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pride and hardness of their hearts, reject" the Grace by which we are saved through Faith." These esteem themselves the Philosophers of the age, the Mighty in
* "A grand cause of infidelity," says that excellent Man and profound Divine, Dr. Isaac Barrow, "is Pride; the which doth interpose various bars to the admission of Christian truth; for before a man can believe, every height (every towering imagination and conceit) that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, must be cast down.
"He that is conceited of his own wisdom, strength of parts, and improvement in knowledge, cannot submit his mind to notions, which he cannot easily' comprehend and penetrate; he will scorn to have his understanding baffled or puzzled by sublime mysteries of Faith; he will not easily yield any thing too high for his wit to reach, or too knotty for him to unloose. How can these things be? What reason can there be for this? I cannot see how this can be true; this point is unintelligible;-so he treateth the dictates of faith, not considering the feebleness and shallowness of his own reason. Hence, not many wise men according to the flesh (or who were conceited of their own wisdom, relying upon their natural faculties and means of knowledge,) not many Scribes or Disputers of this world did embrace the Christian truth; it ap pearing absurd and foolish to them; it being needful, that a man should be a fool, that he might (in this regard) become wise.”
+ Eph. ii. 8.
wisdom and in thought, the only men who have the courage and the sense to shake off the fetters of prejudice and superstition, to think freely and liberally for themselves, and to assert the dignity of human nature, and the rights of intellectual man. * • Come not into their secret, to their assembly let not your honour be united ;” for there is danger in their fellowship, fallacy in their arguments, and treachery in their designs. Avoid them, as you would your bitterest enemy; for you have the Apostle's assurance, that + " unto them
66 that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and con. science is defiled.
Finally, let it be your particular care to steer between these two extremes. Do not, on the one hand, suffer yourselves to be hurried away into enthusiasm by the heat of the imagination, lest, instead of passing your days in practical piety, you waste them in speculative conceits ; nor, on the other, to be induced by the plausibilities of unbelief, to exalt the reason
* Gen. xlix. 6.
+ Tit, i. 15.
above its appointed level, and doubt of every thing which the comprehension cannot reach, lest you be led *" to cast away your confidence, to draw back unto perdition," and "to deny the Lord that bought you." Be sincere and rational. believers in your Redeemer Christ. Be fervently and practically pious, showing forth your faith by your works, and regulating and adorning your works by your faith. "The life, which you now live in the flesh, live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved you, and gave himself for you," and "do not frustrate the grace of God," by "neglecting so great salvation" as that which he has offered you in the Gospel. Impress deeply on your minds these words of the Apostles: "If," says St. Paul," thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth con
*Heb. x. 35-39.
Gal. ii. 20. Heb. ii. 3.
+ 2 Pet. ii. 1.
§ Rom. x. 9-11.
fession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." And St. John saith, "He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He, that hath the Son, hath life; and he, that hath not the Son of God, hath not life."
* 1 John, v. 10—12.