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ent nations and parties, of different joy of his people. Hence, it is families and individuals. Selfish said to the children of God, wall feelings and separate interests things are yours.” They are heirs have spread divisions, contentions of God and joint-heirs with Christ. and distresses over the face of the And all things will be owned and earth. But though there will forev- enjoyed by every saint. The unier be in heaven a greater number verse will be enjoyed by every of persons, than have been upon child of God in exact proportion earth at one time; and probably to his knowledge and holiness.a greater number than have lived The whole number of holy beings in all past ages; yet no one will in heaven will form but one body ever seek or desire any selfish in- in respect to the nature, the obterest. But every member of jects and the sources of their hapChrist's body will seek the good of piness. While every member of the whole body. And the whole this body will be perfectly united body will seek the good of every with the other members in sentimember. They will be of one ment, affection and interest, they
. mind and of one heart respecting will be perfectly united in their every object and every interest, pure and holy enjoyments. And they shall desire and promote.
they will be perfectly blessed in 4. The members of the church the full enjoyment of God forin heaven will be united in enjoy- ever. ment. As they will be united in This subject now offers their knowledge, love and pursuit attention a few remarks. of the same objects, they will also 1. As the people of God will be be united in the objects and perfectly united in heaven, there sources of their delight and hap
is reason to believe that he piness. The sources of their en
will accept of more than one kind joyment will be pure, perfect, in- of religion. God will not approve finite and eternal. As their ca- of any religious sentiments, affec
. pacities will enlarge, their enjoy- tions, interests and enjoyments, ment will increase forever.
which do not accord with that existence, perfections, designs and state, to which he will bring his conduct of God will forever un- people in heaven. There is only fold, with increasing greatness, one kind of religion, that God now brightness and glory, to their requires and approves. There is minds. And it will be seen that but one system of religious senti66 of God and through him and to ments, but one kind of religious him are all things.” Every creat- affections, but one description of ure, every object, and every event, religious interests and enjoyments, will, in its design, connections and among the various religious deconsequences, display the glory of nominations, professions, exertions God, and excite and increase the and interests, that God will ap
prove in the day of final decision. ted into heaven. The religion of There is but one religion in heav- Enoch and Noah, and of other en; and there is but one religion, saints before the flood, was the that can prepare any person to be same, that God requires of all perin heaven. They whom God will What Moses and the prophapprove in the day of judgmentets taught respecting the essence and admit into the kingdom of glo- of religion has been confirmed by ry, must be of the same religion. Jesus Christ and the apostles.Every religion, which does not And the spirit of Moses, the spirit agree with the word and the will of Job, the spirit of Daniel and of God, he now condemns. And the spirit of Paul consisted in that what he now condemns he will holy love, without which no pernever approve. In this state of son can enter heaven, or be apignorance and imperfection, real proved of God on earth. The rereligion may exist in persons, who ligion, which God has approved are in some respects different.- in past ages, is what he now apBut God accepts of nothing, even proves; and no other religion will in pious persons, but what agrees
he approve in future ages. That with his law and gospel.
religion, which God approves and 2. They, who have gone from which he produces by his holy inearth to heaven, have been essen- fluence in the innumerable multitially of the same religion. The tude of his redeemed people, is first person whom God accepted essentially and exactly the same and received to heaven, had the thing in all ages of the world. same religious character, which 3. Since they, who enter heavbelonged to all other persons, who en, must be perfectly united in have gone to heaven. Abel was their views, feelings, interests and the first person, that ever left this enjoyments, it is of the highworld and entered the kingdom est importance that every person of God. His justification and sal- be accurately and thoroughly invation rested on the same founda- structed in the true religion.tion, on wbich all other persons What often passes for religion in rely, who are pardoned and saved this world is totally different from from future and endless perdition. the religion of heaven. Many He complied with the same con- persons hope and believe that ditions of salvation, with which all they are in the way to heaven, other persons must comply in or- though they have no communion der to be saved. And he had the in any
respect with the true same spirit, and exercised the church of God. And they, who same holy and gracious affections, are not taught the nature of the which all other persons must ex- only true religion, which unites in ercise, in order to be approved one body all the people of God, of God on earth and to be admit- will deceive and destroy themselves. They, who are not taught tion, interest and enjoyment, that the true religion, are not lead to is not formed in view of God and heaven; nor are they shown the his law, of Jesus Christ and the way. But they are lead to de- gospel, with such a spirit of benevstruction. It is, then, highly im- olence and self-denial, as constiportant, that every person should tutes the essence of moral virtue, have a correct and thorough must end in discord, hatred and knowledge of that religion, which confusion. Such a union is foundis necessary to an admission into ed on ignorance, or error; and the pure, perfect and blessed so- can be maintained only by wickciety of heaven. And it is the edness and deceit. All such unions duty of every person to be ex- will be condemned and dissolved ceedingly watchful and cautious by the supreme head of the true what religious sentiments, affec- church. Nothing can be more tions, interests and enjoyments he vain and unwise than attempts to approves. For they, who do not unite religious professors in such in these respects agree with the a manner, as does not agree with true church of God, can never the wise and holy unity of heaven. have any part or lot in the king- 5. In view of the manner, in dom of glory.
which all christians will be united 4. If they, who enter heaven, in heaven, we may perceive the must be perfectly united, then it proper way to promote a real is vain to attempt to unite reli- union of christians on earth. In gious professors in such a manner, heaven christians will be underas does not accord with the union standingly and cordially united in of heaven. Many have desired sentiment. And christians on earth and attempted to confound all dis- cannot really be united in any retinctions and differences in respect spect any further than they know to religion. And it would doubt- and love the sound doctrines of less, be pleasing to the enemies of the gospel. There may be a the true church of God, to be re- union of ignorance and a union of ceived and treated as real christians. error among religious professors. But any professed and apparent But they will not produce the union of religious professors, that peaceable fruits of righteousness; is not founded on the essential and but the bitter fruits of'unrighteousfundamental doctrines of the gos- ness and ungodliness. Let chrispel and maintained by the spirit tians and christian churches unite of disinterested benevolence and in the knowledge and love of didirected to the glory of the only vine truth and then they may safeliving and true God, is wholly vain. ly and firmly unite their hearts in and foolish. It is not a real union the spiritual interests and enjoyand cannot be permanent. Any ments of the gospel and of the religious union of sentiment, affec- kingdom of God. And it does es
pecially become the ministers ofthe in our text, urges christians to degospel, at this day, to be able tru- sire for their spiritual nourishment. ly to say, we have “ renounced And he plainly intimates, that their the hidden things of dishonesty; growth in the christian life, denot walking in craftiness, nor hand- pended on their reception of these ling the word of God deceitfully, instructions. It is then the duty but, by manifestation of the truth, of christians to desire and receive commending ourselves to every the instructions of the gospel, that man's conscience in the sight of they may grow. This important God.” With such a spirit and by duty is enjoined upon christians in such conduct, they may greatly the words of our text : 66 As newpromote the real union of chris- born babes, desire the sincere tians on earth in sentiment, affec- milk of the word, that ye may tion, interest and enjoyment; and grow by it." These words place be instrumental of their prepara- before us the following sentiment, tion for the pure, perfect and eter- the growth of christians depends nal communion of heaven.
on their receiving the instructions ZEBULON. of the gospel.
To illustrate this sentiment it is
proposed, SERMONS.-No. I.
1. To show what a proper re19.15.ch
ception of these instructions implies; and
II. To show that the growth of
christians depends on their receive 1. PETER 11. 2.- As new-born babes,
ing the instructions of the gospel. desire the sincere milk of the
It is proposed, word, that ye may grow thereby.
1. To show what a proper reThe Lord Jesus Christ com- ception of the instructions of the manded Peter, in the most affect- gospel implies.
Of the great ing manner, to feed his sheep and number, who profess to receive his lambs. With the importance these instructions, but few appear of this duty the mind of Peter ap- to grow in the divine life. And pears to have been deeply im- the growth of these, commonly, pressed, when he wrote his epis. appears slow and small. These tles to his christian brethren. But evils, there is reason to believe, it is evident, that the apostle could arise chiefly from their not receive not feed the flock of God, unlessing the instructions of the gospel. they should desire and receive the In respect to this subject, there proper food for their souls. This are doubtless many, who wholly food consists in the pure and sim- deceive and destroy themselves ; ple instructions of the gospel. - while others are greatly deceiv. These instructions, the apostle, ed and injured in their spiritual
DIVINE TRUTH THE MEANS OF CHR
interests. It is then highly impor. ercise repentance towards God tant to consider what a proper re
and faith towards the Lord Jesus ception of divine instruction im- Christ, unless he has a knowledge plies. On this subject it may be of these duties ? How can a perobserved,
son be truly useful in promoting 1. That the instructions of the the glory of God and the happigospel may be received, they ness of his fellow creatures, withmust be understood. There may out the knowledge of these impor. be a speculative knowledge of di- tant objects? How can a person vine truth, while it is not cordial- enjoy the pardon of sin, the favor ly received. But it can never be of God, the hope of glory and the cordially received, without such a earnest of heaven, if he be ignorknowledge of it. It is through the ant or erroneous respecting these understanding, that the truth en- blessings? It was a maxim in the ters and affects the heart. For church of Rome, that ignorance is it cannot enter the heart, unless the mother of devotion. But so it be previously perceived and un- far as ignorance and error prevail, derstood. A person may imagine neither real devotion nor real rehe receives the gospel, while ligion in any respect can exist. through ignorance, or error, he Real religion is founded on the wholly misunderstands, and rejects knowledge of divine truth. Tho? its essential instructions. A per- in real religion there is implied son's views of these instructions something more than accurate may be very partial and defective, speculations, yet it cannot exist while they are not wholly un- while the understanding is ignoknown, nor rejected. But the in- rant
Whatever structions of the gospel are never any persons may profess and whatreceived any farther than they ever may be their feelings, they are correctly understood in their can never receive, unless they unnature, connections, tendency and derstand, the instructions of the consequences. Though it is often gospel. supposed, that holy affections do 2. That the instructions of the not depend on accurate specula- gospel may be received, they tions, yet there is no reason to be- must not only be understood, but lieve that any affections are holy, also believed. It can hardly be unless they are excited and sup- supposed, that any person can fulported by correct views of divine ly and correctly understand and truth. How can a person, with yet disbelieve the instructions of proper affections, receive the true the gospel. For such an underdoctrines of human depravity, re- standing of these instructions would generation, atonement and justifi- imply and include a knowledge of cation, unless he understand these the evidence, by which they are doctrines ? How can a person ex- supported.
And when the evi