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best of laws, promised us life on condition of obedience, and threatened us with death if we disobeyed. But instead of executing this threatening when we transgressed, he gave his Son to die for our sins, and through him has proposed to as easy terms of life. Indeed, hé has more than made proposals; he has long, and often, and with all the kindness of a father, urged his merciful proposals upon us. And when we have refused, he has sent his Holy Spirit to strive with us. And though his Spirit is often grieved, still it is not soon withdrawn. In reflecting on this subject, I have sometimes thought, and perhaps said, that God never destroys or abandons men, till he has borne with them as long, and done for them as much, as he consistently can. I have felt supported in these views of the subject, .by such declarations as the following : “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth.” “ Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.. “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?"
But while pressing the subject, in this affecting and apparently scriptural way, a difficulty has sometimes occurred to me. God can, by the special influences of his Spirit, convert any of his creatures, at any time, and without these influences, they never will be converted. Now what does it avail to tell of the great things which God has done for the salvation of sinners, if he has omitted to do that without which conversion is impossible? If he is so much in earnest for their conversion and salvation, then why not exert his mighty power, and turn their hearts? This he can do at any time, and if he is really in earnest, why does he not do it?
I do not know that others will discover any difficulty here, but I must acknowledge I do; and I shall be very much obliged to you, or to some of your wise and experienced correspondents, if I may be assisted in solving it. That God is in earnest in the invitations of the gospel, and in some sense sincerely desires the salvation of all sinners, will not be denied. That he has power to convert and save as many of them as he pleases, will not be denied. And yet we know that all are not saved. How is this consistent? How shall we reconcile his invitations to all, and his desires to save all, with the fact that he does not put forth his power, and bring all to repentance and salvation?
CLERICUS. We thank Clericus for proposing his “ difficulty," at the present time, and in such a candid and perspicuous manner.
It is a difficulty, which has probably been felt by almost every one, who has attempted to preach the gospel, or who has ever read the bible with serious attention. This difficulty seems to have been sensibly felt, of late, by certain divines of eminence, who have adopted a new, and as some apprehend, an unscriptural method of solving it. This renders it desirable, that the subject should be brought up, and thoroughly discussed. For such a discussion, we cheerfully protiler our pages.
There seems to be but four ways, in which the difficulty stated, can be remored.
First. It may be said, that God is not in earnest, in making the invitations of the gospel, and does not really desire the salvation of all to whom they are made. Perhaps such may consistently be the opinion of those who hold to a limited atonement. But this seems to be such an impeachment of God's sincerity and veracity, as few, it is presumed, will venture openly to suggest.
Secondly. It may be said, and often has been, that God does desire, in every sense, the salvation of all men, and will sooner or later, bring all to repentance and eternal life.—This sentiment of the Universalists, while it removes the present difficulties, will be thought, by many, to encounter a more serious difficulty, arising from the numerous passages of scripture, which so plainly teach, that many of the human race are left to impenitency and unbelief, and will suffer that endless punishment which is the wages of sin.
Thirdly. It may be said, that God sincerely desires the salvation of all to whom the invitations of the gospel are made, and does all he can, consistently with their free agency to render his invitations effectual, but does not exert his “mighty power” to turn the hearts or wills of such as are unwilling to be converted, because if he should do this, he would make them machines and destroy their moral freedom. While those who take this ground, congratulate themselves upon having escaped the difficulty proposed, it would seem incumbent on them to shew, that they do not absurdly limit the power of the Holy Spirit, and contradict those scriptures wbich assert that God turns and fashions the hearts of men-works in them to will and to do—and has mercy on whom he will have mercy.
There remains one other method of removing the difficulty.
Fourthly. It may be said, that God wills and sincerely and ardently desires the repentance and salvation of every soul of many simply considered, because he views it, as it is in itself, greatly desirable ; while, at the same time, he does not desire the repentance and salvation of the whole human race, all things considered, because he does not view it as best on the whole; i. e, most for his own glory and the good of his moral kingdom, that all mankind should be saved. In this way, the difficulty may be satisfactorily removed; and this seems to be the only way in which it can be removed, consistently with the views of Clericus ; for he admits that “God is in earnest in the invitation of the gospel, and in some sense sincerely
desires the salvation of all sinners"—that “God has power to convert and save as many of them as he pleases”-and yet, that “all are not saved.” Upon the ground of these admissions, we think Clericus can give a satisfactory and scriptural solution of his difficulty. We sincerely wish he would undertake such a solution, and permit us to enrich our pages with it; and in such a laudable and beneficial undertaking, we should be happy to see him assisted by any of our “wise and experienced correspondents.” EDITOR.
WHAT TIIE WORLD EXPECT OF CHRISTIANS. The world have reason to expect, that good men should live habitually in the fear of God. He requires them to live and act in his sear, and to do every thing to his glory; and they publicly and solemply engage to esteem his precepts concerning all things to be right; and to pay a cordial and universal obedience to them. The world, therefore, have reason to expect, that they should not only read the word of God and call upon his name every day in their families, and attend public worship every Sabbath and on all other proper occasions ; but also that they should babitually do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, and carry religion into all places and all companies, where their duty requires them to be and to act. This we know the world do expect of those who have named the name of Christ and professed to walk with God; and whenever they do, or think they do see Christians deviating from the path of duty, they are very apt to censure them severely. Though they may act in such cases from improper motives, yet it cannot be denied, that they have just ground for their censures ; nor have Christians much reason to complain, if they do not walk in wisdom towards them that are without.
MAHOMET. “The grand Impostor, first appeared at Mecca, in Arabia, A.D. 612. He was of common extraction, and was bred to merchandize by his uncle Abutaleb. But he possessed great natural talents, a persuasive eloquence, and had a soul turned for ambition and enterprize. He was employed for some time as a factor for an opulent widow, and had the management of an immense estate belonging to her. He soon insinuated himself into favour, and obtained her in marriage. By this means, he became superiour in wealth to most in the city, and his aspiring mind soon conceived the design of possessing the sovereignty. Having maturely weighed in his thoughts all the possible means of effectuating his ambitious project, he saw none so probable as framing that imposture, which he published in his Alcoran, with so much mischief to the world. Mahomet, however, found himself involved in great difficulties by residing in Mecca where he was so well known. He therefore boldly assumed the character of a prophet sent by God, to root out Polytheism and idolatry from the world, to reform the religion of the Arabians, and to amend the Jewish and Christian worship. He engaged a certain number of trusty disciples, and with them retired to Yathreb, now called Medina, about 270 miles from Mecca, about the year 662.
This place he called the city of the Prophet, the whole of which was subject to his sole command and authority. Thus with great sophistry, he preached and propagated bis false religion, for the space of thirteen years, and for the remaining 10 years of his life, he fought for it, obtained many signal victories, spread the terror of
his arms and the delusions of his imposture far and near through the world, and founded the Saracen empire. His successor, Aububeker, made irruptions into Palestine and Syria. Omar, the next Caliph, was a most successful warrior, and extended his conquests with an astonishing rapidity. His reign continued only for about 10 years; and in this short space of time, he subdued all Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt. The Mahometan religion made its progress in the world, not by argument, or the gentle arts of persuasion, but by force, menaces, and blood-and besides, bis law was cunningly adapted to the tastes of the Eastern nations, and the corrupt passions of mankind in general.”—DR. NISCET.
FROM THE JUVENILE FRIETH. " FAINT, YET PURSUING."
Faint, yet pursuing,
Still let us follow on;
Who has the victory won :
In which our swords to wield;
Omnipotence our shield.
To conquest let us go :
Who can our foes o'erthrow :
Nought shall obstruct our way;
Shall flee far, far away.
Shall still our watchword be,
Of joy and victory :
Who ever is the same ;
Invincible his Name.
We'll follow him we love ;
Shall reign with him above.
A kingdom to prepare ;
To CORRESPONDENTS.-. D. on the Theatre is received, and will be inserted. More original matter would be acceptable; which the leisure hours of winter will give our correspondents opportunity to write. A little good postry would be as valuable as it is rare.
Errata.- Page 108, 1. 22, for least, read heart. P. 190,,1. 21, for he, T. who. P. 192, for 182, r. 192 P. 192, 1. 3, between only and its, insert in. P. 200, last I for had r. has P. last' I. insert thai before pass. P. 208, 1. 2, omit not.
P. 222. 1. 20, for prosecute, r. persecute P. 223, 1. 25, for 10 T. and. P. 296. I. 3, for regulate 7. neglect. P. 228, 1. 3, for these r. those, P. 272, put SENEX as signature to the Sermon. P. 284, I. 24, for Unilarjan r. Unitarians. P. 285, 1. 9. for Calvinists r. Calvinist.
SERMON. PROVERBS xx, 26......... Ile that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.
Though Solomon says many things in this book, which are equally applicable to both saints and sinners; yet he is careful to mark the essential distinction between them, by some peculiar phraseology of his own. He calls holiness wisdom, and sin he calls folly. He calls the saint a wise man, and the sinner he calls a fool. This contrast appears in almost every verse, and it is very apparent in the words of the text, and in those immediately preceding. “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife; but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat." It follows, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” By the man whom he represents as trusting in his own heart, he plainly means a sinner, for he calls him a fool, which is the common appellation, by which he distinguishes the sinner from the saint. And since what is true of one sinner, in this case, is true of all, it may be justly said in general;
That sinners are unwise to trust in their own hearts. I shall show,
I. What is implied in their trusting in their own hearts. And, II. That they are unwise in doing it.
I. I am to show, what is implied in sinners trusting in their own hearts. This implies,
1. That they view their own hearts to be better than they really are. Though they are sensible, that their hearts are not perfectly pure and free from sin; yet they by no means think, that they are altogether destitute of goodness, and totally corrupt. If they believed this to be true, they would not place the least trust or confidence in them. But they imagine, that notwithstanding their native depravity, their hearts have a great deal of real goodness, and may be safely trusted on account of their goodness. Our Saviour, who knew the inward thoughts and opinions of sinners respecting themselves, represents them as trusting in the goodness of their own hearts. He spake a parable to certain, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. And to illustrate this self-confidence in self-righteousness, he represents a sinner as going before God, and claiming the Divine approbation, on the