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- * : , Warm off-clions by special Grace. 243

. Gr.-II. You speak now in the warmth of your affections: will it, think you, be always thus with you ? Besides, that is

Christ in dying for sinners; and consider themselves as the specialsohjects of that inex.

pressible compassion and kindness: they are apt to conclude that the belief of the propo

sitions, that Christ loves them and died for them, and that God is reconciled to them, produ

ces the change by its own influence; and would affect the most carnal hearts in the same

manner, could men be persuaded to believe it. For they vainly imagine that apprehen

<ions of the severity of divine justice, and the dread of vengeance, are the sources of the

enmity which sinners manifest against God. Hence very lively and affectionate christians

have frequently been prone to sanction the unscriptural tenet, that the justifying act of faith consists in casuredly believing that Christ dical for me in particular, and that God

loves ne; and to consider this a "propriation, as preceding repentance, and every other

gracious disposition; and as in some sense the cause of regeneration, winning the heart to

love God, and to rejoice in him, and in obeying his commandments. From this doctrine

others have inferred, that if all men, and cven devils too, believed the love of God to them,

and his purpose at length to make then happy, they would be won over stom rebellion

against him, which they persist in from a nistaken idea that he is their implacable enemy :

aid they make this one main argument, in support of the salutary tendency of the final

restitution scheme. But all these opinions arise from a false and flattering estimate of hu

man nature; for the carnal mind hates the scriptural character of God and the glory dis

played in the Cross, even more than that which shines forth in the fiery law.-Indeed if we

take away the offensive port of the gospel, t'ro honour it puts upon the law and its awful sanctions, and the exhibition it makes of the divine justice and holiness, it will give the

proud carnal heart but little umbrage: if we admit that men's aversion to God and religion. arise from misapprehension, and not from desperate wickedness, many will endure the

doctrine. A reconciliation, in which Gud assures the simer that he has forgiven him, even

before he has repented of his sins, will suit man's pride; and if he has been previously

frighted, a great flow of affections may follow : but the event will prove, that they diffir

essentially from spiritual love of God, gratitude, holy joy, and genuine humiliation, which

“rise from a true perception of the glorious perfections of God, the righteousness of his

law and government, the real nature of redemption, and the odiousness and desert of sin.

In short, all such schemes render regeneration needless ; or substitute something else in

its stead, which is effect.d by a naturg; process, and not by the new-creating power of the

Jirl. Soirit.—But, when this divine agent has communicated life to the soul, and a capacity

is produced of perceiving and relishing spiritual excellency, the enmity against God re

ceives a mortal wound : from that season, the more his real character and glory are known, the greater spiritual affection will be excited, and a proportionable transformation into the same holy image effected. Then the view of the Cross, as the grand display of all the

harmonious persictions of the Godhead, sostens, humbles, and meliorates the heart : while

the persuasion of an interest in these blessings, and an admiring sense of having received

such inconceivable favours from this glorious and holy Lord God, will still further elevate

the soul above all low pursuits, and constrain it to the most unreserved and self-denying

obedience.—But, while the heart remains unregenerate, the glory of God and the gospei. will either be misunderstood, or hated in proportion as it is discovered. Such views and

affections therefore as have been described, spring from special grace; and are not pre

dueed by the natural efficacy of any sentiments, but by the immediate influences of the

Holy Spirit; so that even true believers, though they habitually are persuaded of their

interest in Christ, and the love of God to them, are only at times thus filled with holy

affections: nor will the same contemplations constantly excite similar exercises; but they

oft on bestow much pains to get their minds affected by them in vain; while at other times

n single glance of thotroht fills them with the most servent emotions of holy love and joy.

244 Three Men hung in Chains.

not communicated to every one, nor to every one that did see your Jesus bleed. There were that stood by, and that saw the blood run from the heart to the ground, and yet were so far off this, that, instead of lamenting, they laughed at him ; and instead of becoming his disciples, did harden their hearts against him. So that all that you have, my daughters, you have by peculiar impression made by a divine contemplating upon what I have spoken to you. Remember that it was told you, that the hen by her common call, gives no meat to her chickens. This you have therefore by a special grace. Now I saw still in my dream, that they went on until they were come to the place that Simple, and Sloth, and Presumption, lay and slept in, when Christian went by on pilgrim. and behold they were hanged up in irons a little way off on the other side. Then said Mercy to him that was their Guide and Conductor, ‘What are these three men P and for what are they hanged there P’ Gr.-II. These three men were men of bad qualities; they had no mind to be Pilgrims themselves, and whomsoever they could they hindered : they were for sloth and folly themselves, and whomsoever they could persuade, they made so too; and withal taught them to presume that they should do well at last . They were asleep when Christian went by ; and now you go by, they are hanged. Joser. But could they persuade any one to be of their opinion ? Gr.-H. Yes, they turned several out of the way. There was Slow-pace, they persuaded to do as they. They also prevailed with one Short-wind, with one No-heart, with one Linger-after-lust, and with one Sleepy-head, and with a young woman, her name was Dull, to turn out of the way and become as they. Besides, they brought up an ill report of your Lord, persuading others that he was a hard task-master. They also brought up an evil report of the good land, saying it was not half so good as some pretended it was. They also began to vilify his servants, and to count the best of them meddlesome, troublesome, busy-bodies: further, they would call the bread of God husks ; the comforts of his children,' fancies ; the travail and labour of Pilgrims, things to no purpose. (i) (i) The dreadful falls and awful deaths of some professors are often made notorious, for a warning to others; and to put them upon their guard against superficial, slothful, and

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Spring at the Hill Difficulty dirty. 245

Nay, said Christiana, if they were such, they should never be bewailed by me: they have but what they deserve; and I think it well that they stand so near the highway, that others may see and take warning. But had it not been well if their crimes had been engraven on some pillar of iron or brass, and left here where they did their mischiefs, for a caution to other bad men P Gr.-H. So it is, as you may well percieve, if you will go a little to the wall. - *Ier. No, no; let them hang, and their names rot, and their crimes live forever against them : I think it is a high favour that they are hanged before we came hither ; who knows else what they might a done to such poor women as we are 2 Then she turned it into a song, saying:— ‘Now then you three hang there, and be a sign To all that shall against the truth combine. And let him that comes after fear this end, Ifunto Pilgrims he is not a friend. And thou, my soul, of all such men beware, That unto holiness opposers are." Thus they went on, till they came at the foot of the hilt Difficulty, where again their good friend Mr. Great-heart took an occasion to tell them what happened there when Christian himself went by.” So he had them first to the Spring : Lo, saith he, this is the Spring that Christian drank of before he went up this hill; and then it was clear and good, but now it is dirty with the feet of some, that are not. desirous that Pilgrims here should quench their thirst.f Thereat Mercy said, “And why so envious, trow P But said the Gnide, it will do, if taken up and put into a vessel that is sweet and good ; for then the dirt will sink to the bottom, and the water come out by itself more clear. Thus therefore Christiana and her companions were compelled to do. They * Part 1. p. 61–64, of Ezck. xxxiv. 18.

presumptuous men, who draw aside many from the holy ways of God. The names of the persons thus deluskd show the reasons why men listen to deceivers; for these are only the ocations of their turning aside, the cause lies in concealed lusts of their own hearts. The transition is very easy from orthodox notions and profession without experience. to file and loose sentiments, and then to cpen ungodliness. These lines are here inserted under a plate :Behold here how the slotusul are a sign Hung up 'cause holy ways they did decline : See here too, how the child doth play the man, And weak grows strong, when Greatov actives to ***

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