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folemn declaration-" These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal."

To be influenced by promifes is no lefs mercethan being driven by terror. And this is alnary fo proposed as an incitement to obedience. "God hath given us exceeding great and precious promifes, that by them we should become partakers of a divine nature."

EVERY infpired teacher hath called men to repentance in the same manner, and urged it by the fame arguments. Proof is needlefs. To pretend that application is not made, by divine order, to the hopes and fears of mankind, is trifling-Yea to pretend that they are not urged by the dread of eternal punishment, is to deny the most obvious truth.

AND is there no cause for this fear? Doth God frighten men with vain terrors? Doth he threaten evils which can never come?

OR if this argument was necessary to be used with man before he fell, is it needless fince he hath fallen ?

BUT God our Savior will have all men to be faved; and fhall not that which he wills be effected? Can any thing contrary to his pleasure take place?

MUCH doth take place in this world, which, is not pleafing to God; which he doth not will, or approve. This may be predicated generally of fin. "Sin is the abominable thing which he hates.— He is angry with the wicked every day." Would

he be angry, if all which is done was pleafing in

his fight?

GOD is holy. Sin is oppofition to his nature, forbidden by his law, and declared to be his abhorrence. To fuppofe that he fhould hate and forbid fin, yet approve of it and be pleased with it, is abfurdity and folly.

GoD permits fin; but neither wills nor approves it. "Chrift pleafed not himself.”* Much is permitted under his administration, which he doth not order, but forbids and abhors. Yea, God orders fome things, as moral governor (in confequence of other things done contrary to his directions) which are not pleasing to him, confidered in themselves. "He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men"-But finds it neceffary to afflict. Grief and forrow are known under the divine administration, and ordered out to mortals by providential difpenfation. But these natural evils are always in confequence of moral evil, which is not the effect of divine influence, but arifeth from another fource and hath another author. It arifeth from the abufe of powers which were given for better purposes. Where fin hath gone before, forrows follow after; but they are not pleafing to the Supreme Governor.

THE wickedness of the old world occafioned the deluge; but it is impoffible to read the Mofaic account of thofe events, and fufpect that they were pleafing to Deity.

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We may make the fame remark respecting the declensions of Ifrael and Judah and the judgments which followed. "O thou fon of man, speak unto the house of Ifrael, Thus ye fpeak, saying, If our tranfgreffions and our fins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, as I live faith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die, o house of Ifrael ?"* By another prophet we find God mourning over them-" How fhall I give thee up, Ephraim? How fhall I deliver thee, Ifrael ? How fhall I make thee as Admah, and fet thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together."

THAT people continued in their fins and perished in them: But will any who read these meffages, fent them of God, conceive their crimes, and the defolations which followed, when they had filled up the measure of their iniquity, to be pleafing to God, or the effect of divine order and influence ?

WILL those who read our Savior's lamentations over Jerufalem, and the deftruction foon after brought upon that city and nation, because “ they did not know the time of their vifitation," confider those events as pleafing to him? His predictions were verified-" their enemies caft a trench about them, compaffed them round and kept them in on every fide-laid their city even with the

* Ezekiel xxxiii. 10.

ground, and her children within her; not leaving one ftone upon another-Zion was ploughed like a field" vaft numbers perished in the fiege-many were crucified after the city was taken-the refidue fcattered among all nations, and the fword drawn out after them! The compaffionate Redeemer called those finners to repentance-warned them of the evils which they would bring on themfelves, by refufing the grace which he offered them, and wept over them when filling up the measure of their guilt! But when they had been tried the appointed time, and continued obftinate, till the divine patience was exhausted, he entered into judgment with them and gave them according to their works.

SIMILAR will be the event of perfevering obftinacy in others. Man is placed here for trialendowed with powers fufficient to render him a probationer; which implies capacity to use, or abuse his powers. The abufe is fin. The way of duty is made known, needed affistance conferred, the reasonablenefs of obedience fhewn, and the injunction, "occupy till I come," fubjoined, but no compulfion is ufed. Thus circumftanced, it is referred to man to choose for himself.

GOD operates indeed on man; but only as on a free moral agent. Divine influences coincide with human liberty. Those who are willing and obedient find mercy. Over fuch the Savior rejoices, and their faith and love are rewarded with the rewards of grace. But thofe who neglect so great Salvation, are left to perifh in their fins.

That God can confiftently do other than leave them to perish, is to us unknown. It may be im. poffible to renew them by repentance-beyond the power of Omnipotence to fave them!

THE Conditions of falvation are fixed: No change can be made in them. "The impenitent heart treasureth up wrath. He that believeth not fhall be damned. If we do not believe, yet God abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself." The terms of acceptance with God are laid before us; the event depends on the choice we make.

SUCH we conceive to be man's fituation here : Such the ground of the applications made to him in the gospel, and the promises and threatenings annexed to the proposals therein contained. On no other, fuppofition do they appear rational. On no other can we account for our Savior's declaration that Sodom, had fhe enjoyed Capernaum's advantages, would have remained till his day.*

DIVINE benevolence is great; but it will not fecure falvation to gospel despisers: They "will wonder and perish."

As the firft covenant had conditions annexed to it, fo hath the new covenant. To pretend that there are none-that man hath no concern to secure the divine favor, is to charge folly on God, in all the overtures which are made to man in the gofpel.

We may

LIFE and death are now fet before us. be faved, or we may perish. Which will be our portion depends on the effect which the propofals

* Matthew xi. 23.

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