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or suffer for religion. “ Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
However we may amuse ourselves with idle speculations, this life is a probation season. Our use or abuse of the talents we possess will determine us to happiness, or misery, honor or infamy.
“All have Ginned, and are guilty before God In his fight shall no man living be justified”our fole desert is punishment. But God hath had mercy on us--provided a Savior, and offers us salvation. The offer is universal - Whosoever will let him come."
That there is no rejpe&t of persons with God, is alike the dictate of reason and revelation. We have only to act with integrity before God, relying on his grace in Chrift, and his grace will be sufficient for us.
The man who had the one talent, neglected it, under pretence that he served a hard master, who required things unreasonable and impossible -he was condemned ; but only for neglecting the talent which he possessed.
It is required of a man according to that which he hath-this he can render--the neglect will be fatal. 66 We must all appear before the judgment feat of Christ, that we may receive the deeds done in the body, according to that which we have done, whether good or bad. For God will bring every work into judgment, with
secret thing, whether it be good or evil.
An unseen hand is constantly writing down our volitions and actions, to be reserved to judgment. Ere long the books will be opened, which will open every heart, and life. Not a circumstance which goes to constitute a state of trial, will be omitted-all will be brought into the reckoning, and serve to determine our eternal state.
That state will be determined by the use which we shall have made of life, and the advantages which we enjoyed in it. The divine impartial. ity will then appear_" The ungodly will be convinced of their ungodly deeds—and of their hard speeches, which they have spoken against God.” None will complain of injustice-none of the condemned pretend that they receive aught, which others circumstanced as they were, and acting as they acted, would not have received from the hand that made them. " Every mouth will be stopped."
This fellow mortals is our feed time for eterni. ty. “ Be not deceived ; God is not mocked ; for whatsoever a man foweth, that shall he also reap-whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free-every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor."
Not only the state into which we are to enter at death, but the rank we are to hold in it depend on present improvement. All the fan&ified will be saved ; all who die unrenewed will be damned. But there will be different grades, both in the upper and lower worlds. Of the saints, some " will be scarcely saved.” To others " will be ministered an abundant entrance into the kingdom of Christ." There are also greatest and least in the kingdom of heaven. And among those exiled the world of light, differences will be made, suited to the different degrees of criminality. Capernaum will receive a more intolerable doom than So. dom.*
All these discriminations will be built on the present life, and rise out of it. This will be so abundantly manifested, “ when God shall judge the world in righteousness," that an assembled uni. verse will confess, That there is no respect of perfons with God.
* Matthew xi. 23, 24e
Moses' Prayer to be blotted out of God's Book.
EXODUS xxxii. 31, 32. And Moses returned unto the Lord and said, Oh! this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt, forgive their sin ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. This is one of the most difficult passages in the holy scriptures. Many have attempted to explain it, and in our apprehension, failed in the attempt. Some will entertain like opinion of the following. Perhaps juftly. We are no less fallible than others.
In matters which have engaged the attention of the learned, and in which they have differed, afsur. ance is not perhaps to be expected. But as we are forbidden to call any man master, we have ventured to judge for ourselves respecting the meaning of the text, and now lay before the reader the result of our attention to it; not wishing to obtrude our opinion upon him ; but leaving him to form his own as he may find occasion,
Some suppose that a person must be willing to be damned for the glory of God, or he cannot be faved ; and this scripture hath been alledged in proof. After a few observations, to fhew that the fuppofition is erroneous and absurd ; we shall exhibit the various constructions which have been put on the text, by several expositors ; then give our own fenfe of it ; and close with a few refle&tions.
The suppostion that man must be willing to be damned, in order to be saved, is in our apprehension, erroneous and absurd. It supposes a defire of God's favor to be an unpardonable offence ; and a contempt of it a recommendation to his regard ! It supposes that God will banish those from his presence who long for it ; and bring those to dwell in it who do not desire it! A supposition, which, in our view, carries its own confutation in it. For the all important inquiry is, confeffedly, how to obtain salvation ? The solution which the fupposition exhibits, is this, by being willing not to obtain it !
God cannot issue an order, making it the duty of man to be willing to be damned. To be will. ing to be damned, implies a willingness to diso. bey God, refuse his grace, and continue in unbelief and impenitence! Should we suppose it poffi. ble for God to issue the order, obedience would be impossible, and equally to those of every character.
The hardened sinner, cannot surely be thought capable of love to God, which will dispose him to suffer eternally for God's glory. He may do that