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n the kind offers of his grace, even while they know they are ar condemnation to endless punishment, and constantly exposed il the miseries and despair of eternal death. They reject bis
Son, and trifle with his dying groans, and bleeding love. This dding insult to injury, and the vilest ingratitude to rebellion. Sut impenitent sinners not only reject the divine authority, tranapon the divine law, trifle with the divine feelings and spurn the ite grace of God; but they even attempt to justify themselves in loing, and either directly or indirectly condemn God. Though I has plainly told them that they have eyes to see and ears to , and capacities to love; and though they know and feel that rought instantly to condemn and abase themselves for their untorable and vile conduct, and justify God in their condemnation; against their own reason and conscience, against the fullest ditestimony, and requirements and threatenings, and directly in face of their holy Creator and final judge, they boldly say they bot make themselves a new heart and a new spirit, and cannot ent of their sins and accept the punishment of their iniquity. y charge God with being unreasonable and unjust in his requireits, and in threatning them with eternal destruction for not doing t they have no power to do. “This is a higher charge than can brought against the greatest tyrant upon earth, or even against great adversary of God and man. But sinners cannot plead want of natural ability to know and do their duty, without virtu| bringing this charge of injustice and cruelty against God. Every self-justifying, sin-extenuating plea they make, is a Godderoning plea. Just so far as they justify themselves, they conan God. What can be more crinioal and displeasing to God, o this. And sometimes their carnal mind rises directly against d, and condemns him as the most unjust and cruel being in the terse; which is immediately sinping against God himself, with all r heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, and with all ir strength." But why do sinners thus abuse their Maker? They treat no othriend so ill. They often, if not always, mean to obey their tbly parents, and pay respect to the feelings of their fellowatures, Has God injured them? Not at all, but bas constantjeen doing them good. Do they discover any thing in his charer, in his purposes, or in his conduct, that is not holy, wise and d? So far from this, the more they examine his character and aduct, the more are they convinced that he is “glorious in holiess, unsearchable in wisdom." They are constrained to acwledge that he is good, and doeth good continually, and that bis der mercies are over all the works of his bands. They, as well saints, are capable of perceiving his infinite moral excellence,
of adoring and praising bim, from the heart, for bis excellent atness. Why then do they not do it? Why do they live from
to day, from Sabbath to Sabbath, from year to year, and if ereigo grace do not interpose, from the day of their first transEsion to the day of their death, in continual disobedience to their holy and glorious Creator, without a single exercise of true for sin, or true love to God? Why do they break all their pu to begin a new lise, resist all the motives to holy obedience, h themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and finally, rathe humble themselves before God, and love and justify him for and condemning them, as they know they ought to do; choose down in eternal serrow.
The true reason is, because their hearts are wholly set up security and promotion of their own happiness. They desir regard their own happiness, solely because it is their own, a! anothers; and for the same reason, they regard it supremely. is the essence of the carnal mind, which is enmity against Go which nothing will subdue, short of the omnipotent hand of the it. It is this that leads sinners to love or hate all beings ar jects, just as they appear friendly or unfriendly to their own ests. Though they know their own interest is but “an atom atom world, that they ought to regard the good of their nei as much as their own, and their infinite Creator with all their I and soul, and strength; yet the combined good of all men an gels, and even the glory and interest of God himself, weigh than a feather in their minds, wben placed in contact with the good. This supreme regard for their own happiness, because their own, which controls erery natural heart, is stronger thar or death. All the motives of the gospel, though they include nal felicity, and endless sorrow and despair, are powerless, arrayed in opposition to it. The combined powers of reaso conscience, of moral suasion and of sympathy, however great, ly fail to overcome it. The authority of an infinite God and of own consciences, cannot restrain it. The convincing reasoni Paul, and the persuasive eloquence of Apollos, cannot more
This is the dreadful malady that infects every natural heart, which renders the condition of all impenitent sinners so trul plorable. For while it remains, they can neitber love God ac ably, nor obey him: They cannot serve him, nor enjoy bim. are miserable in theo.selves; for they are self-condemned. can have no fellowship with God; for he is benevolent, and selfishness. They cannot enjoy true fellowship with saints, who faithful; for they are also benevolent and hate selfishness. If seriously contemplate their own dependance, they are unhappy they see they have no power to act, that is not given them of 1 who hates all sin, and may justly punish them forever. If they template the infinite holiness of God, they bate it; for it is op to their selfishness. If they think of the glorious justice of they hate it, for it will sink all the finally impenitent to hell. they think of the purposes of God, they hate them; for they they are against them. If they contemplate the agency of they hate it; for they despair of ever getting out of his hands. they think of the sovereignty of God, they hate bim; for they he raises one to holiness and heaven, and leaves another to pa forever, according to the good pleasure of his will. If they t
he mercy of God, it gives them no pleasure; for it is controled bis perfect wisdom and impartial goodness, and may leave them suffer the due reward of their deeds. If they contemplate the dness of God, they hate it; fer they see that it moves him to his acts of sovereignty, of mercy, and of justice, and is so puredisinterested in its nature, that it may “endure with much longfering," while they all up the measure of their sins, and then te them up for the general good of bis kingdom, to be rewarded cording to their works: They hate God unspeakably more than
creatures and objects; for he is more in the way of their securI their selfisha hopes and interests. And they hate the pure, peranent, and infinite goodness of God, more than all his other peretions; for they see it renders him perfectly immutable.
According to the bible, and according to facts, this is the chariter and condition of all impenitent sinners. The description acords with the divine declarations, the divine threatenings, and the ivine conduct. Whether stupid or awakened, insensible or conicted, unbelieving or convinced; they all possess a carnal mind which is enmity against God, not subject to his law, neither indeed an be. Their eyes are evil, because God is good. Those who jave seen, have hated both Christ and his Father. Every imaginstion of the thoughts of their hearts, is only evil continually. Their searts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They are completely dead in trespasses and in sins. And whatever they may iotend to do, or attempt to do, while in this state, they cannot please God. Their thoughts, their sacrifices, and their way, are all abomination to the Lord.
[To be concluded.)
From the Spirit of the Pilgrims. UNITARIANISM AND INFIDELITY. Infidels, who have renounced the Christian religion, have established a system of their own, which they call Natural religion. Creation is their Bible, and they insist that the principles they embrace are every where to be read upon the fair face of nature. Many persons will perhaps be surprised, on being informed that this system is, in all essential points, the same with that which is a vowed and defended by Unitarians. The only difference is, the Infidel acknowledges that the Bible teaches a faith totally different from that which he receives; while the Unitarian declares that this same system is that wbich the Bible teaches. The Unitarians of Massachusetts, and Paine, Hume, Gibbon, &c. harmonize almost entirely in their religious sentiments. The only question between them is, whether the Bible exhibits those views of religion, which they mutually entertain? I do not here assert, that Unitarians agree Infidels in discarding the Bible, but that the same truths which tarians profess to learn from the Bible, Infidels avow and de Paine, in his “ Age of Reason,” gives us bis religious belief. subjoined extracts from that notorious publication authorize the a remarks.
I. “I believe in one God, and no more.
II. The Character and Perfections of God. “Do we wa contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of creation. we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchang ble order by which the incomprehensible whole is governed. want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abunda with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his na cy? We see it in bis not withholding that abundance even from unthankful.”
“ Our ideas, not only of the Almightiness of the Creator, but his wisdom and beneficence, become enlarged, in proportion as contemplate the extent and structure of the universe.
III. The nature of Religion. “I believe that religious dut consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make sellow creatures happy.”
“ The true Deist has but one Deity, and bis religion consists ever contemplating the power, wisdom and benignity of the Deity his works, and in endeavoring to imitate him in every thing mora scientifical, and mechanical.
“Religion, therefore, being the belief of a God, and the practie of moral truth, cannot have connexion with mystery. And the prac tice of moral truth, or, in other words, a practical imitation of th moral goodness of God, is no other than our acting towards eae) other, as he acts benignly towards all.”
“The moral duty of man consists in imitating the moral goodnesi and beneficence of God, manifested in the creation towards all hi: creatures; that, seeing as we daily do the goodness of God to all men, it is an example, calling upon all men to practise the same towards each other; and consequently every thing of persecution and revenge between man and man, and every thing of cruelty to animals, is a violation of moral duty."
IV. Future state. “I hope for happiness beyond this life.”
" The belief of a future state is a natural belief, founded upon facts visible in the creation."
“We must know, also, that the power that called us into being, can, if he pleases, and when he pleases, call us to account for the manner in which we have lived."
“ The probability that we may be called to account hereafter will, to a reflecting mind, have the influence of belief,"
Such is the religious faith of Paine. He believes in the existence of God; in the perfection of his moral and natural attributes; that religion consists in imitating him; and that there is a future state of
*The edition from which these extracts are made, is a small duodecimo, published in New York
accountability. Now is not this the same system, which Unitarians insist that Jesus Christ and the apostles taught? We would not obly remark, that Unitarians believe all this; but does it not comprise the fundamental principles of their faith? Does not this creed embrace every thing which they deem essential in the instructions of Christ? Would not a sober person, declaring this to be his faith, be admitted to any Unitarian church? Thus do both parties believe the same system of doctrines, and the only question between them is, Do Jesus Christ and the apostles teach it? I appeal to any Unitarian, candid or uncandid, whether Unitarianism and this pure
Deisma of Tom Paine is not essentially the same thing? Such an one, to be consistent, should say to Paine, "My friend, you are right; but then you ought not to abuse the writers of the Bible, for they agree with you entirely. If you will examine the Bible more critically and rationally, you will perceive that yours is that pure and holy faith which the scriptures inculcate."
Unitarians discard those peculiar doctrines which are usually regarded as the essential principles of Christianity. Paine renounces these also; and be renounces the Bible for teaching them. He thus agrees with unitarians, not only in what they believe, but in what they do not believe.
i. The Trinity. “The ambiguous idea of a man God; the corporeal idea of the death of a God; he mytbological idea of a family of Gods; and the Christian system of Arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three, are all irreconcilable, not only to the Divine gift of reason that God hath given to man, but to the knowledge that man gains of the power and wisdom of God."
2. Divinity of Christ. “The Scriptures represent this virtuous and amiable man, Jesus Christ, to be at once both God and Man."
“As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a system of Atheism; a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man, rather than in God.”
3. Atonement. “Is the gloomy pride of man become so intolerable, that nothing can flatter it, but the sacrifice of the Creator?”
The writings of the apostles, "are chiefly eontroversial; and the subject they dwell upon, that of a man dying in agony on a cross, is better suited to the gloomy genius of a monk in a cell, than to any man breathing the open air of creation.”
“It is an outrage offered to the moral justice of God, by suppose" ing him to make the innocent suffer for the guilty, and also for the loose morality, and low contrivance of supposing him to change himself into the shape of a man, in order to make an excuse to himself for not executing his supposed sentence upon Adam.”
I thought “ that God was too good to do such an action, and also too Almighty to be under the necessity of doing it.”
If it were not known that these extracts were from “ Paine's Age of Reason,” every one would suppose that they were taken from some Unitarian sermob or periodical. There certainly is a strong family resemblance.
Paine also sbows, at considerable length, that the Bible teaches