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Prophets And all these, having obtained a good report, through faith, received not the promise, &c.' Here David, and Samuel, and the Prophets, without distinction, are mentioned as the examples of that faith, which in this connexion we are told, 'Is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.' It is thought, that this is a decisive evidence of their real holiness.

Besides! God did not send this Soothsayer, as he is called in the scriptures; but in the first instance forbade him, and when Balak sent again for him, God indeed gave him leave to go, with a charge only to bless the people of Israel; he also ap peared in a menacing attitude, by his Angel, in the way, that he might restrain him from ens couraging Moab and Midian as gainst Israel; and so in this way, save his people from their hands, that God might show his rightcousness, and covenant faithful

2. Besides: It is believed, that these testimonies of the scriptures assert the real holiness, not only of the inspiredness towards his people, when writers, but of all the Prophets whom God had sent to instruct his people; for the Prophets, without distinction, are repeatedly mentioned in them.

Will any one say, that this, if it can prove any thing, will prove that Balaam, and the High Priest, who prophecied that JESUS should die for the Jewish nation, were Godly men? In respect to Balaam, he is no where in the Scriptures, called a servant, or Prophet of the Lord, or a man of God. He is indeed once called a Prophet, as the Prophets of Baal were called Prophets. The dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbade the madness of the Prophet.'Peter informs us, that as there were false Prophets among the people, there would be false teachers in the Christian Church who should follow the way of Balaam. 2 Peter ii. And Balaam is instanced as the father, or pattern of those, who bring in damnable heresies, having eyes full of adultery, beguiling unstable souls.

Heb. xi. 32. compared with verfe 29 and verfe x.

Balak consulted their destruction with Balaam, from Shittim unto Gilgal. And as to the pro phecy of the high-priest to put Christ to death, it seems by the narration, that he said it with one view, and God meant it for another. Neither Balaam nor the High Priest, ever appear to have intended any good. One ensnared Israel to idolatry, and the other crucified the Lord of Glory. Thus are they sufficiently distinguished from the Prophets of the Lord in the scriptures, and neither of them appear to have been suffered, but on a single occasion, to say any thing prophetically; so far were they from being established as real Prophets. They were rather overruled than sent of God. So also the Apostles, whom Christ chose to be the witnesses of his resurrection, were all holy men. Judas indeed was chosen, that the prophecy of David might be fulfi led; but being a Devil, he was never employed as the others were; but is held up as a solemn admonition to those who would enter into the Gospel Ministry. Besides, many of the Prophes

and Apostles proved their friendship to God, by enduring persecution for his sake. Christ also directs his ministers to take heed whom they ordain, and to commit these things to faithful men, and carefully describes the characters they are to, consecrate to this service. He declares against wicked pastors, and unfaithful watchmen, and in his own special appointments, we may expect that he will exemplify what he commands to others, He has made it his practice to employ truly Godly men as Prophets and Apostles, and has directed, that among ordinary ministers, holy men, and not blind guides, should be or dained; and surely it is hard to believe, without express evidence, and against so much evidence as has been stated, that God would put such distinguished honor on his enemies, as to employ them by his special inspiration, to write any part of that sacred volume, which he has given this world, for our only rule of faith and practice.

4. It is allowed by all Christian writers, that the most of the inspired penmen were Godly men. A very few have said some hard things of David, Jonah and Solomon; as tho' they were not so clear concerning their holiness, because each of them committed a great sin. If, therefore, no Christian ever professed to doubt of the real holiness of any, but these three writers of the Holy Scriptures, and if evidence can be given, that these were truly holy, nothing further will be required. It should be here premised, that to prove a man a real saint, it is not necessary to prove that he commits no sin; for there is no

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man that liveth and sinneth not; nor that he has not committed some great and notorious sins; for there is a law in every Christian's members, in this life, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into cap tivity to the law of sin, which is in his members. It is sufficient to prove, that he has a law in his mind, against that in his members-that he has true grace, repentance, faith, love to God, to his laws, his worship, and institutions, abhors sin and abounds in devotion--or that God owns him as his servant, and speaks of him with approbation. Let us then examine the characters of David, Jonah and Solomon, by these marks. It will be conceded by all Christians, that they were chosen of God to write his word, or to prophesy in his name, which it is thought, has been sufficiently proved, to be an evidence of true holiness. But over and above this, let us examine the character of each one of them seperately.

Let us first attend to the evidence, that David had true grace. He is called, David the man of God.' He is called also the servant of the Lord: I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.' Here also God speaks of him with high approbation, as he often did of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, when for their sakes he promised favor to their posterity. God also testifies of David, that he kept his statutes and commandments.If thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt

Nehem. xii. 36. ‡ Isaiah xxxvii. 35.

walk in my ways, and do that is | as much suspected and as little right in my sight, to keep my known as Jonah's. But this is statutes and commandments, as not left wholly in the dark. He David my servant did.'t It has is said to be a Prophet of the been already mentioned, that he Lord, and the servant of the is expresely named as one of Lord God of Israel. † Accordthose Prophets, who had the ing to the word of the Lord God faith, which is the substance of of Israel, which he spake by the things hoped for, and the evi- hand of his servant Jonah, the dence of things not seen. To son of Amittai, the Prophet.'him also, God gave testimony | It is thought rather a commendaand said, I have found David, the tory observation of Christ, conson of Jesse, a man after mine cerning this Prophet, when he own heart, which shall fulfil all says of himself, A greater than my will.'§ Many other passa- Jonas is here;' especially as ges of the Bible declare much Christ had just mentioned him the same things, as those which as his type, and as a prophet, have here been mentioned.- saying, No sign shall be given Besides, David loved the Lord to this generation, but the sign and his public worship, his peo- of Jonas the prophet. For as ple and his word, was a man of Jonas was three days, and three prayer and praise-expressed nights, in the whale's belly; so repentance, faith, and earnest shall the son of man be three desires that he might enjoy the days, and three nights, in the light of God's countenance. heart of the earth.'-Holy men These and other marks of emi- and holy or sacred things, were nence in holiness, will be seen generally used for the types of by an attentive perusal of his Christ. Rarely if ever, was any Psalms, which have been favor- man, but a truly pious one, menite pieces of devotion to the tioned as typical of Christ, or of saints, in all succeeding ages. gospel blessings. The wicked Much more might be said on high priests are no exception to this, but it is presumed, that suf- this, for not the men, but their ficient evidence has been addu-office was the type. The conced, to prove the piety of David.sideration therefore, that Jonah Concerning Jonah, less indeed was an eminent type of Christ, can be said, because we have no is sufficient to caution us against part of his history detailed, ex- denouncing him as Christ's enecept that which respected his my. Thus Jonah was an estabmission to Nineveh; and which lished Prophet, a servant of the seems to have been given, prin-Lord, and a type of Christ, and ⚫cipally, to record him as a type for ought that appears, his sin, of the burial and resurrection of when sent to prophecy to NinChrist; tho' other instructions eveh, is the only instance of may indeed be derived from it. open transgression that he ever Had we only the history of the committed. And this was unfall of David and Peter, their der the influence of a strong true characters would have been temptation--the fear that he should be regarded as a false

1 Kings xi. 38. § Acts xii. 22.

† 2 Kings xiv. 25.

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these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel, nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Besides, his repeated prayers, and the repeated answers and approbation of God— his regard to public worship, and the reverence which he mani

Prophet. And even in the midst of this, his frank confession to the seamen--the readiness with which he offered to be a sacrifice for the sake of their safety his prayer, his vows and thanks giving, his faithfulness in recording his own sins, and the corrections and reproofs he received, and in a word all things, but that in which he was influenced by the fear of being ac-fested for God, and his pious excounted a false Prophet, were hortations, all serve to establish consistent with his being in the his moral character. exercise of grace, unless we except also his anger concerning the gourd, to which God left him, that he might, by that means, convince him of the propriety of his mercy to Nineveh, and so make it the means of reclaiming him. It is rash, for one offence in such circum-tablished in the scriptures, that stances, to condemn a man's whole life and character, while there remain so many evidences of his piety.

The scriptures do never as sert that David, Jonah and Solomon, were ungodly men, nor denounce them, as they do Balaam, Judas, the high-priest, and false prophets and teachers, tho' they do not conceal their sins.Their characters are so well es

Christians have been nearly unanimous in their opinions concerning them. One must have but little candor, who can, in the

them up as being destitute of saving grace. And asserting this of the penmen of the sacred scriptures, against such evidence and without an hint of this kind in the scriptures, might seem to betray an anxious wish for sin

aversion to the scriptures, and a secret desire to overthrow them.

⚫ Of Solomon we have clear-face of all this evidence, hold er evidence, that he was a good man. We are assured that the Lord loved him.' And that Solomon loved the Lord walking in the statutes of David his Father.' It is true that his heathen enemies led him to a criminal catholicism, in in-gularity at least, if not a rooted dulging them with liberty to worship their own Gods, in their ⚫own idolatrous ways. (A thing not now universally condemned.) Yet even where this is mentioned in the scriptures with disapprobation, the religious character of Solomon himself, is - admitted. Nehemiah, addressing those who had married strange wives, says, 'Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by

S2 Samuel xii. 24. 1 Kings iii. 3.

Reverence for God should inspire us with reverence for his word, and respect for those men, whom he hath selected for the most honorable and important services to mankind, unless God expressly disown them.

Finally: It becomes us to imitate the Godliness of the inspired writers, and to praise the Lord, that he has given us the

Nehem. xiii. 26.

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On the Light of God's counte-by the graces and benefits which

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With respect to walking in the light of God's countenance, a number of interesting particulars will be found contained in the subject, as either expressed, or clearly implied in the words. And

1. To walk in the light of God's countenance implies deliverance from self-righteousness, self-dependence, and legal hopes. The character appears in every respect an exact contrast to that which is represent

HESE are scripture expressions, and tho' figurative, are highly significant. The metaphor is taken from a well known circumstance in human life, and applied to the Most High. As the affections of man-ed in the 50th of Isaiah," Bekind are painted in their faces, hold all ye that kindle a fire, that by which they express their fa- compass yourselves about with vor or dislike, hence the index sparks; walk in the light of naturally and insensibly becomes your fire, and in the sparks that used to signify the thing indica- ye have kindled-this shall ye ted: so that by a man of a smiling, have of mine hand, ye shall lie or of a frowning countenance, down in sorrow." How comwe commonly mean a man who pletely is the picture here refeels friendship and pleasure at versed. This is perfectly deheart, or one who is unfriendly scriptive of a self-righteous charand displeased. And because acter, who thinks, by the merit men by their countenances ex- of his own righteousness, to apress their anger or love, hence tone for past sins, and recom it is that when attributed to God, mend himself to the favor and who is said sometimes to lift up acceptance of God. And on the light of his countenance up- this foundation he builds his conon his people, at other times to fident hope of heaven and eterhide his face or countenance, it nal happiness. signifies either his grace and favor, or his anger and displeasure. These two, therefore, seem to be the leading and principal ideas expressed by the light of God's

It is curious and instructive to observe how carefully and pointedly this passage is worded to distinguish this character from the one who walks in the light

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