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and if any one should be so faithful as to reprove him, he cannot bear to be told of his faults. There is not a surer evidence of a heart being away from God, than its swelling with indignation at faithful reproof. O that my reader may see the sin and danger of all this !
What are the consequences of backsliding ?—“My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” The backslider loses the favour and approbation of God. If the peace of God was ever enjoyed in his soul, he loses it, and as long as the backsliding lasts, God will have no delight in him. He cannot regard sin with complacency. There is the loss of steady and consistent character. A man who is unfaithful to God and His cause in this world, will be unfaithful to his fellowmen, and he cannot be trusted, but with the greatest caution. There is the loss of usefulness. When one acts a part injurious to himself, he will have no desire to be useful unto others, or if he should tender a good advice, he cannot expect it to be useful, because it is not enforced by example. There is the loss of a good hope. The backslider is out of the way of duty. He is not walking onward and heavenward, and though he may have hope, it cannot be a well grounded hope of eternal blessedness, “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as Christ is pure.” “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.”
Thirty Plinth Sabbath—Morning.
“There is one God."-1 Tim. ii. 5.
The first and fundamental truth of religion, is the existence of God; for we cannot believe the Bible unless we first believe in God, its Author. Let us think of God, and the evidence of His existence.
OF GOD.-Think of His nature. God is a Spirit, necessarily and essentially a living Being, without bodily parts. God is light, infinitely pure and holy, and the Author of material, intellectual, spiritual, and glorious light. God is love. Love is the crowning excellency of His nature, manifested in Christ, and exercised in the salvation of men. If God is a Spirit, I should worship Him in spirit and in truth. If God is light, my intellectual and moral nature should draw from Him all its knowledge. And if God is love, that love should sink deep into my heart, and influence my thoughts, and words, and actions. His perfections. Think of His eternity. His existence was without beginning, and shall be without end. Angels and men began to exist, and their eternity, as to continued existence, is derived entirely from the power and will of God; but God's eternity is underived. “From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.”
Think of His immensity. Wherever His works and His creatures are, there He is. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Think of His immutability. He is entirely free from the changes constantly going on in Bis works. “I am
the Lord, I change not.” Think of His wisdom, power, and goodness, as seen in all His arrangements, and in all His works. Think of His holiness, justice, and truth, which regulate Him in all His dealings with the children of men. How glorious are all the attributes adorning the divine nature. They as far excel the attributes of the mightiest archangel, or the most gifted man, as the ocean excels a drop, or eternity excels time. His unity. This is evident from His omnipotence, for He could not be Almighty if there were any other being that could oppose or resist Him. It is evident from His government of the world. How remarkable is the harmony, yet endless variety of all God's works! How uniform, and uncontrollable is His government of all! “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” He is the only living and self-existent God, and He giveth life to all His creatures. He is the only true God, and all other gods are false and imaginary.
THE EVIDENCE OF His EXISTENCE.-- This may be drawn from Creation. This book you are reading does not exist by chance. Its sketches, its printing, its paper, its binding, are the effects
of mind, and skill, and labour. In like manner, the volume of creation does not exist by chance. Its vastness, its variety, its beauty, the radiant glories of the heavens, the fertile fields, and towering mountains of the earth, and the storms, and calms of old ocean, are clearly the effects, and productions of mind, and are engraven everywhere with marks of design. Mind willed, and planned ; Omnipotence spake, and it was done ; and that mind, and that Omnipotence, is God. The existence of God is evident from Providence. All things made must be preserved, and governed. Whence come the rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness ? Whence come the immense variety of creatures, and the adaptation of earth's supplies to their numerous wants ? Whence come the harmony and beauty of the heavenly bodies, shedding their cheering radiance on earth, and moving from age to age in silent grandeur ? Whence comethe revolutions of kingdoms, and the retributive justice that falls upon the ungodly ? Whence comes the preservation of the Church in spite of the enmity of Satan, and the opposition of wicked men ? That God is, is proved by Scripture. The first sentence of the Bible proclaims God's existence and Almighty power, and if we had not a knowledge of God from His word, the language written on the volume of creation would be to us a dead language.--2 Cor. iv. 6.
"There is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
1 Tim. ii. 5.
Let us think of the Person, the work, and the results.
The Person is " the Man Christ Jesus." There are many false notions and opinions about the Person of Christ. The Socinians deny His Divinity, and believe that He is only a man. The Arians acknowledge His humanity, and believe Him to be officially, but not essentially, God. The Sabellians believe that there is but one person in the Godhead, and that Christ and the Holy Spirit are only emanations of the one personal Deity. And the Swedenborgians hold that Christ has only one nature. They deify His humanity, and make it one with His divinity. Differing from all these, we hold that Christ is a divine Person, and proven to be so by His names, His attributes, His works, and the worship rendered to Him in heaven and on earth. We hold also that Christ is a man, having a true body and a reasonable soul, and that, in our nature, He obeyed the law we had broken, and died the death we had deserved to die. We also hold that Christ is “God manifest in the flesh"—that He is one person, having two distinct natures. He is God, truly God, that He might be an