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clearly see that it cannot be carried too far. For it is the very nature of it to give up a less good of our own for the greater apparent good of others. The same disinterested benevolence, which will dispose a man to give up a small good of his own for a greater good of another, will dispose him to give up a greater good of his own, for a still greater good of another. The same disinterested benevolence, which disposes a man to give up one part of his own interest to promote the interests of others, will dispose him to give up another part of his interests to promote the interests of others.--And the same disinterested benevolence, which disposes a man to give up any part of his own interests for the good of others, will dispose him to give up all his interests for the greater interests of others. There may be the same reason for a man's giving up all he has for the good of others, as for giving up any thing he has for the good of others. It is the same thing according to the doctrine of benevolence and the doctrine of Christ, to give up all a man has for the good of others, as to give a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple.-The spirit of the gospel is a spirit of disinterested benevolence, which knows no bounds and admits of no limitations of self-denial, in promoting the glory of God and good of others. This is agreeable to Christ's express declaration to his followers. “Whosoever he be
that forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.”
3. If the prayer of Moses was proper, then none ought to be willing to be lost only conditionally. He did not unconditionally desire, that God would blot him out of the book of life and banish him from his blissful presence forever. He had seen God face to
face and conversed with him, as a man converses with his friend. He had seen the moral excellence and glory of God, and sincerely desired to see more and more of it ; for he humbly said to him, “ I beseech thee shew me thy glory.” He esteemed the glory of God and the everlasting enjoyment of him infinitely more desirable and valuable than all the treasures of Egypt, or than all the treasures of the world. He did not desire to be blotted out of the book of life, simply considered ; but dreaded it above all other evils, that could fall upon him.
him. His desire was altogether conditional. It was only, if need be, that he was willing to be cast
forever. If it was necessary, that he should perish, to prevent the utter destruction of his nation, he was willing to sacrifice all his hopes and happiness, for the glory of God and their eternal good. Just so, no person ought to be willing to be cast off forever, simply considered ; but only conditionally, if the glory of God and the good of the universe require it. But you may now ask, what has often been asked, what right has any person to make the supposition, that the glory of God and the good of the universe may require, that he should finally perish? The answer is plain and easy .
to be understood. It is because the glory of God and the good of the universe have required, that Pharoah, Judas, and Balaam should be destroyed. And we know, that the glory of God and the good of the universe will require that all the non-elect should be destroyed. No sinner, therefore, before he is regenerated knows that it is consistent with the glory of God and the good of the universe, that he should be saved ; and of course he has a right to make the supposition, that the glory of God and the good of the universe may re
may be lost.
quire his destruction, as well as that of any other siu. ner. And in this state of uncertainty, he is constrained to make the supposition, that he may be finally cast off; and when he makes the supposition, he cannot help being willing, or unwilling that God should cast him off. I scruple not to say, that every sinner under genuine conviction is brought to this trial, whether he is willing or unwilling, that God should cast him off; and that no such sinner is willing to be cast off before he is made willing by the renovation of his heart.--The doubting christian is brought to the same trial, as the convinced sinner. For he does not know that he is a real christian, or that he ever shall be. In this doubting situation, he is constrained to suppose, that he
He must then be either willing, or unwilling to be cast off. If he be unwilling, his unwillingness is an evidence against him ; and he can find no evidence in his favor, until he feels willing that God should dispose of him as shall be most for his glory.--Nothing short of this can give bim good ground of hope and comfort.
I know of no truth of more practical importance than this, that every person, in order to be saved, must be conditionally willing, that God should dispose of him, for time and eternity, as shall be most for his glory and the good of the universe.
4. If the prayer of Moses was proper and sincere ; then those, who possess his spirit, are the best friends of sinners. The sinners in Israel had no better friend than Moses. He was the most desirous of their temporal and eternal good ; and was willing to do the most to promote it. He was continually praying for them, which prevented them from suffering many evils, to which they were greatly exposed ; and drew down many great and distinguishing blessings upon them..-And had it been necessary, he was ready to give up all his own interests, to promote their future and eternal interests. And what more could he desire, or do for them. Though christians in general have not 80 large a portion of pure, impartial, disinterested, and universal benevolence as Moses had ; yet they all have some portion of it, which disposes them to desire and promote the temporal and eternal good of sinners.--Though they have no disposition to take them out of the hands of God, yet it is their hearts desire and prayer to him, that they may be saved. They not only pray for them, but they instruct them, advise them and admonish them, in regard to their duties and dangers. Nor do they neglect to exercise their proper power and influence, to restrain them from all the paths of the destroy
But, alas ! they too often misunderstand, misrepresent and abuse such benevolent conduct. Nevertheless, christians, like Moses and Samuel, do not cease to pray for them, but continue to say to God, as the leper said to Christ, “ If thou wilt, thou canst make them clean.” They believe that they are within the reach of divine power and mercy and that God may
be waiting to be gracious to them which animates them to persevere in their benevolent desires and exertions ; though they know, if the glory of God and the interests of his kingdom require their destruction, the intercessions of Noah, Job and Daniel cannot prevent it.
5. If the prayer of Moses was proper and sincere, then none can pray sincerely for any good, without being willing to do whatever is necessary on their part, to obtain it. They cannot pray for the poor sincerely, without being willing to do whatever is necessary and
proper on their part, to assist, support and comfort them. They cannot sincerely say to the naked and destitute, “ be ye warmed, and be ye filled, while they are not willing to give them those things, which are needful to the body. They cannot pray sincerely for the spiritual good of a person, or of a people, or of the world, without being willing to do all that is proper on their part to promote and secure the spiritual blessings prayed for. Moses appears to have been sincere in his intercessions for his people, because he was willing to do and suffer any thing, which he be. lieved to be proper and necessary to promote and se. cure their temporal and eternal good. His prayers and faith and works were consistent and sincere ; and of vast benefit to the people of God. If christians would follow the example of Moses and act as consistently with their intercession for others, they would avail much in drawing down the blessings of providence and grace upon individuals, societies and all the nations of the earth. All the blessings, which God has still to bestow upon mankind, he means to bestow in answer to the effectual, fervent, sincere prayers of his people. He has set them apart for himself and they have devoted themselves to him. They have a serious and important part to act on the stage of life and their own interests and the interests of all mankind are lodged in their hands; and it highly behoves them to be faithful to God, to themselves, and to the world.
6. If the conditional prayer of Moses was proper and acceptable to God; then the prayers of the people of God are always heard and answered. They always pray as Moses did, conditionally. They pray for