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all his acts, and even of the history of the western world in his days: so the name of Christ should convey to us in one word, a summary or combined view of the whole great and glorious plan and work of the gospel.

As an influential principle, the gospel aims at the production of one great primary effect on the soul, on which all its other practical influences are dependent and that great primary aim is to induce us to cast ourselves on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, and to repose with implicit reliance for safety, on his power and promises. It is for this that it reveals to us our ruin, our condemnation, our corruption, our helplessness, and our danger. It is for this that it reveals the mercy, the holiness, the love, the power of God; and that it announces the Lord Jesus as mediator between God and man, and describes his person, and attributes, and offices. Just as the scope of the letter which I supposed to come from the West Indies, was to induce the persons to whom it was addressed,

to confide in the person who wrote it; and as all its statements and all the evidences for its genuineness and truth, bore directly upon this point: so all the statements of the gospel, all the evidences of its authenticity, tend to lead us to Christ for safety. Mr. E. says well, that we are not required to believe the gospel merely for the sake of believing, but on account of the moral effect which our belief is fitted to produce. Now this moral effect is not merely the separate effects which the doctrines of the gospel singly, are calculated to produce; but the one great effect of weaning the soul from all trust in itself, the humbling and subduing it, and inducing it to trust in the Lord Jesusand this is FAITH. The affections of a child are influenced not so much by a perception of the different attributes of his parent's character, or of the benefits which he receives and expects from his parent, as by his habit of confiding in him--of looking to him for protection, and for every thing that he needs. It is his habitually leaning on his parents

that chiefly moves him to love them, and to manifest his love by all the natural expressions of that affection. So it is in our relation to Jesus. Our affections doubtless ought to be moved by a perception of all that is great and lovely in his character, and of all the benefits which we have received and which we hope to receive from him; but we can never adequately feel the power of the gospel in producing love, till we have been convinced by it of our danger, our helpless weakness, and all our necessities, and have been induced to betake ourselves to Jesus, to confide in his mercy and his paternal care. This is the faith that works by love and purifies the heart. So long as our faith is confined to an intellectual perception of what the gospel reveals, all within us will be comparatively cold and selfish and inactive; but when it begins by subduing our proud spirit, when it converts us and makes us as little children, brings us to commit ourselves with implicit reliance to the Lord Jesus-to lean like the beloved disciple on his bosom, it draws our affections irresistibly

towards him, obtains possession of our whole soul, and influences the whole of our conduct. Thus, not only is an image of the gospel reflected to us as a glorious object of contemplation from the face of Jesus; but its softening, melting, purifying influence, comes from him also. For "we all, with open face beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the ' spirit of the Lord."

I again express my hope that the freedom of my remarks will be received kindly by Mr. Erskine, whom I cannot but esteem as a Christian brother. It is impossible, indeed, for me, to feel uncharitably towards any one who holds his sentiments, because for several years after I became a minister of the gospel, they were pretty nearly my own. I had then written upon the subject, and had I published what I then wrote, it would have been in substance, very nearly what he has so much more eloquently expressed than I could have done.

Further experience, and I trust further communications of divine illumination, have shown me that my views were defective and I doubt not that further study and prayer for light from on high, will materially modify his sentiments.

I conclude with beseeching the religious public not to pass over the subject slightly. If the articles of our established churches, the writings of the reformers, and of the most sound and learned and practical divines of any age, are found inconsistent with scripture, let us, by all means, abandon them, and cleave to the Bible. But let us not slide away imperceptibly from their doctrine. Let us at least render our departure from them an act of some solemnity. This is due to their characters, and to the deserved influence which their writings possess over the most pious of our people.


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