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tians they certainly would not have apostatized. This settles the previous character of all apostates to the end of the world. Whatever number of texts then you may find that speak of apostacy, it is now ascertained that the apostates never were sanctified.
It has been said that this doctrine tends to licentiousness. Though after showing that it is a doctrine of the Bible I am under no obligation to answer objections, I cannot refrain from saying, that such a use can never be made of it by any but hypocrites. I appeal to a million witnesses that a holy heart feels no temptation thus to abuse this heavenly truth. I appeal to the history of the Church if the holiest of men have not believed it without becoming licentious,- if the principal part of the piety of past ages, especially since the Reformation, has not been connected with this belief. I appeal to that venerable saint whose aged eye daily looks toward heaven with “the full assurance of hope," and with full confidence in this blessed truth, whether his assurance checks his hungerings after righteousness,—whether the “perfect love" which “ casteth out fear,” is ready to return to sin,—whether “the spirit of adoption” which confidently cries, “ Abba Father,” is less purifying than the dread of a slave. I appeal to Paul on his throne, whether the full assurance of eternal glory prompts a wish to return to pollution, or abates the ardour of his love.
Such an abuse of the doctrine is indeed charge. able upon hypocrites : and to guard them, (and all
that is wicked in Christians,) against this abuse, those very warnings against apostacy were issued which you have brought forward to disprove the doctrine. Mark your inconsistency here. You say the doctrine tends to licentiousness; and as soon as the Bible issues warnings to guard it against this abuse, and to silence this complaint, you fling those very warnings against the doctrine. What was done by the divine Spirit to protect it against your own objection, you convert into a new weapon of attack.
This subject, my Christian brethren, opens to view the astonishing grace of God, and traces back your salvation to its proper source, the counsels of the adorable Trinity. It shows you where your strength lies, and whence your hope springs. The Father who eternally gave you to His Son, promised Him to take the tenderest care of you for His sake, and to see Himself to every part of your salvation. He promised Him to suffer no real evil to befall you, to supply you with every needed good, and to make you the happier for every event. He promised Him to defend you against every enemy, to suffer neither Satan nor your own hearts to prevail against you, and to bear you in His own arms to the heavenly rest. Your strength, your hope, your salvation, depend on counsels settled in heaven infinite years before you were born.
. As sure as God is faithful, everlasting ages of glory are before you. When you have shed a few more tears in a strange land, your feet shall stand
on Mount Zion, and you shall sing to your golden harps the endless song of grace. Already you touch the sacred threshold. Why go ye mourning? Is it for an heir of glory to be sad ? Lift up your heads and rejoice in God your Saviour, and in the everlasting covenant. these comfortless hopes which you draw from yourselves, and behold in the infinite resources of the ever-blessed Trinity the origin and completion of your .
salvation. When you get home, how will appear a Father's care ! how the everlasting covenant that drew you from the pit! Then will you begin the song of grace. While you cast your erowns at His feet, as everlasting ages roll, you will swell the song of grace. Let us even begin it now, and say, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
THE SYSTEM CONFIRMED AND APPLIED.
GALATIANS I. 8, 9.
BUT THOUGH WE, OR AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, PREACH ANY OTHER GOSPEL
UNTO YOU THAN THAT WHICH WE HAVE PREACHED UNTO YOU, LET HIM BE ACCURSED. AS WE SAID BEFORE, SO SAY I NOW AGAIN,
IF ANY MAN PREACH ANY
UNTO YOU THAN THAT YE
HAVE RECEIVED, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.
The truths which have been supported in this course of Lectures are far from constituting the whole Gospel. Besides the Trinity, the atonement, justification by faith, the retributions of eternity, and several other cardinal doctrines not taken up in the course, most of the precepts of the Bible, and all the invitations and promises, belong to the Gospel. But I have selected four articles of faith, viz. Total Depravity, Regeneration, Election, and Perseverance, not only because they form an indissoluble chain, but because if these truths are believed and understood we shall not be likely to err in regard to the rest. As I passed along I touched upon the Means of Grace and the powers of man, on account of their relation to the other to
picks ; but the great hinges of the system, and what I had principally in view, were these four. To support these, I laid in the outset a foundation for the whole system by establishing on independent ground the doctrine of Total Depravity. I next showed you that from this truth followed the unavoidable inference that God must change the heart, uninduced and unaided by man, and must make one to differ from another according to His sovereign pleasure; all which could not be true if men were not totally depraved. I then proceeded to support this view of Regeneration by plain and positive declarations of Scripture. I next showed you that from this truth inevitably followed the doctrine of absolute, personal Election; which could not be true if Regeneration was not what it had been represented. I then proceeded to support this view of Election by a great number of texts of the most explicit and decisive cast. I next opened the Bible and showed you that none but the elect are regenerated. This being settled, it was apparent that from Election unavoidably fol. lowed the Perseverance of the Saints; which could not be accounted for on any other principle. I then proceeded to establish the doctrine of Perseverance by a large array of scriptural proofs; a part of which supported the point independently, and a part showed its indissoluble connexion with the preceding article.
There still remain some arguments in confirmation of the whole system, to be drawn from the