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more we shall discover its Goodness. Can there then be either a more rational, or a more powerful Motive, to induce us to investigate this subject?
There may be those among us, whose Ignorance and Prejudice—two very blind Guides, it must be confessed—may mislead them to imagine, that I am soaring
divine Grace. Prejudice, indeed, will place all such spiritual Sensations to the account of Enthusiasm, or Fanaticism. But, "had we only the book of Psalms, we might trace all the affections, and passions, desires, and aversions, joys, and sorrows, hopes, and fears, anger, and shame, with all their various objects, and keen emotions, which Christians are said to feel." What indeed will the Enemies to all religious Feelings make of Rom. xv. 13? Can a man be filled with Peace, and Hope, without any personal Experience, or Consciousness, of it? Nothing, I trow, can be more visionary, or dreaming, than such a philosophy, as that!
Some of our most learned Interpreters of the sacred pages, who pass through the letter, and imbibe their spirit, are of opinion, that the passages, to which I shall now refer, must relate principally to a Religion, which rests not in speculation or systems, but which goes directly to the
sensibilities of the Heart. Hos. iv. 14 23
xiv. i 9. Zeph. iii. 12 17. cum mujtis aliis.
into the regions of Mystery, when I assure them, that, this Work, so essentially necessary to our Salvation, and indeed a most material branch of it, is a new Creation; sometimes called, " a being born again" or, "born of God from above, avudev;" and which is always accompanied with the commmunication of " the life of God," or spiritual Life, to the human Soul: which, as we have already proved, is, by nature, " dead in trespasses and sins *.
* It should be noted, as we go along, that this new, moral, or spiritual Creation perfectly answers to that moral or spiritual Death, which has been already stated; as it lies in a loss of the Image of God, or, a privation of original Rectitude—in Impotence to that, which is intrinsically good—and in the prevailing Bias of the mind, which is only evil. This is so much a- fundamental Verity of the christian Revelation, that, could it be disproved, the whole system is effectually subverted. As a Deist, I would ask no more, to compel me to renounce it. If, when we assert this total defection from original rectitude—an innate propensity to evil—and an entire impotency to that which is pronounced good in the estimate of Heaven, it can be made appear, that we are advancing se many Fahhooii—in our humble opinion, the whole system of Christianity is completely overthrown: nor can the most inveterate Infidel desire more.
That such language may sound rather mysterious, according to the usual accep
The national Church has very properly introduced the doctrine oforiginal Sin and Corruption into her Articles; and it is indisputably of the first importance that we admit it into our Creed.
"This Doctrine," says a learned Professor of Divinity in one of our famous Universities, '* has been considered by some, as a Theory of little Utility. But, who shall call a Doctrine useless, which the Scripture has published? Can that be deemed useless, which lets us into the right knowledge of our own Selves? Can that be called useless., which makes us set an high value on our ReDemption by Jesus Christ? Is this the language of Reason, or of Learning? If it be, " Fie upon it—fie upon it!"
It has been objected again to the same doctrine, that it disgusts men of philosophic minds, and makes them averse to Revelation —So docs the Doctrine of the Trinity; and of the I; carnition; and of divine Influence; and indt-ed all the Peculiarities of the Religion of Grace: but, sliail the Aik of God be sacrificed to the philosophical Dagon? The Fault is in the Minds of tho5e, who arc disgusts d; and, where fundamentals, or first Principles, are at stake, it may be thought candid and liberal, according to the modjrn phraseology, but upon the Christian System, it is impious, to make any compromise. We are indeed expressly forbidden to gratify the pride of human Science; which has too often hindered many from treating the Doctrine*Gi Revelation with sufficient respect.
tation of the term, is admitted; and though it may be rejected by those, who, in too many instances, very impiously affect what they deem a more rational and philosophical style, " we speak the Wisdom of God in a Mystery:" for, this is one of the titles, by which his sacred Oracles are discriminated: and, that they address us in this strain, is almost too obvious to be argued—had not the obstinate perverseness of mankind rendered it expedient.
Did not the great Prophet of our God urge .this Work, in a most impressive manner, upon "a Master in Israel?" whose Profession indeed it was, to in
Thc great Locke himself was seduced by it, to be both afraid and ashamed of them. Amidst all his critical Studies, be seems most strangely to have passed over these two remarkable passages, Matt, xviii. \ •$. - • Mark x. 15.
How astonishing must have been the wilful blindness of a Philosopher, who misrepresented the epistle to the Ephesians, as a Composition of Sublimity, and Eloquence, rather than of sacred Truth!! I marvel not, that it should he said in another place, Col. ii. 8,9.
struct others, but, who needed that h> struction himself, which was of the highest moment to his true excellence, and happiness. Did he not repeatedly and most solemnly attest to this "Ruler of the Jews"—as to ecclesiastical or religious concerns—the absolute Necessity of his "being born of the Spirit," in order to his admission into the kingdom of God ? and, did he not assert, that it was an internal, a spiritual, a secret, or a mysterious, and supernatural Work? Be not so disingenuous, and false to Truth, as to shut your eyes against the Light, which blazes upon them; but, advert to the passage itself, and disdain those infamous arts of suotilty, which would labour to corrupt its pure and genuine import. John iiL 1 8 *.
* A little, low, earthly Mind may perhaps toil ingeniously to fritter away the sublime meaning of all this into something external, and ceremonial: but, how much more likely is he, to enter into the true spirit of this memorable Conference, who says, " When a man is born again, or created anew in Christ Jesus, the ruins of his Nature are repaired, and every noble and divine Grace is implanted in his heart. His Understanding has suitable