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penalties, or the directions would be without effect, and especially

in contempt. Without a law with proper penalties men would be left entirely to their own inclinations, and in a ftate of perfect anarchy and confufion. All would purfue the gratification of their own propenfities and paffions, without attention to obligation, or regard to the general good. There was no creature who had authority to give law to the world, none able to carry one into exe

may be confidered as adminiftered in three great departments,-his moral law-the gofpel of his grace and his univerfal providence. It is true that the term univerfal providence, taken in its most comprehenfive fignification, is expreffive of his whole government; but his law and gospel are fuch important parts of his government, that they demand a particular and separate confideration. They are often diftinctly confid-cution, and none who could proered in this way in the holy fcriptures, and they will be fo viewed in this paper.


Let us firft confider his moral government, adminiftered according to his holy law.-When God had created rational, moral agents in this world, it became neceffary for their happinefs, that they fhould have fome ftandard of rectitude, and instructions by which they might govern themselves, fo as to live in union, and promote the general happinefs. It was alfo neceffary that this fhould be given in a law of infinite obligation, and fupported by proper VOL. III. No. 6.

vide any measures to unite and harmonize the interefts and affections of mankind, fo as to fecure their happiness. God's benevolence, his rights as creator, and the perfections of his nature forbad him to leave them in a condition fo deplorable. He therefore ordained a government over his creatures in which he confulted their good as well as his own glory. As it is written, "And now, Ifrael, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to love him, and to ferve the Lord thy God with

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all thy heart, and with all thy foul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his ftatutes which I command thee this day for thy good?"

on a level with ourselves, are to be loved as ourfelves. Where this love has full poffeffion of the heart, there is no place left for any fel-fifh or partial affections. It is a Ipirit of pure good will.'

It is neceffary further to remark, that this divine law is fanctioned with penalties, equal to the evil of difobedience. Such as refift the authority of God, and reject his law, are to be cut off from his favor, and excluded

from the fociety and fellowship of thofe who adopt the harmonizing fpirit, which the law requires— This difobedience, and the pernicious fpirit of selfishness, which is the oppofite of holy love, tends to infinite mifchief. The difobedient are therefore fentenced to everlafting punishment. This fentence, duly executed, fupports the law, and fo benefits the obedient; manifefts God's regard to his people, and glorifies his juflice.Such is the moral government of God. The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and juft, and good.'

The laws which God has given are founded on the fimple principle of impartial goodnefs. "Thou fhalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and thy neighbor as thy felf." It is the plain defign of this law to direct us to fuch an holy love, as would cement us together in union andhar-from-all the bleffings which arife mony, as one heart and one foul, united under one great head, the creator and benefactor of the whole. It is often faid that God governs the world for his own glory. No doubt he does. He knows his fuperior excellency, and he demands a fupreme refpect. And the government which he exercifes reflects the higheft glory on himself, and manifefts his goodness and excellency to his creatures. He is glorious in ruling for the happinefs of his fubjects. The difplays of his goodnefs are the principal fource of their happiness, and he thus enriches them with the knowledge of his perfections. But we are not to conceive that it is the pride of dominion that regulates his government. Far otherwife: he delights to gratify his benevolence by enriching his creatures with the benefit of the beft laws, and of knowing and confiding in his own goodnefs and perfection.

The love which this law requires, as our principle of action, is expected to fill the whole heart, and flow forth in every direction. It is to govern all our conduct, in every relation towards God and


God, because he is infinitely great and good, is to be refpected with all our hearts, and

r fellow creatures, who ftand

Let us now attend to God's kingdom of grace, revealed in the gofpel, which may be called the fecond great department of divine government.-The apoftacy from God, and our difobedience to his law, gave occafion for this difpenfation.-God beheld the world dead in trefpaffes and fins. The law of God, his juftice, and our guilt, demanded the execution of the penalty. God faw our cafe, that there was none to fave, none who could render an atonement, no creature who could tender it just that he should be the juftifier of fin-ners. And yet he faw, that this might be done; and his benevolence difpofed him to refolve it should. be accomplished. Chrift under

took to render the atonement, | enhanced by his rejection of the and be a mediator. The Holy Son of God. "He that believSpirit undertook to renew and eth not is condemned already, befanctify the elect, and the Father caufe he hath not believed in the gave unto the Son fo many as name of the only begotten Son were neceffary, that he might fee of God." Such contempt of the of the travail of his foul and be mercy of God, and of his glorious fatisfied. Here is a foundation Son, is infufferable, and cannot be laid for God to exercife his mer- paffed over without making the cy in the view of all his creatures, guilty the most awful examples of and for finners to become recon- diftinguifhed wrath. ciled to God, and be reinflated in his favor. The terms, on which this falvation is offered, are a penitent, dutiful fubmiffion to God, and faith in Chrift.-The period for acceptance is limited to this life, and the whole is published to man as matter of pure grace, and in the iffue, judgment will ,pafs according to our acceptance or rejection of the Redeemer.

It is a melancholy confideration, that this difpenfation of grace is rejected by our world.All with one confent would be excufed from complying with its invitations. God therefore fends his Spirit, and renews whom he pleases, and thus brings them to repentance and faith in Chrift. He fulfils his engagements to Chrift, and has mercy on whom he will have mercy. This is the kingdom of grace; in this God reigns. He has taken it upon him to fhow mercy, and work wonders of love, and fo raise to himfelf a glorious kingdom from the ruins of an apoftate world. By doing this, he greatly increafes the everlafting happinefs of his dutiful fubjects in heaven, as well as on earth. They will forever rejoice the more exceedingly in him, on account of the difpenfations of his grace.

In this difpenfation, the law is magnified and made honorable by the obedience and fufferings of Chrift, and is, if poffible, better eftablished, than if it had never been difobeyed, or than if its curfe had been directly inflicted on every tranfgreffor. God has alfo more fully manifefted to his creatures his wifdom, goodness, juftice, and mercy, than could otherwife have been done in our world. All his dutiful subjects will have the everlasting benefit of thefe rich difcoveries of his glory.- The third great department of In providing this falvation, an divine government remains to be aftonishing facrifice was made, confidered. This is a univerfal which will forever remain the providence-a direction of all wonder of heaven ;-God mani-worlds, things and events, fo that feft in the flesh-living-fuffering they may ali anfwer their end, in -defpifed-dying, interceding for difplaying God, and promoting finners, and receiving them to the greatest bleffedness of the unifavor! ! ! verfe.

It should be noticed that the gof- Creatures need fuch a provipel, as well as the law, has its threat-dence. The natural world needs nings and penalties. The unbe- to be managed for the production liever will not only be excluded of food, raiment, health and comfrom the benefit of grace, but his fort, which depend on innumerapunishment will be unspeakably ble things. The moral world


needs as much attention, in all its | thofe apprehenfions and contenThe wrath of man tions, which so often arife between the rulers of this world and their fubjects. How can any creature complain of God for setting up his government and taking the charge of needy millions and millions upon himself? How can we complain of the adminiftrations of infinite rectitude and benevolence ? On the other hand, is it not furprifing, that every rational creature is not filled with admiration and praife, and united in fentiments with the ancient faints, faying, "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of the ifles be glad thereof ?"

muft praise God, and the remainder of it be reftrained. There was no creature who had wisdom for this, none who had power, all were equally feeble and needy. But in God there is no want of power, or wisdom, or goodnefs; he is infinitely furnished for the fole management of the whole. He will caufe all things to work together for the good of them that love him, and fuffer nothing to take place, but in fubfervience to the greatest happiness of all who unite in the cause of holiness. This government of God extends to the moft minute events; nothing takes place in vain; the hairs of our heads are all number-premacy, if we were not under ed; he clothes the grafs, and not the influence of an heart opposed a fparrow falls to the ground to benevolence, and regardless without his notice and defign. of the general good? With what Here is an infinite field of divine pleasure fhould we submit to his doagency. He doeth his will in minion, obey his glorious law, adheaven above, and in earth be- mire his wondrous grace and conneath. He hears the cries of fide in his benevolent providence? young ravens, and his care is no lefs neceffary to the prefervation and blessedness of men and angels. This agency will produce an incalculable fum of bleffedness. This is the providence of God.

We have now noticed the law, gofpel and providence of God. In all thefe adminiftrations the Lord reigns, from pure benevolence, put in exercise by the actual neceffities of his creatures. It alfo appears, that the benefits which arife to his creatures from his government, are immenfe and will be continually increafing forever, and that he reigns only to promote and advance the public good.

It follows therefore, that his creatures have no reasons ever to diftrust and be jealous of him: There is no foundation for any of

With what exceeding joy fhould we contemplate his abfolute fu

It is certainly far from all reafon, that there fhould be a single objection against God or his dominion. If it fhould be laid afide, the immediate and total ruin of creation would enfue. It is this government, which puts happiness within the reach of any intelligent beings, and it is peculiarly the kingdom of grace, which opens a way for this finful world to ef cape deferved wrath, and be reinftated in the favor of God. Of all creatures, mankind are the fartheft, if poffible, from having any caufe to be diffatisfied with the government of God.

It is certainly matter of praise, that notwithstanding all the abufe which God has received from this world, he will not withdraw his government from us, nor abandon the defigns of his grace. But let

his enemies meditate on thofe awful words of Chrift, "Thofe mine enemies, who would not that I fhould reign over them, bring them hither and flay them before me." Thefe confiderations fhow us the proper grounds of refignation. And teach us the propriety of what John relates, Rev. xix. 6. "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, faying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."


Harmony of Chriflianity.
(Continued from p. 182.)

Experimental Religion.
HRISTIANITY is a reli-


a private or perfonal good, as the object of purfuit and enjoyment.

Christianity prefents, to thofe who embrace it, that happiness which is founded in the views of the highest perfection and felicity of the moral fyftem. To behold this, be active in promoting it, and enjoy it, is the highest felicity of a genuine Chriftian. The view already taken of doctrinal Chriftianity, clearly establishes this truth.

The manifeft contrariety between Christianity and other religions, in this particular, to mention no other at prefent, accounts for fome of the obvious appearances among men.

Falfe religion is agreeable to the depraved heart of man, as it harmonizes with his felfifh affections.

Genuine Chriftianity is oppof

its feat in the views and affec-ed to all fuch affections, and ations of the foul. "With the heart man believeth unto rightcoufnefs."

This however is not peculiar to Christianity. It is true of all other religions, believed and practifed by men, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth fpeaketh." The words and actions of men are the expreffions of the heart. All religion, whether true or falfe, is founded there.

As the state of the heart refpecting religion, influences the practice, fo it receives its moral quality from the nature of the affections. In the votaries of falfe religion, the affections are excited by religious conceptions which are falfe, or partial and unjuft.

The religion of the bible is effentially different from all others, in many particulars; at prefent we notice that which follows.

All other religions of which we have any knowledge, prefent

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dapted only to those which embrace the public good, and are fpiritual, fupernatural and divine.

The objects relished and purfued by felfish men, excite averfion and difguft to the fpirit of Chrif tianity, and what Chriftianity taftes and enjoys is difagreeable to the depraved, unfanctified heart. The truth of thefe obfervations is evident from the doctrines which have been stated, from many fcriptural declarations, and from the hiftory of man. We shall there. fore proceed to mention a few leading branches of experimental religion, as they exift in the hearts. of good men, in agreement with each other, and with doctrinal Christianity, of which regeneration may be confidered as the bafis.

1. Reconciliation to God."The carnal mind is enmity against God." All its moral exercifes are of this defeription, in

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