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nate in a defective motive, a narrow jealousy of the expansive yearning of created mind, it became an unbearable restraint. And sin was the inevitable result. They doubted the kindness of the law, and they then broke it. They suspected the motive of the restriction, and they overleaped the bounds. And this is the germ and origin of all human transgression since the child's implicit repose upon a fa
ther's tenderness has been dissipated. It exists not in the natural mind. The false assertion of Satan is the groundwork of all man's feelings towards his Maker; and it is aggravated by the experience of the providential and corrective evils which fallen man has thus necessarily entailed upon himself. The state of mind is well described in the parable of our Lord, when he to whom one talent was entrusted, says, "I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed;" and with such a conviction what is the conduct? a reckless renunciation of all attempt at duty, usefulness, or profit. "I hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine." The natural spring of the heart to obedience is destroyed. It is possible, it is very probable, that the narrow and sordid notion may enter such a mind, of purchasing merit with such a governor by strict observance, by painful selfdenial, by voluntary inflictions and macerations, and by the laborious attendance on frequent acts of outward worship: but all this is but a strange and perverted idea of the fathomless benevolence of Him who
crisis of powerful temptation, when the near and dazzling prospect of some fancied good fills the mind, and the present, though criminal, indulgence appears for the time, however falsely, the greater remuneration-this mere secular motive of barter between God and man will fail altogether. And therefore it is that history presents so many cases, and that secret history, if developed, would present so many more, of men who have reached to a high grade of professional sanctity, and attainment in the school of religious and ascetic discipline, but who have been suddenly crossed by a suitable influence-and then all the power of motives drawn from a remunerating bargain with God, has withered to a powerless shred, and the high-odoured saint has become a prostrated and defiled sinner. And go when you may through all the ranks and grades of life, and you find very generally at work an insufficient and unsanctifying religion, which does not tell to the real rescue of the heart, because it has its origin in this false notion, that God's reluctant and averted mind may be purchased and brought back by meritorious observances; and you will find that most men are living at a distance from divine influence, because they have not sufficient trust in God's benevolence and love, to believe that he will give it to those who ask it. In fact, look fairly and fully into man's state of practical alienation from God; guage the depth of his most influential moral motives; ascertain what is specifically wanting to make his actions really what they should be; lay bare the vital defect, the failing point in his obedience, in all the wide range of his relative and religious duties, and you will at length discover that the great and universal want, which, if
supplied, would restore harmony and perfection to the whole is, Trust in the love of God-implicit faith.
And this brings us to the main point of the whole matter. If man is to be brought back to areal, cheerful, and hearty obedience, and if God is to be honoured by the complete restoration of his fallen and alienated creature; the direct and effectual mode, the only one which appears to contain the true principle of restoration, is to renew the power of faith-of implicit trust in a father's love. We must take "a fresh departure" for the voyage of life. We must return to the tree of knowledge in Eden. We must renew the lost principle. We must have begun again within us that
assurance which originally dwelt in man's new-created mind, that God is perfect goodness in all his ways, and believe that any other notion whatsoever is dangerous to man, and dishonourable to his Maker. This is necessary for the honour of God. The principles of his government are immutable. He must ever govern in a perfect world by love. It is the principle both of authority on his part, and of obedience on ours. If it has been violated, and a creature has been in any way led criminally to entertain a doubt of that love, the honor of the divine government will and must require, that the very first step of restoration must be a renewal of the dropped principle, a wiping off the stain that suspicion has cast upon divine excellence. God will not accept service and fealty from him who doubts his Maker's benevolence. That was the point of failure. That is then the necessary preliminary. God in his mercy may take the most extraordinary steps to restore that confidence. He may hold out proofs at which
all the angelic host of heaven may wonder. They may see in this mysterious course of renovation, a developement of that love, infinitely beyond all their previous conceptions, in order to win the fallen creature's confidence again; but most assuredly it must be seen that all obedience is worthless, all service defiled with that which is little better than insult, which does not start from a renewed conviction of the love which was previously doubted and denied: and never will any man be a subject of the restorative process till the unbelief he has felt be done away, and he has received a practical, implicit reliance on the loving-kindness of the Lord. It is in this respect especially, that God is a jealous God, and will not give his glory to another. The smile of divine favour is evidently impossible till the restoration of filial confidence secures the divine honour.
But if a justification by implicit faith in divine goodness is essential to vindicate God's honour, it is equally so to secure the safety of fallen man. When he doubted, he disobeyed. His active transgression flowed directly out of his blindness to the divine character. How can he ever commence again a course of obedience till he has returned to the point at which he went astray, till he recovers the motive which was the true spring of all cordial service? The most splendid ostensible virtues, the most rigid self-denial, the largest benevolence, and the most consummate devotion (if these were really possible without the grand central motive) must all be imperfect and unacceptable, if they wanted that essential characteristic of a right-minded creature, and of a loyal and honouring service, and fealty, the belief of the goodness of the Lord. They would be sins,
not virtues; for they would be offerings to Moloch or to Mammon -but not to a God of love; and the worship and service of countless ages would still be vitiated by this radical and dishonouring defect of a cherished mistrust.
We are now, then, prepared to understand the essential feature of the salvation proposed to us in the Gospel, namely, a Justification by Faith. It is that God has been pleased to adopt a most wondrous measure for winning back the averted heart to confidence. He propounds the fact of that love which we have doubted, which is of the very essence of his nature, and without which there would be no God-by means of an event almost incredible, if it were not sustained by evidence as ample as the event is unparalleled and extraordinary. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." On what does the salvation turn? on the belief of that love with which God loved the world, and which is to be seen in the death of his Son; on the restoration of confidence in that wondrous affection, the fathomless benevolence of a good Creator to his creatures. All the riches of paradise in their primal freshness failed to maintain this belief against the insinuating temptations of the fallen spirit. But when man is lying in his guilt and pollutionwhen he is lingering in a world of sin and suffering, on the verge of the dark grave and a darker futurity, then the love that wreathed an Eden in flowers, and enriched it with every tree that was fair to the sight and good for food, comes forward to sheathe the bolt of a deserved vengeance, and to quench its fires in atoning blood. God will have the heart, the affection, SEPTEMBER-1845.
the confidence of his creature, He would not be a God to him till he has it unqualified and unrestrained. He sends forth, therefore, his own Son, incarnate, made of a woman, made under the law. He lays on him, by the incarnation-by the generative association of Him with human flesh and soul, in the condemnation of a violated law-he lays on him the iniquity of us all; and makes him an offering for sin, makes him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in him; and then sends forth the ministry of reconciliation, to declare that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing to men their trespasses:" and actually beseeching man, alienated, perverted, mistrusting man, who, through a wretched doubtfulness, has kept aloof in selfishness and misery, to look on this mysterious cross, this most wondrous proof of the divine benevolence, to believe it, and be reconciled to God. Say that the mystery has really entered into a man's mind-that he has believed the love that God hath to us-believed it on the evidence of the cross of Christ-what has occurred in such a heart? The victory is won: the rebellious struggle is at an end-the delusion and power of Satan's lie have vanished. The creature is restored to his proper position. He has again the same reposing reliance on the infinite good which fills and warms the heart of every morally perfect creature. He is accepted, justified, acquitted. The sin which flowed from mistrust is no more imputed to him, for God has crushed, withered, annihilated in the heart the evil itself; redeeming love has done what creature love failed to accomplish, because there was yet behind in the deep-seated purposes of divine goodness, the possibility of
this astounding manifestation of benevolence by the atonement, and it was evidently the eternal purpose of God which he purposed in himself, that in the fulness of time and in the extremity of man's ruin, should be thus made known to principalities and powers in the heavenly places, by the rescue and restoration of the guilty and lost, the manifold wisdom of God. Infinite, inconceivable love comes abroad with an overwhelming demonstration, before which the powers of a finite resistance fail man; looks at the suffering Saviour; believes God to be the benevolent Being that he really is; God's ways and his government are vindicated; the designs of a fallen spirit are baffled and confounded; the pardoned creature renews at once his confidence, his covenant, and his loyalty; and enters upon a new life, the effective agency of a new principle, the power of a "faith which worketh by love." Oh, the glorious efficiency, dignity, and abounding liberality of such a scheme of mighty mercy. The infinite breadth of this unfolding of divine compassion and benevolence is worthy of "the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.' There is a measureless profluence and profusion in it only to be paralleled by the illimitable notion of space and time. It is the love of the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent, and the Eternal!
We have now some faint notion of the rationale, or reasonableness of the mode of salvation by faith. It is the most effective means to restore man and to honour God; nay, we cannot conceive of any other way by which either point could be attained. There was no other way to restore a mistrusting rebel, but by renewing his confidence; or of honouring a mistrusted God, but by proving trium
phantly the sin and folly of the doubt. This is the only essence of Justification by Faith. It will be found to breathe through the whole of the inspired record— through the whole aspect of redemption-through his message and its working; and no man will be found to have partaken of the slightest measure of renewed and real holiness, who has not first exercised the renewed principle of an ample and unhesitating trust. Such a gift-and it must be a gift; such a gift-the gift of a reposing faith, is an end of the quarrel, an end of the alienation. It is the lifting up the soul again into the right state, the state from which it had fallen. It is the placing it in circumstances in which God can look again upon the heart with approval, because the creature restored to his right senses looks on the government of God, and its principles, with approval, and exercises again the grand characteristic of duty-resting in his love.
And this is the grand scheme on which the theological witlings of modern heresy lavish their sneers. They see no wisdom, no beauty, no fitness in an arrangement which to sober reason stands forth on investigation as the only possible remedy for the fall. It is too evident, that, contracted in their views by innate unbelief, they understand neither the evil under which they suffer, nor the remedial dispensation proposed to them; and, persevering in that false view of the divine character which Satan has infused, they meet the proposals of divine benevolence with the mistrust that his falsehood has engendered. What they need is a spiritual comprehension of the atone
With all their wordy writings in reviews and pamphlets and lengthy octavos, they want the root of the matter. Their religion
MY DEAR FRIEND,-*** Whilst reading Dr. Buchanan's account of Juggernaut, we cannot but feel a glow of gratitude to Almighty God for casting our lot in such a land as this; and earnestly pray, that the labours of the Bible Society may be blessed, in sending the Word of Truth among these poor deluded Indians, and that this modern Dagon may fall before the Ark of
Satan appears to have erected his throne in India, but I trust this noble institution will be made the instrument of destroying his kingdom, and, through the blessing of God, be the honoured means of extending the Redeemer's kingdom over this dark and cruel part of the habitable globe. But whilst we contemplate distant regions, and lament the wickedness of others, let us not forget, my dear friend, that we have hearts deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, prone to depart from God, and to neglect Christ and his great salva.
tion. If there be any difference, however small, between us and others, we must give God the glory. I often feel much founded and cast down, when I compare my heart with my privileges, and find how very little progress I have made since I first knew the Lord. Every year, the Lord as it were comes seeking fruit. Alas! how barren have I been! The hidden evils of the heart are known only to God and our own conscience. I cannot tell the experience of others, but I have often cause to cry out-" O wretched man that I am!" My only comfort is, that Jesus is a Saviour, and I humbly trust my Saviour-I have no righteousness but in him-my holiest duty is so defiled with sin, that it could not meet with any thing but rejection, if not covered with the robe of Jesu's righteousness, and washed in his most precious blood. To him I would continually look. But oftentimes, the fiery darts of Satan terrify my