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his own received him not. Not one received him, not one believed in his name, but such as were born of God. John i. 11, 12, 13. So that it was indeed a universal maxim among the apostolic converts, that whosorver believeth that Jesus is the Christ, (not will be, but gegenetai,) hath been born of God. 1 John v. 1. For this word in this tense, ever hath this signification, in the writings of this apostle, as every man of learning may see, who will look into the original. See 1 John ji. 19. and iii. 9. and iv. 7. and v. I. 4. 18. and John vii. 41. and ix. 32.--None therefore, but those to whom good and honest hearts are thus given, understand the word and bring forth fruit. Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. Luke viii. 12-15. But these all with open face, (the veil being taken off,) beholding us in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image. 2 Cor. iii. 13-18. For the truth being spiritually understood, i. e. seen in its glory, is cordially believed. 2 Cor. iv. 3-6. And the truth being seen in its glory and believed, produces every answerable effect in heart and life. John xvi. 17. I Cor. iv. 15. 1 Pet. i. 3. 23. Jam. i. 18. Thus this matter is represented in the sacred writings. A more particular explanation of this subject may be seen, Essay on the Nature and Glory of the Gospel, Sec. xii. The nature of that spiritual life which is communicated in regeneration, and how it opens the eyes to see the beauty of God's moral character, is explained with great accuracy, by that great philosopher and eminent divine, president Edwards, in his Dissertation on the Nature of True Virtue, p. 121, 122, 123, 124, 125.
Question IV. What contrariety is there between the carnal mind, and God's true and real character ?
Answer. Without entering largely into this question, on which a volume might be written, it will be sufficient for the present purpose, only to say, that the contrariety between the carnal mind and God's true and real character, is the same as is the contrariety between sin and holiness. For the contrariety between God's nature and ours arises merely from this, viz. that God's nature is holy, and our nature is sinfulo.
e But, 1. Sin is as contrary to holiness, as holiness is to sin. And therefore our sinful nature is as contrary to God's holy nature, as God's holy nature is to our sinful nature. And, 2. Our contrariety to God is as universal as is our sinful
And that this is the truth, is evident from this, that originally God's nature and the nature of man were alike. As it is written, Geb. i. 26. And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Ver. 27. So God created man in his own image. And therefore there was no contrariety between the holy nature of God and the nature of man, originally. When man began to exist, he viewed ibings as God did, and was affected accordingly. And as God loved his own character exhibited in that law which he gave to Adain; 80 Adam loved it too. There was then no principle of enmity against God in his heart; no disposition to dislike the strictness of the law, or the severity of the penalty, upon the . most mature deliberation. Yea, he was perfectly pleased with both. For as God perfectly loved his own law; so Adam, being like God, created in his image, perfectly loved
ness. If we are totally depraved, our contrariety to God is total. 3. Contrarie. ty to the doctrines and duties of revealed religion, in which God's moral charac. ter is exhibited, is contrariety to God's moral character. Every objection against the doctrines, and all backwardness to the duties of religion, are so many expressions of contrariety to God's true and real character. 4. If the true God and the true scheme of religion suited the human heart, mankind would as naturally be united in love to the one true God, and to the one true scheme of religion, as they are in love to the world. Had mankind liked the true God, they never would have set up a false God; and had they liked the true scheme of religion, they never would have invented a false one. 5. Love to a false god, and to a false scheme of religion, is the exercise of a spirit of contrariety to the true God, and to the true religion. 6. Love to God's moral character, properly expressed, was the only thing which exposed the prophets, Jesus Christ, and his apostles, to be hated, reviled, and murdered. 7. Christ on the cross shows that the enmity of the carnal mind against God, is mortal enmity. 8. The Jews expressed and justified their enmity against Christ, both at once, by calling him by reproachful names. John viii. 48. Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil. Meantime saying, (Mat. 23, 30.) “ If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets."' So while they hated and crucified him, who was foretold by all the prophets ; they thought themselves doing God good service. 9. They knew they hated Jesus, and had they known him to be true God, their contrariety to the true God would have been ascertained to their consciences. 10. Let God's true and real character be agreed upon, and we shall no longer differ about the character of man. 11. God's true and real character would be agreed upon, if we did not hate to admit the truth. 12. The contrariety of our sinful nature to God's holy nature, is the source of all the heresies in the world.-Men love to have a God and a religion to suit their own hearts.
it too. So that there was originally no contrariety to God in Adam's nature. And therefore there is no contrariety now, in inan's nature to God, but only and merely so far as man's nature is become sinful. For as before sin took place in the human heart, there was no contrariety to God in human nature; so now there is no one thing in human nature, that is contrary to God, but sin; nor is there any root of bitterness, but wickedness. But nothing which is now, or which originally was essential to moral agency, is of the nature of sin. For Adam was a pioral agent when he had no sin ; when he was in the image of God. Besides, if something essential to moral agency were sinful, it would be a sin to be a moral agent. There is therefore in the essential properties of a moral agent, no contrariety to the divine nature. For there is nothing in the universe that is contrary to the holy nature of God, but sin. And whatsoever is contrary to the holy nature of God, is sin. To say that there is something in us which is opposite to the holy nature of God, which is not sin, but a duty ; is to say, that opposition to God bimself, is not sin, but a duty. And if opposition to the holy nature of God is not sinful, there is no sin. For if it is no sin to be opposite to the holiness of God, there can be no sin. For if opposition 10 the boly nature of God is lawful, by fair construction, God is legally dethroned, his law is vacated, we are become gods, too big to be under any government. For if it be lawful for us to oppose God, much more to oppose all other beings. So ibat to say that opposition to the holy nature of God is not sinful, is itself perfect wickedness. Yet, according to Mr. M. that self-love which in us is opposite to the holiness of the divine nature, and absolutely inconsistent with the love of God, is not sivful, but a duty. This is the most shocking sentiment in bis book. It is, in effect to say, that it is our duty to be at enmity against God. Besides,
Adam rebelled against his Creator, while God was his friend; prompted not by despair, but in a belief of satao's lies, Ye shall be as Gods, ye shall not surely die ; he took and eat, contrary to the express probibition of his Maker. And we, his posterity, for near six thousand years, have gone on in rebellion, while God has offered to be our friend again. And
his inspired prophets have been abused, and his Son has been crucified in this our world, while sent to invite us to a reconciliation, and to offer us a pardon. Thus stands the fact as recorded in the sacred writings. And thus our contrariety to God began when sin began. Nor is there any thing in our nature contrary to the holy nature of God, but sin. began to be sinners while God was our friend. And we have continued in our rebellion through a long succession of ages, while God has been offering pardon all the time.
1. The carnal mind is as really contrary to the boly nature of God, as the holy nature of God is to the carnal mind. For sin is as contrary to holiness, as holiness is to sin. Aud yet God is willing to forgive us through Christ; but we are not willing to be reconciled to him.
2. The enmity of the carnal mind against God is entirely of a criminal nature, and comprises in it the sum of all wickedness. For as a conformity to God's holy nature is the sum of all holiness ; so a contrariety to God's holy nature is the sum of all wickedness. To say that a contrariety to the holy nature of God is not sinful, is in effect, to say that there is no sin on earth, or in hell. And indeed Mr. M. gives a broad hint, (p. 50.) that in hell there is no sin in all their enmity against the Deity. And if his scheme is true, he must be right in this. But to use arguments to justify ourselves in our enmity against God, which will equally justify the devil, is to carry the point as far as the devil himself can desire it should be carried. Nor can any thing better please the devil, than to find bimself justified in his enmity against God and his Son, by the professed friends of both.
3. If the enmity of the carnal mind against God is entirely.criminal, and the sum of all wickedness, then while we justify ourselves in it, we are disqualified for sealing orduances by it, if any sin, as such, can disqualify us. that a small sin, persisted in, disqualifies for sealing ordinances, and yet the greatest sin does not; to say, for instance, that stealing one shilling from our neighbour, considered merely as an injury done to him, without repentance, disquali
For to say
fies for sealing ordinances, and that yet a state and course of enmity against God, persisted in, does not, is to strain at a gnal, and to swallow a camel.
4. But if it be really true, as Mr. M. says, that to love that character of God wbich' is exhibited in the moral law, is the same thing as to love our own misery:' and if.. this is the true reason, and the only reason' we do not love God; then our enmity against God is not in the least degree criminal. And so it doth not in the least degree disqualify us for
sealing ordinances;' especially, if we are heartily disposed to love that character of God which alone it is our duty to love, so that, without fail, we shall love it as soon as we know it; and that without arry new principle of grace. Thus the enemies of God are taught, to think themselves blameless in their enmity against God: and thus they are emboldened to approach the table of the Lord. But wbat communion can there be between him, who loved the character of God exhibited in the moral law, and became incarnate, and lived and died to do it honour, and such an Antinomian law-hating heart! Prov. xxix. 27. 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15.
2 9. Cor. v. 20. We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Question. Doth the Gospel call fallen man to be reconciled
to that character of God, which fallen man, as such, is at enmity against ; or, only to be reconciled to another character of God, which fallen man, as such, is not at enmity against, but is naturally disposed to love as soon as known?
OUR author undertakes to prove, (p. 40, 41, 42, 43.) that it is not the duty of fallen man' to love that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law. But that, instead of its ben ing a duty, it is a sinful thing to do so; as it is inconsistent with the character of God, and the character of man ; .con