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affected on account of poor mankind, to whose utter ruin and eternal destruction it most certainly tends. If we were to reason as men and rational beings, with what spirit and courage should we undertake any business, journey, or concern, if before-hand we were grounded in a belief that we could not perform our undertaking? Or what nation or people in the world would have any courage to engage their common enemies, if at the same time they did believe they should never overcome them, would not this abundantly dispirit and discourage them in their engage. ments, let any rational soul judge? Oh! this belief of sinning to the end of our days, is a mighty engine of satan, in order to support his kingdom and a wonderful prop to uphold it. Pray what signifies all the preaching and wri
. ting in the world against sin, though ever so elegantly or scholastically written or delivered by the greatest of orators or ministers, if at the same time, this doctrine be upheld and maintained in pulpits, prints, and otherwise
, &c. and received and believed by the people ? Let truth and right reason in this matter bear rule and be judge, and the cause will be determined against sin and satan : but the “ Kingdom of Christ is an everlasting kingdom, and of his dominion there shall never be an end." This is a word of encouragement to the followers of Christ to be faithful to the commands of Christ.
Though the devil is a great king, and a mighty prince, though he is a king over all the children of pride and disobedience, and prince of the power of the air; yet “ the Lamb and his followers will have the victory" over sin and him, although sometimes it may fare with them as with their Lord, who obtained it through sufferings; and let it be remembered by them, “ That they shall in the end reign with him ;” also, “ Fear not little flock, (says Christ) for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you a kingdom.” By which words, when received in faith, the soul is inspired with courage, and holy boldness, to resist the tempter ; though we may have the disadvantage of being but few, and satan and his followers many, who support his kingdom with this sinful principle and doctrine above mentioned. One
er malt at and wily way which he useth to uphold his kingOst cement
is to wrest and abuse the holy scriptures, and strain alberg im to his evil purposes, as he served our Lord, the ke at stain of our salvation, as will be shewn hereafter : were great indeed when he makes use of any of the words of nderky d, it is for an evil end, and that end must needs be d havezked, which is to keep people in sin, or to create a 1 the stief that we cannot live without it in this world; the come rich, if he can obtain, and cause people to believe, he turuze thows he hath a great advantage over them :, for how dar? Culd clay, or dust and ashes, overcome sin, who confess is a maty are, and believe they always shall be sinners ? cmat merefore let us examine and see what use he makes of sali dese scriptures, which he brings to support people in sin, thoused by which he makes them believe they can never live livered thout it; some of which are as follows, viz. First, came uz zinning with that saying of our Lord Jesus Christ, tó it, piss oung man who asked him, “What good thing he by depould do to inherit eternal life,” calling him good mas
Mat. xix. 17. Our Saviour replies, “ Why call. thou me good, there is none who is good, but one,
t is God." The young man thought he was speaking meva vina mortal man; and it seems to have been the will of he falwrist, by this remark, both to caution his disciples
iinst the use of vain compliments, and to let them know ng pict the young man, had not true faith in him, as he was
Son of God: and it is most certainly true, that in ness and perfection, there is no man good, compared th God; but comparing men with men, there are od men, women, and children, who fear God and do ily love Christ, and there have been a few such in all es, and will be some such, to the end of the world.
construe Christ's words otherwise, would be to abuse e holy scriptures, which satan makes a common prac
Fatie of doing
* 2d. Another is that expression of Solomon, “ There is
man that sinneth not.” i Kings viii. 46. The learned "y, this should be interpreted, and who may not sin. ut though it may truly be said of men, in one part of Eeir lives or other, or in the state of man in the fall, or
degeneration (in which state of unconversion) there is no man that sinneth not: yet in the regeneration or new birth, the apostle John, in the 3d chapter of his first epistle, and 9th verse, saith, that “ Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” It is this seed which would beget this new and living birth, which makes us children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven, which satan would destroy; for he knows be shall have an enemy of every such soul, and therefore it is the devil's interest and endeavour to destroy every such birth and such belief, that christians can possibly attain to live without sin in the world.
3d. Prov. 20th chapter, 9th verse “ Who can say, 1 have made my heart clean, I am pure from sin,” the words of Solomon, the son of David, who prayed to the Almighty in his Psalms : “ Create in me a clean heart
, and renew a right, or pure spirit within me;" which prayer was no doubt answered: but this is the work of God, and to him all things are possible, even that which looks impossible to men; for “He can make a man more pure than gold.” So it being the work of God, no man can say, that he hath done it, that he hath purified himself, or made himself clean. Can the Almighty make : man pure? It might with much truth be answered, he can; and it is supposed no good christian can, or will deny it: and then what will become of that absurd antichristian and antiscriptural tenet, that we cannot be clean or pure from sin, in this world ? It may be said, if there are any who live without sin
, they are but very few (a sorrowful truth indeed!) but is it not every one's interest to strive to be one of those ferr
, as it is also his indispensable duty: our Lord also saith that “The way (to his kingdom) is straight and narrow, and (that) there are but few that find it.” Must me therefore give up the cause, and not seek the kingdom, and because of the difficulty of Christ's cross here in this world, must we go in the broad way, where there is much room and company. May every true christian say, the Lord forbid it, and (I humbly pray) not only sus, but do that which is right in the sight of God.
cointh. The next is an expression of Solomon's, Eccle. nestes, chapter 7, verse 20.
“ There is not a just man me don earth that doth good, and sinneth not." This should chat si interpreted as the former, “And who may not sin :" orkise speaketh of a man in the state of his vanity and sin, ore a reformation; for divine wisdom, and the fear of
Lord (which he taught) keeps the heart clean, and serves from the snares of sin, death, and the devil : that this state of sin that he here speaks of, must be ore man attains to the wisdom of God, and before he nes truly to live in his fear. Therefore he must cer. aly do good, who lives in the fear of God, “Which (as
same Solomon says) is the beginning of wisdom; and lepart from iniquity, is a good understanding." So the shows man his state of vanity, and also his state
sin, as above, and teacheth people how to avoid it, by Dario
ring the Lord, and walking in the counsel of wisdom e.) Christ's counsel, who is the wisdom of God to sport Tvation.
That all men are sinners, before the work of brit version, is true, and that the devil intends to keep them
re to their lives end, is as true; and no likelier way Hey he do it, than by keeping them in a belief that they the past live in sin, and cannot live without it whilst they that he in this world ; and when they come to die, then fear Cand prises the hypocrite, and terror takes hold of the unh uw dly : and many times, when too late, they see the od chiures which the devil and sin hath brought them into. om on! what pity it is, that this veil of darkness is not done tray, in time of youth, strength, and health, when the
nes are full of marrow, and the veins are full of blood : smit the design of satan is to lead people on in this perniLitupus principle till death, and then before they are aware, to besey may drop into eternal wo and misery, where the sicked and the ungodly must be turned, and with all them isszat forget God; for in heaven, where Christ is, “ If we at ble in our sins, we (as Christ saith) cannot come.”
5th. The apostle John, in his first epistle, chap. i. verses Triss 9, and 10, writes thus, “If we say we have had (as it I may be turned) no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
uth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us;" which answers to the 8th verse, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” The 9th verse fully lets us into the meaning of the 8th verse, i. e. if we confess our sins, for all ougin to confess, and also to forsake their sins, “ All having sinned, and being by nature children of wrath;” otherwise we have no assurance of mercy from the holy scriptures : then he (i. e.) the Almighty, “ Is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And pray what sin is there, when we are cleansed from all unrighteousness? And then, in the 10th verse he says, “ we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar." There is no doubt but that we have sinned, which is what the apostle plainly points at in the 8th verse. And if any man sins (when he repents and forsakes) “We have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ, the righteous: and God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” But then we must repent and forsake, if we expect to find mercy; though we have sin, or have had sin, we must not always have it, for if we have it always, wo will be to us, according to the words of God and Christ. Thus we see how satan is put to his shifts to support his sinful kingdom, and how he abuses the holy scriptures, when he makes use of them, as will further be made manifest in what follows, as the same apostle doth plainly demonstrate in his third chapter of the above epistle, verses 7, 8, 9, and 10, saying, “Let no man (nor the devil neither, say I) deceive you : he that doth righteousness, is rightcous: he that committeth sin, is of the devil.” This is plain and naked truth, let who will like, or dislike it. Further, in the 9th and 10th verses he again repeats to the same purpose, saying, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil : whosoever doth not righteousness, is not of God.” (Ergo, then he must be of the devil, while he is in unrighteousness.)
There are divers other places in the holy scriptures, which he abuseth in like manner, and which he and his children wrest to uphold him and his kingdom of sin and