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who exercises his sovereign prerogative in infinite wisdom; and a just Governor, who, in dispensing pardon and favor, consults the dignity and the honor of his government. The very provision of an atoning expedient supposes all this. The atonement does not exhibit one attribute glorious and lovely at the expense of the other, but it shews forth each and all in unsullied purity, in well adjusted harmony, and in greater lustre and splendor than any measure in the universe. It enables God honorably to condescend to shew favors without sinking his character or his government.

The same atonement in its aspect upon the sinner, contemplates him in his mixed character, under condemnation, and yet in probation. The provision of an atonement tells the sinner, that the moral legislator thought the quarrel between bim and the offender, of such an importance, as to call in the interposition of a third party, and that third party a person of great dignity and worth. It tells him that ihe very friend who interposed for him regards the law wbich the sinner violated as holy, just, and good. By exhibiting the sufferings of this illustrious Interposer, as substituted instead of the punishment due to the offender, the atonement brings a greater amount of motive, to deter sinners from transgression, than the tempter can bring to allure to it. God is so well pleased with the atonement of his Son, that he reckons any of his perfections honored and glorified by being exercised for the sake of it, and on account of it. He is willing to confer any boon and any favor, however great, to any offender, however unworthy, if he will ask it in the name and for the sake of his dear Son.

In this mixed administration of the divine government, man's transgression will account for his miseries, God's goodness will account for his mercies, and the atonement of Christ will account for the honorable exhibition of favor to him as a condemned offender.

SECTION III.

The administration of Providence subservient to the

ends of the Atonement.

If all the novements in the physical universe are put in subserviency to gravitation, it is valid to argue that gravitation is connected with all the arrangements of matter. By a similar train of reasoning we can prove a connection between the atonement of Christ and all the arrangements of providence. The fact of such a connection is established both by the testimony of the scriptures, and by the whole aspect of the dispensations of providence.

1. The wbole design and aspect of the atonement, is "good will to men;" and to this, the whole administration of providence is subservient.

The entire character and history of providence are summed up in one inspired sentence: "all things work together for good.” “All things” in the universe are at “work." All things are at work "together," in order and harmony. The product of the harmonious cooperation of all things is “good.” This aggregate of good produced in the universe, forms the portion and inheritance of “them who love God." The workings together of good agents produce an immense accumulation of good; and even the workings of bad agents are over-ruled for good. Indeed all the evils in the universe arise from agents not working their proper work; but even this is made subservient to the production of good upon the whole.

It is a fact which should form the doctrinal creed of every man, that in the whole machinery of providence, there is not a single wheel made and intended to produce evil. Every wheel, and every revolution of every wheel, is intended, placed, and fitted to produce good, and to produce nothing but good. It is true, indeed,

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that the results of providential revolutions may and will be for evil to some; nevertheless, the reason of this is not in the movements of providence, but in the character and attitude of sinners themselves. The workings of any piece of machinery nay be good and productive of good, but if a drunken or a heedless inan throw himself within its cogs, the fault of the result cannot be ascribed to the working of the machinery. Picture to yourself a thief at his wicked work, skalking in darkness, and grasping his booty. Will he remain long on the scene of wrong to enjoy his prey? No. See how all the stars of heaven move in their courses—see, how the great globe itself rolls in rapid and mighty movement-see, how the sun travels in the greatness of his strength. All these stupendous movements are positively good, and produce good. They are for evil to the spoiler; simply because he is a spoiler, and at a wrong work; they are for good to every honest man, who is at his proper work. Every friend of sin is like a besotted man entangled in the meshes of a good machinery, whose revolutions will eventually crush and destroy him. He is out of his place. The author of the machinery never intended him to be there, and therefore the blame of the evil consequences is not to be ascribed to him. An evil doer is like a thief and a robber, whose pursuits are not in harmony with the course of nature," and therefore the course of nature, and the revolutions of providence are against him.

History and experience testify that in the present mixed administrations of providence, mercy, and judgment, like ingredients in a medicine, or like a thunderstorm in the atmosphere, operate for the public good, and altogether wear an aspect of benevolence and kindness towards man. Judgments are never sent without warnings, which are like the voice of mercy crying before the trumpet of judgment. Judgments keep up a .constant memorial of the rectitude of the governor, and a testimony to his concern for the public welfare in

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shewing that he is as much determined to defend good laws, as he was disposed to make them. These judicial interp sitions restrain men from great evils, and really prove blessings to many families, and to many neighborhoods by removing a root of bitterness, and an evil example from among them. Even the severest infliction of judgments leave more criminals bebind than they sweep away, that the others may have a season for repentance. Judgments come very gradually, and when they do come, God never stirs up all bis wrath, and he never afflicts with the "greatness of his power." If even the judgments executed in the administrations of providence have such an aspect of benevolence and "good-will to man," what must be the character of the mercies which providence with open band lavishes on the children of men? In the dispensations of providence, mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have embraced each other.

It is the atonement of Jesus Christ, that gives to die vine providence this character and aspect. The atoning Mediator is, in priority of arrangement, the first in the series of the blessings of infinited providence, the first bubbling in the well-spring of the stream of favors, the first stone in the building of mercy. It pleased the Father to make him the magazine of all fulness of blessings, and it is out of his fulness that we all have received. It is because God spared not his own Son, but delivered him for us all, that he will with him freely give us all things. All blessings and mercies are dispensed in his name, by bis authority, and on his ac

It is only so far as our mercies are employed in harmony with the mediatorial work of Christ, that they prove real blessings unto us; they are otherwise traps and snares to our ruin. All good things, and sure mercies, are contained in the New Testament of Christ. No blessing has ever come to man, but what is contained in the Testament, and the Testament with all its blessings and mercies, is sealed with the

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blood of the atonement. The Lord Jesus Christ is constituted the sovereign of providence. In this character he sits on the right hand of God, and dispenses his favors. Blessings are dispensed by him, not by his divine authority, but by bis mediatorial power; and his mediatorial power is, alpha and omega, founded in the atonement of his death.

2. The subserviency of providence to the designs of the atonement, becomes more evident when we consider that providential dispensations are administered with a special reference to the interests of the church of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ is himself "the heir of all things, and all his people are "joint heirs with him.” God bas placed the Mediator in the throne of dominion at his own right hand in the heavenly places, and has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church.” Therefore, the apostle says elsewhere, “ All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.”

Our blessed Savior in bis intercessory prayer in the garden relers to this bearing of his mediatorial government generally, on the interests of the church especially. "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life, to as many as thou hast given

* In unison with these sentiments, are the views of the heavenly F1AVEL. -“Christ is the channel of grace and mercy; through him are all the decursus et recursus gratiarum, all the streams of mercy that flow from God to us, and all the returns of praise from us 10 God. The purchase of all those mercies which providence conveys to us,

is by his own blood: for not only spiritual and eiernal mercies, but even all our temporal ones, are the acquisition of bis blood. Look. as sin for. feited all, so Christ restored all those mercies again 10 us by his death. Sin had so shut up the womb of mercy, that, bad not Christ made an alonement by his death, it could never have brought forih ove mercy to all eternity for us. It is with Him that God freely gives us all things." “So that whatever good we receive from the land of providence, we must put it on the score of Christ's hlood; and when we receive it we must say, it is the price of blood: it is a mercy rising out of the death of Christ: it cost him dear, though it came to me freely." "These sweet mercies that are born of providence every day, are the fruits of the travail af his soul.”—Flavel on Providence, vol. iv., p. 450. Ed. 1820.

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