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we not here a striking representation of the natural situation of the soul? It appears “ with

out form,” totally disordered ; the inferior faculties ruling over the superior, the will and affections trampling on the understanding and confcience, spurning all their dictates, and threatening the eternal destruction of the sinner. It is “ empty” of every thing, that God calls good. Vanity is the predominant character of the mind a. As the soul resembles “ the troubled sea,” it is covered with gross darkness; with the darkness of ignorance, of error, and of prejudice.

What was the first work of God in giving form to the confused mass? He created light. This is the very method of his procedure in the new creation. He makes light to enter into the benighted understanding.

In what manner were all things created? How did light receive its being from God? Was it not by a word of almighty power ? “ He fpake, “ and it was done : He said, Let light be, and

light was.” This mode of operation, peculiar to omnipotence, is particularly marked by the Apostle as characterizing the new creation. It is marked with a special reference to the old ; as evidently denoting that the fame almighty power is not less necessary in the one, than it was in the other. God, who commanded the light to “ shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, “ to give the light of the knowledge of the glory " of God, in the face of Jesus Christo.” He not

only n Eph. iv. 13.

0 2. Cor. iv, 6.

only made light to shine by a word of power, but made it to shine “ out of darkness." In what a lively manner does this express the work of God in conversion! He still shows that he is that God, who “ calleth the things that be not as though they were.” He directs his efficacious word to the finner who is in gross darkness, and makes him “ light in the Lord.” He says, “ Look

ye blind ;” and at his word they see.

In the first creation, “ God divided the light “ from the darkness." For even after the formation of light, the darkness was not totally dispelled. Thus, in the Christian, two contrary principles remain. But the light is so divided from the darkness, that the former can never be extinguished by the latter.

Were the evening and the morning one day? So is it in the new creation. The evening, the imperfect state of grace in the present life, a state partly clear and partly dark, and the morning of glory at the resurrection, make but one day to the renewed soul. The day of glory hath dawaed. He is “ changed from glory to glory.” His present life, as “hid with Christ,” is not substantially different from that which awaits him in heaven. For as he hath the Son, he hath life, even life for evermore. He, who is himself “ the “ Resurrection,” says; “ I give unto them eter“ nal life.”

Each Person of the godhead was engaged in the creation of the world. The Father created all things by the Son. The Holy Spirit

“ moved," on the

“ moved,” with an incubating power, “ face of the waters,” communicating life. In like manner, “ we are the workmanship of God, "created again in Christ Jesus. It is the Spirit “that quickeneth. Except a man be born of the

Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Was man created by God in his image, after his likeness? The same work is performed, the same power is necessary, in the new creation. For “ the new man is renewed in knowledge, after " the image of him that created him p."

1. This necessity also appears from the inefficacy of the severest judgments, that have ever been inflicted on men, with respect to any real change. Could any dispensation towards mankind be more awful, or in more expressive characters declare the hatefulness of sin, than the universal deluge? Yet so obdurate was the heart of Ham, that scarcely were the waters of destruction dried up, ere he “ made a mock at fin," and considered that instance of human imperfection as matter of profane sport, which should have covered him with blushes 9. How great, and how general was the corruption of the posterity of Noah, even during his own life! He might have seen Terah, the father of Abraham; and we may believe that he still retained the character of « a “ preacher of righteousness," and continued to remind his descendants of the procuring cause of

the p Col. iii. 10. Vid. Witf. Oecon. p. 640: 9 Gen, ix. 22.

the deluge. Yet before his decease, many of them had apoftatized from the true God.

It deserves our particular attention indeed, that what in one place is given as the reason of the deluge, is in another given as the reason why there should never be a second destruction of a similar kind. “ God saw that the wickedness “of man was great in the earth, and that every:

imagination of the thoughts of his heart was? “ only evil continually.-And the Lord said, I “ will destroy man, whom I have created. I will

destroy them with the earth.” After the deluge, " the Lord said in his heart, I will not

again curse the ground any more for man's “ fake ; for the imagination of man's heart isi “ evil from his youth :” Shall it be imagined that the Spirit of revelation can contradict himself? Or that He, who “ is of one mind,” should be “ turned” to another? Or, that God tried this destruction as an experiment, and determined never to try it again, becaufe it did not answer his purpose ? Far be such thoughts from us, as derogatory in the highest degree from the perfection of the only wise God! Whence, then, is the same thing mentioned as the reason of modes of procedure diametrically oppofite? This striking connexion, which might at first view appear as a contradiction, lets us know, that God had a twofold design in the deluge; that while he was pleased thus to manifest his detestation of fin, it was at the same time his pleasure to shew that VOL. II. B.b

the

I Gen. xi. 3. 7. 13.

s Gen. viii. 21.

the most tremendous judgments cannot change the heart of rebellious man. To declare what fin deserves, he calls for a deluge ; and to proclaim the incorrigible nature of the disease, he promises a future exemption from this judgment.

The shocking impurity of the daughters of Lot may be viewed as an illustration of the same truth. Some writers have endeavoured to extenuate their guilt, by supposing that they might reckon the race of men extinct, in consequence of that destruction from which they had escaped : or, that they were actuated by an earnest defire, and perhaps by hope, that the one or other of them might be the mother of the promised feed. But their conduct undoubtedly shows, how little they were affected by the destruction of the cities of the plain. For they were not deterred, even by this awful judgment, from the commission of a crime, which, as being against nature, partook of the general character of that by which their former fellow-citizens were marked out as monuments of divine vengeance. · Here I inight also mention the obstinacy of Ifrael in rebellion, both in the wilderness, and in the land of promise, notwithstanding the many and awful judgments executed on them. This is illustrated in a very striking manner, in the twentieth chapter of Ezekiel. Let us for a moment advert to what has been formerly mentioned. Two hundred and fifty princes, who intruded themselves into the office of the priesthood, had

been

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