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But again ; How am I to determine that I am one of the elect? Why, I must look into my own heart : but looking into my own heart I must be forever at a loss, since if I trust my own heart, I am a fool. My heart is deceitful above all things. If I take the word of another, still I am in an error, for man in his best estate is vanity: and as I cannot know the reprobate until his death, se neither can I, until that period, discern the elect; for in this state all things change, marks and evidences may fail, and he who is to day eminent, may to-morrow be cast down, while the hard heart may be softened, and the transgressor may apparently turn from that thorny path which is indeed hard.
Yet we are exhorted to make our calling and our election sure ; but in doing this we must have recourse to the sure word of prophecy, to which we do well to give heed, as to a light shining in a dark place. Here indeed we shall be able to render it certain and to our never failing satisfaction, that we are truly the called and elected of God; that we are called and elected in him, who was the called, and the elect precious; that we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bone.
We are told that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the only rule given to direct us, how we may glorify God. Surely the way to glorify God, is to give credit to his word. Thus Abraham was strong in faith, giving glory to God. The only cer. tain rule by which we can determine who they are, for whom God delivered up Jesus Christ to death, or for whose offences he was delivered up, and for whose justification he was raised again, is the unerring word of God. This sacred word will assure us, that the righteous God, who without respect of persons, denounced in his righteous law, an irrevocable curse, upon every one who continued not in all things written in the book thereof, to do them, by his grace delivered up Christ Jesus, once for all, gave him to be a ransom for all, and that he is therefore the Saviour of all. But we are told all, does not mean all, and therefore we should have no dependance on such testimonies. Well, should this be the case, which, blessed be God, it is not, yet we are not left without witnesses; for the sacred oracles assure us, that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man, and thus became the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.
Such is the magnitude of that mercy exhibited by him who is the just God and the Saviour, that when manifested in the character
Son, the Son born unto us, it was not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Believing these glad tidings of good things, we say to every sinner, “ By grace yc are saved,” and as many as accept our report, enter into rest, and are saved from the condemnation of their own consciences; their hearts condemn them not. Why? Because they have the answer of a good conscience, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." They are not under the spirit of bondage again to fear." They know the just God is the Saviour, that they lost their lives according to that law, which proclaimeth, the soul that sinneth shall assuredly die, and that therefore their faith cannot make void the law. Did the justice of God demand the death of the sinner? Then the justice of God has received its demand, and hence the love of Christ constrained the apostles, when they thus judged,
that if one died for all, then were all dead." It is from the records of truth we learn, that the death of the Redeemer of men, is the death of all men, “for it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell,” it was therefore that he must needs suffer, and then enter into his glory. Did it please the Lord to bruise him, when his soul was made an offering for sin, it was, that mercy and truth should meet together, that righteousness and peace should embrace each other, and that God who had said he would by no means clear the guilty, and that he would bruise the hairy scalp of them who went on in iniquity, with all the other threatenings of his law, might still be the just God and the Saviour. If the death of Jesus Christ was the death of every man, then this was really the case, and the law was not against the promises, nor does our faith io them make void the law. If it were not the case, then, consistent with truth and justice, no sinner can be saved, nor would it have been necessary for the Saviour to have suffered ; nay, consistent with truth and justice, he could not have suffered. The justice in condemning and punishing the Redeemer, and exempting the offender, is based on that mysterious union, subsisting between the head and members, Christ being absolutely the head of every man ; thus the one is the many, the many gathered into one; and thus, looking with a single eye, we behold the death of the head, the death of the members, all the members. One member may die and the rest live, but if the head die, all the members die with it.
Hence the death of Christ was the death of all men, and he, now living, to die no more, emphatically, and most affectingly says, VOL. I.
“ BECAUSE I LIVE YE SHALL LIVE ALSO:" and it is therefore he is called the life of the world, that the world may live through him.
If Jesus Christ was not the second man, the second Adam, the Shilo, the fulness, the gathering together, the seed in whom all the families of the earth should be blessed, the sacrifices under the Law, would have answered the proposed end as well as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself. But, saith the scripture, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin, because the sinner was not one with them : and although their death was accepted in the place of the death of the sinner, yet it was only in figure, until the substance should be revealed, who should by his one offering, forever perfect those who were sanctified : and who should, in the end of the world, as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
It is in this divinely glorious, consistent plan, that all the scriptures harmonize. In this view they are all yea and amen to the glory of the Father. This is the gospel, the everlasting gospel, which by the grace of God is now preached unto you.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound, they walk in the light of God's countenance, they shall never come into condemnation, nor shall they ever be ashamed, world without end.
I have been thrown into a train of melancholy reflections: it is distressing to survivors to be separated from their friends by death, but I think more so to lose their confidence, while yet they live ; and the most distressing consideration of all, is a knowledge of the diminution of religious attachments, of the abatement of those ardours, with which the disciple of Jesus should ever recollect the unexampled love of the Redeemer. I entered the house of one of the most zealous of my friends, or rather of one whom I supposed unalterably devoted to my master.
Friend. I am desperate glad to see you, Sir; I was afraid I should never have that happiness.
Murray. I have passed through much opposition, and encountered many difficulties to visit you ; but the continuance of your affection is more than a balance for every difficulty.
F. We have been exceeding anxious for you to preach among us, and I hope if you do preach, it will be in my house, as I can then hear you without the fear of incurring censure ; were I to go
elsewhere, as an idea is already prevalent that I am with you in sentiment, I should be put out of the meeting, and I should be sorry to be excommunicated.
M. I am thunderstruck; when I was last here you were a warm friend to your Redeemer, I regarded you as a stead fast believer of the truth. You were unreserved in your professions of faith in Christ Jesus, and you had no hesitation in following the voice of the good shepherd, any where, and every where.
F. But I should'not like to break with my brethren. Our meeting-house is ten miles distant : I should not mind the distance ; but offending the brethren of the meeting would give me serious pain, and I am positive an exclusion from their communion would be the consequence.
M. I am, I repeat, beyond expression astonished! What, is it possible, and is my firm, sensible friend really afraid to worship God in the way they call heresy?
F. Why, I may worship God in my heart, in my own way, without giving offence to any one, and if I can thus do, is it not much, better?
M. Had the first disciples of our Lord thus reasoned, where would Christianity now have been, or how could the servants of God be hated for their master's sake? Had Moses been of your mind, he might have lived in the court of Pharaoh, as a branch of the royal family. The prophet Daniel might have said, why need I give offence to these people, by praying to the God of Israel, in public. I can pray to God in my heart, and agree with them in appearance : Jesus says, “If ye be of me, the world will hate you;" but the language of your conduct is, I can be of him, in such a way, that the world shall not hate me.
P. But I do not call the people with whom I am in connexion the world.
M. Then you do not judge righteously, for there are but two characters among mankind, those who are of him, and those who are of the world ; and if those with whom you are in connexion were of him, they would hear his word themselves, instead of putting you out of the church for hearing it.
F. They think they are right.
M. Then they are more excusable than you ; they sin ignorantly, with an intention of serving God, you against light and knowledge, intending to serve yourself. In fact, Sir, you seem to eb resolved
to destroy the authenticity of our Saviour's testimony, if you can; you will prove it is possible to serve two masters, and I think I should much rather sustain the character of a frank, generous enemy, than such a trimming friend; however, to your own master you stand or fall. Yet I would have you recollect the declaration of this Master, Mark viii. 38 :
“ Whosoever, therefore, shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also, shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
F. It is best for every one to be persuaded in his own mind. But now you talk of the day of judgment, I wish you would give me your opinion of the state of departed spirits?
M. Why, Sir, I believe, that until the second coming of our Saviour, they have a world of their own.
F. And do you think the world in which you suppose they are, is the residence of all departed spirits ?
M. I do not ; I believe all those who depart in the same frame of mind, with the believing thief upon the cross, to whom our Saviour said, “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise, will keep high holy day with God.” In other words, I am of cpinion, that the assembly of divines were perfectly correct, who say in their catechism, “ The souls of believers are, at their death, made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory."
F. It may be so.
Yes, the connexion between spirituals and temporals, is selfevident, and their union may be likened to the union of the soul and the body. Touch but a chord of one, and a corresponding chord may vibrate in the other. It is perhaps allowable, even in a journal kept for the express purpose of recording events, relative to the great salvation, occasionally to glance the eye upon occurrences of subordinate consequence; and since bright colours, thrown upon a dark ground, appear more luminous by contrast, it may be allowable to dwell for a moment upon events by which I have been disturbed and painfully agitated.
I approached the residence of my friend M; the servants caught a glimpse of me, down dropped their instruments of husbandry, and those were the happiest who could first bear the tidings to their principals. The family rushed to the door, I was locked