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also quotes that passage from Ezekiel, which we have already considered.

This ingenious writer has indeed strained every nerve, in order to fhew that there was no revelation of a future state under the Mosaic dispensation. But on this point, fuffice it to say, that all the learning he has displayed is but a mere waste of words, as long as we have the reasoning of Christ with the Sadducees, in proof of the doctrine of a resurrection, from the language of God to Mofes. While the foundation of his system is false, it is impossible that the superstructure should be folid,

That these words, “ The days come,-that I “ will make a new covenant with the house of “ Israel,” refer to the New Testament, there is no ground to doubt ; because they are thus ap-. plied by an inspired apostle. But there is not the same evidence as to the words preceding! All that certainly appears is, that they immediately refer to the days fucceeding the captivity, and the restoration of the Jews to their own land ; when they should not complain, as formerly, that they suffered for the iniquity of their fathers, because a great portion of the deserved punishment should be inflicted on them in the furnace of Babylon. There is no reference in the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel to the gospel dispensation. There is nothing that carries forward the declaration, on which the objection is founded, to the New Testament. God evidently speaks of his conduct towards the very same people, who had

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accused * Luke xx. 37, 38.

1 Jer. xxxi. 29, 30.

accused him of injustice. He speaks of it as what should take place, not in any future age, but from that day forward : “ As I live, faith the LORD, “ God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use “ this proverb in Israel m.”

It must be acknowledged, however, that the passage in Jeremiah has been understood, by some of the warmest friends of the doctrines of the gofpel, as respecting New Testament times, and as denoting the greater mildness of this dispensation. According to the general tenor of the Mosaic economy, indeed, God acted with far more severity.

Every transgression received a just recompence “ of reward.” This threatening, among others, was kecuted with more rigour and frequency; and the tokens of divine displeasure were of a more sensible and striking kind. As temporal rewards were more suitable to the character of the dispensation, so were temporal punishments; when the eternal state was more obscurely revealed, and to be discerned especially through a multitude of shadows. But although the threatening is not executed with the same severity, it is not therefore abolished : although the punishment is not so striking to the senses, under the New Testament, it will not follow that it was therefore peculiar to the Old. Even admitting that this declaration, “ The son " shall not bear the iniquity of the father,” refers to the New Testament, it will not follow, that the threatening affixed to the second commandment is abrogated. For with equal propriety, according to this rigid mode of interpretation, it might be inferred, that under this new dispensation no man's own fins shall be imputed to him: because it follows, “ I will remember their fin no more"." It might be argued with considerable appearance of truth, that if both expressions refer to the New Testament, both must respect the same persons ; and that these are such only as are truly forgiven of God: and therefore that it no more proves that God will not punish the iniquities of fathers on their children, than it proves that he will not punish sin at all.

ing m Ezek. xviii. s.

I Thall only add, that Christ and his own prophets must certainly agree. What they say, therefore, must be understood in unison with his denunciation against the Jews, which we have already considered, that upon them should “ “ all the righteous blood shed on the earth.” This visitation hath undoubtedly taken place during the new dispensation. And fimilar is the vengeance he hath denounced against Rome. Have we not seen it awfully executed in our own day? What idea can we form of the dreadful deluge of blood in a neighbouring country, but that it is the vengeance of JEHOVAH, the vengeance of his temple? If ever any people have had “ blood to

drink,” this undoubtedly has been their portion. Had we exact registers of families, we should fee, I am persuaded, the awful retributions of justice to succeeding generations, and the sins most legibly expressed in the circumstances of the punishment.

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This o Jer. xxxi. 34.

come

This vengeance has eminently pursued the royal family. On the devoted head of an unfortunate prince, have the crimes of his fathers, and especially of that vain-glorious tyrant and cruel persecutor Louis XIV., been visited.

“ What," may it be said, “ was he not less guilty, nay, a more " amiable man, and a better prince, than the most “ of his predecessors ?" We admit it. But such is the mysterious nature of the divine difpensation. The wicked Ahab was spared, and Jehoram suffered, who, although he wrought evil, did not do fo “ like his father, and like his mother." Jeroboam, that great tranfgreffor, was suffered to die in peace; and the vengeance laid hold of his pofterity, although not fo infamous as he for perfonal iniquity. Let it be admitted, that the enemies of Louis had no right to take his life; this does not alter the character of the punishment, as proceeding from the Supreme Judge. It is perfectly consistent with his spotless holiness, to employ even “ the wrath of man.” He hath “ crea*ted the waster to destroy." He, who raised up a Jehu against the house of Ahab, hath raised up wicked and bloodthirsty men as the instruments of his vengeance again the house of Bourbon. Louis XVI. did not shed the blood of the saints. He even manifested a spirit of toleration. But he was not bumbled on account of that iniquity committed by his ancestors. Although he did not work evil like unto them, he “ clave to the fins of " Jeroboam,” by retaining “ the mark of the

“ beast." 2 Kings iii. 2.

“ beast.” He adhered to the mother of harlots, and thus became a “ partaker of her plagues.”

The vengeance of God hath also been eminently displayed against the clergy of France, who have, in former ages, been the great instigators and instruments of the persecution of the saints. As to them, there could not be a literal execution of the threatening. But God deals with societies as with families. As parents are perpetuated in their pofterity, societies, as has already been seen, are viewed as still the same bodies, notwithstanding the change of individuals. God views successors as adopting the sins of those who have preceded them, and subjecting themselves to the deserved puuishment; in as far as they adopt those very principles which have naturally produced such fins. Now, Popery is always the same. It is a religion that shall be overthrown, but can never be reformed. Whatever be the conduct or dispositions of individuals, the general character of her votaries is, that they “ repent not of their “ deeds P."

Parents, mark what a striking beacon is here set up to deter you from fin. Do you love the fruit of your body? Shew the fincerity of this love, by hating and avoiding fin; left you subject your children to a judicial visitation from the righteous Judge. Are you eager to lay up treasure for them? Take heed that it be not a treasure of wrath. If you endeavour to accumulate wealth for their behoof, by unrighteous means, K4

you * Rev. xvi. 9, 11.

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