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THE

CENTRE AND CIRCLE

OF

EVANGELICAL RELIGION:

BEING

A SCRIPTURAL, RATIONAL,
EXPERIMENTAL, AND PRACTICAL EXHIBITION

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" Cæsar wished he had such soldiers as were in the time of Alex-
ander the Great; so we may wish we had such saints as were in pri-
mitive times : so just were they in their dealings—so decent in their
attire-so true to their promises--so devout in their religion-so un-
blamable in their lives, that they were living sermons, walking
bibles, real pictures of Christ, and did help to keep up the credit of
godliness in the world.”

LONDON:
PARTRIDGE & OAKEY, PATERNOSTER-ROW,

AND 70, EDGEWARE-ROAD.
TIPTON: SILAS HENN; AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.
MAY ALSO BE HAD OF THE AUTHOR, WESLEY-TERRACE, NEWCASTLE UPON-TYNE.

1852.

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[Entered at stationers' Hall.]

Tipton: Printed by Silas Henn, Owen Street. PREFACE.

" It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.” So says a primitive author. And what good thing can be better than the ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION of one's Christian brother, and his moral qualification for extensive usefulness on earth, and meetness for heaven? The voice of man when heard has often proved an organ of great power, and an instrument of unspeakable good; giving frequent evidence that it is good to speak a word for God : and we have also had proof that it is profitable to write a word for God. When the speaker has been out of sight, and his voice out of hearing, the pen and the press have supplied their place in an admirable manner, and become the medium of incalculable good. The silent, but mightily speaking pen, was the apostle's substitute for his too distant voice. So excellent an example is worthy of imitation. The arts of writing and printing, in addition to the gift of speech, have 80 circumstanced us, that we may do great good to others, whether present with them or absent from them.

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Good books are excellent companions; it is well to dwell in their society ; time spent in properly perusing them, is time profitably spent; and the real value of a book may be best ascertained from its harmony with the Holy Scriptures, and the amount of good which, under God, it effects in the hearts and lives of its readers. While many

have been conscious of the truthfulness of a great man's remark, that, A GREAT BOOK IS A GREAT EVIL, I trust many will feel, in reference to the one in hand, that, a small book is a great good. If the exercise of an enlightened faith grasps the blood-bought boon held up before it, the question is settled at once, -triumphantly settled !

The writer does not expect that every one will sympa. thise with him in the nature of his sentiments, and manner of stating them : but is satisfied that the golden thread of evangelical truth runs through the whole. Errors and imperfections there may be : but great truths there certainly are. If the imperfection of the writer should lead to the perfection of the reader, such a result, if known, would be truly gratifying. A current of illuminating, purifying, and spiritualizing influence from above, accompanying the reader from the first to the last, will more than make up for the author's defects. May God impart it !

The following pages, on one of the most plain, powerful, and prominent subjects in the Bible, are not written for the special purpose of defending it by a long train of argument or profound reasoning, as frequently done by abler and holier men; or to answer old objections which have

been refuted a hundred times over : the special design is to reduce it to practice, by bringing it into the heart and life. The Bible, which is its own interpreter, is the ablest, and best defender of its own divine teachings on the subject. The analogy of faith decides the matter, and faith in the teachings of plain inspired truth, secures the demonstration of the sanctifying Spirit. The subject on which the following pages treat is a most mighty and glorious argument in its own favour.

Many unbelievers in the doctrine of entire sanctification in the present life, have tried to oppose the subject by the language of holy writ : thus, apparently, exhibiting the Holy Spirit, the Son of God, the prophets and apostles, as being at variance with one another on the subject ; 'and, as it were, disproving the truth of God by the words of his own mouth.

This serious error originates in their getting the knife of prejudice in the hands of wilful unbelief, and separating small portions of scripture from their proper places, and then interpreting them in an isolated state, instead of taking them in connexion with the context, and explaining them by a reasonable method of interpretation. To take a scripture out of the context, and to make it speak a language contrary to the obvious design of the sacred writer, is the way of butchering the body of scriptural divinity. This conduct injures truth as much as the Galatians would have injured themselves, if they had lite. rally pulled their eyes out and given them to St. Paul. An edifying passage thus displaced, may become as loathsome to a moral mind, as a good eye torn out of its bleeding

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