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every one of which the law denounces the penalty of eternal death. .
The law promised reward to perfect obedience: but it promised not pardon to transgression. Man, ever inclined to presumptuous murmuring against God, is ready to exclaim that the law was rigorous and cruel Rigorous and cruel, because it did not hold forth pardon to those who should wilfully break it! Do human laws hold forth pardon to those who wilfully break them? Is it consistent with the nature of a law to hold forth pardon to transgressors ? Would a law which promised pardon to those who should break it be likely to procure obedience? Would a wise legislator among men enact such a law ? Could you expect a wise and holy God to promulgate such a law? The law of God denounces vengeance against all who break it: and you and I and all men have broken it. If we entertain any hopes of pardon, we must look for it from some other quarter. We must look for it, if. we look for it at all, from the undeserved mercy of the Legislator : but in the law itself, it is unreasonable and impofsible to expect to find forgiveness.
But you complain that a single transgression should entail the forfeiture of all the blessingswhich might otherwise have been derived
under the law! The fact with which you are dissatisfied is unquestionable: a single transgreffion entails a complete forfeiture, And how stands the fact in the case of human laws? He who transgresses against a single clause of a single act of parliament; is he not punished, and justly punished, for disobeying that clause, even though he may have punctually regarded every other clause of that parti. cular Itatute, and every claule of every other ftatute? If death itself be the penalty denounced against all, who should violate that statute ; is he not justly punished with death? Do you complain then, because God, in delivering for your obfervance his holy law, has adopted a principle, the equity of which, when adopted by the law of your country, you recognise every day? Do you complain, because God has established the divine law on that foundation, which the universal confent of mankind acknowledges as the only basis, on which any human law can efficacioudly be rested? Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is zuilty of all (p). Whosoever offends against any one precept of the divine law, offends against the whole law, of which that precept is a constituent part; and against the sovereignty of the Legif) James, ii. 10, 11.' demeye r
lator, who has enjoined the uniform obser-
But you reply that, in some cases, if the unhappy man who, by offending againfł one human law, hás rendered himself obnoxious to punishment, shall have been assiduous in his observance of the rest of the laws of the
land, he is discharged from punishment." .. ... : D3
Discharged from punishment! How is he discharged from it? He receives pardon by an act of grace. Does he presume to claim pardon as a debt? Does he demand it as his right, because, though he has broken one statute, he has obeyed many ? He sues for it as an emanation of free mercy: and as an emanation of free mercy his sovereign bestows it. Now, contemplate the divine administration; and behold the resiftlefs force with which your argument turns against yourself. God is willing to pardon not in few and extraordinary instances, but in every instance. He does not wait to be entreated ; but fpontaneoufly offers to every offender forgiveness and life eternal. When he offers unmerited blessings; shall he not offer them in his own method, on his own terms? If you seek for pardon; seek it not in the law, from which it is impossible that you should obtain it. - Seek it from the free mercy of God: and seek it in that channel, through which alone he has de. creed that his mercy shall be dispensed. ;
III. But previously consider farther, what strong reasons there might naturally have been for apprehension, that the punishment which our fins deserved would be inflicted in its largest extent. Recollect the holiness of God.
Recollect that a holy God must abhor sin and finners. Evil, faith the scripture, shall not dwell with God. He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. He hateth all the workers of iniquity. The way of the wicked, the thoughts of the wicked, the facrifice and prayer of the wicked, are an abomination unto the Lord (0). What then could the wicked have naturally expected but death 'and misery ? Remember too the justice of God. To me, faith the Lord, belongeth vengeance and recompenče. : I will render vengeance to mine enemies (r). By sin all mankind were become the enemies of God; and had no claim to escape the extremity of his justice. Remember likewise the fove. reignty of God over all his creatures. Was it to be expected that the Sovereign of the Universe would permit fin, which is rebellion against himself, to pass unpunished? Would he" permit his righteous laws 'to be broken, without pouring forth his indignation on the transgressors? Would he pafs over the crimes of the guilty race' of man, and thus hold forth an encouragement to presumptuous guilt in all the other worlds which he has made? Might it not rather have been apprehended, that both for the purpofe of punishing human fin (1) Prv. 4,5. Habb. i. 13. Prov.xv. 8, 9. 26. xxviii. 9. ( Deutxxxii. 35. 41. Heb. x. 30. ny :