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enabled to forsake sin, to love righteousness, to practise holiness, even in this world, and after death be received into glory. It is unreasonable and unscriptural to suppose, that God would require his rational creatures to return bim the grateful tribute of thanksgiving for his manifold favours, if he did not open their intellectual eyes to see them. And on the other hand, God would be wanting to bimself, if he did not require the affectionate thanks of his creatures when he enlightened them to see, and also feel, that he is, and was, and ever will be great in goodness, and good in greatness. By nature, there is no good thing in us; i. e. without the light of God's spirit. But with this light, we are susceptible of great improvement.
The grace of God may be compared to a mustard seed, which though very diminutive, when planted, becomes the largest of herbs. Thus, the man who nurtures the least motion of the spirit of God, imparted to him, and obeys the still small voice that calls him to
his own happiness, will find it growing with his growth, and strengthening with his strength. While the man who rejects the visitations of the spirit of truth, which appears to every man, rejects the advancement of his own ture, the cultivation of his own mind, and the glorification of his own soul.Hence, the first, can in spirit soar from this earthly ball, tread the starry skies, walk in the paradise of God, can view through the telescope faith, the inhabitants of the third heavens, but above all-he can admire, adore and converse with their divine Original, and their cause, in holy meditation. While the last is wallowing in swinish impurity, serpentine deceit, and satanic villany.
What has been said relative to individuals, may be said with some lit. tle variation, respecting nations, for one is in miniature, what the other is in magnitude. It is very certain that national sins have been punished with na
tional calamities. Every person who ( is in any sense acquainted with profane
history, will at once see, that the na
tions of antiquity bave been extirpated. For what? Not for their virtues; surely not, but for their wickedness bave they been signally punished in this world; because, it was impossible for God to punish them in eternity, as no civil distinctions, or national associations, are to be seen there. God bore with the degenerate manners and corrupt morals of the antediluvians for many centuries, and one hundred and twenty years before he sent his judgments upon them, he commanded his servant Noah, to preach repentance to them ; who faithfully pointed out their dangerous state, as rebels against the laws of heaven, but they would not listen to his benevolent admonitions. Wherefore, God sent the deluge upon them, and enveloped them all (Noah and those in the ark with him excepted) in one watery grave.
I might go on to mention the exalta. tion, degradation, and destruction of the Egyptians, the Trojans, the Gre. cians, the inhabitants of Canaan, the Assyrians, the Medes, and Chaldeans, and many others, who in their turns rebelled against God's universal law of order, and would not submit to his divine government, and were of course extirpated from the face of the earth. But our limits will not allow us to give even a compendious relation of the above nations, who were accounted invincible, and were for many years both prosperous and powerful, and from whose appearance, one would have supposed, should have survived the ravages of time. However, we will briefly mention the downfal of three of the most prosperous and populous cities and nations, which ever was, or perhaps ever will be in this world ; I mean Babylon, Jerusalem and the Roman empire. This will answer our purpose, as well as if we particularized the history of every nation and its downfal, who have, by sad experience, proved that the great Creator will not be trifled with, either by nations or individuals. Indeed, it is very evident to every rational mind, that God would not, nor indeed cannot let guilty nations, much less individu.
als, who will not repent and reform, pass on without punishment; he can, consistent with his divine attributes, give them time and space for repentance, he can exhibit bis goodness and their own ingratitude plain to their view, he can from time to time send his servants to warn them of their approaching destruction; this he can do, and this is all he can do consistent with his divine law ; I think I may with much propriety go further and say, this is all he can do, consistent even with the reasonable and judicions laws of man. For nothing can be more plain, than, that if God suffered the guilty to go altogether unpunished, he would actually be countenancing rebellion, encouraging wickedness, rendering his equitable laws only a mere sham, acting unworthy of himself, and causing his angels to diseś. teem his divine government. Let sinful nations and individuals, only consider the reasonableness of this sentiment, and they will be constrained to tremble on the brink of ruin, if they continue incorrigible and impenitent. We will now with