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than that which we have by nature. And this indeed is the true cause that these men appeal from it, as the light of truth there shines too insufferably bright, and refer themselves to reason which, our depravity being so great, they can more easily shut their eyes against. However, who knows but that their hearts may be touched, when the great God is brought into view, and set before their eyes! Therefore,
Let us place ourselves before the awful tribunal of Christ, and attentively view these points, in the light in which they will stand at that solemn day, when every man's conscience will be convinced that God's law is strictly just.
When Christ comes in the glory of his Father, and all the holy angels with him, and the infinite majesty and greatness of the învisible God shines forth in him, and it appears that all the nations of the earth are as the small dust of the balance, or drop of the bucket before him; yea, that the whole created system is as nothing and vanity, when compared to God, the great being, the almighty creator, now each of these objections will be sapped at their very foundation. When God appears,
c For these objections, and the whole scheme they belong to in all its various shapes, grow up out of the heart's insensibility of the infinite greatness and glory of God.—It would otherwise, be quite impossible that men, and men of thought and penetration, should ever once imagine, that, in a perfect moral government, where an exact proportion is, as themselves acknowledge, always observed, and what is most fit, and right, and beautiful is always done, that in such a government, the GREAT God should be less regarded, than the created system; the INFI. NITE CREATOR less respected, than the finite creature : for it is a more gross absurdity, than it would be for a mathematician to affirm, that a million such systems as ours, would be less than a pin's point. And yet, as absurd as it is, it lies at the bottom of almost all the corrupt schemes of religion now in vogne. First they lay it down for a maxim, " that the honour of the Deity is not at all considered, or regarded by the supreme moral governor of the world; but only the good of the creature.” And upon this foundation, chevaļier Ramsey builds his scheme, and so do the ingenious Hutcheson and Turnbull, and the celebrated Taylor, and so does Tindal the famous Deist.---And each, taking this point for granted, seem to demonstrate their various schemes.-Ramsey, “ that all, even the devils not excepted, will be finally happy." Hutcheson and Turnbull, “ that we naturally have the moral image of God in our hearts.”---Taylor, are not fallen creatures.” Tindal, “ that the Old and New Testament are not from God."
But let this stupidity be removed from the heart, and a realizing sense of the infinite greatness and glory of God fill the soul, so a3 thoroughly to convince the
“ that we
and appears in his infinite greatness, clothed with infinite majesty, vested with an authority infinitely binding, the commandment will come, sin revive, and the sioner die. Reason and natural conscience will be fully convinced, that the law was strictly just. And every guilty creature will be forced to say, when doomed to depart into everlasting fire, the Lord is righteous. Then the bold libertine, in the utmost horror, will see the weakness of all his former pleas. Methinks I hear him say, trembling before the bar of Christ,
"What did I mean, stupid wretch that I was, to say that sin deserved no punishment? What! was it no crime to affront the dread majesty of heaven and earth to his face, as I did in every sin? Was it no crime to treat with contempt Him whom all heaven adores ? Was it no crime to turn my back upon my Maker, and revolt from my rightful sovereign ? And by my example to encourage others to go on boldly in rebellion! And if these were crimes, and dreadful crimes I now see they were, does it not now become the righteous governor and judge of the world to be displeased, and to testify bis displeasure, and to make his wrath siroke against such a wretch ? I once scoffed at serious piety, and ridiculed strict godliness, and was really an open enemy to Jesus Christ. And is it not fit that he should now treat me according to my character? And with indignation banish me for ever from his presence! And from the presence of all his saints, whom once I despised! to dwell for ever with devils, whose interest I served!
“This is the God, the infinitely great Gon, whose law I said was too severe! The height of what he required of
heart, that an infinite regard is, and onght to be had, to the honour of the Deity, in the moral government of the world, and all their schemes will fall to the ground at opce. For now we shall see, why sin is punished eternally; and that human nature is, in fact, totally corrupt; that the doctrine of original sin is true ; that the Old and New Testament are perfectly agrecable to the perfections of God, and needs of fallen roan, and have all the internal marks of divinityIt will be self-evident, that it is an infinite evil to sin against such a God; we naturally have none of that temper towards him which we ought; we are fallen, lost crea. 1ures ; we need such a Redeemer apd such a Sanctifier as are exhibited in the Old and New Testament; it is fit God should be exalted, the sinner hambled, and grace glorified, agrecable to the Scripture plan.
me was to love him with all my heart; as I now see yonder saints and angels love him. But I did not love him! I did not like his ways! I loved my vain companions, and my sinful carnal pleasures! His threatening to punish me for it, instead of reclaiming, did but make me hate bis law and government the worse. And I loved to indulge bard thoughts of him, as being too severe ; pretending for my excuse, that I had no power to love him; only, alas! because I was not suited with him ; but hated all his ways. In this I was like the devil, that I had no heart for God, to love him, or live to him; but was disposed to walk contrary to him in all things. And for this, God may justly hate me, and cast me off, with the devil for ever. For such a kind of inability, I never thought, excused any of my fellow-creatures, who treated me with disrespect and ill-nature on earth. And if they alleged, that they could not help hating me, by way of excuse; if the fault was not in me, but in themselves, I never thought them the less to blame, but the more. Their saying they could not help hating me, instead of excusing the fault, always made it seem worse. Now, this great God will deal with me by the same rule. I said, I could not love him; but the fault was not in him, but in me,' For, to other beings he appears infinitely amiable; and I only am to blame, that he does not appear so to me. And it is right and just I should be puuished.
“ And now I behold the Judge ready to pronounce my final doom, the dreadful sentence, depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels d. I would not believe hell-torments to be eternal, although expressly asserted in God's word. I, stupid wretch that I was, did not feel that I deserved everlasting punishment. I was like the fool, who said in his heart, there is no God. But now I see there is a God; an infinitely Great God; whom all are under infinite obligations to honour and obey. I might have been before convinced, that God was infinitely worthy to be loved, honoured, and obeyed; and that his infinite worthiness laid me under an infinite obligation ; and that an infinite obligation rendered me infinitely to blame; and that
Matt. xxv. 41.
e Psal lüi. 1.
infinite blame deserved infinite punishment; i. e. the eternal torments of hell. I might have known this before : but I shut my eyes against the light. I pretended, that because I could not comprehend his infinite greatness and glory, that therefore I could not be laid under an infinite obligation thereby. But I might have known, that a conviction of bis infinite greatness and glory did infinitely oblige. Conviction without comprehension, I always knew did oblige in others'
As, when I have been convinced that others had inore knowledge and wisdom than myself, I never doubted but that I was thereby obliged so much the more to pay them a superior respect on that account, “ although their knowledge and wisdom were above my full comprehension. Nor did I ever doubt but that those who were convinced that the torments of hell were eternal, were guilty of infinite folly, in rushing into such an endless misery, although dreadful, infinitely bevond their comprehension. And why might not I have known, that a conviction, without a comprehension, of God's infinite worthiness to be loved, honoured, and obeyed, would render me infinitely to blame, in treating him with disrespect and contempt! I might have known it. But I loved darkness rather than light. I loved the ways of sin; and God was not in all my thoughts! But now, 'alas! the day is come! And I am at the bar, ready to receive my final doom! God is just ! My mouth is stopped! I am self-condemned !" Thus, at the day of judgment, the sinner's reason and conscience will be thoroughly convinced, that he deserves to be punished ; all his impotency notwithstanding, and that, even with the eternal torments of hell. And so that will be, not only a day of wrath, but also of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God. And since all mankind must see the justice of God's law, sooner or later; would it not be wiser for them who esteem themselves the vits of the world, instead of endeavouring to blind their minds by false reasonings, rather to lay open their minds honestly to the light, while there is yet hope in their case ? since otherwise, with all their boasted wit, they themselves, to their un
f Rom. ji, 5.
speakable regret, will eternally think they acted the part of fools.
Thus, then to sum up all in a few words, it appears that the law from Mount Sinai, given immediately by God himself, to the whole congregation of Israel, required sinless perfection, as the condition of eternal life; and for the least failing threatened eternal damnation ; and therefore, by this law, not any could be justified in the sight of God; and yet the whole congregation were obliged heartily to approve this law to be strict:y just in all its rigour; which if they did, would prepare them to understand, believe, approve of, and comply with the Gospel ; and so the law.was in its own nature, suited to be a school-master to bring them to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. And the law of nature, being for substance the same with that from Mount Sinai, is suited to answer the same end, with respect to the Gentile nations, who were never under the Jewish dispensation. And so Jew and Greek are all under sin ; the whole world stand guilty before God; and by their own virtue or goodness, no flesh can be justified in his sight, and so all stand in absolute perisbiog need of Christ, and free grace. And now, upon a review of all that has been said, the following remarks and inferences may justly be made :
1. “The law of Moses, and St. Paul's manner of reasoning upon it, are inconsistent with the Arminian scheme of religion, and do as effectually confute it, as the scheine of the Pharisees, and Pharisaical Christians of that age."
One of the most fundamental maxims in the Arminian scheme, is, " that in the nature of things, it is not just for God to require more of his creatures than they can do, and then threaten to punish them for not doing 8.” And when
go And so they suppose, that God was bound in justice to make some abatements in his law, and to bring it down to a level with our present state ; and yet are so absurd and inconsistent, as to suppose, that Christ died to purchase these abatements, i, e. died to get justice done us. And if we will yield sincere obedience to this new abated law, we shall be justified and saved. This sincere obedience, it seems, is the utmost that God in justice can require of us.
So then, if we yield this, we shall be justified, because we have come up to the rule of our duty. Or, if we have any defects, (i. e. are not so sincere as we should be,) Christ will make up for them. These are the notions of many, and they for sub