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God, thou wilt not despise."-Ps. 51. v.
He, your Saviour himself, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;" he was himself subject to our infirmities; and will he then act otherwise than with compassion to those infirmities? No. Melancholy Christian, already bowed down by bodily or mental infirmity, or mistaken piety, do not imagine that a broken heart and spirit mean what is generally understood by those terms, viz. a spirit and heart sinking and bowed down to the grave: it is aspirit the pride of which is broken, and which has become humbled to a proper sense of its lost state, and is therefore eager to fly to Christ for salvation, and rejoice in his name a heart that, having discovered the evil state of its natural affections, grieves for that state, and laments its errors; but being drawn towards Christ, offers itself as a sacrifice to him, and then beats with delightful gratitude for his acceptance of it. These are the broken spirit and heart in
which God delights; the wounds of which he heals; the sins of which he forgives; the grief of which he converts to joy and gratitude; and the homage of which he transfers from earth to heaven; there, in the unspeakable blessedness of eternal salvation, to adore, with the saints and all the hierarchy of heaven, the glorious majesty and goodness of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the one eternal, incomprehensible Deity! to whom be all glory, honour, might, and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.
EXPLANATION OF, AND OBSERVATIONS UPON,
USED IN THE
OTHER DOCTRINAL WRITINGS
WHICH ARE NOT PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD BY ALL.
DOCTRINE-Precept, law, system. ORIGINAL SIN-The original taint; or that evil disposition which, since the fall, is born with man; that natural corruption which inclines him to do evil in preference to good; and through which we are unable to do our duty without God's grace; and this renders it necessary that we should
be ever upon our guard, and "watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.' (See the last four verses of the seventh chapter of Romans).
FREE WILL-is thus described in the tenth article of the Church.
"The condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to Faith and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God, by Christ, preventing us, (i. e. going before us and assisting us), that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will."
Free will-Relating to man, acting for himself as a free agent, is as follows:
God created man of his (God's) own free will; and man was created to serve God; but as God requires "a free will offering," so the service of man, to be acceptable to God,
must be the service of a free spirit, not one of force or constraint.
To prove this-when God created man he set before him the choice of good and evil; which implies that he had a liberty to choose. God denounced death upon Adam in the case of disobedience; but had not man a free-will to choose or reject, there could be no disobedience; which is refusing to do that which we are commanded to do; and it is clear that God did not put it out of the power of Adam to fall, because he did fall. In short, good and evil, life and death, are set before us—you cannot, surely, hesitate in your choice? but, remember, that having chosen the good we must seek and rely upon God's grace alone to enable us to avail ourselves of the benefits of our choice.
JUSTIFICATION-By faith-by grace.
As we do not deserve salvation, but obtain it through faith in Christ, and the