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Struggle of the evil power with the good to retain dominion
over the human race-Interposition of the Mediator to prevent their total destruction at the Flood and the confusion of tongues-Man free to accept the offer of goodAbraham's call and family, in which the plan of man's recovery further unfolds itself-Aim of the evil power to defeat the plan in the patriarchs, and to annihilate their descendants in Egypt-Averted by the birth of MosesReference to God's plan in withdrawing the Israelites into the Wilderness—These movements for our instructionBut all examples useless whilst the common notion is held of a marvellous leap at death froin earth to heaven-Contradictory struggles for life in those who hold the opinion -The Mosaic law a shadow-Made plainer in Solomon --His reign the meridian of time, when the people of God enjoyed happiness, a shadow 'of that to come Instances of a prevailing species of false contentmentEpitome of the view of creation-Two-thirds of the population of this country deterred from religious pursuits by religious differences-No possibility of a temedy whilst the common notion is retained of going to heaven at death, which is in direct variance with the letter and whole tenour of Scripture-Decline of the Israelitish
nation. The Jews having let go heathen corruptions, and taken up false spirituality, a change for the worse-At that time
eity was about to be again united to humanity-The Messiah then expected-Influence of Satan in saint-making to prevent the Saviour's reception—Fancied sanctity and
knowledge the cause of his rejection. Satan's false policy in producing it-Assertion that intelli
gence of his fall has been given–His influence exerted on those who have received it-Humility the only security
against his attacks--To be deduced from a knowledge of
ple to be only humbled to the Apostles...! Christ's charge to his followers to preach the gospel to every
creature accompanied with a promise that miracąlous signs would follow its reception-Scarcely eighteen centuries have succeeded this charge and promise, and the only signs to be seen in confusion, evasion, and inconsis
tency, and fancied spirituality. Sectarian combination with frivolity to cry down inquiry... False pretensions to audible or visible intelligence from the
spiritual world detected with ease-But not pretended
impressions on the mind. Sects have been formed from pretended impressions on the
mind, but not from pretended intelligence by the eye or
ear-Instances of the latter. Reasons by similes why intelligence may be conveyed through
Miracles not to produce faith but to prove it.
well as those of light. Such things niust precede the destined recovery of the hu
The human body imperishable before the fall, and must be
made so again—The death of Christ the means, Mistakes of the pious as to the influence of the Spirit and
the light of the Gospel. Similar mistakes of the Jews. Information of Christ's birth little noticed. Multiplicity of sects proof of spiritual adultery. Danger of revelation to the piously wise. Reason the cause of persecution. Answer to the question if none of the pious are guided by - the Spirit of God. The grave cannot give the likeness of Christ. The Apostles not humbled as little children. Their understanding of heaven. How understood now. The Apostles easily silenced. Professors of religion not so, Sincerity will secure continued existence. General notions of the qualifications for heaven canvassed. If man's doom be fixed at death the reason of a day of - judgement asked. The whole church captive to the powers of darkness. Sectarian divisions the cause.
PROBABLY there never was an age in which greater profession of religion was made, in this country, than in the present; and yet I am persuaded, that a strict attention to the word of truth will prove, that at no period has Idolatry ever reigned more universally. Infidelity is thereby begotten: for the former is the parent of the latter and the transition is both easy and natural. It is not a change from light to darkness;. but from one species of darkness to another. Many a bigot, after talking much of his conversion, new birth, and the like, has been known to become a deist, and more powerful in his argument, than if he never had professed. Some individuals have experienced a change in their sentiments, and quitted the body of worshippers to which for years the had been united, in order to join another body: then, might be heard their pious pastor's denunciations against them, and, in return, their censures of him.
With many circumstances of this nature, I was well acquainted, nearly fifty years ago. They bewildered
I considered that some understanding of Scripture was necessary,-but, when those who made such high pretensions, as its explainers, differed so widely, how was a simple inquirer to decide ?-I attended the different sects, read their writings of the day—and their
paper war was violent and severe, at least between two great bodies, then the followers of Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Westley, I knew several among each, and was pained at their division-but, Hervey's Meditations in the Flower Garden, in some degree, relieved my mind. He compares the different bodies of worshippers under the Gospel to the various flowers of the garden, which, although so amazingly diversified in forin, colour, and scent, make a pleasing whole.--I wished to be in the garden, whether lily, carnation, or rose-I eared little. But this writer makes exceptions. He includes not those who worship images, or who deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, meaning, I presume, Roman Catholics, and Anti-trinitarians. These, in his view, were doubtless nettles, and nightshades.--I have nothing to say, either for, or against any separate body of worshippers, but am inclined to believe that all, who really act from principle, will ultimately be set right--that is, all who are free from creaturely attachment and the influence of worldly advantage-who have only the benefit of the soul and the glory of God in view, will be blessed in the end, and brought into his kingdomi .
But, although we are not to judge or condemn any seet, yet, surely, it becomes us to inquire, whether, from the divisions existing in the professing world,