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If the Apostle by our faith, intended the faith of our minds individually, then this faith could not be finished until our death. When we are said to believe in Christ, we believe in him as a faithful high Priest, in things pertaining both to God and to the people. Faith, whether existing in the Saviour or the saved, is the evidence of things not seen; and surely if God so loved the world as to give them his beloved Son to be the Saviour of the world, he certainly believed the ransom was complete; he believed he would be the world's Saviour. When Jesus laid down his life a ransom for sinners, he certainly believed they would be ransomed; and it was, therefore, that he endured the cross. Wherefore? For the joy that was set before him. When the divine Nature promised the human Nature, that he would give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, he believed it; and he spake in firm faith when he said, all that the Father hath is mine, and all that the Father hath given unto me, shall come unto me.
Yes, there is the faith of God and the faith of Christ. Indeed the faith of Christ is that faith by which we are justified. Hence, saith the Apostle, Galatians ii. 16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ." Here there is an evident distinction between the faith of Christ, and the faith of men. Assuredly there is a faith of God and a faith of Christ, and all this is ours. Let us, therefore, said the Apostle, hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. The Apostle proceeds to render a reason, why we should hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; because he is faithful who hath promised. We are greatly blessed, for we have in the divine Nature, and we receive from the hands of the bountiful, not only works, but faith; yea, we have in Christ Jesus all spiritual blessings. The inference of the Apostle is acknowledged by reason, judgment, and grati¬ tude. Let us, says he, consider one another, to provoke one another unto love and unto good works.
We are frequently called upon to attend to and prepare for the day of the Lord, that when the Redeemer cometh, he may find us in the paths of duty; for if we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indig nation which shall devour the adversaries. The Apostle, in the next verse, turns the attention of the Hebrews to that law, which he had been leading them to contrast with the present dispensation, and he reminds them that the people of God, (at that time convicted of disobedience to the precepts of the law) died without mercy; that is, they could not escape the sentence of death.
The Apostle proceeds, Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?
For we know, who hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the LORD. And again, the LORD shall
judge his people.
Many of God's chosen people fell in the wilderness, consequent upon their loathing the manna with which they had been fed,and for their murmuring, frequent discontent, and marked disobedience. Numbers, xiv. 20—23.
"And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: "But as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
"Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
"Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it."
Thus, God pardoned these people according to the supplication of Moses. "But as for your carcases," saith God, verse 32, "they shall fall in the wilderness," yet God had pardoned them although they fell in the wilderness; they suffered the death denounced by the law upon the disobedient, but as God had pardoned them, they will, no doubt, be in God's own time, again restored, agreeably to which saith the prophet Ezekiel,
"When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them :
"When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to
your former estate." Signal vengeance was poured down from heaven upon these people, particularly Sodom and her daughters. Yet they, as Gentiles, will be brought in with the fulness of the Gentiles, at which period all Israel will be saved. My spirit is beyond measure elevated, it seems as if it would leap from its clay built tabernacle, when tracing the divinely beautiful correspondence in these sacred testimonies; an instance in point this moment presents, Isaiah xix. 19-25, " In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.
"And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a Saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.
"And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.
"And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it : and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them.
"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.
"In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
"Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."
By the mouth of two witnesses, saith the sacred historian,a report shall be established. But the christian can produce, from the treasury of his God, a cloud of witnesses to support and justify his faith. Nay, so connected and so consistent is the mass of evidence, that the wonder is, that there should exist a dissenting individual.
It is observable that both Isaiah and Ezekiel place the restoration of Israel in the third class, and it is remarkable that Sodom and her daughters were destroyed by fire from heaven. This fire, descending from heaven, was unquestionably eternal fire. These Sodomites suffered the vengeance of eternal fire; very well, this is granted; but when we learn from the prophet Eze
kiel that they are to be restored, and even to take rank before the children of Israel, we are under the necessity of confessing, that though they suffered the vengeance of this eternal fire, it was not designed by God they should eternally suffer under this vengeance, that they should forever experience the vengeance of this eternal fire.
But if offenders before and under the Mosaic dispensation were thus chastised, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the spirit of grace?
Is there any sorer punishment than death? undoubtedly there is. Let us figure to ourselves for a moment, a person who has embraced the truth, who has tasted that the LORD is graciousHe hath hailed his Creator, not only as his maker, but as his Redeemer, and preserver, and he hath reposed in him, both for time and for eternity, unbounded confidence; when suddenly he falls from this grace, he accounts this blood of the covenant an unholy, an unprofitable thing! To whom now can he go for comfort, since he hath quitted him who alone hath the words of eternal life-He no more looketh unto Jesus, he looketh unto the law; his expectations are dreadful; nothing remaineth but a certain fearful looking for of fiery indignation, which shall devour him; he anticipates the hour when he shall call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon him, and hide him from the wrath of the Lamb. Who can describe the terror, the anguish of his darkened, his despairing mind, when he exclaims, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God?" Say my soul, my emancipated soul, is not such a situation as this, worse, infinitely worse than death? Yes, this darkness, this despair, is indeed a calamity infinitely sorer than death.
But was the spirit, was the soul, of this suffering Apostle, sanctified by the blood of the covenant, by that very blood which his conduct now demonstrates, he accounts an unholy thing? Was the spirit to which he hath done despite, a spirit of grace ? And is this subject of the judgment, an individual who belonged to, and was one of the people of God? Well then, when Sodom and her daughters are restored, he may be restored also; nay, he absolutely will be restored, for the restoration of all things has
been preached by all God's holy prophets, ever since the world began.
We know who hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense; and again, the LORD shall judge his people. Men, mortal men, if they be yet in the way of the transgressor, in whose ways are misery and destruction, read the testimonies of God with a veil upon their hearts; and hence, they cannot behold mercy and truth meeting together, righteousness and peace embracing each other. Hence, they are ever setting at odds the attributes of heaven. They produce discord, jarring discord, even in the regulations, and plans of the fountain of light, harmony and order, and with one perfection of Deity they are constantly aiming to wound another! Yet, notwithstanding the combining efforts of men and devils, mercy and truth can, and will, as they have always done, meet together; righteousness and peace shall, as they have hitherto done, embrace each other. Such is the result of the dealings of our God. When the LORD judgeth his people, when the day of vengeance of our God shall arrive, it will terminate in comforting all that mourn. This shall be the conclusion of the matter. The top stone will be brought forth with joy, and every one will unite with shouting, and with exclamations of rapture, crying grace, grace unto it.
Yea, every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea; yea, all of them shall, with one voice say, "Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood; therefore I will praise thee, O LORD, while every faculty of my soul shall devoutly echo the loud Amen, and Amen."*
* These reflections, confined at first to the sacerdotal vestments of the Israelitish high Priest, proved in their progress miscellaneous, and were unexpectedly enlarged. The reflections were dictated by the author a few days since; more than eighteen months having revolved. since the period which he has impressive called the day of his death.
The melancholy event which deprived him,by a paralytic stroke of the use of his limbs, took place on the 19th of October, one thousand eight hundred and nine.
But, for the happiness of his friends, he still continues to possess enough of mind, to console and inform those, with whom he is intimately connected.
The same energy, the same evangelical faith, the same lucid discrimination of doctrines, the same devout homage, and pious gratitude to the