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to be a course of duty, and a course of duty presup: poses and implies a course of opposition, and not unfrequently of suffering. We may safely say, that the life which Christianity prescribes is of necessit a warfare, a conflict between "principalities and powe ers.” He who is engaged in it, does not beat the air," he has real enemies to encounter, and he needs “the whole armor of God” to render him victorious. Say that we have not the opposition which the primitive Christians were obliged to meet ; 'that the spirit of persecution has subsided, and that we are not liable to be called to "prison and to death ;'' yet we are exposed to the same internal enemies as others have been before us, and they of all others are the most to be dreaded. The apostle described his and his brethren's condition in these brief sentences ; "without were fightings, and within were fears.” If we are delivered from the former of these trials, that is from open opposition from external enemies, we need not flatter ourselves we are secure ; depend upon it, we
are not exempt from the danger of internal assaults ; and the latter of the evils which afflicted Paul will be found to exist in every man, who is not lulled into a
false security. His passions, his disposition and affections must be watched and guarded with the
utmost caution, because from them, the greatest danger is to be apprehended. Had Peter been more guarded, and less confident, he would not have turned recreant to his Master, nor have suffered that period of anguish and bitterness, in comparison with which, the vilest indignity of an opposer, and the severest tortures that an enemy of the cross could inflict, would have been light and trifling.
To run with certainty the race appointed us, we must have a fixed object, and a perfect example. In this case no advice could be superior to that which Paul gave to the Hebrews, "Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, elet us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily, besetus, and let us run with patience the racer
that is set before us; looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and despised the shame.” Divest yourselves of every incumbrance ; lay aside every thing that would check your speed; pursue your course with patience, for this virtue will diminish the fatigues attendant upon your exertions; it is the virtue which always looks forward, and acts upon things to come; "ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Look steadfastly to the mark of the prize before you, at the end of your course; it will give alacrity to your steps ; it will preserve you from deviation ; it will keep you from turning to the right hand or the left. Make the Captain of your salvation your example. Consider what actuated, encouraged and supported him in his conflict with the powers of darkness, what strengthened him to pursue his course. It was the “joy before him.”. For tho it was his "meat and drink to do his father's will,” yet he constantly kept in ‘his view the great blessing in reversion. 'Go, and do likewise, and his joy shall be yours.
SENTIMENTS OF HOPKINSIANS. We give the following from Buck's Theological Dictionary,
and calculate to offer a few remarks on the same in a future Rumber. We presume it will be new authentic hỉstory to many of our readers, while a few may have it already in their possession. It is written testimony of what has passed in the ears of thousands, and for the sake of the many, it is hoped the few will not complain because we have given it a place in our columos.
Hopkinsians, so called from the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D. an American Divine, wbo in his sermons and tracts has made several additions to the sentiments first advanced by the celebrated Jonathan Edwards, late president of New Jersey College.
The following is a summary of the distinguishing tenets of the Hopkinsians, together with a few of the reasons they bring forward in support of the sentiments.
I. "That all true virtue, or real holiness, consists in disinterested benevolence. The object of benevo
lence is universal being, including God and all intelligent creatures. It wishes and seeks the good of every individual, so far as is consistent with the greatest good of the whole, which is comprised in the glory of God, and the perfection and happiness of his kingdom. The law of God is the standard of all moral rectitude or holiness. This is reduced into love to God, and our neighbor. as ourselves; and u.niversal good-will comprehends all the love of God, our neighbor, and ourselves,' required in the divine law, and therefore must be the whole of holy obedisence. Let any serious person think what are the
particular branches of true piety, when he has view. ed each one by itself, he will find that disinterested "friendly affections, is its distinguishing characteristic. For instante, all the holiness in pious fear, which distinguishes it from the fear of the wicked, consists in love. Again : holy gratitude is nothing but goodwill to God and our neighbor, in which we ourselves are included; and correspondent affection, excited by a view of the good-will and kindness of God. Uni'versal good-will also implies the whole of the duty "we owe to our neighbor, for justice, truth, and faithfulness, are comprised in universal benevolence ; so are temperance and chastity. For an undue indul. gence of our appetites and passions is contrary to benevolence, 'as tending to hurt ourselves or others, and so opposite to the general good,"and the divine command, in which all the crime of such indulgence consists. In short, all virtue is nothing but beriévoplonae acted out in its proper nature and perfection; worlove to God and our neighbors made perfect in all ita genuine exercises and expressions.
II. That all sin consists in selfishness. By this is iraeant an interested, selfish affection, by which a person sets himself up'as supreme, and the only object of regard; and nothing is good or lovely in his view, unless suited to proinotę his own private interest. This self-love is in its whole nature, and every: degree of it, enmity against God: it is not subject to the law of God, and is the only affection that can oppose it. It is the foundation of all spiritual blindness, and therefore the source of all the
open idolatry: in the heathen world, and false religion under the light of the Gospel; all this is agreeable to the selflove which opposes God's true character. Under the influence of this principle, men depart from truth ; it being itself the greatest practical lie in nature, as it sets up that which is comparatively nothing above universal existence. Self-love is the source of allprofaneness and impiety in the world, and of all pride and ambition among men, which is nothing but selfishness, acted out in this particular way. This is the foundation of all covetousness, and sensuality, as it blinds people's eyes, contracts their hearts, and sinks them down, so that they look upon earthly enjoy. ments as the greatest good. This is the source of all falsehood, injustice, and oppression, as it excites. mankind by undue methods to invade the property of others. Self-love produces all the violent passions; envy, wrath, clamor, and evil speaking: and every thing contrary to the divine law is briefly comprehended in this fruitful source of all iniquity, self-love.
HII. That there are no promises of regenerating grace made to the doings of the unregenerate. For as far as men act from self-love, they act from a bad end : for those who have no true love to God, really do ne duty when they attend on the externals of religion. And as the unregenerate act from a selfish principle, they do nothing which is cominanded : their impenitent doings are wholly opposed to repentance and conversion; therefore not implied in the com mand to repent, &c. so far from this, they are altogether disobedient to the command. Hence it appears, that there are no promises of salvation to the doings of the unregenerate.
IV. That the impotency of sinners, with respect to believing in Chrisi, is not natural, but moral; for it is a plain dictate of common sense, that natural inpossibility excludes all blame. But an unwilling mind is universally considered as a crime, and not as an excuse, and is the very thing wherein our wickedness consists. That the impotence of the sinner is owing to a disaffection of heart, is evident from the promises of the Gospel. When any object of good is proposed and promised to us upon asking, it clearly evinces that there can be no impotence in us with respect of obtaining it, beside the disapprobation of the will; and that inability which consists in disinclination, never renders any thing improperly the subject of precept or command.
V. That, in order to faith in Christ, a sinner must approve in bis heart of the divine conduct, even tho God should cast him off forever: which, however, neither implies love of misery, nor hatred of happiness, For if the law is good, death is due to those who have broken it. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do right. It would bring everlasting reproach upon his government to spare us, considered merely as in ourselves. When this is felt in our hearts, and not till then, we shall be prepared to look to the free grace of God, through the redemption which is in Christ, and to exercise faith in his blood, who is set forth to be a propitiation to declare God's righteousness
, that he might be just, and yet be the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.
VI. That the infinitely wise and holy God has exerted his omnipotent power in such a manner as he purposed should be followed with the existence and entrance of moral evil into the system.-For it must be admitted on all hands, that God has a perfect knowledge, foresight, and view of all possible existences and events. If that system and scene of operation, in which moral evil should never have existed, was actually preferred in the Divine mind, certainly the Deity is infinitely disappointed in the