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served to still his conscience, and keep him at ease, while blind to the beauty of the divine nature, and a stranger to divine life. And in this case, having no sufficient evidence from inherent graces to support his confidence, he was obliged, without any evidence at all from any quarter, resolutely to maintain his belief, by believing. O, what awful delusion! How was I like one blindfold; one destitute of any sense or reason, or knowledge of the Scriptures, led captive by Satan at his will ! by Satan transformed into an angel of light!

O my dear Aspasio, pity an ignorant, benighted world, who love to flatter themselves, and to hear no cry from their teachers but Peace, peace; and guard them against the sad delusion which had well nigh proved the ruin of your own Theron.

If all your sentiments, as they exist in your own mind, are exactly right; if you had not the least design to convey one of those mistaken notions, which your Theron imbibed from your persuasive lips; if he misunderstood just every word, and framed a mere chimera in his own head, a chimera you abhor with all your heart; yet, O my kind, my tender-hearted, my dear Aspasio, pity an ignorant world, who are like generally to understand you as I have done; and in compassion to immortal souls, be entreated once more to take your fine, your entertaining, charming pen, which commands the attention of thousands and ten thousands through all the British dominions in Europe and America, and warn poor sinners of their dreadful danger; lest multitudes perish in the road, the bewitching, the enchanting road, once trodden by your own pupil; and to which, but for the sovereign grace of God, he had been forever lost. It is the humble and earnest request of

Your ever affectionate

THERON.

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LOVE TO GOD, FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, AND ASSURANCE

OF A TITLE TO ETERNAL LIFE.

"WE ALL WITH OPEN FACE, BEHOLDING, AS IN A GLASS, THE GLORY OF THE

LORD, ARE CHANGED INTO THE SAME IMAGE.” “BUT IF OUR GOSPEL IS HID, IT IS HID TO THEM THAT ARE LOST.” St. Paul.

23*

PREFACE.

THERE are, perhaps, few, if any, among the various sects and parties of professing Christians, but that will readily give their assent to this proposition : “He who understands the gospel of Jesus Christ aright, sees it in its glory, believes it to be true with all his heart, and is affected and acts accordingly, is a true Christian, and will finally inherit eternal life.” But put the question, What is the gospel of Christ ? and let each one for himself, learned and unlearned, throughout Christendom, prepare and give in an answer, and it will be found that there is a great variety of opinions; and that the learned differ as much as the unlearned; and that the seemingly devout and religious differ as much as the more loose and profane. The more any man acquaints himself with the state of the Christian world at home and abroad, the more he converses with men and books, the more clearly will he discern this to be the true state of the case. And now, what shall be done?

To say, in this case, that, "notwithstanding circumstantial differences, the body of professing Christians agree in the main; and we must not be so exact, metaphysical, and nice," is the same as to say, “Let your ideas be so general, confused, and indeterminate about matters of religion, as that you may not distinctly discern the differences which do, in fact, take place; and be so very unconcerned about your eternal interest, as not to think it worth your while to look things to the bottom." Go on easy in this way, and cry out against, and condemn all exact thinking and clear reasoning in matters of religion, as metaphysics; a hocus pocus word, to blacken an inquiring disposition, and to justify an astonishing inattention,

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