« AnteriorContinuar »
And if you
supremely. He knew, that christ. any individual, which he put to ians have no right, nor occasion, Peter “ Lovest thou me ?" yet to live in uncertainty, as to their he will as critically watch the spiritual state. It is not a duty, heart of every one, as he watchbut a sin, for any to doubt, wheth- ed the heart of Peter. The er they are saints or sinners, for question now is, are you as willthey may come, and ought to ing that Christ should know your come to a certainty upon this most hearts, as Peter was that he should interesting subject. It is to be know his! If you are, it will feared, that there are not a few be but a small thing to be judged doubting saints, and doubting sin- by man's judgment, if you can pers in this place, who seriously sincerely appeal to Christ, and think, that they are doing their say, 6 Lord, thou knowest all duty, by doubting. But if they things; thou knowest that I love would do their duty, what occa- thee." If
know that you sion would they have for doubting? love Christ, you may know that Let them love the Lord Jesus Christ loves you. Christ in sincerity, and they could have once loved Christ, you may have no more occasion for doubt- know that he will always love you, ing than Peter had, and he had though like Peter's your love and none. This subject calls upon faith may sometimes fail. Be endoubting christians, to put away treated then to keep the feast, their doubts, and come to the not with old leaven of mercenary table of Christ, and it as loudly love, but with the unleavened calls upon doubting sinners to put bread of sincerity and truth, away their doubts, by immediate repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How long halt ye between two opinions ? If the Lord be God, follow him. If your
The doctrine of divine agency souls be infinitely precious, secure as exerted upon the hearts of sintheir salvation. If delays be dan- ners in regeneration, and upon the gerous, beware of delaying. If hearts of saints in all their holy some of you delay much longer, exercises is so plainly taught, and your delay must be fatal. But so fully believed that nothing need this subject more particularly calls be said in support of it. But anupon the professors of religion, other view of the doctrine, very to search and try the state of their nearly connected with this, as it minds, previously to their coming respects the great end of both, to the communion table, where which is the glory of God, meets Christ will be invisibly present; with much opposition. I mean and though he may not by an au
the doctrine of Divine agency exdible voice put the question to erted upon the hearts of wicked
men. It is said that it tarnishes more than this could benevolence the character of the Deity, which desire ? And with what less could should ever be kept pure and spot- it be satisfied ? less; that it infringes the liberty Obj. 2. The doctrine infringes of the sinful agent; and that it the liberty of the agent. I underdestroys the use of means to re- stand this objection to be, that if claim the impenitent.
God causes a being to act, that beI shall not attempt to prove ing cannot act freely. I believe that that God does operate upon the God causes us to be free. minds of the wicked. I think the der that the objection should stand, Bible has made this sufficiently it ought to be shown that God canevident. But I wish candidly to not cause a being to be free.state some of the reasons which I For if the objector admits that it have, for not receiving the ob- is possible that God can cause a jections which are made to this doc- being to be free; he admits that trine.
possibly, the objection has no Obj. 1. It makes God a sinner. foundation. Why is not this I do not receive this objection as brought as an objection to the valid, because I believe that God freedom of the christian ? Those may have a good end in view, in very persons who say that positive the same wicked conduct, in which Divine efficiency destroys the lib. men have a bad end in view. Ierty of the sinner, acknowledge believe that this was the case that the saint acts under a posiwhen Joseph's brethren sold him tive Divine agency; and yet, that into Egypt. They meant it for he acts freely. Now, is it any evil, but God meant it for good. more difficult for God, by his This was the case when Pharaoh agency, to cause a sinner to act held the children of Israel in bond- freely, than it is for him to cause age in opposition to the Divine a saint to act freely? Is it any command, God caused him to con- more difficult for us to conceive duct so, that his great name might of freedom in the one case, than be declared throughout all the in the other ? If not, why bring earth. But he had a very differ- the objection, that it destroys freeent end in view. In these instan- dom in one case, when it is acces I do not see that any thing knowledged that it is not destroytook place strange in the Divine ed in the other? conduct. Doubtless God pursues, Obj. 3. It destroys the use of substantially, the same conduct in means. And why does it not derespect to all the actions of wick- stroy the use of means when aped men.
And it is enough, forev- plied to the christian ? I ask the er to free the Deity from the im- objector to show, if he can, why putation of guilt, if he performs all means are not as important, when his actions for a good end. What applied to the impenitent sinner;
on the supposition that God is the such reasoning, I strongly suspect efficient cause of all his exercises, that opinion to be false. as they are when applied to the
ORANGE. christian, on the supposition that God is the cause of all his holy exercises ? To be consistent, the objector must deny the use of
MR. POND'S CONCERT means in both cases, or hold to them in both.
Short Missionary Discourses, or I will conclude with a word on Monthly Concert Lectures. By Enoch the manner in which those who Pond, A. M. Pastor of the Church make the foregoing objections, in- in Ward, Mass. terpret a certain part of scripture. Most of these Lectures, it apThey think those texts which as- pears, were originally designed sert positive Divine efficiency in for the edification and improvethe case of wicked men, need to ment of that little band of christbe modified. “God hardened Pha- ian friends, who usually assemble raoh's heart.” This is said to be with the author at the Monthly similar to the passage, “ Solomon Concert of Prayer.” One object built the temple.” The idea, of their publication is, 6 to render fully expressed, is this; as Solo- this important season more intermon built the temple by employ- esting and profitable" to the ing others to do the work, so God churches generally which are in hardened Pharaoh's heart by em- the practice of observing it, espeploying others to do it. In my cially when they are deprived of view, this is as much as to say, if the assistance of Clergymen, and it is proper to ascribe to one man when, although Clergymen may what another man does, then it is be present, nothing new, or of proper to ascribe to God what special interest, occurs to diversiman does. I know of no rules, fy the meeting. But the ultimate either of logic or of interpretation, object of the work is the advancewhich allow of such licence. Oth- ment of the Redeemer's kingdom, er men possess the same powers by exciting among the churches a and capacities to labor which Sol- deeper interest, and more vigorous omon possessed. But between the exertion in the cause of Missions. Creator and a frail creature, there Such an object is certainly worthy is no such similarity. This ex. of the talents and exertion of planation is taking such liberty the respectable author. Although with the scripture as would not much has been done, and much is be allowed to be taken with any now doing in various ways, to inprofane author.
And when an crease and direct the zeal of christopinion must be supported by ians in the dissemination of the
gospel; yet so important is this attempt to enlighten the christian object, and so much remains still public in regard to this important to be done, that every new and duty. It is not, we are persuaded, well directed effort to accomplish yet duly considered. Many of it, is a just cause of gratitude and those who are favored with the joy to the friends of the Redeem- gospel are strangely unmindful of
When we consider the mill- its value, and regardless of the ions that are now enveloped in wretched condition of others who pagan darkness, the foolish and are deprived of its light. There cruel superstitions which hold the are those who attempt to pray for empire of their minds, and the the conversion and salvation of fact that the gospel is the divine- the heathen, who it is to be fearly appointed means of their pres- ed, are not only heartless and ent improvement and future sal- faithless in their prayers, but unvation, the cause of missions pre- mindful of the important duties sents itself in an attitude of im- which are necessarily implied in portance, which no language can an acceptible prayer for them. fully describe. That man, who, The christian public need to have in view of the present state of the their attention often drawn to the heathen, does not feel the import- subject of missions, their obligation ance of missionary exertion, cer- to aid them frequently enforced, tainly does not himself know the and all the encouragement to endivine excellence of the gospel. gagedness in this good work which He surely must be a stranger to can be derived from the promises the religion of Christ, who does of God, and the example and sucnot desire that its saving efficacy cess of his faithful servants both may be known by all the children in ancient and modern times, kept of men.
An attempt to spread the constantly before them. It is pegospel abroad in the earth, is one culiarly desirable that those who of the most rational, dignified, and statedly assemble for the purpose God-like enterprises, in which a of offering their united prayers for creature was ever engaged. From the salvation of the heathen, and this, including in it all necessary for the general enlargement and exertion to water the seed of the prosperity of Zion, should have divine word wherever it has al. understandings well informed in ready been sown, a higher degree regard to the object of their solic. of intellectual and moral improve. itude, and hearts warmly engaged ment, and a better preparation for for the attainment of it. The obthe present and future happiness ject of our author, both in deliverof mankind may be expected, than ing and publishing his Concert from any, yea, than from all other Lectures, is therefore a great and
We do, therefore, highly a good object. app reciate the efforts of those who But we are aware that the most important question with our read- "the prosperity of the church es. ers in regard to these lectures is, sential to the success of Missions." whether they are written in a In the fourteenth, 6evil surmis. manner suited to the accomplish- ings” in respect to Missions are ment of the important object of exposed and refuted. In the fiftheir author? This question we teenth, it is shown that “the way shall endeavor to answer to their to be rich is to be liberal." In satisfaction, by presenting them the sixteenth, the obligation of
with a brief outline of the sub- christians in relation to the Jews,'S • jects which are here discussed, is considered. The seventeenth
and giving them some information is on “ idolatry among christians." with respect to the manner in The eighteenth, " on the future which they are treated.
state of the heathen." The nineIn the first discourse, Mr. Pond teenth, “on the aggravated guilt endeavours to shew that the of sinning against light.” The work of Missions is a divine in- last, « on the Millennium." stitution.” In the second, that
We think this is a judicious se66 Paul was a Missionary to the lection of subjects. It is not in heathen." In the third, he des. our power readily to call to mind cribes 66 the labors of Paul.” In a series of subjects, the discussion the fourth, he attempts to show of which would be better suited to the "comparative advantages and answer the important objects of disadvantages of the primitive the author than those which are christians, and christians now for here selected. It must be obvious spreading the gospel.” In the to our readers, that in the discusfifth, he shows that the work sien of these, he has the fairest of promoting the gospel is a priv. opportunity to urge upon christilege to the church.” The sixth, ians their obligation to aid the seventh, eighth, and ninth are work of missions. They bring upon the subject of prayer.
The within his reach the commands of sixth, “on the power of prayer," God on this subject, the example
th,“ on encouragements of his ancient servants the Aposto prayer," the eighth, "on perse- tles, the crimes and sufferings of verance in prayer," the ninth, the heathen, and the debt of grat" on what is implied in prayer for itude which is due for the peculo the success of the gospel." The iar blessings now enjoyed through tenth discourse is entitled, " our the labors of missionaries. indebtedness to Missions a reason These subjects also give the aufor supporting them. The eley. thor an excellent opportunity to enth, “the cruelties of the heath- meet the objections which are
The twelfth, 6 the advant- made to the work of missions, esages of attending to Missionary pecially such as these, “that the intelligence." The thirteenth, condition of the heathen would