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relations, that I received a more formidable assault from another quarter. While I was seeking consolation from retirement and reading, in the intervals of more important engagements, a circumstance arose in consequence of the latter, which very much affected me.

THE BOOK..

I FOUND an author, whose writings were particularly directed to the subject of Divine grace. The title first attracted my notice, and, invited me to the perusal. But the trial it afterwards proyed to me, will be (I hope) thus far, useful, to caution me against curiosity in future, It is a good thing (the Apostle saith) that the heart be established with grace. * But it is dangerous in the unexperienced and the unestablished to be running about in quest of novelty. The leading doctrines of this writer's creed, founded on what hath been generally distinguished by the five points of the Dort assembly, from being originally formed there ; were to this purpose: That grace is equally free, and equally offered to all; the acceptance or refusal of it depended upon ourselves. And hence, that the improvement or mis-improvement rests upon the will of man. That the regeneration of the Holy Ghost doth not so. operate as to be irresistibly effectual, but that a man's own conduct may frustrate the lifegiving power. And lastly, the final perdition

* Heb. xiii. 9.

of the people of God is very possible, notwithstanding all that the everlasting love of the Father, and the infinite merits of the Redeemer, and the operation of the Holy Ghost, hath wrought, in order to prevent it.

The reader who hath accompanied me thus far in my pilgrimage, hath seen enough of my weakness not to know, that such a train of doctrine was sufficient for the time to throw a damp upon all my confidence. I am like the sensitive plant in these things; the least touch makes me recoil. To hear, therefore, of the bare possibility of falling from grace, in the close of life, and apostatizing from Him whom my soul loveth (and apostatize I certainly should, if the perseverance depended upon myself) what a distressing apprehension !

Neither did my trials end here. There was yet another in reserve for this season of temptation. What David remarks of the natural world, is equally applicable to the spiritual : Thou makest darkness, and it is night; wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. When the LORD withdraws His shining on the soul, the enemy, who knows the time of darkness to be the most favorable for his work, goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And never till the sun ariseth again, will he lay him down in his den.

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relations, that I received a more formidable assault from another quarter. While I was seeking consolation from retirement and reading, in the intervals of more important engagements, a circumstance arose in consequence of the latter, which very much affected me.

THE BOOK.

I FOUND an author, whose writings were particularly directed to the subject of Divine grace. The title first attracted my notice, and, invited me to the perusal. But the trial it afterwards proved to me, will be (I hope) thus far, useful, to caution me against curiosity in future. It is a good thing (the Apostle saith) that the heart be established with grace. * But it is dangerous in the unexperienced and the un-... established to be running about in quest of novelty. The leading doctrines of this writer's creed, founded on what hath been generally distinguished by the five points of the Dort assembly, from being originally formed there ; were to this purpose: That grace is equally free, and equally offered to all; the acceptance or refusal of it depended upon ourselves. And hence, that the improvement or mis-improve- ;. ment rests upon the will of man. That the regeneration of the Holy Ghost doth not so: .

operate as to be irresistibly effectual, but that . a man's own conduct may frustrate the lifegiving power. And lastly, the final perdition

* Heb. xiii. 9.

of the people of God is very possible, notwithstanding all that the everlasting love of the Father, and the infinite merits of the Redeemer, and the operation of the Holy Ghost, hath wrought, in order to prevent it.

The reader who hath accompanied me thus far in my pilgrimage, hath seen enough of my weakness not to know, that such a train of doctrine was sufficient for the time to throw a damp upon all my confidence. I am like the sensitive plant in these things; the least touch makes me recoil. To hear, therefore, of the bare possibility of falling from grace, in the close of life, and apostatizing from Him whom my soul loveth (and apostatize I certainly should, if the perseverance depended upon myself) what a distressing apprehension !

Neither did my trials end here. There was yet another in reserve for this season of temptation. What David remarks of the natural world, is equally applicable to the spiritual : Thou makest darkness, and it is night ; wherein. all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. When the LORD withdraws His shining on the soul, the enemy, who knows the time of darkness to be the most favorable for his work, goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And never till the sun ariseth again, will he lay him down in his den.*

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THE BROTHERS.

It happened of an evening, while my mind was reeking under all these united attacks, that I walked forth into the way. My path lay through a field, in which there were two men; who, from the congeniality of their sentiments, more than from the tye of consanguinity, I considered to be brothers. They were so engaged in conversation, as they walked before me, that I escaped their notice; so that I had the opportunity of hearing the whole of their discourse unperceived.

Can you reconcile your mind to the doctrine of redemption (said the one to the other) and place the least confidence in the merits of CHRIST? For my part (continued he) I am quite a free-thinker. I see no necessity upon which it is founded. The world, take it altogether, according to my opinion, is good enough: and cannot need an expiation. And indeed, when I consider what modern discoveries have been made respecting the immensity of creation, and that the globe which we inhabit is but as a speck in it, the idea lessens the doctrine of revelation altogether in my esteem, . You are perfectly right (answered the other) I have long thought as you do, and have made up my mind to reject it altogether. All the doctrinés of Christianity, excepting the moral part of it, (and that the world had before) are,

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