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much kinder to his dependent offspring than earthly parents, as he is more perfect in moral goodness. Now if we put the least dependence in this reasoning of the blessed Redeemer, there remains not a shadow of propriety in the notion that the great Father of our spirits can treat us unmercifully for,

our errors.

Let us examine a case or two of the Saviour's reasoning, where he notices, not only errors in opinion, but perverseness and obduracy in spirit and disposition. You will readily call to mind that remarkable instructive parable of the labourers in the vineyard. It evidently appears that those who went to their labours in the morning, having contracted, for a penny a day, were settled in the opinion that they who came into the vineyard at the eleventh hour would not receive so much at evening as they. It moreover appears that when those first came to see that those who had wrought but one hour were paid every man a penny, they then conceived an opinion that they should receive more; but being paid, according to contract, every man a penny, it seems that they immediately imbibed another wrong opinion, for they thought that the conduct of the householder was unjust. They therefore, “murmured against the good man of the house, saying, these last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” Here were three erroneous, heretical opinions ; two of them concerning what labourers were to receive, and the other of the heinous character of accusing the great and good householder of unjust rewards.

Now, my friends, how were these murmuring heretics dealt with? Were they deprived of the penny they had earned and received ? Were they put to unmerciful tortures for their errors, and inurmurings ? No, they were treated kindly and rebuked in mercy. "Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for a penny

? Take that thine is, and go thy way. I will give unto this

last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good.”

Another instance of error in opinion, noticed by the divine teacher, is the case of the prodigal son. After being chastised by his own folly and the providence of God into a state of humble penitence, and after he had formed the highly commendable resolution to go home to his father, he then entertained an erroneous sentiment respecting the terms on which his father would receive him and grant him bread. Not as a son, but as an hired servant did he hope to be received ; not as a free unmerited gift, but as the recompense of labour did he anticipate eating bread in his Father's house.' Here are two heretical opinions, pursuant to which the prayer of the humbled profligate was presented to his Father. His creed embraced two notions, by no means uncommon in our times. 1st. That by transgression sonship is lost, and 2d. That by works the sinner must expect to obtain the bread of life. My dear friends, did these errors so provoke the father as to induce him to vindictive wrath ? In room of the affections of a father, did the son receive the unmerciful vengeance of a tyrant? No, these errors were quickly removed by a gorgeous shining robe, the choicest in the father's possession, by a glittering ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, by festivity graced with music and dancing. In agreement with these arguments St. Paul indicates that our great high priest has “compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.”

If we would have a correct idea how our heavenly Father treats those who are in error, we may be assured that this treatment is the same with that exercised by truth on those in error, by love on such as hate, by light on such as are in darkness.

This common sentiment, which arms the Father of mercies, with implacable wrath against his erring offspring, while it is highly dishonourable to

him and tormenting to man, gives unbounded latitude to the censorious spirit of bigotry and superstition, while it propels, with wonderful facility, the ponderous machinery of persecution. From all this we appeal to our all-gracious and merciful high priest, who has compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, who loved us and gave himself for us, and who washed us from our sins in his own blood.

Accordingly as we have promised, we will now proceed to explain our subject in harmony with the universal, impartial goodness of our Father in heaven. In doing this it will be necessary to show,

1st. The occasion of the delusion noted in our text.

2d. The nature of this delusion; and,

3d. The nature and utility of the condemnation which is consequent on this delusion.

By casting our eyes over the context, we find that the Apostle was speaking of people who received not the love of the truth. And it is evident that these are they who are the subjects of the delusion and condemnation mentioned in our text; and their not receiving the love of the truth the reason why God sent this delusion on them. This is further strengthened by the concluding clause of the text itself. “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Their having pleasure in unrighteousness, and their receiving not the love of the truth are necessarily connected ; for whoever does not love the truth, of course loves unrighteousness.

We now have occasion to bring into view the universal, impartial goodness of God to mankind as the grand truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the want of the love of which subjects men to strong delusion and condemnation, and proves that they have pleasure in unrighteousness. Perhaps the hearer may think that too much is here assumed, and that the ground taken is not tenable ; but by

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IS WHAT WE OUGHT TO LOVE.

the assistance of careful attention the whole argament will appear as clear as light in a moment. This simple fact proves the whole, viz THE TRUTH

Whocver loves a doctrine, which is contrary to universal, impartial goodness, has pleasure in unrighteousness. But in universal, impartial goodness there is no unrighteousness. These statements are self-evident facts, and prove to a moral certainty the ground we have taken.

Among all the opposers of impartial grace, and universal salvation by Jesus Christ, we find none who are hardy enough to state in so many words, that they do not desire to have the doctrine true. They will say they do not believe it, they will say that the whole bible is opposed to it, they will call it heresy, the doctrine of devils; they will say it is this strong delusion named in our text, which God has designed shall eventuate in the endless misery of those who believe it; but after all you ask them to pause a moment, ask them to exercise candour, to call into action their best, their most benevolent, and most god-like feelings, and then say whether they cordially love their own doctrine, which dooms millions of the human family to endless woe? and they will answer in the negative; and with surprise will ask you if you think them so ungodly as to desire the everlasting misery of a single soul ?

But, my friends, we must look on the dark side of human nature, we must examine the awful gulf of human depravity; and however repugnant to all goodness it may appear, it is a fact, that low down in the dark, the bottomless pit of wickedness, in the sulphurious fire of jealousy, pride and hate, lies the salamander of partiality. if there never had been hearts in the world that were in love with partiality, the doctrine of universal, impartial goodness, would never have been hated and called a heresy. This partiality is the essence of unrighteousness, and whoever loves it cannot love the truth. This partiality, therefore, is that want

of the love of truth, and that pleasure in unrighteousness, which are the occasion of the strong delusion mentioned in the passage before us.

Let us now endeavour to understand the nature of this strong delusion, which God has sent to those who love the unrighteousness of partiality. Here we find that this delusion is the natural offspring of the partial, carnal heart; it is a partial doctrine. This delusion is rendered strong by the wickedness of the heart. In the parable of the labourers, we have the nature of our subject represented to the life; and as we have already improved this portion of scripture to illustrate one branch of our inquiries, we may now call it to our assistance in this. First then observe, that those who bore the burden and heat of the day received not the love of the truth, they had pleasure in unrighteousness. The truth was, the householder was impartially good to all, this truth these first labourers did not love, but had a pleasure in the expectation that their fellow-labourers would be worse off than themselves at the close of day. Now what was this delusion? Answer, just such as would naturally grow from such wicked hearts. They believed that the householder was altogether like themselves, they believed that they were peculiar favourites, and that there would be a wide ditlerence made between them and their fellowlabourers. And this delusion was rendered strong by the selfishness of their ungracious hearts.

Another lively representation of this delusion, of the nature and strength of it, is given by the Saviour in the character of the elder son of the father of the prodigal. This son did not receive the love of the truth. The truth was, the father loved both his sons eqnally, and his designs were impartially benevolent towards them. But this truth the elder son did not love; but had pleasure in the unrighteous expectation that his brother would never more share of their father's love and bounty. Now this delusion, as to opinion, was

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