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the eye of the christian this sublime, interesting, and ama zingly diversified scene of things, (not seen by sense, and which is only known, and perceived through the revealed representations of God's Spirit, which awaken in him the richest profusion of joy, wonder, love, and praise) the mind which rejected, or was never illuminated by the word of God's Spirit, neither sees, nor hears, nor feels any of these things; but acts, and thinks as an atheist, or the beasts of the field that perish. Entirely insulated by time, and sense, and knowing no other God but his belly, his views extend no farther than to those things which he sees, and which administer to his appetites, and desires, his distinction amongst men, and projects of ambition. His all is here; he has no home but his house, nor prospects beyond the changeable society of men, and the horizon which surrounds him. He is ignorant of the God who made, and supports him; and of the redeemer, and mediator who keeps him out of hell; he knows not his destiny, and uses (if he has ever heard it) the name of his God as a common place word, to set off expresions of impiety, and to prop up acts of injustice, and fraud. While he is thus imprisoned in the womb of time, and sense, and exclusively occupied by their concerns, which make him more earthly, the christian in the exercises of his faith lives upon things not seen, his thoughts dwell with God, his treasure is in Heaven. A life thus produced, and thus employed, administers the most sublime intellectual felicity to the soul, by the spiritual, and celestial food which sustain it. At the same time, the mind is thus nurtured, and divinely assimilated, it views all things sublunary, as trifling, and vanity, and is itself humbled in the dust by a sense of its many transgressions, and ungratefulness to God for the gift of his Son; who is the great head of the spiritual government to man, of all earthly blessings, and the medium of all divine, and spiritual influences. The word of the Gospel of God with him, is truth-it is Spirit, and life, in the prospects which it opens, and in the spiritual food, which it imparts to the soul. The christian looks beyond the grave; the infidel stops at it. The christian has his home with God; and is a pilgrim on that account in this world, looking for
another, and a better country-for an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose builder is God. He also looks with bowels of compassion, and a bleeding heart upon his infidel fellow creature, whose home is truly beyond the grave, whose abode is a place of blackness, of darkness forever more, without repentance, if he sins out his day of grace. The infidel who rejects the spiritual glass through which alone the prospect beyond the grave can be seen, despises the solicitude of his christian friend, and charges him with enthusiasm, fanaticism, &c.; and satisfies himself with involving the whole of futurity in the impenetrable clouds of darkness, and uncertainty; and says to his soul, take thy ease eat, drink, and be merry.
The christain views all the evils and calamities of life, and, death itself as the wages of sin-he beholds the Almighty Father, filled with compassion, and love, and, determined on his ransom at any expense, clothed in vengeance, smiting the very earth with a curse, inscribing man's degeneracy, and danger, and his own displeasure against sin in letters of blood; on man, and beasts, on the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and on every creeping thing that creepeth on the face of the earth; while all nature groans and travails in pain for his deliverance; and, to crown all, hebeholds the Father of mercies giving up his only begotton Son to become a curse for man that he might escape the curse of a broken law-and he beholds this glorious Immanuel sinking under the weight of vengeance, and crying in an agony, my God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me? At his death he beholds the sun darkened, the earth shaking to its centre, the rocks rending, the hills trembling. All this he beholds through the eye of faith by the light of revelation, whilst the natural man, seeing only through his natural eyes, views sickness, and sorrow, and death, as accidental circumstances; and as having no other origin than in the necessity of nature, without any reference to moral causes; and the scenes, and sufferings of the Saviour as chimerical, although in reality the meritorious cause of his own being. Again; the eye of the christain's mind beholds his God always present, supporting him, and the beasts of the field, as well as the man who denies his existence; he beholds him too as hav
ing decreed that time shall end, and that there shall be a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein righteousness shall dwell, when the wicked, and all those who forget God, shall be consigned to the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death-while he beholds all these pleasing, fearful things, the natural mind sees nothing of them, and says there is no God. The christain beholds the cross of Christ through the explanations given by the Spirit of God, exhibiting an awful expression of God's love to man, and his everlasting hatred to sin; designed also to guard the sinner, when thus perceived, against presumption, and despair-shewing that there is forgivness with God that he may be feared-the natural man sees the cross through his natural eyes, and declares it to be foolishness. And why all this difference, this amazing difference? I answer, because the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them (as a natural man) because they are spiritually discerned. These spiritual things are revealed by God's Spirit, and were spoken, and are written not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, explaining spiritual things, in spiritual words. They can only be seen through the representations, in the Gospel, and in those representations the mind beholding, as in a glass the glory of the Lord, is changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. It is by this mean of mental preception that we can look at things not seen, and which are eternal, while the things which are naturally seen are temporal, and faideth away. It is by the former made of preception that we see the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that we know there is a God in trinity, who are engaged in our salvation; that there are angels, a heaven, and a hell, and that man is to be immortal, and the inhabitant of one or the other; and it is through this representation of the Spirit of God that the terms of acceptance are made known. I might have observed that the christain beholds King Jesus as the Governor of the world, and the source of all moral order through his divine principles, and heavenly influences; that civil government itself, as far as it is a blessing, and
answers the purposes for which it ought to be instituted, derives all its maxims from the wisdom which came from above, while the anti-christian mind refers all those things to the energies of human nature, unaided by revelation, and who asserts that our civil rights have no more dependance on our religious opinions than our opinions in physics or geometry, and that of course a man is as honest who is an atheist as one who lives with the fear of God before his eyes, and makes it a matter of conscience, as a principle of duty imposed by the command of his maker, to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. As the christain religion in its purity, begets charity, and benevolence, it awakens in the heart of its possessor an extreme anxiety that those who differ as by the contrast appears above from him, should drink at the same fountain with himself, and should see as he sees. For that purpose, he urges the necessity of the spirtual light, the word of God, by which alone the mind can be renewed by knowledge after the image of him who created it; as it is through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ our Lord, that grace, and peace are multiplied: according as his divine power giveth unto the believer all things that pertain unto life, and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory, and virtue. We must, in prosecuting our views of the perceptions, effects, and fruits of faith, leave the poor infidel to grope on in the dark, enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, which are earthly, sensual, and devlish, and lead down to the pit. I will now enumerate the personal effects of faith upon the believer.— "Faith worketh in us" righteousness, which is the fruit of faith, and can arise from no other principle-peace of conscience through a sense of the forgiveness of sins, which proceeds from the belief that what God has said is true, and what he has promised he will perform. A certainty of the truth of the scriptures is the very essence of faithit produceth in us ready, and pure obedience to the will of God-the true fear of God, though we see him not-it produces contempt of this world, being the victory that overcometh the world-it therefore gives constancy under all trials; it supports us as seeing
him that is invisible-moderation in prosperity-distrust of our own powers-full confidence in the divine mercy-justification before an assembled universe at the great day of assize, through the meritorious death of Jesus Christ.
Faith is nourished by frequent prayer-by frequent thanksgiving-by the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and Baptism-by attending on the preached word-by the mortification which keeps us separate from the world by the daily reading of the scriptures by daily meditation on heavenly things-by acts of love, and charity and by afflictions. Hope is that part of a living faith by which we expect things to come, according to the promises of God. It has the same effects in the christian, that a temporal hope has in the husbandman, who ploweth, and soweth, in expectation of the harvest; and spares neîther labour nor expense. So the christian is never weary of well-doing, knowing that he shall reap if he faint not. He bears sufferings with cheerfulness, as knowing that all the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. It is the staff of life, to support the steps of those who would otherwise faint in their journey through this wilderness: it presents daily to the mind the promises of the heavenly Canaan.
Charity is the love of God for himself, and the love of man for the love of God; which is best shewn by helping him forward in the way of his salvation. Charity gives perfection to the will, as faith does to the understanding. Faith begets charity, and charity increases faith; which, without charity, will go out as a lamp without oil. Faith is the root, and charity are the branches bearing fruit; and the branches can bear no fruit, unless the root supplies them with sap. Without this, they dry up, and are withered. Without faith, hope, and charity, man is all sin, or has nothing toward salvation. All these works of faith, and means of nourishing it, cannot be appreciated (except by viewing their practical consequences) but by those who have spiritual perceptions, which can never be until the word of God is received, not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the word of of God; and then it will effectually work, and not