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most direct, and obvious meaning? Do they receive the sang tion of approbation, from the most devout persons, and the sentence of condemnation from the irreligious and vicious? Does the liberal system produce the same objections, which the faith produced, as delivered to the saints? Is it gladly received by the common people, and rejected by the same sort of men in the higher orders of society, as rejected the Gospel? Do the doctrines of the liberal system, occasion a virulent hostility against them, in such circumstances, as show that it does not result from the ardent love of truth, or hatred of error? Do they occasion the same fears and anxieties about a future state; the same deep conviction of sin, and the same joyful and often sudden conversion to God, as are manifested under evangelical preaching, and in revivals of religion? Do the doctrines of the liberal system, produce revivals of religion at all; and not rather, awaken prejudices, and array influence against them. Do they produce the same style of piety; as deep, solemn, ardent, as the faith produced, which was delivered to the saints? Do they inspire the same solicitude and effort for the awakening and conversion of sinners, under the light of the gospel; or the same compassion for the heathen, and enterprise for their salvation. Does the liberal system inspire the same assurance of its being true, attended by the same unwavering constancy in its profession, which the faith delivered to the saints inspired, and do they produce the same assurance of hope, and the same sustaining joy “full of glory” in the hour of death.
We make the appeal to your consciences and your hearts, whether you do not perceive and know, that the liberal system is naked in respect to these great effects, which the faith delivered to the saints, did produce: and whether, all of them, do not with undeniable notoriety, cluster about the path of the evangelical system. If this be so, can that system be false, which produces the effects, so many, and so great, which were produced by the faith delivered to the saints: and can that be the true faith, which is so utterly destitute of them? The Gospel, is the most powerful moral cause, which has ever operated in this world. Its effects of course cannot be hid, and cannot be the same, with a system in direct opposition to it. The three or four first centuries, brought out unequivocally, the effects of the faith delivered to the saints which we have noted: these, all of them, are found associated still, with the evangelical system: and none of them with the liberal system. Is, then, the liberal system, the faith once delivered to the saints? Why does it not produce the same effects which that produced? Has the Gospel changed its nature, or lost its power, or has the human nature changed: or—is the liberal system another Gospel. Ponder well this subject for the judge is at the door, and the day will burst upon us soon, that will try every man's faith, and heart, and work.
Allow us then, once more to refer it to your consciences, whether, allowing the evidence from exposition to be on each side the same, this decisive weight of collateral evidence, ought not to withdraw your confidence from the lib. eral system, and to decide your judgment in favor of the evangelical system, as the very “word of God, and faith of Jesus ” Every great system of truth and falsehood, is attended by a mass of presumptive collateral evidence, for or against it. And while the evangelical system commends itself to your confidence by all that variety of collateral evidence which has been exhibited, and the opposite system is wholly unattended by it; dare you, will you, reject the evangelical, and risk your salvation on the liberal system?
Does the thought, as you read, offer to rise, “Possibly, after all, my own system may be a deception, and that which I have disputed be true.” Let it arise: for it may be the movement on your mind, of the long resisted spirit, sugo gesting to your conscience, this is the way, walk ye in it.”
Does fear flash across your mind, at times, the thought, as a momentary reality, "I may be wrong after all, and these doctrines which produce revivals of religion, and such joy in death, may be the faith delivered to the saints.” Stifle not the unwelcome conviction, for it may be the commencement of eternal life in your soul. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest to your souls.”
Peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God.....St. Peter.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
OF THE MINISTERIAL LABOURS
COMMUNICATED TO THE
Boston Society for Religious Purposes,
. BY WILLIAM COLLIER,
AT THEIR ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 1823.
PRINTED BY JAMES G. BOLLES, AT THE WATCHMAN OFFICE,
TAE design of this publication is to call the attention of the rulers of the people, and citizens of high standing in this Metropolis, to one of the greatest evils with which any country can be afflicted. And, if greatness of thought, force of reasoning, brilliancy of imagination, splendour of eloquence and ardency of devotion can interest an enlightened and virtuous community, Saurin's Sermon on the repentance of the unchaste woman will not fail to produce that effect. It is recommended, particularly so, to parents and guardians of youth, and all good citizens, in the confident hope that we shall all remember the truth of one assertion in the sermon ; for God is righteous, that “ONE SUCH HOUSE suffered in a city is enough to draw down the curse of heaven on a whole province, a whole kingdom."
THE REPENTANCE OF THE UNCHASTE WOMAN.
LUKE vii. 36-50.
And one of the pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he
went into the pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And behold, a won man in the city, which was a sinper, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the pharisee which had bidden him, saw it, he spake within himself, saying, this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who, and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him ; for she is a sinner. And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, master, say on. There was a certain creditor, which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss : but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. Mine head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him, began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sins also ? And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace.
LET me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great : but let me not fall into the hand of man, 2 Sam. xxiv. 14. This was · the request that David made, in the most unhappy moment of his life. A propbet sent by an avenging God came to bring him a choice of allictions, I offer thee three things, choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land ? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days pestilence in thy land ? Now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me, ver. 12, &c.
What a proposal was this to a man accustomed to consider heaven as a source of benedictions and favours ! Henceforth he was to consider it only as a cavern of thunder and lightning, flashing and rolling and ready to strike him dead! which of these punishments will be choose ? Which of them could he choose without reproaching himself in future that he had chosen the worst? Which would you have chosen had you been in his place, my brethren ? Would