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converting them; yet he has always produced in their hearts the same kind of effects, and in the same order. He has caused them first to exercise supreme love to God, then true repentance of sin, and then a saving faith in the divine Redeemer. He converted Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and all the Old Testament saints, in the same manner, in which he converted Jews and Gentiles in the Apostle's day. And we are told, that they were all made to drink into one spirit;" that is, to exercise the same kind of holy affections. The psalms of David contain not only his own religious experiences, but the religious experiences of the church of God in general; and it appears, that the love, the repentance, the faith, the hopes, the fears, the joys, and the sorrows of all true believers had always been of the same nature. And it is upon this ground, that the apostle with great propriety, exhorts christians in all future ages, “to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Though real christians may have different opinions, in speculation, concerning some of the doctrines of grace, and concerning the mode and order of the Spirit's operations, in renewing or converting sinners; yet their own spiritual experiences are all essentially alike. And could they agree to call the same things by the same proper names, they would no longer contend, whether love be before repentance, and repentance before faith; but would all allow, that their repentance and faith flowed from supreme love to God. This is the truth in respect to all who have experienced a saving change, and this truth they will all sooner or later believe. Those christians, who have been properly taught, do now speak, as well as experience the same things.

sorry that he has ever offended him, who has always been so partial in his favour. The worst man in the world would be glad to escape endless misery; and if he can make himself believe, that God intends to save him in his sins, he will love and admire him for it. So that this faith, which is before love, and altogether selfish, will produce a false love, a false joy, a false repentance, a false hope, a false submission, a false obedience, and a whole life of false religion. But if we place supreme love to God, for what he is in himself, before faith; then all the gracious exercises, which flow from it, will be holy and disinterested affections, The repentance, the faith, the joy, the hope, the submission, the obedience, and the whole religious life, which flows from such love, will be all holy and acceptable in the sight of God. And such persons as thus love God, before they know that he loves them; that repent, before they know that they shall be forgiven; and that love and believe in Christ, before they know that he died for them in particular, may have clear and satisfactory evidence, that they have experienced a saving change; that they are meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; and that they shall forever love and enjoy God, and be perfectly happy in his favour and service.

IMPROVEMENT. 1. If the first exercises of renewed sinners always take place in the same order; then all real saints have always had precisely the same kind of religious experiences. They have always been the subjects of the special, renewing, sanctifying influences of the holy Spirit. He has converted all sinners, who have ever been converted in all ages. And though he has not always made use of the same external means in fore love in conversion, is calculated to lead men into the most fatal delusion. It teaches them to believe, that Christ died for them in particular, and intends to save them; and to love him, and to love God, to repent, and to obey, from mere mercenary, selfish motives, which is a fatal error, and if cordially embraced and acted upon, will destroy them forever. Christ always did, and always will reject those, who love him merely for his favours.

3. If there can be no true experimental religion, but what originates from that supreme love to God, which is before faith in Christ; then there is ground to fear, that there is a great deal of false religion among all denominations of Christians. For many of their most devout Teachers inculcate the doctrine, that faith in Christ is always before love to God. And it is to be presumed, that a doctrine so agreeable to ever y natural man, has been cordially embraced by multitudes, who have been made acquainted with it, by books and by preaching. If we look into many grave Treatises published upon vital or experimental religion, we find faith placed before love and repentance. If we read Hervey's Dialogues, Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, or many of the Writings of the Presbyterean Divines in Europe or America, we find that those Authors inculcate the doctrine, that faith always precedes love, and lays the foundation for love, in the sinner's conversion. If we hear many of the most admired Preachers of the present day, we find them most frequently and most pathetically dwelling upon the love of Christ to sinners, and endeavouring to persuade them to believe, that Christ is willing to receive them into his favour just as they are, before they exercise either love or repentance. They preach this false and dangerous doctrine, in direct opposition to the well known sentiments of those Divines, who, by their writings and preaching, teach the true Order of gracious affections in the renewed heart. People generally are much more fond of hearing their errour, than the opposite truth; and consequently their preaching is calculated to make many converts, and to make them rapidly. They firstendeavour to alarm sinners with a deep sense of their perishing condition by nature; and then most affectionately urge them to believe, that Christ loves them, and is willing to save them just as they are, unholy and impenitent. And as soon as awakened, impenitent, selfish sinnerscome to believethis, their faith fills their hearts with love, and gratitude, and the most ravishing joys. There are many ministers, and some who affect to be the most learned, the most eloquent, and the most sincere friends of vital piety,who are using every method in their power, to propagate through the country, sentiments whichare directly suited to promote such unholy, unsound, and dangerous conversions.

Finally, this subject teaches all, who have entertained a hope of having experienced a saving change, the great importance of examining themselves, whether they have ever exereised that precious faith, which flows from supreme love to God. There has been a great deal of false religion in the world, and many have been fatally deceived, in respect to the nature of their religious experiences. The vast multitudes, who entered into covenant with God at mount Sinai, were deeply impressed with what they had heard and seen, and probably thought they were sincere friends to Jehovah; but they deceived and destroyed themselves; and are set up as awful monuments, to deter others from the same self-deception. Many who followed John and Christ, and heard them gladly, and thought they fore love in conversion, is calculated to lead men into the most fatal delusion. It teaches them to believe, that Christ died for them in particular, and intends to save them; and to love him, and to love God, to repent, and to obey, from mere mercenary, selfish motives, which is a fatal error, and if cordially embraced and acted upon, will destroy them forever. Christ always did, and always will reject those, who love him merely for his favours.

3. If there can be no true experimental religion, but what originates from that supreme love to God, which is before faith in Christ; then there is ground to fear, that there is a great deal of false religion among all denominations of Christians. For many of their most devout Teachers inculcate the doctrine, that faith in Christ is always before love to God. And it is to be presumed, that a doctrine so agreeable to ever y natural man, has been cordially embraced by multitudes, who have been made acquainted with it, by books and by preaching. If we look into many grave Treatises published upon vital or experimental religion, we find faith placed before love and repentance. If we read Hervey's Dialogues, Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, or many of the Writings of the Presbyterean Divines in Europe or America, we find that those Authors inculcate the doctrine, that faith always precedes love, and lays the foundation for love, in the sinner's conversion. If we hear many of the most admired Preachers of the present day, we find them most frequently and most pathetically dwelling upon the love of Christ to sinners, and endeavouring to persuade them to believe, that Christ is willing to receive them into his favour just as they are, before they exercise either love or repentance. They preach this false and dangerous

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