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to Divine approbation. Endeavour of obedience to the Moral Law, and to the Law of Faith, is expedient tósalvation; it entitles to reward, but the reward, like the obedience itself, is of grace. How interesting! that the sacred Scriptures and moral sense, afford stronger assurance of, and greater encouragement to expect, a successful termination of our endeavours in religion, than that which we derive from the properties of things, when we use medicine, or when we engage in husbandry, manufacture of goods, or in mercantile adventures?

3rd Remark. All Divine laws given to free agents, tend in the nature of things, to aid the production of good choices and good conduct, or avoidance of bad, by a greater number of persons; or by the same number of persons in a greater degree; or to greater productions in both these respects; than would be if the laws were not given. God's ruling chusing persons, like his governing material objects, is by the properties and circumstances of things, all of which must be finite, and consequently limited in influence. Though preventives after preventives of evil be introduced, or correctives after correctives applied, still there will be evils and undesirables, unprevented and unremoved; for every expedient, as finite, must necessarily introduce a lesser, but new undesirable. By using friction wheels to lessen friction, the mechanic adds new friction to his machine, I mean the lesser friction on the pivots of these wheels. And by civilians introducing legislation and magistracy, for lessening the evils of a community, new undesirables are introduced, that is, the sufferings of delinquents. And the Divine expedient of redemption, involved the undesirable death of an innocent and holy person.

4th Remark. Laws given to free agents do not exclude some other kinds of expedients from being used by the legislator and magistrate, which tend to cause a greater number of persons to chuse and do

rightly, or the same number in a greater degree of right chusing and doing. Thus the manifestation of the Holy Spirit of God granted to every man, (whether immediately or mediately, by dependant spirits,) to profit withal; and the special assistances granted to believers, do evidently consist with the law of morals and law of faith now actually existing.

5th Remark. It is no just ground of exception to the responsibility of men as chusing persons, or free agents, in respect of the law of faith, that they must feel their dependance on God, and humbly implore the assistance of his Spirit, for the saving benefit of the gospel, and higher attainments of believers; for our Lord has inculcated, that our heavenly Father with greater promptitude gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask that favour, than earthly parents give good gifts to their children. Luke xi. 13.

6th Remark. Notwithstanding the freeness of salvation, and ample warrant to an awakened man as a sinner, to accept salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, yet, such is the extent of the Moral Law, that no place is left for presumption. Humility, repentance, and confession, must not be limited, if we will obey the Law of Faith, and enjoy, in the highest sense, the mercy of God, and merit of Christ. If it be asked, why faith is enjoined in scripture so frequently in connexion with repentance? I would reply, Repentance towards God, like humility, is a moral requirement, and probably is connected with faith in these instances, to teach us that this legal repentance must precede precious faith, as essential to the commencement of true faith in Christ; and also to inculcate, that the perfecting of repentance, or its becoming repentance unto life, is the essential effect of justifying faith.

7th Remark. Emotion suited to, and co-existing with assent, goes to the essence of the faith required by the gospel. "With the heart man believeth unto justification." Rom. x. 10. "Faith which worketh

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by love," availeth us. Gal. v. 6. Hence faith in Christ is called receiving Christ, and trusting in Christ, also, purifying our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit. On the other hand, the sin of unbelief is not always mere dissent, but in its highest state, is dissent, accompanied with emotion. "An evil heart of unbelief," Heb. iii. 12. They received not the love of the truth that they might be saved." 2 Thess. ii. 10.

8th Remark. There seems considerable want of accuracy in the statement of those, who represent full assurance of the actual remission of our sins, through special interest in the sacrifice of Christ to be of the essence of saving faith. For this, if true, would clearly set aside the obligation of faith as a requirement; neither could it be made appear how unbelief has any criminality attached to it as an act of opposition to the gospel. Obedience to the law of faith is not essentially a persuasion that Christ's sacrifice is mine in possession, or that I am already in a state of forgiveness: but a persuasion that forgiveness of sin is exhibited as a free gift of God and offer of the gospel; under the operation of which persuasion, I appropriate to myself the common good of man: or, what lies before me, in common with all in the gospel offer, I take home to my soul in particular, on the warrant of the Divine precept, or law of faith. Thus my opinion is, that justifying faith is in order of nature before assurance of salvation.

9th Remark. God prefereth that all men every where should exercise repentance; and prefereth that all who have opportunity of acquaintance with Divine revelation, should obey the law of faith.

10th Remark. God willeth that all who repent should repent; and that all who believe in Christ, should believe in him; but we cannot infer,-this gives us no warrant to conclude, that God willeth another sinner should continue in unbelief, whether living where the gospel is preached or not. The

word of Christ being preached in a city or country by the will of God, does not involve any will of God that it should not be preached in a city or country where it is not. Even as by lighting, voluntarily lighting a candle, you do not necessarily will, that the benefit of its light should be kept from your next neighbour by the intervening wall.

10th Remark. Obedience to the law of morals, and obedience to the law of faith, are in sweet harmony. If a man attains reverence of God, and benevolence to mankind, and from these principles obeys the law of nature, though necessarily but imperfectly, he will in consequence, fully credit, and cordially approve whatever God makes known, and if favoured with the gospel, will obey the gospel of the grace of God. [See John v. 40, 42. xv. 23.] True Ethics ever humbles herself to enforce consideration of whatever is evidently, a supernatural manifestation from the Deity. [Acts x. 2, 33, 35.] On the other hand, obedience to the law of faith supplies us with additional motives to every precept of the law of morals, and ennobles their discharge. With increased advantage, love to God and our neighbour springs up into devotion and to benevolence,-humility and fortitude,-justice and mercy, -repentance of what is wrong, and actual decision of character.

Thus we have briefly considered Sin as transgression of the Law of Morals, the Law of Innocence, and the Law of Faith: we now proceed to discuss that grand expedient of Divine mercy, the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ; as an expedient essentially concurring to, the opening a way for, the merciful forgiveness and regeneration of a sinner.

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CHAPTER II.

On the Mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE object of Divine mercy is a guilty person, or at least, a sharer of the righteous consequences of guilt. Divine compassion is Divine goodness to the miserable; but Divine mercy is Divine goodness to the sinner, or at least, to the person who suffers the righteous consequences of sin. God would be strictly just in punishing every sinner constitutionally, that is, in punishing them to the full extent of his righteous law, and their opportunity for obedience. Consequently his mercy to every, and to any sinner, is sovereign mercy, unmerited mercy, spontaneous mercy; while also it must accord with Divine wisdom, Divine justice, and every other Divine attribute.

Pardon of sin is the high exercise of mercy, now more particularly under consideration. As pardon of sin, imputed sin, cannot be rationally conceived to immediately follow its commission, because, it would be equivalent to nonexistence of the righteous law which was broken: so also, for the same reason, I think, God cannot consistently pardon sinners, or any sinner, unconditionally. Would it not equally involve the existence and nonexistence of Divine law in the same respect, which is absurdity and contradiction?

"A God all mercy is a God unjust.”

Divine mercy to sinners must be exercised to the persons who receive pardon, either as detached indi

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