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ral. Conviction of sin is pre- cultivate his vineyard, but leave vented. The wicked, instead of it to be laid waste. They will being solemnly warned, are flat- resemble the shepherds so se. tered with delusions, and so verely reproved by Ezekiel, who sleep, undisturbed, in an impen- fed themselves and not the flock. itent state. Go to the places, The diseased ye have not strength. where the salutary truths of the ened, said God by the prophet, gospel are withheld, and false neither have ye healed that which theories, empty declamations, or was siek, neither have ye bound cold moral essays are substitut, up that which was broken, nei. ed in their place. Do you find ther have ye brought again that sinners deeply impressed with which was driven away, neither the criminality of living without have ye sought that which was lost. God in the world, and with the They subject themselves to the importance of a penitent, godly fatal sentence of those, who daub life? Do you hear them serious- with untempered nortar, who heal ly proposing the question, What wounds slightly, and cry, Peace, shall we do to be saved ? a ques- peace, when there is no peace. tion, which the apostles always When, therefore, churches rejoiced to hear, and were ready are negligent of the religious to answer, but which many cler. sentiments and the piety of their gymen at this day totally dis- ministers, they show themselves countenance, and treat with wholly unconcerned respecting scorn. What a pestilence in the effects of the gospel dispensa. the Christian world is the influ- tion. In a degree they are reence of such ministers. Even sponsible for all the mischief the most godly have their share which is done by unqualified of the injury. What edification teachers. They are guilty of can they derive from the instruc- encouraging and supporting tions of God's house, when the those, who not only refuse to go most momentous truths are into the kingdom of heaven them. passed over in contemptuous si- selves, but, by the errors of their lence? What a disturbance and faith and the unholiness of their grief must it be to them, if, example, hinder others from When going to the temple of re- entering. So that, if the woful. ligion, they cannot know, but influence of erroneous teachers that in the place where the light is seen in the corruption of the of heaven should shine, they faith, the discipline, and the shall be overshadowed with the morality of the churches; if mists of error? Does not men’s nominal Christians are loosed attendance upon the gospel min- from the restraints of religion, istry, as it is conducted in many and openly conformed to the parts of New England, instead world; if conviction of sin is of promoting their salvation prevented, and the impenitent through belief of the truth, tend are flattered and hardened; and to a contrary purpose ?
if God's own people, instead of Ministers, who are not estab- being edified and comforted, lose lished in the belief and love of the sensible blessings of religion, the gospel, will not be faithful in pine for want of spiritual food, Christ's cause. They will not or are for a time carried away
with the current of popular error ly doctrines, which exalt Chris, and vice ; if these, and other like tianity above the darkness of effects take place, they are in a paganism. Must all these things considerable measure to be be endured, as little differences charged to the criminal negli- of opinion, which should not gence of the churches respecting lessen our esteem, nor interrupt the religious sentiments and the Christian communion, and which personal holiness of gospel min- do not unfit men for a church isters.
state, nor even for the sacred ofFourthly. Negligence as to fice? What a false moderation, the sentiments, which ministers what a mere show of candour hold and propagate, is an implicit would this be in the churches of contempt of Christ and his gospel. Christ! What a forgetfulness of Is it not his peculiar glory, that their obligations to him, and a he is “ full of grace and truth ?” betraying of his honour into the Is it not one great end of his hands of infidels. At best, what coming into the world, that he an inglorious neutrality in a might bear witness to the truth : cause, which ought to be dearer that he might scatter the clouds than life ! which hang over the world, and Can we seriously survey New enlighten mankind with spirit, England churches, and compare ual knowledge? Is not the mis- their present state with their sion of the Holy Spirit to guide pristine purity, without grief and men into all the truth one great amazement of soul? What disadvantage of the gospel state ? cerning man does not see, what In short, are not the doctrines of feeling Christian does not bewail religion the substance of the the apostasy of these latter times, revelation, with which God hath and the fatal success with which blessed the world ? And is it the open and secret enemies of not through them, that God Christ have laboured to poison sanctifies his people? How impi- the souls of men, and to effect ously, then, do many churches the destruction of truth and undervalue the gospel of Christ, godliness? Can we be Christ's yea, with what contempt do they disciples indeed, and behold with treat him, and the design of his unconcern, the darkness of error labours, sufferings, and blood? overclouding the light of the To what a low ebb' is religion gospel, and veiling its divine reduced, how are the imprese beauty ? Must not our hearts sions of God our Saviour erased swell with sorrow, to see that from the minds of his professed men proudly dare to villify, or friends, when they can uncon- studiously to conccal the eternal cernedly behold a flood of errors truths, to which the Son of God overwhelming the land; when bore witness; that so many, they can carelessly see those, who know the joyful sound, who are set for the defence of should love darkness rather than the gospel, breaking down all the light, and offer their deluded boundaries of truth, and public- souls a sacrifice to infernal mally disclaiming, treacherously ice ; and that any who profess undermining, or “subtilizing to believe the Bible, should be into an airy phantom,” those ho have with such cold indifference
as if they were no wise concern- England churches without blushed in the honour of the Redeem., ing and amazement? And will er; as if his cause might be they not seize every opportunity innocently abandoned, and the to show their adherence to the treasures of wisdom in his gospel adorable mysteries of his gospel ? treated as empty speculations, or What momenlous arguments, disputable, intricate points, and, are these, friends of Immanuel, as if it were a triling, matter ' to raise your zeal, to add life and whether divine purity and light, constancy to your endeavours or moral darkness possess our and fervour to your prayers for hearts, and prevail in the world. the defence of the truth. The, Is this the way, in which the eternal love of God, who sent his friends, yea, the churches of Son to illuminate your souls with God show their gratitude for the celestial knowledge; the wonriches of his mercy? What ders of the Saviour's grace ; the perfidious treatment of that reve native beauty, the divine simplicilation, which his infinite love hasty of the gospel, surrounded bestowed! What an entertain- with all the glories of redeeming. ment is this of those important love, l'ecommended by every contruths, which flow from the sideration of gratitude and duty, mouth of the greatest prophet, and testified by the loudest apand are supported by the strong- plauses of angelic hosts, furnish est and most moving arguments; an endless train of irresistible truths, which bear the stamp of motives, and conspire to animate ineffable wisdom, and are bright- your hearts with holy ardour in ened by the lustre of an eternal the cause of Zion. Lift up your excellence. And what lamenta- eyes, and behold your exalted tion is added to our grief, when Lord. From his glorious throne we consider, that these evils ex- he looks down to notice the or, ist in New England, where God der, the purity, and fidelity of his hath made the clearest discover- churches. He directs your eye ics of himself; where he plant- to the scorn of the multitude, ed his church a noble vine, and the hatred of the learned, the his mercy cultivated it and blindness and rage of rulers, and rendered it fruitful from age to the furious efforts of infernal age; in New England, for which spirits, which afflicted him, but God hath done so much in his could never shake his resolution, providence, and which he hath or drive him from his cause. honoured and blessed, as a thea. He points to the shame he despitre of his abounding grace ; in sed, to purchase honour for you; New England, whose churches to his torturing cross and dying have been justly famed for the blood, which saved you from, purity of their faith, the strict- everlasting death.
He repredess of their discipline, and the sents to you the alluring glories influence of their piety, and of a forgiving God, the pure joys whose saints God hath set up, as of faith, and the eternal pleasures illustrious examples to future of the sanctuary above. He reages. Can they, who love the minds you of what his almighty Saviour, and duly value bis arm wrought for your forefaword, view the apostasy of New thers, and shows the blessings,
which are deposited in this fa- August, 1806, page 107, comvoured land, as the goodly heri- menced some remarks, under tage of you and your children. the signature of J. C. on the And he waits to see what in- difficulties supposed by the wrifluence all these arguments will ter to be involved in the doctrine lave upon you, and what return of saints' perseverance. Subyou will make for all this display joined to these are some obserof goodness., Will you, then, vations by another hand,* avowwith an unfeeling heart, see him edly in reply to the former, and robbed of his majesty and glory, designed to elucidate the docand his cause basely betrayed ? trine, and remove the difficulties Will you consider it, as a matter suggested. The writer of the of indifference, whether his min- former remarks has no wish, isters preach, or his churches nor design, to enter into & receive the distinguishing truths public discussion of the doctrine of his word? Can you, without in question.' The difficulties emotion, see the dangers which proposed were obvious. It was beset unwary souls, and the ap- certainly desirable, that, if capaproaching ruin of this declining ble of a Satisfactory explanation, age? Churches of New England, they should receive it. These once comely and glorious, arise observations explain the motives from your bed of sloth. Cast of his first publication. He is off the lukewarmness, which is about again to trespass on the 50 hated of God. Show your- patience of the public; and they selves on the Redeemer's side. may again demand his reasons. Sacrifice all other interests, They will be found in what folhowever dear, to the interest of lows. truth ; all other passions, how He acknowledges, with pleasever strong, to the cause of ure, the spirit of candour, which Zion, and all other persons, how- apparently dictated the observaever great and honourable, to tions of LUTHER. He acknowlthe honour of Christ. Behold edges, likewise, the force and the grace of your exalted Sa pertinency of many of þis obser viour, and hear that voice of vations. If we are to view the mingled love and terror, which arguments of LUTHER as inonce warned the lapsed Eple tended to defend this doctrine sian church, and
upon the ancient, Calvinistic' you ; Remember, therefore, from ground, it is readily conceded, whence thou art fallen, and 12 that many of them are by no pent, and do thy first works ; or means destitute of force and in. else I will come unto thee quickly, genuity. But were they intendand will remove thy candlestick ed to defend it on this ground ? out of its place, except thou re We certainly conceive they were pent.
PASTOR, not. We may have mistakes
the design of the writer. If so,
we assure him the mistake is in. ON THE DOCTRINE OF PERSE- voluntary. The opinion of an
cient Calvinists was, that the reThe reader doubtless recol. lects, that in the Panoplist for
generate do ever, and at all On supposition that J. C. atimes, retain some moral quale greed with the Methodists, as to ities, which distinguish them the final defectibility of saints, from the unregenerate ; that, in what would Luther have him the language of the apostle, they do? Would he have him believe, cannot sin, unto death, because with Calvinists, that those who their seed remaineth in them. But are born of God are always disthis opinion, to our apprehen- tinguished, by the temper of sion, is not the foundation, on their hearts, from the unrenewswhich Luther's arguments rest.
ed ? No: he would have him For, in answer to the question of believe no such thing. He is to İ.C. What would have become of meet the common opinion of Devid, had he died in the midst Calvinists only half way; he must of his crimes ? LUTHER replies, embrace their belief of the final u If he had died impenitent, he salvation of the regenerate, but would have been lost.” Here, it reject their belief that the regen. is conceived, the author fairly erate always continue possessed concedes, that, in his opinion, of a holy principle. David did totally apostatize from If these be indeed the sentiGod and holiness; that he fell, ments of LUTHER, it is impossifor a time, into precisely the ble for us to perceive the pertisame moral state, in which he nency or propriety of his rewas previously to his conver- marks. On the ground, which sion. What LUTHER believes he occupies, unless we have misconcerning David, he doubtless taken that ground, we conceive believes concerning other good it impossible to defend the docmen. He believes, that they are trine which he advocates. This sometimes entirely holy, and is the reason of our again re
metimes entirelysneuengtheateofDot only believes, witin the disci- Ther and the public to our reples of Mr. WESLEY, that there marks ; because his arguments, are some instances, in which however clear and forcibie, in saints fall from holiness; but, themselves, yet, resting, as we that they frequently do this ; conceive, on an unstable foundaindeed, that the life of every tion, have no tendency to obviate Christian is little else, than an the difficulties we before suggestalternate rising into holiness, ed. Consistently enough with and sinking into sin. But though his scheme, God may be said to
agrees with the disciples of perseveren his determination WESLEY, in believing that saints to glorify the saints; but with fall from boliness, he does not no propriety can the saints be
ve with them that are said to persevere, unless persegenerale person will finally per- vering, and not persevering, are ish. He supposes, that the cor terms of the same import. entface, thoughes Nor is it true, according to not prevent those who embrace this theory, that God perseveres #rom becomingju asinin his vent.theybe, as they were before, does, how- at times, destitute of every moral ver, secure them from craattistinuish them from perdition.
the unregenerate, he cannot, at Vol. II. No. 5.