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control his affections, to make of the world, and things that

his prefence." Once more,

that appear beautiful, which he "are despised hath God chosen : hates; or, to make that appear "Yea, and things which are not, deformed, which he loves. The" to bring to nought things that reason of loving or hating partic-"are; that no flesh fhould glory in ular objects must be fought for in the nature of the foul itself, and not in the exercises of the will. All men therefore lie at mercy; "By grace are ye faved through "faith, and that, not of your"felves it is the gift of God." There is indubitable evidence then that eternal life to finners of the human race, is the free gift of God; it is infinite mercy. The faved have not whereof to glory, neither before God, nor man. Again,

The miferable and forlorn cir. cumftances of the people or nations which God hath fucceffively cho fen to be his peculiar people, at the time of manifefting to them his fpecial favor, evince the fame truth. God first chofe the people of Ifrael to be a fpecial, peculiar people unto himself, above all peo ple that were upon the face of the earth. And he tells them that he did not fet his love upon them, nor choose them, because they were more in number than any people; for they were the fewe of all people. But because he loved them, and because he would keep the oath, which he had fworn unto their fathers. Their miferable ftate, when God caft an eye of pity on them, is affectingly defcribed by the prophet Ezekiel, under the figure of an expofed infant, in these words. "Thus faith the Lord God unto Jerufalem, thy birth and thy

A great proportion of those whom God has chofen, from age to age, as the objects of mercy, have been from what are esteemed the lower ranks of fociety. Thus our Saviour in the days of his flesh, while he paffed by the court of Herod, and the palace of the high-priest, and thofe, generally, who were of the Jewish Sanhedrim, or of the fcribes, pharifees and doctors of the law, chofe the fociety of perfons in obfcure life," conforted with publicans and fin-nativity is of the land of Caners, and conferred his choiceft bleffings, more commonly, on the poor, the maimed, the halt and the blind. "He was anointed to "preach good tidings, unto the" was not cut, neither waft thou "meek, to bind up the broken "hearted, to proclaim liberty to "the captives, and the opening "the prifon to them that are "bound." God's purpofe feems" thee, to have compaflion upor to have been in this to ftain the pride of all human glory; and St. Paul is exprefs, "That God "hath chofen the foolish things" thou waft born. And when I "of the world to confound the "paffed by thee, and faw thee "wife; and weak things of the "polluted in thine own blood, "world to confound the things "I faid unto thee, when thou that are mighty; and bafe things

"naan: Thy father was an Am"orite, and thy mother a Hittite. "And as for thy nativity in the "day thou waft born, thy navel

"washed in water to fupple thee, "thou waft not falted at all, nor "fwaddled at all. No eye pitied "thee, to do any of thefe unto

"thee; but thou was caft out in "the open field to the loathing of "thy perfon; in the day that

waft in thy blood, live; yea, I


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Ifrael are now, and have been for ages in a defperate ftate, vifibly rejected of God, but are preferv ed as a monument of wrath, and as a fign and a wonder to all nations; their cafe is fo hopeless, that they are compared to a valley of dry bones; yet at the time appointed they shall be tevived, they fhall become one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Ifrael, and hall dwell therein forever, and David fhall be their prince, and God's fanctuary fhall be in the midst of them for evermore. Thus God. as St. Paul tef tifies, hath concluded Jew and Gentile in unbelief that he might

faid unto thee, when thou thou waft refufed, faith thy * waft in thy blood, live." The "God. For afmall moment have ftrength of the tender mercies of "I forfaken thee; but with great God toward them is exhibited to "mercies will I gather thee. In the beft advantage by their contin- little wrath I hid my face uted provocations, their perfidy," from thee, for a moment, but and bafe ingratitude, after God" with everlafting loving-kindness had brought them into the moft" will I have mercy on thee, faith honorable relation to himfelf. So," the Lord thy Redeemer. when the Jews were broken off thou afflicted, toffed with tempeft from the family and church of "and not comforted! Behold I will God through unbelief, and the "lay thy ftones with fair colors, Gentiles were adopted into it, their" and thy foundations with fapcircumftances were equally wretch-"phires." So the whole houfe of ed. Sufficient time had elapfed, fince the calling of the Jews, to fhow, that thofe nations, left to themselves, would never return to God; but, on the contrary, while they, at leaft fome of them, rapidly advanced in philofophy and the arts, would increase in all manner of wickednefs, and in brutifh ignorance of the one true God; and that their state, without divine aid, was utterly hopelefs. That fuch was their true ftate may be feen in the 1 chap. of St. Paul's Epiftle to the Romans, where their character is defcribed at large. Thefe nations are defcribed in the 54 Chap. of Ifaiah under the image of a barren wo-have mercy upon all. Or, that man, who had been repudiated in their calling and adoption fuccefher youth, and had lived in a def- fively into God's family might be olate, afflicted and comfortlefs feet to be wholly from God, and fate, but at laft was received into an expreffion of mere mercy. favor and addreffed with these healing and comfortable words: "Sing, O, barren, thou that didit not bear, break forth in"to finging thou that didft not "travail with child; for more "are the children of the defolate, "than the children of the married "wife, faith the Lord. For thy "maker is thy husband, the Lord "of hofts is his name. For the "Lord hath called thee as a wo"man forfaken and grieved in fpir"it, and as a wife of youth, when VOL. III. No. 1.

3d. In the difcipline which divine wifdom has chofen to train up his people for the heavenly inheritance. What is particularly referred to, as pertinent to the ar gument in hand, is the oppofition which, purfuant to the divine dif pofal, has ever been made to the people of God, by the powers of earth and of hell and by the remaining corruptions, or body of fin, within them, This will be confidered, briefly, in refpect to the church of God in general, and is C

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refpect to individual believers, together with fome things which relate to their prefervation, fupport and deliverance. The ferpent having feduced our firft parents into rebellion against God, in the fentence which God pronounced against him, he fays, "I will put ❝enmity, between thee and the "woman, and between thy feed "and her feed, it fhall bruife thy “head, and thou fhalt bruise his "heel." Every period of time fince bears witness to the truth of this prediction. It is unneceffary to mention particulars; to do juftice to this fubject would be the fame as to write a hiftory of the in the elevation of Conftantine church from the beginning. It to the imperial throne, at a period is more to the purpose to ob- when perfecution appears to have ferve, that the oppofition has al- almoft finished its bloody work, in ways been fo great, that nothing the extirpation of the Chriftian could control or fubdue it but name-in the various events which the power of God himself. It gradually revealed the man of fin was the arm of the Lord which until he had exalted himself above faved the church of the old world, all that is called God, or that is and deftroyed its enemies, when worshipped, and had become the the earth was filled with violence. dragon's moft complete reprefenIt was the arm of the Lord that tative,-in thofe which have hithcut Rahab and wounded the dra- erto preferved the true church dugon. It was the arm of the Lord ring his reign, and in those which that dried up the fea, the waters have, by various fteps, humbled of the great deep, that made the this its laft and greatest enemy; depths of the fea, a way for the as well as in the deftruction of ranfomed to pafs over. But the Sifera and his hoft by the hand of arm of the Lord is not made bare Deborah and Barak-of the Midin view of the nations in miraculous ianites by the hand of Gideon-works only; it is fo, in the con- of the Ethiopians by the hand of currence of ordinary events, which, Afa-of the children of Amunder the divine direction, work mon, Moab, and mount Seir, by together for the prefervation of the the hands of each other-or of church in times of the most immi- the hundred and four-fcore and nent danger; or for its enlarge- five thousand Affyrians by the ment in times of diftrefs. It is hand of the angel of the Lord. vifible in raifing up Cyrus and Artaxarxes, heathen princes, to reftore and build Jerufalem as well as in the deftruction of Pharaoh and his hoft in the red fea. It is feen in the advancement of Esther and Mordecai in the court of Per

| fia, in the unreft of Ahafuerus, which produced the fearch of the records, in the fudden reverfe which caused Haman the Jews, enemy to be hanged upon the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and in the confequent complete deliv erance of the Jews from utter deftruction, as well as in caufing the fun to ftand ftill in Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. It appears in the destruction of Jerufalem by the Romans, after that bloody city had killed the prince of life, and had become the most dangerous enemy and perfecutor of the Christian church

Indeed the state of things from the beginning has been fuch as divine wildom faw beft calculated to difplay, in the fulleft manner, the enmity of the feed of the ferpent to the feed of the woman, to lead the people of God to fee that all

good is from him, to truft with, is, God is an infinite agent, and of unfhaken confidence in his power courfe his works are infinite, and and grace, and to render the final beyond the comprehenfion of fivictory of the promised feed, in nite minds. None by searching bruifing the ferpent's head, moft can find out God, none can find complete and glorious. Thefe out the Almighty unto perfection. and fimilar ends God has attained Still, enough may be known, as by the exifting state of things in explained by himself, to fit us to every age, in raising up and put- bear a part in that fociety which, ting down fucceffively the Egyp- as a whole, and in all its parts, tian, Affyrian, Perfian, Grecian, will be of perfect beauty. And Roman, and other great monar- as no event can take place, but chies of the earth, and in giving will, rightly understood, directly them dominion and great authori- difcover the heart of God; fo ty, while the church and people no doubt, the holy inhabitants of of God have been for the moft Heaven will be eternally employpart, as to human fupport, feeble ed in fearching the works of God and defencelefs, and fubject to with ever-growing delight and imthat dominion-in, the reign of provement. But I proceed to Antichrift, and prefervation of what is directly in view to confider the church, notwithstanding he the evidence arifing from the op has been drunken with the blood pofition which good men experiof the faints, and with the blood ence in their Christian courfe from of the martyrs of Jefus; and the Satan and their own remaining fame ends will be attained by the corruptions, of the great truth, prefent ftate of the nations, par- That there is none good but one that ticularly of the Jews, and of thofe is God. Gentile nations who have not yet received the Gospel, and by the great apoftacy which is, at the prefent day, prevailing among thofe nations, which have long enjoyed and long abused the gofpel; as well as by that glorious and final deliverance of the church which fhall take place, when the faints fhall poffefs the kingdom.

Though the great events referred to in the last particular relate to the church as a community, and are calculated to form a perfect fociety, yet they do this by forming the character of individuals, which fhall compofe that fociety. Their perfection confifts in being filled with the knowledge and love of God and in the full enjoyment of him. Every agent is known by his works; and God, the first, the greatest and the beft, is known by his. The difficulty

It is easy with God, by an inftantaneous act, completely to fanctify the foul of the greatest finner, and to fit it for Heaven; and doubtless he fometimes does this; but generally, sanctification is, at first, but in part; and is gradually progreffive in thofe who are its happy fubjects. The being of fin, in the heart of fuch as are born of God, is viewed by them as it really is in itself, the greatest of all evils; but ftill, it is the occafion of great good to them. It is feen by them more diftinctly, as abominable and hateful when in actual exercife, as it were brandifhing its forked tongue, than it could be in recollection only, as having once exifted; fuch a view of it, as is exhibited by a clear perception of God's perfect law, will excite in them fervent prayer for deliverance; it will humble

and empty them, and bring them, poftacy by the covenant of grace. to the foot of God; it will evince, Though they fall, they fhall not their ill-defert, their utter infuf- be utterly caft down, for the Lord ficiency for any thing that is good, upholdeth them with his hand. and their abfolute dependence on Neither height nor depth shall be God for the being and exercife able to feparate them from the of a principle of fpiritual life. love of God. David's fin was It will illuftrate the long-fuffering always before him; he rememand patience of Godtowards them, bered it, many years after its comthe ftability of his promifes, and miffion, when he fled from Abfaperpetuity of his covenant, in lom; and when, on directing Zakeeping them, through faith un- doe to carry back the ark of God to falvation, and alfo the nature, into the city, he made the followftrength and glory of divine love, ing reflection: " If I fhall find triumphing over all their bafenefs "favor in the eyes of the Lord, and ingratitude; it will cause "he will bring me again, and them to cry, with the Apostle" fhow me both it, and his habita❤ Paul, in his own case. "Owretch-tion; but if he thus fay, I have "ed man that I am, who fhall "no delight in thee; behold here "deliver me from the body of this "am I, let him do to me, what

"death" It will wean them" feemeth good unto him." And from the world; it will reconcile he had it in view, in his answer to them to dying, as the only means Abishai defiring liberty to take of complete deliverance; and, off the head of Shimei for curfwhile they are in the body, it will ing the King, when he came to cause them to groan earnestly, not Bahurim, in these words; "So that they would be unclothed, but "let him curfe, because the Lord clothed upon, that mortality might hath faid unto him curse David; be swallowed up of life. Indwel- let him alone, and let him curfe, ling fin, will through the force of" for the Lord hath hidden him." fudden temptation, too often He was in confequence of it more break forth, and become visible penitent, more humble, more pato the eye of man, as it always tient, more fubmiffive to the will is to the omniscient eye of God; of God, more fenfible of his dethis will not fail to occafion in pendence on God, and he loved them the most poignant diftrefs God the more, because more was and fhame will expofe them to forgiven him. The fall and rethe infults of the adverfary of fouls; .covery of David happened for an and will involve them in darknefs, enfample, and they are written doubts and fears, like Jonah when for our admonition, on whom the "he cried from the belly of hell ends of the world are come; they "by reafon of his affliction." ferve to guard Chriftians in all afGod is no refpecter of perfons, ter ages from prefumptuous fin, and fin in his own children is as on the one hand; and on the odious to him, as it is in others; other, from defpair; and the penand indeed more fo, as more ag- itential pfalms, which David gravated; but there is good rea- wrote on the occafion, and which fon to believe that it will, whether lead us up to the fountain of fin indwelling or out-breaking, ulti- in the heart, have greatly enrichmately iffue in their fpiritual good.ed the canon of fcripture; and They are fecured from final a- they have been the language, in

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