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use this world as not abusing it, lest its undue .
influence should blind thine eyes to the things
which make for thine eternal peace.
IV. Idolizing our reason.

A written revelation of God's will, supposes reason in man. Though there are many things said in the scriptures concerning brutes, yet there would be no fitness in laying the things said before them. The reason is plain; they have no faculty adapted to the understanding or reception of them. See Rom. viii. 19, 20. et seq.

But revelation as certainly supposes the insufficiency of reason in matters relating to a future state. And perhaps this is the real cause, why revelation is contemned by so many; not only on account of the doctrines which it inculcates, but because it carries with it an evident reflection upon this idol of the heart. But revelation goes farther; it not only implies, but declares, the incompetency of reason in matters of faith. See 1 Cor. ii. 14. Yea, it accounts for this incompetency, by shewing us, that reason, since the fall, is a depraved or injured faculty in man. It has lost its commanding station : it no longer holds the affections under its control, but is now become subject to them.

While they, having dethroned reason, easily lead the soul into the most wild, abominable, and irrational excesses. Professing themselves to be wise,

they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Rom. i. 22, 23.. Is this conformable to right reason? Rather is it not irrationality in man? And this is the power so much boasted of; which is either to set aside revelation, or at least to sit as umpire upon all it contains.

But will reason tell us our depravity? If so, why is man so proud ? Supposing that our depravity is so very apparent, that reason cannot deny it, will reason fortify us against it? Alas, it cannot do this; the enemies to revelation themselves being judges. But if reason can neither tell us our depravity, nor help us against it, it must be a poor thing to be proud of; for it follows from hence, that it is far beyond its province to preach to us repentance, or to lead us to see our need of Christ as a Saviour. These however are the characteristics of the gospel, for which reason can never furnish us with a suitable substitute. Reason then, improperly used, is a deadly foe to revelation, in as much as it would allow us to go on quietly in sin; and if followed as a guide, would bring upon us swift destruction. The voice of wisdom is, Follow her not, for nothing more blinds the eyes to the glories of the gospel, than corrupted reason. Trust in the Lord

with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. Prov. ii. 5. Submit to the declarations of unerring truth; they cannot mislead thee. These shall be sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Prov. xvi. 24.

V. Another cause of unbelief is forgetfulness of that wrath which is revealed against all unrighteousness of men. The Apostle says, the gospel is made known to all nations, for the obedience of faith. Rom. xvi. 26. Assenting to the gospel, as a true revelation from God, falls far short of the obedience here intended; as it implies a conviction that our state, as sinners, is such as is there described, that we need the Saviour there revealed, that we receive him by faith as our hope, and living upon his fulness, bring forth the fruits of faith to his praise.

Whoever hears the gospel, and remains a stranger to the love of the truth, has no principle of obedience in him. He knows not his emptiness and poverty, applies not to the fountain of all righteousness and strength, and, consequently, whatever his professions of love may be, he is nothing more than one of those fruitless branches, which Christ taketh away. John xv. 2. Let it be further remarked, there are no sins, for moral turpitude, to be compared to gospel sins. These, as they cast contempt upon

the noblest revelation that God ever made to crea

tures, even the revelation of his love; these, as they trample upon the Saviour's blood, and do despite to the Spirit of grace, must contain peculiar aggravations; and doubtless for these wrath will come to the uttermost. See 1 Thess. ii. 15, 16. If heathen nations are to be judged by that law written in their hearts, these will be judged by the law and gospel too; for they have sinned against both. Awfully striking is the description given us, in reference to these, of Christ's coming to judgment. When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. 2 Thess. i. 7. et seq. How awakening is such a declaration as this ! But, alas, it is the dreadful property of unbelief to keep the heart callous to, and unmoved by, the most solemn denunciations of wrath against sinners. To allude to that striking passage, Isa. xiv. 9. hell from beneath is moving, to meet gospel sinners at their coming; but while they are on their way to the bottomless pit, and hell itself is so eager after them, that it comes out of its place to give them the tremendous meeting, unbelief veils the eyes of men to the ten

dency of the path in which they are walking, and to the yawning gulf beneath their feet; and thus they go heedlessly on, while there is but a step between them and everlasting misery. Doubtless, it is the policy of Satan to keep these things as far out of sight as possible; and, if he can, to continue the souls of men impervious to any impression from them, when declared in the preaching of the everlasting gospel. Whilst this state of insensibility can be maintained, unbelief will be the governing principle of the heart, and will render those truths without any interest to us, although necessary to our everlasting peace.

But, O my fellow sinner, remember, that while you are trifling, the day is approaching. Continuing to despise future misery, you render it certain. Christ's inquiry is, How can ye escape the damnation of hell? Fly then to Christ : so shall you avoid their end, whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Pet. ii. 3.

-VI. The love of sin. Certainly the gospel demands inward or spiritual sacrifices. It will hold no parley, nor suffer any compromise with sin. Christ has condemned sin in the flesh. He has taken away its condemning power in believers, and broke its present ruling power. He has made his people free from the law of sin and

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