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acterize the gospel scheme, and distinguish it from all others. The atonement made by them, adds to the christian religion its chief superiority, and lays the only foundation of hope for all who have just views of the divine law. and the moral state of man. doctrines of the gospel will derive their peculiar complexion from the manner in which the doctrine of atonement is explained. A mistake here will be peculiarly injurious, and will infallibly lead into error in every part of divinity. Atonement is the great sun in the centre of the system. Blot it out, and you are lost forever. Not a ray from any other quarter will dart through the gloomy prison of sin, to cheer its disconsolate inhabitants, to disenthral them from their chains, and enlighten their path to freedom and glory,"

Correct views of the atonement shed light, consistency, harmony and beauty divinely charming over the other doctrines of the gospel.

However interesting the subject, it is one on which those are not perfectly united, whose piety is apparently unquestionable. In the Discourses and Essays on this subject, the writers have occasionally exhibited a small diversity of sentiment. This must generally have arisen from the different errors, which they designed to expose, and which were more particularly contemplated, in their respective arguments, and illustrations. While they have presented no essential difference of sentiment, they have honestly and faithfully declared to others, what they believed to be the "truth as it is in Jesus."

May the blessing of God accompany His truth, that it may be a savour of life unto many souls; and to Him shall be all the glory forever.


The Inability of the Sinner to comply with the Gospel, his inexcusable guilt in not complying with it, and the consistency of these with each other, illustrated,


ON JOHN vi, 44.



Man's Inability to comply with the Gospel.

JOHN vi, 44.

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him.


Tis, no doubt, of the last importance, that people should be convinced and made thoroughly sensible of their impotence and helplessness in themselves, and their entire dependence on divine grace for salvation. So long as sinners think they can recommend themselves to the favour of God by their own righteousness, they will never "come unto" Christ "that they may have life." For "the whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick." And so long as persons imagine they labour under no insuperable inability to


comply with the gospel, they will never feel their dependence on Him who alone is able to work in them "the whole good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power." Nor will they feel disposed, or see the occasion they have, to "give unto God the glory," which is indeed “due unto his name," in their salvation. Accordingly, the depravity, blindness and deadness of mankind, in things of a spiritual nature, and their utter inability to comply with the gospel, as well as to obtain salvation by the deeds of the law, are much inculcated and insisted on in the sacred scriptures.

But then, there is a difficulty in the minds of many, how to reconcile this total helplessness of sinners with the sincerity of the gospel call, or with the justice of men's being condemned and punished, for their impenitence and unbelief. And indeed it does seem as if men could not be to blame, for not doing impossibilities: nor should we, in other cases, think there was much kindness or sincerity in offering a favour on conditions that were known to be impracticable.

There is scarce any one, I believe, that has ever thought much about religion, but what has, at one time or other, felt himself pinched with this difficulty. And it is wont to have a most pernicious influence upon the minds of sinners in general; but more especially when they come to be under awakenings, and begin to enquire," what they shall do to be saved." According to what they hear in sermons, yea, and according to what they read in their bibles, they are at a loss to see how the ways of the Lord can be equal. "The carnal mind," they are told, "is law of God, neither indeed can be."

not subject to the

And that, "they

that are in the flesh cannot please God." They are therefore under a necessity of sinning, yea, of doing

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