Imatges de pÓgina

but man yielded to temptation, and fell from his original righteousness. So great was the abhorrence of God for sin, that the punishment of it was death; nor could the sinner escape the bitter penalty, unless some way should be found to satisfy the offended justice of God. Mankind had debased themselves in his sight, and were no longer worthy to be called his children. What, then, must have become of them, thus lost for ever; had not his mercy,

his infinite and unspeakable mercy, interposed in their behalf, by the

propitiation of our Saviour Jesus Christ? By giving himself

up in our stead, he has made atonement for the sins of the whole world : “ He became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” By his death he has destroyed death; and by his rising to life again, restored to all who believe in him, everlasting life

10. Let us, then, stifle in our hearts, whatever doubts may arise in us, tending to weaken our faith in the promises of God, and our implicit reliance on his mercy and justice towards mankind. God made man, we are told, in his own image; free from sin, and pure in his sight. His bountiful Creator then placed him in a delightful abode, and set before him good and evil; the one to conduct him to eternal happiness; the other consigoing him to death, the inevitable punishment of his transgressions. Thus was be forewarned, thus sufficient to have stood: and the freedom of the will of man was the necessary consequence of that gift of reason, which distinguished him from the brute creation. In his fall, therefore, whom can he accuse with justice but himself ?-Not his Maker; for God bad given him sufficient powers of resistance. Not the Tempter; for of what value is that virtue which has never been tried ?-Indeed, we have only the doubts and assertions of man against this statement; and we cannot but confess the justice of the Almighty, in the punishment of a creature whom he himself had made, although he foreknew how soon that creature was to fall from a state of such felicity in Paradise, to that of misery, which is the portion of man since his expulsion from it.

We have innumerable and incontestible proofs of the truth and wisdom of God in the creation, as it is recorded in the holy Scriptures. If we then wilfully reject the Word of God, and, like the Jews, refuse to receive our blessed Redeemer, we are obstinately blind; and therefore guilty of incurring our own everlasting punishment.

11. O, my God, it is enough! henceforth be far from me the abuse of thy gift of reason, in daring to doubt or question thy ways. Grant me the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that in silence I may believe and adore. O, Father of Mercy!

banish from my mind all tormenting doubts and difficulties; more especially this; Why thou hast created human beings, whose end will be never-ceasing misery? - Why thou hast given thine only Son to die as the Redeemer of the world, though his precious death will save but few, in comparison of those who will perish through their unbelief? Oh let me know, and ever hold fast the saving truth that thou art God, and that therefore all thy works and ways must be right, although some of them are far beyond the comprehension of man; and

that thy glory is perfected in those who . are saved, as is thy justice in those who done in truth and equity;" since it would plainly appear that God had done every thing " for the vine which he had planted; but that the ungrateful tree, which he had nurtured, instead of its proper fruit, had brought forth wild grapes.'

perish. “God hateth nothing that he hath made; he desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live.” Were God, therefore, now to enter into judgment with the world, the condemned sinner could not complain; “the judgment of God would stand for ever, and be

Mankind do not consider how they provoke their Maker by accusing him of having done too little for them; whereas, would they but estimate themselves justly, they would perceive, that they are not worthy of the least of all his mercies; not worthy of being called his children. If God foreknew, he did not therefore ordain their fall. Their Maker left them free,--and on their own heads be their punishment.

Oh Lord, my God! when I consider all this, how fearful are the thoughts of my soul! Look upon me, 0 fashion my spirit to obey thy will! enter into my soul, and restore me to thy divine image, from which I am so greatly fallen !-I desire to devote myself unto

my God!


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