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der two or three witnesses ; 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. This is the conduct of every unbeliever, and of which God takes notice, saying, Vengeance is mine, I will repay.--It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb. x. 29. et seq. Every unbeliever is in an unrenewed state, and therefore cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. John Hi. 3.
A nominal faith leaves a man as much under the power and love of sin, and in subjection to divers lusts and pleasures, as if he professed no faith at all. The same dreadful features mark the affections of his heart, as an open enemy to Christ; and unless changed by grace, such will have his portion where “bolder sinners dwell.” He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him, John iii. 36. And is this the fearful state of unbelief? Let those whom grace has delivered out of it, look downward to the pit which they have escaped, and adore the hand that rescued them. Are others, blinded by unbelief, daily
falling into that pit, let us ask, What, are we better than they? In no wise, for by nature we are all under sin. Who then maketh us to differ? It is grace, free grace, has done all for us; and to the God of grace we hope ever to give the praise.
REMEDIES AND CAUTIONS AGAINST UNBELIEF.
“ How may we be most effectually guarded against the influence of unbelief? What are the “ means calculated to raise us more above it?” Such inquiries as these have often been made of the writer of these pages. They suppose some knowledge of the sin of unbelief, and a desire to obtain a conquest over it. While therefore we attempt a reply, we shall consider the subject as generally as we can, with a view of being useful to those who may for a long time have complained of unbelief, as well as to those who begin to cry out against it. Would you be delivered from the power of unbelief,
I. Seek to have the conviction of its evil deepened in your soul. There is no state or exercise of mind which has any thing like the quantum of evil in it as unbelief; it may be called the body, which incorporates all other evils in it. It is, as is spoken of the tongue, a world of iniquity; it defileth the whole soul. What it proved to Adam, so it proves to all his descendants, the beginning, the life, the strength, and support of all those various evils, which characterize our natures. What evils did it bring into Adam's heart? Did it not introduce pride, envy, folly, ingratitude, carnality, and dreadful rebellion ? Unbelief is the life of the same evils in us. Of what enjoyments did it deprive him? Did he not hereby lose his God, his all ? Did he not lose his innocency, his integrity, his prospects? And what keeps us from being restored to every good then lost, whether as appertaining to this life or the next, but unbelief? Did unbelief strip the soul of God's lovely image? It is unbelief keeps the soul now naked, and stripped of this adorning. Let but unbelief be destroyed, and this image is completely and immediately restored; and though not destroyed at once, yet as it may be weakened, , so in proportion will be our advancement in tie likeness of God. For as we get the victory over it, we are led, through the influence of grace, to purify ourselves even as he is pure. 1 Jolin iii. 3. Nor is the evil of unbelief to be seen only in what respects ourselves, but also as it affects the honour of God. Humanly speaking, nothing has cost God half the pains or expence as the Redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ. He spake the world of nature into existence; he said, Let there be light, and there was light. But with out shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin; no, not of one sin. But whose blood must be shed? The blood of beasts slain in sacrifice? No indeed, this might, and did, answer as a type; but, it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. The church of God could be purchased only with his own blood. Heb. x. 4. Acts xx. 28. Surely there is every thing in this transaction to excite wonder and admiration, and to engage our confidence in the love of God, and a Redeemer's blood. But unbelief robs God of his glory arising out of this great work; for he that undervalues the blood shed, slights the love that appointed it for the ransom of sinners. All those attributes which appear so interestingly and marvellously displayed in Redemption, are lost to unbelief; which, as it operates to the promoting of a spirit of self-righteousness in man, puts a veil over his face, so that he cannot steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. 2 Cor. iii. 13. Consequently, as he cannot take off his dependance from the law, he cannot give any praise to God for what he has done in the gospel of his dear Son. Oh, how cold, unmoved, and uninterested does unbelief keep the heart, respecting those subjects which are most intimately connected with the highest glory of God,