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upon the uniform regularity of his life; but upon the mercy of God, through the atonement of Christ and the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. He view

office with exemplary diligence and faithfulness. His talents and learning frequently drew to his house, young men, who were either preparing for college, or attending to the higher branch-ed true religion to be more than exter

es of science. With the exception of a severe affliction in the death of the wife of his youth, he enjoyed the smiles of Providence, and seemed to have be fore him a bright prospect of eminent and protracted usefulness.

But, it has pleased God, whose wis dom is unsearchable, to put an untimely period to his labours, and to 'destroy his hopes' and those of his affectionate people, in the very midst of his days.' Early in 1823, his health began to decline, under a malady, which baffled the skill of the ablest physicians, and after near two years of languishment and dis tress, terminated his life.

Amidst the decays of nature, and in the near view of death, it is said, by those who saw and conversed with him, that he exhibited peace of mind and entire submission to the will of God. The hope which cheered him, while descending into the valley of the shadow of death, it is believed, was not built upon his amiable natural qualities, nor

nal morality. "I have, he writes, considered the exercise of disinterested be nevolence, as determining whether we have passed from death unto life." lle professed his belief in the doctrines of grace, and endeavoured to inculcate them upon his hearers, as the words of eternal life.

As a preacher, Mr. Wheaton excelled, in the correctness and elegance of his style, and the gracefulness and animation of his delivery. Though his ministrations were not accompanied with any very general effusion of the Holy Spirit; yet we trust they were not in vain to all his hearers, but were savingly beaeficial to numbers, who will be his crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord.

The death of such a man, at such an age, and in such a season of abounding error and wickedness, is a heavy loss, not only to his bereaved people, but to the world, and loudly calls the friends of Zion to humility and prayer, to diligence and activity in the service of Christ.


"The day is thine; the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and winter."-Psalm lxxiv. 16, 17.

THOU art, oh God! the life and light

Of all this wondrous world we see ; Its glow by day, its smile by night,

Are but reflections caught from thee.
Where'er we turn, thy glories shine,
And all things fair and bright are thine.

When day, with farewell beams delays
Among the opening clouds of even,
And we can almost think we gaze,

Through golden vistas, into heaven;

Those hues that make the sun's decline
So soft, so radiant, Lord! are thine.

When night, with wings of starry gloom,

O'ershadows all the earth and skies, Like some dark beauteous bird, whose plume

Is sparkling with unnumber'd dies; That sacred gloom, those fires divine, So grand, so countless, Lord! are thine.

When youthful spring around us breathes

Thy Spirit warms her fragrant sigh; And every flower the summer wreathes Is born beneath that kindling eye. Where er we turn, thy glories shine, And all things fair and bright are thine. MOORE.

To Correspondents.-J. has our thanks for his correct exposition of I. Peter, iii. 17, but he will perceive, that it came too late for insertion.-We are supplied with Sermons, for the present, and would be obliged to our correspondents for Essays, Expositions, Answers to Questions, and, especially, for Original Poetry of which there is a great dearth. Biographical Sketches, accounts of Revivals of Religion, and relations of Religious Experience, would be very acceptable -It will not be expected, that we should give a premium for communications, written in cipher, or in characters so illegible, or a style so incorrect, as to need transcribing.-Subscribers, who possess extra copies of any of the past Numbers of this work, will confer a favour by transmitting them to the Publisher, or to either of the Agents, named on the cover.-The request of TIMOTHY will be granted. A valuable communication subscribed by APOLLOS, and another by COMMON SENSE, are received.

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If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

WHETHER, at the time this epistle was written, there were any nominal Christians, so ignorant of the Divine law and of themselves, as to say, in so many words, that they had not sinned, is a point neither easy nor important to determine. The apostle merely makes the supposition, that there might be some so self-righteous; and, if there were those, who had the presumption to say, what implied that they were not guilty of sin, there was sufficient occasion for his monitory declaration. It makes no material differ

ence, whether we say, expressly, that we have not sinned, or say what implies and amounts to the same thing. All, who do this, make God a liar, i. e. they contradict his word, and thus impeach his veracity; and, of course, his word is not in them; i. e. they have in them no belief and approbation of the word of God. As there were, probably, some such, in the time of the apostle; so there are many such at this day; which renders it as proper and necessary to explain and apply his words, now, as it was for him originally to write them. In order to this, it seems needful to answer the two following enquiries:

I. Who are those, that virtually say, they have not sinned? II. How does it appear, that such make God a liar?'

1. I am to enquire, who those are, who virtually say, they have not sinned?

There may be some, bold enough to say this explicitly; but, if not, there are many who do not hesitate to say what implies it. And,

1. Those virtually say they have not sinned, who presume to say, they have never acted from selfish motives. While many deny the existence, and some, the possibility of disinterested benevolence; nothing is more common, than for all sorts of sinners to profess benevolent motives and feelings.How often do we hear them say, in reference to their past conduct, that they meant well, that they had a sincere regard to the good of their fellow-creatures, that they aimed, ultimately, at the public welfare? How rarely do we hear them own, that their views and feelings have been supremely selfish, and that they never sought a higher end, then their personal interest?

Now, those who profess to have always had benevolent feelings, and to have always acted from be

nevolent motives, virtually say, they have not sinned. For, as the apostle says, "sin is the transgression of the law:" and that, which transgresses the law, must be opposite to that which the law requires. The Divine law requires supreme love to God, and impartial love to men. That, which transgresses this law, is selfishIn this, therefore, all sin consists. Selfishness is the evil heart, the carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God.Those, then, who have never possessed selfish affections, or acted from selfish motives, never committed any sin.


virtually say they have not sinned. How often do we hear this said? There are various grounds, upon which it is maintained, that men are unable to keep the law of God. Some say, that men are unable to keep the law of God, because of original sin, or their having derived a corrupt nature from Adam. Some say, that men cannot keep the Divine law, because, not only their hearts, but the natural powers and faculties of their minds, are depraved. Others deny the ability of men, in their natural state, to keep the law of God, on account of their dependence upon the influences of the Holy Spirit for a new heart.

2. Those virtually say they have not sinned, who maintain, that it But, if it be a fact, whatever is right and virtuous to feel and may be the ground of it, that men act selfishly. It is a sentiment, are unable to keep the Divine law; entertained by many, and advo- nothing can be clearer, than that cated by some, who would be con- they are not to blame for their sidered as philosophers and di- transgressions. Surely, the Judge vines, that all virtue originates in of all the earth, who will do right, self-love. They discard the idea cannot hold them guilty for transof disinterested benevolence, as a gressing a law, which He has not chimera. Some even deny the given them power to keep. But, possibility of disinterested love, if men are not to blame for transand argue, that the man Christ Je-gressing the law; then it is not sus, and even the Supreme Being, are actuated by self-love, in all their works and designs. Hence, they justly conclude, that all good actions proceed from selfish motives, and that the sublimest virtue never rises above an ultimate and supreme regard to personal interest and private happiness.

But, those, who think and argue in this manner, virtually say they have not sinned. As they deny the existence of disinterested love, they are proved, by their own testimony, to have always felt and acted selfishly. And if it be virtuous and right so to feel and act, then they have always been virtuous and upright, and ought to be exonerated from the guilt of sin. 3. Those, who plead, that they are unable to keep the Divine law,

sinful for them to transgress it. The transgression of the law can never be sin, in the case of those, who are unable to keep it, and therefore, blameless for transgressing it. Those, therefore, who maintain that men are unable to keep the law of God, virtually say they have not sinned.

4. Those, who maintain, that because God governs the moral as well as the natural world, and is the first or efficient cause of all the moral exercises of men; therefore they are not free agents, cannot help doing as they do, and are no more accountable for their actions, than the wind that blows or the fire that burns, virtually say they have not sinned. For, if they believe, as they professedly do, that God does really govern

the hearts and move the wills of men, in all their moral exercises and actions; and if they sincerely believe, that it from thence follows, that men are not free agents, nor accountable for their actions; it is impossible, that they should ever feel guilty for any of their feelings or conduct, and equally impossible, that they should be convinced, that they have sinned. I may add,

5. Those who argue, that because God designed and will overrule all the actions of men for his own glory and the general good of the universe; therefore one action is as good as another, and God has no reason to blame men for any of their conduct; virtually say they have not sinned. If, as these persons profess to believe, the nature of the free moral actions of men, is to be determined by the ultimate end which they are made to answer, in the government of God, and it be true, that God does design and overrule all their actions for good; it will follow, demonstrably, that none of mankind have sinned. It is now time to enquire,

II. How it appears, that those, who thus say they have not sinned, make God a liar.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God;" and is to be received as his word. Whatever, therefore, plainly contradicts any part of sacred scripture, impeaches the Divine veracity, and virtually charges Him, who cannot lie, with falschood. Here, ther, it may be observed.

1. That those, who virtually say they have not sinned, because they have never acted from selfish motives, make God a liar. We are expressly told, in sacred scripture, that men, in their natural state, are lovers of their own selves --covetous-lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; and that

they all seek their own things. The sacred writers represent the wicked, as acting from selfish motives, in all their criminal conduct. For any, therefore, to maintain that they have never possessed selfish affections or acted from selfish motives, is to contradict the plainest declarations of scripture, as well as the testimony of universal experience and observation.

2. Those, who say they have not sinned, because it is right to feel and act selfishly, call in question the veracity of God. The very words of the Divine law, as it is summarily explained by our Saviour, refute the notion, that virtue originates in self-love. For one to love God with all the heart and his neighbour as himself, is to be disinterested. No one can love any being besides himself, with a selfish affection. A greater absurdity cannot be named, than the supposition, that self-love may be so refined, as to become that pure affection towards God and man, which the Divine law requires. The nature of things must be changed, and all moral distinctions confounded, before men can be induced, by selfish motives, to deny themselves, forsake all they have, render good for evil, and do all things to the glory of God. Those, who maintain, that it is virtuous to feel and act selfishly, are like the wicked men described by the apostle, who say that gain is godliness: they put evil for good, and discard the distinction, which runs through the scripture, between the righteous and the wicked, between the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and the spiritual mind, which is life and peace.

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3. Those, who say they have not sinned, because of their inability to keep the Divine law, contradict God. By enacting and promulgating his law, God holds all men

bound, and therefore able, to keep it. Surely, if the law be what the apostle pronounces it, holy, and just, and good, it can never require of men, more than they have natural power to do." If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that which he hath not." The Divine law demands no more than all the strength, or natural ability. It is a dictate of conscience, as well as the representation of scripture, that the moral depravity of men, which consists, entirely, in their voluntary, selfish exercises, does not, in the least, diminish their ability to keep the Divine law. Neither ability, nor inability, belongs to the heart, or will. The ability of men to do their duty, remains the same; whether they are willing or unwilling to do it. When unwillingness, or aversion of heart, is called by way of distinction, moral inability; the expression is plainly figurative and improper. And, when it is said in scripture, that the wicked cannot serve the Lord-cannot cease from sin and cannot come to Christ; nothing more is meant, than that they are altogether averse and strongly opposed to those duties, which they are required and well able to perform. In perfect consistency with these expressions, God calls upon men, in his word, to cease to do evil— to turn unto him with their hearts -to make themselves a new heart -and to repent and believe the gospel.'

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He has forbidden, and threatens to punish them for all their transgressions. I will mention a few instances. While God sent Joseph into Egypt, his brethren were condemned for selling him to the Ishmaelites. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and made him obstinately refuse to let Israel go; and, at the same time, He threatened to punish him, signally, for his disobedience to the Divine mandate. God • turned the hearts of the Canaanites to hate his people and to deal subtilly with his servants;' while, at the same time, He denounced against them the heaviest of his judgments, for their hatred and perfidy. God moved David to say, Go number Israel and Judah;' and yet he held David as guilty and deserving of a severe punishment for his sin in that particular. The Assyrian monarch was as a rod, a saw and an axe in the hand of God, to chastize his revolted people; yet he threatened to punish the stout heart and the glory of the high looks of that haughty despot, when he should have accomplished, by his instrumentality, his whole work of correction upon Jerusalem and mount Zion. The Jews and Romans, who crucified Christ, did what God's hand and counsel determined should be done; but they were held deserving of wrath to the uttermost, for what, with wicked hands, they had done. And why should the Divine agency, in causing men to choose and refuse, to act freely in view of motives, at all diminish the criminality of their selfish, sinful feel

criminality nor the commendableness of an action, consists in its cause, but in its nature. The ho

4. Those, who say they have not sinned, because they are absolute-ings and conduct? Neither the ly dependant and God causes all their moral exercises, call in question his veracity. For while God, in his word, clearly and repeatedly exercises of saints are not the ly asserts his universal providence or agency; He, at the same time, condemns men for doing anything

less amiable and praise-worthy, because they are produced by the Holy Spirit: and why should the

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