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and probability of his chusing rightly, I have no objection.

7th. The ruler and ruled must be agents, and agents identically distinct from each other. The contrary supposition is absurd and not less so, in my apprehension, the notion that man is an agent by parti cion, or partnership with God; or the notion that man occasions a good or bad mode to his act, which act, good or bad, is truly resolvable into God's agency, and ultimately ascribed unto God. The notion that sin is but a mode, although adopted by several learned divines, I conceive a chimera; and therefore, still, voluntarily and humbly repeat in the confession of the Establishment, "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done."

8th. Ruling, essentially involves, that the ruler prefers obedience of the ruled person, to disobedience, and greater influence of the ruling, to lesser influence, and to no influence. To suppose otherwise, is to substitute a tyrant in place of a ruler. Whether the Divine preference, inclusive of approbation and disapprobation of human conduct, will support an assumption of actually or literally bilking any Divine desire, is in degree more doubtful. This is clear, that obedience or disobedience of a creature, cannot defeat a Divine purpose or Divine will. But as contingence, chance, and uncertainty exist, respecting human choices, probably there may be wish, and even thwarted wish of Deity; while the science of possibilities and probabilities, render the Deity infinitely above sorrow or disappointment.

No doubt, God frequently changes his voluntary conduct on the turning up of previously unfixed events, which are objects of his approbation or disapprobation. Answers to prayers are instances of the former, and the drowning of the old world, and the destruction of Sodom, are instances of the latter.

There is no reason whatever for the assumption, that any person was predestined either to hell or to heaven, at, or before its birth; but every reason to support the hypothesis, that an individual is an object of approbation or disapprobation, and voluntary reward or punishment, according to its choices; and according to their consequent wishes, purposes, wills, and works, tempers generated, and characters formed.

9th. Lastly, There cannot be certainty of foreknowledge of the degree of the influence of ruling, in any case, but merely probable foreknowledge. The essence of ruling, as its object is free choice of the ruled person, excludes certainty of effect. There may be very high degrees of probability on either side, on problematical evidence, but no absolute certainty, no certain foreknowledge of the event by the ruler. God said to the Israelites, "I have set before you life and death,—therefore chuse life. But suppose that God certainly knew, that an identical individual of them would chuse death; and at the same time certainly knew, that the said person's chusing life, might be, or might not be, who can be blind to absurdity and contradiction? Foreknowledge existing of must be, and cannot but be, and foreknowledge existing of may be, or may not be, at the same future time, and in the same respect, concerning the same object! But suppose the knowledge of may or may not be, is given up, then the injunction would be a mockery of the said person, or else a duplicity for attaining a by-end; at any rate No ruling existed.

These remarks seem as applicable to Divine ruling as to human ruling. Divine ruling is that species of governing which God exercises over that part of his creatures who are endowed with a chusing property, and who are, in a subordinate sense, freeagents, and first causes in respect of obedience or disobedience. I say in a subordinate sense, because

the chusing property, in which consists self-determination, is derived; and may be terminated or annihilated by a Divine act.

Admitting, that without any ruling, there would, under fortuitous imaginations, have been equal chance for morally good acts, and for morally evil ones: and the highest probability of the existence of human moral evil. The question arises, Shall God let human persons be ignorant of their moral evil, or expose it to them by giving them laws? God has chosen the latter. The question arises, Shall this medium of the knowledge of sin be external to mankind, be internal, or be both external and internal? God hath chosen the latter: and hath executed his choice by communicating internal moral sense and moral affections, by which every person is a law to himself; and hath superadded external manifestations of moral truth.

A Divine Law is a rule of action, consisting in some manifested decree or decrees of God. The Divine decrees consist in voluntary connexions of hypothetical antecedents with hypothetical consequents, the objects of which are, free thoughts and movements within the dominion of a ruled person. As moral good is opposed to moral evil, so holiness is opposed to sin. The essence of holiness is doing the things which are pleasing in the sight of God. [1 John, iii. 22.] The essence of sin is doing the things in which God delighteth not.

The laws more strictly ascribed to God in the Holy Scriptures, are,

1st. The Moral Law, or exhibition of right and wrong, arising from the nature and relations of men, enforced by the tendency of obedience to happiness, and of disobedience to misery.

2ndly, The Law of Innocence, expressed in the commandment given to Adam, "Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it,

for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."

3rdly. The Law by Moses, comprehending the moral law reduced to ten commandments, and the law of ceremonies adapted to mankind as guilty and depraved, yet children of mercy, introductory to the actual sacrifice of Christ. The weightier matters of the law of Moses, according to our Lord's decision, are judgment, mercy, and faith.

4thly. The law or precept of faith, essentially involved in the gospel. This law of faith requires faith in Divine revelation, and in Christ as the Messiah more especially it requires appropriating faith in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, or as it is more commonly expressed, Evangelical Faith.

Sin being any want of comformity unto, or transgression of any law of God, let us attend these laws, excepting the law of Mosaic ceremonies, more particularly.


Of the Moral Law.

GOD's works of providence consist in his preserving and ruling his creatures by second causes and occasional interpositions, ordinarily by the former, extraordinarily by the latter. GoD's ruling human persons ordinarily by second causes, is our subject, for the MORAL LAW is a rule, with sanctions arising out of the nature of things for regulation of our conduct.

Concerning the Moral Law it is proper to observe, that man is a person absolutely dependant on God

for the origin of his being, properties, and circumstances and that man is also a person subjected to God for the continuance of his being, properties, and circumstances; since the personage who gave these can take them away-who constituted these can annihilate them.

Man has the property of intellect, of being impassioned,of preference,-of chusing,-of purposing, of willing, and of voluntary action. Man has intellect adequate to knowledge that there is a God, which we cannot affirm of any inferior creature. Man is also capable of loving God, and as the supreme good in relation to himself: consequently, man is capable of religion, that is, adoration and obedience.

There needs no more than a reflection on the fortuitousness, nonorder, and nondirection of native human imaginations, to shew the indispensibility of human persons being ruled and as chance, disorder, and nondirection, truly belong to them, I conceive, that one grand use of ruling, is to bring our imaginations under wise choices to order and direction. The original high probability, that mischance, disorder, and confusion of imaginations would exist, rendered ruling dependent minds in all its apparatus needful, and wisely chosen.

God makes an exhibition of himself, and of inferior good things to man, by bestowing upon him favours and benefits innumerable. "The wants of his body are provided for, and the means of comfort pointed out in the various ways of providence. The wants of the soul are consulted, so that there is no mental faculty, no principle of affection, but has presented to it a corresponding object." Hence results, the rule of moral ruling, accompanied with sanctions which we call the Moral Law, or Law of Nature.

The Moral Law, or Law of Nature, is the most ancient of all laws: for it must have been anterior

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