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plained by Christ and the apos- | easier to affect the imagination, and tles, were according to godliness, sympathetic feelings of people, and did actually promote holiness than to affect their hearts, and among mankind." Hence it gives consciences. The fear of punisha plausibility to any scheme of re- ment, and the hope of reward, are ligion, to have its advocates faith-powerful inducements in favour of fully perform the external duties becoming religious. And there is of religion. This the advocates reason to believe, that many of the of error very well know, and they excitements, which have been pubbave cver been disposed to avail lished as revivals of religion, were themselves of this argument in fa- occasioned by the exhibition of inyour of their various schemes of ducements, which are perfectly error, which they have propagated. selfish. Such appearances of the Many of the heathen philosophers, efficacy and utility of error, are and especially the Scribes and well adapted to strengthen the Pharisees were uncommonly strict schemes of those, who wish to in the performance of the external subvert the pure truths of the gosduties of religion. They practis-pel, and give them a currency ed more apparent self-denial than among mankind. many who are friendly to the gos- Another art which has been uspel." And almost all those who ed by the enemies of the gospel. have endeavoured to subvert the is to misrepresent its truths, aod gospel since, have assumed the keep an absurd and ridiculous appearance of eminent piety, and view of them before the minds of manifested much zeal in favour of the community, instead of exhibitreligion. In this way they de- ing them fairly, and the evidence ceive vast multitudes of the cred- by which they are supported.ulous and indiscriminating. Thousands and tens of thousands

Another art, which is used with of the unintelligent and indiscrimuch success of Jate, by the ene minating, have been led by this mies of the pure gospel, is, to means to believe, that the evangelcounterfeit revivals of religion. ical system of doctrines is inconThe preaching of the apostles pro- sistent, absurd, and even of a perduced great excitements, and pro- nicious tendency. The doctrine moted revivals of pure religion of the entire dependence of creatPerhaps revivals are the most in- ures on God for their actions, has contestible evidence of the efficacy often been represented as subverand utility of the truths of revela- sive of free agency and accountation. And until of late, they were bility. The doctrine of the unigood evidence of a faithful exhi- versal decrees and agency of God, bition of the pure truths of the has often been represented in such gospel. But those who wish to a way, as to be inconsistent with pervert the gospel have not failed the use of means. The doctrine of to avail themselves of this advan- regeneration by the immediate tage, and turn it in favour of their agency of the Iloly Spirit, has ofschemes. It will not be denied ten been represented in such a that there are spurious conver- manner, as to be inconsistent with sions. And why may there not be the duty and practicability of ina number at one time? It is an easy mediate holiness. And the docthing to make a great excitement trine of the certain perseverance among mankind, by a pungent ex- of all real saints, has as often been hibition of motives which are per- represented in a manner inconsisfectly selfish. Indeed, it is much I tent with the absolute necessity

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of pressing forward in holy obe- now embracing religion of some dience, in order to be saved. Much kind or other. The principal dedeceit and wickedness is practiced nominations of errorists are rapidby those who wish to subvert the ly increasing, while those who are gospel, in thus misrepresenting nothingarians in name, in many its fundamental truths, and con

places at least, are decreasing cealing from the pnblic, the evi- There is a divine prediction that dence in their favour.

the eneinies of the gospel will carAnother artifice of those who ry their arts of deception to such wish to subvert the gospel is, to a high degree of perfection, as to avoid an explicit and full avowal “deceive, if it were possible, the of their own sentiments, in plain very elect," and another, that and unequivocal terms. They are " evil doers and seducers shall generally opposed to creeds and wax worse and worse, deceiving confessions of faith, and refuse to and being deceived." All classes put their sentiments into a sys- of persons are in danger of being tematic and tangible form, sensi- led astray or of being deceived by ble, no doubt, that it is safer for those who wish to subvert the pure them to be continually changing truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. their position, or retreating, than But why are evil docrs constantly to risk an action in the field of advancing nearer to perfection in honest and fair investigation. Such the deceitful works of darkness: deceitful works of darkness, in One reason why they advance is, connexion with misrepresenting because it is necessary in order to the scheme of their opponents, is quiet their own consciences. The well adapted to keep their votaries evidence in favour of the peculiar from seeing the harmony and im- doctrines of the gospel is constantportance of the peculiar truths of ly accumulating, and light is CORrevelation, and the inconsistency, stantly exposing the deceitfulness absurdity and danger of their own and sophistry of errorists. The schemes. There is also another consciences of all men ever stand advantage of this art. By pub- ready to condemn them for hating lishing no definite system of their and opposing the pure truths of own, by which to limit their fel- revelation, whenever the evidence lowship, they can consistently ex- in their favour is fairly before tend their charity to every body them and they have liberty to they please. And in this era of speak. And the increasing light toleration in religious opinions, gives their consciences new opporthe name of being liberal and char- tunities to see their hearts, and itable is well adapted to gain them condemn them for their deceit and popularity.

wickedness,

But 66

a wounded These are a few of the leading spirit,” or self-reproach, is more arts which are practiced at the than their proud spirits can bear. present day, by the enemies of the Hence it becomes necessary for gospel, who wish to subvert its them to make constant advances fundamental truths. And in these in the arts of deception and of inand other deceitful arts, they are venting new and plausible excuses, constantly advancing nearer to in order to blind and deceive their perfection. If it is necessary to own consciences and prevent them prove this, it may easily be done, froin condemping and reproaching simply by adverting to the success them for their wickedness. of those who practise them. Al- Another reason why errorists most all the enlightened world are are constantly advancing nearer

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perfection in the arts of sophistry throw contempt upon the invisible and wickedness, is because it is things respecting God, which are necessary in self-defence. God

manifest from the things which are has appointed an order of men inade. The essential perfections whose business it is to defend the of God, “ even his eternal power gospel, and detect the deceit and and Godhead," and the essential wickedness of those who wish to duties which he requires of his subvert it. And those who are creatures, are manifest from his faithful and discriminating, are works, And that which is

appaconstantly exposing the tricks and rent, respecting God and the duty plots of deceitful and hypocritical of his creatures, from the works Arminians, Calvinists and Hop- of God, ought to be made, instead kinsians. Every false scheme, of a thousand other rules, the and every deceitful plot, is con- standard of interpreting the scripstantly liable to be exposed and tures. It is impossible to explain made to appear unscriptural, in- and defend the gospel, without consistent and dangerous. But tracing it back to its original the schemes and devices of the source, as emanating from the hypocritical and deceitful will not moral perfections of God. But endure the light of close and im- those who are intimately acquaintpartial examination. It is there- ed with God, find no difficulty in fore necessary in self-defence and explaining and defending the gosto escape detection, that sophis-pel and exposing the tricks and ters and deceivers should constant- deceitful plots of those who wish ly advance nearer to perfection in to subvert it. Every selfish maxin the arts of deceit and wickedness, and every selfish scheme may be and get beyond the reach of ex- easily refuted by comparing them posure.

with the essential perfections of REMARKS.

God and the essential duty of his 1. If those who wish to subvert creatures, which appear from the the gospel are constantly advanc- things that are made. ing nearer perfection in the arts of 2. If those who wish to subvert sophistry, deception and wicked- the gospel are constantly advancness, then it is absolutely neces- ing nearer perfection in the arts of sary for those who are set for its sophistry, deception and wickeddefence to advance in the know- ness, then it is absolutely necesledge of God. No person can be sary for those who are set for its able to defend the gospel, without defence, to have a thorough knowbeing well acquainted with its ledge of mankind. This is neces. leading doctrines and first prin- sary, in order to avoid being deciples; and no person can fully ceived and led astray, and in order understand these, without being to expose the deceit and wicked. intimately acquainted with God. ness of seducers. How many But how many have attempted to well-disposed men have been deexplain and defend the gospel, ceived, disappointed, and led aswho are ignorant of the essential tray, by reposing confidence in perfections of God. How many human beings. How many have have sought to obtain a knowledge trusted others, just as though the of the gospel, without first seeking human heart was not deceitful to obtain a knowledge of God's above all things, and desperately How many rules of exegesis have wicked. How many have confibeen invented, by which to explain dently trusted professors of reliand interpret the scriptures, which gion, just as if artful and aspiring

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men never put on the appearance | live godly in Christ Jesus, shall of eminent piety. In this way, suffer persecution." No other thousands of good people have been profession has so many strong

deceived, disappointed, and led temptations to unfaithfulness, as » astray from the path of duty, the clerical profession; because no

merely for the want of a more cor- other profession calls for the per

rect knowledge of the human heart. formance of so many trying and a: It is therefore essential that real self-denying duties. It is always

Christians should have knowledge a trying and self-denying task to as well as goodness, and discern-expose the deceit and wickedness ment as well as honesty.” It is of mankind; but it is peculiarly also impossible for any to be qual-trying and self-denying, to expose

ified to preach the gospel pungent and detect that deceit and wicked- ly and effectually, without being ness which appears under the mask

well acquainted with the nature of piety. No persons are so unand extent of the doctrine of total willing to be exposed as hypodepravity

Ahab would never crites, and no others are so apt to have exclaimed “hast thou found

oppose

and resent the faithfulness į me, 0 mine enemy," if the Prophet of those who plainly describe their

had not been able to describe his hearts. And the more people adheart. Sinners will never feel vance in the arts of deceit and their total selfishness, and guilt, bypocricy, the more they are disand be led to cry out, “What posed to resent and misrepresent shall we do to be saved," until the efforts of those wlro faithfully their hearts are described, and the show them their hearts. Faithful law is applied to their selfish affec- ministers need large measures of tions as well as to their immoral | grace, and need constantly to actions. But how is it possible grow in grace, in order to b: supfor a person to describe that, of ported under their increasing triwhich he is ignorant? And as hu-als, and to dispose them to keep man beings are constantly advanc- themselves unspotted from the ing in the arts of deceit and wick- world. Without eminent and inedness, it is absolutely necessary creasing piety, no preacher of the for those who are appointed to de- gospel will be disposed to persefend the church of God from the vere and increase in faithfulness, cunning craftiness of men, to ad- and be able to maintain his reputavance in the knowledge of human tion and inflyence among mankind. nature.

4. If evil doers and seducers 3. If those who are disposed to sub- are constantly advancing nearer to vert the gospel are constantly ad- perfection in the arts of deceit and vancing nearer perfection in the wickedness, then it is indispensaarts of sophistrý, deception and bly necessary for those, who are wickedness, then it is necessary set for the defence of the gospel, for those who are set for the de- to advance themselves, and carry fence of the gospel, and are dis- their people forward, in the sciposed to defend it, to grow in grace ence of theology. Never was it as well as in knowledge. Those so necessary to preach with dewho are really faithful, and are monstration and with power, as at disposed to declare the whole the present period. The “chaft counsel of God, and defend the and wheat” are not only together, gospel on correct principles, know but the one is so exactly counterby experience the truth of the di- feited by the other, that nothing vine declaration,

all that will but the most plain, unequivocal,

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and discriminating preaching, will of attack and defence which were make them manifest. Errorists successful five hundred or even are constantly inventing new and fifty years ago, would fail of sucsubtle objections against the pricess at this period. Finally, if mary truths of the gospel, which evil doers and seducers are conoverthrow the faith of some. Aud stantly waxing worse and worse, many who are unwilling to be calls and advancing in the arts of soph ed enemies to the gospel, are con- istry and deception; then none stantly seeking out new inventions have good reason to complain to disprove the truth, necessity, or and find fault with those ministers utility, of some of the essential who are disposed to advance and doctrines and duties of religion. carry their people forward in the The various schemes of error are science of theology. It is a mark constantly appearing more system of the stupidity and depravity of atic, plausible, and formidable; mankind, that they have ever been and nothing can prevent the uni- more disposed to complain of their versal spread of error, but the pure teachers, for carrying them fortruths of the gospel, clothed with ward in the knowledge of God and an invulnerable panoply. Those their own hearts, than they have who are disposed to defend the been to complain of them for cartruth against all the deceitful plots rying them backward. It was beof its enemies, are sensible that cause Calvin and Luther and Bel. they need the influence of the lamy and Edwards and Hopkins whole system of divine truth and made advances, and were disposed the weight of every peculiar doc- to carry others forward in the scitrine of the gospel in their favour. ence of theology, that their names And they are sensible that they were cast out as evil in their day must attack the enemy in their and generation. And it is for the fortress and drive them from their

same reason that some who are strong holds, or be continually now on the stage, are treated with annoyed by their deceitful plots, contempt, ridicule and perseceAnd they are also sensible that tion. But such conduct is certainthey must constantly advance in ly extremely unwise and criminal. the arts of defence, in order to Evil doers and seducers are conprevent the enemy from getting stantly waxing worse and worse, possession of their own treasures. deceiving as well as being deceivMany, however, who pretend to ed. And those who are set for defend the gospel, are unwilling to the defence of the gospel, or the advance and carry their people church, are under the necessity of forward in the science of theology going forward or backward. If Indeed soine are constantly labour- they attempt to remain stationary, ing to carry their people back fif- they will be carried back by the ty* or a hundred, and some as tide of deceit and wickedness, anuch as one hundred and fifty which is constantly advancing. years. I But this is extremely un- Let those, therefore, who have any wise and dangerous, because the regard to the cause of truth, and evil doers and seducers are con- any regard for the salvation of stantly advancing. Many modes mankind, “ speak unto the chil* The period of the rman uthors.

dren of Israel, that they go forThe period of Turretin.

ward.

S. C.

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