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having no inherent and intelligent connection with the results it contemplates, and to administer the word at the required season, hoping that, as God has said it, he will at some period, and in some inappreciable way, dispose of the old propensity in the hearer, and “ implanta new one, and thus give him an ability' to be influenced by the considerations presented. This antinomian dependence on the Spirit extracts all vitality from the pulpit, and all sense of direct responsibility to truth from the hearer, and reduces the administration of the word to an ordinance which is but one remove from the 6

genuflexions” and “ baptismal regenerations” of the utter formalist in religion. Truth, in such relations, is shorn of the intrinsic value conceded to it on other subjects; the laws of conviction are outraged, and results anticipated in no intelligent connection with means used or light received.

3. The pulpit should hold intimate communion with the reason and conscience. They are God's image in man. They are of right the reigning principles of the soul, and the great effort should be to make them so in fact. They accord with objective truth in religion, and are its medium of access to the will. They endorse the requisitions of law, and are the handmaids of the Spirit in our submission to God. It is through their commerce with truth that he gains over the voluntary principle in us, against the pleadings of propensity and all the strong impulses of our previous history, and brings us under law to Christ. Conviction of sin is a direct and befitting feeling, in accordance with the light in the understanding. Penitence, faith, love, and all right affections, occur through the truth brought to the intelligence of the soul. That preaching will do little good which does not commend itself to the conscience of the hearer. It may be sentimental and imaginative; it may cater to the passions of men ; it may strive to quadrate its arguments with the element of selfishness in them, but it will be like David in the armour of Saul, it will not stir the giant principles of the soul which correlate with truth, obligation, and obedience, or be much honoured of the Spirit in the conversion of men to Christ. Leviathan is not so tamed. The perfections of God, his righteousness, the unyielding features of his moral government, and the cross of Christ as sustaining the claims of law and justice, while it provides a method of recovery, must be taken to the reason and conscience of the sinner, and reliance, under God, be placed here, for gaining the ascendency in the will, and inducing the obedience which the gospel requires. As sin consists in the wrong action of this faculty, so does virtue in its right action as guided by reason and truth; and the position of Dr. Taylor is sustained by consciousness, when in the controversy with Dr. Spring he says, in substance, that regeneration takes place in the honest and right use of the faculties of the mind, and that the conversion and return of the sinner to God is characterized by the exercise of the legitimate principles of his being, although the statement is encumbered with certain views on the subject of self-love not needfully connected with it.

4. The conversion of sinners should be no matter of marvel. This event should not be placed among the miraculous and unaccountable dispensations of God, or movenients of the human mind. The view often given of this matter is too recondite and enigmatical for common apprehension. It is too much wrapt up in the abstruse web of a technical theology, to be understood or appreciated in the ordinary walks of life. For fear of Scylla we strike on Charybdis. We would not be thought to hold fellowship with Arminius, and we sink in the lethean waters of antinomianism.

The subject is, however, a practical one. God commends it to the understanding, responsibility, and experience of men. Why should the return of the sinner to God be deemed a strange phenomenon, admitting of no intelligent solution from the usual laws of the human mind? Change of conduct and character we know to be incidental to finite beings. Entirely holy beings have become sinful, and why should it be thought unaccountable that entirely sinful beings should become holy? The Saviour evidently viewed the new birth as a first truth in religion-one of those earthly things so obviously intuitive as to be even to the Jew no matter of marvel. True, the influences of the Spirit involved therein are impalpable, but are easily traced, like the wind of the desert, by the effects produced. The repentance of a sinner is, indeed, the highest reason. It is a responsible creature breaking off from his sins -ceasing to do wrong, and beginning to do right, from appropriate considerations, made effectual thereto by the superadded and benevolent dispensation of the Spirit. The occurrence of the first right affection is no more unintelligible than that of the fifth or seventh. The recovery of the sinner is no more marvellous than that of the backslider. The occurrence of a new affection is through the operation of the same laws of mind, as the recurrence of an old and suspended one. The difference is rather one of degrees. The total eclipse of the sun is of the same nature as his partial eclipse, and from the same cause ; the illumination of a sphere, like that of any part of it; the commencing twilight of the morning, like the full-orbed day. So the beginning of holiness, in the experience of a man, is of the same economy with his progressive sanctification and eventual perfectness in Christ.

5. On the principles of this article impenitent men are intelligently held obligated to do just that which God requires. To preach defect of power and susceptibility, does but deaden a sense of obligation to right action. The mind has in some way to recover itself from the opiate administered, before it regains its wonted feeling of accountableness to the statements of objective truth. Exhortations from the quarter here referred to, usually have little respect from the impenitent portion of a congregation. They are regarded as rather the pastime of the hour, or the professional exorcisms of the pulpit, than as really intended for what the words import; and make but little impression, from their incompatibility with the known sentiments of him who utters them on kindred subjects.

The helplessness of man comes rather from the direction of his relations to law and government, than of his defective powers. “It was when we were without strength that in due time Christ died for the ungodly.The remedy of the gos

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pel is here put in contrast with the claims of law. man, as the victim of violated law-powerless in the grasp, and under the curse of avenging justice—that Christ came to redeem, and not as one bereft of the attributes of a responsible being.

The pulpit should not shrink from covering the full ground of the sinner's responsibility. It must not advise the sinner to that which falls short of an essential and radical change of character and relationship to God, on the principle that he must do as well as he can under the old disposition and propensity, until new susceptibilities are given him, from which he can act right. It must not instruct him to read his Bible, and go to church, and pray for a new heart, on the ground that he cannot now repent, and in penitence obey God, and thus without more delay have a new heart. He must not be counselled to go on in the use of appointed means, waiting for converting grace ;" this would but quiet his conscience, and throw the responsibility of the issue elsewhere than on himself. No, let him cease to resist the Spirit, and obey truth and his conscience, and he will be saved the trouble of “waiting for converting grace”-a phrase which misplaces all the relations of the subject. Never may it be said that the sinner waits for God in the issue here contemplated. His remaining a moment longer impenitent is his sin; it is in resistance of reason, of the dictates of his own intelligence, of the authority of heaven, and of that very provision of grace which is appointed to reclaim him from his sins. To advise him to any thing short of repentance, or to what does not involve it, on the ground that he cannot and ought not at once to comply with the essential requirement of God to repent and believe the gospel, is only to take his part in his sins—to change rebuke to pity, and lose sight of the features of his sinfulness, in a morbid apprehension of the physical disabilities and calamity of his position.

The man who can pray can repent. He that can acceptably ask God to change his heart, can have any other right affection, and yield to that “Spirit of grace” who has long, it may be, been striving to bring him to repentance, saying, “This is the way, walk ye therein.”

Let requisition, then, cover the full ground of the sinner's responsibilities. Let him be advised to rest in no half-way house to the city of refuge; but at once, in the use of appointed means, to be a penitent man, and possess the feelings and be of the temper which God requires, and to which truth and conscience prompt. Of this is he constituently capable ; in nothing short of this will conscience be satisfied, and in the very attitude of compassing this, as required, does he comply with the movings of the Spirit-cease to resist his influence, and yield to the helps from above in his behalf. All the analogies of truth and claims of God are pointing him to this spot, and why should not the agencies of his moral being be concentrated upon it? To bring him to it, and for the issue decided here, the Spirit is striving with him; and why should he be turned aside by counsels which meet not the exigency of his case, and which may be complied with, and he yet remain in sin, and without forgiveness? Why should he be instructed to rest for a moment in any thing short of those affections of penitence, submission, confidence and love, which are the fruit of the Spirit, before which there is nothing right in the state of the affections, and in which are contained the first essential elements of return to God—the very inception of a state of mind and character which meets the terms of forgiveness and reconciliation ? As the Spirit's influences bear upon this point, as no change of character occurs, and nothing effectual is done until this is gained, why not hold the attention of the sinner here, and count him as an alien and an enemy, resisting the Spirit and persisting in his wrong, and accumulating guilt until he yields here, and in penitence, and like a child, submits? Instruction short of this mistakes the real issue in his case, tends to embarrass his approach to the mercy-seat, and baffle the work of the Spirit in his behalf.

6. This discussion helps to develope the philosophy of revivals of religion. The disciples were daily, with one accord, in the temple, and in breaking of bread from house to

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