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you must seek for it in God's righteousness: IMMORTALITY-it exists beyond the grave: And eternal life is stored, treasured up, a precious boon, in the Lord Jesus Christ, at the right hand of the MAJESTY ON HIGH. But Calvinism, Arminianism, Hopkinsianism, Romanism, and all sorts and kinds of human dogmatisms, are found on the earth; in this world, the place of their origin, and their eternal home. Reader,
"Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." PSA. ii. 10-12.
THE Title of my Sermon shall be, when correctly understood, emphatically expressive of its contents. Therefore, THE DECISION: the important, the momentous De cision, on a subject that concerns every son and daughter of the earthly Adam. The second Psalm, from which my text is selected, is of the most thrilling interest, and comprehensive import. It contains, in its imagery, its prophetic truth, and in its doctrinal import, the whole scheme of God's salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord; compressed within a brief synopsis, and clothed in the Divine Parabola of "the dark sayings" of the Prophets.
I have remarked on former occasions, that the prophets, who predicted the coming of the Elect of God, the Messiah of the Jews, the Mediator, the Covenant of the people, the Gentiles, and the consequences to all nations, all the kindreds of the earth, from that coming, were themselves in the dark; and ignorant of the import of the momentous truths they promulgated in their "dark sayings." For it was the peculiar province of God's Son Jesus, to perfect the revelation of His Father, the only living and true God; and to bring to light, through His Gospel," the mystery that had been hid from ages and from generations," viz: LIFE AND IMMORTALITY for man, in another and a better world. (Col. i. 26; 2 Tim. i. 10.) There are, therefore, three things, to which I will request the candid attention, and the serious consideration of the reader:
Second-Its prophetic truth.
"Why do the heathen rage, and
the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed ?" &c., are the interrogations of the Spirit of prophecy. The phrase "heathen and the people," necessarily includes both Jews and Gentiles. The kings of the earth denote the consolidated power of the Roman Empire, under whose authority the Jews crucified the Son of God. The rulers that take counsel, clearly designate the Jewish hierarchy, associated with Pilate the Roman governor ; whose assent to their murderous designs against Christ, the anointed of the LORD, was first obtained, before they could subject Jesus to the death of the Cross. And the object, end and aim, that the enemies of Jesus endeavoured to secure, and their vain confidence of success, in putting the Lord Jesus Christ to the ignominious death of the cross, are signified by the phraseology of the prophet as follows: "Let us break their bands asunder [God the Father, and His Son Jesus,] and cast away their cords from us." That is, the doctrine of God, that Jesus had preached to the Jews, which they considered in the light of bands; restricting them in their observance of their traditions; and requiring them to regard the law of God as Jesus had explained it, in its spirituality. How they succeeded in their wicked scheme, is predicted in glowing language: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; [at their impotent efforts;] the LORD shall have them in derision."
The next thing in order, prefigured as a consequence of the crucifixion of God's Son Jesus, in the Divine imagery, is God's judgment on the guilty actors in the murder of the Son of God. Therefore the declaration"Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure." Then follows a declaration of the immutability of God's purpose, that has no reference to the merits or the demerits of the creature man, viz: "Yet [notwithstanding all this,] have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion." And the purpose, good pleasure, counsel, will, or decree of JEHOVAH, is then solemnly promulgated
"I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." The imagery of the prophet can be exVol. II.-41
plained, according to its legitimate import, no other way, than by the admission of God's Son, as the speaker. It is, emphatically, I will declare the decree: The LORD JEHOVAR hath said unto Me, THOU art MY SON, &c. The Son is the speaker-the LORD JEHOVAH, the Author of the Decree, that the Son, the patient of the Decree, promulgates.
Reader, how different is the account found in the Sacred Record, of GOD'S DECREE, and the manner of its promulgation, too, from the accounts given by men, who have set themselves up as the heads and leaders of sects, and the authors of creeds and confessions of faith for their fellows! Look at them:→→
First-The DECREE: What does the Presbyterian Church, teach, of God's Decree? Do they declare the Decree of God, as above declared by the Spirit of Truth? Do they teach, affirm, and admit, that God's DECREE gives the Heathen, the uttermost parts of the earth, to Jesus, as his possession, and his inheritance from God the Father? No! They teach that God's Decree gives only a part, a few to Christ; and they damn the residue, and by far the greater number, to an abominable, and a cruel Hell of endless duration, and misery inexpressible. True, in their merciful mood, and to gull the people, and obtain their money, they frequently pretend, that they are aiding and assisting, to obtain for Jesus a greater portion of the Heathen for his inheritance! But, be it remembered, they have damned the Heathen in a lump. I speak and write from the evidence of my own senses; and not from "hearsayevidence." I have seen a clergyman of this hell-preaching-order, clinch his fist in anger, and brandish his brawny arm above the heads of his church and congregation, after having affirmed that the Heathen are the non-elect; and then heard him say, in a voice raised to its maximum, and with a countenance coloured with Hopkinsian rage, to the members of his church, designating them as such, "You know you dare not pray for the non-elect." And this man received, for about the term of forty years, from his sheep, as their shepherd, a liberal salary, for aiding in saving those, who, according to his own creed, could not be damned; and for preventing the damnation of those who could not be saved! Now I affirm, that every dollar of this clergyman's salary, was, on his own confession and principles, received on false pretences and false tokens; and constituted a species of pious
fraud! But, "my people love to have it so," says the Book.
Second-What do these pretended shepherds of the souls of men teach, of the manner of promulgating the Decree?
Ans. They unblushingly affirm of a certain bargain having been made, between the persons of their "sacred trinity," as they have ycleped their triangle of absurdity and falsehood. They talk about the "sacred three," as politicians talk about their code; after having settled, in concert, what conventional phrases shall be the parlance of the party. Hear one of them-"The covenant of redemption, and salvation by grace, entered into by the sacred Three in behalf of elect sinners, on whom grace and glory were settled for ever in Christ, their covenant head."* Do they, that is, these Presbyterian schemers,
* Reader, I hope you are not so blind that you cannot see a distinction, where a real difference exists: Take a simile-What kind of a covenant does a man enter into with his legal representatives, when he gives his entire estate, by a testamentary bequest, to his lineal descendants, or heirs? I will answer-He makes a covenant of himself; being moved thereunto by himself; and his covenant, will, or testament, (take your choice of terms,) is made valid, and irrevocably, and for ever sure, and final, by his death. And this, a man's covenant, or testamentary bequest, is the Scripture figure or simile that has been introduced by the Inspired writer, to explain and illustrate God's Covenant in Christ Jesus; who is, emphatically, His gift to the people, the heathen, the Gentiles, the uttermost parts of the earth; in such a sense as is expressed by a holy prophet, in the affirmation," He shall be my salvation to the end of the earth." And men universally, are God the Great Father's offspring! And this gift, or covenant, or testamentary bequest, or will, or decree, is on the part of God, acting as a Father, in and through Jesus Christ His Son, to men universally, His offspring. And this act of the SOLE JEHOVAH, the ONE only living and true God, is called, by a miserable, selfstyled orthodoxy, a covenant entered into by three persons, a bargain! And to doubt, or deny this orthodox hypothesis, this wretched bantling of a distempered mind, and a corrupt heart, is called a damnable heresy ; and all who have the presumption to believe JEHOVAH, His holy prophets, His Elect Son Jesus, and Jesus' disciples and apostles, are, by this impiously arrogant orthodoxy consigned to an infernal and cruel Hell!!! Ah, "He that sitteth in the Heavens shall laugh, the LORD shall have them in derision."
The Lord Jesus Christ affirmed, in varied phrase, "I and the Father are ONE." (See John xvii.) The conclusion, therefore, is irresistible, that if Jesus and his Father (God) are one, that the addition of a third person, called the Holy Spirit, would, instead of a Trinity in unity, produce in addition to the duality of Father and Son, an association of a duality with a single, individual person; for the Father and Son, it seems, on the evidence of the Son, are fully sufficient to constitute ONE person or being, independently of the orthodox-third person of the sacred trinity!"