« AnteriorContinua »
ciple, and uncongenial in operation—by the mixing, adulterating, and so .corrupting of both the divine and civil establishments; producing, as the natural fruit of such a com. merce, men of renown-men seeking renown--all for being head men-for dividu ing and subjugating, or warring upon alland at the same time, opening wide the door for the exercise of this unbounded ambition, by obliterating the bond of civil society.—. These things, I say, taking place, what more evident figns could be shown in the earth, of the approach of a general convulsion ?
Wherefore Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Bchold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his faints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard Speeches, which ungodly finners have spoken against him.
The ground bringing forth briars and thorns was an early indication of the judge ment of God, founded in the elect eltablishment; and the added curse, or new evil and delinquency of the earth, that Cain experienced after the death of Abel, together with the wounding and crippling felt and confessed by Lamech, shewed plainly, that the natural powers were weakening, and the heavenly powers were prevailing; but what was now taking place on every side, proved that the foundations of the earth were shaken, and were all out of course, and that nature awaited a fearful doom.
Enoch prophesied of these—the world, at this time, had convincing proof of the truth of his prophecy before their eyes ; insomuch that he needed only to point to the popular and renowned characters of the age, in order to Mew it, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh!
The translation of Enoch, which followed, was the most folemn and weighty attestation to the truth of his prophecy—it' proved palpably, that there was another world; beiween which, and that world of the ungodly, there was an opposition; and whose powers were most active and wonderful; and which, with authority, could reach the earth, and protect its friends and confessors; and therefore, doubtless, could execute the threatened judgment upon all ungodly men.
Section 8. Righteousness preached. Pilate hearing the word of truth, perfeetly spoken, said, What is truth? and turned away directly from the subject. What is rightecusness? is the same question, often asked, but how rarely considered! For, being of a nature hard to be believed, it is a quellion hard to be understood; yet, what is more unquestionable than the fact of the exiftence of an elect world, which is seen to result necellarily from the divine principle? which truth has been exhibited in every age ; and with convincing evidence, that it is a kingdom of immorial strength and glory; and
that it is able to withstand all opposing pow. er; and, in the end, it shall break in pieces and consume all the kingdoms of this world; and Shall fill the whole earth, and sand
for ever, The kingdom of God is righteousness, &c. for grace reigns through righteousness. All it concerns us to know in religion, is comprised in the brief question, what is truth? or, what is righteousness? And the answer is equally brief, the kingdom of God--the king doin of heaven.
It is observed of Abel and of his works, that they were righteous; and of Noah, that he was a preacher of righteousness. These observations in the New Testament, are evidently made upon the facts recorded in the Old, which are few, and most plain. For an elect establishment, believed and confessed, in an offering brought unto the Lord, of the lamb of sacrifice, is all that is recorded on the divine page, of the works of the righteous Abel; and which gives him the character.
And the fact respecting Noah's being righteous, and his preaching righteousness, is equally simple ; for the faith, or truth, concerning an elect establishment, which, in effea, must dissolve the natural world, was the righteousness found of God in him; and his expressing this, by preparing an ark, was the preaching of righteousness, in which he condemned the world. This is all that is recorded of the preaching of Noah; and it is faid expressly, that it was in this way that Noah preached of righteousness, to the conviction
of worldly ungodly men. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the faving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
If it be asked, why the elect establishment, together with these evidences which relate to it, is called righteousness? The answer is plain—it is for the same reason that the subItance of things hoped for, together with the evidence of things not seen, is called faith, viz. That Christ's engagement in eternity to perform the work of redemption; togeiher with his coming forward, in time, io lay down his life, that he might take it again, and so be the foundation of the elect world, was an act of covenant obedience, and answer. ed to the rule of the divine will; and therefore, with the greatest propriety, the elect foundation, together with the whole superstructure belonging to it, is called righteousness--it is everlasting righteousness.
Section 9. The Deluge. According to the theory, we have seen a cause existing in the creation, which eventually must dillolve the natural frame of the world. This cause we have seen gaining ftrength, and giving various fure indications of the apprcach of the folemn event,
Moreover, from the peculiar conftruction of this first world, it is apparent, that the first dreadful catastrophe would be by a deluge of waters. For the expanding power of the çreative operation being, to a certain degree, weakened, the waters above the firmament would return towards those from which, by that power, they were originally divided; and, by the same cause, the waters beneath would swell, and flow over their natural bounds. This swelling of the subterraneous waters, requires an explanation-our theory offers the following:
Though, as has been said, the sprangling motion of the fluid would not reach the cen. tre of the globe; yet it is not supposed that the fluid itself, in this direction, would not approach there ; on the contrary, must we not conclude, from its all commanding power, that it would take full possession of the centre; and there attract to itself, or rather, be united and compresed by its expanding power,
with such a prodigious force, as would buoy up the waters and heavieft bodies?-This density, or compression of the fluid at the centre, is what was intended by the observation, page 180, that the obstruction, from whence arises the sprangling of the fluid, may be chiefly from itself, being too much compreljed by converging to a centre.
It is evident, that this fluid, in its expand. ing direction, towards the centre, would car. ry in its current all the waters, or vapours, until its force began to abate by its compreffion. And, is it not allo evident, thai an elaf