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had no counterpart in our own times. And if the truth be thus important in the work of conversion, how unreasonable and unchristian to regard it as a matter of small moment, what men preach or what men believe. How vitally important to defend the faith once delivered to the saints," which is the citadel of eternal truth. How erroneous to suppose that God will bless, to the conversion of man, any thing else than his own inspired truth; or to conceal part of the truth for fear of giving offence to ungodly men; or to varnish the truth with a mixture of Pelagianism, to make it palatable to the unconverted. Such treatment of the word of God, is not more unreasonable than it is insulting to the God of truth; and yet, alas! how common. So did not Paul and his associates in the ministry; so did not "holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;" so did not Jesus Christ, who " spake as never man spake." Nay, "Wo to them," says the Spirit of truth," who speak smooth things and prophesy deceits, saying, peace, peace, when there is no peace;" who employ "untempered mortar," in rearing “the temple of the Lord." Such unscriptural teaching as this, come from what quarter it may, instead of subserving the interests of Christ's kingdom, is fatally aux liary to the cause of error and the kingdom of satan. And materials collected under such instruction, cannot be “lively stones,” but are evidently of human preparation; and, of course, are unfit to make a component part of a divine structure. Indeed, the value of all other means of grace, must be estimated, entirely, by their adaptedness to exhibit and enforce the truth. Of course, when, instead of the living, eternal truth of God, drawn immediately from Heaven, naught but cold moral essays, or loose and fitful declamation, or, at best, a very partial exhibition of the truth is presented, the divine blessing will be withheld in the same proportion. The great truth should never be lost sight of, that the only possible way in which men can be co-workers with God, in building the spiritual temple, is, by every divinely authorized means, to inculcate, enforce, and live the truth. If men are not thus converted from "the error of their ways,” in vain shall mortal man aspire to improve upon the wisdom of God, and devise "a more excellent way;" in vain shall error be employed to bring men to the adoption of the truth. With what deep interest, then, should all men, and, especially, ministers of Jesus Christ, seek to know and understand the truth; and when, by divine grace, they have acquired this precious, invaluable boon, with what unyielding tenacity should they cling to it; yea, maintain and defend it, at the expense of all that is valuable and precious, on earth. The fact is incontrovertible, that the natural tendency of all men is to forsake the truth and embrace error; and, especially, that popular and palatable species of error, which passes under the well-known title of Pelagianism. And, perhaps, never was this lamentable tendency, in the public mind, more strongly developed than at the present period, and, I am sorry to add, the humiliating confession, especially among some of the clergy of different denominations.

IV. The last point to which your attention shall be directed is this: To whom the glory of this Heavenly Temple must be given. But one answer, surely, can be given to this inquiry. Who but the divine Architect, the omnipotent Builder, deserves the glory? Who but the glorious Branch, from the root and stock of David, on any principle, divine or human, can claim the smallest meed of glory! And, verily, "He alone shall bear the glory."

1. The plan of the spiritual temple, to be reared by the Branch, was projected in the eternal counsels of a triune God; and, of course, the glory of the design, should be given to the ever-blessed Trinity. Eternal glory belongs to the Father, for the "unspeakable gift" of his well-beloved Son, to be a Mediator between God and man, and, for graciously accepting his mediation. But to the eternal Son, the ever-blessed Branch, belongs, especially, the glory of executing this wondrous plan of mercy, by his obedience aud death; thus laying, not only a corner-stone, but a glorious foundation, upon which to erect the spiritual temple. And to give efficacy to the means employed to carry

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into execution, the benevolent design of a triune Jehovah, he has also purchased the gracious influences of the Spirit, without which, the entire plan of mercy and salvation must remain for ever unaccomplished.

Besides; nothing can be more insulting to the honor of the Savior, than that puny, polluted worms should aspire to share with him, the glory of the celes tial temple. Nothing argues more forcibly, the spiritual pride, and deep depravity of man. This is to pluck, with an impious hand, from the Savior's brow, the heaven-wrought and unfading laurels, so hardly-earned, by his obedience, his agonies and death; nay, this is wickedly to aspire after the exclusive honors of Divinity. Impious and insulting as may be the disposition to derogate from the Savior's glory, in the salvation of man, nothing can be more common or more characteristic of unconverted men. When men, for instance, forgetting "the hole of the pit whence they were digged," regard themselves as better than others, and suppose this to be the reason of their being "called and chosen;" or, when they attribute their conversion to their own prudence and foresight; to their own ability and exertion, or skillful use of means; in all such cases, the glory is divided and Jesus is dishonored. And, when ministers of the gospel, as is often lamentably manifest, entertain high notions of their own powers and importance; are full of self-conceit and self-sufficiency, and preach, and talk, and feel, and act, as if, by their own moral power, they could convert men to God; this, again, is aspiring to rear the spiritual temple ourselves, and thus rob the Savior of his well-earned glory. And when men place great dependence on the use of certain peculiar measures, (measures, to say the least, without the slightest countenance, from the Bible,) as if they possessed intrinsic energy, almost sufficient to produce conversion; and teach that conversion is merely a change in the governing purpose of the mind, to which every man, by his own ability, aided by "moral suasion," is entirely competent; all this, I say, is an impious invasion of the exclusive glory and high prerogative of the Almighty Savior, and shall assuredly meet his frowning indignation.

3. Moreover; true believers, of whatever name, do, on earth, most cordially unite in ascribing all the glory of their salvation to Jesus Christ. Praise, and honor, and glory to the Lamb," is now their constant theme. Nay, the degree and sincerity of personal religion is most justly graduated, by this very disposition to give all the glory to the blessed Savior. A refusal to do so, not only involves a man's pretensions to religion, in dark suspicion, but proves them to be spurious. St. Paul was not only disposed, at all times, to ascribe to Jesus, all the glory of his salvation, but abhorred the very thought of "glorying, save in the cross of Jesus Christ:" "God forbid that I should glory, save," &c. He ascribes, even to tautology, the salvation of his own soul, and that of the entire church," to the praise of his glorious grace." And the reason why St. Paul abounded in such phraseology, is found in his extraordinary devotion and unusually ardent piety.


4. Finally; the "Branch," in the text, "shall bear the glory" in heaven, with the entire concurrence of every ransomed sinner there. There, will be perfect unanimity of feeling and sentiment on this, as on every other subject. There, will not be heard one discordant note-one jarring sound, to interrupt the eternal symphony of heaven. And if shame were possible, in heaven, what crimson blushes would mantle upon the cheeks of its redeemed inhabitnats, that they were not more willing, on earth, to give to Jesus all the glory. In heaven, nothing will be heard of human ability, self-regeneration, or moral power: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be the glory," will warble from the tongues of all the redeemed, and echo and reecho from every mansion in heaven. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive honor, and praise, and glory, and blessing," will constitute the darling theme of blood-bought millions, for ever and ever; and, the only competition tolerable in heaven, will be, who shall most loudly extol the glory of Immanuel. Alas! that men, on earth, should be found so slow to learn the ever


lasting song of heaven; so slow to become assimilated, in desire and devotion, to "the spirits of just men made perfect." A word of improvement shall close our remarks.

1. From the consideration of this subject we may infer, that the erection of the spiritual temple is entirely a work of divine grace: "By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works," &c. If this blessed work were not exclusively of grace, from beginning to end, the whole glory would not, and should not, have been given to Jesus, as is manifestly the case in the Scriptures. If men or angels build any part of the spiritual temple, they have a right to a share in the glory. But "salvation is of faith, that it might be by grace," and, of course, boasting is excluded. How sweet the thought, to lost aud guilty men, who feel their only merit is that of condemnation and wrath, that salvation is "without money and without price." It is only thus, that salvation is possible

to man.

2. Another just inference, from the general unwillingness of mankind to give all the glory of their salvation to Christ, is, the fatal predominance of spiritual pride. This is, perhaps, one of the strongest and most ill-boding features, in the present aspect of the religious world; and, the great reason, doubtless, why the frowns of the insulted Head of the church rest upon his earthly heritage. Men will be "wise above what is written;" bloated with self-confidence and exalted notions of their own powers, they often proudly attempt, in their own strength, to rear the heavenly temple. Not so, the royal Psalmist "the man after God's own heart." In the language of supplication he says: "Build thou the walls of Jerusalem." Again: When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." "The Lord doth build Jerusalem: he gathereth the outcasts of Israel."


3. Permit me to add, in conclusion, my fervent prayer, that of the temple about to be reared on this consecrated spot, it may be said, in after times, that "this man and that man was born there." May "the stone cut out of the mountain without hands," but rejected, alas! by many who call themselves master-builders in the church, be here the "chief corner-stone, elect and precious." May "Christ and him crucified," the blessed foundation of the Christian church, be the sum and substance of all the ministrations to be performed within it sacred enclosure. May this be the hallowed spot upon which, through the mighty power and grace of God, materials may be formed, and "living stones" prepared, to push forward to a glorious consummation, the spiritual temple of the living God. May "the cross of Christ," the only legitimate subject of the gospel ministry, be the ever-blessed theme upon which every heaven-commissioned " legate of the skies," will here delight to expatiate. May the much-persecuted, yet precious doctrines of grace, which alone give all the glory to Christ, and, by whose instrumentality alone, he continues to carry forward, towards completion, the living temple of the MOST HIGH, be ever promulgated on this hallowed ground. And, being richly fed "with the sincere milk of the word," may the "righteous here flourish like the palm-tree,” and grow tall and fair "like the cedars of Lebanon." And may many, now "wearied in the greatness of their way," and dragging out a miserable existence, "in the horrible pit and the miry clay," be here cast into the gospel mould, and be thus prepared for their appropriate place in the living temple above. And, in the consummation of all things, when earthly temples, with all things else, shall have been wrapt in the fire of the final conflagration, may those, by whose benevolence and enterprise, this earthly house shall be reared, be found themselves "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, and be thus fitted for admission into the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

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Professor in the Theological Seminary at South Hanover, Indiana.

No. 6.


LUKE 18:15, 16. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.


THE holy Scriptures are given to make us wise unto salvation; to teach us "what we should believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. They are wisely adapted to this great and important purpose. But here they stop; to this object they are limited. They contain nothing to satisfy an idle curiosity. When Peter would know what this man shall do, he receives a mild rebuke instead of the information which he desired. This information could not have made his path of duty plainer, nor the labors of his life more useful. When others inquired respecting the number that should be saved, they are earnestly exhorted to secure their own salvation, by entering in at the strait gate. Had this knowledge been given, they could not be saved without holiness. Many inquiries now made, had they been presented to the Savior, would have been dismissed in the same way. If our inquiries are prompted by an honest desire to know our duty that we may perform it, we will find, from the prayerful study of the Bible and the providence of God, full and satisfactory information. But if our inquiries proceed from mere curiosity; if the information required has no connection with our duty or the improvement of our moral character; we must apply to some other source than the Bible for such information. It would be useless to give us information respecting those objects which are, in their own nature, incomprehensible to our minds. If the language employed was suited to the nature of these objects, we could not understand it; and if it was accommodated to our limited faculties, it could not explain the nature of these objects. As far as our agency extends, we have information to guide the useful efforts of this agency: but where our agency ceases, there our information also ceases. The husbandman has a sufficient knowledge of the surface of the earth to direct his labor to useful results; but he knows nothing of the surface of the planets, because his agency does not extend to them. If our information is full and complete, our whole energy is to be exerted; if our information is limited, but a limited agency is required; if we have no knowledge, we can exert no agency.

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This is especially the case respecting the moral state and character of infants. It were easy to ask a number of questions respecting them to which the Bible furnishes no answer; and yet we have information amply sufficient to guide us in discharging our duty towards them. This is the subject—the moral state and character of infants-on which we would offer a few remarks. These remarks will relate exclusively to that period of life which precedes moral agency. We undertake not to fix on this period; nor is it necessary to our purpose.

I. Our first remark is, that infants are included in the mediation of Christ. The children brought to Christ, as stated in the text, were literally infants. Matthew calls them little children; Mark, young children. We may, with propriety, call an infant a little, or a young child; but we cannot, with the same propriety, call all children infants. At what age the term infant ceases to a child is not determined. It is certain, however, that custom confines the use of it within a few months, or years at most, of the earliest period of life. The same word translated in the text infants, is found in five other passages: In Luke 1:41,44, on which we offer no remarks. In Luke 2:12, 16, it is applied to the Savior, the same night after his birth-ye shall find the babethey found the babe, &c. Acts 7:19-so that they cast out their young children, &c. The cruel edict of the king did not suffer the children to live beyond the period of infancy. Even the parents of Moses did not attempt to conceal him longer than three months. 2 Tim. 3:15-and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures. This may mean either, that before the close of infancy, some knowledge of the Scriptures was obtained; or, that from the close of that period, this knowledge commenced. 1 Pet. 2:2—as new born babes, &c. There can be no doubt of the meaning of this passage. The children brought to the Savior, then, were literally infants; they had not reached the period of moral agency.

The declaration of the Savior is positive: of such, that is, of such infants as these, is the kingdom of God. This phrase means either that state of happiness enjoyed by good men after death; or, that dispensation of mercy revealed in the gospel. If understood in this first sense, if infants enjoy the happiness of heaven, then unquestionably they are included in the mediation of Christ. If they should enter heaven in some other way than through his mediation, they will not sustain the same relation to him which others do; one source of joy is cut off from them, which is free, and full, and overflowing to others. In one song they cannot join, which others sing with heavenly devotion. If the phrase means the dispensation of mercy, and if infants are included in this dispensation, it is equally clear that they are included in the mediation of Christ; for it is only through Christ that mercy is exercised. If you exclude them from the mediation of Christ, you exclude them from the mercy of God, or find some other channel through which this mercy can flow. Without deciding what is possible or impossible with God, we may, with confidence, affirm, that the Scriptures reveal to us no other channel of mercy than that of Christ. Taking the Scriptures for our guide, if we exclude infants from the mediation of Christ, we exclude them from the mercy of God. Athough we do not suppose that parental affections are the standard of truth, and still less the rule according to which the great Jehovah decides on the measures of his government, yet as these affections are innocent, useful, and required, they cannot be inconsistent with these measures. When parents are called to follow a beloved infant to the grave, the conviction that this infant was no more within the reach of mercy than the fallen angels, would pierce their heart with anguish keener than a two-edged sword.

Pious parents have been, and still are, required to dedicate their infants to God. This was the design of circumcision, to distinguish those who were, by

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