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reception of divine truth. There is but one God and one Savior and one foundation of salvation. There is but one gospel and one system of truth and duty. Therefore the great command is given, “ Go ye into all the world

. and preach the gospel to every creature.”

2. Under the instructions of the gospel no one can have the least reason for any doubt, respecting what must be done to obtain acceptance with God. On this subject, Abel, though dead, yet speaks and shows every person his duty. By his word and conduct respecting Abel, God declares and enforces upon all persons what they must do to obtain forgiveness and acceptance with him, with the highest decision and authority. Who, then, will pretend that there is nothing to be done to obtain the favor of God ? Who will say, that God does not need our services and that it is of no use to believe what he teaches and to do what he commands? We need his mercy and he has taught and shown us what we must believe and do to be saved and blessed. And we must perish under the curse of his law and his most righteous displeasure, if we do not believe and obey the gospel of his

grace. Who then will say, we mean to do our duty and God will do right; and so rely upon their fancied goodness and worthiness for his favor? No one ever does his duty, or can have the least title to the favor of God, until he renounces every degree of confidence in himself and turns to the cross of Christ for pardon and life. Will any suppose that their repentance and reformation will be a sufficient foundation for forgiveness and acceptance with God? Should they, who have sinned, become perfectly holy, their holiness would be no reason for their forgiveness and salvation from punishment; for it would not remove the ill-desert of their former sins. “ Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” pose, that the goodness and mercy of God are a sufficient warrant for their confidence, without the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ? They who reject Jesus Christ and the offer of life through his death, oppose and reject the goodness and mercy, the wisdom and glory of God, as they are manifested by the only way, in which he can

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forgive and save sinners. Will any say, we do not believe that God will condemn and punish his creatures forever? We do not think that he is so unjust and cruel? Who, but themselves, are blamable for their condemnation and punishment ? Who, but they who transgress the perfect law of God and then reject his mercy and despise the blood of his Son, are so unjust and cruel, as to destroy themselves forever? God had respect to Abel and to his offering, when he came to worship him with a humble spirit and with holy faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Who, then, will ask, “What must I do to be saved ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men by which we can be saved." Let no one, then, deny, delay, or doubt what he must do to be pardoned and accepted of God and to be saved and blessed forever.

3. Whatever any persons may do will not secure their salvation, if they reject divine truth. No one can ever perform any duty, while he does not know what he ought to do.

And it is only by the instructions of divine revelation, that God teaches and shows sinners what they must do to be saved. They, to whom God sends the instructions of the gospel, are exalted unto heaven in respect to their privileges. But if they disbelieve and reject his truth, they oppose and reject God himself in the greatness of his goodness and mercy and all the blessings and glory of his kingdom. And they are guilty of the greatest wickedness they can commit. The Savior says of the Holy Spirit, “When he is come, he shall

, reprove the world of sin; of sin, because they believe not on me.” He also says, “ He that believeth not shall be damned.” It is written, “ He that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” They, then, to whom the gospel is sent, perform no duty and can have no acceptance with God, while they reject his counsel against themselves. “ Without faith it is impossible to please him.” They, who disbelieve and reject divine truth, by which God declares and shows himself, oppose and reject God and his perfect law, the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of his grace. And they oppose their own duty and salvation and form themselves into vessels of wrath and are fitted for destruction.

4. Whatever any persons may believe, without cordial and practical obedience to divine truth, they cannot obtain acceptance with God. The objects, which are placed before us by the light of divine truth, demand and deserve our most diligent attention and our highest affections; and they are worthy to influence our sentiments and actions. If then any persons believe what God teaches and do not obey his commands, they deny their faith by their works. “ 'What doth it profit, though a man say he hath faith and have not works? can faith save him? Wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead ?" Though they who repent and believe the gospel, receive forgiveness and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, yet they cannot obtain acceptance with God any farther than they walk in his commandments and ordinances blameless. True faith always works by love, purifies the heart and overcomes the world.

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But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect.

GENESIS, IV. 5.

cept him ?

Cain and Abel were by nature of the same moral character. As they advanced in life they showed, in their external conduct, a regard to God; and they came before him with their religious offerings and services. Yet in the sight of God, who searches the heart, there must have been an essential difference in their characters. For he accepted Abel and rejected Cain. But if Cain had been of the same moral character as his brother, he would have been accepted as well as Abel. What then was the character of Cain? And why did not God ac

In answer to these questions,
I. It is proposed to consider the character of Cain.

1. He outwardly performed the duties of religious worship. It is probable that he and Abel came at the same time, in a social manner, to worship God. There is reason to believe they had been accustomed to attend religious worship with their parents from their early days. By the influence of parental instruction and example, Cain was induced to bring his offering to the Lord, when he had arrived to the years of manhood and was not under the direction of his parents. It is probable that he then so acted for himself in his religious performances, that it was important and necessary for God to treat him, by visible tokens, according to his real character. 2. In his religious services Cain relied

supposed worthiness for the favor of God. From the statement in the context it does not appear, that in his worship he brought any_sacrifice with reference to the promised and suffering Redeemer. Sacrifices were of

.

. fered by divine appointment and were typical of the atonement, that should be made for the forgiveness of

upon his

sinners by the death of Jesus Christ. But Cain does not appear to have had any true knowledge of his sin and guilt, or any reliance upon the mercy of God for pardon and acceptance with him. He trusted in himself, that he was righteous and depended for divine favor upon his own worthiness.

3. Though Cain trusted in his supposed goodness, he was wholly sinful. He had by nature nothing of that holiness, which the law requires. Nor had he ever repented of his wickedness and humbled himself before God, so as to receive his pardoning mercy. Whatever might be his external performance of religious duties, his heart was not right, but full of evil. In his acts of worship and professions of piety, his heart was “ deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

4. The sinfulness of Cain consisted in selfishness. His heart was turned to himself and his selfish interests. In the spirit of selfishness he brought his offering to the Lord. Though he might not, at that time, have visibly shown his selfishness, yet when Abel was accepted and he was rejected, he showed by his anger against God that he had no regard to him but for his own sake. And by the murder of Abel he showed, that his heart was wholly selfish and sinful. John says of Cain, he “ was of that wicked one and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil and his brother's righteous.”

Worse conduct from worse motives could not exist.

II. It is proposed to show why God rejected Cain.

He certainly had no malevolence towards him. Though Cain came before him in an improper manner and with a sinful heart; and though God was highly displeased with him; yet his displeasure arose from his holiness and he was influenced by perfect goodness in the rejection of his services. The same goodness, which induced him to accept Abel, induced him to reject Cain. His conduct towards Cain was not malevolent. Nor was God without interest and affection towards him. Though Cain was angry against the divine conduct and against his brother, God spake to him with compassion and kindness. He said, Why art thou wroth ? and why is thy countenance fallen?' If thou doest well, shalt

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