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sinners, is rarely or never effected, succession of the ministers of God, without the arduous labour of his who have laboured and striven to ministering servants.
promote his kingdom on earth. To some it may appear, by read-This succession of ministers coming the promises of God, that they menced with Enos, the third from must, ai all events, be accomplish- Adam, and was never wholly ined;-that whether ministers preach terrupted, till the coming and minor not; and whether people hear or istry of Christ and his apostles.forbear; yet the great and precious At some periods, the means of grace promises can never fail. God will were more abundant than at others: vindicate his own cause; and he and when the means have abounded, needs no finite aid to accomplish grace has abounded; and when the kis great and glorious purposes. - means were small and feeble, such This is the opinion of many, if not was the success. Before the flood, of most people, who wish to be ex- the preachers of righteousness were cused from labour and exertion in few in number, and on this acthe cause of Jesus Christ. But count, the earth was filled with vioin this case, the question is not, lence. Had there been hundreds what is possible with God, nor what or thousands of faithful labourers in his purposes are, but what is re- word and doctrine, it is highly pro'quired of men? It is required of able, that the kingdom of Christ inen, and especially, of ministers, would have fourished in due prothat they labour, and strive to pro- portion. And in this case, what mote the great work of salvation, I need would there have been of the not expecting, nor desiring the pro- awful deluge? Again: God absogress of this work, by any other | lutely threatened the destruction of means. No others are devised. - Nineveh ; but, by the faithful laWe are to contend earnestly for the bour of only one of the prophets of faith which was once delivered to the Lord, Nineveh was spared and the saints; and this is an indispen- saved, at least with a temporal salsible duty. This was exemplified, vation. as well as commanded, by the apos- Had not God sent Jonah, as a tle Paul, Who was eyer in la- preacher, to sound an alarm in the bours more abundant than he? "I city of Nineveh, the devoted city endure all things for the elects' must have been destroyed. God sake, that they may obtain the sal- had, undoubtedly, decreed, from vation, which is in Christ Jesus, eternity, that the king and people with eternal glory,"
of Nineveh should repent and humThus it appears, that not cven ble themselves, and put on sackthe elect of God can obtain salva- cloth; and, in short, that they vation in Christ Jesus, without the should be reprieved from the threatlabours and toils of the Christian ened destruction. But in the di. ministry. The election of God is vine decree, strictly considered, indeed established; and so are the there is no agency, no efficiency at means by which it is established. all. Efficiency consists in the erNeglect the means, and the end ecution of the decree. How doth will fail. This is a point, confirm- God execute his decrees? God exed in the Scriptures, and agreeable ecuteth his decrees in the works to common observation. Never of creation and providence. has there been an instance of the divine decree gives security for the prosperity of the church, without existence of all decreed events; the appropriate means. Take a re- but it is not the operating power trospective view of all antiquity, and agency, by which they are and you will find an uninterrupted I brought into existence. Absolute fore-knowledge, also, gives assar- then. "They are to be given to ance of the things foreknown; but Christ for an inheritance, and the fore-knowledge is not the efficacious uttermost parts of the earth for a cause of any event whatever. “God possession. This is according to worketh all things after the counsel the decree of God: otherwise it of his own will." God's working could not have been foretold. Proall things, is his agency. The coun- phecy knows nothing about any sel of his own will, is the wisdom events, which are not recognized by and purpose of God, by which he a divine decree, and effected by diworketh all things. He works no- vine power and agency. thing without the proper means, to But how are all the millions of execute his decree. The means Jews and heathen to be brought inare sometimes called labouring, to the kingdom of Christ ? Certainsometimes striving or contcnding ly, by the labours, strivings and barnestly for the faith. Something prayers of the saints. of this nature must be the cause, or This is the way, that has been means of salvation, if any are sav- adopted and pursued of late years, ed. A divine purpose would be of and we trust, with great success. no avail, if it were never to be car- This is the way, that we expect, ried into operation. Such is the and all the Christian nations excondition, and such are the means pect, to pursue, with vastly increasof salvation by divine grace. ing labour and expense, till the
To me it appears, that the first whole world shall be converted to proposition is proved, viz. That the the Christian faith. By the greatpromotion of Christ's cause, in the est labours and efforts, the Jews, conversion of sinners, is never, or God's chosen people, will be restorvery rarely eitected, without the ed to the land of promise, and to arduous labour of his ministering the privileges of God's elect: and servants. Other servants of Christ with them shall the fulness of the delight to take their due share of gentiles be restored ; which shall labour, in this glorious cause. And be as life from the dead. The in fact, there must be labourers, promises, on this subject, are rich, and labourers of various descrip- and precious and glorious ! But tions, to carry on this necessary, not one of the promises can be aclabour of love. It is a labour of complished, without the arduous extreme difficulty and hazard.“ labour of Christians, and especial
Thousands of thousands, first or ly of Christian ministers. last, must lay down their lives for it pleases God, by the foolishness Christ and the brethren. Persecu- of preaching, to save them that betion will be, more or less, the common lot of all saints. But, at all To believe in Christ, where events, the saints must put on the Christ is known, is essential to salweapons of the spiritual warfare ; vation. But how arduous and laand in this way, “ take the king- borious a task it is, to bring a sin
, domn and possess the kingdom, for- ner to the humble acknowledgment ever and ever.” " And the gospel of Christ, in his real character. To must be preached in all nations," as produce the Christian faith, is the a means of grace and salvation. end and extent of all human means The human race will be furnished to advance the kingdom of Christ. with a competent number of minis. On the whole, the labour and strivters and bibles. The gospel willing, spoken of in the text, is the run and be glorified. The field of only way in which the promises extra labour, at the present day, is will ever be fulfilled. Look which chiefly among the Jews and hea- I way we may, and we see a world
lying in wickedness; and is there Christ. “Thy people shall be wil. nothing for us to do? The case was ling in the day of thy power." the same, in the days of the apos
It is said, that God hath wrought tles, and even more deplorable. all our work in us.” No man was The Christian world was small and ever self-moved to be devoted to the weak and persecuted. But did the service of Christ. apostles and ministers and brethren Thus we gee, that Paul, though lie still, and wait for Christ, by his the chief of the apostles, could laHoly Spirit, to convert the world ? bour and strive, and exert binself Did they not rather, solemnly lis successfully, in the cause of Christ, ten to their great commission, “Go only so far as he was caused to do ye into all the world, and preach it by the almighty agency of God on the gospel to every creature;" “go, his heart. teach all nations;" &c. It is said, 1. As an improvement, of the “ They went forth and preached subject, we may attend to a com everywhere, the Lord working mon objection. It is urged by some, with them, and confirming their that if mankind are dependent on words by signs following." But, the mighty power of the Holy Spirin the great and marvellous success it, to engage them to labour in the of their ministry and mission, was service of Christ; then those, who there a single convert among the are not favoured with his almighty
a heathen whom they visited, until aid, are under no obligation to lathey had heard the gospel preached bour in this service. But what is from the lips of these missionaries, the ground of obligation ? Why No: not one. Salvation never ex- ought we to love God, with all our tends much beyond the sound of heart, and to love our neighbour the preached gospel. It is neces
as ourselves? Does the obligation sary, therefore, that the gospel be arise from this, that our minds are preached abundantly and critically constrained, by the almighty power and powerfully, if ministers would of God, to exercise this love? It save themselves and those that hear is said of Christ in prophecy, that them. This is the great end of his people should be willing in the preaching the gospel.
day of his power: i. e. they should Having shown that the promo- be willing to devote themselves to tion of Christ's cause is never to his service, and to labour in his be effected, without the arduous But supposing they are not labours of his ministering servants, made willing to do these things; and of all his friends and followers: supposing there comes no day of
II. We proceed to state, that divine power, no revival of religion, the success of all the labours of no special influence of the Holy ministers and others in Christ's Spirit. Does all this afford an ex cause, depends on the mighty work-cuse for people to live in sin and ing of God, by the agency of the impenitence # By no means. ReaHoly Spirit. “Paul may plant, son dictates, that every intelligent and Apollos water, but God giveth creature, in heaven, earth and hell, the increase.” “Not that we are is under obligation to be holy and sufficient of ourselves, to think any upright and perfectly benevolent. thing, as of ourselves; but our suf. And since Christ, and the gospel ficiency is of God.” It is clearly of his grace, are revealed from hearevident from the text, and from en, pointing out the way of salvamany passages of scripture, that it tion by the blood of atonement;is by the mighty power of the Holy surely, mankind are under all posSpirit on the hearts of sinful men, sible obligation “ to repent and bethat they are disposed to labour for lieve the gospel,” and to walk in
all the commandments and or- tion. Whatever is right, is of dinances of the Divine Redeemer. course, obligatory. : No man can, for a moment, be ex- The next question respecting obcused in impenitence and unbelief. ligation is, whether the thing is It is a gross mistake of many, at practicable. By practicable, I mean, this day, that sinners are under no whether the thing can be done, if obligation, in the sense of the proph- we are disposed to do it? Or, et Eziekel, to make to themselves whether there are any obstructions, a new heart, and a new spirit; or or difficulties, which are insurmounto put forth holy and righteous ex- table ? If, by examination, we find ercises of heart, and become obe-that all the difficulty exists in our dient to God's law. And now we own breasts ; then the objection is recur to the question; what is the removed ; and the principal thing ground of moral obligation ? It is needful for us, is, to be well disthe moral fitness and propriety of posed. To be well disposed, is all things. There are numberless in that we require of one another; and stances of natural fitness and pro- this is the substance of what God priety. Things have an adaptation requires of all mankind. “ My to one another, in many respects. son, give me thine heart. Be All the parts of a building are fitly kindly affectioned one toward anothframed together. But this does er, with brotherly love, in honour not constitute moral obligation. In preferring one another.” “Be ye eases of a moral nature, there are kind one to another, tender hearted.” always a right and a wrong; and And " let all your works be done men of candour and intelligence with charity. Now, brethren, I readily distinguish between the ask
your consciences, whether right and the wrong. That which such a temper is practicable? And constitutes obligation is that which if it is, surely it is obligatory.is morally right and suitable.- Mankind ought, in conscience, to * Children obey your parents in the feel right, and to do right, and after Lord, for this is right.” And all, to say, “we are unprofitable whether men are converted or un- servants ;” and give to God all converted, they lie under this obli- the praise. For it is God that gation. From this they can make worketh in us, both to will and to no escape ; so long as they are pos- do, of his good pleasure. This sessed of rational faculties. Paul work of grace is a mysterious opwas a man who had made great eration on the conscience and on progress in the life of godliness - the heart, leading mankind to the
;and if any man could perform du- discharge of every duty; and prety to God or man, it was Paul.- paring the soul for eternal glory But, Paul, as he testifies in the
2. Let no one imagine, that the text, was as dependant as others. agency of God, working mightily in He could labour and strive accord the hearts of the saints, has the ing to his working, who wrought in least tendency to diminish their him mightily. Paul was absolutely free agency. We readily admit, dependent, but inexcusable for liv- that salvation is of the Lord. But, ing an unholy life. And now, to by his mysterious providence, he settle the point about obligation, I effects the great work of regenerawould query first, whether the tion, in such a manner, as to leave thing proposed to be done, is right? | the agency of man perfectly free and “ Children obey your parents in the unembarrassed. That this is the Lord, for this is righi.” Here we case, we know by experience. We have the command and the obliga- feel and act, choose and refuse with
perfect freedom; not only in relig- which, there can be no escape. For ious concerns, but in all other con- it is one of the first dictates of comcerns, of every name and nature. mon sease, that sinners ought to We always act from choice, from repent and turn to God, and to do motive, and design. Our freedom works meet for repentance.” Res. is therefore realized, in every pur- son and scripture concur to enforce pose or design; and in avery mor- the all comprehensive duties of real action. This is supported by pentance towards God, and faith the best of evidence, even by daily, towards our Lord Jesus Christconstant experience. Never was This is the testimony, both to the there an instance, in which we act- Jews and to the Greeks. This is ed from compulsion, and not of the sum and substance of all Christchoice. And never was there aianduty. And to this there can be time or occasion, in which it was no reasonable objection. D, improper for us to be exhorted to plead inability to repent and turn repent and believe the gospel; and to God ? It is a vain piea ; for bring forth fruits meet for repen- thousands have already exercised tance. Let us, at all times, real- repentance, and this Christian virize, with gratitude to God our heay- tue. It is vain, therefore, to plead enly Father, that we are made free, inability to repent, on one hand, or moral agents.
independence on the other. We 3. Let no one, because he is free, are both free and dependant ; and imagine himself to be independent, as such, we are accountable to Gul even in his moral exercises and and even to our fellow mea. actions. However mysterious or Finally ? Let us act as rational humilitaing it may be, yet depend creatures, who are to appear before ence and freedom do go together, God in final judginent. and perfectly harmonize. if God watch unto prayer and be sober.
If orders all our ways, and directeth Let us live as the grace of God all our steps ; yet we also pursue teacheth, in the denial of ungodliour way. We have a part to act ness, and worldly lusts; let us live and to act voluntarily, on the stage soberly, righteously and godly in of life. We have great and impor- the world. Let us walk honestly, tant duties to perform, by the ex- and exhibit an exanple of pure reercise of free agency, but not of ligion and undefiled. If we do these independence. Our first of all du- things we shall never fail of eternal ties is to repent, and turn from all life, throughout Jesus Christ our our transgressions. Our next, and Lord. . indespensible duty is to believe and " He that hath ears to hear, let embrace the Lord Jesus Christ.-him hear." AMEN. These are duties, for the neglect of
A. B. C.
YOR THE ROPKINSTAN MAGAZISE. everlasting punishment, it becomes
a momentous concern to ascertain, UNIVERSALISM, No. 1. whether we are of that number.
Whatever relates to the salvation Many plausible garbs the advocates of lost sinners ought to claim our of universal salvation undoubtedly immediate and solemn attention.- have, wherein to array their sentiIf the decisions of the judgment monts. It is, therefore, an imporday must continue in force forever, tant thing to search the scriptures and if by those decisions, any of and see whether the doctrine be of our fallen race must go away into God-for if it is not, it is artfully