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ly, to the view of my audience, y

his Spirit, his Law, his Gospel, is Children. Why does he love s; their nature is agreeable to the s; they are useful, and therefore lese reasons he is bound to love the objects with this affection, it mes impossible, for him to detererely natural, wholly Evangelical, .ercises a love to God, but may be loves the character of God, cones the divine perfections for what jod, because he regards him as a n his perfections, because he conrating, to promote his present and cult for most persons to determine, d form of this glorious Being, if it vas their Enemy. hristian to distinguish his natural s a man, he will always continue ding Evangelical ones, which he lust, evidently, be more difficult ever had any other beside natural

are not Evangelical. When he ts, in what manner shall he debecause he believes him reconcil

in the divine perfections; it will is only because he supposes them fare. When he loves the Scrip

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Krism: gm PER teams. sar entrar ben szos dezted a al por me assation : 2nd shamely noons fra 9.9 and maint of scandalous indul,Toco, ad raak mer La precis skrives, that these two persons will differ mig in een eis in the visible degree of that change of cookies

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perceive, that it is only because he good sense, which they conthey have on mankind; and the insiders them as speaking to himit will often be beyond his power ise of their natural amiableness f their manners; their friendship, heir general usefulness to others,

is irom their Religion. The former will pertapile ocations. This may arise from as tanged at all evento an observing eve: for he has bersom a sense of the wisdom, the werden, and in a certain sense loved to do, in many particle is spirit. He is kind to enemies. 20. after, as before, bis Conversion. The latter,

she nobleness of forgiveness; or from

disa ters things, which Religon requires, and to which it pe od bisa te enour of his he will seem to those around his in the same degree, will, it is plain, change almost the v. forgiven. were si bis conduct; and assume a life, entirely new, and by garnite to that which he led before.

See with the orientace be small in the intelles

i obtaining the peculiar evidence, by this exercise of Christian be

letals. The sancified affections, and parents. 12 Lawny instances, so blead themselves tha*

thought through all the objects of at similar difficulties attend them

has derived from nature and habit, as to be often distinguished with difficulty, and not unfrequently to be entirely undistinguishable. Those of the latter, on the contrary, will be wholly opposite, in most instances, to all that he has heretofore thought, felt, and designed.

As the internal and external conduct of these individuals is the sole ground, on which each must judge of himself, as well as be judged of, by others; it is perfectly obvious, that the objects, concerning which they are respectively to judge, are widely different from each other. But this is not all. The optics, with which these persons judge concerning their religious state, will plainly be widely different. Our dispositions naturally influence our judgment; and usually enter much more largely into the opinions which we form, than we are aware. Thus a person, strongly in-, clined to hope, will, almost of course, judge favourably; when a person, equally inclined to fear, would, in the very same case, judge unfavourably; concerning himself. Cheerful persons naturally entertain comfortable views concerning themselves; those, who are melancholy, such, and often such only, as are uncomfortble, discouraging, and distressing. The rash, form bold and presumptuous opinions without hesitation: the cautious, admit opinions, favourable to themselves, slowly; even when they are admitted upon acknowledged evidence. The ignorant must be very imperfectly fitted to consider the various means of evidence, all of which ought to be consulted, in forming our opinions concerning this important subject : while the enlightened Christian must be much more competent to draw up a well-founded determination.

3dly. The similar nature of those, which we call Natural views and affections, to those which are Evangelical, furnishes another source of these difficulties.

Love and hatred, hope and fear, joy and sorrow, confidence and shame, together with various other affections, and views of the mind, really exist, and operate in the Christian, as Natural views and affections; and not merely Evangelical. The objects, which excite these affections in both senses, are often the same. The emotions themselves are, also, so much alike, as perceived by the mind, that mankind universally, and the Scriptural writers as well as others, call them by the same names. When both are described by those, who are the subjects of them, the description, to a great extent, is commonly the same. It will, therefore, be easily believed, that they are so similar in their nature, as, when they arise from the same objects, to render it difficult for the Christian in whom they exist, and at times impossible, to distinguish them from each other. It will be also easily seen, that when he, who is not a Christian, has these affections and views excited in his mind by the objects, which excite the corresponding Evangelical affections in the mind of a Christian, he may, in many instances, find it very difficult to discern, that they are not Evangelical.

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To illustrate this subject, clearly, to the view of my audience, I will consider it more particularly.

A Christian loves God, his Son, his Spirit, his Law, his Gospel, his Sabbath, his Worship, and his Children. Why does he love them ? For two reasons. One is; their nature is agreeable to the relish of his mind. The other is; they are useful, and therefore pleasing to himself. For both these reasons he is bound to love them. But, when he regards all the objects with this affection, it will be often difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to determine whether his emotions are merely natural, wholly Evangelical, or mixed. He knows, that he exercises a love to God, but may be unable to determine whether he loves the character of God, considered by itself; whether he loves the divine perfections for what they are; or whether he loves God, because he regards him as a friend to himself; and delights in his perfections, because he considers them as engaged, and operating, to promote his present and eternal good. It would be difficult for most persons to determine, precisely, what views they would form of this glorious Being, if it were revealed to them, that He was their Enemy.

As it is often difficult for the Christian to distinguish his natural affections, which, so long as he is a man, he will always continue to exercise, from the corresponding Evangelical ones, which he exercises as a Christian : so it must, evidently, be more difficult for an unrenewed man, who has never had any other beside natural affections, to discern, that these are not Evangelical. When he loves God, and other divine objects, in what manner shall he determine, that he loves him, only because he believes him reconciled to himself? When he delights in the divine perfections; it will not be easy for him to see, that it is only because he supposes them to be engaged to promote his welfare. When he loves the Scriptures; it will be difficult for him to perceive, that it is only because of their sublimity and beauty; the good sense, which they contain; the happy influence, which they have on mankind; and the comforting promises, which he considers them as speaking to himself. When he loves Christians; it will often be beyond his power to determine, that it is not because of their natural amiableness of character; the agreeableness of their manners ; their friendship, or kind offices, to himself; and their general usefulness to others, with whom he is connected.

A person is quiet under provocations. This may arise from meekness.

also arise from a sense of the wisdom, the dignity, and the usefulness, of this spirit. He is kind to enemies. This may arise from the desire of obtaining the peculiar evidence, that he is a good man, furnished by this exercise of Christian benevolence; from a sense of the nobleness of forgiveness; or from the danger of not finding himself forgiven.

I might extend this course of thought through all the objects of self-examination ; and show, that similar difficulties attend them

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has derived from nature and habit, as to difficulty, and not unfrequently to be Those of the latter, on the contrary, most instances, to all that he has heret signed.

As the internal and external conduct sole ground, on which each must judg judged of, by others; it is perfectly ol cerning which they are respectively to from each other. But this is not all. persons judge concerning their relig widely different. Our dispositions na ment; and usually enter much mor which we form, than we are aware. clined to hope, will, almost of course person, equally inclined to fear, wou judge unfavourably; concerning himse rally entertain comfortable views con who are melancholy, such, and often ble, discouraging, and distressing. T sumptuous opinions without hesitation ions, favourable to themselves, slow mitted upon acknowledged evidence. imperfectly fitted to consider the vario which ought to be consulted, in formin this important subject : while the enli much more competent to draw up a w

3dly. The similar nature of those, w and affections, to those which are Eva source of these difficulties.

Love and hatred, hope and fear, joy shame, together with various other af mind, really exist, and operate in the and affections, and not merely Evange excite these affections in both senses, emotions themselves are, also, so much mind, that mankind universally, and the as others, call them by the same names. by those, who are the subjects of them, extent, is commonly the same. It will, ed, that they are so similar in their na from the same objects, to render it dif whom they exist, and at times impossibl each other. It will be also easily seen, Christian, has these affections and views objects, which excite the corresponding the mind of a Christian, he may, in many ficult to discern, that they are not Evan

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