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5 contrary interpretations of them. Let us rather hear “ God himself speak, than apply ourselves, or trust our “ salvation, to those jejune elements. There is no “ need,” he proceeds, “ of being skilful in the law and “ the scriptures, but of being taught of God. That $ labour is ill employed,” says the prelate, “ that is “ bestowed on the scriptures; for the scripture is a “ creature, and a beggarly element.” Far be it from us to think so. Christ commanded his immediate hearers to search the scriptures; and St. Paul says, “ they are “ profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for “ instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may 5 be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works ;" that is, they are profitable, or conducive to the improvement of us in morality, as well as in the true doctrine. But although we cannot say what Hosius erroneously said; yet we may say, because the scripture says it, 6 God's grace is sufficient for us”-his grace mediately afforded by his word, and immediately by his actual influence; and having the TEACHING OF GOD, we shall not renounce our faith, though the Chubbs and the Paines should find matter for censure or ridicule in all the written books, from Genesis to the Apocalypse. FAITH, we read and know, is the gift of God; and he it is who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
“ The word,” says Dr. Ridley, “ has not power of “ itself to work, in our UNDERSTANDINGS, a faith in « God, nor to influence the WILL to a repentance from 66 dead works, without the Holy Ghost.”
But he in whom the Holy Ghost has worked a faith in God, and whose will the Holy Ghost has influenced to repentance from dead works, may stand fast in the faith, rooted and established, in defiance of all that has been said by men engrossed by this world, and possessing its wisdom; men who have arisen in almost every
age, and confirmed the Christian doctrine, by promoting its discussion, and awakening Christians from the slum. ber of security.
" When,” says Dr. Watts, “ we are attacked with « argument to baffle our faith, and when false doctrines « blow strong, and carry away many, how shall we be “ able to stand our ground, and hold fast our faith in « Christ, if we have not the inward witness, the BEGIN. « NING OF ETERNAL LIFE? Therefore it is that so many “ Christians WAVER and are led away, because they feel “ so little of the efficacy of the Holy Ghost in their « hearts.
If this then be the cause of wavering and falling away from Christ, I hope the believers in Christianity, and lovers of their fellow-creatures, will second, by their own endeavours, this attempt of mine, to promote the prevalence of a belief in the energy of the Holy Ghost. The attempt is exposed to calumny and violent opposition. But every thing is to be borne with patience, in the cause of God and man.
Mr. Paine professes to be a believer in God, and a friend to man. It is, indeed, astonishing, that an advocate for the rights of man should set his face against the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for it is certain that the Gospel is the book, of all that were ever written, that favours most the rights of man, and the cause of equal liberty., Jesus Christ abolished slavery in Europe. Jesus Christ has humbled the rich and mighty. Jesus Christ has given a consequence to the poor*, which they never
* The New Testament abounds with passages, expressive of indignation against those among rich men, who abuse wealth and · power, for the purposes of oppression, cruelty, and despotism.
As a specimen, i quote the following from the Epistle of St.
“ Go to, now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your miseries u that shall come upon you.
· possessed amid the boasted freedom of Greece and
Rome. Jesus Christ has done more to destroy the insolent distinctions which arose from the spirit of tyranny, than was ever done before or after him; and Jesus Christ suffered death for this benefaction to all mankind, as a seditious innovator, and an enemy to Cæsar. Jesus Christ is therefore entitled to the grati. tude of every friend to truth, justice, and humanity, even if he were no more than a man, and his religion Untrue. What have Sydney, Hampden, Locke, done or said, with such effect, in the cause of liberty, and in favour of the mass of mankind, as Jesus Christ? Let then all the friends of liberty and man be lovers of Jesus Christ; and let not their zeal for reforming the corruptions of Christianity, caused by statesmen, wishing to render it subservient to political views, lead them to renounce the comfortable, liberal, equalizing doctrines of the genuine Gospel.
The Gospel recommends PEACE, and infallibly produces, by the Spirit's benign influence, such dispositions of mind, as must of necessity, if they were to prevail among the rulers of the world, put an end to all offen. sive war. It has not yet done so, for it has not yet sufficiently prevailed among the rulers of the world. But it has certainly softened the rigours of war; a favourable presage of its future efficacy, in totally abolishing it.
« Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
“ Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall “ be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire: " ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
« Behold the HIRE OF THE LABORERS WHICH HAVE REAPED « DOWN YOUR FIELDS, which is of you kept back by fraud, « crieth; and the cries of them that have REAPED are entered “ into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
“ Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye « have nourished your hearts, as in a day of SLAUGHTER:
“ Ye have condemned and killed the Just.” James, v. 1-6. I wish Mr. Paine, as a politician and a philanthro-* pist, if he be such, not to oppugn the great promoter of PEACE and LIBERTY. As a fellow man, (I wish I could add, a fellow Christian,) I warn him from the kindest motives, to beware lest he be guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. - Mr. Paine himself says, “ The great trait in the cha. « racter of Jesus Christ is PHILANTHROPr.” Why should Mr. Paine, then, oppose the prevalence of his benign doctrines? Christianity is a friend to order, but an enemy to despotism of every kind and degree. Why should Mr. Paine, then, join with the wicked despots of the earth, in the endeavour to exterminate Christianity? The late King Of Prussia, the greatest despot and butcher of mankind, was the prince of the unbelievers. · He made infidelity a fashion in France; and behold the
consequences! May they never extend to this country; where, God grant that LIBERTY may continue unimpaired by despotism or licentiousness; and RELIGION flourish, uncorrupted by hypocrisy or superstition, and unshaken by the assaults of infidelity. :
SINCE, in conformity to the Scriptures, I have recommended PRAYER * as one of the best modes of obtaining the evidence, and experiencing the excellence of the Christian religion, I think it expedient to add
* Πολν ιχυει ΔΕΗΣΙΣ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΕΝΕΡΓΟΥΜΕΝΗ.
Jam. v. 16. This is translated, “ The effectual fervent prayer of the righte. « ous man availeth much,” which is tautology--for an effectual prayer, of course, availeth. It should be translated, “ The prayer « of a righteous or just man, being ENERGIZED by the inward “ operation of the Spirit, availeth much.".
some directions to facilitate the proper performance of this duty; and, for the sake of AUTHORITY, I have selected them from Bishop Wilkins, the first divine and philosopher of his age.
“ The first and chief matter to be prayed for, is the “ sanctification of our natures that God's kingdom may “ come into our hearts--that he would give unto us a “ heart, and put a new Spirit within 48-that he would “ take from us our stony heart, and bestowed upon us “ hearts of flesh-that he would put within us the law “ of the spirit of life, which may make us free from the “ law of sin and death-that we may put on the new “ man, which, after God, is created in righteousness « and true holiness that we may be regenerate, and “ become new creatures, being borne again of that in“ corruptible seed, the word of God.
" That God would grant us, according to the riches “ of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his “ Spirit in the inward man.
“ That he would establish our hearts unblameable in “ holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming « of the Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints.
“ That the Spirit of Christ may dwell in us—that we “ may continue in the grace of God, and in the faith, “ grounded and settled, and may not be moved away “ from the hope of the Gospel.
“Of this kind is the petition of David for himself« Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right “ spirit within me. And the Apostle for others—The “ God of peace sanctify you throughout, that your “ whole spirit, and soul, and body may be preserved “ blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“ Ezekiel, xxxvi. 26. Rom. viii. 7. Eph. iy. 24. 1 Pet. i. 23. « Eph. iii. 16. 1 Thess. iii. 13. Rom. viii. 11. Acts, xii. 43. “ Col. i. 13. Psal. li. 10. 1 Thess. v. 23.