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lightful information, at first sight, presents us with many grand and beautiful illustrations of the Word of God; wbile it offers no violence to the received and natural sense, it opens the kingdom of heaven with all its glories,-so that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

How clear, yet explicit, is the language of divine revelation, how instructive, and yet how consolitary. Take no anxious thought for the morrow, be not solicitous about it, especially about the transitory things and affairs of the present life, because these are comparatively trifling and insignificant and unimportant when viewed in relation to the great realities of the eternal world. Such is the corol. lary, deducible from the proposition which has been illustrated. The anxious thoughts about futurity, forbidden by the inspired writer, does not relate to that requisite care, and prudence, and foresight, which is the duty of man, and requisite to be employed in the necessary provision to be made for the support of our respective families, neither is it designed to prevent the rational use and improvement of the favours already received, but to prevent those ceaseless anxieties about future events which are grounded in the feelings of discontent and in the selfishness of our corrupted nature. It addresses all states of mind, but more especially those who are dissatisfied with their condition, and who do not trust in the wisdom and gooduess of the divine providence. Our enlightened author thus satisfactorily illustrates this position. Those who trust in divine providence have care for to-morrow, and yet have it not, for they do not think of the morrow with solicitude, still less with anxiety; they are of an agreeable mind whether they enjoy what they desire or not. They do not grieve at the loss of what they desire, because they are contented with their lot. If they become opulent, they do not place their hearts in opulence, if raised to honour, they do not regard themselves as more deserving than others. If they become poor they are not sad or discontented, because they are assured that all things succeed for a happy state in eternity, with those who trust in divine providence, and that the things which befall them are conducive to that state. It is to be observed that the divine providence is universal, that it is in every particular thing without a single exception. And they who are in the stream of divine providence are carried forward to things ultimately happy, whatever may be the quality of the means employed for the purpose. Such are in the stream of divine providence who trust in the Lord, and attribute all things to him. They are not in the stream of divine providence, who trust to themselves alone and attribute all things to themselves, because they are in opposition to the order by which it is regulated, for they take providence from the Lord, and claim it to themselves (Matt. vi. 29). We are, therefore, exhorted continually to look above and beyond those transitory objects. Our chief desires, as rational and immortal beings, should be towards eternal things, because every thing in relation to the end is already minutely and carefully prepared. No want conducive to the happiness of an eternal state can ever be frustrated or remain a single moment unsupplied. Doth God take care for oxen, or for the sparrow, or the lowest fornis and specimens of vegetable life, and will he not make ample provision for you? Oye of little faith, wherefore, dost thou doubt. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Be content therefore with such things as ye have, for he hath said, I will never leave you,—no, I will never forsake you.

Notes referred to in the previous part of this Sermon. * The laws of Divine Providence as explained in our author's writings give no sanction whatever to the exploded science of judicial astrology. It should be remembered that however amusing or gratifying such speculations may be to the natural mind, they are denominated by E.S., “the idle tales of astrologers' (Universal Theology, n. 695).

“The desire of foreknowing the future is connate with most people, but it derives its origin from the love of evil; it is, therefore, taken away from those who believe in Divine Providence, and then is given to them a confidence that the Lord will appoint their lot; hence they do not desire to foreknow it, lest by any means they should interfere with the Divine Providence"(Divine Providence, n. 179).

6" Except the Lord leads man every moment, yea every the most minute point of time, he departs from the way of reformation and perishes. Every change and variation of state of the human mind, changes, varies something in the series of things present, and thereby of things consequent; what then must it not do in the progression to eternity? It is like an arrow shot from a bow, which, if its direction at first declines ever so little from the mark, at the distance of a mile or more would diverge immensely; so it wonld be if the Lord, every the least moment, did not lead and govern the state of human minds” (Divine Providence, n. 202).

SERMON XVIII.

THE STATE OF REGENERATION SIGNIFIED BY THE

CHANGE OF JACOB'S NAME.

BY MR. J, CULL.

Genesis xxxii. 28. Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a Prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast

prevailed.I should imagine there are no individuals present who are strangers to the circumstances in the history of Jacob, as recorded in the preceding verses. As, however, it is intended to give a brief explication of the context, in order that the words just read may be the better understood, it may not be unnecessary first to read the verses alluded to. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob” (Gen. xxxii. 24-27).

In this, as well as in every part of the Word of God, the enlightened mind may read a profitable lesson; and from a knowledge of the internal sense of the Word, know, as he reads, that it is indeed the Word of spiritual and celestial truths, which, with the blessing of that divine being who dictated its sacred contents, is a means, or medium, of spiritual instruction, regeneration, sanctification, and salvation (John xvii. 17). May we, therefore, feel the necessity of an humble submission of our minds to the guidance and teaching of him whom we profess to worship; may we feel anxious to know the truth, to love the truth, and to practice the truth ; and thus while we advance in the knowledge, and the love of truth, it will germinate, and flourish, and extend its branches, and blossom abundantly, and put forth its fruit; for “God, even our God, shall give us his blessing."

It may be necessary to premise, that, even in the historical part of the Word, as well as in the prophetical part, the Lord himself is spoken of in the supreme sense, in reference to the process of the glorification of his humanity, or the unition of his humanity with his divinity, when in the world. This is not, indeed, to be understood by an acquaintance with the mere letter, or external sense of the Word only. And let it be further observed that Jacob, like others mentioned in the Word, is a representative character, and that the history of the life of Jacob, with his journeyings, and the several circumstances which are connected therewith, as here recorded, are not only significative and representative of the future state of bis posterity, but of the successive states and stages of the divine process, or progress, just named; and also of the successive states of man's advancement in the regenerate life.

Without detaining you to listen to the solifidian theory of regeneration, which the rather shews us wbat it is not, we will state in a few words what regeneration actually is. The necessity of regeneration is comprised in this declaration of our Lord, “Ye must be born again.” Regeneration, in its first act, commences with the understanding, and may the rather be called reformation; while the term regeneration more properly applies to a renewal of the will in righteousness and true holiness. For the hereditary principle of evil, or tendency to evil, in which man is born, exists in the will, and thus it gives a bias to the understanding, and inclineth the thinking principle to an agreement with its evil desires. Truth, therefore, received in the understanding, may be considered as a mediate cause of accomplishing the regeneration of man. By the truths of the Word received into the understanding, the will is directed to right actions, and receives a new bias. By the light of the understanding we perceive that which is good and that which is eril, and discern between the one and the other; while the truths of the holy Word dictate the same to us in this age of the world as Joshua did to the Israelites; “ Behold, I have set between you this day good and evil, life and death; choose you, therefore, this day" (as your understanding of the truths of the Word shall dictate) “either evil and death, or good, that ye may live.” This is an act of the will—and the understanding must first be enlighteded by divine truth, or it cannot give a right direction to the will, and thus the man must remain in his unregenerate state.

From these few remarks it will appear evident, that there is a sense in which man may be said to be regenerated by truth, for truth regenerates when it is first seen with the eyes of the understanding; and not only seen and acknowledged, but when it has taught its recipient to distinguish between good and evil, and not only thus to discriminate, but so to affect the will as to influence it in its choice of good in preference to evil. But during this process, there is a war of complete opposites going on in the mind of the individual; there is the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit combating against the flesh, or the evil principles of the natural mind; in this sense fulfilling in him the words of the Apostle, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” Nevertheless, it is by means of temptations that man is fully regenerated. In combats, or temptations, a particular redemption is effected by the Lord in the subject of these temptations, even as a general redemption was wrought by him during his abode in this world. By repeated combats and temptations the Lord glorified, or made divine, his humanity; he fought with infernal influences, he combated against the powers of darkness, and he overcame, he conquered the infernal hosts and led captivity captive. And now, even in this our day, he fights for man in all his temptations and spiritual combats, and however the victory may appear to be attributable to the bold and the courageous resistance of the human combatant, nevertheless the battle is the Lord's; and we may say in every spiritual conflict, as did the Psalmist, “If the Lord himself had not been on our side when men rose up against us, they had swallowed us up alive as the grave, and whole as those who go down into the pit.” Thus we perceive that the “being boru again” is not a mere figure of speech, or a metaphorical term, as some would have us believe, but that it doth in reality consist in the real organical formation of a new spiritual man, altogether distinct from the old or natural man; and by repeated victories over temptations, by conquering in spiritual combats, an exalted dominion by the internal spiritual man is gained over all the powers, affections, thoughts, words, and works of the old man, or unregenerate mind. These observations are intimately connected with our present subject, and will aid you in the better understanding of our subsequent remarks, as well as prepare the mind we trust, in a degree, for their reception.

We, therefore, proceed to notice the passage we have read, and that in the order in which it stands. It is written in the 24th verse, that “ Jacob was left (or remained) alone, and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day,” or, “ until the day dawn arose.As the history of Jacob advances he is the representative of various things in the natural principle of man, for this reason ;

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