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the cross.

thy of the blessedness of heaven, when he was sweating blood in the garden, and when he was dying upon

The chistisement of our peace was upor him, and with bis stripes we are healed. He was num. bered with the transgressors; for he bore the sin of many. This was a new and wonderful scene in the divine government ; yet not contradictory to the above principle. It was not understood, when the Father was bruising his Son and putting him to shame, that he designed to manifest any displeasure with the sinless character of his Son, but with the sinful and hell-deserving character of those, for whom he voluntarily consented to become a substitute. Since the stripes laid upon Christ were not designed to manifest the least displeasure towards him ; and

seeing it was his choice, that these stripes should be laid upon him, to answer infinitely important purposes in the kingdom of grace, there is nothing in this matter, which does by any means, destroy this general principle; that God will, on rendering rewards, treat every one according as his own work, shall be.

The truth of this principle, which is stated in the doctrine, and evidently contained in the text, may be proved. Ist. From scripture declarations. 2d. From God's actual treatment of moral agents. 3d. From the very nature of God; and 4th. It may be argued from the necessity of this principle, in order to the maintaining of divine government.

FIRST. The principle laid down is capable of being proved by plain scripture declarations. To this point is that passage in Gen. 18. 25. That be far

• from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righte. ous with the wicked; and that the rightcous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right ?' There is a passage in the 24th chapter of Deuteronomy, which is still more to the point. The fathers shall not be put

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to death for the children; neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.' It is unequivocally declared, Rom. 2. 6. That God will render to every man according to his deeds. These passages perfect. ly accord with the text, in declaring that God will treat moral agents according to their own personal character.

SECONDLY. The same may be proved from God's actual treatment of his rational creatures. Some of the angels kept not their first estate of holiness, but left their own habitation; these were all immediately cast out of heaven, and are reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, to the judgment of the great day. There is not one of them left in Heaven: but the angels who remained obedient, all remain in the presence of God. While Adam kept his place, he dwelt in paradise and enjoyed the divine favor; but when he rebelled, he was cast out. All men, while they remain in their rebellion, remain under the wrath of God; but when they return unto God, he returns unto them. This world is not now a place of exact distribution of rewards and punishments; yet God has often so conducted the kingdom of providence, as to clearly show forth this truth, "The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him,' i. e. the righteous are rewarded and the wicked punished. The wicked children of godly parents have met with a dreadful overthrow, as in the case of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron; Amnon and Absolom, the sons of David; the sons of Eli, and others: and the pious children of wicked parents, have met with divine approbation, as Abijah, the son of wicked Jeroboam, and Josiah, the son of impious Amon. But howe.. ver uneaqually rewards and punishments may now be distributed, we must remember, that no one is punished more than his iniquities deserve, and there

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is a day coming, when every thing which now appears disordered, will be set pefectly right. The judge of all the earth will gather all nations before him, and divide them all into two companies. This separation will be made exactly, according to their personal character. There will not be one rightoous soul found upon the left hand; nor one wicked, unholy creature on the right. God's actual treatment of moral agents at the day of judgment, and thenceforward through eternity, will make our text appear most strictly true. The holy angels will all be wel. comed to Heaven, as their eternal abode; the wicked angels,

or devils, will all be confined to hell. The saints, i. e. the holy ones, will be received to Hea. ven, let them be whose children they will. These; though once defiled with sin and fit for destruction, having now obtained redemption through the blood of the cross, are prepared unto glory. By faith they are clothed with the all-perfect righteousness of the Son of God. While on earth, in a state of probation, thcy obtained through grace, a holy character, and were attempered to the heavenly world. Heaven is their purchased inheritance; the better country which they desired while tabernacling in the flesh. All such will, without a single exception, be raised to Heaven. And Oh, what a glorious and united society they will form! However different in other respects, they will all be agreed in supreme love to God. In Heaven there will be neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ will be all, in all. It will be no matter where they were born, or of whom, if they are only born from above. This makes them all meet for the Heavenly inheritance. What if they were some of them allied to wicked, prayerless families on earth, they were called out from their kindred, by the distinguishing grace of God. They have the same ho

. dy father, in a spiritual sense, as the children of the

most pious parents. Their wicked parentage is for. gotten in Heaven. Christ wili not upbraid them with it, since they did not follow the evil example of their parents; but forsook all to follow him. They,

' personally, are holy. This will make them forever lovely in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of all his holy family.

On the other hand, all the wicked, at the day of judgment, will be turned into hell. If they had ever so pious' a parentage, this will do nothing towards keeping them from misery, while their hearts are unrenewed. It is not being born of blood, though ever so noble, or venerable, but the being born of God, which prepares for Heaven. The piety of parents will do nothing towards procuring the wicked an admission into Heaven; since it does nothing towards making them appear lovely in the sight of the Searcher of hearts. It rather tends to set of their impiety in a more dreadful point of light. It will be in vain for those, whose hearts are estranged from God, to plead, • We have Abraham to our father.? If they pead this, they may be called upon to show in their lives the works of Abraham. The wicked, let them come out of ever so good families, or churches, are all fitted for destruction. They are attempered to such a state and place as hell. And this will undoubtedly be their portion for ever and ever,

Thus God gives evidence of his different treatment of the two different characters which exist among his creatures, that he is influenced by no partial motives, but always judges righteous judgment.

THIRDLY. If God did not reward the good and punish the wicked according to their personal character, we should have no evidence that he was perfectly

that he was always the friend of holiness and the enemy of sin. If he ever approved of sin, or frowned upon holiness, he would ruin his character, as a holy, sin-hating God. If sin were any less odi.

holy ;

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ous, because it existed in the heart of David's son, than though it existed in the son of Saul, then it is not sin which the Lord hates. If holiness were any less lovely to him, when it appeared in the heart of Abijah, the child of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, than when it appeared in the heart of Isaac, 'the son of Abraham and Sarah, those dear friends of God, then it will follow, that it is not holiness, but something else which he loves. And if this be the case, we have no evidence, that Jehovah is, as he is often stiled, the Holy One of Israel.' From the holiness of the Deity, we might safely infer, that he would distribute rewards and punishments according to personal character. If holiness be the very thing which God loves, then the same degree of holy affection will appear equally lovely, let it be discovered where it will. If it were possible that holy affection could spring up in the heart of the devil, God would love it; but it is acknowledged, that he could not reward it, unless the devil could be brought into union with the Mediator : because the law has no rewards for any thing short of perfect obedience. But the idea which we wish to make plain, is this, that holiness, being a dis. position to embrace the glory of God, and the best good of his family, is in itself considered, an amiable, even the most amiable quality, which a moral agent can possess, and is that which the Holy one of Israel cannot but love, whenever he discovers it. On the other hand, sin, which is a disposition to prefer one's self above God and all his kingdom, is a hateful disposition, let who will possess it; therefore, God and all the friends of the universe must loath such a frame of heart. If the Lord be a God of truth, then we rest satisfied that he will treat his creatures so, as to express the real feelings of his heart, since he is per fectly independent, and can be laid under no restraint. This will lead me in the

Fourth Place, to prove, that it is a fixed principle in the government of God, to distribute rewards

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