« السابقةمتابعة »
every one of the children of men, fears of the stupid, and make and observes their characters, sta- them feel. He can do still more, tions, and particular circumstan- he can soften the hearts of the ces; and if needs be, he takes ibis, hardened, and make them yield to that, and the other person into his his instructions. This has been own school; to teach him in his visibly manifested in numerous own way.' Sometimes he sees it instances. He made Pharaoh proper to teach a whole nation at hear, attend, and yield so far as once ; sometimes to teach a whole he pleased. He recalled his backcity; sometimes to teach a whole sliding people to himself, from family ; and sometimes to teach a . time to time, as soon as he undersingle individual.
took to teach them himself. He 4. God teaches the most effect- awakened, convinced, and humtually. Other teachers may labour bled any individual among his in vain and spend their strength for people, at any time he saw best. nought. Paul may plant and A. When the body of his people had pollos water, without any success. become as ignorant, as stupid, as The best human instructions may · unteeling as the dry bones in the be lost upon those, to whom they valley, he called them to life and are given. If persons are unwil- sensibility, by his own sovereign ling to be instructed, no human and irresistible influence. In a efforts can teach them.
few hours, he effectually and sayson may if he 'pleases, put birn- ingly taught the thief on the cross. self out of the reach of instruction He as instantly and saviogly taught or shut his mind against it. Ob- Saul of Tarsus wbile breathing servation and experience unitedly out slaughter and death to the teach us that many remain igno- followers of Christ. He can irrerant, who enjoy the means of light sistibly dart light and conviction and conviction. But when God into the consciences of the most himself teaches, be teaches effect- bold and stout-hearted sinners, and ually. He has a supreme and throw them into the gall of bitterabsolute dominion over the minds ness and bonds of iniquity. How of men. Every power and faculo often have scoffers attempted to ty of their souls are under his im- resist divine teachings, and been mediate influence. And even : confounded and conquered. God their hearts are in his hand, and does not, indeed, always mean to he can turn them whithersoever teach sinners savingly; but he alhe pleases.
He can open the ways teaches those effectually eyes of the blind, and make them whom be means to teach effectu
He can open the ears of ally, and wounds those whom he the deaf, and make them hear.- means to destroy. He can awaken the hopes and
5. God teaches the most profita- band of the potter, that he can bly. He gives more useful in. wouod and heal, and none can destructions to men, than they can liver out of his band. He can give to one another. They can teach more about himself in one enlighten each other in respect to day, than
teach their temporal concerns, and in another in years. Let God only some measure in respect to their bereave a man of bis friend, or eteraal interests. Job's friends take away his health, or disapsaid many good things to him ; point his hopes, and he will teach but he received very little light or him more about his holy and right. conviction from their instructions.
eous sovereignty, than he ever At leagth, God himself undertook did or could learn without divide to teach him, and his teaching teaching. God can place men in carried light and conviction to his such circumstances, that they canconscience and heart, and made not help realizing his supremacy the most useful impressions on his and their own dependance, and mind. This he freely acknowl. the weight of his great, and gloedged before God. "I have heard rious, and awful character. Men of thee, by the hearing of the ear, must know God before they can but now mine eye seeth thee : either love, or serve, or enjoy wherefore I abhor myself, and re- him. To know God and Jesus pent in dust and ashes." This Christ is life eternal, and done leads me to observe in partic. can come to the Son, but those vlar,
who have beeo taught and learned 1. That God can give the most of the Father. The kpowledge profitable instruction concerning which God teaches men concern. himself. He can manifest himself ing himself is essential to their salto the minds of men, and give them vation. such views of his greatness and glo. 2. God can give the most profitry, as they cannot give to one able instruction respecting the another. All that men can say human heart. This is a very useabout God, will leave them igno- ful branch of knowledge, which rant of his great and amiable char- none bat God can give. While acier. But when he teaches them God lets men alone, and does not upon this subject, he brings him- take them into his own school, self near to them, and makes them they always remain ignorant of realize bis being, his presence, their hearts.
No discourses on his all-seeing and heart-searching total depravity, that man can utler
, eye and his supreme power and will teach men their native de. right to save or destroy. He can pravity. Paol had received much make men feel that they are in human instruction while in the his hand, as the clay is in the state of nature ; but be says be
continued ignorant of the enmity that knowledge of the world, of his heart, until God taught him which all the learning of Egypt wbat he was. 6 I was alive with could not teach bim. He made out the law once, but when the him see and feel that the world commandment came, sin revived, and the things of the world were and I died; and the commandment vanities of vanities, and a vexation which was ordained unto life, I of spirit. God can effectually found to be unto death.” God teach men the vanity of the world, opened his eyes to see bimself by only opening their eyes, and and his holy law, by which ile was causing them to look into elernity. bound and condemned ; and this He has taught thousands and thoudiscovered the total corruption of sands, in this way, to renounce the his heart, and destroyed all his world and the things of the world, false and groundless hopes of the and to choose himself for their divine favour. But God takes supreme portion. different ways to make men know 4. God can teach men the most the plague of their own hearts. useful knowledge respecting their Very often he does this, by some own frailty and mortality. Neither special dispensation of providence. observation, nor human instruction How many live at ease and uncon- will make them realize how frail scious of the total depravity of and mortal they are. Naturally their hearts, until they are sorely their inward thought is, that their afflicted and bereaved. This houses shall continue forever, and method God took to teach Ma- their dwelling places to all geneDasseb, that prodigy of wicked- rations, and that they shall live
He taught him by the forever, and not see corruption; briars and thorns, that saving butGod can make them know iheir knowledge, which none of the end, and the measure of their priests or prophets could teach days, what it is, and how, frail him. He humbled him in the they are. David therefore prayed dust under a realizing sense of the to God and said, “ So teach us to aggravated guilt of his malignant number our days, that we may beart.
apply our hearts unto wisdom." 3. God can teach men the most Though we see wise men die, useful knowledge respecting the likewise the fool and the brutish vanity of the world. Neither age, person perish, we shall not realize nor common experience, por hu. that we are born to die, and are man instruction will make men constantly walking on the side of sensible of the vanity of all earthly the grave and verge of eternity, pursuits and enjoyments. But unless God effectually teaches us God can make them see and feel our frailty and mortality. their vanity. He taught Solomon
Finally, God can teach men the the gospel dispensation, Christ most profitable knowledge con- has appointed his ministers to cerning the worth of the soul. teach men the doctrines and duties The soul of every person is infi- of bis religion, and to beseech nitely precious. It is capable of them, in his name to become recexisting forever, and of enjoying onciled to God. But priests and eternal happiness, or suffering prophets, and apostles, and their eternal misery. Nevertheless, all. successors, have always been rery men naturally despise their own unsuccessful in their religious in. souls, and neglect their immortal structions. Some have misunder.
. interests for the sake of the trifles stood them, and many more have and vanities of this life. But God bated and rejected them, and can make them realize the import chosen to live and die in fatal igoo. of Christ's solemn question. “What rance. Paul has planted, and shall it profit a man, if he shall Apollos has watered, but generally gain the whole world, and lose his with little or
Nen own soul ? Or what shall a man have always been able to resist all give in exchange for his soul?? human instructions, and they are When God undertakes to teach still able to resist them. But men himself effcctually and sav. there is no ground to despair of ingly, he shows them the worth of the effectual instruction of any their souls, and canses them to under the gospel. God can take seek and secure the one thing the work into his own hands, and needlul. And this none can teach irresistibly and effectually teach but God only.
the most stupid, careless, and obstinate. There is no ground to
despair of the instruction of any 1. If God can teach men better nation, who enjoy the means of than they can teach one another, grace. God ofien instructed and then there is no ground to despair reformed his own people, after of the effectual instruction of any they had fallen into a national under the light of the gospel. It deciension and stupidity, notwithappears from long and universal standing all the efforts of their observation and experience, that religious teachers to enlighten and mankind are naturally unwilling to restrain them. receive instruction respecting The prophets, time after time, spiritual and divine subjects. - viewed them as incurable and in
Under the Mosaic dispensation, dispondence gave them up as past God appointed priests and proph. recovery by any mere human inets to teach his people his char- structions and exertions. But God acter and their character, his repeatedly brought about a nationcommands and their duty. Under al reformation. Though he does
Bet instruct without means; yet must conclude, that mankind are he can use new means or employ naturally very uonilling to be in. old ones, to instruct whole nations structed. If they were willing what they had long neglected to receive the instruction they or refused to learn. He can em- might easily and early receive it ploy means and make them effect. from the common and ordinary ual, to instruct, to reform, and to means of instructions, wbicb God convert heathen as well as christ. is using with them. He is continian nations, and it appears from ually teaching them bis being and his promises, that he will fill the perfections, by his works. “The whole world with the knowledge heavens declare bis glory, and of his glory, as soon as his power, the firmament sheweth his handy in consistency with his goodness work; day unto day uttereth aud wisdom, can bring about such speech, and night untu night shew. a great and happy reformation eth knowledge.” And the invisiand revolution among the nations ble things of him, from the creaof the earth. There is no city, tion of the world are clearly seen nor town, por village, por family being understood by the things so ignorant or corrupt but he can that are made, even his eternal essectually teach and reform them. power and God head. So that all He can instruct by afflictions and in the christian, and even in the bereavements those who have heathen world are without excuse, neglected and refused to read his if they remain ignorant of their word, or to hear his gospel, or to Creator, Preserver and Benefacregard private instructions and ad. tor, and do not glorify him as monitions. He can cause the deaf God. God is continually teaching to hear, the blind to see, and the them in the common course of stupid to feel. He has access to providence, their frailty and more the understandings consciences, tality, by frequently calling them aod hearts of all singers at all around the sick, the dying, apd times and in all places, and can the dead. And he is teaching form one and another, and as ma- them by his word, the depravity ny as he pleases vessels of mercy. of their hearts, the worth of their In times of darkness and declen- souls, and the importance of secure sion, the friends of God have no ing their salvation, by repentance right to despond, as Elijah, Isaiah of sin, and faith in the Lord Jesus and Jeremiah did. God can ef- Christ. If they were willing to fectually teach, when other teach- be instructed, these and other outers apparently labour in vain, and ward and ordinary means of inspend their strength for nought. struction would be sufficient to 2. If God instructs in the man- lead them to the knowledge and we have heard, then we practice of their duty, withou