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“ him be holy still. And, behold, I come

quickly, and my reward is with me; to

give every man according as his work shall “ be.” Thus from Scripture we have authority to believe, that the same disposition of mind in which a man dies, whether of virtue or vice, he will take with him into the world to come, and that disposition will continue unaltered ; an opinion so agreeable to the reason of man, that to the elucidation and establishment of the spirit of this award in the human mind, Plato has dedicated a considerable portion of his philosophy. Now any man who considers the fugitive, fleeting, paltry pleasures of this world, and the sublime and permanent ones of the next, and will suffer a sinful indulgence in the former to preclude his hopes and expectations of the latter, proves he has no strength of intellect, the essence of which lies in a capacity to distinguish truth, and to ascertain the relative value and worth of things.

It is a great instance of the goodness of God, that the duty he requires man to perform is so clearly and unambiguously defined in the Bible, that no rational person need entertain any religious scruples respecting it; because the reason of every one

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is hereby enabled to determine, without ambiguity, whether he heartily and sincerely wishes and endeavours to accomplish this duty, which if he does, God unquestionably accepts the will for the deed. Some books have in this respect done much harm, by fixing the standard of duty so high, that the discharge of it is incompatible with the frailty of human nature, and by this means “ have “ made the heart of the righteous sad, whom “ God hath not made sad.” Very differently from these writers, our Saviour places this standard in the heart or will of man, " in

loving God with all our heart, and our “ neighbour as ourself,” both which are compatible with a great deal of human frailty, as the character of David proves beyond all contradiction; for, notwithstanding his frailty, he is so greatly honoured in Scripture, as to be called a man after God's own heart, and our Saviour acknowledges him as a prophet: it is likewise proved from the character of St. Peter, whose eminent frailty is recorded in Scripture. But if as rigid a performance of duty is required as these writers state, and no man can be saved who does not perform. it in the precise manner they exact, Christ has then died in vain ; for neither these

writers themselves, nor any other man, can uniformly accomplish a duty actually incompatible with the frailty of man, and the necessary avocations and indispensable duties of social life. Men of the world certainly place the standard of virtue and piety a great deal too low; bigots and enthusiasts often as much too high : the true medium, I apprehend, is to be found in a plain, unforced interpretation of Scripture, and in the Liturgy of the Church of England. Both these equally by their letter and spirit inculcate and impress this charming idea on the human mind, that, in compassion to the natural frailty of man in his dealings with the human race, God is ever pleased, for the sake of the merits, and sacrifice of his beloved Son, to allow his mercy to triumph over judgment; and in our Liturgy we address our heavenly Father under this description of character ; “ O God, whose nature and property is ever. “ to have mercy, and to forgive:” whereas these saturnine and merciless writers inculcảţe a. doctrine diametrically opposite, imposing a system of conduct, as necessary to salvation, severer than what is required either by our Creator or Redeemer, and in which they make no allowance for the frailty of

man; and actually by their doctrine they make null and void the force and efficacy of the following delightful texts of Scripture, so much calculated to-rejoice the heart of a poor sinful creature, and to solace and comfort him under the consciousness of his sin and misery. “ Thus saith the high and lofty « One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name " is Holy ; I dwell in the high and holy

place, with him also that is of a con " and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of “ the humble, and to revive the heart of the “ contrite ones : for I will not contend for

ever, neither will I be always wroth; for " the spirit should fail before me, and the • souls which I have made. The mercy of “ the Lord is everlasting, and his compas

sions fail not; they are new every morning. “ He waiteth, that he may be gracious to “ the children of men. Fury is not in him ; “ but he deferreth his anger, and refraineth “ for the transgressor, that he cut him not “ off. Many a time hath he turned his

anger away, and did not stir up all his “ wrath; and in wrath he remembereth

mercy. He will not always chide. He “ retaineth not his


for ever, because “ he delighteth in mercy; for he knoweth

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our frame, and remembereth that we are “ but dust. God exacteth of us less than our

iniquity deserveth. He will not turn away “ his face from them that return unto him, “ but he will turn again, and have com

passion on them ; he will subdue their

iniquities, and he will cast all their sins “ into the depths of the sea." The Bible, as the reader knows, is full of these gracious declarations of the lovingkindness of God to the human race; and in the whole of his intellectual system as it respects man, both in word and deed, he is so gracious, and so compassionate to the frailty of man, as ever to allow his mercy to triumph over judgment: so that writers incur much culpability when they represent him as harsh and severe in his conduct towards the human species, since he himself is pleased to declare, that “ he is not extreme to mark what is amiss ; " that he pitieth us as a father doth his chil" dren; that his tender mercies are over all his “ works; that he so loved the world, that he

gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that “ all that believe in him should not perish, but “ have everlasting life;" and particularly in this declaration, “ Have I any pleasure at all

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