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diately scated reason and intelli- the father of a family, when he gence, and a capacity of moral goes a journey into a far country, agency: and therefore, they, in a leaves his family to the care of a peculiar manner, are the subjects steward. I come now of God's special providence, II. To enquire to what purwhich he exercises in this lower pose Christ commits the precious world And it is to be observed, souls of men to the care of mithat God's common providence is nisters. I answer, in two things, subordinated by his special provi. 1. He commits men's souls to dence;' and all things in this ministers, to keep and take care world are governed and disposed of them for him, that by their of in subordination to the great means they may answer their end ends God has to obtain, with re- in glorifying him. God has made spect to the souls of men: and it all things for Himself. He has is farther to be observed, that as created them for his glory; but the creation of the world was more especially those creatures committed to the Son of God, that he has endued with underby the Father, so is the govern- standing, as he has done the souls ment of it, and in a peculiar man- of men. It is by them that God ner, the affairs of God's special has his glory from all his creatures, providence, are left in his hands, as they are the eye of the creation and so, the souls of men, which to behold the glory of God, maniare the subjects of this special fested in other creatures; and the providence, are committed to his mouth of the creation to praise care; and more especially such him, and ascribe to him the glory souls as are of Christ's visible displayed in them. The other kingdom or church, which is often creatures glorify God passively in scripture represented as the and eventually, as God glorifies field or vineyard of which he is himself in them, as they are the the

owner, and the care of which subjects of the exercise of bis he has taken on himself. And power and wisdom in their creawhat Christ's value is for men's tion and preservation, and in those souls, appears from what he has events that are brought to pass in done and suffered for them. his disposal of them. Thus God

But these souls that Christ has glorifies himself in his works that made, and that are committed to are manifest, in the irrational and his care by the Father, and which inanimate creation, in the view of are so precious in his account, he his rational creatures that he has commits to the care of ministers. made capable of beholding and There is a certain order of men admiring them, and adormg, lovthat are so dignified and honored ing, and praising him for them. by him, as to have so great a trust But they only are capable of gloreposed in them. He, as it were, rifying him actively and immedibrings these souls, as an infinitely ately, therefore all the other creaprecious treasure, and commits tures do, as it were, bring their trithem to them to take care of, as bute of glory to them to be offered a prince commits his treasure into through their hands to the Creathe hands of one of the dignified tor. And therefore the souls of servants of his household; or as men are beings that, with regard

to the glory of God, the great end knowledge of the infinite worth of all things, are of immensely of souls, and his great compassion greater importance than all other and love to them, has by his own creatures in this lower world. precious blood, made way for their But these, with respect to this escape, and at this infinite extheir great end, are committed to pense has procured unspeakable the care and keeping of ministers. exaltation and perfect happiness. And therefore Christ has furnish- for them in heaven to all eternity; ed them with proper means to which by this means they have bring them to this end. He has opportunity to obtain. But yet given them all needful instruc- it remains uncertain what will be-tions, they have a perfect rule and come of them till Christ's Redirectory to guide them in this demption be applied to them, or great affair; and he has enjoined they are actually cast into hell. them the duties they have to per- There is an opportunity given, a form, in their office, in every par- time of probation, till the great ticular, and the manner in which and unalterable event shall dethey are to perform these duties termine one way or another. In is pointed out in the charge which the mean time there is a space for he has left them; and he has fur- the use of means, and the exercise nished them with all needful helps of care, prudence, and diligence for the instruction of those souls for our own souls, and the souls that are committed to them, to of others; that they may not fail lead them to answer their great of the grace of God, but may end in duly glorifying their Crea- escape that infinitely dreadful detor; and all

proper means for the struction of which they are natuexciting and engaging them to rally in danger, and may indeed attend to and follow those in- obtain that infinite privilege of structions ; as also means for their eternal life, that is now offered help and assistance in it, that they through the purchase of Jesus may do it the more easily and Christ. And now in this grand effectually.

affair, and to this great purpose of 2. They are committed to their an escape from eternal misery, care and keeping that they may and the obtaining everlasting not be eternally lost, but may glory, Christ has committed the have everlasting life. These souls, precious souls of men to the care as I observed before, are immor- of ministers, that by their means tal and made for eternity, and they they may have the benefit of his are set in this world between two redemption, and may obtain that opposite eternal states, the one a

which he has suffered so much to state of exceeding and eternal procure. Christ knew that notglory and blessedness, the other withstanding all that he had done a state of unutterable and unal- to procure life for souls, they terable misery: and as they are would need much care to be taken by nature liable to either, by their of them, and many means to be original guilt and corruption they used with them, in order to their are exposed to perish for ever, in being indeed preserved from etertotal and perfect destruction and 'nal perdition, and actually brought misery. But Christ, from his to the possession of life. And

therefore he has appointed a cer- have been done by Christ to make tain order of men, whose whole way for the Salvation of those prebusiness it might be to take care cious souls, and although Christ of immortal souls, and into their has furnished ministers with all hands has he committed these proper means to keep them, yet souls; and has betrusted them they are in such circumstances in with the ordinances of his house, this world, that there is need of and the means which he has pro- great watchfulness, and the utmost vided for their salvation, that no- care and diligence, in those that thing might be wanting which have the care of them, to prevent they need as their furniture for their being lost; for they are in this great business; he has, as it the midst of snares, and encomwere, committed to them his passed round with dangers on goods, and has given them, in every side ; they are in the enemies some respects, the keys of his country, where there are multistores and treasury; to them are tudes


where that are strong committed the oracles of God, and subtle, and exceeding blood and the treasure of the gospel. 2 thirsty and cruel, that are indeCor. iv. 7. We have this treasure fatigably, day and night, seeking in earthen vessels. v. 18, 19. And the destruction of these souls. all things are of God, who hath If a prince should commit some reconciled us to himself by Jesus great treasure, consisting of most Christ, and hath given us the mi- precious jewels, to the care of a nistry of reconciliation, to wit, subject, to keep for him, and carry that God was in Christ, recon- through an enemy's country, and ciling the world unto himself, not bring safe to his palace, and knew imputing their trespasses unto that the enemies by the way would them, and hath committed unto be sensible that the treasure was us the word of reconciliation. committed to him, and therefore

And as the word of God, so would be exceedingly greedy of the sacraments that he has ap- it, and incessant in their endeapointed, and the discipline of his vours to get it from him; would house, he has committed to them, not the prince expect that he, with to be administered by them, and whom he had entrusted this treahas subjected the souls themselves, sure, should use great care in of which they have the care, to keeping it? Would he be esteemthem, as far as is necessary to puted faithful to his trust in the care them under the great advantage of so great a treasure, and in such effectually to care for their salva- circumstances, without keeping tion; and has left a charge to their continual watch ? people to obey and submit them- They that have the care of a selves, as in the words of my text. city in time of war, and especiI now proceed,

ally when the city is encompassed III. That the way in which he by enemies that lay seige to it, are committed souls to ministers, and wont, if faithful, to maintain inexpects they should seek that these cessant vigilance to defend it. purposes should be obtained with The Watchmen of the city, in respect to them, is by watching such a case, had need to watch for them. Though great things strictly, for they have the care of the lives of men. Ministers are, clearly revealed in the scriptures ; from time to time, represented in that it was impossible to interpret scripture, as the Watchmen that those passages which I quoted have the care of the city of God. (and numerous others to the same Cant. iii. 3. v. 7. Isa. lii. 8. lx. purpose might have been quoted 6. and in other places. These had the limits of a letter admitted,) watchmen have not only the care in any other way, without perof the lives of men's bodies, but verting the common acceptation of their souls, which are infinitely of the language that is employed ; more precious. It is expected of that if we judge of the scriptures them that they should behave as we judge of any other book by themselves as those that both kept the plain and obvious meaning of and built the city of Jerusalem, the language used, we must admit in Nehemiah's tiine, while they that they establish the doctrine in were continually observed by ma- question. That this doctrine has hicious and subtle enemies; that been believed as the scriptural diligently sought by all means to doctrine by the whole religious circumvent them, and to destroy world, with the exception of a the city and people, who with one very few, the History of the hand wrought in the work, and in Church in every age will abunthe other hand held a weapon; dantly shew. Nor can I help holding spears from the rising of thinking that this is a strong prethe morning till the stars appeared, sumptive proof at least of its being and who had a trumpet always at the truth; not only as shewing hand to sound, to give warning of what interpretation of scripture is any approaching danger; and who the most obvious, and therefore did not put off their clothes, nor on our principle the most likely lay up their weapons, day nor to be the true one, but also benight. Neh. iv. 16. to the end, cause I find it difficult if not im

Ministers are appointed to be possible to conceive that God shepherds over

Christ's flock. would suffer such immense multiHe commits his flock to their tudes of sincere Christians, truly care, to keep and lead them thro' and warmly attached to divine a great and howling wilderness, revelation, to fall into so great full of hungry wolves and roaring and

fatal an error as the doctrine lions. And is there not need of of Christ's Divinity must be ala strict and constant watch of the lowed to be if it is an error at all. shepherds in such a case, as they For it cannot be denied by either would

preserve the lives of the party that, if Christ be only a man, sheep, and lead them to the land frail and peccable as ourselves, or of their rest?

if he be really a creature, of how(to be continued.) ever exalted a rank, we must be

guilty of gross idolatry, and be

liable to the awful consequences THE ATONEMENT.

of idolatry, if we consider and My dear Friend,

worship him as God. In my last letter I hope I I cannot help repeating that if satisfactorily proved that the doc- this doctrine is revealed in the trine of our Lord's Divinity was scriptures we are not at liberty to reject it because it is beyond our been said that this doctrine recomprehension. There is an ob- presents the Deity as harsh and vious difference between a fact vindictive, that it totally obscures and the manner of a fact. If the the benignity of his nature, and fact of the union of the divine and clothes him with attributes the human natures in Christ is reveala most_unamiable and repulsive, ed, is it reasonable to reject the It would indeed be sufficient to fact because it is not explained, reply to this, that if this were or because the manner of the fact true, no advocate for the doca is not revealed ? This is to re- trine in question could be found ject what God has revealed, that loved God, as it cannot be in merely because he has not thought human nature to love a Being who fit to reveal more, a conduct is harsh and vindictive, and posequally irrational and impious. sessed of no one amiable attribute. Let not any reject this doctrine And yet surely it will be conbecause it is by them incompre- ceded that the advocates for the hensible, unless they are, at least, doctrine of Atonement are not prépared on the same ground to more wanting in love to God dély the doctrine of Spirits, the than they are who reject it, and resurrection of the Dead, and the that great numbers may be found Divine existence itself.

among them remarkable for a In every view the doctrine of devotional spirit, distinguished our Lord's Divinity is important, quite as much for their love to but it is especially so in its con- God, as for any other virtue what- ." nection with the doctrine of A. ever--and that the great motive tonement; as it is evident from to this sacred affection is furnished the language of the New Testa- by the doctrine under considerament, in a variety of instances, tion. This fact cannot by any that the sacrifice of Christ owes reasoning be made to consist with its efficacy as a propitiation for sin, the chargé brought against the at least in a great degree, to the doctrine, that it represents the dignity of his nature considered Deity as harsh, vindictive, and as the Son of God. It is however uvamiable. my intention in this letter to state But this insinuation thrown out what appears to me to be the against this doctrine by those who scriptural representation of the reject it, deserves to be more diwork which Christ accomplished rectly met and considered. Does for our salvation, and to shew the doctrine of atonement reprethat he died as a sacrifice for sin. sent God as harsh and vindictive,

Before however I proceed to as swift to punish, and as slow to this, I would just observe that the forgive? We think it gives an views of such as have believed the entirely different view of the divine doctrine of the Atonement have character, and that no view of the by many been greatly misrepre- Gospel entertained by those who sented, and that by these misre- reject the atonement affords so presentations many who have not bright a display of the benevolence seriously examined the doctrine of God, as well as his other perfor themselves, have been greatly fections. Let it be remembered prejudiced against it. It has then that it is a misrepresentation

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