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good to man, facts, blessed be God, would be stronger than our most polent arguments. I, myself, have had sweet experience of human excellence through the journey of life, through a journey which would else have been indeed dreary. I have not, I never had any quarrel with human excellence, except when it presumes to dethrone my Saviour, when it would take the crown from the head of Jesus Christ and place it upon that of the sinner. Nothing short of perfection, undeviating perfection, can satisfy him, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. When, therefore, our imperfect works are made the matter of our justification in his sight, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, it is then that I become jealous for the Redeemer with a godly jealousy.
Christians, I trust, genuine believers, will have too much gratitude, too much love for their Saviour, to mingle with those who are devoted to folly. Those who can make the comparison will not hesitate in preferring virtue to vice. Virtue hath in every view, abundant advantage over vice; Christians may derive benefit from the greatest evil. I pray God that the genuine believer may remain steadfast and immoveable, always confessing, and that from conviction, that even if there were no hereafter, it would be the interest of every individual lo persevere in the paths of rectitude. It is wisdom's ways alone that are ways of pleasantness; it is her paths alone, that are paths of peace-Right well is my soul acquainted with this truth.
I trust I shall never look with any, but a single eye to the Author of my salvation ; I trust I shall never expect deliverance from the curse of the law, and a title to everlasting life from any power or in any name, but the name of Christ Jesus.
But as my future happiness depends upon my knowledge of this truth, so does my present felicity rest on my conduct in life. If I sow to the flesh, I shall of the flesh reap corruption.
What is the second death? It is certainly death, not life. But the disciples of Mr. W. inform us, it has been administered, and is administering with different duration by the law and by the gospel!! Amazing! the second death administered by the gospel! Surely, the gospel is not the administration of death; the gospel is glad tidings to every creature. But can the administration of the second death be glad tidings to every creature? The equity of God, in punishing the wicked and rewarding the good, is a standing
theme. But if there be equity in punishing human sinners as breakers of God's law, it must follow that Jesus did not make reconciliation for iniquity, that he did not fulfil the law nor satisfy divine justice, that he hath not made an end of sin and completed his work, by finishing transgression. But if he did not, where was the equity of Christ's sufferings? And if he died for the ungodly, where is the equity of justice when demanding two payments for one debt? Suppose we could prove, that some were entitled by their own deeds of righteousness to life eternal, and that they were thus rewarded by their own individual righteousness, where then would the grace appear? There is no grace in rewarding the good. The good deserve a reward. How does it appear that the gift of God is eternal life?
It is said, every unregenerated individual will receive, according to the various degrees of sin which may be committed, a corres. ponding punishment. If by generation is meant something done by the creature, that satisfies the justice of God for the breach of his law in time past, and effectually guards against sinning in future, then the reward to them is of debt; but if this regeneration, whether we consider it in Christ Jesus or in ourselves, be the work of God, the reward is undoubtedly due to the worker.
Again, If the generation, so warmly advocated, admits of sin, and the soul that sinneth shall die, and if those who are considered regenerated, offend in many things, and God is no respecter of per sons, will not divine justice exercise its rigours on the regenerate? Why should not a regenerate sinner be as much subject to death as an unregenerate sinner? What reason have we to suppose that some crimes render the sinner the object of divine wrath, and others do not?
In one thing, however, I perfectly agree with my religious brethren; no one can be perfectly happy, until he be perfectly holy; hence, in the present state, our felicities are always imperfect. But, blessed be God, there is such a thing as living 'by faith on the Son of God, whom, having not seen, we love. We endure as seeing what is invisible.
As long as the least spot remains, we cannot be admitted where nothing that defileth can enter; and hence, the propriety of our Saviour's thoroughly purging his floor, and then gathering his wheat into his garner. Hence, he will give his angels charge to gather out of his kingdom every thing that offends, which things
was the seed sown by the enemy, and them who do iniquity in his kingdom, which are the spirits that now work in the hearts of the children of disobedience. It must be those evil spirits, that are to be gathered out of his kingdom; were it the deluded sinners that were to be gathered out of the kingdom, it would be taking a part of the kingdom itself, which kingdom consists of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues. I am fully persuaded of the truth of all that God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets ever since the world began, and, therefore, I look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
I am not rendered unhappy by the words of my Saviour, nor hath any
individual of the human race reason for inquietude from his words. The words of our Redeemer, they are spirit, and they are life. When it is said, without holiness no man can see the Lord; and when it is also said, every eye shall see, what is this but a declaration, that every one shall be made holy? If none but the pure in heart shall see God, so much the better; it follows, that God will purify our hearts, and, indeed, this is precisely what we are taught to expect. Behold, saith God, I will make a new covenant with you in the latter days, not according to the covenant I made with your fathers, which covenant they brake; but this is my covenant, (which covenant they could not brake,) I will put my law in their hearts, and write it in their minds; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. I would leave God to do his own work; he will do as seemeth good in his eyes; he will do all that is necessary to bring his ransomed home. I would, at all times, trust in him, not being afraid. Let us rather follow the example of Mary, than Martha. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, while Martha complained that her sister was idle, that she had left her to serve alone! But how answered our Lord ? Thou art careful about many things, but Mary hath chosen that better part, which shall not be taken from her. Attending to the words of our Lord, we cannot be at a loss to know what that better part is, which cannot be taken from us. It is Christ Jesus and the love of God, from which, saith the Apostle Paul, and every one who hath the knowledge of God, nothing can ever separate us. But whether they be prophecies they shall fail ; whether tongues they shall cease; whether knowledge it shall vanish away, while charity, which is the love of God to his offspring, being an everlasting love, never faileth. Blessed be they who know this joyful sound; they
walk in the light of God's countenance, and rejoice in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free.
I have the happiness to be of this number, and it is my constant aim to communicate this happiness to my brethren, by proclaiming to them the truth as it is in Jesus. With respect to the purchased inheritance, the Almighty fiat is only necessary. He who said to the evil spirit, Come out of him, in one instance, can with as much ease and equal success, separate the evil spirit from every individual of the human family; and what he can do, he will do.
The cause of truth should never be estimated by the characters of men. I do not envy any man on account of his attainmerits; I view all men as objects of the never-failing love of paternal Deity ; and, I trust,no one will envy me that peace which I enjoy in this assurance; my religious sentiments.
I have long expected letters from a very dear friend; they are arrived, and I am satisfied. I feared, in his wanderings round the world, he would have forgotten me. It is only in our almighty Friend, we can place unwavering confidence. How little do we know what is before us. I have been in ; just caught a view of my kindred, of my friends, and left them, perhaps, forever. I hoped to have seen—but hope is a vile flatterer; it has deceived me for more than fifty years. My visit is like a dream; and like a dream that we regret the loss of, when we are rudely roused from the sweet slumbers of the night. O, I have much to say ; more than I can express. Shall I ever meet my kindred, my friends again ? Perhaps not here; but there is a prospect of a better country; shall we not meet there? And will it not constitute a very essential part of our felicity, to recount in those abodes of blessedness, the wonders of redeeming love, displayed both in providence and grace ? Greatly do considerations of this description elate my soul; even in this present state, will not my pleasures be greatly augmented from this source, when I reach my native skies? We know not what is best for us, and it is well that our almighty Pather will dispose of his great family, precisely according to his own good pleasure.
Surely no murmur should ever escape my lips; I enjoy much during the present scene; and in the midst of my enjoyments, I am soothed by the bliss of expectation in the assured prospect of life everlasting:
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I have met, as I have passed through life, many, very many dear children of God, with whom I have held sweet converse; I have often been indulged with giving vent to the fulness of a grateful heart, by speaking as highly as my God permitted me, of my Redeemer's name; and I believe as many among my various congregations as love our Lord Jesus, have rejoiced with me; indeed, indeed, I have experienced much of heaven on earth. The Rev. Mr. G. is a most excellent man; I am mistaken if we have not drank into the same spirit. Shall I, while an inhabitant of the footstool, meet this dear man again? O, let me live
those anticipations, which give a foretaste of the pleasures to be derived from the meeting of long severed friends, and spending with them, in the house of our common Father, a never-ending eternity.
Frequently do I advert to the answer given to a question in the Assembly's Shorter Catechism. “God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful, preserving, and governing, all his creatures, and all their actions.” This self-evident truth appears to me divinely consolatory.
I am at a loss to account for the ways of God, says one ; but is this wonderful ? Could we account for every act of Deity, we must have wisdom equal to the Deity. I do not understand the doctrine of reprobation, says another. I pity the mind that can either understand, or admit this doctrine. I think the doctrine of election is clearly taught in scripture, and it is consistent both with the name and nature of our Saviour. Some are blinded, and have, therefore, stumbled. But have they stumbled that they should fall ? God forbid.
I have long been well persuaded, that there are great and many advantages to be derived from a religious education. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart therefrom. Indeed, habits of any sort, are not easily shaken off. Happy the youth who is early directed to good habits.
Young people are frequently ushered into the world with high raised sentiments of their species. He is an object of envy who retains his good opinion of mankind. I despair of ever having so much pleasure from an acquaintance with what is to be found in man, as I had while the deception respecting the human character continued.
When I was convinced it was my duty to proclaim the grace which was brought to light by the gospel, I set out with a full