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can be given to this jargon, it is fomething like the following, viz. that God will give all defirable affiftance to the well-difpofed; and if we do but what we can, or at leaft make but one step towards our reconciliation with him, he will give us his Spirit to help us to proceed. The fame fentiment has been given us in various other forms of speech, and by fome with a great fhow of found doctrine; we have been told that " Whofoever fincerely endeavors to please God, may reft perfectly affured, that God has no displeasure against him; for the righteous Lord loveth righteoufnefs." At other times the word of encouragement is given to the weak and feeble, tho well-difpofed, in this form, "In the ufual methods of grace, evil habits are maftered by degrees-and it is a great while before the contrary habits of grace and virtue are grown up to any confiderable degree of strength, and man comes to a confirmed ftate of goodness-but yet this ought not to difcourage us ; for fo foon as WE have feriously begun this change, we are in a good way, and all our endeavors will have the acceptance of good beginnings, and God will be ready to help us; and if we purfue our advantage, we shall every day gain ground, and the work will grow cafier upon our hand." When our first beginnings to be better take the notion of fincere repentance, then we have the following inftructions,. 66 If you hate your former ways, which were not good, and fincerely repent of them and with mourn ing hearts, and weeping eyes approach to God, for the pardon of fin: as that law which is the unchanging ftandard of right requires man fhould forgive his enemies, upon their repenting and afking pardon; much more will the divine author of that law. the humble penitent every encouragement is given." But when the beginning of any good in us, is termed acting faith upon Chrift, then the addrefs runs thus, "If ever the fpirit of God gracioufly influence your fouls, ye will become thoroughly fenfible of your abfolute
abfolute inability" (here follows the proof of this) "and yet enter upon a vigorous ufe of means. Ye will do for yourfelves as if ye were to do all; and yet overlook all ye do" (which by the way will be the greatest part of the work)" as if ye had done nothing. Will ye do nothing for yourselves, because ye cannot do all? Lay down no fuch impious conclufions against your own foul. Do what you can, and it may be, while ye are doing what ye can for yourfelves, God will do for you what ye cannot." And in order to remove every difcouragement, from the thought that the natural man cannot please God, it is added "Let us believe as we can, in obedience to God's command,-and while we are doing fo, a!though the act be at the beginning but NATURAL, yet in the very act, promifed and purchased grace ftrikes in, and turns it into a fupernatural act of believing." Thus, at length, it is found out how they that are in the flesh might please God! This the apostle Paul had not attained to, Rom. viii. 8. To the fame amount is the following addrefs, "So foon as the finner was difpofed to accept, the faviour was willing to bestow free and full redemption; and the very first figh that comes from an awakened heart pierces the ears of our gracious God-the Pfalmift fays, he fent water into the wilderness to change its nature; that is, he fent his grace into our hearts to change their nature, to fhew them their dead and barren ftate, to make them fenfible of it, diftreffed under it, and then to cry to him for deliverance, and when his grace has thus far difpofed the heart aright, and it can pray for more grace; then will our Lord enrich it with abundant ftreams; for he is always difpofed to give, in the measure we are difpofed to receive."
These are but a few fpecimens, out of a many that might be collected, to fhow the ufe men have made of the gospel, in what fenfe they understand it, and how they expect to be faved by it. But if it be indeed
deed true, as most of the above fyftems would infinuate, that man is a ruined creature, and fo in a forJorn, helpless condition; it does not appear from either of these schemes, that there is any thing like Glad tidings of great joy, to fuch an one; for however much the better difpofed fort of people may be encouraged thereby, they contain no hope or encouragement for the fimply guilty; for nothing can be gofpel to fuch, but that which presents a fufficient ground of hope to them, while in the divine fight, and in their own confcience, they ftand juftly condemned as tranfgreffors of the law. This the gospel of the grace of God does: and therefore every fcheme of religion that teaches men to do any thing, or even to wait to have any thing done, to encourage their hope in God; is quite different in its nature and defign, to the gofpel of Chrift, and in fact encourages man's natural difaffection to God, even while it leads him to fancy that he is at peace with him. The gofpel does not teach us to Do any thing, though it be varnished over with the most evangelical names, but to live by what is already finished, i John, iv. 9.-It is, whether men perceive it or no, glad tidings of great joy to ALL people; and fo muft be free from what are called the terms of the gofpel; for however fmall these terms are fometimes faid to be, when they come to be explained, they fhow that by far the greater part of the work of falvation, is left for the finner to perform. The gospel is in fact nothing more than a report of the grace and truth that came by Jefus Chrift. There are various fummaries given of it in the fcriptures, fuch as " He was delivered for our offences and raised again for our juftification." The blood of Jefus Chrift his Son cleanfeth us from all fin."-" He was made fin for us who knew no fin, that we might be made the righteoufnels of God in him." For when we. were yet without strength, in due time Chrift died. for the ungodly," and "God commendeth his love
towards us, in that while we were yet finners Chrift
The glorious truths fet forth in thefe words of fcripture are ift, That the work of Chrift finished upon the cross, does in itself contain every requifite for the juftification of those who are ungodly and without ftrength;-that God appears just in justifying fuch through the work of his fon ;-and that, therefore, the Redeemer's work is an all-fufficient ground of present peace to the guilty confcience, and of joy, to the most difconfolate foul, without taking in any other confideration whatever. 2dly, That falvation, through the finished work of the divine Surety, is bestowed in the moft fovereign, free, and unconditional manner, to finners without any diftinction of character, nation, name or degree, to finners as fuch deftitute of every qualification or recommendation whatever. Such are the perfons, and fuch the deplorable circumstances of thofe, whom the gofpel is defigned to relieve and fave! 3dly, That this gofpel of the Kingdom is brought near to the guilty, and that the faithfulness of God, in the free promife of life in Chrift Jefus to finners believing in him, is the only encouragement that the loft and helpless have to hope in divine mercy; and that to believe through any other medium, is to fruftrate the true grace of God..
First That Chrift obeyed and fuffered in the room of his people, has been before fhown to be a fcripture doctrine. We have feen that he placed himfelf in the lowest state of human wretchednefs, even under the curfe of God: beneath the full weight of which he expired. Now had the Lord Jefus been confined a prifoner by the bars of death; it would have been fully demonftrated, that his work was not fufficient to bring falvation, to perfons in the circumstances under which he died, and therefore we are taught to look upon his refurrection, as the grand, central evidence of the fufficiency of his work of which fact the Lord therefore has been pleased to give ample evidence, both human and di