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tion, that no advantage can result from the sentiments of any sectarian, which is not included, or does not in fact follow from the faith, practice, and hope of an evangelical Christian, unless the full indulgence of our appetites and passions, can be called an advantage ; (I presume you will not contend that it can for time, · and much less for eternity.) He enjoys all the peace of mind, that results from a conscience void of intended offence towards God and man, and all the consolation which active benevolence can give, and the strongest expectation of the most exalted immortality mortals are capable of conceiving; yea, more, for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceivę, of the height, and the depth, and the length, and the breadth, of the love of God, for it passes knowledge. If we admit his sentiments, which differ from all other sectarians, to have originated from a visionary imagination, and admit any other sectarian to be right, he cannot be essentially wrong; for his faith, practice, and hope, include every point which they consider essential for acceptance with God, and the right performance of all social and relative duties; for an active faith, which is the effect of the spirit of Christ, is that which distinguishes his character. Practical duties are the genuine fruit of the spirit; and although there may be actions, in their effect good, which are not the fruit of genuine faith, yet there cannot be genuine faith-without good actions; for faith, in its very nature, is living, active, and diffusive; he, therefore, possesses all their advantages in time, and enjoys all their hopes for eternity. But if the evangelical Christian is right, all other denominations are wrong;. for they all reject his fundamental qualification of being born again by the holy Spirit, for he believes, that except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven; and that it is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, that availeth any thing, but a new creature; and that as many as receive Christ, to them he gives power to become the sons of God, which are “born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" who are born, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, which liveth and abideth for ever. He believes those who are born again have become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus, and will live and reign with him for ever and ever. Notwithstanding he believes there may be those who do not understand these doctrines, but oppose them in theory; who have passed from death unto life, and possess the spirit of Christ, still he has great reason to fear, that multitudes not only deny them in theory, but in heart, and that others, again, profess them in theory, but in works deny them; for if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his; for though he speak with the
tongues of men, and of angels,' and has not charity, he is like a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and give his body to be burned, it will profit him nothing, without charity; which is that divine and holy principle, that is implanted in the heart by the regenerating influences of the blessed Spirit. My dear friend, as our conversation on these subjects has become trou blesome, and you think unprofitable, I shall not try your feelings any longer, after making a few plain observations, which I hope you will receive as a token of real affection. When persons are established in false principles, they are opposed to coming to the light; lest their deeds should be reproved. A thorough and candid examination of their sentiments, has not só much tendency to mislead them, as to bring their real characters into view. When they are closeJy pressed by the truth, and their understandings begin to be convinced; while the heart is opposed, and conscience harrows up the soul, if all other subterfuges have failed, they will invariably clamour against religious discussion.
And now, my dear sir, as you first embraced those sentiments which are perfectly congenial with the unrenewed heart, and have continued to follow its natural dictates, until you have ar. rived at the awful golph of scepticism, I have great reason to fear that you are in the gall of
bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity; and that you are suspended only by the brittle thread of life over that gulph, which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Marvel not that our blessed Lord has said, “ye must be born again.” Our time is short; eternity, with all its infinite consequences, is fast approaching; we must shortly stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, and our situation unalterably fixed; and O! that we may be found clothed in the perfect robe of his righteousness, that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. He is the only ark of safety, the only covert from the storm; for there is none other name given under heaven amongst men, whereby we can be saved, but by the name of Jesus. May we throw down the weapons of our rebellion, and turn unto the Lord, who will have mercy, and unto our God, for he will abundantly pardon; may we seek him while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near”; “ for he that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Farewell.
YOU request of me some short topic of REAson, which shall demonstrate the truth of the CHRISTIAN RELIGION, that our deists may be obliged to renounce their reason, or submit to a clear proof, from reason, of the divine original of christianity, and this proof you wish may be such as no imposture can pretend to. · In complying with your desire, I will take it for granted, that the truth of the doctrines of Christ will be sufficiently established, if the matters of fact recorded of him in the gospels are true; for his miracles, if real, are undeniable testimonies of the truth of his RELIGION. And no one, it is presumed, will deny, if Moses conducted the children of Israel through the Red Sea, in the miraculous manner recorded in the book of Exodus, and performed those supernatural