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mandments of the LORD his GOD, and that therefore his kingdom fhould not continue." I Sam. xiii. 8. There is not a more common deception than that which arifes from the perfuafion that the act is juftified by the fincerity of the agent. Sincerity, it is to be observed, generally speaking, fignifies nothing more than that a perfon is earnest in the pursuit of his object; that he really believes as he profeffes, and acts as his best judgment directs. But this fincerity may confift with the moft irregular practice, and the most unchristian difpofition. A man, for instance, may believe his own lie; and act upon it with the fame confidence that another acts upon the truth: he may have a zeal for God's fervice, but not according to knowledge; he may earnestly pursue a wrong object, or a right one, by irregular means. 'In all fuch cases the fcripture has furnished us with a general rule of judgment, where it tells us, that " a man is not crowned, except he strive lawfully." And, "that there is a way which feemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." "There are excellent works," fays Bishop REYNOLDS, "which being done without the call of GOD, do not edify but difturb the body. The way for the church to profper and flourish is, for
every member to keep in his own rank and order; to remember his own measure; to act in his own fphere, to manage his particular condition and relations with fpiritual wifdom and humility; the eye to do the work of an eye, the hand of an hand."
In short, whatever ideas of ferving GOD we may form to ourselves, GoD is not to be served by a breach of his commands. And this we may depend upon, that God will be beft ferved, when the attention of every perfon in his own order, fhall be confined to the difcharge of the duties appropriate to his particular ftation.
On the Plea advanced by SEPARATISTS from the CHURCH, that the GOSPEL is not preached in it.
A FURTHER plea commonly advanced by Se
paratists is, that the Gospel is not preached in our Church. Had it been faid, that the Gospel of J. CALVIN was not preached there, we should reas dily have pleaded guilty to the charge; but that the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST is preached there, we certainly maintain, upon the authority of thofe Scrip tures from which it has been received.
.. The leading doctrine of CHRIST's Gofpel, in the judgment of fome Christians, is, that it holds out falvation to certain chofen individuals, exclufive of the general bulk of mankind. The doctrine of our church upon the fubject is, that CHRIST died to pur chafe falvation for all men; all men, confequently, are interested in that great event, though all men will not be in a condition to be benefited by it. The notion of partial falvation is founded upon certain
fuppofed abfolute decrees; of which fome preachers talk much, but confeffedly know nothing. The doctrine of general falvation, by which we mean falvation attainable by all men upon certain conditions, is founded upon the general fcope and tenour of the holy writings, fupported by particular paffages direct to this purpose.
ST. JOHN, fpeaking of JESUS CHRIST the rightcous, ftiles him "the propitiation for our fins; and not for ours only, but also for the fins of the whole world. 1 John iì. 2. It was the obfervation of Sr. PETER, upon his eyes being opened to the general defign of the Gofpel difpenfation, That God is no refpecter of perfons: but in every nation, he that fear, eth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." Acts x. 34. But the doctrine of J. CALVIN makes God the greatest refpecter of perfons; and that in a matter of the most effential importance,
In another part of the facred writings, we are told by God himfelf, that He has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but that he should return from his evil way, and live." Ezek. xviii. 32...
But according to J. CALVIN, GOD has deter mined, by an abfolute decree, an event, which at the fame time, in conformity with the foregoing declara