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guards, to be examined and tried for their conduct. This trial, our traveller informs us, finally terminated in the solitary confinement of a large number of the leaders of the disturbance, but in the liberation from prison of many who were found to be meritorious in their conduct in endeavoring to suppress and prevent the wicked designs of the others.

This traveller being a man of respectable standing in society, and of undoubted reputation, no one is disposed to doubt the truth of the testimony which he he has given on this subject. Not long after having this information in the way here related, our traveller returns from a tour through New Hampshire, and informs us that the new governor in that state has seen cause to set all the prisoners in the state at liberty, and that he was an eye witness of the fact. For want of proper caution some of us now confound the two reports, and think that these several relations are con cerning what took place relative to the prisoners in Vermont.

In this way we should make the testimony of our traveller destroy itself and the veracity of its author. And yet his whole testimony in both cases, when understood according to the different subjects related, and the proper distinctions preserved according to the plainest sense of the several accounts given, all appears clear and without the least contradiction.

By applying, in an indiscriminate manner, those passages of scripture which specially belong to the temporal, mutable state of man in this life, and those which speak of an immortal state, all to the future existence of mankind, the greatest absurdities have been supported by the scriptures. In the same way the dispute between those who contend for salvation by the agency of the creature, and those who maintain that works are out of the question relative to salvation has been protracted for ages in the christian church. And yet if the passages of scripture, which are quoted on both sides of the argument were applied to their respective subjects there would be no room for dispute or occasion for any difference of sentiment.

For instance, the account we have of the judgment in the 25th of Matthew proceeds according to the works of those who are judged ; and those who are welcome to the kingdom, are justified according to their works, and those who are sentenced to punishment are so condemned according to their conduct. Now as this passage is applied to the eternal state of the unseen world by both parties in the dispute just named, those who rest the final justification of the creature on his works seem to have a decided advantage in the dispute. And it is all in vain for the opposer to try to reconcile this passage with his notion of justifying the creature to everlasting life in the eternal world without any reference to his good works in this world. This he will not attempt to do: but in order to do away the force of this judgment, he quotes some passages which speak of grace to the exclusion of works; such as the following; “ Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast. Now to him that worketh the reward is not reckoned of grace but of debt; but to him that worketh not but believeth on him who justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted unto him for righteousness." As it is perfectly evident that these passages, on the very face of them, were designed to set forth the grace and salvation of God in a way to exclude the works of the saved as the ground of such salvation, the argument now fairly turns in favor of the other side ; for here are more passages than the one brought in favor of the contrary side.

What is the next thing to be done? Does he who predicates salvation on works undertake to show that the passages last quoted do not indicate the fact for which they are adduced ? No, for this would be labor lost: it would be as easy to prove that these passages mean nothing. What then does he do? He

rebel ye

proceeds to quote some more scripture on the other side, such as the following; - The willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land, but if ye shall be devoured with the sword, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him ; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Wo unto the wicked ! it shall be ill with him ; for the reward of his hands shall be given him. For the son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good, or bad.” As it is perfectly evident that these last quoted passages do not indicate that men are justified without good works, but in consequence of them, the dispute stands exactly as it did when it began, and where it must stand until these disputants come to a determination to understand particular passages of the scriptures according to the particular subjects to which they respectively belong.

All those passages, which speak of judging and rewarding men according to their works have their true and just application to that divine economy in which our heavenly Father administers to his moral offspring that discipline which grows from his love and faithfulness and which our imperfection requires.

On the other hand, all those passages which speak of the abundant grace of God, of his great love to sinners, of his saving us, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given unto us in Christ Jesus before the world began, have their true and just application to that divinely gracious economy of the Father of our spirits, in which he has made ample provisions for the spiritual and eternal welfare of all mankind. And if we are careful to keep the different subjects of which the scriptures treat, as distinct from each other as the divine testimony requires, we shall never apply the passage under consideration to the immortal state of man, nor is it believed by your servant, that any other passage can be found, which speaks of rewarding men for their good works, and of punishing others for evil works, which can, with the least color of propriety be applied to the state of man when this mortal shall have put on immortality, and this corruptible incorruption.

To pretend that it is not convenient or proper for men to be rewarded in this world according to their works here, is more absurd than it would be to argue, that it is not convenient or proper for children to receive rewards of merit, and chastisements for disobedience at the school where they receive their education. And to contend that all the good works, and all the evil works done in this mortal state are to be judged and recompensed in the eternal world, is a thousand times more unreasonable than it would be for a parent of vast wealth to go to the school master who educated his children and get a particular account of every thing his children did while at school, and then proceed to make his last will and testament according to that account.

To conclude, while our text assures us, that good works will never go unrewarded, nor evil works unrecompensed, it by no means intrudes on the eternal inheritance given us in Christ Jesus before the world began ; nor does it in any way contradict the testimony, that 66

as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."



ZEPHANIAH, iii. 17.

He will rest in his love.

In this short book of the prophecy of Zephaniah there is much said on the subject of the sins of various nations, and of the sore punishments which the divine ruler had seen fit to execute upon them for their correction, and as an admonition to his chosen people, the Jews.

The design of the judgments of God is most clearly expressed in the following, recorded in our context: “Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I shall rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms,

to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger ; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent."

The account here given by the prophet, concerning the indignation and fierce anger of the Lord, is of a very different nature from the account of the same subject, which is current in our times. The divine indignation or anger according to our christian OCtors, is totally unmerciful; and those on whom it is fully and completely executed, no more than begin to feel its horrors in this world, but are duly prepared by an astonishing miracle, to endure the fierceness of its burning forever in the eternal world. In the days of divine inspiration and prophecy, when men “spake as

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