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A SERMON

ON THE CAUSE OF

HERESY AND ERROR

IN

RELIGION,

AS IT APPEARS TO BE POINTED OUT IN

2 THESS, ii, 11, 12.

Preached in the year 1811.

SERMON III.

2 Thess. ii. 11, 12.

And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie : that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This passage contains a denunciation of the most awful judgment that can come upon man from God, on this side eternity: awful ! as giving him up to incurable blindness, even so as to believe a lie, and to rest his soul upon it-awful ! as it seals his condemnation for ever.

In the Epistle to the Thessalonians, where we read this solemn declaration, St. Paul writes to that Church, to strengthen and comfort them, under the persecutions and tribulations which they endured for the cause of Christ ; thanking God that they were enabled to bear them with faith and patience, and predicting the "righteous judgment of God, in recompensing tribulation to their enemies, and giving them rest, in that decisive day, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ : Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.”

He next goes on to remove a mistake, into which it appears they had fallen, and by which their mind was troubled ; concerning the second coming of Christ, which they supposed, at that time, to be nigh at hand : “ But,” said he, “let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Many conjectures have been made (by learned commentators) concerning this man of sin, but without attempting to determine among a variety of opinions, it may, perhaps, be sufficient for our present purpose, to consider in general, what great change in the Christian world the Apostle seems to point out, when he foretold the rise of the Anti-christian power, by which it was to be effected: We shall dwell, therefore,

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