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of the same sentence, in order that the mode of accomplishment may be thereby rendered intelligible.
I had rather avow my inability to answer the question, “How can that be?” _in a thousand instances, than put an evasive interpretation upon a single verse of the word of God.
When our Brethren shall cease to beat the air in
refutation of what we never advanced; when they shall see the absurdity of prejudging the question, by good natured lamentations over our sad, sad delusion; and when they shall gird up their loins to the work in good earnest, betake themselves to study the subject patiently in detail, and produce grave and solid arguments, not negatively alone, in opposition to an erroneous system of interpretation, but positively also, in support and confirmation of a genuine system ; I repeat, I am open to conviction, and shall, in all sincerity, rejoice to be instructed. I protest, with all my soul, against the idea of any man supposing that he knows enough, and thereupon refusing to inquire into the depths of revealed truth, on the plea of dangerous novelty, or non-essential speculation, Additional instruction in the meaning of the Scriptures, is growth in the knowledge of God; and in that knowledge, it is my desire and hope that I shall increase, not only during this life present, but throughout eternity.
Since these Lectures were delivered, many extremely interesting points of doctrine have engaged the attention of the churches in this kingdom; and
an attempt has been made to identify, with prophetic investigation, those opinions which are considered heterodox in themselves, and dangerous in their tendencies. The unfairness of such an attempt will be manifest to every man who is acquainted with the subject, and who possesses sufficient candour for the exercise of discrimination. Yet, notwithstanding its unfairness, it has succeeded in strengthening existing prejudices, and exciting conscientious alarms. Discrimination is indispensable to the acquirement of true wisdom. It is foreign to my present purpose to examine in detail the doctrines referred to. But the manner in which the present revived discussion of those doctrines stands connected with the study of prophecy is sufficiently remarkable; and exhibits, in its true light, one of the many recommendations of that study.
All truth is linked together in one harmonious chain : an accurate investigation, therefore, of any one point, in all its bearings, is invariably connected with such a clearing up of collateral points, that existing error is detected, and unlooked-for controversy thereby elicited. To the study of prophecy, we are thus indirectly indebted for the re-examination of many important doctrines which had been allowed to fall into comparative neglect. And whatever may be said (and too truly said) about the acrimonious spirit in which religious controversy is usually conducted, still it is a recognized fact, that the most prosperous
times of the church have been times of controversy.
It would not, indeed, sound well to
But what shall a Christian man say of that love which extends its wide, indiscriminating embrace, not only to Christians of various denominations, but also to antichristians: to men who deny the God
does not say.
head, and reject the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, and deride as fanaticism the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? When attempts are made to limit the operation of Christian love within the narrow circle of any one favourite class, it becomes a Christian man to protest against the bigotry of such a limitation : but when, on the other side, this boasted love enlarges itself beyond all Christian classes, and calling itself universal charity, or religious liberty, gives the right hand of fellowship to the enemies of the cross of Christ, it equally becomes a Christian man to protest against the foul abuse; yea, to lift up his voice like a trumpet, and bear witness against the infidel amalgamation.
Ye who profess submission to the Bible, do ye not hear the Bible? Ye who combine for the distribution of the Bible, do ye not read the Bible ? For it is written, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH GOD, and THE WORD WAS GOD. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. Whosoever abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed : for he that biddeth him God speed
is partaker of his evil deeds. A professedly religious
How can con-
I deny not, that the defenders of Christian truth are often betrayed into unchristian tempers; that the