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only adequate to present duty. " the word was made flesh and But when we consider the great dwelt among us,” and “God imperfection of human nature, was manifest in flesh.” In this even in the best, they appear to mysterious union of natures, fall far below the standard of our Lord Jesus Christ was obepresent duty, and greatly in- dient to death, even the death of crease our guilt and desert of the cross, and truly magnified condemnation. What shall we the divine law, and supported think then of the absurd and both its precepts and sanctions. superstitious rites which gene- The final condemnation of all rally obtained among the heath- sinners would have proved the en on this subject, and of the immutable determination of God unhallowed usages practised for to punish sin according to his this purpose, by them in their threatenings; but this proves still religious festivals, on days of more-it evinces that God is atonement ? Or what can more righteous in taking vengeance, deeply impress the mind with a
and that in his government over conviction of the necessity of a man, he treats him as he would divine revelation, than the knowl- be willing to be himself treated, edge of the notions and usages in a change of circumstances. of heathen Idolaters?
The obedience and death of The Christian revelation re- Christ in our nature and place, presents our sin and misery as is the highest conceivable divine they really are; it clearly evinces testimony to the rectitude of the the impossibility of the most moral government of God over distant, well founded hope of man ; and is therefore the most acceptance with God, from any full and complete expression of or all the devices of man, and holy affection, exhibiting the proves that “ reason pursued is most conclusive proof of the despair.” But at the same time, perfection of divine government it opens a new and glorious door and of the evil of sin; and thus of hope: It reveals the media- lays a foundation for the pardon torial plan of redemption by and salvation of sinners through Jesus Christ.
Christ, in the way of divine apThis assures us, that God has pointment, so as to be at once a fixed on a method for the dis- vindication and expression of play of mercy to the guilty, the righteousness of God in his through a mediator ; that this government of man, an exhibimediator is the Son of God, the tion of the most profound wissecond person in the divine dom, and of the richest grace. Trinity in unity ; that he was Yea, all divine perfections are to redeem sinners of mankind here not only displayed; but unito God by making atonement tedly displayed, it is “ grace for their sin, and bringing in reigning through righteousness everlasting righteousness; and to eternal life by Jesus Christ that to fit him for the mediatorial work, he should be united Hence it appears, that " Jesus to our nature, by the assump- Christ is the way, the truth and tion of it into a personal union the life,” and that “no man with his divine nature; and ac- cometh to the Father but by cordingly we are assured, that him ;" that he is able to save,
to the uttermost, all who come | ity begin and end in those things unto God by him; that this gos- which are private and personal. pel foundation of acceptance After all which has been written with God for sinners, is worthy by poets, philosophers and morof God, honorable to law and alists, not drawn from the holy justice, a most wonderful ex- scriptures, on virtue and moralpression of divine giace, and ity, they teach us nothing more safe and happy for the believing sublime than the love of our sinner, and superior to all the country; and to die for our counplans devised by man, whether try is treated by them as the Jew or Gentile, ignorant or most sublime virtue, even when learned, as the heavens are life is sacrificed, not to render higher than the earth.
the inhabitants of our country Faith in Christ is the divinely more wise, more devoted to the appointed way in which we be- good of mankind, or to the fear come so interested in his atone- and service of God; but more ment, that his righteousness rich, more honorable in the esavails for our pardon and accep- teem of those who esteem the tance with God, evidently, be- | honor which cometh from man, cause by this we are so united and more triumphant over other to him that the Father's appro- nations in war. Hence, Alex bation of his mediatorial work ander the Great, Julius Cæsar may be properly and fully ex- and Charles the XIIth, of Swe. pressed in the bestowment of all den, who were great generals, saving mercy on us for his sake. and the two first great conque
The most guilty and misera- rors, have been celebrated as ble of our race may, therefore, the first of men. But in the hope in divine mercy through view of Christianity, their splenhim, come to God by him, and did virtues are weighed in the be assured that “ those who so balance and found wantingcome he will in no wise cast They sought the glory of their out.'
country by the calamity of many III. The Christian religion is nations, and succeeded to grandistinguished from all others by deur in the blood of murdered its system of morality.
thousands; and that glory which It has been common to the they respectively sought for founders of religious systems to their country was really its inculcate something under the greatest shame and misery, and name of virtue or morality, but hastened its ruin. in most instances many essen- The morality which Christi. tial branches of virtue have been anity teaches and inspires, is omitted, and many things in- that which conduces to the best culcated which were really vi- good, the highest perfection and cious ; and what is still worse, felicity of the subject--which the true and essential distinc- coincides with the best interest tion between virtue and vice has of mankind, and which is dibeen commonly overlooked ; rectly subservient to the glory of hence the very best systems of God. This brief description of heathen morality are essential- the outlines of virtue will not be ly deficient.
disputed; but where can it exAll human systems of moral- ist except in the mind seeking
that happiness for itself which any conscious existence beyond consists in union to the best this life. The best of them interests of the whole family of rather wished for it than firmman, and exertions to promote ly believed it. On supposition of it; and union to the glory of its reality they imagined such, God and the best good of his enjoyments for the virtuous as kingdom, and the happifying agree with the taste of men in view and contemplation of the in this life, in earthly things, most perfect state of the moral and generally describe their system. But this is nothing Elysium as a place for the enelse than to “ love the Lord our joyment of the pleasures of God with all our heart and our sense, and speak of this as only neighbor as ourselves," which is for a limited duration. Their the well known summary of conceptions of the punishment Christian morality, given us by of the wicked were equally conits divine founder.
fused and erroneous. From the holy scriptures we The Christian scriptures dislearn that God is love, friendly pel this thick darkness, and to the highest perfection and bring life and immortality to felicity of the moral system.- light. From these we learn This is the expression of his with certainty that the existcharacter in his government of
ence of our souls will be permaman, and in the mediatorial nent after the present life, and system, and this is the duty that our bodies will be restored which he requires of man, and to life in a general resurrection this constitutes the perfection at the end of this world, and be and felicity of the redeemed in reunited to the soul; and that the heavenly state. “ Him that we shall then be judged accordovercometh," saith the Divine ing to our works, and our final Saviour, "will I make a pillar in state be fixed in happiness or the temple of my God, and he misery, according to what we shall go no more out; and I will have done while in the body, in
upon him the name of my this life, and that this state will God, and the name of the city be eternal. of my God, which is New Jeru- Notwithstanding the invisibilsalem, which cometh down out ity of that world and that the of heaven from God, and I will condition of its inhabitants is write upon him my own name.” not very particularly revealed,
How does the boasted splen- or perhaps would not be clearly dor of philosophic virtue and understood by us, in the present morality fade before that of state, if it were, we are fully Christianity, like the glow assured, that the wicked and all worms of night before the rising who know not God, and obey sun!
not the gospel, shall be wholly IV. We observe, once more, excluded from the divine favor, that Christianity is distinguished shall be given up to the full dofrom all other religions by the ininion of sin, and be the monurelributions of futurity.
ments of God's holy displeasure Great have been the doubts forever. The scriptural repread uncertainties of philoso- sentations of their .state are awphers whether man would have | ful beyond conception, and deep
ly impress the mind with the ber and variety of religions in thought that“ it is a fearful the world. They say that athing to fall into the hand of the mong the many hundreds of reliving God;" and that we are ligions adopted by man, as there called by all the dreadful reali- can be but one which is true ties of that desperate state, to and divine, there is a presumpfly from the wrath to come, and tion against the truth of each, to lay hold on the hope set be- in proportion to the number of fore us in the gospel.
religions professed in the world, On the other hand, the gos- and therefore the evidence in pel assures us, that the souls of favor of Christianity is only as the righteous at death, enter in- one to many hundreds; i.e. there to peace, that they rest from are hundreds of probabilities of their labors, are completely de- its falsehood to one of its truth. livered from all sin and sorrow, To this there might be various are assured of the everlasting answers, we mention one only, favor of God, and are united in as abundantly sufficient, viz.-the praises of redeeming grace; That Christianity is equally opand that at the end of the world posed to all other religions in their bodies shall be raised glo- the world, in all the articles of rious and immortal, and be re- distinction which have been animated by the soul, and the made. All other systems of whole man be completely bles- religion agree in exhibiting absed in the full enjoyment of surd and unworthy ideas of the God to all eternity. Rejoic object of worship, the ground of ing in the clear manifestation of acceptance, the system of mothe divine fulness, the unveiled rality and the retributions of fuglory of the triune Deity, in the turity; in the nature of the case, displays of redeeming grace, it is therefore evident they canand in the certain prospect of not be true. This infers a strong eternity of unremitting felicity presumption in favor of Chrisand usefulness in praising and tianity, it is opposite to all other shewing forth that grace, and in systems, if they are absurd and the most perfect reciprocation false, this must be true and diof holy friendship forever. vine, or there is no true religion
Who can think of the blessed in the world. It therefore rests exercises and enjoyments of the on its own evidence, in the same spirits of the just made perfect, manger as if no other religion and the still more complete had ever been propagated in the blessedness of the redeemed af- world. In testing the truth and ter the resurrection, and not divinity of Christianity, thereaspire with all the powers of the fore, we must enquire, is the soul after a name and a place religion itself agreeable to reaamong the redeemed from a
son, worthy of God and suitable
to the nature and condition of CONCLUSION.
man, in its doctrines, its duties
and its prospects, or as it res1. The preceding view of pects the object of worship, the Christianity clearly shews the ground of acceptance, the sysweakness of Infidel objections tem of morality and the retribuagainst it, founded in the num- / tions of futurity? And is it at
nong men ?
tested to be divine by miracles | religion to practical purpose,
2. We infer the great impor- to all God's commands, and is tance of right apprehensions on attended with a conformity to the leading truths of Christiani- Christ, in temper and character. ty. That errors should be em- The same observation applies -braced for truth in the remote with respect to the bible system branches of religion, and those of morality and the retributions which have little influence on of futurity. The expectant of character, in this very imper- the pure and holy enjoyments in perfect state, is not strange, and heaven, promised in the gospel does not very essentially affect to the redeemed, will be a practhe best interest of the subject, tical Christian, and labor to be or the church in general. But holy as he who hath called him wrong conceptions on the pri- is holy. He who expects a Mamary and leading truths have hometan paradise, will not fail to great influence on the affec- anticipate those sensual enjoy. tions and practice, and are ex- ments in the present
life. ceedingly dangerous.
The truths of Christianity We are assured by the word must be congenial to our hearts -of God, and it is found. true in and its duties and promises the experience, that “all people objects of our choice. will walk every one in the name Let it be remembered that of his God,"* and we know that Christianity is a religion of the the true servants of the Lord heart. The Christian is united will walk in his name forever to God, to Christ, and to the the character of the object of morality and the prospects of worship, as it exists in the mind Christianity, as distinguished of the worshipper, determines from all other religions in the his character ; his affections, world. Hence it is stiled in pursuits and practice are agree- scripture, the knowledge of the able to it, (we speak of those only living and true God and Jewho really believe what they sus Christ whom he hath sent," profess, and not of the vain pre- and it is often denominated the tenders to religion and worship, fear of God and the love of God. who really believe nothing in We cannot omit to observe
that the public teachers of Chris* Micah iv. s.
tianity, the ministers of the go34 Vol. V. No. 5.