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ruins of human apostacy; we behold her occupied from eternity past in laying the foundation, gradually carrying on the superstructure in time, notwithstanding infinite opposition, and at last compleating the building amidst the mingled shouts of men and angels, GRACE, GRACE unto it.
The author frankly acknowledges that nothing new is contained in this volumn, and he may with equal freedom assert that nothing new is af. fected. The corruptions of the natural man are the same now that they were in centuries past, and his salvation must be promoted by the instrumentality of the same word of the living God illustrated and applied. Sinners, through the sovereign operations of Jehovah the Spirit, must be * awakened by the same law revealed in its terrors, and encouraged by the same gospel exhibited in its consolations by which they were either awakened or encouraged in the age of apostles and reformers. Faith yet must come by hearing or reading, and this hearing or reading exclusively by the simple, unaffected word of God. The gofpel must still be preached, not with the wisdom of human words, left the cross of Christ be made of none effe&t; the moment that the doctrines of the ministry of reconciliation lose their native simplicity, they lose both their efficacy and glory.
Although the subjects, illustrated in the following pages, have often occupied the pen of
controversy, yet I have cautiously avoided entering the field. To have stated and answered the various objeclions muft necessarily have swelled the work to an immoderate size, and might in a great measure have defeated the de. fign of the publication. My intention, was not to contend with the adversaries of our salvation, but ifi poslable, by a plain exhibition of the truth to espouse finners to the Saviour and advance his own children to the measure of the fature of his fulness. The apprehension that any do&trine contained in this volump should prove offensive to a professed follower of the Lamb is unutterably painful; it is peculiarly humiliating that with the same bible before our eyes we should entertain sentiments widely different in matters which concern our cominon welfarc. But as I firmly believe, I have freely spoken and written. With respect to those who may not assent to all the truths here delivered, I have one request which is made with the purest friend. ship; before they reje&t a single principle, let it be deliberately and impartially compared with the unerring oracle: if it is not confirmed by a thus faith Jehovah, I ask them not to believe ; but if it appears supported by this high authority, it is dangerous in the extreme to reject it. Let God be true, and every man or angel a lyar that dares to contradict him.
I HAVE only to lament that the work is not ex
ecuted in a manner more worthy of its importance; but I have this confidence and consolation that it is not by might; nor by power, but by the spirit of the Lord or hosts : it is neither elegance of diction, nor propriety of arrangement, nor even energy of argument which secures efficacy to the ineans, but Jehovah's bles. fing; and this blessing easily can, and frequently does make foolish things to confound the wife, and weak things to confound the mighty, and even things that are not to bring to naught things that are ; that no flesh should glory in his presence. To his sovereign, almighty operations, the author now fervently recommends it ; fhould Israel's God, in his abundant mercy, render it effectual for the conversion of a single finner, or the establishment of a dear child in the spiritual family, he would most cordially mingle his note in the general song of salvation, Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's fake.-Amen,
SALEM, Sept. 13, 1806.
Romans iii. 20.... Therefore by the deeds of the
law there Mall no flesh be justified in his fight.
ROMANS X. 4.... For Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness 10 every one that believeth.