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is not agreeable to the oracles of God! Upon this lawan and testimony we ought to keep our eye, with conftant, :I painful care and study, to understand it, and a readines idea immediately to reject every thing which is not warranted by that, as dangerous delusion, from whatever quarter, au or by whomsoever it may be proposed, and however plaufible and tempting it may be.
III. The particular suggestion of satan, contrary to 20 revealed truth, by which he tempted our mother Eve to transgress, is worthy to be considered as a warning to us. “ The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." By hearkening to this lie of satan she fell into shi sin and ruin. We may be sure the devil has been everje fince urging this same lie upon men, as the great and principal delusion by which he holds them secure in his fnare, and tempts them to go on boldly in rebellion. Those who are persuaded to believe this lie, which satan tries by all means and ways in his power to propagate,. are fallen into his snare ; and in their attempts to pro-lhe mote it, they are his instruments and servants; and he is influences them to the utmost of his power to make their bands strong, and to heighten their confidence, that they shall have peace, and no evil shall come upon them, though they walk after the imagination of their own in hearts : And they have his altistance in fearching and studying the scriptures to find passages, and to pervert them, so as to Itrengthen themselves and others in this dangerous delusion, by which their hearts are steeled, against any impression by the many awful threatnings in the word of God.
And where he cannot perfuade men to believe there is no future punishment for impenitent Ginners, he does all he can to keep them stupid and thoughtless, with respect to it, and make them feel and act as if they were exposed to no such punishment ; and to flatter themselves with
peace and safety, until sudden destruction cometh upon them. This is one special mean of holding men in secur. ity and ease in fin, in the christian world. And satan has great advantage against mankind in promoting this delu. fion, because it is agreeable to their hearts, and it is the pature of Gin to be pleased with it and to make men slupid and unbelieving with respect to the reality and dread
fulnefs of future punishment, and the danger in which ; they are of falling into it.
Let all beware of this delusion, by which fin first entered into the world, and which has been the mean of thousands and millions falling into that endless punishment, which they have not believed, or not realized that it would ever come. “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.” “Wo unto the wicked, it fhall be ill with him ; for the reward of his hands. shall be given him. Who shall be punished with everlafting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.”
Let the ministers of the gospel, the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, not be silent, but cry aloud, and warn the wicked, to whom God has said, Ye shall surely die ; and sound an alarm to all the secure in their sins, if by any means, they may be awaked from their deadly sleep, and delivered from their delusions, and fly from the wrath to come, before it shall be too late.
IV. This subject leads us to see and reflect upon the infinitely guilty, miserable and loft state into which mankind are fallen by sin. They begin to fin, as soon
as they are capable of moral exercise ; and by one fin| ful exercise, were they guilty of no more, they undo
themselves forever, if not delivered by mere sovercign grace. All their exercises are wrong and finful, by which they are growing more and more guilty and ill deserving; and all the light they have, and the favours Y 3
they enjoy, being abused, render them uns sably crim
inal. They are so wholly inclined to fin, and with such · strength and obstinacy of heart, fixed in enmity against God and his law, that they stand ready to oppose all means and every method that can be taken and used to recover them from fin and reclaim them; and if left to themselves, will only wax worse and worse, until they plunge into endless ruin, and intolerable misery. They are continually provoking God to cast them into everlasting deftruction, on whose sovereign mercy they depend every moment, to save them from dropping into hell ; and by whose forfeited grace, and almighty power alone, they can be recovered to repentance, and from fin and infinite evil. And at the same time they are flattering themselves in their evil ways, involved in the darkness and delusion of sin, loving darkness, and hating the light, and cannot be told in what an infinitely evil and dangerous case they are; that is, cannot be made to believe it, though they be told, and are ready to hate their best and only friends, and look upon them as their enemies ; while they love their enemies, who are doing all they can to destroy them forever. But who can defcribe, or fully conceive the sinful, miserable, ruined condition into which mankind are fallen ; and in which we all naturally are, and shall be forever, unless delivered by infinite, sovereign grace !
PART II.. Concerning the Redemption of fallen, lojt Man, by
Jesus Christ. · <>>
<<****** CH A P. I. Some general Observations on the Redemption of
depend wholly on divine revelation for all we know concerning the redemption of man By this only we learn, that it is possible that man may be recovered from a state of fin and ruin; and that God has determined to redeem man, and is prosecuting this design. And by this only we can know what is implied in this, and what is the way and manner in which it is effected.
Man might justly be left to endless destruction, without any remedy, having fallen under the curse of the dia vine law, which is righteous and good. And that he could be saved consistent with this law, and the maintenance and honour of divine government, could not be known by any creature. And if it were known that it was possible for man to be delivered and saved, coniltent with the honour of the divine law and government,
it could not be known that God would see fit to do it: -until he revealed his will and design in this matter. God was infinitely far from being under any obligations ; to show favour to man ; it depended upon his sovereignwill to determine whether man should be redeemed, or 6 not; and if he were redeemed, it must be by the most free, undeserved fovereign mercy. Therefore that God would show any mercy to finners, could not be known by men or angels ; or that this was possible, with the holy law of God, and with wisdom and righteousness. This was hid in God from all creatures, until he was pleased to read veal his delign. This indeed was done immediately upon the apostacy of man; and this important and glo- . rious purpose of God, has been opening more and more from that time to this: Which has been fuited to excited and increase the attention and wonder of men and angels, through all ages. .
In this revelation is comprehended what God has made known by declarations, promises and predictions in the holy scriptures, and by his providence, in order-la ing the events recorded in the historical part of scripture, and accomplishing many things which he has promised or predicted; by which the declarations, promifce and prophecies are opened and explained, and light 18 thrown upon this grand design ; while the word of God, on and his providence in governing the world, and ordering all events, do most exactly agree and illustrate cach other. ..
And the providence of God, as it respects the natural world, considered by itself, unconnected with his word, in the holy scriptures, in preserving mankind, and giv-. ing them ease and health, and so many comforts and good things in this life, carries a language in it, and is a kind and degree of revelation of the disposition and will of God, declaring not only the being of God, and his universal and particular providence, and care of all his çreatures ; but also that he is good and kind to man, in