« VorigeDoorgaan »
BUT these are well intended. So probably was Uzzah's fteadying the ark-But fome of these do help on the cause of God, and even more than the ftale attendance on Lord's day duties. So thought those who introduced images and paintings into churches. [Some indeed attend those who neglect Lord's day duties.]
HAVE We then difcovered defects in the divine plan! And do we feel ourselves capable of making emendations in it !-Of" teaching eternal wisdom how to rule!"-How to effect its purposes of mercy!
BEWARE left any man fpoil you through philofophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Chrift. "Vain man would be wife-He naturally thinks himself qualified, even to ameliorate divine inftitutions. Temptation to this fin coincides with a natural bias in depraved humanity. Many and very mischievous errors have iffued from it. Would we escape the fnare, we muft liften to the apostle fpeaking in the text. The fum of his advice is to keep to the divine directions, especially in matters of religion. These are contained and plainly taught in the holy Scriptures, which we have in our hands, and of the fenfe of which we must judge for ourselves; remembering that we are accountable to God the judge of all.
As fome are fpoiled through philofophy and vain deceit, others are corrupted by regard to the tradi tion of men and rudiments of the world. This endangered the Coloffians, and eventually ruined the
church at Rome. The leading errors of paganifm were thereby introduced into that Christian church, and rendered it completely antichriftian. Errors which feemed to have been deftroyed by Christianity, were again revived, and the abomina. tions which they had occafioned, were acted over again with enlargements!
THE traditions of men and rudiments of the world, have fill their feducing influence. Moft men fwim down with the current of the times-adopt the fentiments and conform to the ufages of those with whom they live. The popular scheme of religion, they confider as the orthodox scheme, and the religion of the land, the true religion. Therefore is one nation Papists, another Proteftants, one Calvinifts, another Lutherans. These differences of fentiment do not arise from differences in the mental conftitutions of nations, but from the accidental differences of fituation.
FEW have fufficient independence of mind to judge of themselves what is right." Many who "call Chrift Lord, receive for doctrines the commandments of men." Therefore doth religion vary like the fashions of the world. Was the fashion of the world to be the rule of judgment, it might be wife to follow it: But" we must every one give an account of himself to God," and be judged by the rule which he hath given us. It becomes us therefore to" call no man mafter, because one is our Master, even Chrift." To him we are accountable. At our peril do we neglect obedience to his commands.
It concerns us to do all things according to the pattern drawn out before us in the Scriptures. Against the natural bias to affect improvements on divine inftitutions, and againft the prevalence of fashion and contagion of popular opinion, we fhould be particularly on our guard. "For curfed is every one who confirmeth not all the words of God's law to do them, and all the people fhall fay, Amen."
MATTHEW XXxiii. 36.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
THIS is predicated of the judgments of God on
those who had fhed the blood of his faints. The Savior declares that all the righteous blood which had been fhed on the earth from that of Abel down to the gofpel day, fhould come on that generation!
BUT is not this unreasonable and contrary to the Scriptures?" Far be wickednefs from God and iniquity from the Almighty. For the work of man fhall he render unto him, and caufe every man to find according to his ways-The righteoufnefs of the righteous fhall be upon him, and the wickednefs of the wicked fhall be upon him." Such is the language of revelation.
AND is not that of reafon the fame? Will rea fon juftify punishing fome men for other men's
fins? Those who lived in the days of our Savior had no fhare in the murder of Abel, or of many others who had died by wicked hands. Thofe dire events had been accomplished before they had exiftence. How then could they be answerable for them?
To folve this mystery we must confider man in a twofold view-as an individual and as the member of a community.
As individuals mankind are folely accountable for the parts which they act perfonally. In the judgment of the great day, they will only be judged for the use which they shall have made of the talents committed to them here-" We must all appear before the judgment feat of Chrift; that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad."
BUT every individual is a member of the hu. man race, and of fome community. The race, as fuch, and the larger branches of it, the nations and empires into which it is divided, are amenable to the Supreme Governor, and liable to punishment, if in their public characters, they rebel against him. And righteous individuals, may be involved in the judgments fent to punish the fins of the community to which they belong. They often are fo. Perfonal rectitude is not defignated by an exemption from national calamities. Dif. criminations will eventually be made in its favor, but not here. Here "all things come alike unto