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in view of his best services, that beloved of God;" to enjoy is to ohe so disregarded his Maker, his bey.” Assistance in distress is precLaw, and his Gospel. The wis- jous in proportion to the distress i dons of the flesh, the best services the wickedness of rejecting such re. of the seltish heart, are enmity sistance is correspondingly great. against God. Without faith it is
Finding ourselves guilty, and ini possible to lease God. judged, and condemned, and ruin
Design or intention is essential to ed, the salvation of the gospel every moral action. As the mor- ought to be welcomed by us with al character of the intention is, joy, thanksgiving and praise; its such is the action. When the abundant grace and goodness ought intention is worldly or selfish, to swell the heart with love, and nothing morally good can be pre. faith and admiration ; to satisfy, dicated of the action. The delight, and ravish the soul. stream may as well rise above the Yet obstinate unbeliet, uomoved fountain, or a bad tree bear good yields the pardon and redemption fruit, as an action sustain a char- offered, disregards the gift of eteracter superior to the motive.- nal blessedness, hardens the heart aWhen the conscience is enlighten- gainst the terrors of everlasting puned and convinced by the Spirit of ishment, adds sin to transgression, God, this is clearly and impres- till she wearies herself in commitsively seen. How miserable is the tiog iniquity. Unbelief denies the
He had thought biinself fact of our sinful and lost state ; dewise and good; that he had kept nies that we are dependent on the his garien, and that the fruit was sovereign grace of God; that we rich and abundant; but the shin. have no help in ourselves ; that ing of truth has scorcbed every we are forever destroyed, without flower, and blasted every plant, an interest in the blood of atoneHis goid has become dross ; he is ment. Unbelief denies the necespoor iodeed,
sity of the Savior's blood, with all III. The Holy Spirit enlightens the wonderful circumstances of rethe conscience, to see the sin of deeming love. She denies the in. unbelief, the guilt of rejecting the sufficiency of her own righteousSavior. " He sb-ill convince the ness, and the vanity of ber worldworld of' sin, because they believe ly hopes. She refuses to make not on me." No man can give any preparation for a better world, proof of love or obedience to for the departure of the soul from Christ, unless he cheertuliy ac- friends, from the means of salvacept his favor. He, who disre. tion, for the day of judgment, or gards a proffered favor, grossly the unknown wonders of immorabuses the kindness of his bene- tality. She sleeps away the sum, factor. Not only the cheerful giv, mer of life, and in the winter of er; but the cheerful receiver, is death awakes to misery and ruins
This is the prominent sin, which from the cup of life ; it is shiverthe Holy Spirit impresses on the ing the only plank, which will waft conscience. He reproves men be- us over the Jordan of death.-cause they believe pot on Jesus No wonder then, that when the Cbrist; because they neglect a Holy Spirit convinces the conSavior, so excellent and meritori- science of such desperate wicked.
Is not this a sio of a crimson ness and danger, it should wing die ! Does it pot argue an entire the heart, and the soul should cry, want of gratitude, and of every - What shall I do." christian grace ?
Does it not IV. The Holy Spirit convinces show that the heart has no sense the man of his opposition to the of divine goodness or mercy, no divine law. value for the redemption, which In his previous superficial manbas been wrought, for the atone- ners of contemplating religious ment, which has been made ? subjects, he might consent, that Hard must be the heart, dark the law was boly just and good. must be the mind, seared must be Though he bad sometimes, knowthe conscience, which remains un- ingly, violated its commands, still moved, unaffected, on hearing the it was an object of his dread and gracious offers of redeeming love. veneration. He now learns, that This conviction the Holy Spirit he had not known himself, that res. fastens in the couscience, pierces pect and affection are not the feel. the soul with the anguish of guilt. ings of his heart. His heart reUnbelief is a sin of presumption sists, his heart recoils from the
-for soon it may be too late to law, as too strict in its commands, believe ; in a moment it may be too dreadful in its sanctions. The too late to ask for mercy. Still, lamp of divine truth has enlightenunbelief presumes to make light ed his mind; his disobedience and of heavenly glory, to trifle with rebellion are made manifest. His immortal happiness, to treat God professions of respect for the law himself as false to his word, defy- vanish. Like Cain he cries, - My ing the thunders of his wrath, punishment is greater than I can sporting with the torments of the bear. Like Adam he wishes to damped. Is not unbelief a sin of hide himself from God. The harp desperation? It rejects the only and the viol are no longer pleasremedy. There remaineth no ant; a merry song in such a solother sacrifice for sin. Another emp scene, only heightens his disfoundation can no man lay. It is a tress ; his heart trembles; somerefusal to perform the only act, times his limbs shake with terror which can save the soul; it is ex. while the Law thunders 66 cursed tinguishing the only light, wbich be every one, who continues not can guide us to glory ; it is pour- in all things, written in the law to ing on the ground the last drop do them." He has learned that
the law is not obeyed by external ened and sanctified, and seems to observance without the heart.-- walk with angels, on the thresh. He has not kept the law. It con- hold of heaven. One is rich and demns bim in every sentence. He riots in pleasure. Another is can echo the words of the Psalm. poor, and ignorant, and vicious, ist, - Behold thou desirest truth a brother of dragons, and a child in the
inward parts ?” “ My of wrath. One is a savage ; anheart is smitten and withered like other is a saint. The kingdom of grass, so that I forget to eat my God ruleth over all, and of the bread.” Sometimes the intellect same lump forms
one vessel to is distracted, and he may again honor and another to dishonor... repeat the words of David. - 6 Not so,” exclaims the aspiring " While I suffer thy terrors, I am heart of man. - Why doth he yet disturbed.” Say, my friends, have find fault ?" 1 I know thee to be you not seen this picture ? Have a hard master." “ Thy ways are not your minds been agitated, not equal." like the troubled sea ? Often, In the days of Naaman many such are the effects by the divine lepers were in Israel; yet none Spirit.
were selected by God to be bealV. The Spirit of God convinces ed but this great man. man of his opposition to divine time of Elijah many widows were sovereignty, to providence, and in Israel, the holy land, inhabited the government of God.
by the people of God; yet to none By the sovereignty of God, I do of these was the prophet sent to not mean any supposed arbitrary supply with provision and to reproceedings, which do not rest on lieve from distress; but he was reason and wisdom for their basis. sent to a widow of Zarepbatb, a By the sovereignty of God, I in- pagan region, north from the contend that independence of wisdom fines of Israel. When Jesus Christ by which he does all his pleasure, exhibited these facts, to illustrate and gives not account of any of the sovereignty of God, and to jushis matters. Nothing more is or tify himself, for not performing can be intended by any rational his usual miracles at Nazareth, christian, than that wisdom of pow. the people were provoked to er by which God made and gov- to madness, drove him from the erns the world. He made one synagogue, and would have hurled star to differ from another in glo- him from the precipice wbich was ry. One is beautiful to the naked near their city. eye ; another can be seen only In his sovereign wisdom, God by a powerful telescope. Angels chose Jocub and rejected Esau.-are more glorious than men. Men Nor am I unwilling to gratify the differ in genius, in science, in fe- opponents of the doctrine, by exo licity, and honor. One is enlight- tending this choice to the descend
ants of Jacob and Esau, for this men of their opposition to the instead of coofining it to one soli- gospel. tary instance, is multiplying the The gospel is glad tidings. It displays of Divioe sovereignty to is so received by all, who feel myriads, and millions, and millions rightly or act well. The gospel of examples. Their wisdom and presents a redemption already prudence in such a construction of accomplished. “ Propitiation" for the bistory, I could never divine. sin has been made. The blood of With whom did God take counsel atonement has been accepted; yet when he passed by all the sages wicked men, bent on establishing of the law, all the military Chief- a righteousness of their own, retains, and from the pastures of fuse this invaluable favor. From Bethlehem, elevated David to the such immense obligations ; from throne of Israel?
such entire and absolute depend. While living in pleasure, and ance, the heart revolts.
16 IV hat regardless of religious truth, a man shall I do to inherit eternal life; supposes himself friendly to the how shall I render myself worthy divine government, and reconciled the favor of God; how shall I to the sovereignty of God; but claim the glory of heaven," is when “the spirit of God comes" the enquiry of the heart. "sin revives” 66 for by the law is That the gospel is not acceptable the knowledge of sin.” When to the wicked is overwhelmingly the holy Spirit strives, man for evident from the incontrovertible the first time, perhaps, discovers facts, that a great portion of the his alienation from God. He finds world have rejected the gospel, himself unwilling, that the purpose and where it is most clearly unof God should be executed, that folded, only a small portion, corhe should do all his pleasure, dially embrace its doctrines, or cthat his counsel should stand. He bey its precepis.
The lowest con. knows, that be does not cordially dition of gospel mercy is repentance. say, “ Not my will, but thine be All the self love, all the pride, all done.” He does not rejoice that the obstinacy of the depraved God reigns, that he is himself de heart, rise up against this duty.pendent, as the staff in the band 'To repent is to be bumble. In of him, who walketh with it.. repenting the man judges and conHe is not willing that God should demns himself. What can be more make rich and make poor, that he abhorrent to the heart. Enlightshould choose some to life and ened by the spirit of God, the leave others in the shadow of man discovers this self compladeath. He complains, he resists, cency and self-dependance, tbis he struggles, like a prisoner in reluctance to repent and trust in ebaios ; like him he is dependent. the mercy of God, this unwilling
VI. The Spirit of God convinces ness to be indebted to God himself for pardon and salvation. and cordially obey him as a mas,
With all the grace which it re. ter. Many are shocked at the sugveals the gospel requires men to gestion, that they are the enemies be holy themselves. To be sav. of God. But when the Spirit of ed they must be conformed to the God enlightens the conscience, Savior. Like him they must de. their opinion is changed. Con. ny themselves, be humble and templating the divine Being, bis meek, devout and charitable; yet holiness, and justice, and power, all this will not be admitted as the man discovers the contrariety the meritorious cause of their sal- of character, the opposition of vation. However, profitable as moral feelings, and that he could servants, they have been, they not be happy in his iminediate bave done no more than their duty, presence. Carefully considering they have conferred no favor.- the employments of heaven, he is Here, again, the heart complains. conscious, they would be irksome “ It is a vain thing to call upon and tedious. Distinctly, recol. God.” The conscience, enlight. lecting, who constitutes the sociened by the divine Spirit, per. ety of heaven, saints an:) angeli, ceives this restless, complaining he is sure, they would not be the temper. The gospel requires o- companions of his choice. From bedience; yet demands acceptance such friends, he turns away, havas a free gift ; it rejects mere ex. ing no sympathy in the topics of ternal services, requiring faith and their converse, no harmony with holiness of heart; it offers reward their dispositions.
Mingling in of grace and not of debt. This such society, engaging in such seems hard to the aspiring heart; employment, under the eye of the the gracious gospel seems not a holy God, would never rouse his gospel of grace; but a system of active powers, never awaken the hard sayings.
Hence so many raptures of his heart, never swell Laborers in the vineyard of the the highest notes of his song. Lord find their message rejected, He flies from such a place.and uiter the melancholy com- Whither shall be go? Whither plaint, “Who hath believed our turn himself for help and comfort? report, and to whom is the arm of What shall he do? Gladly would the Lord revealed ?"
he remain in this world; gladly VII. The Spirit of God convin- world
he enjoy his immormen of their aversion to the tality in this vale of tears ;
but glories of heaven.
here, he cannot stay. The senNo doubt men, generally be. tence has been pronounced; the lieve, that they desire and long for wages of sin is death; his mothe joys of heaven ; that they take ments are flying, his sands delight in the goodness of God; falling; the king of terrors is apthat they love him as a father, proaching; his grave is opening.