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Mis. 10. John vi. 37, “All that sheep : in short, they could not bethe Father giveth me shall come to lieve, because, as Esaias said, God had me;" verse 44, “No man can come “blinded their eyes.” The welcomers to me except it be given him of my of Jesus had diligently and faithfully Father.” These and some other searched, heard, and learned of the texts are produced to show that “the Father in his Old Testament scrippurposes of God, in regard to human tures, and were so prepared to recogsalvation, are limited to the church ;" nize Him as their Messiah. They “ all was pre-arranged by infinite were, therefore, God's elect oneswisdom.” Now, whatever else the were given to the Son-were drawn passages prove, they do not prove to him by the Father, and became these dogmata ; for there is not a sheep of the Great Shepherd, attendhint in them of purpose, limit, or ing to his words and following him. pre-arrangement. What the words Parts of the divine mystery were then of these and many similar passages future, but such was the state of do disclose may be new to these things in our Lord's life time. Here writers, and may well be marvellous Calvinists and Arminians are equally to all as to Paul the apostle. They at fault. The former err in applying are, indeed, parts of the “Mystery" to sinners generally what relates to of heaven respecting the Jews. During Jews under these extraordinary cirour Lord's life, and during part, at cumstances. The latter err in endea · least, of the lives of the apostles, the vouring to show that the Lord could Jews were under most extraordinary not, in the passages quoted, have and peculiar circumstances, such as meant what he said. Assuredly the no other people were ever under, and Lord did mean what he said (fairly such as the Jews themselves were understood); but his words did not under only during that period. That then, and do not now, relate to the | people were then divided into two conversion of Gentile sinners. They distinct classes, and the dealings of related only to Jewish sinners and God with the one class were the saints, during the period of the opposite of his dealings with the other. “ mystery.” Then, “the election God had foretold by his prophets that obtained” justification. The “rest a part of the Jews would despise and were blinded.” God dealt with “the reject their Messiah, and, in conse- rest” as with apostates ; for he gave quence, should “hear and not under- | them a spirit of slumber-darkened stand-see and not perceive.” And their eyes--hardened their hearts, that another part of the same people, and made their very religion a stumtaught by and learning of the Father, bling-block to them. Awful severity, should recognize and embrace the indeed ! But now comes one wonder promised one. Accordingly, when of grace. Had they stumbled that Christ came to his own (Jews), his they should for ever fall ? God forown (a part of them) received him bid! God had goodness in store for not; and for rejecting him, as for a even these non-elect and hardened species of apostacy, they were hard-ones. Another wonder succeeds. ened and blinded. But to as many Could any object be obtained through as received him, believing in his the Jews' stumbling? Yes, a merciful name, he gave the right to become and great object, even the coming of sons of God. The rejectors were salvation to the Gentiles. “Seeing rejected as non-elect their table you,” Jews, “put it from you," said (religion, as then taught) was made the heralds, “lo! we turn to the a share to them : they learned not of Gentiles, for so hath the Lord comthe Father-came not to Christ- manded !” Here the mystery opens believed not, because not of Christ's apace : Blindness had thus happened, to a part of Israel, for a limited time, Paul's preaching was “ babble.” At and with a gracious object in view ; the doctrine of the resurrection, the and it was to continue until the wise Athenians “ mocked.” Like Gentile “fulness" came in. A third Festus they deemed the doctrine of wonder hastens : Paul could, and did the cross learned madness. say, the Gospel was “preached to Perv. 11. Mat. xvi. 17, “ Blessed every creature under heaven.” Surely art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and Gentile fulness had then come in. If blood hath not revealed it unto thee, so, that was the time for salvation to but my Father who is in heaven.” flow back to all the Jews as freely as Now it is begging the question to init had, through their defection, flowed fer from this that God gave faith to forward to all the Gentiles. And Peter. The Father, indeed, gave now the crowning glory of the whole abundant and well-confirmed testimystery appears : The hardening is mony to be believed, both in Old taken off, and the golden opportunity | Testament prophecies, and in the miis given to Jews (as well as to Gen- raculously attested claims of Christ. tiles) of freely receiving Christ and But it was especially at his baptism his justification ; for God “ concludes in Jordan, that the Father bare pubthem all, no longer as in apostacy, lic testimony that Jesus was his bebut simply in unbelief or disobedience, loved son, by his own voice from heaand this He does, blessed be his name! ven, and by the dove-like form of his “ that he may have mercy upon all.” descending and remaining Spirit. Well may we, in contemplating the And Peter, having thus “ heard His whole mystery, and especially its voice, and seen His shape,” was truly, gracious termination, burst into the and by the Father in heaven, enabled apostle's exclamation, “O) the depth to affirm “ thou art the Christ, the of the riches of the wisdom and know- Son of the living God.” ledge of God!”
Mis. 12. John vi. 44, “ No man Perv. 10. These writers seem to can come unto me, except the Father take for granted that “ belief of the who hath sent me draw him.” That truth” is the gift of God to certain this text refers not to our times, and individuals ; and in proof offer 1 Cor. that it only related to the life of Christ, ii. 14, “ The natural man receiveth is made very manifest by our Lord not the things of the Spirit of God, afterward saying, “1, if I be lifted for they are foolishness unto him, up from the earth, will draw all men neither can he know them, because unto me.” For we are thus taught, they are spiritually discerned.” Un- that during his life, the Father drew fortunately, however, for them, belief Jews to Jesus ; but after his death, is neither named nor meant in this Jesus drew all men to himself. passage. Those “spiritual” men, the Mis. 13. “ If it be of works it can Apostles of Christ, received “the be no more of grace.” These Bapthings of the Spirit” direct from hea- tists decide that “works” here include ven, as the Lord promised they should faith in Christ, repentance, and put(John xvi. 13.) But the wisdom- ting on Christ; and that such acts seeking Greek, the disputer, the phi- or works are incompatible with grace! losopher (the recipient of no heavenly If so, assuredly the water from the influence) could not, by the mere ex- smitten rock could not be “ of grace" ercise of his senses, and natural rea--because Israel had 1st, to hear the sonings, know those “ things of the news; 2nd, to believe it ; 3rd, to run Spirit.” Indeed, so contrary were to the stream ; and 4th, to drink. they to the “ wisdom of this world,” Assuredly, also, Paul the Apostle that when declared to these “natural” | erred in saying, “ It is of faith, that men, they appeared “ foolishness.” I it might be by grace"-and“ by
grace ye are saved, through faith.” | among all things that are done under It is, however, a refinement in “ wis- the sun—that there is one event to dom above what is written,” peculiar | all.” Since because of this, men to such theologians as these Scotch often become hardened—are “full of Baptists, that to thankfully receive a evil and madness in their heart ;** gift, is to rob the giver of merit. To because by all that is visible, in this the candid it must be very plain that life, no one can decide with certainty the works” of which the Apostle how any one stands before God. speaks are not “faith in Christ,” nor The same writer has said ;65 the obedience of faith,” but are “ There is a vanity”-a misfortune“deeds of the law,” done to merit which happens in this world, that justification, and make God debtor to there be just men to whom it happenman, Rom. iii. 28, and iv. 4. eth according to the work of the
Four-fifth of the 128 quotations wicked : again there be wicked men must stand over till next month. to whom it happeneth, according to
J. D. the work of the righteous."! This is
still more mysterious. It proves, MYSTERIES IN PROVIDENCE. indeed, that God does not intend that
we should be rewarded or punished IF physical nature has its profound in this world, and that the events of and yet undeveloped mysteries-if this life are not meant to develope religion, in its doctrine and institu- either human character or human tions, has its sublime and awful destiny. Again Solomon adds, as secrets, which no intellect can com- still more mysterious ;—“There is a prehend-why should not the scheme just man that perisheth by his rightof a superintending Providence, or of eousness, and there is a wicked man a righteous moral government, also | that prolongeth his life by his have its peculiarand incomprehensible wickedness."I mysteries? They are, indeed, but David, the father of Solomon, has parts of one grand system—the off- | also said ;–“God, indeed, is good to spring of one and the same almighty | Israel—to such as are of a pure mind, and why should they not heart." “ But”-although this be equally bear the characteristic im- the fact, the ultimate fact—"as for press of that same infinite wisdom me, my feet were almost gone, my and benevolence ?
steps had well nigh slipped ; for I Providence, in its scheme and de
was envious at the foolish-seeing velopment, has, therefore, in all ages the prosperity of the wicked ; for and all minds, presented its propor- there are no bands in their death, tion of mysteries, no less inscrutable but their strength is firm. They are than those of Nature and Revelation. not in trouble as other men, neither So profound and unsearchable are are they plagued like other men. these, that Solomon, the wisest of Therefore,” he adds, “pride commen, in reference to human destiny, passeth them about as a chain, viohas said ;-"No man knoweth either lence covereth them as a garment. love or hatred by all that is before Verily,” adds the sweet psalmist of him"-"All things come alike to all. Israel, “I have cleansed my heart in There is one event to the righteous | vain, and washed my hands in inand to the wicked, to the clean · and nocency; for all the day long have I to the unclean, to him that sacrificeth been plagued, and chastened every and to him that sacrificeth not ; as is morning. But should 1,” adds he, the good so is the sinner, and he that
continue in this strain, I “should sweareth as he that feareth an oath.”
Eccle. ix. 1, 2.
+ Eccles. viii. 14. Again he says ;="This is an evil!
f Eclces. vii. 14.
cause to stumble the generation of all this? There is an old sinner, of my children. When I desired to vigorous health and robust constituunderstand this” mystery of Divine tion, whose every breath is profane Providence, he adds, “it was too and impious ; who has, for more than wonderful for me until I went into half a century, been blasphewing the the sanctuary of God”-until I con- God that is above ; and there has sulted his oracles ; “then understood | just fallen a brother Frost, of Eng- | I their end.” “Surely thou didst set glanda brother Reid, of Scotland them in slippery places ; thou cast-a brother M*Chesney, or a brother edst them down ; thou doomedst them Latham, of America--each in the to destruction."*
morning or meridian of life, eminently But a poet more ancient, more gifted with the powers of doing good patriarchial, more experienced in woe --with spirituality of mind, with than David, has asked ;“Wherefore much practical good sense, and scripdo the wicked live, become old-yea, tural knowledge--with hearts as full are mighty in power ? Their chil- of benevolence as their mouths were dren are established in their sight of arguments and eloquence. And with them, and their offspring before this, too, when myriads were crying their eyes.—Their flocks and their for help--myriads famishing for the herds increase, and they multiply in bread of life, and a voice every where the land. They send forth their echoing from city to hamlet, from hill offspring like a flock, and their chil- and dale, “ Come over and help us." || dren dance. They take the timbrell These, and many like them, whom and the harp, and rejoice at the we could name, died in the vigour of sound of the organ. They spend life, with an unbounded field of labor their days in wealth, and in a moment, and promised usefulness expanding go down to the grave. Therefore,” | before them, and with many a good because of this prosperity, the wicked earnest in hand that their talents i“ say to God, Depart from us, for we were acceptable, and their labors in desire not the knowledge of thy ways. the Lord not without a proper effect. Who is the Almighty that we should How, then, shall we explain this serve him, and what profit should we mystery? Is it because there was have if we pray to him ?”
no more need for them in the Lord's Now if this were all true, and these vineyarı, no farther labor to be perreasonings just, under elementary formed, no souls to be saved, no dispensations of moral government, Christians to be edified and refreshed during which both rewards and in the ways of the Lord ? This we panishments were more outward and cannot admit : for present observation sensible, more temporal and worldly, and experience in their respective than under the Christian and more fields of labor, show that good has spiritual administration of righteous- since been done, and is still doing. ness, why should we think it strange It was not, then, because they could that there is now one event to all in not have done good ; nor was it bevery many of those particulars as cause the Lord would not have good above enumerated ? Ilow often do to be done in their respective fields we see the sinner living to his three of labor. What, then, remains but score years and ten, while many a that there are other provinces in 'pure and excellent stripling is cut God's immense universe in which down as the green tender herb, in the they could be employed more happily very morning of his existence ? Nay, and more usefully than here? is there not something in inoral | This is not a conclusion so visiongovernment still more mysterious than | ary or baseless as some might on first • Psalm lxiü, 1, 6, 13, 17.
hearing imagine it to be. No one
reasoning analogically from one system. The Messiah has said that the or department of the universe to ano-angels who attend on little children, ther, can rationally conclude that God“ do always behold the face of his does any thing in vain. Angels that Father which is in heaven.” Now are of a nature and location very dif- without deciding the questionferent to ours, are capable of perform- “ Whether those angels of little chiling very important services in our dren are their guardian angels, or world, and doubtless in other worlds. their own spirits after death employed Why, then, should we not think that by the Lord in his 'service waiting men, or the disembodied spirits of upon others,” evident it is that spirits men, after death, may perform services are ministers, and consequently, deas important to the inhabitants of rive happiness from the employments other worlds, as the inhabitants of assigned them in another state. . those worlds perform in ours? And Those who repudiate the assumpso long as it is written that all the tion that demons are either diseases angels of God are ministering spirits or diseased persons called lunatics, sent on numerous and various minis- and admit with the Apostle James, trations to the heirs of salvation, we that, like men they do believe and must not think it strange if God will tremble, and are, therefore, wicked make all saints after death ministers spirits-disembodied spirits or souls of mercy or of public utility in some of dead men-cannot doubt that the of the grand departments of this stu- spirits of good men, separated from pendous universe, and that he needs their mortal tenements, or who have them as much elsewhere as he needs laid off their earthly tabernacles, are angelic ministers in the world. also capable of believing and obeying
Angels can ride in chariots of fire, God, and therefore, of rejoicing in or on the wings of the wind ; they any employment subservient to his can stop the mouths of lions, unbolt glory, or conducive to the safety or the doors of prisons, quench the vio- the happiness of his saints. lence of fire, roll away the rocks from Indeed, without employment there the graves of saints, reveal secrets, is no enjoyment in any human being. carry messages from heaven to earth, The pleasures of sense and the pleastrike dumb a hesitating Zacharias, sures of the mind equally consist in orinvest with vermin a wicked Herod; the moral and rational employment of why, then, may not those who fall our sensitive and moral faculties ; in asleep in Jesus, perform services as other words, in employing them on various and as numerous in other their proper objects in harmony with portions of God's unmeasured and the laws of God, which are, indeed, immeasurable dominions as angels do the laws of the universe. This being in this ? And if, in working out indisputably true, follows it not, ther, man's redemption, Jesus had need of that our spirits, when absent from a colt, the foal of an ass, may we not our bodies and present with the Lord, consistently suppose that in the in order to their happiness pass not government and administration of the into a state of repose, but must be universe, and in carrying out all his actively employed by God in spheres designs, the Lord may need the ser- of action in harmony with 'their new vices of infants and adults, and that constitution and the affairs of the for this purpose he often selects the universe ; otherwise in his presence purest and best of our race, and calls there is not a 'fulness of joy, nor at them hence to minister in his hosts of his right hand are there pleasures for light, in other fields of labor, accord- ever more. ing to the wants of his vast domin If, then, as it appears that dormant ions.
Tor unemployed spirits, whether an