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long resided among them, is "such as can never be described by a Christian writer." Their sacred books allow them to steal; and in some places they "even pray that they may become expert in it, boast of it when they recount their exploits, and expect to be rewarded for it in the future world. Among the common people of India, "lying," says Dr. Ward, "is deemed absolutely necessary; and perjury is so common, that no reliance whatever can be placed upon the testimony of heathen witnesses." It is farther stated by this highly respectable Missionary, that the characters of the heathen have not at all improved, since the days of the Apostle Paul. " On the contrary," says he, "the language of the Apostle seems most strikingly applicable to them all: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; their feet are swift to shed blood; and the way of peace they have not known." The following is also stated by a Missionary from this country, relative to the characters of the heathen whom he had visited: "I feel as though misery lives here incarnate. The people are ignorant, degraded, and vicious. I thought I had seen something of vice in America, and in France; but those countries, I had almost said, are pure, compared with this. Every sin enumerated by St. Paul, in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans (verses 26-31.) is literally committed here without a blush, and without any apparent remorse."
I have thus proved, as it seems to me, both from reason, Scripture, and fact, that the heathen are sinners are actual and flagrant transgressors of the law of God.-I proceed therefore to shew,
are under the other perfect This is true,
II. That, being sinners, they have incurred the penalty of God's righteous law, and curse. The law of God, like every law, has a just penalty annexed to it. as well of the laws which are discoverable by the light of nature, as of those which are revealed in the volume of his word. In respect to both, the infinite Lawgiver hath said, "Cursed be every one, who continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them." "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." "The wages of sin is" eternal" death.” Now we have seen that the heathen are sinners. They have failed to "continue in all things written in the book of the law"-even that law which is discoverable by the light they enjoy-and consequently are accursed. They have transgressed the precept of this law and must have incurred its penalty. They have sinned, and must die. Accordingly it is represented by the Apostle, that having "sinned without law," they must "perish without law ;" and that in the judgment of God," they "are worthy of death." Like all unpardoned sinners, they are "condemned already," and are under sentence of eternal punishment.
3. This sentence cannot be remitted without re> pentance and reformation. We find no intimations in the Scriptures, that God will forgive any, even heathens, without repentance; but every where the plainest intimations to the contrary. Paul, in his speech before king Agrippa, declares that he had shewed to the Gentiles or heathen," that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." And the declaration of our Saviour is, for aught I see, of universal application; "Except ye repent, ye shall all perish."-And the language
of reason in respect to this subject, is as plain as that of revelation. For God to bestow pardons upon impenitent sinners of any description, would be ruinous to his character, his government, and law. In his law he says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." But in pardons bestowed upon impenitent transgressors, he would manifest that he had changed his mind; had ceased to hate sin; that his compassions had overpowered his principles; and he had consented to receive unhumbled rebels to his bosom. He would appear unstable in his government, regardless of his law, and unworthy the trust or homage of his creatures. And in conferring pardons on the impenitent, and thus shewing a readiness to treat the good and the bad alike; he would weaken if not destroy his authority, and give unbounded liberty to sin.
Besides; of what avail would it be to pardon the impenitent? Retaining their hard unchanged hearts, they would instantly repeat their transgressions, and fall again under the sentence which had been remitted. And should God pardon them in death, and receive them to heaven; it would be no heaven for them. It would not be a heathen elysium, or a "Turkish Paradise." They could not unite in its employments, or participate its holy joys. They would have no relish for such a heaven; and though dwelling in the midst of the celestial city, would find themselves completely and forever miserable.-The object of these remarks is to shew, that God cannot consistently pardon sinners-not even heathens-un→ less they repent. By their voluntary transgressions, they have incurred the penalty of his righteous law ; and from this they cannot be delivered without repentance and reformation-without possessing the temper of saints, and a meetness of character for his holy kingdom.-It is necessary to be observed,
IV. That the heathen in general exhibit no evidence of possessing this desirable temper, but much evidence to the contrary.-They exhibit evidence of impenitence, in the characters which they sustain, and the vices they practise. Who can believe, that characters, such as those described by the apostle Paul in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans (and recent accounts shew, that the heathen have experienced no change for the better, since that description was written) are true penitents, and exhibit, or possess, the least preparedness for heaven? They also exhibit evidence of impenitence, in shutting their eyes upon the light of reason, and violating habitually the plainest dictates of natural religion. It is the part of a true penitent to improve the light he has, and to practise in some good measure conformably to it. But this, the heathen are not accustomed to do. According to the decision of an apostle, "the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power. and Godhead; SO that they," who turn from him, and worship idols," are without excuse.” Yet the heathen are almost universally the worshippers of idols. Nor is idolatry the only, or the principal thing in which they go contrary to the voice of reason. Nearly all those vices, which they have practised, and in which they persist, are in palpable opposition to the light which they enjoy, and which, if they were true penitents, they would improve.
Several distinguished writers, in commenting upon the Scriptures, have been careful to make excep tions in favour of "the pious heathen." But the truth is, so far as recent and unexceptionable testimony is to be credited, there are few, if any, pious heathen." After a twenty years residence in India,
Dr. Ward observes, "I have never seen one man (meaning in his heathen state) who appeared to fear God and work righteousness. On the contrary, the language of the Apostle seems most strikingly applicable to them all. There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after (the true) God." Another Missionary observes. "As my acquaintance with the natives enlarges, I am increasingly convinced that there is scarcely one, who has the least pretension to` any religious concern."
Gladly would we believe that the heathen might be saved, were there evidence that any considerable number of them appeared penitent and humble, and But it is painpossessed a moral fitness for heaven. ful to find, that all the accounts, received from them, contain not only no evidence of this, but evidence the most indubitable to the contrary.
I have previously shewn that the heathen are sinners; are under sentence of eternal death; and that this sentence cannot be remitted, without repentance and reformation. And we here see, that in the general, at least, they do not repent, but are disposed to The conclusionTM persist in their vices and crimes. therefore is irresistible, that the great body of the heathen are not delivered from the wages of sin, but are descending, in fearful multitudes, down to the chambers of eternal death.
Although this point may now be considered as established; still, there are other considerations, in support of it, which ought not to be omitted, and which I shall proceed, fifthly, to introduce and to urge, and,
1. On supposition the heathen are safe for eternity, the volume of inspiration can hardly be consid