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of the infinitely momentous realities before them; and our own life is so short and uncertain : it is lamentable to find, what we fondly hope is the house of God, divided against itself; and to see the time and attention of one portion of the servants incessantly withdrawn from their nobler duties and more useful employments, to defend the property of their Master from the attacks of another class of the domestics. But however irksome, this is a task which we are not at liberty to decline. All his goods are precious. Every part of revealed truth is invaluable. Coming from the God of love, and fitted to raise those who embrace it to the knowledge and enjoyment of himself: we are bound to contend for its preservation and purity; to guard it with fidelity and zeal; and never surrender it to any of its assailants.
The opinions opposed in the following pages, are of a most dangerous description. Though repugnant to the dictates of inspiration ; they have met, in some quarters, with a far more ready reception than could have been anticipated: so that, though controversy is at all times unpleasant, it is strongly imperative on the friends of sound religion, to point out the fallacy of the tenets in question, and put the public upon their guard against their pernicious tendency.
Though the work is short, it is longer than was either intended or wished. To avoid swelling the volume, many topics have been omitted, and others treated with more brevity, than perhaps was consistent with perspicuity. The reader, however, who is desirous of more information upon the subjects discussed, will find his labour amply rewarded by consulting the writings of other authors. The Rev. James Carlile of Dublin, in his Old Doctrine of Faith, has given a learned and elaborate refutation of the notion that faith consists in an assent to the truth. Mr Innes, in his Origin and Permanence of Christian Joy, has very judiciously shewn the necessity of faith in order to salvation, and the impropriety of making consciousness the evidence of our believing. Dr Barr, in his Sermon on the Peace of Believing, has in a masterly manner proved, that the Antinomian assurance of salvation is unattainable, unnecessary, and injurious. Mr Brotherston in his Brief View of Faith, and a Minister of the Church of Scotland, in a letter to Thomas Erskine, Esq. on his work, entitled The Unconditional Freeness of the Gospel; have treated the principal topics in debate, with great clearness and conclusiveness. Since these pages went to the press, Mr Barclay of Irvine has published some useful Strictures on the same subject. Mr Mason's (of Wishawtown) Observations, Doctrinal and Practical, on Saving Faith, are truly excellent. A more enlarged view of Saving Faith may be found in Dr Colquhoun's work under that title. Fuller on the Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation, and Scott on the Warrant and Nature of Faith, deserve to be carefully studied. But those who have leisure and opportunity will find their pains still more richly recompensed by the perusal of Brown of Wamphray on Justification, Edwards' admirable Work on the Affections, and Owen's incomparable volume on Redemption, or The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.
May the Lord in mercy bless the means employed for scattering ignorance, error, and vice; hasten the time when the people shall be all righteous; when the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of his glory; and when the multitudes of them that believe, shall be of one heart and of one soul, and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Bereans are as chargeable as Evangelical Christians, with
love to all mankind. His love in Christ ensures conver-
INTEREST IN CHRIST. - - - - - - - 49 The falsehood of the notion, that all sin must either be par
doned or instantly punished, exposed from the forbearance of God, and his visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children. All sin was no more pardoned at Christ's death, than all believers were then converted and placed in heaven. When sin is pardoned the Divine displeasure is removed: sin is then blotted out: the Divine favour secured: spiritual blessings are obtained ; and salvation inevitably follows. If all sin is pardoned except unbelief; it must be wrong to preach the Gospel to the heathen, for that exposes them to the sin of unbelief. If unbelief also is forgiven; then either all must be saved, or those that perish must be punished for no offence. No sin is pardoned before repentance.-Prayer for pardon. - - 49
Of all being in a state of grace and interested in Christ..
The meaning of these terms.-Unregenerate men are of the works of the law, and under a curse. Of the notion that Christ has placed all in a salvable state. If he merited salvation for all, why do any perish? If only for some, this theory extends salvation no farther than the doctrine