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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. 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 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 exceptions 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 possessed a moral fitness for heaven. But it is painful 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 persist in their vices and crimes. The conclusionTM 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

ered as a blessing.-You believe, my brethren, that those who enjoy the light of revelation, are in imminent danger of losing their souls. They inevitably must lose them, unless they repent of their sins, believe in Christ, and truly embrace the religion of the gospel.

But those who are destitute of revelation it is said are in no danger. The heathen are safe. "What advantage then,” I ask, in possessing a revelation? 66 or what profit" that we have "committed unto us the oracles of God?” Again,

2. On supposition the heathen are saved, it will be difficult to account for the mediation and sufferings of Christ.-Those, who have heard of the mediation of Christ, and the offers of mercy which are made through him, are under obligations to embrace these offers, and will be punished forever if they refuse to comply. The salvation of such persons is therefore at hazard; and in so great hazard, that multitudes from under the gospel will be found, at last, to have failed of the grace of life. But those who have never heard of a Saviour, and are totally in the dark in respect to what he has done for men, it is pretended, are in no hazard at all. They are in a state of ignorance, which secures them from punishment, and which ensures their final salvation. How then, I ask, are those, who hear the news of a Saviour, benefitted on this account? and for what valuable purpose did the Son of God make his appearance in our flesh and world ?—But farther,

3. On supposition the heathen are saved, it is impossible to account for the conduct of the apostles, and primitive teachers of christianity. It is certain they were deeply and constantly engaged, in what they considered the benevolent work of spreading the gospel. For this, they braved winds, and waves,


and deserts, and persecutions, and death itself. was for this, that Paul exposed himself to "perils of waters; and perils of robbers; and perils by his own countrymen; and perils by the heathen; to perils in the city; and perils in the wilderness; to perils in the sea; and perils among false brethren; to weariness, and painfulness, and watchings often; to hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness." But what did Paul mean by all this, if the heathen were in no danger? He knew they would be in danger, if he carried to them the gospel-in danger of rejecting the counsel of God against themselves, and perishing forever. Is it possible then to reconcile his conduct, with the supposition that he viewed them safe in their heathen state? Most manifestly it cannot be. "His eye, lighted by inspiration, beheld them sinking, as fast as, from among them, death multiplied his victims, to endless woe. His benevolent soul was moved at the sight; and he determined, at all hazards, to endeavour to save some." Again,

4. Numerous passages of Scripture may be adduced, in which the heathen are represented as exposed to perish forever.-This I think, is the import of all those passages, in which Christ is spoken of as the only Saviour, and submission to him as the only way of salvation for lost men. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."—"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."-Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they

have not heard ?"-Characters, such as those possessed by the heathen in general, are declared, in many passages, to be inconsistent with a title to heaven."Be not deceived: Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."—"The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God."-"No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of God, and of Christ."-Now these several sins, which are so expressly asserted to be inconsistent with a title to heaven, are, for the most part, the very sins in which the heathen live. They are the same, in which the Apostle, in other places, declares them to live.

It is said by the Wise Man," and probably in reference to the circumstances of the heathen, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." We are taught by our Saviour, that "the servant who knew not his Lord's will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten" or punished, though with comparatively but few stripes." It is represented by the Apostle, that " as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law;" and he addresses those, who "in times past" had been Gentiles and heathens, as having then lived" without hope, and without God in the world.”

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