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sellor ? Who hath directed the spirit of Jehovah; or, being his counsellor, hath taught him ? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judge. ment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding ?” Rom. xi. 34. Isaiah xl. 13, 14.

As men are incapable of teaching God knowledge, so also of knowing the thoughts of God, unles he is pleased to reveal them. We cannot pretend, with the least degree of certainty, to know the thoughts of men, which lie concealed within them; much less can we know the thoughts and counsels of the infinite Supreme, any farther than he manifests them by his works and word. “But God hath reveal. ed them unto us by his Spirit ; for the Spirit searcheth all things : yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a mari, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God :") 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. But God knoweth his thoughts towards us, 'and he hath declared them to be, 7. Thoughts of peace :

" For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith Jeho. vab; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give j'ou an expected end :” Jer. xxix. 11.

It is well that God has good will towards his creatures, and that his thoughts are thoughts of peace, & not of evil ; and these gracious peaceful thoughts are revealed in the promises of peace and truth, wherewith the Holy Scriptures abound.

8. God will perform his thoughts : : “ Th anger of Jehovah shall not return, till he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart : in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly;" Jer. xxiii. 20. XXX. 24.

How many devices soever are in the hearts of men, the counsel of the Lord shall stand; he will perform his pleasure ; his will shall be done. “ The fierce anger of Jehovah shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart." How vain will all the rage of Febovab's enemies be, to prevent the accomplishments of his thoughts and designs! What God purposeth he will ful. fil. This hath often been matter of great satisfaction to me, especially in matters where Christians disagree, respecting prophecy, or future events : thus have I thought and said, All our disputings will neither help nor hinder : wbai God huih determined, shall be, let who will con. trudict or oppose ! .What his goodness desires, & bis wisdom designs, bis power shall

perform. My rule for interpreting prophecy, is to take it in the plainest sense that it is capable of being understood in, consistent with the ideas that we ought to have of the Great Supreme.

As those that have been hitherto fulfilled, have been fulfilled literally, and very exactly ; I therefore take it for granted, that the remainder shall be accomplished in the same marner, as far as the nature of things will allow. Certaia I am, that God hath power to perform his thoughts, and most certainly he will fulfil his

words. The prophecies which the prophets have delivered, appear to me in their most obu vious sense, to be worthy of a God to promise and to perform. Doubtless their accomplish. ment shall completely answer predictions, and be as plain to the eye, as the prophetic descriptions are to the ear. Nevertheless, a latitude must be allowed to some prophecies, whose accomplishment may be slow and progressive, and may be said at first to be partially fulfilled, afterwards more fully, but finally, they must all -be completely and perfectly fulfilled.

And who can tell what thoughts God hath concerning us, our land, nation, &c. ? What great designs he may perform this year, no mortal alive can tell. Perhaps he may think proper to call us out of the world, or exercise us with great troubles and afflictions in the world : but if we love God, all things shall work for our good. If we trust in him, we shall have nothing to fear from any event that can take place.

« Trials may press, of ev'ry sort ;
“ They may be sore, they must be short :
“ We now believe, but soon shall view

“ The greatest glories God can shen." Since God's thoughts are so towards us, let üs always delight to think of him. Let God be in all our thoughts ; then we may each say with David; “ In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul ;" Psalm xciv. 19.


On the Idea that prevails among many, that

God is, in a proper sense, the Author of Sin. AMONG all the horrid calumnies that have undeservedly been cast upon the character of the God of Love, the fountain of all goodness, and the well-spring of all life & happiness, there is none more horrid, and yet in many places none more common, than that of making God the Author, or, as others say the Creatorof sin.

If I had a father, or a friend, and should hear him branded with any piece of conduct half so black as this charge makes the God of Purity, I should endeavor to vindicate his character, and shew the baseness & falshood of the charge --And can I hold my peace, and not endeavor to vindicate that most sacred character of Feho. vah, that is daily disgraced by this blasphemous and malicious charge ? No; I will refute it, if possible.

When the consequences of any position are absurd, the position itself cannot be true, and ought to be rejected.

Arguments against God's being the Author, Creator, or, in

any proper sense, the Cause sin,

1. IF God is the creator, or cause of sin, then did Christ come into the world to destroy his Father's works or decrees ; which is absurd.

Christ did not come to destroy and put away the works of his Father ;

But he was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and put away our sins :

Ergo, sin cannot be the production of God.

The major is self-evident; the minor is prov. ed by 1 John iii. 5, 8.

Therefore the conclusion inevitably follows.

2. God cannot bring forth a production contrary to his nature :

Therefore, he is not the author of sin.

3. The law of God forbids sin, in the most peremptory manner;

But God cannot deny himself, nor forbid his own decrees.

Therefore, sin is not produced by the decrees of God.

What should we think of a tyrant that should send forth a proclamation, that none of his subjects should rebel, but at the same time should secretly purpose that they should all rebel ; and by his influence should cause them to commit those acts that could not possibly be done without involviog the actors in high treason.

Far be it from us to have such thoughts of God! and yet, if he is the author of sin, we must have such thoughts and worse, of a Being infinitely powerful, who should by a law forbid sin, and yet by his decree command it. Such duplicity might well become the foe of God and man, but never the great Jehovah, the Being of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.

4. God's works were all good; he shall rejoice in his works ; he loveth all things that he

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