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of a sweet and holy sepse of the goodness of God: but if the scripture is evidently contrasting attainments which may be lost, with certain beiter things which accompariy salvation, then “ tasting of the heavenly gift, and of the good word of God, and of the powers of the world to come ought to be understood to express something short of true grace. It may intend much the same which is expressed, in the parable of the sower, by receiving the word with joy. This description of the exercises and comforts of false converts, is not give en at length, like that in Hebrews, but it may include as much. The phrase, receiving the word with joy, would, if taken by itself, as naturally lead us to think of a true conversion, as the passage which we have had under consideration : But there is something, in close connexion with it, which lets us know that the joy was all without foundation. And that the same is true concerning the text now before us, has, we think, been shown. If that does not include as much as this, it is probable, that miraculous gifts, and enlightening by the Holy Ghost, is the thing in which ihe case, supposed in the episile of the Hebrews, differs from the case stated in the parable ; and from any other case which

In the primitive church, cases could exist, where they might speak with tongues, and have the gift of prophecy, and of understanding mysteries, and have faith so that they could remove mountains, and yet not be possessed of charity, or any saving grace. See I Cor. xiii. 1--3. “ Many," says our divine Lord, es will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name cast out deyils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you : depart from me ye that work iniquity.” Mat. vii. 22, 23. Those, who were thus favored with the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, would by this means have very striking, and peculiar proofs of the divine reality of the christian religion. Openly apostatizing from this religion, and speaking contemptuously of it, after having the truth of it áemonstrated to them by the Spirit, by the means of miraculous gifts, with which they themselves had been furnished , might amount to that blas

can now Occur.

pheming of the Holy Ghost, which constitutes the unpardonable sin.*

If a right explanation of Heb. vi. 4-6, has been given in the preceding pages, it is a passage to which we ought to give diligent heed, for it contains important instruction. 1. We are almonished not to be stumbled at great apostasies from the christian faith. Men may seem to mount up to heaven, and then fall down to hell. Even the teachers of this holy religion, wlo have been thought great and good, may become heretics and {rfi:lels. Such apostasies do not prove, that the religion of the gospel is not true : neither do they prove, that true grace can be lost.

"Be not offended, if you see great cedars fall, stars fall from heaven, great professors die and decay : Do not think they be all such : Do not think that the elect shall fall.” Shepard's Parable of the ten virgins; 2. Those who have great enjoyments in religion, and great anticipations of future bless. edness, are admonished not to suffer these enjoyments and an. ticipations, to prevent them from looking well to their found. ation. They are admonished not to depend on the height of their joys, nor on the wonderfulness of their discoveries.They may be at first greatly alarmed, and then greatly com. forted, so as to seem to taste of the powers of the world to come, and still fall away and perish. Let them inquire whether unselfish love, and un feigned humility lie at the foundation of their raptures, and of all their religious comforts. 3. By this so. lemn portion of scripture they are admonished, who, tho' destitute of a hope, are thoughtful about the things which relate to their salvation :- they are admonished to be on their guard against delusive joys. Let them see to it, that they dig deep, and built on the eternal Rock. Many a house has been built high, whose foundation rested on the sand. There is but lit. ile hope of convincing the man, whose house is already built upon the sand, that his foundation is bad. There is more en. couragement to use means with those, who as yet have built no house, to dissuade them from a careless inattention to their foundation. U that every awakened sinner might be asprised of his danger, and see to it, that he does not take up with slight evidences of a change of heart !

Before we leave this interesting and awakening portion of the lively oracles, let us drop a word of caution to distressed souls, to prevent them from being too hasty to draw the con. clusion, that they have committed the unpardonable sin. This sin is described by our Saviour, as a blaspheming of the Holy Ghost, and speaking against the Holy Ghost. If the text which has been before us, describes this sin, it supposes, that in the case stated, the commission of it is preceded by great light and conviction, and by false joys : and that these are followed with a complete apostasy.

11. Mr. Bangs makes use of the fall of angels, and of Acum, as an argument 10 favor the possibility of the saints falling from grace. He inquires : “ Had Satan zod bis legions only a profession of godliness, antecedient to their apostasy? And. Adam and Eve, were they only painted sepulchres when they came perfect from the hands of their Maker ?” p. 236. We do not hold, (and we wish our opponents, once for all, would understand us ;) we do not hold, that the holiness of the saints on earth, or the holiness of the saints in hea. ven, is in its own nature inamissible, i. e. incapable of being lost. We know that the primitive state of angels, and of man, was a state of perfect holiness ; we also know, that if creatures could fall from a state of perfect holiness, it must be, in itself considered, possible for them to fall from a state of imperfect holiness. Therefore we do not at all build our argument in favor of Perseverance, upon the degree of holiness which there is in the hearts of the children of God. The de. gree of holiness increases the scriptural evidence that I am a child ; but it does not increase the certainty, that a real child of God, whoever he is, will persevere to the end. It may increase the evidence that the particular man, James, or John, or whoever he may be, that is favored with these large measures of grace, will persevere to the end, because it increases the evidence of his being a real saint ; and the matter is previously made certain, that every real saint will persevere unto the end and be saved. If there were no such previous assurance, that all the real children of God would be preserved from falling, it would be a proof of pride and self-sufficiency, for any one to have this persuasion concerning nimself, But in the Methodist Doct. and Discip. it is granted, that when Paul expressed such a firm persuasion, that nothing should separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, (Rom. viii. 38, 39,) he “ was at that time fully persuaded of his own perseverance. And I doubt not," says the writer, si but many believers at this day have the same persuasion, termed in scripture, the full assurance of hope." Doct. and Discip. p. 93. I would ask such believers, why they have this persuasion ? Does not such a per

suasion imply, that it is not possible for them to fall ? But will they pretend, that they are more holy than our first parents were, when they came perfect from the hands of their Maker? Or that they are more holy than angels in heaven ? On what then do they build this persuasion, if not the present strength of their love to God ? If it be not built on this, it must be built on some supposed revelation which God has made to them in particular, to let them know that they are to be saved ; unless they build their persuasion on the general promise, that believers shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ? To build on the great degree of love which they feel in their hearts, to make it sure they shall persevere, is to trust their own hearts, which is folly. To build hopes of perseverance on some supposed revelation made to them in particular, is enthusisasm. But to build hopes of perseverance on promises, made to all believers, that the Lord will be their Shepherd, not only to feed them, but to keep them, and restore their souls, and lead them in pathis of righteousness for his name's sake, is to build on a sure foundation.

Let it now be clearly understood, that we build all our hopes of the certain perseverance of all the sancti. fied, not on the inamissibleness of their sanctification, but upon the nature of the covenant into which they are thereby brought. The covenant of grace is established upon better promises, than the covenant of works. It is ordained in the hands of a Mediator, who says to to such as are brought into the covenant, “ Because I live, ye shall live also.” « Lo I am wiih you always, eren unto the end of the world." “ God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above i hat ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Cor. x. 13. I would now demand of our theological opponents, whether they do not perceive a perfect difference between the state of the christian, walled around with such promises as these ; and the state of Adam in Paradise, and of angels in heaven, while not confirmed in holiness? Was there any promise in the covenant of works, that a faithíul God would not suffer them to be

tempted above what they were able to bear, and that with the temptation he would make a way to escape ?

To us it is most evident, that the Bible saints built all their assurance of salvation on the better promises of the new covenant ; ever of that covenant which is ordered in all things, and sure to all the seed. When Paul, in the close of the 8th chapter of Romans, espressed such a full persuasion concerning his own salvation, and the salvation of his brethren, it was most manifestly in view of the golden chain of grace, whicla he saw fastened to the throne of God. It was in the same chapter where he had said ; " There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit:" and where he had said

; “ We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." and where he had said ;. « Moreover whom he did predestinate them he also called : and whom he called, them he also justified : and whom he justified them he also glorified. What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” He proceeds to put these unanswerable questions : “ He that spared his own Son-how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? -_Who is he that condemneth ?Who shall separate us from the love of God? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life- -shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This view of christian doctrines, leads the believer to build all his hopes of heaven, and his assurance of being enabled to persevere, on covenanted grace; and this is the only scheme of doctrine, which completely leads him out of himself. By this he is taught to depend upon Christ, not only to keep him while he continues to believe and obey, but to depend upon Christ alone, to preserve within him a spirit of faith and cbedience. The difference which on this point, exists between us and the Arminians, will be easily perceived by adverting to an illustration of their doctrine, which is made use of by Nir. B. in his Letters, p. 244 : “ A friend says to a drowning man," Hold fast to my harda

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