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6 CHRISTIAN." He traces the wickedness of mankind to a spirit of independence, which has led them to cast off God altogether, and to live without him in the world. This has given a peculiarly forcible turn to all his statements, wherein he marks the whole of our defection from God, in terms corresponding with his primary idea. And he does this, not so much by a reference to passages of Scripture, which might be thought overstrained, as by an appeal to our own judgment and conscience, which cannot but assent to every word he speaks. In his statements, too, there is a surprising depth; so that he appears as if he were acquainted with every motion of the heart. We are not aware of any writer that equals him in this respect. Others have their peculiar excellencies, in which they may surpass him; but in this, which is of primary and fundamental importance, if he do not surpass all, it may at least be said of him, that he is second to
There is a very extraordinary force in his statements also, as arising from this circumstance, that he scarcely ever draws a character, without contrasting it with others which might be mistaken for it, and marking with astonishing precision every variety of disposition and feeling which shall distinguish it from those characters to which it is most nearly allied. Suppose, for instance, he portrays the feelings of a careless sinner under any circumstances, he brings into view the feelings of one who gives himself credit for a religious turn of mind, and shows how small the difference between them is, in the sight of God; and then marks how wide the
distance of both of them is, from that which characterizes the truly pious soul. In fact, for the attainment of self-knowledge, we cannot but recommend this book as of singular value. And as it is free from that species of phraseology with which many religious books abound, we cannot but look upon it as pre-eminently fit to be put into the hands of those who are liable to be offended by the use of particular expressions, and who are sufficiently thoughtful to investigate and digest the 'salutary truths contained in it.
C. S. Cambridge, February, 1825.
Man cannot help himself, or compose the difference sin hath
made between God and him,
Cannot render back the glory he has deprived God of,
Nor put on the disposition of a creature,
Nor satisfy the demands of God's infinite justice,
The believer is to labour after a deeper sense of his being
To seek more and more after a persuasion of Christ's love
Forgiveness of sins, adoption, a child-like disposition, the
care of a Redeemer, a delightful fellowship with the faith-
The careless sinner the reverse of this character,