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donduct of sinners, yet they all agree to hate God, and to hate him precisely for the same thing, that is, for his goodness, for which they ought to love him supremely. Why do sinners murmur and repine under divine providence ? because it displays divine goodness. Why do sinners hate the Bible ? because it displays divine goodness. Why do sinners deny the Bible ? because it displays divine goodness.Why do sinners deny the existence of God ? because they suppose if he exists, he must be good Every sinner says in his heart, there is no God. That is, he wishes there were no God of perfect goodness.--Though many say, that the only reason why sinners hate God, is because they are ignorant of his moral beauty and excellence ; yet the truth is, that they hate him, because they do know the excellence of his moral character. Christ, who knew the hearts of sinners, said, “ They have both seen and hated both me and my Father.”

2. If saints sincerely and ardently desire to behold the beauty of the Lord, then they are essentially different from sinners. Saints view the goodness of God as constituting his supreme beauty and glory, and sincerely desire to see the glory of his goodness; but sin. ners do not desire to see his goodness, and when it is most clearly exhibited before them, they hate it more than any other trait in the divine character. These different views and feelings, in respect to the supreme beauty and glory of God, demonstrate that saints are radically and essentially different from sinners. It does not arise from knowledge on the one side, nor from ignorance on the other. They both know enough of divine goodness to love it, and to hate it.--

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Why then do saints love it, while sinners hate it ?... Sinners are very fond of believing, that saints do not essentially differ from them ; and often endeavor to account for the external difference in their conduct, in the same way, that the accuser of the brethren, attempted to account for Job's external conduct. They suppose that it is owing to their selfishness, that they pay external obedience to the divine commands. They suppose they outwardly pay respect to God, either because they have received, or expect to receive peculiar favors from him, and not because they love him for the moral beauty and excellence of his character.--But it appears from what saints say of themselves, and from what God says of them, that they love him for his supreme moral excellence. And if this be true, there is no way to account for it, but by supposing, that saints have a new, a better and more benevolent heart than sinners, which is a radical and essential difference. So that if God should place saints and sinners in precisely the same circumstances, they would feel and act differently towards him. If he should place them in the same state of prosperity, they would feel and act differently towards him. Or if he should place them in the same state of adversity, they would feel and act differently towards him. Or if he should place them in heaven, they would feel and act differently towards him. This has been demonstrated in a thousand instances. Saul and David were placed on the throne of Israel, but they felt and acted differently.-Judas and the apostles were placed under similar circumstances, but they felt and acted differently. Let saints and sinners be placed in the same situation, in any part of the universe, and they would feel and act

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differently. There must be therefore an essential, radical difference between the hearts of saints and the hearts of sinners ; while the latter hate, and the former love the moral excellence of the divine character.

3. If God be perfectly good and his goodness spreads a moral beauty and excellence over all his perfections ; then there is nothing to hinder sinners from loving him but merely their own selfishness. If they possessed any true benevolence or disinterested love, they would discern the glory and excellence of the divine benevolence and feel a pleasure in cordial reconciliation to God. And there is nothing that prevents their discerning the beauty and glory of God's benevolence, which spreads a beauty and glory over all his other perfections, and all the displays of them, in his works, in his providence, and in his word, but their selfishness. They are very loth, however, to own that this is the only difficulty in the way of their loving God. They sometimes plead, that their ignorance of God prevents their loving him. But they have no ignorance in their understanding, but what arises from the blindness of their hearts; and notwithstanding this blindness, they know enough of God to hate him, and consequently enough to love him. They more commonly and confidently plead, that they have a hard and evil heart, which they can neither soften, nor change. But they have no heart but what consists in free, voluntary cxercises, which they are able to change, and which God requires them to change. It is only because they hate God, that they cannot love him. But can their hating God, whose goodness renders him infinitely amiable, be a good excuse for not loving him? Their reason and conscience tell them, that all the excuses they ever have made, or can make, only serve to discover their selfishness and criminality in hating a being, whom they are able and bound to love with supreme

affection. 4. If the supreme glory of God consists in his goodness ; then the more clearly his goodness is exhibited before the minds of sinners, the more difficult they als ways find it to be to love him. Christ exhibited the impartial, disinterested, universal goodness of God in the clearest and strongest light in his public and private discourses ; and of all the doctrines he preached, this was the most disagreeable and stumbling to sinners. They called it a hard saying, and some said, " Who then can be saved ?!! It was too hard for the amiable young man to hear and bear, and he went away sorrowful. While sinners have a low and obscure view of the moral glory and excellence of the divine character, they are apt to think that they can, and even do love God. But when his pure, holy, impartial benevolence is clearly exhibited, they are ready to lament their moral weakness, and cry that it is impossible for them to love God for their carnal mind is perfect enmity against him. Their selfishness cannot be reconciled to his benevolence, And the more clearly his love and benevolence is explained and illustrated, the more difficulty they find in seeing the supreme beauty and glory of it, and he appears less amiable, than the most unamiable and odious being in the uni.

His pure, disinterested love, instead of spreading a beauty over all bis perfections, and works, and ways, and words, involves the whole world and whole universe in darkness, in the view of their totally selfish hearts. Is there a person, who has been under genuine convictions, that does not know this to be true? There is no way better adapted to determine whether a man be really blind, than to exhibit light before him ; and so there is no way better adapted to determine whether sinners are morally blind, than to exhibit the supreme, beauty and glory of the divine character before them, and inquire whether they see and love it. Christ said he came into the world to make them blind, who said they saw. And he effectually did it.


And so do all, who preach as he did. Those, who are spiritually blind, complain bitterly of such preaching and such preachers. They say they cannot understand them. And when they say so, they prove the total, moral blindness of their own sinful hearts.

5. If saints desire to see the beauty of the Lord; then we see one good reason why they love to attend the public worship of God in his house constantly. David, who desired to see the beauty of the Lord, loved to attend the services of the sanctuary constantly. He loved to be with God in his house and with his people, where God made the brightest displays of his glory and the clearest revelation of his will. He ardently desired constantly to attend the worship and ordinances of God in his house, for the sake of two things especially. One was to gain the knowledge, and the other was to gain the enjoyment of God..-These desires he expresses in the strongest terms in the text. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after.” What is this one thing ? It is “to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord;" that is, to enjoy him ; and “to inquire in his temple,” where his will is revealed in his word. These same desires he as clearly and fervently expresses at different times.


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