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of it. Disobedience and rebellion against the law and authority of God, had been punished in the fallen angels. Their sufferings declare the wrath of God for that description of sin, but not for sins committed against redeeming love. For the same reasons for which it was necessary and suitable, that the fallen angels should suffer for their rebellion, that the law of God might be respected; it seems proper, that there should be examples of God's peculiar displeasure at unbelief, that the grace of God might be respected by his creatures. It was suitable in the eyes of infinite wisdom and rectitude, that this should take place.This serves to exhibit the dignified nature of the dispensation of grace, and shows that though God is gracious and merciful, he is not regardless of himself, nor of his mercy; but will be respected, and will have his grace respected by his creatures.

3. The unyielding nature of a sinful spirit had never before been ascertained, by actual experiment, and clearly exhibited to creatures. The fallen angels never had the offers of mercy, and it was not known to creatures, that they were so utterly depraved, but that the offers of grace and motives of infinite importance, might have prevailed on them to have returned to God; and so the justice of God in their punishment could not be seen in its full strength and lustre. But the offer has been made to man, and motives of infinite weight have been presented, and it is now ascertained by actual experiment, in the case of those under the instruction of the gospel, who are left of God to go on in sin, that a sinful spirit is too obstinate to be reduced by any motives, or offers of pardon and acceptance. The implatable nature of sin is made clearly manifest. It is no longer questionable whether the carnal heart is so inimical to God, that it can never be subject to his law.

As this shows the extreme malignity of a sinful spirit, and its irreconcilable aversion to any proposals, which a holy God can make, it very greatly illustrates the justice of God, in dooming evil angels, as well as men, to never ending misery. It becomes evident, that their hearts are such that they never could be reclaimed, but by the all-conquering and irresistible power of God, and that they are fit only to be consigned to hopeless misery.

4. God in leaving some sinners to go on in their wickedness and perish, makes a most glorious display of the prerogative of divine sovereignty, beyond any thing of the kind which had ever before been set in the view of his creatures. He exercises, before the eyes of all intelligences, his sovereign right to dispose of sinners as he pleases, for the purpose of his own glory, either as vessels of mercy, or of wrath. This had never before been exhibited by example. This is a striking manifestation, that God considers the sinner as having forfeited all good-as being in the hands of a righteous Judge, and that he himself is under no kind of obligations to spare him. He may therefore use him in any way that shall be most for his own glory and the good of his kingdom, either as an example of justice or of grace. This sovereignty is also further manifested, in giving some the offers of mercy, while a knowledge of the gospel is withheld from others. all this the language of his proceedings is, "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, tọ make one vessel to honour and another unto dishon our?" If God renewed all, this glorious display of divine sovereignty would not have been made.


5. Another valuable end which is obtained by God, in leaving some to go on in sin and perish, is the peculiar display which this makes of the riches of his grace

to those whom he renews, and chooses to be the vessels of his mercy. If God had renewed and saved the whole of mankind, it might never have been so strongly felt by creatures, that there was no kind of obligation on God to the sinner, to convert him; and that he was at perfect liberty, even after an adequate redemp tion had been provided, either to apply it or not apply it, to the salvation of the sinner, as should appear good in his sight.

Nor could this grace have appeared to such advantage, had all been saved, for want of the striking contrast exhibited in the different treatment which the vessels of wrath, and of mercy, respectively receive from the hand of God. This idea appears to have deeply impressed the mind of the apostle Paul, when he said, "What if God, willing to show his wrath and make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of his mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory." Isaiah also gives us the same idea from the mouth of God. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men which have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." Thus the distinguishing exercise of grace makes a peculiar display of the riches of divine mercy, towards those who are saved.

From the whole it is conceived, that it is made plain, that the atonement is infinitely full-that God in his invitations to sinners, and in his solemn declaration, that he hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but

that the wicked turn from his way and live, is consistent with his leaving some to go on in sin and perish. And that there are reasons which may be assigned why God does not convert and save all the human race : Particularly, that the punishment of unbelief, which is a new and peculiar species of wickedness, might be exemplified-the justice of God be more fully manifested-that by the exhibition of the unyielding nature of sin, the justice of God in the endless punishment of evil men and angels might be seen in its true glory— that the sovereignty of God, and the dignified manner in which he exercises his grace might be known-and that the exceeding riches of his grace towards the redeemed, might appear as they are. In all these respects, God illustrates his own glorious perfections, in the view of his creatures, and enriches them with the knowledge of himself, by leaving some to go on in sin and perish; and in proportion as he brings himself into view, he adds to the everlasting blessedness of his whole kingdom. The wisdom and goodness of God are also displayed, in adopting a measure calculated to produce so many valuable ends, and creatures are ef fectually taught the firmness and stability, with which the Most High proceeds in his administrations of government. These are great and valuable ends, which we see are answered by the sovereign dispensations of grace and justice among men. So many reasons for this way of proceeding are made known to us; perhaps more may be seen by a sufficient attention to the subject, and probably many more will be discovered by the people of God, in the world to come. But how many reasons God has for these proceedings, no finite creature can determine. "Canst thou by searching find out God, canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection?" Finally; the things which have been noticed,

in attending to this important question, are calculated to impress our minds with the infinite mercy of God, in producing an all-sufficient atonement, and freely offering salvation to us all with our infinite obligations to Jesus Christ, for the things he has done and said to purchase mercy for sinners with the awful wickedness and inexcusableness of the impenitent and unbelieving, whose blood must be upon their own headswith the mercy of God, in reclaiming any from their obstinate perverseness to himself with the indispensible duty of all who hear the gospel, to repent and believe without delay-with the reasons which sinners have to tremble at their guilt and danger-and with the peculiar obligations of those whom God has renewed, and adopted into his family, to admire distinguishing grace, and be constant and zealous in his service. And let the world admire the compassion, and obey the gracious exhortations of God, who says, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"

The Sufferings of Christ, a Gain to the

(From the Theological Magazine.)

IF the sufferings of Christ, a person of infinite dignity, were an evil equal to that which the sufferings of all mankind would have been, had Christ never died for sinners; what benefit, on the whole, it is asked, accrues to the universe from his sufferings?

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