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cises of grace. They grow in rant of true beauty while blind grace—make advances in the to the glory of the divine char. divine life and progress in sanc- acter. What advantage do you tification; and, to crown all, they expect to reap from the instituhave assurance of persevering in tions of the gospel, while you grace unto glory.
continue to reject ChristmodesThese compose the character pise all the offers of his grace, and blessedness of those who and in the clearest light that know the joyful sound, and ever shone, are blind to the walk in the light of God's coun- truth. Know assuredly, that tenance. And is not this a very your spiritual blindness is your excellent character ? Is it not most aggravated guilt--your a most happy state? Every spiritual death is your condemthing excellent and desirable is nation, and that, which, if percontained in it. All we can ra- sisted in, will finally sink you to tionally wish for, and more than the lowest hell. “This is the conour most raised imaginations demnation that light hath come can conceive, or our most un- into the world, and men loved bounded desires cail grasp:-- darkness rather than light beAnd now let me ask the reader, cause their deeds are evil.”. in a serious review of the sub- | Oh repent of your
sins believe ject, to apply each particular on the Lord Jesus Christ, and which has been suggested, to walk in the light of God's counhis own heart, with this ques. tenance. 66 Then tion, Eave I ever found the know, if you follow on to know knowledge of this truth, and of the Lord, that his going forth is this enjoyment by my own. experi- prepared as the morning, and ence ? Here are various traits he shall come to you as the rain, of the Christian character, and as the latter and the former rain if you cannot find yourself de- unto the earth.” scribed in any of them, you
ASAPH. have reason to draw the conclusion that you never possessed it ; that you know what it is
The nature of holiness illustrated to walk in the light of God's
from reason and scripture. countenance, but are ignorant of of
son, unassisted by revelaing in darkness without light, tion, is totally insufficient to without hope and without God in teach mankind the nature of hothe world. Remember the liness : or to show in what true words of Christ, “If thine eye virtue consists. The gospel be evil thy whole body shall be sums it up in love.
Love is full of darkness. If therefore the fulfilling of the law.” Not the light that is in thee be dark- such love as constituted Roman ness, how great is that dark- | virtue, but universal benevoness?" Can this be to you a lence. Such as influences us to state of rest and quietude? You regard every intelligent being have no true peace. You really according to his moral character enjoy nothing, while you enjoy and worth. To love God sunot God. And you are igno- premely. And to respect every
heart an enemy to God; walk! THE light of nature, or rea
intelligent creature according to tion is most ardent and sincere ; the rank which he holds, and sin may be enthroned in the the character which he sustains, heart, and selfish.ness flow in evwhen compared with universal, ery channel of the life. A lovbeing. When the mind is prop- | ing parent may, through a selferly illuminated with scripture | ish spirit, so far misjudge, as, truths, the bible will be found to by threats, to compel a darling contain no doctrine repugnant child to sin. And a world of to reason. None to which a vir- sinners from a similar selfish tuous mind will not cordially as- love, can, bid defiance to their sent.
lawful sovereign. But to prevent the possibility of Holiness, or that love which misconception, all that is meant constitutes moral virtue, may be by reason, as here used, is, that comprised under the following the nature of holiness, after once heads ; subdividing it into the suggested by scripture, is agree- love of benevolence; the love of able to reason. It is rational. complacence ; the love of gratTherefore, in this sense of the itude ; and the love of esteem. word reason ; a view of the na- 1. The love of benevolence ture of holiness will be taken to has for its object universal beshow, in the first place, by ra- ing ; or it is a wishing well to tional arguments, in what its na- all intelligent beings susceptible ture consists ; and to what it of happiness. Every being, so tends. Then secondly this view far as he exercises this love, is will be compared with the decla- so far holy. rations of holy writ.
2. The love of complacence 1. A view of the nature of has for its object all being posholiness according to reason.
sessed of a degree of positive All love may be divided into holiness ; or it is that affection two kinds. That love which is which is exercised towards all sinful; and that love which is beings, who exercise the love of holy. The former may be sum
benevolence. And this love of ed up in selfishness.
complacence flows forth from a And the better to understand holy being, on account of the the nature of the latter, or of pleasure experienced in beholdthat which constitutes holiness ; ing another possessed of the propriety may suffer a remark same benevolent spirit. on that which centres in self 3. The love of gratitude has and constitutes sin, or is not in
for its object, a benefactor; or itself of a holy nature.
The it is that affection, which is exaffection which exists between
ercised towards a being on acparticular friends, husband and count of some favor received. wife, parent and child ; which 4. The love of esteem implies unites societies and empires ;
some greater worthiness, or ex. and which encircles other worlds; cellence, in the being who is the so far as it proceeds from no high- subject of esteem. Though ever principle than natural affec- ery intelligent being is a proper tion, animal passion, or selfish-object of the love of benevolence; ness, has nothing of a holy na- and every being, who has any ture. Even in the dearest rela- degree of positive holiness, is tion in life, and where the affec- deserving of the love of compla
cence ; and every benefactor, of consistent with universal good. the love of gratitude ; yet the It is not required, that a being love of esteem, is founded on should have no regard to his the comparative worth, or excel- own happiness, in order to renlence, which exists, between two der him benevolent. Every inor more beings, both, or all of telligent being is supposed to rewhom, may be supposed fit ob- gard himself, according to his jects of the love of complacence. worth, in the scale of universal
Though the love of complà. being ; and to act a rational part, cence ; the love of gratitude ; in seeking his own happiness, in and the love of esteem ; have a way consistent with the whole. each of them some characteris- A familiar con parison for iltic, which distinguishes the one,
lucidation. from the other; and also all of A judge in his decisions, may them, from the love of benevo- be free from every shadow of a lence; yet benevolence, as a selfish bias. Yet as the judge himgeneral term, includes all the self, forms one of the communirest. Or, all the rest, presup-ty, and is one of universal being ; pose it as their foundation. For he is not wholly uninterested in it is the nature of benevolence, the decision which he makes. or holiness to flow forth in love, As an individual, his own happroportioned in its degree to the piness is equally affected, with worthiness of the being, towards that of every other individual ; whom it is exercised ; when this though all thoughts about his particular being, is compared own person, may, at the time, be with universal being. Suppose banished from his mind. It is then a particular person to be utterly impossible, for him to act, deserving of the love of esteem. in
any sense, without being himOn the principles of benevo- self, some way or other, either lence, such a person, because directly or indirectly, affected more worthy, is not only to be in a greater or less degree. No loved with a peculiar affection ; action, and not one thought, of but to be loved more than though any intelligent being, can, with he was regarded simply as an in- strict propriety, be termed untelligent being ; more, than tho' interested. But though the he were worthy of complacence judge cannot be supposed to act to a certain degree, but not to wholly uninterestedly ; or, conthat degree sufficient to entitle sidering the relation in which him to the love of esteem. he stands to community, and to
Benevolence is, in its nature, universal being ; as it is imposopposed to selfishness. And to sible, that his own happiness, distinguish it from selfishness, should, in no point of view, be it is termed disinterested benev- any ways affected ; yet he may olence, or disinterested affection. be supposed to act entirely disin, The affection is disinterested, but terestedly; that is, in such a not uninterested. Uninterested, manner, as not to advance prisupposes no interest at all. Dis
vate interest, by sacrificing, pubinterested, supposes no private lic happiness. interest. The former, in every
Suppose further particular, is opposed to self. Say the judge, when comparThe latter, so far, as self is in- ed with the community, has
three degrees of existence ; and eth all things after the counsel the community seven. Suppose of his own will ;” and who hath every degree of existence in the created all things for his own pleajudge, from his excellence of The nature of disinterestcharacter, and dignity of person, ed benevolence, inclines all inis real worth. Measuring the telligent beings, who possess community by the same scale ; any share of it, to regard each, that is, judging of them, from according to his respective their excellence of character, worth, when viewed, in his conand dignity of person, and find nection, with universal being. ing one degree in seven, of a And as that first intelligent cause description directly the reverse, of all things, who is necessarily of the other six, which six exact- self-existent, and eternal, is posly correspond with the three sessed of a being, which is infifound in the judge ; the judge, nite ; the nature of holiness by an impartial administration of would incline him to love himjustice, in lawfully punishing self supremely. Further, if the one seventh of the community, Deity is now a holy Being, he which possessing a character must have been equally so, anand disposition, opposed to the terior to any of his works of other six, and to his own, have, creation, or independently on unreasonably, violated salutary his works. That is, he was inlaws, enacted for the public finitely holy, when he actually good ; advances the happiness exercised love towards no being, of the community six degrees, who then really existed but himconsistently with advancing his self. Or, to make use of a difown three. Suppose the being, ferent phrase, when he sought excellence, and dignity of the his own glory. Anterior to crejudge are increased ; and the ation, and independently on it, being, excellence, and dignity from the nature of holiness, the of the community are diminish- Deity exercised a disinterested ed, until the former bears the benevolence, in loving himself relation to the latter, of nine to supremely. Otherwise the Dethree. The judge by an equit-ity will be made dependent on able, and impartial administra- the creature for his infinite holition of justice, and from princi
Which assertion, would ples stricly disinterested, lawful- be impious, and absurd. If the ly promotes his own happiness, Deity was not a perfectly holy in a manner perfectly consistent being, before he actually exerwith the happiness of the com
cised love towards any creature, munity, in the proportion of nine he is, by being made dependent to three.
on his works for the attribute of Extend this principle, un
holiness, divested of the natural til all creature happiness appears
and essential attribute of indelike a drop to the ocean ; or, pendence. For antecedently to like a taper under the splendors the work of creation, if loving
himself supremely ; and in the A scene is now opened, which
work of creation, if having an faintly exhibits the nature of ho- ultimate regard to his own glory, liness as it exists in the mind of
did not constitute the holiness of that infinite Being, “who work
God, the attribute of holiness,
of the meridian sun.
does not co-extend with his oth- of holiness, could have been
two grand uniting principles,
gravitating principle, inherent That God had, from eternity, in all matter; so it is the nature a supreme regard to his own of holiness, to unite the moral honor and glory, as the ultimate, world, by its attracting princiand chief end, in his creation of ple of universal benevolence. the universe ; and regarded the To illustrate the nature of hohappiness of the creature, only liness, by analogy between as a subordinate, and inferior, the natural and moral world. end ; further appears, from the The former of which would be absurdity of a different hypoth-useless, considered, aside from esis. Independently on the ul- the ends which it subserves, by timate end, or the glory of God; the relation which it bears to the the subordinate end, or the hap- latter. Suppose the sun, the piness of the creature'; would centre of gravity, to be infinitely have been unworthy of the seek- the noblest part of this material ing of the divine being. For system, to which we belong. this would be supposing, that the View him, as independent on all Deity, preferred, a less good, to creation for his, natural, brighta greater. That is, he preferred ness. As shining in his own the happiness of finite being, to strength. Himself a fountain that of infinite being. This of material light. Irradiating would be ascribing consummate all opaque bodies within the folly, to the all wise Jehovah. sphere of his influence. The Thcrefore, the happiness of the primary planets may be considereature, considering the naturel ered as next in worth. Then