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of Green. Lopk wherever We will, all is a de. lightful Display of present Fertility, and a joyouş Pledge of future Plenty:--Now we experience what the royal Poet, in very delicate Imagery, describes : The Winter is paft; the Rain is over and gone. "- The Flowers appear on the Earth; the Time of the Singing of Birds is come ; and the Voice of the Turtle is beard in our Land. The Fig-Tree putteth forth her green Figs; and the Vine with the tender Grapes give a good Smell *.
Afp..Your Quotation and the Scene remind me of a Remark, which should have taken place in our last Night's Discourfe. When we were enumerate ing the Excellencies of the sacred Writings, methinks, we might have added ;Are you fond of Pastoral, in all its flowery Graces, and blooming Honours ? Never have ye feen such exquisite Touches of rural Painting, or such sweet Images of endeared Affection, as in the Song of Songs which is Solomon's. All the brilliant and amiable Appearances in Nature are employed, to delineate the Tenderness of bis Heart, who is Love itfelf-to pourtray the Beauty of his Person, who is The chiefeft among ten thousands and describe the Happiness of thof Souls, whose Fellowship is with the FATHER, and with his Son JESUS CHRIST A.
Sce! Theron, what the chearing Warmth, and the genial Showers, of Spring have done! The rough Tree softens into Verdure, The ragged Thorn is robed with Beauty. Even the uncultivated Lanes teem with Herbage. Such a Change, fo pleasing and so ennobling, the Gospel of CHRIST introduces into the Soul.--Not a Day,
scarce ** Cant. ii. 11, 12, 13,
t i John i. 3. ..
scarce an Hour passes, but this Season of universal Fecundity produces something new.; something that improves the Aspect, and increases the Riches of Na. ture. And is there any State or any Circumstance of Life, in which the Faith of CHRIST does not exert a similar Efficacy? Does not purify the Heart, and bring forth Fruit unto GOD?
This is supposed to be the spiritual Meaning of that fine descriptive Picture *, which You have
* A fine Picture indeed! Most judiciously planned ; most strongly contrasted ; and executed in the most malterly Manner. As it is produced to View, I will beg Leave to point out fome of the highly-finished Strokes."
The Winter is past, with all its howling Winds, and piercing Froits. The Rains are over, which deluged the Meadows; and the Clouds are gone, which darkened the Skies.-All is Serenity and Splendour above. While all is Gaiety and Beauty below.
Flowers, of every graceful Form, and every glossy Ştain, appear on the Earth. Enamelling the Hills and Plains; embroidering the Robe of Spring; and diffusing Smiles over all the Face of Nature.
The Time of Singing of Birds is come. The Woodland Choirs awake. Every green Bough, and every blooming Spray, resounds with Harmony. From all Quarters, the Ear is charmed with artless Strains; which are, at once, the Perfection of Music, and the very Language of Joy.
The Vine, with the tender Grapes, give a good Smell. In the Vineyard, the 'filken Gems burst, and the infant Clusters appear. They breathe Balm on the gentle Gales, and perfume the soft delicious Air. In every Garden and every Grove, the flowery Caskets are una locked. They diffuse far and near those exquisite Odours, which regale the Smell, and “ rejoice the " Heart."
The Fig-Tree putteth forth her green Fig; ; forms the embryo Fruit; and excites the agreeable Idea of ap. proaching Plenty. Adding to all the Entertainments of
the borrowed from the Canticles. It displays the benign Agency of Grace and its Doctrines ; especially, of our LORD's Satisfaction for Sin, and of his Righteousness imputed to Sinners. The Blessings operate, with much the same favourable and happy Energy, both on cur Morals and our Comforts ; as the sweet Influences of the vernal Sun operate, on the sprouting Herbs, and opening Flowers.
Ther. If lich were the Effects of your Do&trine, it would stand the fairer Chance for general Acceptation.--But there are several weighty Scruples to be removed, before Persons of a liberal and enlarged Way of Thinking, can acquiesce in your Opinion. Who, for Indance, can persuade Himself, that what you call The Satisfaction of CHRIST, is consistent with the Dictates of Reason, or with the Perfections of the DEITY?.
Ajf. Let Gentlemen be candid in their Enquiries, and truly liberal in their way of Thinking; then, I fiatter myself, these Scruples may be removed, without much Difficulty. . .
GOD, the Almighty Creator, and supreme Go vernor of the World, having made Man, gave Him a Law; with a Penalty annexed, in case of Disobe, dience. This sacred Law. our Fore-father Adam presumptuously broke; and We, his Posterity, were zvolved in his Guilt. Or, should that Point be
the Eye and the Ear, the more pleasing, because the more important, Supports of Life and Health.
Here then the most distinguishing and delicate Circum: stances are selected. Whatever most eminently and most amiably characterises the Season. 'All is heightened, by a Retrospect on Winter and its Horrours, from which we are delivered. All, is endeared, by a Prospect of autumnal Delights, for which Preparation is making,
controverted, We have undeniably inade, by many personal Transgressions, his Apostacy our own.-Insomuch, that all have finned ; have forfeited their Happiness, and are become obnoxious to Punishment.
Man being thus ruined, none could recover Him, except his. injured MAKER. But snall He be recovered, shall He be restored, without suffering the Punishment, due to his Crime, and threatened by his CREATOR ?-What then will become of the Justice of the Divine . LAW.GIVER? And how fhall the Honour of his Holy Law be maintained? At this rate, who would reverence its Authority, or fear to violate its Precepts ? ---Sinners might be emboldened to multiply their Tranfgref= fions; and tempted to think, that the GOD of imináculate Holiness, the GOD of unchangeable Veracity, is altogether such an One as themselves *, - Does it not appear needful, that some Expedient be devised, in order to prevent these difhonourable and horrid Consequences ?
Ther. Proceed to inform Us, what the Expedient is. i. via is. Ap. To ascertain the Dignity of the supreme Administration, yet rescue Mankind from utter Der struction, this admirable Purpose was formed, and in the Fulness of Time executed. The second Person of the ever-blessed TRINITY unites the human Nature to the Divine; fubmits Himself to
the the Obligations of his People; and becomes respon- . fible for all their Guilt. In this Capacity, He performs a perfect Obedience, and undergoes the Sentence of Death: makes a full Expiation of their Sins, and establishes their Title to Life.-By which Means, the Law is satisfied ; Justice is magnified ; and the richest Grace exercised. Man enjoys a great Salvation, not to the Discredit of any, but to the unspeakable Glory of all, the divine Attributes.
* This was actually the Case, as We are informed by the SEARCHER of Hearts, when, on a particular Occafion, Punishment was only retarded. How much more would such impious Opinions have prevailed, if, on this grand' Act of Disobedience, Punilhment had been intirely forborne ? Pfal. 1. 21.
This is what We mean by CHRIST's Satiffaction. And this, I should imagine, wants no Recommendation to our'unprejudiced Reason; as, I am sure, it is most delightfully accommodated to our distressed Condition. It is also confirmed by many express Passages of Scripture, and illustrated by a Variety of very significant Images. • Ther. Pray, let me be favoured with some of your scriptural Images. After which, We may enquire, whether your Doctrine will stand the Test of Rea
Asp. What is your Notion of a Ransom?
Ther. To ransom, is to redeem any One from Captivity or Misery, by Purchase, by Exchange, or some other valuable Cünsideration. - Afp. When Priam ranfomed the dead Body of Hetor from the victorious Achilles, how was it done?
Ther. By paying a Price *. --Thus Fabius recovered the Captives, which were taken by Hannibal, He transmitted the Sum required, and they were discharged from their Confinement.
Afp. Depus ' amepeloi' atrouvą, an infinitely rich Price. Hyperbolical this, as applied by Homer : ftri&tly true, when referred to CHRIST..