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Presuming this proposition is sufficiently clear, to all who have their minds open to conviction, I proceed to the last thing proposed, which was to prove, that there is no salvation or deliverance
from death, but by Christ. This is a truth, I · suppose, will scarce be doubted, if the preced
ing particular be admitted ; for this lays and leaves the whole world under condemnation, this brings in the whole world guilty before God; and if all had been left to sink into the nethermost hell, beneath the indignant frown of cffended majesty, it had been an act of unquestionable, and inviolable justice; while on the contrary, if any are preserved from going down into the pit; if any are saved from eternal ruin, it is an act of free, fovereign and boundless grace and mercy. We shall the more readily and joyfully admit this precious truth, salvation by Christ, when we are made truly sensible that it is not in our own power. But who shall persuade us of this ? Who will discover to us this dangerous disease ? Who will believe this report ? Surely none but they to whom the arm of the Lord is revealed ; none but such as are convinced of sin, by the spirit of God. den
I am about, therefore, to explain and lay open this important truth before you, but it is in purfuance to those words, preach the gospel to every . creature, and by the divine blessing upon my lame and feeble arguments, that I hope to succeed.
Are we then guilty and obnoxious creatures ? Do we stand chargeable with sin original and actual? What can we do to merit favour? Sup. pose we were willing to be reconciled to God, which none ever will 'till, made so in the day of God's power ; for, the carnal mind is enmity against God;
which way shall we fet about it? How palidade come before the Lord, and bow ourselves before the molt bigb God? There is no law given which can give life, but administers condemnation to every offender, and thunders out the most dreadful anathemas against every sinner. If a man is convicted of murder, or any other capital crime, he knows the law can yield him no relief, to justify or acquit him, , for it is the law that condemns him. Our blessed Saviour faid to the Jews, I condemn ye not, there is one that condemneth you, even Mofes in whom ye trujt, that is, the law given by Moses ; and this people saith Paul attained not unto righteousness; that righteousness which would recommend them to God, because they fought it Öy the works of the law.
If it was said of the law of the Medes and Persians, that they were unalterable, how much more muft we not conceive this of the law of God, which is founded on his unchangeable nature ; and if Daniel when having violated the royal decree was doomed to suffer according to this law, notwithstanding, the king set his heart to deliver him; how much more when finful creatures have rebelled against the king of heaven, and violated his most holy law, shall they not fall under the severity of it's sentence to their eternal condemnation.
It would be absurd to suppose, that a person as abovementioned, convicted of murder, &c. under a law that sentenced every such offender to death, without any mitigation of the penalty; should be able to satisfy that law, by any other means ; fo we as capital offenders against God, are fentenced to death by a law that can make no
poslible abatement; nor acquit the offender, without suffering the penalty due to the offence. Should the finner, deprived of the light and comforts of God's spirit, be for ever banished from his blissful presence, and shut up in the dark and disinal regions of the bottomless pit; he would suffer no more than what the law he had violated sentenced him to; and as it is impossible that he could for ever lie in hell, and yet be saved; so it is equally impossible, that a guilty sinner, obnoxious to eternal death by the righteous sentence of the law, should do any thing to procure, or merit his own falvation. In short, our case and condition is this, we are guilty creatures and no kind of punishntent, how ever exquisite; no duration of that punishment however long, can make us otherwise; for às eternity knows no bound, and infinity has nolimitations; so that holy and inflexible law, which condemns the offender toeternal sufferings,can never sayit is enougha
Again, could it be supposed, (which is absurd,) yet I say, could it be supposed, that a sinner was justly exempt from suffering, as the desert of fin; and that he stood on a like footing with Adam, in respect to a covenant do (or do not) and live, (which I must again observe is absurd to suppose, for the scripture knows of no covenant existing since Adam linned in paradise, but the covenant of grace) yet one night venture to affirm, that on such condition no flesh would be saved. These following reasons will make it plain. Adam had many advantages of standing in his perfect state, and of obeying the law of God; whch we have not, for first, He had a perfect nature, all the powers and faculties of his soul, and all the members and organs of his body, like a curious and
well wrought machine, when first coming from the hands of the artist; were in perfect regularity, and subserved each other in pleasing harmony, and sweet concord. This is alluded to in those scripture partages, wherein the perfection of that nature is begun to be restored by the power of renovating grace; if any man be in Christ be is a new creature, put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and truth. 2. Cor. v. 17. Eph. iv. 24. &c. But with us it is the very reverse, the economical state of our souls and bodies, is somewhat like the anarchical ftate of Ifrael, when every man did that which was right in his own eyes; our passions are stiff and unruly, the understanding dark, the will obstinate, and the affections vitiated. The streams of corruption which proceed from the depraved and corrupt nature, and flow with greater, or less rapidity from every unrenewed heart are awfully described by the great apostle in these words, the works of the fiel are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variances emulations, wrath, strife, feditions, berefes, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like ; on which description, it will be sufficient to ob. serve, that the fruit makes fully manifest the quality of the tree. 2d. Adam lived under the siniles of his maker; the light of whose counte-nance fills the heart with gladness, and animates the soul to chearful obedience; but we are estranged from the womb, the intervening clouds of sin, have hid from us the light of his blessed countenance, and left us to droop under the most defponding discouragements ; the law, with unabat
ing rigor as the egyptian task-masters, exacts the full tale of perfect obedience, yet gives us no Itrength to perform it ; this is alluded to Rom. viii. 3. what the law could not do, namely, give life and salvation, in that it was weak through the flesh, through the imperfection, and impotency of nature ; that did Jesus Christ by the sacrifice of himself. 3d. When Adam first came from the hands of God, he naturally loved God, this was the law of his nature written and engraven on his heart; but we, conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, have an enmity against God; and if not in words, yet in our ways and actions say with the haughty prince, who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice. Now as the substance of that law, by which we could have any claim to salvation, consists in love to God, with all the soul, mind, and strength, the task is equally easy for us, to change our nature, as fulfill this righteous law. 4th, When Adam was placed in the garden of Eden, although he had a secret enemy, that was contriving his ruin; yet was he exempt from that innumerable multitude of snares and temptations, that his posterity have to cope with. He had none of those deadly struggles, with a hard and unbelieving heart, foolish and hurtful desires, which often make the christian hero groan, and greatly agonize for victory; and before which, the unrenewed by grace are impetuously driven as before a swell of mighty waters. Inour lapsed condition, we are each considered apart as a leaky vessel at fea in a storm, whose affrighted mariners are every moment expecting to sink like lead into the bottom of the raging deep ; but when considered, as in society, our condition