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nor ceremonial law, that he was made perfect, but because he believed God, and faithfully improved the light of the dispensation of grace, under which he lived. He walked with God, like Enoch before him, who walked with God three hundred years, and did not see death, for God translated him ; and before his translation, he had this testimony that he pleased God, Heb. xi. 5. If death be necessary to cleanse the heart from sin, and if none can enter heaven without being previously cleansed, what becomes of Enoch, who did not see death. Here is at least one exception to your doctrine-Is not the prophet Elijah another?
3. You have frequently alluded to Isaiah vi. 5. Wo is me, &c. If you had read on to the 7th verse, you
would have discovered the doctrine for which we contend. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth and said, Lo this hath touched thy lips; and thine INIQUITY IS TAKEN AWAY, and thy
Does not this text undeniably prove the doctrine of a deliverance from sin ? Equally in point are the words of the Psalmist, Psa. ciii. 12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Observe that this is not spoken in anticipation of what shall be done at death; but it asserts what had already been accomplished.
4. Turn we our attention to the New Testament writers. What shall we say then, shall we CONTINUE
in sin that grace may abound/ God forbid : how shall we that are dead to sin, Live any longer therein ? Rom. vi. 1, 2. How shall we that are dead to sin, consistently with that character we are called to support, as the servants of God, live any longer in sin!
V.6. Knowing this that our old man is CRUCIFIED (not shall be crucified at death) with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. V. 7, For he that is dead is freed from sin. V. 11. Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. V. 12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. V. 14. For sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU.
No language can be more express, to denote the total destruction of sin from the human heart. “ Observe the confidence with which he speaks”-Knowing this—what? Why, that the old man is crucified, that the body of sin might be destroyed—that they were freed from sin—that they should reckon themselves dead to sin-that sin should not have dominion over them. How diametrically opposite were the sentiments of this holy Apostle, in regard to deliverance from sin, and your's, sir, who so strenuously plead for its continuance through life! The man who can read the above passages of sacred scripture, and then deny the necessity and possibility of the destruction of sin from the heart in this life, may, with equal propriety, deny every doctrine of the Bible.
See also from ver. 18-22, in the last of which it is said, But now being made FREE from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
5. The Apostle John bears testimony to the same truth, 1 John'i, 6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk, in darkness (to walk in sin is the same as to walk in darkness) we LIE, and do not the truth. Do you not, sir, profess to have fellowship with Jesus Christ ? and do you not also profess to live in sin every moment ? In which particular are you mistaken? You think you ought not to have the 65. least mite of charity” for a Christian who professes to be delivered from sin ! How different the judgment of St. John. It would seem that he had so little charity for those professors of his day, who said they had fellowship with God, and yet walked in darkness, that with his apostolic plainnéss, he called them liars. V.7. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL SIN. How much sin is there left when all is taken away?. And it ought to be obseryed that the Apostle does not speak of a future cleansing, but the blood of Christ now cleanseth. Ch. nii. 8. He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. If your doctrine be true, that all must “always sin in thought, word, and deed," then, according to John, all are children of the Devil. Who represents Christ as * vanquished” now? For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Will you say, that the very purpose for which the Son of God was manifested, shall not be accomplished ? He came, according to the language of the Apostle Paul, to redeem us from ALL INIQUITY, and to purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. If therefore none are purified, if none are redeemed from all iniquity in this life, the benevolent design for which the Lord Jesus came into the world is not answered. And is it not highly dishonourable to God, to suppose that the express design for which he gave his Son; and equally dishonourable to the Son who came to accomplish the same end, to say that this desirable end is not, in any instance, obtained ?
6. I conceive it unnecessary to multiply quotations of scripture on a point so amply proved by the most express declarations of God's word, and therefore cannot be disputed with any prospect of
It seems proper, however, to notice your comment on the words of St. John; 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. On this text you observe, p. 97. “ If it prove any thing, it proves too much." True-it proves too much for your system, seeing it proves in perfect coincidence with the preceding texts I have quoted, that those who live in sin, are the children of the devil, for he that is born of God doth not commit sin. Rightly understood, it proves precisely what we contend for; that those who are heirs of God, cannot, consistently with their high birth,
holy calling, and dignified character, debase themselves by sinning. Not that they have no power to sin; but are under prior, and stronger obligations to God, originating from their relation to him as his children ; and consistently, with these obligations, they cannot sin.
Like Joseph they say, when solicited to sin, How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God! You seem puzzled with this text-and after an unsuccessful effort to remove it out of the way of your doctrine, you at length give up the point, and set your seal to the scriptural doctrine for which we contend. Apostle means to say, that he who has a new and holy heart, will have a new and holy life—and that the man who is a committer of sin, in distinction of being an obedient follower of Christ, is not born of God: for if he was born of God, the new and holy nature which abides in the christian, would prevent his living in sin," p. 97. Does he indeed “ mean to say this? Then he “means to say” directly the reverse from what you “mean to say," throughout the whole of your fourth sermon, in which you “attempt” to prove that all christians “always sin, , in word, thought, and deed;" and therefore she means” to oppose your unholy doctrine of " sinful imperfection." The strong current of truth will carry you away sometimes, I suppose, however, where you would not.
7. But perhaps you “mean to say,” that although the scriptures speak of being delivered from sin, they do not speak of our fulfilling the law. Let us attend to their voice, and we shall hear them say,