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produce co-extensive effects. And this is the sober truth. The effects of this universal power, constitute the materials of history; and impress on the earthly image its true character, in indelible marks; a relief so bold, as to stand prominently conspicuous, and give body, form and feature, to the character of the great family of man.
Third-This potent, governing human power, was manifested in the first act that history records of the earthly Adam, in the person of our mother Eve. The newly-created pair were counselled by Wisdom from above, how to act; and cautioned not to transgress a certain rule, as death would be the consequence. The very first conclusion of the human mind, was made with policy at the helm. A desire existed to gratify forbidden, or wrong propensities. Immediately the question of expediency was started, and policy decided, instanter, in favour of an experiment. Why was this decision made in a moment? I answer, Because policy held the helm of the mind; and it was turned in an instant to the object of desire; as the magnetic policy, that sits at the helm of the needle, turns it according to the natural law of its being.
Fourth-The antithesis of human policy, defines its true characteristics. And this antithesis is the Wisdom from above, whose peculiar and distinguishing feature is, to choose nothing that is incompatible with the law of righteousness. This is the rule that Eve was advised to follow. Whenever any thing was presented to her mind, whether by the operation of extrinsic things, or the volitions of the law of her being; that is, whether things within her own mind as their origin, or things foreign to her mind and person, but operating by an influence on her senses; in either case, and under all circumstances, to decide according to the Divine rule of righteousness; because Wisdom dictated, that valuable ends could be obtained by no other means whatsoever. But Eve's policy, which is the antithesis of the Wisdom, and Eve's propensities, the antithesis of the righteousness, declared war in a moment; and this war, which is "the law of sin and death," in opposition to God's "Law of the Spirit of Life," has been waged to the present moment.
Fifth-I now request the reader to take into consideration the great Principle of the Gospel of Christ, as I have exhibited it, in several of the preceding sermons. principle was promulgated by Jesus (John ix. 41,) in his reply to the Pharisees, "If ye were blind, ye should have
no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." And by Paul, (Rom. ii. 12-16,) in a special reference to the Gentiles, before the Gospel was promul gated; and while the Jews, as God's chosen people, were under the law; and worshipped God in the temple at Jerusalem. The Gentiles never had a written law. The Jews, only, had a written law. And Paul affirms of the Gentiles, that "they were a law unto themselves;" that is, says Paul, "When they do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves." And Paul affirms, that this fact shews or exhibits the truth of his declaration, viz: "which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another." And Paul affirms of this great principle, that by it, "God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
Now the truth is seen as clear as the sun: Whenever the Gentiles acted righteously, did that which is right, as a matter of course they acted in conformity to the law given to the Jews; for that law required the Jews to act right. But this right action on the part of the Gentiles, being approved by their conscience, is most conclusive evidence of their possessing an ability, according to the law of their nature, as men, to distinguish, to a measurable extent, right from wrong. But there is still farther evidence, because the same conscience, or faculty of deciding at any one time, of any one action, that it is right, enabled them to judge of the action or conduct that is the antithesis of the right act that they approved; viz:that the opposite conduct is wrong. Therefore, their accountability, and the measure of their sin, when acting wrong, existed in a corresponding ratio with their abili ty to know when they acted right. Consequently, the principle established is precisely as affirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisees. If a man does a wrong act, and is so blind and uninstructed as not to be qualified to judge of the quality of the act, he is innocent; and no sin is laid to his charge. And it must follow, that the measure of a man's sin, is the measure of his knowledge. Therefore, God requires of ignorant Heathen or pagan nations, to whom He has communicated no written law, and made no other communication than in their hearts, as men, etc., no farther obedience or regulation of their con
duct, than they are qualified of themselves to perform. The judgment of the ignorant, is according to their real condition, as to the moral turpitude of their conduct. This is a righteous judgment; and the Wisdom from above directs this very course. We can see the force of the declaration in the parabola of the prophets-"By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many," &c. Here knowledge is not mentioned in the imagery as the effect, but as the cause of righteousness. There fore Jesus Christ says, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (John xvii. 3.) Here, by a metonymy, the effect, the life, is put for the cause of the life, viz: knowledge.
There is an illegitimate philosophy abroad in the world; it has been carried into the church, and baptized, and legitimatized; and is now admitted into the best or thodox circles. Pope snapped his fingers approvingly, and wrote in honour of the bantling, when he perpetrated the following absurdity:
And binding nature fast in fate,
The imagery of the poet, if a painter should select Pope's distich as the subject of his pencil, would represent a man in the stocks or pillory, bound as fast as fate, with his will perfectly free to go wherever he pleased! And it is this puerile, miserable, contemptible sophistry, that has been dignified, and has worn a Bishop's Wig! The nicety of metaphysical disquisition, in the common acceptation of the phrase, is the most liberal of generalities, compared to orthodox quibbling, when the fact of man's moral inability, is adduced as incontestable evidence of his natural freedom. (Or, vice versa, to suit all human whims.) Heaven preserve the youthful pupil, when such monstrosities ride, Gilpin-like, a monomania, through the heads of all his tutors.*
My text is the language of Christ's disciples, in a mo. ment of alarm, when they were threatened with immediate death. There arose a great tempest," the vessel
* In my remarks on the notorious absurdity that has been nursed by so many orthodox mothers, I have illustrated the parabola of a prophetviz: "With the pure, thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavory.". 2 Sam. xxii. 27.
they were on board, with their Lord, was considered by them to be in extreme peril of foundering; Jesus was below asleep-they ran to him, and awoke him, crying, "Lord, save us, we perish." They were in danger, not from their sins, but from the perils of the sea.
But sinners, as I have shown in the preceding sermon, are in danger from their sins. What, I ask, are sinners in danger of, according to the premises I have exhibited in this sermon? What was our mother Eve in danger of ? From what source was the evil to come, that threatened Eve? The answer must be, from the serpent policy, within her own bosom! "The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands." (Psa. ix. 16.) He only, "that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption." (Gal. vi. 8.) A man cannot sow to the flesh, unless he is in the flesh-he reaps where he sows-in the flesh, in the body, is the corruption reaped. The snare is the work of the wicked's own hands-and in this snare he is taken. Therefore the earnestness of Paul's language-“Be_not deceived; God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." But God would be mocked if this were not the case. As in the case of Eve; if she had not been snared in the work of her own hand, God would have been mocked by a result that contradicted His affirmation of consequences.
The immediate connexion of the declaration quoted from Paul, affirms, "But he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." The Gospel of Christ neither teaches nor admits, of more than two results, from human action. These two results, or effects, proceed from two causes, which are exhibited in the contrast of a perfect antithesis. Therefore, the relation that exists, between cause and effect, exhibits, invariably, and of inevitable necessity, the effects, in a contrast, where the antithesis is equally, and strongly marked.
How pertinent is the question, Can JEHOVAH's laws that govern mind and matter, the physical and moral worlds, be mocked by the policy of men? Can men escape the snare, that is the work of their own hands? Can men sow to the flesh, through the medium of their policy, their snare, and not reap corruption? Not if God is true. Not if sacred and profane history speak the truth.
What is the affirmation of JEHOVAH, of the consequences of human policy, as opposed to His righteousness? The answer cannot be mistaken: "In the day
that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. The soul that sinneth it shall die." The snare is no sooner spread by human policy, than the death is endured; the wages of sin received. The sower, that soweth to the flesh, reaps corruption. Every successive crop is corruption. Consequently, the second death, the death of mortality, when the field, the flesh, the body, is dissolved, is death unto death; the recipient has no life; nothing but corruption wherewith to resist corruption; and destruction closes the scene. Human policy deceives the dupe to the last-the serpent error, whispers the delusive cheating, until Hades shuts the door of hope; the curtain of mortality falls, and no ray of light can penetrate where corruption reigns; till the last trump shall announce the Jubilee of God's Grand Consummation. Did human policy ever dictate the cry, "Lord, save us, we perish?" No, AMEN.