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tice, and a striking fact that man was never let into the fearful condition into which his sin had brought him, till deliverance was promised. There was no room left for the workings of despair; for the curse was not pronounced upon the rebellious representatives of our race till God had pledged his word that the Seed of the woman should bruise the head of the adversary who had seduced her.

This mercy has been obtained for us in a way that natural religion could never have anticipated. There could be no hope that any being, however powerful, could stay the arm of offended omnipotence; neither could there be any rational expectation, although such an expectation some have chosen to indulge, that, by a sort of amiable weakness, which creatures sometimes indulge, a shrinking from infliction of punishment which justice demands, the Deity should screen us from the misery we had entailed upon ourselves, even though his justice and his holiness should suffer by his compassion. "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the Son of man that he should repent." He had declared that death was the inevitable consequence of transgression; and his mercy, far from giving the lie to his justice, confirms the sentence of the law; for in the dispensation of the new covenant, that truth has its most striking illustration; that, without a due satisfaction to injured justice there can be no remission of sin. It is the Lawgiver, the Judge himself, that has offered us forgiveness. And his character, as our Saviour, is in perfect consistency with his character, as our righteous Judge.

"The Lord saw that there was no man, and he wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore his own arm brought salvation unto him, and his

righteousness it sustained him." God sent his son into the world, but it was not, as well might have been expected, to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Thus a free offer of pardon is made to the whole of a condemned world; and had the simple truth of redemption through the sacrifice of Christ to every one that believeth, been all that had been revealed, this of itself would seem enough to answer all the circumstances of our lost condition. Could any one be acquainted with such a truth, and not speak what he believed? Is not the simple belief of such a doctrine enough to account for all the trials and privations that have been undergone by the evangelists of our faith, in order to promulgate the knowledge of this treaty of reconciliation between a rebellious world and its offended Sovereign.

But though this free offer of mercy seems at first sight to be suited to all the circumstances of fallen man, we shall find, on farther inquiry, that were this single doctrine to constitute the whole of the dispensation of mercy, the plan would be incomplete, and the Son of God might have come into our world, and died for our sins, and yet have suffered and died in vain.

Man, by his fall, became a sinful being, and as such, he has a dislike to every holy principle. We have already remarked, that a revelation of God's wrath against sin would tend only to harden him in his depravity, but it is a still more striking proof of the depth of human depravity, that even the offers of mercy are contemptuously refused. Instead of the tone of indignation in which God might have addressed us, he has chosen to speak in accents of mercy, saying, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth."

He con

descends even to reason with, to warn us of our danger, and to entreat us with more than a father's tenderness. "Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die!"

But the terrors of God's law, and the gracious invitations of his mercy, and the earnestness of his warnings, and the tenderness of his expostulations fall equally powerless on the ear of infatuated He will not be saved.

man.

You see, then, the necessity of the doctrine of divine influence, to render the gospel dispensation altogether complete, and suited to all the peculiarities of our lost estate. Without this influence, not a single individual would accept the proffered mercy of Heaven.

But supposing a single individual, or a few individuals, did accept the testimony, you can see that there would be no encouragement to proclaim it to others. At first, indeed, if the message were truly believed, there would be an ardent wish to communicate to others the inestimable blessing, and the confident expectation that all would cling to the terms of mercy as soon as they were offered. But how soon would the zeal of the supposed evangelist be damped, to find that the offers of forgiveness were turned from with loathing, and treated with contempt. How soon would he abate his ardor, and exclaim, as he sat down in despair of benefiting his fellow men, "I have labored in vain;-I have spent my strength for nought and in vain!"

To make a new application of an illustration sufficiently trite:-Were a building. in flames, and had you succeeded in making an easy communication between the ground, and some part of the tenement where the noise of voices indicated that there were human beings within; you would

naturally suppose that your benevolence had effected its purpose. You would never dream that the inmates would need to be persuaded to escape for their life. But did you, in the prosecution of your benevolent purpose, actually ascend to that part of the building whence the voices issued, there is nothing absurd in the supposition, that you might find the inmates to be a company of bacchanalians, who, in the phrensy of intoxication, were alike ignorant of their danger, and regardless of your entreaties. It is possible, that all your warnings might be answered by the infatuated laugh of intemperate mirth, or even by the insolent attack of some furious debauchee, and thus might you find that all your efforts were vain; and even after having made all the preparations for their deliverance that seemed necessary, you might find yourself compelled to abandon them to their fate. And so it is with the men of this world, in regard to the everlasting destruction that is hanging over them. They, too, are "drunken, though it be not with wine, and they stagger, though it be not with strong drink." "The spirit of a deep sleep has been poured out upon them, and their eyes have been closed."

You perceive, then, that without the pouring out of the Spirit of God, in order to turn the hearts of our apostate race, all the apparatus of a Saviour's incarnation, and sufferings, and death, might have been spent upon our world in vain. But God be thanked, the system of mercy is complete in all its parts, and suited in every respect to the circumstances of our case. The promise of the Spirit has been given, and in every individual who is turned from darkness to light, we have a standing proof that the promise is fulfilled.

Such is the system of truth, which, as Christians, we profess to believe. If we do not belie our profession, we believe that every individual of the millions that inhabit our globe, or that have dwelt upon its surface ever since the beginning have transgressed the law of Jehovah. We believe that by the most stupendous sacrifice, even the humiliation and death of one of the Persons of the Godhead, the punishment that is due to our deeds has been averted, and unlimited pardon procured for the whole human race. We believe, however, that in order to profit by this general deed of amnesty, which the Sovereign of heaven and earth has issued, there must be a distinct reception of the terms of forgiveness on the part of an individual criminal; and, coupled with this belief, we are aware of the fact, that, though it is now eighteen hundred years since an express Messenger from heaven published this treaty of reconciliation in our world,-comparatively few have welcomed the gracious message, and at this moment three-fourths of the population of our globe are in utter ignorance that such a message has ever

come.

Do we believe these things, my brethren, and shall we not speak what we believe? Is there not a duty entailed upon every Christian, as far as it is in his power, by the belief of these great truths, to publish them to his fellow men? And is there not a wo pronounced against every believer, if, in as far as he has opportunity, he preach not the gospel? It is not necessary to the preaching of the gospel that we pass through a preparatory course of science and literature, or that we be commissioned to do so by our fellow men. Nor is it necessary to the preaching of the gospel, that

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