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sensible of the justice of the law in its penal sanction, their mouths would be stopped from reflections

upon

the Lawgiver, in executing his sentence against the least guilty of our race.

Did not Christ, the Son of God, die for the redemption of all that should be saved ? Surely you will not deny this truth. You will not allege that any of the guilty race of Adam can obtain eternal life in any other way but through the mediation of Jesus Christ. But if you say that God is under any obligations to spare any sinner, and allow at the same uime the necessity of the death of Christ for our salvation, you say in effect that God could not be righteous without sending bis Son into the world to die for men. There is no salvation but through his death; and if it would have been inconsistent with the justice or goodness of God to doom any sinner to death, it would have been no less unworthy of him, to withhold any of those means that were necessary to preserve them from death. What reason then have we to admire the love of God in the death of Christ! We do not ascribe much praise to any man for doing an action, which he must have been wanting in common equity not to have done.

Now, if the salvation of any man is a work of such wonderful grace, that a divinely excellent righteousness was necessary to render it consistent with the justice of God, there ean be nothing inconsistent with justice in

consigning him to perdition, if he is not_a partaker of that righteousness; and who will say that he is possessed of any claim to that righteousness which can be obtained only in the way of a free gift from heaven? Is the blood of Christ so cheap in your eyes,

that men may purchase it by their own works, even before they can do any thing well pleasing to God.

If the salvation by Christ, and if the righ. teousness by which it was obtained, must be the gifts of a bounty as large as the heart of God himself, we must leave it to the Most High to confer them on whom he pleases. Neither riches, nor birth, nor genius, nor human virtues and accomplishments, can merit his favor; and therefore it would be daring presumption to think that he wrongs his creatures, when he pays no respect to them in the distribution of his best blessings.

Times alter. Learn to repeat the creed and the commandments. Come to church at the stated times. Pay the tythes of your grounds, or of your gains, to the clergy. If you do these, and perhaps a few other things of equal importance, you need not be afraid to appear at ihe

judg. ment seat, You may boldly claim heaven, and say, ' Lord, give me the inheritance, for I have deserved it.' Such was once the doctrine that usually sounded from the pulpits in Christendom. We now ridicule, or we deplore the blindness of our forefathers; but are we better than they, if we imagine that God ought to bestow his special favors upon honest and virtuous inen, upon those who are kind to the poor in their nei hborhood, upon dutiful children, or upon any class of men that behave better than their neighbors, although the love of God is not in them, rather than upon persons who have never distinguished themselves by any good quality. They may deserve an easier heil, but surely they do not deserve heaven. They have done less to provoke God to anger

than some others have done, but they have done nothing to entitle themselves to his favor.

When there is a rebellion in the land, the enemies of the king may be of very different characters.

Some of them may behave with great fidelity to their party, with great humanity to their distressed neighbors They may acquire high reputation by shining qualities, and by amiable virtues.

But is the king bound to pardon their treasons against himself, because they have behaved well to iheir equals, or inferiors ? Why then should we imagine that the eternal King is under any obligation to pardon his enemies, because they have deserved well of their country, or of their friends ? He is infinite in mercy, but bis mer

is not the reward of human merit, It is absolutely free ; and that it may appear to be free, it is regulated in its exercise, not by con. siderations taken from sinful creatures, but by the unerring wisdom, and absolute will of him whom we have all offended.

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It is the glory of God to be the sovereign dispenser of his own blessings, and above all, of those best blessings which are the fruits of special love.

When Moses earnestly requested the Lord to shew him his glory, the Lord said unto him, “ I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” From this answer to the petition of Moses, it appears, that God places his glory in his goodness, and in the sovereignty of his goodness. He will do justice to all his creatures, without respect of persons, but he will exercise his mercy and loving kindness to whom he pleases. What glory could he receive from all the immense benefactions he bestows upon his creatures, if he did nothing but what he is under obligation to do? We do not reckon ourselves very highly indebted to those benefactors, who confer no favors upon us, but what they could not, without dishonor, refuse.

The sovereignty of mercy is no less comfortable to us than glorious to God. It will not afford much comfort to men who think that their sins are not great or many, or who think that God ought to pardon all sinners without exception; but it will be the comfort and joy of all who have believed through grace, because they will see reason to ascribe to it their salvation. And not only believers, but

all who have been made duly sensible of the great

evil of their sins, will find reason to rejoice, not only that there is mercy and plenteous redemption with God, but likewise that this mercy bestows its blessing upon men, not for any thing in themselves, but according to the good pleasure of God's goodness.

Whence is it, but from the sovereignty of divine mercy, that God loved our world rather than fallen angels, and gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish? Some tell us that the sin of fallen angels was greater than the sin of men ? How do they know this? Ask them what was the peculiar nature, and what were the aggravations of the sin ofangels, that they may compare their offence with our first sin in Adam, which we know to be a horrible breach of God's covenant, blackened by many highly aggravating circumstances. They will confess that they know nothing about the sin of the angels, except that pride was a prominent circumstance, if not the whole of it. But there was intolerable pride in our first sin also. Now, till men can give us more light about the first sin of devils, they speak without certain knowledge when they say that our sin was less inexcusable than theirs. It ought likewise to be considered, that salvation, through faith, is revealed and offered to us, after we have brought ourselves under the guilt of innumerable offences, many of them of such a

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