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with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and of the captives from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." (Deut. xxxii. 40, 41.) At the same time, as the preacher says, "it shall not be well with the wicked neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow: because he feareth not before God." (Eccles. viii. 13.)
Even the common feeling of mankind would appear to be against persons of this sort by accompanying the divine Arbiter in his work of chastisement upon them, and consoling itself imperceptibly with the evil provocation, when it sees a judgment, and evil enough to bear it: as we read, "The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance. And all men that see it shall say, This hath God done: for they shall perceive, that it is his work:" (Ps. lviii. 9; lxiv. 9) while these self-deluded victims of an artful sophistry, admitting the liability of their invading principal to punishment, would consider themselves, who are his tools and instruments, to be safe notwithstanding their cooperation in his wicked projects. And the effects of this singular fallacy they are bound to rue nevertheless for its being imposed on them: as the theatre of war could never be exempt from its scourge, even if it were neutral, which in this case seems hardly possible. For a false subject in whose person the law of God is trampled under foot, and his authority set at defiance, is like a province affiliated in the grand rebellion: all the faculties of his soul and all the members of his body that are brought into this odious conflict, whether as slaves or volunteers, can only be regarded as the man's quota or contingent for the service of the evil principle: all his immoral actions are in direct support of the unsphered rebel, who "goeth about seeking rest and finding none:" (Matt. xii. 43:) and if the man take so great a share in his operations, he cannot expect less than to take a share also in his reward. If a man could escape with impunity in such a case, or if ever a bad man could be happy, he must have his unity of principle
on one side, and of consequence on the other, being then indeed one half of Christ and one of Belial- -as he preténds, and as it would be if righteousness had some fellowship with unrighteousness, light some communion with darkness, Christ some concord with Belial. (Cor. II. vi. 14, 15.) It is to be hoped, however, that nothing which I have now advanced can lead to such a conclusion.— Lastly, to shew, that the disregard of God's judgments, whether present or future, may be more common than is commonly imagined, I may add that
5, These awful dispensations are generally disregarded by the unregenerate, whether belonging to some one of the sorts before mentioned or to some other; the unregenerate themselves also being, even among professing Christians, vastly more numerous than is commonly imagined. For the unregenerate, or, as St. Paul says, Natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (Cor. I. ii. 14.)
At the same time it must be owned, that there are difficulties in the case: one especially respecting these divine attributes of mercy and judgment, with their several shades before mentioned; which has staggered good judges before now, and relates particularly to the entail of merit and guilt lately noted. It may seem exorbitant to many, that either the divine judgments or rewards should be carried on from generation to generation continually; as Scripture asserts, and experience often proves. For if we do not always see the children suffering and enjoying alike with their parents, we see enough to satisfy us, that the former lot, or lot of suffering, has been engrafted somehow on our happy nature, and must run on with it, if the entail be not cut off somehow or other. And if the divine sentence recorded by Moses in one place, " I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me," (Exod. xx. 5,) should seem to be contradicted
in other passages of Scripture; as for example in this, "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father," (Ezek. xviii. 20,) in our Saviour's answer respecting the blind man whom he healed, (John ix. 2,) and in others that might be mentioned this seeming variation in the written Word may also be reconciled by the supposition of discontinuance of the entail before mentioned. For now has the mercy of God permitted to every man in Christ to begin a new account, with him-that is with Christ for his stock or capital: rewarding every man still according to his work, as if it was not of Christ but of the individual rewarded. And the more deeply we were involved in the debt of the old man, the happier and more grateful should we feel on account of the relief that is found in the NEW.
THE SECOND CREATION.-A SERMON FOR THE NEW YEAR.
"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new." REV. xxi. 5.
In the compass of God's word we already possess a general account of his operation in the world from first to last, though so much remains to be done. We are there permitted and even invited to follow his performance with our attention to the very end of it. "O come hither and behold the works of the Lord: what destruction he hath brought upon the earth." (Ps. xlvi. 8.) In that word we may behold, the formation, destruction and renovation of all that is or ever was from the beginning, and long before there was any historian to record it, matured and brought to perfection in the infallible purpose of its Author thus revealed to us. We may behold after a superficial manner, yet deep enough for use, the extent of two several creations,
though the first is not yet departed entirely, and the second lingers in the lap of time. We may behold a first creation rising from one chaos and returning to another,—from the chaos of principles to the chaos of products. And we may behold a Second Creation rising out of this second chaos of products; and not returning to a third, but going forward regularly to a perpetual state of happiness or woe.
In these two periods or creations the fate of the whole earth, and of man its principal inhabitant particularly, is described from the beginning, namely, from a point anterior to his existence; and revealed in Scripture both historically and prophetically with admirable precision as to the general effect and a dignity that cannot be imitated. For the former part or Scripture history, being an history of the whole Kingdom, and also a work of ages, will often have occasion to narrate in its course facts which it had previously foretold; so as to verify its own predictions, with the help of profane history. By which (I should tell you) is to be understood the simple relation of facts in their immediate issue or beginning without any reference, like the sacred or KINGDOM-HISTORY, before mentioned, to a First Cause and Final Object: so that the same measures and occurrences, or acts and incidents will be attributed or referred to the Invisible God as their Subject or Object in the latter production, which in the former would only be referred to the parties ostensibly concerned therein. I am sorry to add, that ancient history as well as ancient poetry, has the advantage of the modern in this respect: events being more commonly deduced from a divine beginning even where it was little known in ancient poetry and history, than they are in the modern, notwithstanding their authors' better information on this point. But with regard to the matter of evidence and the verification of facts, perhaps it is an advantage, to have our profane as well as our sacred historians, consenting on common topics, and mutually correcting, or explaining each other, as it may happen: and in the first part or period of its
narration, where the sacred history cannot be corroborated by the profane, it still may by philosophy and experiment.
The burden or theme of sacred history being chiefly God, his worship and mighty operation, especially in the two great instances of creation and redemption, is divisible in respect of either into two portions or periods; as in respect of the former into that of the first and second creation, in respect of the latter into the times before and after the birth of Christ, the ostensible era of redemption. And it will be immaterial, which of these two distinctions we adopt; v. g. the two periods of creation, or the two formed by the era of redemption; as the period of the first creation will be the same with the period before redemption, and the period of the second creation with the period resulting from that point, the same by which we commonly reckon in Christendom. It may be well
therefore, to consider the main division of sacred history, or of human events in this relation accordingly: and as the second creation, or the period of redemption, which is our principal argument from the text naturally rests on the first creation or period before Christ, whose appearance upon earth is regarded as the salient point or period of redemption; it may be well to advert shortly to both these two points or periods, and observe their relation in the first place, by way of preparation for the more particular doctrine of a third which is chiefly referred to.
The period of creation, or period antecedent to redemption, seems to be indirectly alluded to in the New Testament, and named likewise though not by this title, nor yet by that of the year before Christ, as we name it. To mention one instance, it is alluded to by Barnabas and Paul under the designation of "Times past" in their remonstrance with the people of Lystra; who would foolishly have done sacrifice to them, and found a priest of Jupiter ready enough for the purpose, "Sirs, (said they) why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions. with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from