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can be no more; therefore all sins are equal.” Let us see whether this will stand the test of examination. It can be demonstrated, that the least particle of matter, is divisible ad infinitum; and a sphere which would fill the orbit of Herschel is no more than divisible to infinity, however inexplicable this may seem to be. But as the infinite divisibility of matter is now disputed, we shall take the space occupied by any portion of matter. About the infinite divisibility of this, theoretically, there will be no dispute. An inch of a line, possesses this property as well as the diameter of the orbit of Saturn; yet it will not hence follow that these two lines are equal. Every schoolboy knows, that in attempting to reduce the vulgar fraction one-third to a decimal fraction of equal value, the decimal approximation will issue in an infinite series, which though eternally approaching, will never reach the point of absolute accuracy. Let him take the one-half of the former fraction, viz. one-sixth, or onetwelfth, or one-twenty-fourth, and he will find them all possessed of the same property, infinite divisibility. Will he therefore infer, that they are equal? Again. Every person who has any accurate conception of a mathematical solid, knows it possesses three dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness, and that each of these three is as absolutely inexhaustible by any finite process, as are the whole three united. No more, therefore, will it follow, that because every sin is infinite objectively considered, that every sin is equal, than that the least assignable portion of space is equal to the volume of the universe; because the least, as well as the greatest, is in its nature equally possessed of infinite divisibility. From the above

reasoning, it will follow, that mere

linear infinity is as inexhaustible, or rather as interminable, as cubical; or, if I may be allowed a more appropriate, though unusual term,

radiant infinity; although the difference between these be infinitely infinite. It is sufficiently manifest, that we are not able to form any adequate notion of infinity. But it will by no means follow, that therefore, we are incapable of reasoning accurately respecting it. Is not God himself, are not all his attributes infinite? Yet may not our ideas and reasonings respecting him and them be correct as far as they go? Are our reasonings concerning the phenomena of the physical universe, one whit the less conclusive, that we are utterly ignorant of the essence of matter, or the radical basis in which its properties inhere? It is not at all maintained, that any act of a finite being, can be absolutely, or in any sense, infinite. A human action, in a strict and accurate sense, is neither virtuous, nor vicious. It is the principle from which it proceeds, the end in view, and its relation to the moral law, that entitle it to the epithet of virtuous or vicious. A mere physical act, independently of these, is neither morally good, nor morally evil. The acts of stoning Naboth and Achan, were, in a mere physical point of view, as much alike, as it is possible to conceive. Yet the one was vicious, the other, virtuous, entirely upon the principle above mentioned. We do not therefore assert, that any human action is infinite; but we do assert, that sin is an infinite evil, inasmuch, as it is a violation of an infinite law, rebellion against an infinite God, and productive of infinite mischief. The law I have just now mentioned, is as infinite as its archetype; its essence, love, is a unit. Against this every sin is directed, and consequently is a violation of the whole law. For, “whosoever offendeth in one part, is guilty of all.” This same principle may be illustrated by a familiar example in the following manner. Blame attaches to the wanton abuse of any part even of the inanimate creation. It is wrong to abuse any of God’s creatures. Should this abuse be extended to any useful animal, my horse for instance, the wrong is greater. The guilt increases with the ascending scale of dignity of the injured object. Ascend in this gradation, to our own kind; our servant, equal, or superior; say the supreme magistrate: the offence is graduated by the dignity of rank occupied by the individual in the scale of being. Conceive it to be carried up to the Great Supreme, where all our sins ultimately land, the magnitude of the offence becomes infinite, because, the being offended is infinite. But as all are sinners, all are naturally under an infinite load of guilt, which the justice of God necessarily requires to be expiated. The law of God is the rule which must necessarily for ever regulate the relation between God as the moral governor, and man as the rational subject. This law is as perfect as its original. Take any other standard of moral rectitude, and you are immediately led into inextricable difficulties. Look, for a moment, at the definition given by a modern advocate of Universalism. (Ballou's Lect. page 15.), “Sin is the violation of a law which exists in the mind, which law is the imperfect knowledge men have of moral good.” Not to mention the atheistical principle couched in these words, in making man his own law, lord paramount of his own actions, and consequently divesting him of all responsibility, this definition makes error and ignorance, the standard of truth and rectitude! According to this definition, the number of laws must be infinite and infinitely varying; for this law, viz. “Man’s imperfect knowledge,” may be infinitely different in different individuals at the same moment, and also, in the same individuals, at different times. It confounds rice and virtue, in making sin and


duty depend upon the knowledge of the agent. If this definition were true, then the most atrocious crimes, the murder of the saints of God, the most horrid blasphemies against the Son and Spirit might not only be perfectly innocent, but constitute the most meritorious conduct. “The time will come,” saith our Lord, “when they that kill you, will think they are doing God service.” We conclude, therefore, that the law of God is infinite—the commandment exceeding broad. What pity that some of the sincerest friends of the doctrine of atonement by the blood of Christ, have, by their admission of the finite extent and demerit of moral evil, brought themselves into such a predicament, that to be consistent, they must abandon, on the one hand, the eternity of punishment; or, on the other, the deity of Christ. Predicated on the finite guilt, they present us with a finite ransom. This finite ransom, they tell us, is just commensurate with the number of elect individuals, multiplied into the quantity of the guilt of each. Had there been one elect soul more, Christ must have suffered more; if less, less, in proportion to addition or subtraction of the debt to be paid! Let us examine this doctrine. What was the penalty annexed to the covenant of works? It could not be formally eternal death. Had this been the case, nothing short of the eternal death of the surety could have achieved the ransom. Such an idea would meet merited reprobation, from every sober Christian. Eternal death arose, not from the nature of the thing, but was altogether consecutive on the finite capacity of the culprit. In order to the salvation of the sinner, the covenant of grace required a substitutional equivalent. Could this have been given by the suffering humanity of our Lord?. The humanity of our Lord, in all its exquisite suffering, and nothing in him but humanity could suffer, the divinity being impassible, could have made no more atonement for our sins, than the blood of a bullock or a goat smoking on the worldly sanctuary. The walue of our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, therefore, must have arisen from something else—his deity. To this is to be referred the very essence of the worth of the sacrifice he offered. Give up his divinity, and the notion of an atonement is a mere chimera. Were Jesus the most exalted creature God ever made, or could make, (reverence!) he would have been as utterly incompetent to make an atonement for our sins, as would have been the offering of the meanest reptile on the divine altar. If, therefore, the whole virtue, value and worth of Jesus’ passion, arises from the deity of his person; whence his blood is called the blood of God; how shall we form an estimate of the value of that divinity! Who will dare to bring his scale and graduate by any numerical admeasurement, or compound ratio of time and intensity, } the value of the sufferings of Jesus; i. e. the value of his divine person, without which his sufferings could


! have had no worth P 4. The expiation of this infinite ilt, admits of no compromise. he debtor must continue in duress, until the last farthing of the debt shall have been liquidated. It is true, some have objected to the propriety of considering sin as a debt; but while we find in that perfect model of prayer, prescribed by our Lord, to his disciples, “Forgive us our debts, as we Koi... our debtors,” we need feel no reluctance in viewing sin as a debt due to divine justice. Now, I have already observed, that in the liquidation of this debt, . thing like compromise, is utterly inadmissible. Any partial payment of an "infinite debt, would be equivalent to nothing. Infinity is an incommensurable prime, measurable only by itself; i. e. by infinity. Anything less, therefore,

than infinity, taken from infinity, will leave an infinite remainder. And consequently in the 5th place—The punishment of sin, upon the footing of personal expiation, must be eternal. The finite resources of the culprit can never meet the infinite demands which the inexorable justice of God has filed against him. No payment he can make, can, ever, in the smallest degree, diminish the principal. This would be to suppose an exhaustion of infinity by finite deductions, which is absurd. The want, therefore, of infinite intensity in the suffering, must be balanced by an eternity of duration. Here we find, as usual, reason and scripture leading us to the same conclusion. Their worm shall never die; their fire shall never be quenched; depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. No limits, therefore, can be set to punishment, upon the foundation of personal expiation. * * * S. B. W.

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Thoughts on Revivals of Religion.

This is certainly a subject of some importance. The avidity with which pious people receive narratives of religious revivals clearly evinces, that, in their judgment, “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” are devoutly to be wished. Christians may differ in their views, concerning the mature of a genuine revival; but the thing itself all will readily acknowledge to be desirable. The diversity of opinion which obtains, on this subject, among the friends of Christianity, is, perhaps, rather apparent than real. In our apprehension, it arises partly from a want of agreement, in regard to the meaning of certain terms and phrases, commonly used on topics of this kind, and to from a neglect to distinguish the effects of a divine influence on the heart, from those excesses of passion, or extravagances of conduct, which sometimes attend a real work of grace, and which ought to be ascribed to the ignorance and depravity of the human heart. Every denomination of Christians have a set of phrases, or forms of expression, against which other denominations are very apt to entertain some prejudice: Hence a mere strife of words is often mistaken for a doctrinal difference, where none exists in fact. If you choose to distinguish what I call a revival of religion, by another name, be it so ; I will not contend with you about the name, provided you concede that the work intended to be designated thereby, is of God. Call it, if you please, an awakening, an outpouring of the spirit, a display of redeeming mercy, a shower of gracious influence, an ingathering of souls to the Saviour, or an extension of the power of godliness; any of these phrases would be sufficiently intelligible, and might be used interchangeably, without detriment, so far as we can perceive, to the cause of vital piety. If Christians would take a little more pains to understand one another, and agree to construe each other's language and conduct fairly and charitably, might they not offer to God their joint supplications for the revival of religion, with as much consistency and cordiality, as they do for the coming of the Redeemer’s kingdom * We should be careful also, to distinguish the genuine effects of a divine influence on the minds of men, from those wild excesses of feeling, and extravagances of conduct, which often attend strong religious excitement. Considering


what human nature is, we should

expect some departures from Christian decorum, where large numbers of careless persons, many of them very ignorant of divine things, are roused to a deep and awful concern about the salvation of their souls. To prevent or correct evils of this

sort, should be the constant aim of ministers and other experienced Christians. No intelligent friend to revivals approves, or countenances fanaticism, or the violation of church order; nor should he be rashly charged with such a design. On the other hand, we should not suppose that a temperate remonstrance against those disorders that sometimes appear in extensive revivals, implies hostility to a work of grace, or a cold indifference to the saving power of true religion. While we would resist confusion and all infringement of that wise and wholesome order, which Christ has appointed in his church, we deprecate a languid monotony of feeling, on the momentous concerns of the soul. “Let all things be done decently and in order;” but “ let us not sleep, as do others.” The day of grace is a short term; and the bliss of heaven is suspended on its religious improvement. It is our seed time for eternity: “He that soweth to his flesh shall, of the flesh, reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the spirit shall, of the spirit, reap life everlasting.” The writer of these thoughts is far from thinking that no souls are converted to the Lord, or that nothing is done towards the edifying of the body of Christ, where there are no special revivals of religion. He firmly believes that, wherever the pure gospel of the grace of God is preached, it proves, to some of the people, “a savour of life unto life.” A portion of the seed, whereever it is faithfully dispensed, falls into good ground, and bears fruit. He is well aware, too, that a large proportion of real believers have been brought to the knowledge and love of the truth, not, indeed, without deep conviction of sin, and a feeling sense of their lost and helpless condition by nature, but in circumstances which have excited no great degree of attention, even in the church to which they belong. God’s methods in turning sinners from the error of their ways, are various; and it were arrogance in us to say, that he is limited in his fo influence, to any particuar set of means, appearances, or instruments. We rejoice, as do the angels, at the repentance of one sinner, whoever or whatsoever may have been the means of his recovery from a state of condemnation and spiritual death. While one here, and another there, are brought home to God, under the gentle droppings of the o: We charge our souls not to “despise the day of small things;” yet, we do long, and will pray to see sinners flying to Jesus, “as clouds, and as doves to their windows.” However gently and silently some may be reduced to the obedience of faith, and enfolded in the arms of redeeming love ; ordinarily, the translation of souls, from darkness to light, and from the bondage of iniquity to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, is attended with an awakening sense of sin, and with a change of temper and conduct, which cannot be easily concealed : And where considerable numbers become subjects of this change, at the same time, and in the same congregation, or neighbourhood, there is what we call a revival of religion. There we behold the stately steppings of Zion's king, the conquests of his grace—the trophies of his power—and the precious fruits of his travail of soul, when he sweat in Gethsemane, and died on Calvary, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” Let revivals be tested by their fruits; and we doubt not that real Christians of every name will be constrained to hail them, as blessings from the Lord. Visit those favoured congregations, where the special outpouring of the spirit, as we believe, is experienced, and i. will find the happy subjects of


ope in Christ, abounding in every

good word and work,+earnest in

prayer for a blessing on the ordinances of the gospel, and on all charitable exertions to diffuse the light and consolations of evangelical truth: There you will see some of the most irreligious persons reclaimed from their evil courses, and licentious habits: There you will see whole households, in some instances, devoted to God in Christian baptism, their dwellings converted into Bethels, and consecrated by daily prayer and praise: There you will hear the people say, one to another, “Come, let us go up to the house of God, and he will teach us of his way, and we will walk in his paths:” There you will find many Andrews and Philips endeavouring, by friendly entreaties, by letters, by religious books and tracts, to bring other Peters and Nathaniels to the knowledge of Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life:” There you will see animosities among kindred and neighbours buried at the foot of the cross, pride, envy, and evil surmisings giving place to concord and brotherly kindness: In a word, you will find more additions made to the communion of the church, of hopeful subjects of saving grace, in a few months, than had been made, in the same congregations, enjoying the same means of religious improvement, for many years. It is a painful truth, indeed, which experience and observation oblige us to admit, that some persons, who are awakened, on such occasions, are not converted in heart unto God; and, therefore, af. ter, appearing to run well, for a little season, they relapse into their old habits of negligence and sin. These are they whose “goodness is

as the morning cloud, and the early

dew, which passeth away;” they seem to begin in the spirit, but end in the flesh: These are the characters designated by the stony ground, in the parable of the sower: “But he that received the seed into ston

places, the same is he that heareth

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