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shall find; and if we knock, it shall be opened unto us-nay, that He is more willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than earthly parents are to give good gifts unto their children. His language is--"He that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out;" "Behold I stand at the door and knock;" and "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with him also freely give us all things." In short, his disposition to bestow favors on all who will look to Him for them, is affirmed and illustrated in instances and ways innumerable; and all that is contrary to this, is as frequently and variously denied.

The Bible informs us respecting itself, that it is the product of holy men of old, who appeared at successive intervals during a series of centuries, and were inspired of God to reveal his will and the principles of his government, to record his previous doings, and to predict what he designed should yet come to pass. It tells us wondrous things respecting Heaven's intervention for human salvation. It tells us that in the ages preceding the creation of man, God foresaw his dreadful lapse into sin and death, and determined on measures and means for his recovery. It tells us, that, immediately after his fall, God entered upon the execution of the means and measures predetermined, and whispered of good to come in the ear of the primal transgressor. It tells us, that, from that moment, He has been, and, till the end of time, will be, engaged in carrying on the gracious designthat He has done it by dispensation after dispensation, and revelation after revelation, each plainly adapted and corresponding to the degree of mental development and civilization extant at the period of its bestowment, and each previous one preparing the way for its successor, as the lower stages of education precede and prepare the way for those that are higher. It tells us, from first to last, that Jehovah is the uncompromising adversary of sin and all incorrigible sinners, but the Infinite Friend and Favorer of all who exercise sacred virtue-demonstrating the former by prohibitions absolute, fearful penalties denounced, and terrible judgments executed; and the latter, by positive requisitions, by proffered rewards and promises of incomprehensible good, and by actual bestowments of richest blessings. It tells us of the advent and incarnation of Him who made the worlds, and all that they contain; of his life as stainless as the driven snow; of his teachings, as pure as the morality of Heaven; of his miracles as mighty as the deeds of omnipotence; of

his self-denial as great as his Father's in giving Him; of his humility as absolute as his celestial glory was excellent; of his speaking as never man spake; loving God and man as never man loved them; toiling for the glory of the one and the good of the other as never man toiled; and suffering and dying as man never suffered and died; of his rising from the dead and ascending on high where he ever liveth to intercede for us. It tells us that the whole object of this divine drama on earth was to commend the love of God to man, to effect his moral renovation, to reconcile the exercise of mercy with justice, and thus to open up a way for the attainment of eternal life and glory. It tells us of the gift of the Spirit, to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; to secure the regeneration of as many as possible, and to seal them "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ," "to an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away," reserved in heaven for them;" and of the institution of the Christian church with its delegated ministry and solemn ordinances, to be the pillar and ground of the truth," which "according to the commandment of the everlasting God, is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." It tells us that at the consummation of the earthly history of mankind, there will be a universal resurrection of the dead, and a solemn judgment scene, which will determine the eternal state of every one of our race for heaven or hell, "according to the deeds done in the body," as they have been good or as they have been evil.

Now why does the Bible make and multiply such records and representations? Why was it given? Why does it so abound with commands and prohibitions, invitations and warnings, promises and threatenings, recorded examples and assertions of fact?-why does it so impassionately urge us by the terrors of hell, and the attractions of heaven, by the mercies of God through the blood of atonement, and his terrible anathemas hurled against unbelief, as the sin most crimson with guilt, and against which his indignation especially burns-in short, by all that is tender and subduing in love, or dreadful in judgment, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that we may be saved? The only possible answer is, because God is infinitely benevolent and gracious-infinitely intent on securing our comfidence for our endless good. His character is slaked in every declaration and representation his oracles have uttered, so that, should he fail to fulfill a single one of

them, his glory would be tarnished with an eternal stain, and the allegiance of the universe unloosed from his throne. The value, therefore, which he sets on his character is an eternal guaranty that not one jot, or one tittle of his word shall fail-that "all his promises shall forever be Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus." Thus does the WORD blazon and proclaim the Infinite Love and Grace, and Absolute Reliableness of God, and demonstrate and doom the madness of distrust. With the Bible in his hand, or in his mind, who then has a right to distrust God? Who is not infinitely guilty for so doing?

3. But let us now hear the Providence of God, or his ways of dealing with mankind, attest the same eternal truth. It gives, in evidence, its multiplied interventions in behalf of believers, and in rebuke of those that believe not-how, in every age, it has evolved and executed, the counsels of Infinite Wisdom,

"From seeming evil still educing good,

And better thence again. and better still,
In infinite progression ; ""

causing the wrath of man to praise Him, and restraining its remainder, and making all things work together for good to them that love God-how it throws the shield of its strength around the chosen people, which it " found in a waste howling wilderness, led about, instructed, and kept as the apple of God's eye," crowning them with prosperity in peace, and with victory in war, lifting up their heads above their enemies round about,, and making them to ride upon the high places of the earth, whenever they kept covenant with God, and trusted in him; but as oft as they forsook

"Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar,"

visiting them with judgments, and heaping mischiefs upon them, until they were "rooted out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast into another land, as it is this day,"-how, correspondingly it dealt with their foes, overwhelming them with defeat and ruin, when Israel kept covenant with God, and leading them on to victory, when they deserved chastisement-how it has ever environed and upheld, with the strength of the everlasting arm, those who have confided in God; not indeed exempting them from trials, persecutions, and, in many cases, even torturing deaths; but nerving their souls with strength to endure, giving them light in the midst of darkness, awakening within them magnanimous thoughts, and urging them on to heroic

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deeds of saintly virtue; while on the contrary, it has ever frowned on positive unbelief, smiting and withering those that exercise it, and swearing that they shall not enter into its rest.

The truth is, faith and its implications constitute the substance and sum of all virtue; and it is trite to say, that however daisy-like in delicacy, or rose-like in splendor and perfume, it may be-in other words, it matters not what may be its type, humble or heroic-God's eternal providence has ever befriended and favored it. On the contrary, unbelief and its implications constitute the essence and aggregate of all sin; and, in all its various types and developments, it has ever been the object of God's sleepless opposition. But, especially, wherever and whenever it has presumptuously ar rayed itself against God and his authority, or shamelessly unfolded its naked deformities, his curses have been heaped upon it, and his vindictive judgments set in the lists against it. He has drowned it with floods-He has rained fire and brimstone upon it, and sunk its scenes forever from our view-He has tormented it with plagues-He has made the very lands its perpetrators inhabited vomit them out-He has dashed down its cities, its temples and palaces, and swept their sites with the besom of destruction, till the places that once knew them know them no more, or but mournfully remember them and their palmy pride through their mouldering rubbish—He has slaughtered its legions and ravaged its realms,-in short, the history of the race is, for the most part, a record of the feats of eternal Providence warring against it and its guilty perpetrators.

This, then, is the sum of the attestation of Providence"A righteous God, the foe of all sin, but the patron and promoter of all virtue, sits on the throne of the universe; and while He is fearfully terrible in vindicating his glory against presumptuous and incorrigible sinners, yet, at the same time, He is as mild and accessible as mother's love to all, even the guiltiest, who will seek his favor. Whosoever will, let him come, without faltering or fear, and rely on his grace."


4. Another source of testimony is the experience of all the saints of all ages. With voice like the sound of many waters or mighty thunderings, the myriads on earth and in heaven, who, in every age have trusted God according to the light they have had, attest and proclaim to all who have ears to hear "He that believeth on Him shall never be ashamed. Just and true are all the ways of the King of Saints. We have tested and proved his professions and promises, and found them all yea and Amen."

Now such testimony is the confirmation of experience added to all the other grounds and guaranties of the absolute reliability of Jehovah. It sets the matter in this new light— "He will be infallibly faithful, because he has never been otherwise: He will never disappoint any who shall henceforth rely on Him, because He has never disappointed any one who has done so. Many are the promises and pledges which He has deigned to make to mortals in by-gone days, and the revolutions of the seasons have not been more certain than their universal and absolute fulfilment." "Inquire now, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers; shall not they teach thee and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?" Is it not written over the gate-way of life--"They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth, even forevermore?" And have they not invariably and unexceptedly found it so?

Before passing to the next grand division of our subject, let us ponder several important considerations rising out of what has been already said.

1. We ask the reader to ponder well the perfect concurrence of all these witnesses. They hold but one language. There is no discrepancy, no discord, to mar their concinnity. They not only concur in positive attestations, but in the same kind of seeming liabilities to objection. It is just as easy to find in the utterances, and even in the silences of the works of God, seeming grounds for impeaching their testimony, as in those of the Bible. The seeming difficulties against the credibility of the one are no greater nor more numerous than against that of the other. The same is also true of the testimonies of Providence and of saintly experience. What is the inference from this grand fact? It is that they all have but one common Author-that it is just as irrational to deny the divine origin of Nature and Providence, as of the heavenly oracles contained in the Bible—that it is just as rational to ascribe the world and ourselves to some demon-creator, as the sacred scriptures to the authorship of wicked men-in fact, that it is just about as easy to be an intelligent Atheist as infidel! We commend this thought to every thinker, as well worthy of profoundest reflection. It is in itself a theme for a volume.

2. There cannot possibly be a more rational moral exer

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