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self over that mansion where he drew his first breath, and was taught to repeat his infant hymn, and lisp his infant prayer. Rest assured, that a Christian, having the love of God written in his heart, and denying the Sabbath a place in its affections, is an anomaly that is no where to be found. Every Sabbath image, and every Sabbath circumstance, is dear to him. He loves the quietness of that hallowed morn. He loves the church-bell sound, which summons him to the house of prayer. He loves to join the chorus of devotion, and to sit and listen to that voice of persuasion which is lifted in the hearing of an assembled multitude. He loves the retirement of this day from the din of worldly business, and the inroads of worldly men. He loves the leisure it brings along with it—and sweet to his soul is the exercise of that hallowed hour, when there is no eye to witness him but the eye of heaven—and when in solemn audience with the Father, who seeth him in secret, he can, on the wings of celestial contemplation, leave all the cares, and all the vexations, and all the secularities of an alienated world behind him. O, how is it possible, that a man can be under the dominion of a principle of piety, who does not love that day which brings round to piety its most precious opportunities? How is it possible, that he can wear the character of a religious being, if the very day which offers him the freest time for the lessons and the exercises of religion, is spent in other exercises, or idly suffered to roll over his head in no exercise at all? How is it possible, that there can exist within him any honest care of his eternity, if the best season for carrying on, without disturbance, the preparations of eternity, pass away in disgust and in weariness? How is it possible, with all the tenderness of his instinctive nature for the members of his family, that there can be one particle of tenderness for their souls, if this day run on at large from all the restraints of Christian discipline, and careless parents, giving themselves up to neglect and to indolence, make no effort to reclaim the wild ignorance of children, untaught and untrained to that wisdom which is unto salvation? The thing is not to be conceived; and upon the strength of all these impossibles, do we assert, that every real Christian has the love of the Sabbath engraven on the tablet of the inner man—that if you had a window to his bosom, you would there see the fourth commandment filling up as large a space of that epistle, which is written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, as it does on the decalogue of Moses—that this is not the peculiarity of some accidental Christians, meeting our observation on some random walk over the face of Christian society—that it is the constant and universal attribute of all Chris

tians—that in every age of the church the love of the Sabbath, and an honest delight in all its pious and profitable observances, have ever stood out among the visible lineaments of the new creature in Jesus Christ our Lord—that the great Spirit, whose osfice it is to inscribe the law of God on the hearts of those whose sins are forgiven them, and whom he has admitted into the privileges of his new and his better covenant, has never omitted, in a single instance, to make the remembrance of the Sabbath one of the most conspicuous, and one of the most indelible articles of that inscription. And thus has it happened, that without any statutory enactment in the whole compass of the New Testament upon the subject—without any formal setting forth of Sabbath observation, or any laying down of a Sabbath ceremonial, the grave, the solemn, the regular, and with all this, the affectionate keeping of this distinguished day, has come down to us through a series of eighteen centuries, and may be recognised to this hour as the ever-present badge of every Christian individual; and as the great index and palladium of religion in every Christian land. . We shall just say one shing more upon this subject at present. What now becomes of him, who, like a special pleader, with a statute-book in his hand, thinks that the New Testament has set him at large from every other style of Sabbath observation, because he cannot find in it any laying down of Sabbath observances? He will not own the force of any obligation till it be shown to him as one of the clauses in the bond. His constant appeal is to the bond. He will not exceed, by a single inch, the literalities of the bond. He will square his every service, and his every offering by the bond; and when he is charged with any one of the misdemeanours of Sabbath-breaking, he will tell you that it is not specified in the bond. W. my brethren, if the bond be what he stands upon, he just wakens up against himself the old ministry of condemnation. If it be on the just and even footing of the bond that he chooses to have his exactly literal dealings with God, on this footing God will enter into judgment with him; and soon, and very soon, will he convict him of his glaring deficiencies from his own favourite standard, the bond. Ah, my brethren, when a Christian serves his reconciled Father, it is the service of a liberal and spontaneous attachment. His aim is to please him and to glorify him to the uttermost; and he is never more delighted than when it is in his power to offer the God whom he loves, some of those substantial testimonies of affection which no jealousy can extort by any of its enactments, and the letter of no law is able to embody in any of its descriptions. With

such a spirit, and such a cordiality within, of this man on the day of retribution ? Will

we cannot doubt for a moment the delight which such a man will take in the Sabbath, and how dear to his bosom will the affect. 1ng remembrance be to which it is consecrated, and how diligently he will cultivate its every hour to the purpose for which it was made—and how, knowing that the Sabbath was made for man, he will earnestly and honestly give himself to the task of realizing all its usefulness to himself and to his family. And do you think, that God will not see this? Do you think, that he will stand in need of any literal specifications by which he may mark the character

he not be able to read that epistle which he himself has engraven on the fleshly tablets of his heart? - Will he not know his own 2 Will he not recognise all the lineaments of that new creature, which has been fashioned by his own spirit—and on that day when the secrets of every heart are laid open, will not the Sabbath observations of an honest and affectionate believer, slowing, as they do, from the impulses of a love for that law which is written on his mind, be put down among those good deeds which shall be found to praise, and honour, and glory, at the solemn reckoning of the judgment seat.

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... And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be

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THE comparison of these two verses lands us in what may appear to many to be a very dark and unprofitabe speculation. Now, our object in setting up this comparison, is not to foster in any of you a tendency to meddle with matters too high for us; but to protect you against the practical mischief of such a tendency. You have all heard of the doctrine of predestination. It has long been a settled article of our church. And there must be a sad deal of evasion and of unfair handling with particular passages, to get free of the evidence which we find for it in the Bible. And independently of Scripture altogether, the denial of this doctrine brings a number of monstrous conceptions along with it. It supposes God to make a world, and not to reserve in his own hand the management of its concerns. Though it should concede to him an abso

lute sovereignty over all matter, it deposes:

him from his sovereignty over the region of created minds, that far more dignified and interesting portion of his works. The greatest events of the history of the universe, are those which are brought about by the agency of willing and intelligent beings; and the enemies of the doctrine invest every one of these beings with some sovereign and independent principle of freedom, in virtue of which it may be asserted of this whole class of events, that they happened, not because they were ordained of God, but because the creatures of God, by their own uncontrolled power, brought them into existence. At this rate, even he to whom we give the attribute of omniscience, is not able to say at this moment, what shall be the fortune or the sate

of any individual—and the whole train of future history is left to the wildness of accident. All this carries along with it so complete a dethronement of God—it is bringing his creation under the dominion of so many nameless and undeterminable contingencies—it is taking the world and the current of its history so entirely out of the hands of him who formed it—it is withal so opposite to what obtains in every other field of observation, where, instead of the lawlessness of chance, we shall find that the more we attend, the more we perceive of a certain necessary and established order—that from these and other considerations which might be stated, the doctrine in question, in addition to the testimonies which we find for it in the Bible is at this moment receiving a very general support from the speculations of infidel as well as Christian philosophers. Assenting, as we do, to this doctrine, we state it as our conviction, that God could point the finger of his omniscience to every one individual amongst us, and tell what shall be the fate of each, and the place of each, and the state of suffering or enjoyment of each at any one period of futurity, however distant. Well does he know those of us who are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and those of us whom he has predestinated to be conformed to the image of his dear Son, and to be rendered meet for the inheritance. We are not saying, that we, or that any of you could so cluster and arrange the two sets of individuals. This is one of the secret things which belong to God. It is not our duty to be altogether silent about the doctrine of predestination; for the Bible is not silent about it, and it is our duty to promulgate and to hold up our testimony for all that we find there. But certain it is, that the doctrine has been so injudiciously meddled with– it has tempted so many ingenious and speculative men to transgress the limits of Scripture—it has engendered so much presumption among some, and so much despondency among others—it has been so much abused to the mischief of practical Christianity, that it were well for us all, could we carefully draw the line between the secret things which belong to God, and the things which are revealed, and belong to us and to our children. With this view, we shall, in the first place, lay before you the observations which are suggested by the immediate history in the passage now submitted to you. And, in the second place, we shall attempt to evince its application to us of the present day, and how far it should carry an influence over the concerns of practical godliness. I. In the 22d verse Paul announces in absolute terms, that all the men of the ship were to be saved. He had been favoured with this intimation from the mouth of an angel. It was the absolute purpose of God, and no obstacle whatever could prevent its accomplishment. To him belongs that knowledge which sees every thing, and that wer which determines overy thing; and e could say to his prophet, “These men will certainly be saved.” Compare this with what we have in the 31st verse. By this time the sailors had given up all hope of the safety of the vessel. They had toiled as they thought, in vain—and in despair of doing any good, they ceased from working the ship, and resolved to abandon her. With this view they let down the boat to try the chance of deliverance for themselves, and leave the passengers to perish. Upon this Paul, though his mind had been previously assured, by an intimation from the foreknowledge and predestination of God, that there should be no loss of men's lives, put on all the appearance of earnestness and urgency—and who can doubt, that he really felt this earnestness at the moment of his speaking to the centurion, when he told him, that unless these men should abide in the ship, they would not be saved 2 He had before told them, in the most unrestricted terms, that they would be saved. But this does not restrain his practical urgency now—and the urgency of Paul gave an alarm and a promptitude to the mind of the centurion—and the centurion ordered his soldiers to cut the ropes which fastened the boat to the vessel, that the sailors, deprived of this mode of escape, might be forcibly detained among them— and the soldiers obeyed—and the sailors

were kept on board, and rendered the full benefit of their seamanship and their exertions. They did what other passengers could not do. They lightened the ship. They took up the anchors. They loosed the rudder-bands. They hoisted up the mainsail to the wind—and the upshot of this long intermediate process, with all its steps, was, that the men escaped safe to the land, and the decree of God was accoinplished. Now, in the first instance, it was true, in the most absolute sense of the word, that these men were to be saved. And in the second instance, it was no less true, that unless the sailors abode in the ship, they could not be saved. And the terms of this apparent contradiction admit of a very obvious reconciliation on the known truth, that God worketh by instruments. He may carry every one purpose of his into immediate accomplishment by the direct energy of his own hands. But in point of fact, this is not his general way of proceeding. He chooses rather to arrive at the accomplishment of many of his objects by a succession of steps, or by the concurrence of one or more visible instruments, which require time for their operation. This is a truth to which all nature and all experience lend their testimony. It was his purpose that, at the moment I am now addressing you, there should be light over the face of the country, and this purpose he accomplishes by the instrumentality of the sun. There is a time coming, when light shall be furnished out to us in another way—when there shall be no need either of the sun or the moon to lighten the city of our habitation—but when the glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb shall be the light thereof. But this is not the way at present, and, therefore, it is both true, that it was God's purpose there should be light over us and around us at this moment, and that unless the sun had risen upon us this o there would have been no such light. It may be the purpose of God to bless the succeeding year with a plentiful harvest. He could accomplish this purpose in two ways. He could make the ripened corn start into existence by a single word of his power. But this is not the actual way in which he carries such designs into accomplishment. He does it by the co-operation of many visible instruments. It is true, he can pour abundance among us even in the midst of adverse weather and unfavourable seasons. But he actually does it by means of favourable weather and favourable seasons. It is not in spite of bad weather that we receive from his hands the blessings of plenty —but in consequence of good weathersunshine and shower succeeding each other in fit proportion—calm to prevent the

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shaking of the corn, and wind in suslicient quantity to winnow it, and make a prosperous in gathering. Should it be the purpose of God to give a plentiful harvest to us next year, it will certainly happen, and yet it may be no less true, that unless such weather come, we shall have no such plentiful harvest. God who appoints the end, orders and presides over the whole series of means which lead to it. These visible causes are all in his hand. They are the instruments of his power. The elements are his, and he can either restrain their violence, or let them loose in fury upon the world. Now, look upon human beings as the instruments of his pleasure, and you have an equally complete explanation of the passage before us. . You will be made to understand how it is true, that it was God’s absolute purpose that the men of the vessel should to saved, and how it is equally true, that less the sailors abode in the ship, they could not be saved. Why...the same God who determined the end, to ve certain efficacy to the means which he himself had instituted and set agoing for the accomplishment of the end. It does not at all affect the certainty of God's influence over these means, that in addition to wind, and water, and material elements, there were also human beings employed as instruments for carrying his purpose into execution." It is expressly said of God, not only that he stilleth the waves of the sea, but that he also stilleth the tumults of the people, and that he can turn the heart of man as the rivers of water, turning it whithersoever he will. He appoints the end, and it does not at all lessen the sure and absolute nature of the appointment, that he brings it about by a long succession of means, provided that it is his power which gives effect to every step in the progress and operation of these means. Now, in the case before us, there was just such a progress as we pointed out in the case of a Å. harvest. He had determined, that all the men of the vessel should be saved; but agreeably to the method of his administration in other cases, he brought it about by the operation of instruments. He did not save them against the use of instruments, but he did it by the use of instruments. The instruments he employed were men. Paul speaking to the centurion—the centurion ordering the soldiers to cut the ropes, and let the boat awa from the vessel—the sailors obliged to wor for their own safety—these were the instruments of God, and he had as much command over them as of any others he has created. He brought about the saving of the men by means of those instruments, as certainly as he brings about a good harvest by the instrument of favourable weather, and congenial scasons. He is as much master of the human heart, and its determi

nations, as he is of the elements. He reigns in the mind of man, and can turn its purposes in any way that suits his purposes. He made Paul speak. He made the centurion listen and be impressed by it. He made the soldiers obey. He made the sailors exert themselves. The conditional assertion of the 31st verse was true; but he made the assertion serve the purpose for which it was uttered. He overruled the condition, and brought about the fulfilment of the absolute prophecy in the 22d verse. The whole of this process was as completely overruled by him as any other process in nature—and in virtue too of the very same power by which he can cause the wind of heaven to fly loose upon the world, make the rain descend, the corn ripen into harvest, and all the blessings of plenty sit in profusion over a happy and a favoured land. There is no inconsistency, then, between these verses. God says in one of them, by the mouth of Paul, that these men were certainly to be saved. And Paml says in the other of these verses, that unless the centurion and soldiers were to do so and so, they should not be saved. In one of the verses, it is made to be the certain and unfailing appointment of God. In the other, it is made to depend on the centurion. There is no difficulty in all this, if you would just consider, that God, who made the end certain, made the means certain also. It is true, that the end was certainly to happen, and it is as true that the end would not happen without the means—but God secured the happening of both, and so gives Surencss and consistency to the passage before us. * * Now, it is worth while to attend here both to the conduct of Paul who gave the directions, and to the conduct of the centurion who obeyed them. Paul, who gave the directions, knew, in virtue of the revelation that was made to him some time before, that the men were certainly to be saved, and yet this does not prevent him from urging them to the practical adoption of means for saving themselves. He knew that their being saved was a thing predestinated, and as sure as the decree of heaven could make it; but he must likewise have $nown, that while it was God's counsel they should be saved, it was also God's will that they should be saved by the exertions of the sailors—that they were the instruments he made choice of that this was the way in which he wished it to be brought about; and Paul had too high a reverence for the will of God, to decline the use of those practical expedients, which formed the likeliest way of carrying this will into effect. It is a very striking circumstance, that the same Paul who knew absolutely and unequivocally that the men were to be saved, could also say, and say with truth,

that unless the sailors were detained in the ship, they should not be saved. Both were true, and both were actually brought about. The thing was done by the appointment of God, and it was also done by a voluntary act on the part of the centurion and his soldiers. Paul knew of the appointment, but he did not feel himself exempted by this knowledge, from the work of practically influencing the will of the people who were around him; and the way in which he got them to act, was by bringing the urgency of a prevailing argument to bear upon them. He told them that their lives depended upon it. God put it into Paul's heart to make use of the argument, and he gave it that influence over the hearts of those to whom it was addressed, that by the instrumentality of men, his purpose, conceived from eternity, and revealed beforehand to the Apostle, was carried forward to its accomplishInent. And again, as the knowledge that they were to be saved, did not prevent Paul from giving directions to the centurion and soldiers for saving themselves, neither did it prevent them from a practical obedience to these directions. It does not appear whether they actually, at this time, believed Paul to be a messenger of God—though it is likely, from the previous history of the voyage, that they did. If they did not, then they acted as the great majority of men do, they acted as unconscious instruments for the execution of the divine purposes. But if they did believe Paul to be a prophet, it is highly striking to observe, that the knowledge they had gotten from his mouth of their really and absolutely escaping with their lives, did not slacken their utmost degree of activity in the business of working for the preservation of their lives, at a bidding from the mouth of the same prophet. He is a prophet from God—and whatever he says must be true. He tells us that we are to escape with our lives—let us believe this and rejoice in it. But he also tells us, that unless we do certain things, we shall not escape with our lives—let us believe this also, and do these things. A fine example, on the one hand, of their faithful dependence on his declarations, and, on the other, of their practical obedience to his requirements. If one were to judge by the prosperous result of the whole business, the way in which the centurion and soldiers were affected by the different revelations of Paul, was the very way which satisfied God—for it was rewarded with success, and issued both in the fulfilment of his decree, and the completion of their deliverance. II. We now come to the second thing proposed, which was to evince the application of the passage to us of the present

day—and how far it should carry an in

fluence over the concerns of practical godliness. We shall rejoice in the first instance, if the explanation we have now given, have the effect of clearing away any of those perplexities which throw a darkening cloud over the absolute and universal sovereignty of God. We are ready enough to concede to the Supreme Being the administration of the material world, and to put into his hand all the force of its mighty elements. But let us carry the commanding influence of Deity into the higher world of moral and intelligent beings. Let us not erect the will of the creature into an independent principle. Let us not conceive that the agency of man can bring about one single iota of deviation from the plans and the purposes of God; or that he can be thwarted and compelled to vary in a single case by the movement of any of those subordinate beings whom he himself has created. There may be a diversity of operations, but it is God who worketh all in all. Look at the resolute and independent man, and you there see the purposes of the human mind entered upon with decision, and followed up by vigorous and successful exertion. But these only make up one diversity of God's operations. The will of man, active, and spontaneous, and fluctuating as it appears to be, is an instrument in his hand– and he turns it at his pleasure—and he brings other instruments to act upon it— and he plies it with all its excitements—and he measures the force and proportion of each of them—and every step of every individual receives as determinate a character from.the hand of God, as every mile of a planet's orbit, or every gust of wind, or every wave of the sea, or every particle of flying dust, or every rivulet of flowing water. This power of God knows no exceptions. It is absolute and unlimited, and while it embraces the vast, it carries its resistless influence to all the minute and unnoticed diversities of existence. It reigns and operates through all the secrecies of the inner man. It gives birth to every purpose. It gives impulse to every desire. It gives shape and colour to every conception. It wields an entire ascendency over every attribute of the mind; and the will, and the fancy, and the o with all the countless variety of their hidden and fugitive operations, are submitted to it. It gives movement and direction throughevery one point in the line of our pilgrimage. At no one moment of time does it abandon us. It follows us to the hour of death, and it carries us to our place and our everlasting destiny in the region beyond it. It is true, that no one gets to heaven, but he, who by holiness, is meet for it. But the same power which carries us there, works in us the meetness. And if we are conformed to the

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