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nate in a defective motive, a narrow jealousy of the expansive yearning of created mind, it be came an unbearable restraint. And sin was the inevitable result. They doubted the kindness of the law, and they then broke it. They suspected the motive of the restriction, and they overleaped the bounds. And this is the germ and origin of all human transgression since the child's implicit repose upon a father's tenderness has been dissipated. It exists not in the natural mind. The false assertion of Satan is the groundwork of all man's feelings towards his Maker; and it is aggravated by the experience of the providential and corrective evils which fallen man has thus necessarily entailed upon himself. The state of mind is well de scribed in the parable of our Lord, when he to whom one talent was entrusted, says, “I knew theethat thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed;” and with such a conviction what is the conduct? a reckless renunciation of all attempt at duty, usefulness, or profit. “I hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine." The natural spring of the heart to obedience is destroyed. It is possible, it is very probable, that the narrow and sordid notion may enter such a mind, of purchasing merit with such a governor by strict observance, by painful selfdenial, by voluntary inflictions and macerations, and by the laborious attendance on frequent acts of outward worship: but all this is but a strange and perverted idea of the fathomless benevolence of Him who "opens his hand and fills all things living with plenteousness.” It is a low and mercenary motive alto. gether, which ill supplies the place of a true affection. It is also sadly irregular in its working; and in a
crisis of powerful temptation, when the near and dazzling prospect of some fancied good fills the mind, and the present, though criminal, indulgence appears for the time, however falsely, the greater remu. neration—this mere secular motive of barter between God and man will fail altogether. And therefore it is that history presents so many cases, and that secret history, if developed, would present so many more, of men who have reached to a high grade of professional sanctity, and attainment in the school of religious and ascetic discipline, but who have been suddenly crossed by a suitable influence—and then all the power of motives drawn from a remunerating bargain with God, has withered to a powerless shred, and the high-odoured saint has become a prostrated and defiled sinner. And go when you may through all the ranks and grades of life, and you find very generally at work an insufficient and unsanctifying religion, which does not tell to the real rescue of the heart, because it has its origin in this false notion, that God's reluctant and averted mind may be purchased and brought back by meritorious observances; and you will find that most men are living at a distance from divine influence, because they have not sufficient trust in God's benevolence and love, to believe that he will give it to those who ask it. In fact, look fairly and fully into man's state of practical alienation from God; guage the depth of his most influential moral motives; ascertain what is specifically wanting to make his actions really what they should be; lay bare the vital defect, the failing point in his obedience, in all the wide range of his relative and religious duties, and you will at length discover that the great and universal want, which, if
supplied, would restore harmony all the angelic host of heaven may and perfection to the whole is, wonder. They may see in this Trust in the love of God-implicit mysterious course of renovation, a faith.
developement of that love, infinitely And this brings us to the main beyond all their previous conceppoint of the whole matter. If man tions, in order to win the fallen is to be brought back to areal, cheer- · creature's confidence again; but ful, and hearty obedience, and if most assuredly it must be seen that God is to be honoured by the com- all obedience is worthless, all serplete restoration of his fallen and vice defiled with that which is little alienated creature; the direct and better than insult, which does not effectual mode, the only one which start from a renewed conviction of appears to contain the true princi- the love which was previously ple of restoration, is to renew the doubted and denied: and never power of faith-of implicit trust will any man be a subject of the in a father's love. We must take restorative process till the unbelief “a fresh departure” for the voyage he has felt be done away, and he of life. We must return to the has received a practical, implicit tree of knowledge in Eden. We reliance on the loving-kindness of must renew the lost principle. We the Lord. It is in this respect must have begun again within us especially, that God is a jealous that assurance which originally God, and will not give his glory to dwelt in man's new-created mind, another. The smile of divine fathat God is perfect goodness vour is evidently impossible till the in all his ways, and believe that restoration of filial confidence seany other notion whatsoever is cures the divine honour. dangerous to man, and dishonour But if a justification by implicit able to his Maker. This is neces- faith in divine goodness is essential sary for the honour of God. The to vindicate God's honour, it is principles of his government are equally so to secure the safety of immutable. He must ever govern fallen man. When he doubted, he in a perfect world by love. It is disobeyed. His active transgresthe principle both of authority on sion flowed directly out of his his part, and of obedience on ours. blindness to the divine character. If it has been violated, and a crea How can he ever commence again ture has been in any way led crim- a course of obedience till he has reinally to entertain a doubt of that turned to the point at which he love, the honor of the divine go- went astray, till he recovers the vernment will and must require, motive which was the true spring that the very first step of restora- of all cordial service? The most tion must be a renewal of the drop- splendid ostensible virtues, the ped principle, a wiping off the most rigid self-denial, the largest stain that suspicion has cast upon benevolence, and the most condivine excellence. God will not summate devotion (if these were accept service and fealty from him really possible without the grand who doubts his Maker's benevo- central motive) must all be imperlence. That was the point of fect and unacceptable, if they failure. That is then the neces wanted that essential characteristic sary preliminary. God in his mer- of a right-minded creature, and of cy may take the most extraordinary a loyal and honouring service, and steps to restore that confidence. fealty, the belief of the goodness of He may hold out proofs at which the Lord. They would be sins,
not virtues; for they would be offerings to Moloch or to Mammon
-but not to a God of love; and the worship and service of count. less ages would still be vitiated by this radical and dishonouring defect of a cherished mistrust.
We are now, then, prepared to understand the essential feature of the salvation proposed to us in the Gospel, namely, a Justification by Faith. It is that God has been pleased to adopt a most wondrous measure for winning back the averted heart to confidence. He propounds the fact of that love which we have doubted, which is of the very essence of his nature, and without which there would be no God-by means of an event almost incredible, if it were not sustained by evidence as ample as the event is unparalleled and extraordinary. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beliey. eth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” On what does the salvation turn? on the belief of that love with which God loved the world, and which is to be seen in the death of his Son; on the restoration of confidence in that wondrous affection, the fathomless benevolence of a good Creator to his creatures. All the riches of paradise in their primal freshness failed to maintain this belief against the insinuating temptations of the fallen spirit. But when man is lying in his guilt and pollution when he is lingering in a world of sin and suffering, on the verge of the dark grave and a darker futu. rity, then the love that wreathed an Eden in flowers, and enriched it with every tree that was fair to the sight and good for food, comes forward to sheathe the bolt of a deserved vengeance, and to quench its fires in atoning blood. God will have the heart, the affection,
the confidence of his creature. He would not be a God to him till he has it unqualified and unrestrained. He sends forth, therefore, his own Son, incarnate, made of a woman, made under the law. He lays on him, by the incarnation—by the generative association of Him with human flesh and soul, in the condemnation of a violated law-he lays on him the iniquity of us all; and makes him an offering for sin, makes him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in him; and then sends forth the ministry of reconciliation, to declare that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing to men their trespasses:" and actually beseeching man, alienated, perverted, mistrusting man, who, through a wretched doubtfulness, has kept aloof in selfishness and misery, to look on this mysterious cross, this most wondrous proof of the divine benevolence, to believe it, and be reconciled to God. Say that the mystery has really entered into a man's mind—that he has believed the love that God hath to us—believed it on the evidence of the cross of Christ-what has occurred in such a heart? The victory is won: the rebellious struggle is at an end—the delusion and power of Satan's lie have vanished, The creature is restored to his pro. per position. He has again the same reposing reliance on the infinite good which fills and warms the heart of every morally perfect creature. He is accepted, justified, acquitted. The sin which flowed from mistrust is no more imputed to him, for God has crushed, withered, annihilated in the heart the evil itself; redeeming love has done whạt creature love failed to accomplish, because there was yet behind in the deep-seated purposes of divine goodness, the possibility of 3D
this astounding manifestation of phantly the sin and folly of the benevolence by the atonement, and doubt. This is the only essence it was evidently the eternal purpose of Justification by Faith. It will of God which he purposed in him. be found to breathe through the self, that in the fulness of time and whole of the inspired recordin the extremity of man's ruin, through the whole aspect of reshould be thus made known to demption—through his messageand principalities and powers in the its working; and no man will be heavenly places, by the rescue and found to have partaken of the restoration of the guilty and lost, slightest measure of renewed and the manifold wisdom of God. In real holiness, who has not first exfinite, inconceivable love comes ercised the renewed principle of an abroad with an overwhelming de- ample and unhesitating trust. monstration, before which the pow. Such a gift-and it must be a gift; ers of a finite resistance fail man; such a gift—the gift of a reposing looks at the suffering Saviour; be- faith, is an end of the quarrel, an lieves God to be the benevolent end of the alienation. It is the Being that he really is; God's lifting up the soul again into the ways and his government are vin. right state, the state from which it dicated; the designs of a fallen had fallen. It is the placing it in spirit are baffled and confounded; circumstances in which God can the pardoned creature renews at look again upon the heart with once his confidence, his covenant, approval, because the creature reand his loyalty; and enters upon a stored to his right senses looks on new life, the effective agency of a the government of God, and its new principle, the power of a “faith principles, with approval, and exwhich worketh by love." Oh, the ercises again the grand characterglorious efficiency, dignity, and istic of duty-resting in his love. abounding liberality of such a And this is the grand scheme on scheme of mighty mercy. The in- which the theological witlings of finite breadth of this unfolding of modern heresy lavish their sneers. divine compassion and benevolence They see no wisdom, no beauty, is worthy of “ the High and Lofty no fitness in an arrangement which One that inhabiteth eternity." to sober reason stands forth on There is a measureless profluence investigation as the only possible and profusion in it only to be paral- remedy for the fall. It is too evi. leled by the illimitable notion of dent, that, contracted in their views space and time. It is the love of by innate unbelief, they understand the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent, neither the evil under which they and the Eternal!
suffer, nor the remedial dispensaWe have now some faint notion tion proposed to them; and, perof the rationale, or reasonableness severing in that false view of the of the mode of salvation by faith. divine character which Satan has It is the most effective means to infused, they meet the proposals of restore man and to honour God; divine benevolence with the misnay, we cannot conceive of any trust that his falsehood has engenother way by which either point dered. What they need is a spicould be attained. There was no ritual comprehension of the atoneother way to restore a mistrusting ment. With all their wordy writrebel, but by renewing his confi- ings in reviews and pamphlets and dence; or of honouring a mistrust lengthy octavos, they want the ed God, but by proving trium root of the matter. Their religion
MY DEAR FRIEND,-- *** Whilst reading Dr. Buchanan's account of Juggernaut, we cannot but feel a glow of gratitude to Almighty God for casting our lot in such a land as this; and earnestly pray, that the labours of the Bible Society may be blessed, in sending the Word of Truth among these poor deluded Indians, and that this modern Dagon may fall before the Ark of the Lord.
Satan appears to have erected his throne in India, but I trust this noble institution will be made the instrument of destroying his king dom, and, through the blessing of God, be the honoured means of extending the Redeemer's kingdom over this dark and cruel part of the habitable globe. But whilst we contemplate distant regions, and lament the wickedness of others, let us not forget, my dear friend, that we have hearts deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, prone to depart from God, and to neglect Christ and his great salva,
tion. If there be any difference, however small, between us and others, we must give God the glory. I often feel much confounded and cast down, when I compare my heart with my privileges, and find how very little progress I have made since I first knew the Lord. Every year, the Lord as it were comes seeking fruit. Alas! how barren have I been ! The hidden evils of the heart are known only to God and our own conscience. I cannot tell the experience of others, but I have often cause to cry out—"O wretched man that I am !” My only com. fort is, that Jesus is a Saviour, and I humbly trust my Saviour—I have no righteousness but in him-my holiest duty is so defiled with sin, that it could not meet with any thing but rejection, if not covered with the robe of Jesu's righteousness, and washed in his most precious blood. To him I would continually look. But oftentimes, the fiery darts of Satan terrify my