness, without a supreme love to God and his laws, and an entire dependence on sovereign grace, is to my mind a demonstration that the natural heart is "enmity against God." Indeed it is an astonishing proof of pride and ingratitude, that men who acknowledge themselves to have been created without any agency of their own, and who cannot raise an arm or draw a breath without the agency of their Creator, should at. tempt to prove that they can obtain salvation by their own works, without divine aid, and without the infusion of a principle of holiness by the same Spirit which first breathed into man

the breath of life. Why is it more improbable that God should exert his sovereign power, in regenerating the soul, to make it a suitable being to dwell in immortal glory, than that he should form the body, as a suitable being to inhabit the earth ? It should be observed that the Supreme Being reserves to himself exclusively the glory of creaation. He created man and the universe with all its furniture. He has placed the animals, plants, and minerals of this globe at the disposal of man. We have the means, under his providence, of multiplying the number of animals and plants, at pleasure; we can modify and use the species which he has made, but observe, we can create nothing; we cannot add a single new spe. cies to those which God has made. If the heart of man, in its natural state, is not qualified to be an inhabitant of heaven, and must be renovated, how is the change to be effected! The Scriptures every where represent the change of affections in the heart, as a new birth or creation; and if such is the change, who but God is to be the Creator?

Regeneration consists in an entire charge of the affections. The natural man's affections are placed on temporal enjoyments and objects of this life. Hence the social duties are the sum of his religion. The affections of the regenerate heart are placed onGod, as the first and noblest object of love; on Christ as the Redeemer, through whom man has access to God and happiness, and on the will of God as the only rule of his conduct. looks to God as the Author of all good; trembles at the thought of


offending him; submits cordial. ly to his commands and dispensations; and reposes with delight and unshaken confidence on his promises. The real Christian does not, in his moral conduct, make his own honor, interest, or reputation, the primary rule of decision; but endeavors to regulate his actions by God's law; "for of him, and through him, and to him are all things." In short, his heart recognizes the great truths delivered by our Savior, that the first and great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all the heart, soul,strength, and mind; and that the second is, to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is unquestionably the order of pious affections; the order of nature; the order of moral fitness; and the order of the gospel. And how is it possible for men who study the universe and read the Scriptures, to attempt to invert this order? From what cause proceeds this unnatural perversion of truth, as immutable as God himself? Is it not the natural pride, and the evil propen. sities of the human heart? Why does man wish to dispense with the duties of piety, and obtain salvation upon the strength of duties performed to his fellow. men? Is there any thing painful or mortifying in piety, and a dependence on divine grace for salvation? If there is, the heart is wrong. There is certainly no durable pleasure in. sin. Long before I had these views of the gospel scheme of salvation, I was convinced that sin even in this life, produces more pain and misery, than real pleasure. No, my friend, there is no substantial satisfaction in this life, except in

conforming to the laws of the Supreme Lawgiver. As his laws and character are the most excellent, and as intellectual happiness can proceed only from truth and excellence, it results that man must enjoy the most happiness, when his heart is reconciled to the di vine laws, and most conformed to the divine character.


So far are the duties of piety and religion from being painful, that the human mind, roving from one temporal object to another, unsatisfied with pleasure they afford, perplexed with doubts, and like Noah's dove, finding no solid ground on which to rest, never enjoys permanent peace until it has sought a refuge in that ark of divine safety, the Redeemer's king. dom. The soul of man, is, I am persuaded, never tranquil, till the will is subdued, and has yielded, with implicit submission, to God's sovereign grace. This submission, however humiliating it may appear to the natural man, is accompanied or followed with unspeakable satisfaction. The most dignified attitude of feeble, sinful man, is that of a penitent at the foot of the cross imploring pardon from an offended God; and I firmly believe, that every man must be brought to this posture, before he can enjoy any permanent tranquillity of mind in this life, or possess any qualification for the happiness of the next.

These sentiments may perhaps expose me to the charge of enthusiasm. Of this I cannot complain, when I read in the gospel, that the apostles when they first preached Christ crucified, were accused of being full of new wine : when Paul was

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charged by Felix with being a madman; and when Christ himself was charged with performing miracles through the influence of evil spirits. If therefore I am accused of enthusiasm I am not ashamed of the imputation. It is my earnest desire to cherish evangelical doctrines, and no other. That the opinions here expressed are substantially true, I firmly believe; and I number it among the strong arguments in favor of the truth of these doctrines, and of revelation, that pious men in every age, have entertained similar views, and experienced corresponding affections of the heart. In every period of the church, and in every country, where the true religion has been professed, men of piety have had substantially the same views of the character of God, and of the duty of man; the same supreme love to their Maker; the same submission to his will, faith in his promises, and zeal in his cause, as were manifested by Abraham, by David, and the apostles. This uniformity of affections among pious men, in distant countries and periods of time, affords a solid proof of the truth of their religion, and of its divine original; for nothing is uniform but truth; nothing unchangeable but God and his works.

Nor is the opposition to this scheme of religion, in my appre hension, less an argument of its truth. In every age, men who are unwilling to submit to God's sovereignty, and who desire to have as little dependence as possible on his power and mercy, have opposed the religion which gives to God his true place in the universe. The men who now Voz. II. New Series.

reject the doctrines of the divinity of Christ, of regeneration, of the atonement, of saving faith, and of free grace; follow the footsteps of the chief priests, scribes, and pharisees; substituting external duties for the doctrines of the cross. But, in my apprehension, we must receive these doctrines, or reject the Scriptures, as a forgery, and Christ as an impos tor. To reject the Scriptures as forgeries, is to undermine the foundation of all history; for no books of the historical kind stand on a firmer basis, than the sacred books. The correspondence of the geographical descriptions, interspersed in various books, with the real state of the countries described, as it now exists, will demonstrate the historical truth of the Scriptures, beyond the possibility of cavil.

If then the Scriptures are ascertained to be faithful histories, or re lations of many facts still capable of unequivocal proof, we have a pledge that the writers have not de ceivedus, in regard to facts not now equally susceptible of proof; and we have the strongest ground to believe that they are what they are declared by the writers themselves to be, the records of God's revealed will. No historical facts are better attested than the mir acles performed by Jesus Christ; and to deny the facts is to set afloat all history. If Christ then performed the miracles ascribed to him, he must have been a di vine person, or a mere man possessed of divine powers for particular purposes; but he could not have been a mere man, for he expressly declares that "Before Abraham was, I am," John viii. 58. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self,


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