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benevolent. Though they will forever rejoice in the displays of divine justice, yet they will not rejoice in the effects of divine justice upon the wicked. Who can suppose, that Adam or Abel will rejoice in the misery of Cain ? Who can suppose, that Aaron will rejoice in the misery of Nadab and Abihu ? pose that David will rejoice in the misery of Absalom? But those parents, with all their benevolence towards their offspring, will say, Amen, while they forever behold the tokens of their torments ; nor will their miserable offspring have the least reason to reproach or complain of their pious parents and friends for rejoicing in the displays of divine justice upon them. Scoffers in this world may reproach and blame God and his friends, for approving divine justice displayed towards the spirits in prison ; but whenever they come into the other world, they will be fully convinced, that they have no being to blame but themselves, for the miseries they endure, Indeed, all the objections, that were ever made or felt against the future fate of the finally impenitent, have arisen from a misapprehension, or misrepresentation of the nature and tendency of pure, universal, disinterested benevolence.
4. If good men desire God to punish the finally impenitent forever, then they have no more reason to disbelieve and oppose the doctrine of reprobation, than the doctrine of election. Though all good Calvinists believe and love the doctrine of election, yet many of them dislike and oppose the doctrine of reprobation. They love the doctrine of election, because it displays the sovereign grace of God towards the vessels of mercy; but dislike and oppose the doctrine of reproba
; tion, because it displays the vindictive justice of God towards the vessels of wrath. But how can they consistently love the divine attribute of grace, while they hate the divine attribute of justice ? If they approve of God's conduct, in choosing some to eternal life and preparing them by his special grace for future and eternal happiness and finally putting them into possesbetter than other men. They are ready to imagine that God will more readily pardon the sins of other men, but their own sins appear too great to be forgiven. They have thought and read, and heard more than the vain and stupid ; but they have done nothing but abuse the light and knowledge they have received, by which their guilt has been tenfold augmented. This is the distressing case of moral sinners under convictions, whether they have, or have not neglected the means of grace, or whether they have or have not professed to love religion. Sinners are generally stout hearted under awakenings, but when their conscience is wounded with a sense of guilt, they have more than they can bear and are constrained to stoop.
7. Since all guilt or ill desert consists in the evil affections of the heart, it is easy to see why good men have been so much borne down with the burden of sin. Job, David, and Paul, had a deep and habitual sense of their great criminality and guilt. The reason was, they had experienced keen convictions of conscience, before they were converted ; and this made their conscience always tender afterwards. You may have remarked it, that those, who have appeared to have the deepest conviction before they were converted, have generally appeared to have the most tender conscience, and to be the most afraid of stifling it, or acting against its dictates and remonstrances. And so long as good men keep their conscience alive, it will do its office, cause them to keep their heart with all diligence, condemn them for every deviation from the path of duty, and teach them to see, to feel, and lament their great moral imperfections in the sight of God. Good men are much more troubled with their hearts from day to day, than sinners are with their hearts. They see the nature and ill desert of sin, and feel that they deserve eternal death, though they hope to enjoy eternal life. They groan, being burdened, and cry with the apostle, “0 Wretched man that I ans! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” They judge and condemn themselves, and the divine
law judges and condemns them. They accept the punishment of their iniquities, and realize that they deserve to be destroyed more than any they know of, wbo ever have been, or ever will be destroyed.
Finally, in the view of this subject, impenitent sinners may see their guilty and deplorable condition. Every imagination of the thoughts of their heart has been evil, only evil continually. They have never felt as they ought to feel, nor acted as they ought to act. They have been constantly adding sin to sin and increasing their load of guilt, by which they have for feited the favor of God and of all good beings. They have despised the love of God in sending his Son to redeem them. They have despised the love of Christ in dying for them. They have despised the salvation he has offered to them. And now what can they say it God should punish them forever according to their deserts ? They must be speechless. What will their pious friends and dearest relatives say, if they should see them lifting up their eyes in torments ? We know they will say “ Amen, Alleluia.” They will not have a friend in the universe, that will take their part. All heaven will justify God and condemn them. T'hose, who once sincerely prayed, that they might repent and flee from the wrath to come, will be pleased to see God glorify his justice upon those, who refused to repent and give glory to him. Can their hands be strong, or their heart endure, in the day that God shall deal with them and make them completely friendless and hopeless forever! But some may ask, can all this be true ? Ask your pious father and mother, your pious brother and sis. ter or any of your pious friends ; and they will tell you that all this is true; and perhaps they often have told you so. But if you are still in doubt ask your own consciences and they will tell
The only reason, wby you do not now feel yourselves in the gall of bitterness and i he bonds of iniquity, is because you have neglected or refused to see the plague of your own hearts and to realize that ill desert, which you constantly carry about with you and which will infallibly bind you over to everlasting destruction, except you repent. And what reason have you to hope you ever will repent ? Neither the word, nor providence, nor patience of God have yet brought you to repentance. God may justly let you alone and leave you to fill up the measure of your sins and treasure up to yourselves wrath against the day of wrath and your final doom. There may be but a step between you and both temporal and eternal death. “ Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him ; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge and the judge deliver you to the officer and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, you shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the uttermost farthing.”
THE PERDITION OF JUDAS.
MATTHEW, xxvi. 24.-It had been good for that man, if he had not been born.
Our Lord, the same night in which he was betrayed, called together his twelve disciples to celebrate the Passover. On that solemn occasion, he informed them of one peculiar circumstance of his approaching death, which he had never hinted to them before and which deeply affected their hearts. "As they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful ; and began every one to say unto him, Lord, is it I ? And he answered and said, He, that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth, as it is written of him ; but woe unto that man, by whom the Son of man is betrayed : it had been good for that man, if he had not been born."
The text naturally leads us to make several observations respecting Judas, the person, of whom the Sav ior here speaks. In these observations I intend to exhibit, from the scriptures, a statement of plain facts, which are stubborn things and which bring irresistible evidence in favor of whatever doctrines are justly deduced from them. And to begin; 1. Judas was a man.
He was one of the natural descendants of Adam. He was the son of Simon. Twice he is called the son of Simon and twice Simon's son. Christ, who perfectly knew him, calls him a man in the text. And though elsewhere he calls him a deyil, yet he evidently calls him so figuratively, as having the spirit of the devil, or rather as being pos