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dence. In this light I view the darkness of the Heathen World. Let us follow every apparent leading of Providence, in our endeavours to communicate light to the Heathen; but, still, the opening and the whole work must be of God. Thousands, indeed, hear the Gospel, who are no more impressed by it than though they were Heathens. The minds of some men will stand as it were a regular blockade, and yet yield to a side-blow-sit unchanged under a searching ministry, and yet fall beneath a casual word. I know such cases. We might account, indeed, for them, in some measure, as philosophers. The mind, which plants itself against and repels the formal and avowed attacks of the preacher, may be surprized by a hint addressed, perhaps, to another: yet, after all, the whole work is of God. We may make very little, therefore, of the vehicle. The Gospel-the wants of men-the indisposition of the heart-- and the mighty power of God-are always and universally the same. By whatever vehicle God conveys that mighty energy, which disposes man to find the relief of his wants in the Gospel, HE still is the worker. It is a divine operation of God's Holy Spirit. If God would raise up Heathen Princes with the spirit of Peter the Great or Kouli Khan, and send them forth under the powerful influence of Christianity to proselyte their subjects, we might expect the end to be accomplished: but this is a scheme suited to our littleness, and not to Him, whose thoughts are not as our thoughts, and whose ways are not as our ways.
A LADY proposed to me a case, which seemed to her to decide against those views of religion called evangelical. She knew a most amiable girl, who was respectful and attentive to her parents, and engaging and lovely to all connected with her: who had, however, no objection to seeing a play; and had certainly nothing of that, which she knew I should call religion: but she asked if I could believe that God would condemn such a character to everlasting misery. Many persons view things in this way. They set themselves up to dictate to God what should be done, on points which he only can determine. If these persons are ever cured of this evil, it must probably be in some such way as that by which it pleased God to teach Job, Job could assert his integrity and his character against the arguments of his friends; but, when God asked Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the earth? Job prostrates his soul with this declarationI have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!
Every thinking man will look round him, when he reflects on his situation in this world, and will ask, “What will meet iny case? What is it that I want? What will satisfy me? I look at the richand I see Ahab, in the midst of all his riches, sick at heart for a garden of herbs! I see Dives, . after all his wealth, lifting up his eyes in hell, and begging for a drop of water to cool the rage of his sufferings ! I see the Rich Fool summoned away, in the very moment when he was exulting in his hoards! If I look at the WISE-I see Solomon, with all his wisdom, acting like a fool; and I know, that, if I possessed all his wisdom, were I left to myself I should act as he did. I see Ahithophel, with all his policy, hanging himself for vexation! If I turn to men of PLEASUREI see that the very sum of all pleasure is, that it is Satan's bed into which he casts his slaves! I see Esau selling his birth-right for a mess of pottage! I see Solomon, after all his enjoyments, leaving his name a scandal to the Church to the latest age! If I think of HONOUR-take a walk in Westminster Abbey-- there is an end of all enquiry. There I walk among the mighty dead! There is the winding up of human glory! And what remains of the greatest men of my country? -A boasting epitaph! None of these things, then, can satisfy me! I must meet death--I must meet judgment-I must meet God-I must meet Eternity!
OCCASIONS OF ENMITY
HE cause of enmity against real Christianity is in the heart. The angel Gabriel might exhibit the truth, but the heart would rise in enmity. To suppose that there is any way of preaching the Cross so as not to offend the world, is to know nothing of the subject.
There are many occasions, however, of calling forth this enmity. Any man, who should bleed me, would put me to pain; but he would greatly aggravate my pain, if he rudely tore my skin. Occasions may render the reception of that truth morally impossible, which, under the most favourable circumstances, is received with difficulty.
IGNORANCE, in Ministers, is an occasion of exciting enmity against Christianity. A man may betray ignorance on almost every subject, except the way of salvation. But if others see him to be a fool off his own ground, they will think him a fool on that ground. It is a great error to rail against Human Learning, so as to imply an undervaluing of Knowledge. A man may have little of what is called learning, but he must have knowledge. Bunyan was such a man.
Religious profession was, at first, a CONFLICTa SACRIFICE : now it is become a TRADE. The world sees this spirit pervade many men: and it is a great occasion of enmity. Men of learning and character have confirmed this impression: they have brought out this mischief, and exhibited it to the world. Let any man look into Warburton's “ Doctrine of Grace," and he may sit down and wonder that God should suffer such occasions of enmity to arise.
FANATICAL TIMES furnish another occasion. The days of Cromwell, for instance. The great enemy of godliness will never want instruments to make the best of such subjects of ridicule. As long as such a book as Butler's Hudibras is in the world, it will supply occasions of enmity against real religion.
An UNHOLY, INSOLENT PROFESSOR OF RELIGION occasions enmity. He scorns and insults mankind. His spirit is such as to give them occasion of contemning the truth which he professes. The world will allow some men to call it to account; they will feel a weight of character in a holy and just man.
ECCENTRICITY,, in religious men, is another