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voluntary suffering, he has reconciled us to God; put us in the way of salvation; and, by promising us his grace, has given us all necessary assistance, to support our weakness, to resist our enemies, to renew our nature, and to make us fit for the happiness of heaven. But, as these blessings' are great, so are they universal also. There are, indeed, christians in the world, who deny that the opportunity of salvation is offered to all mankind; who maintain, that only a certain number of them are elected to everlasting life, and that the remainder are predestinated to perdition from all eternity. But far be such a faith from us : which is equally contrary to the attributes of God, and the plain words of holy writ.
Can we suppose, that a Being of infinite mercy would create a multitude of reasonable beings, knowing at the moment he made them, that, after a short life, frequently of toil, and suffering, and sorrow, they would pass into never-ending woe? Can we believe that a Being of infinite justice, after having sent his creatures into the world, and told then what their duty was, would, when he called them ont of it, plunge them into eternal punishment, though they had humbly striven to do that duty according to the light and ability which he had been pleased to give them?
No! common sense is shocked at the idea; and the Bible confirms all that reason advances against such a horrible doctrine. The scriptures, indeed, are not more plain: upon any subject than on these comfortable points ; that God so loved the world, as to “ send his Son, that through him the world “ Inight be saved.” That God hath no “ respect of persons; his will being, that all
men should be saved." That even such as: perish through their own wilful disobedience, are among the number of those whom CHRIST Jesus came to save : They denied," saith St. Peter, " the LORD that bought them ;** that bought and would have saved them, but that they “ brought destruction upon « themselves.” Truths which St. Paul
puts beyond all possible doubt, wben he says, as the sin of Adam affected all his posterity, “ as by one offence judgment came upon all
men to. condemnation;" so the merits of CHRisT were designed to redeem all the posterity of Adam, “ forasmuch as by the
righteousness of one,” that is CHRIST, " the free gift came upon all men unto jus" tification of life.” So that every sincere christian may now humbly say, “ As sure as I am one of those, who, by Adam's
transgression, am become corrupt, and a “ singer before God, so sure am I redeeined
by Jesus CHRIST.'
« For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor " things present, nor things to come; nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, « shall be able to separate me from the love ~ of God, which is in CHRIST JESUs Our 66 LORD.” But, however great the blessings are, which “God in these last times “ hath spoken unto us by his Son ;" yet, the melancholy truth is, that but a small number of mankind feel that gratitude for them, which they ought to excite; or make that return for them, which they so well deserve. It is in this sense that “ many are called, but «c few chosen ;” not that God acts partially by his creatures, and will reject some, and choose or elect others, for no just reason, but merely through an arbitrary and tyrannical will; but because, though they are called, they will not listen to the call, but “ still in their wickedness," without con. sideration, and without concern. How many, for instance, are there, who, though the Bible is put into their hands; though the Church is open to receive them; and the Mi. nister ready to instrue, and exhort, and comfort them; yet entirely negle&t to " search “ the scriptures ;"' to attend the Church ; or to regard the Minister: who “worship
" the god of this world,” and despise the Saviour who bought them with his precious blood? How many are there, who, “ trust
ing in themselves that they are righteous;"' and presumptuously assured that they are elected to eternal life, by the unconditional decrees of God; “ swollen with” spiritual
pride," and "despising others ;" rest satisfied with their." barren faith,' and, omitting the weighty matters of the law, justice,
mercy, and charity,” consider heaven as their own by right, and therefore take no pains to render themselves worthy of it, by humility, holiness, and benevolence ? And how many are there, who, caring not whether there is a heaven or a hell, neither honour God, nor “ regard man;” but live in the constant breach of his holy laws; profane the sab. bath, by spending it in worldly business, in sinful pleasure, or at the public-house; laugh at God's ordinances, his sacrament, and his ministers; and rather than live cre. ditably by honest and industrious labour, cheat, lie, steal, and commit every outrage against the person and property of their neighbour.
Such, my friends, is the scene which the christian world presents to us; which will sufficiently explain .to us the melancholy reason, that although all be called, yet
few are chosen." This leads me -to con. sider, secondly, the dreadful state those peo, ple are in, who turn a deaf ear to what God hath spoken to us " in these last days by “his Son." When we do' but seriously attend to “ the great things which Jesus « Christ hath done for us," we cannot but see and feel that the punishment of those who slight his covenant, and will “ not have " him to rule over them,” must be incon. ceivably great. For, can we imagine that he would have left the glories of heaven, descended upon earth, taken upon him the form, wants, and infirmities of man, and submitted to a dreadful and scandalous death; had he not known, that if sinners were not brought to repentance, and reconciled to God, their future condition would be most deplorable ? Certainly not. of his mercy towards us is of itself safe ficient to convince us, even if the scriptures had been silent upon the subject, that the state of unrepenting sinners after death must be dreadful, beyond what “ the eye “ hath seen, or the ear heard,” or the heart of man can possibly conceive: and this the Spirit of GOD confirm's ; since it tells us that “the wicked shall be turned into hell; “ and all the people that forget God;": that "snares, fire, and brimstone, shall be