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bles or animals was founded on species of imposition. Let not the grant of the Creator. the workman be superficial in his · The earth was presented to work, por the trader overvalue mankind in general for their · his commodity, Let not the use. But as intelligent beings, buyer say, it is nought, nor the they were allowed to make the seller be deceitful in his weights. Host of this valuable gift. They, “Let no man go beyond and des who were most successful in im- fraud his brother in any matter; proving it, had reason to demand because the Lord is the avenger a principal advantage from their of all such. Let him who stole, ingenuity and labour. Hence steal no more ; but rather let the origin of private property. him labour, working with his The expectation of this advan- hands the thing which is good, tage encourages cultivation of that he may have to give to him be ground, which none would tbat needeth." undertake, were they not to re- Improper deductions have ceive immediate benefit. A na- been drawn from the history of tion of Indians, consisting of two the primitive Christians. The or three hundred, will take up a gospel does not wrest private tract of land, wbich, with proper property from the hand of the management, would maintain as possessor. The apostle Peter many thousands. Private prop- disclaims the thought.“ While erty also preserves the produce thy possession remained,” said, of the earth. Were alk in com- he to Ananias, “ vas, it not thing mon, fruit would not be likely to own? And after it was sold, arrive at perfection, grain would was it not in thine own power?" not ripen, nor flocks and herds The disposal of their possessions come to their full growth. Be was left entirely to the diseretion." side, what contests would arise, of individuals. The offering what conveniences would be lost. must be free, that it might be Private property allows men to acceptable. The gospel teaches follow different occupations, us the blessedness of giving to which afford the civilized so ma- others. In proportion as we imny advantages over the savage bibe its spirit, we shall be liberal. life. The poorest in countries, But the gospel intermeddles not where each has what he calls his with civil governments. It leaves own, are better accommodated, them as they are. Taking posthan leading persons in these session of the beart, it fixes countries, where most things are there benevolent and energetic in common. Since such advan- principles. How men would act, tages arise from private appro- if they were all real Christiansa priation, no doubt it is pleasing is evident from the instances reto the great Proprietor, who, in corded in Scripture. Far froin the grant he made to mankind, infringing the property of others, had their advantage in view. they would esteem it their chief
In whatever I call my own, I joy to be able, in any degree, to am fully secured by the eighth be aiding to their fellow crear commandment. It restrains the tures, by their sympathy, their fraudulent. It curbs the plunder- personal services, and their paser. It takes cognizance of every sessions.
The eighth command forbids that his mind will incline this every act of fraud or imposition, way, rather than that. Almost as well as taking privately or by all prayer is offered on this supforce what belongs to another. position, that our minds are ca. The punishment annexed by the pable of divine influence. Jewish law to this crime was pray that God would direct us to restitution with a fine. If the safe and prudent measures in offender could not advance the our common undertakings; that fine adjudged by law, he might he would keep us from error, be sold and his family, until their and lead us into the truth as to labour should amount to what religion ; that he would lead us the law demanded. The unjust to a right use of his providences; are ranked in Scripture with the that he would establish us in the most abandoned characters. truth, and sanctify our hearts. They shall not inherit the king. Now these requests, which are dom of heaven.
the most common among men, The weight of this command who pray at all, do certainly imhas not been generally felt. It ply a belief, that God can operate has been openly violated by na on our minds ; for unless this be tions, as well as individuals. supposed, how can he direct us Nimrod, the founder of the Assy. to the choice of suitable meas, rian empire, led the way. Suc- ures? How can he preserve us cessful warriors have irode in from fatal wanderings, establish his footsteps. History dignifies us in the truth, or sanctify our their names as great, and blazons hearts? their deeds with admiration. But Were we to discard all belief their true character is that of in the reality of divine influence public plunderers, whose deeds on the mind, the reason and are infamous, and whose names ground of prayer would be weak are accursed. Philologos. ened, and the subjects of it great
It is certainly a very reasona. THE INFLUENCE
ble opinion, that Deity, who is himself a Spirit, has influence on
the spirits which he has made. It seems to have been the opin- One man has great influence ion of all ages, that the Being, over another. A man of cleac who is styled, in Scripture, the discernment, great information, God of the spirits of all flesh, has and much acquaintance with the easy access to the human mind, ways of the world, will suddenly and great influence over its de produce great changes in the terminations. If a man be de- opinions, views, and pursuits of liberating, whether to engage in his neighbour. How differently any particular enterprise or not; will a subject appear to the latter, it is generally thought, that, after having conversed with the without diminishing the free other. And how totally changed agency of that person, God may. will be his determinations and ac, have great influence over his tions with regard to it. Now, if conclusion, that he inay lead him such effects arise from the influ. to such a view of the subject, ence of man with man; how
much greater effects will result unto God, that which I see not, from the influence which God teach thou me. The Psalmist has upon man. If we can alarm
uses the language of a child unone another by exhibiting dan- der a humble sense of his need of gers ; cannot God alarm the sin- parental instruction. Der by convincing him of his dan- thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy ger? If we are sometimes able, paths. Lead me in thy truth and by various means and long im- teach me ; for thou art the God of portunity, to alter the determin- my salvation ; on thee will I wait ations and change the course of all the day. Good and upright is our neighbours, as to earthly the Lord ; therefore will he teach objects ; cannot God, by some
sinners in the way.
Solomon, of those innumerable means, when he came to the throne of which are always at his com- Israel, impressed with the immand, alter our determinations, portange of the station to which and change our course as to heave he was called, sought direction and enly things ? If we can comfort strength from above. Give,thereand confirm one another; can- fore, to thy servant an understandnot God give consolation and es- ing heart, to judge this people, that I tablishment to the Christian's may discern between good and bad. mind?
The way of man is not in him. But even if the doctrine of di- self, and it is not in man that vine influences were less intelli- walketh, to direct his steps. The gible than it is, we could not for prophet Isaiah speaks of gospel that reason reject it, as it is days, as a season, when the Spirclearly and strongly asserted, it of God shall be, in unusual both in the Old and New Testa- measures, poured out from on ment. We
in the Old Tes- high. In allusion to gospel tament, because, although the times, God speaks thus by the law, of itself, does not contain so mouth of Joel ; It shall come to much grace, as is implied in pass, that I will pour out my God's communicating aid and Spirit upon all flesh, and your help to sinners, in their endeav- and your daughters shall ours after holy obedience ; yet prophecy, your old men shall God has never, even in this re- dream dreams, and your young spect, left himself without a wit- men shall see visions, and also on ness ; but conferred on the Jews, the servants and handmaids in out of mere favour, that influence those days I will pour out my of the Holy Spirit, of which the Spirit. This prophecy was fullaw made no mention. Petitions filled, according to St. Peter, at for divine influence, acknowl- the feast of Pentecost, when so edgment of dependence on it, and . many were converted, and the promises of the outpouring of converts received miraculous the Spirit, are very profusely powers. Acts ii. Now, although scattered among the Psalms and it is evident, both from the proProphecies. T'each me to do thy phecy, and the fulfilment, that will, saith the Psalmist, for thou miraculous powers, such art my God. Thy Spirit is good; speaking in different languages, lead me into the land of upright- were to be
one consequence nees. Surely it is meet to be said of the outpouring of God's
Spiril; yet nó person can rea- not doubted, that divine truthis sonably doubt, that secret divine are necessary to be known, becommunications to the hearts fore we shall seek after salvation, of these worshippers, who and that the word is a most powthen embraced the gospel, were erful instrument of conversion likewise foretold ; nor can any and holiness; but yet it is not one doubt, that in this sense, efficacious of itself. And it is likewise, the prophecy was ful- exceedingly evident, from the filled.
general tenor of the New TestaThe New Testament, as might ment, as well as from particular have been expected from the na- passages, that spiritual com ture of the Christian dispensa- munications are necessary to action, is more clear and copious company the word, in order to on this subject. Christ express- its producing the fruits of righly asserts, that no person can en- teousness. The children of ter the kingdom of heaven, un- God are said to be chosen through less he experience a divine sanctification of the Spirit, and be birth by the agency of God's lief of the truth. In this place Spirit. Except a man be born of the sanctification of the Spirit is water and the Spirit, he cannot mentioned in distinction from see the kingdom of God. And the word ; and therefore it is imthe general progress of a Chris- possible, that both should mean tian, as well as particular parts of the same thing. a Christian carriage, is attributed In the eighth chapter of the to divine grace. Persevering epistle to the Romans, the matbelievers are said to be kept by ter is placed beyond all reasonathe power of God through faith to ble doubt. If any words be salvation. Christians are said to capable of proving a doctrine, be led by the Spirit. It is by the that of divine operation upon the Spirit that they mortify the decds human mind is there proved. of the body.
Being led by the Spirit, and In opposition to this, it has by having the Spirit dwelling in us, some been objected, that by the is there stated to be indispensaSpirit is meant nothing more, ble to
ble to our religious security. than the word, which was given Ye are not in the flesh, out in the by the inspiration of the Spirit. Spirit ; if so be, that the Spirit of Persons are said to be born of God dwell in you. Now, if any the Spirit, they tell us, when the man have not the Spirit of Christ, word of God has such influence he is none of his. As many as upon them, as to lead them to a are led by the Spiril, they are the holy life, although no divine Sons of God. If the Spirit of him communications are made to the that raised un Jesus from the mind. To this it is replietl, that dead, dwell in yon; ht, that raised Paul does indeed say to the un Christ from the dead, shall also Corinthians, I have begotten you quickin yoar mortal bodies by his through the gospel; and the Spirit, the divelleih in you. If ye church is said to be cleansed and live after the flesh, ye shall die ; sanctified by the word : but neith- but if through ine Spirit ye do er of these expressions excludes morrify the deeds of the body, ye the agency of the Spirit. It is shall live. Unless the necessity of divine influences be here as- establish his good resolutions serted, these strong declarations by bringing to his mind some must have little or no import. striking passages of Scripture, For it is here said, that they, who or some alarming ideas of God's are Christ's, have the Spirit of presence, or of the world to Christ; and that they, who are the come. He may excite him to a sons of God, are led by this Spir- religious activity by representing it ; i. e. directed and influenced to him the danger of sloth in the in a holy life ; and that those, business of salvation ; or may who live in Christian obedience, urge him to sobriety by repredo it by aid from above. It is senting to him the great solemthrough the Spirit, that they nity of the work, in which he is mortify the deeds of the body. engaged.
Goodness, righteousness, and Though the indwelling of the truth, are said to be fruits of the Spirit, or to be led by the Spirit, Spirit, (Eph. v. 9.) and so are is peculiar to the children of love, joy, peace, long suffering, God; yet there is reason to begentleness, faith, meekness, and lieve that all men under the gostemperance, (Gal. v. 22, 23.) pel receive something of divine
We know not the way of the communications. The ancient Spirit; nor ought we to attempt Jews did always resist the Holy minuteness in describing the Ghost ; but they could not have manner, in which its effects are resisted the Holy Ghost, unless Produced. God uses various he had been sent to them. Of instruments, and frequently ac- sinners it may, in general, be complishes the same purpose by said, as of the ancient Jews, that different means. At one time they will not submit to the suga: he leads the mind to serious con- gestions and influence of divine templation of some weighty and grace ; they oppose and grieve alarming subject, and presents the Spirit of God. Whereas the that subject to the view, in a humble and contrite soul yields. clear and striking light. He fix- to the grace of Christ, becomes es the attention of sinners on obedient to divine emotions, is those considerations, which most led by the Spirit, and through the evidently demonstrate their dan- Spirit mortifies the deeds of the ger, and the certain ruin, to body. which they are approaching. As God has a perfect know)- . He directs the humble soul, the edge of all means, circumstan- . broken and the contrite heart, to ces, events and combinations of those declarations of mercy, con- events ; it seems reasonable to tained in the covenant of grace; suppose, what is in fact the case, . and either communicates, that he makes use of various withholds consolation, as his means in producing the fruits wisdom and goodness dictate. of holiness in the human heart.
As to directing the Christian's Sometimes loss of worldly sublife, God may, by an impercept- stance, severe disappointments, ible impulse, preserve him from imminent danger, alarming sicka violent and overbearing tempta- ness, the examples, or the pritions ; or, when temptations are vate admonitions of good men, presented, may invigorate and consideration of their triumphant 1 Vol. II. No. 9.