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large portion of common ground, these things are so enveloped in mystery, as surpasseth, I confess, my apprehension! It must be a most accommodating spirit indeed, which shall remove all the acute angles at present intersecting between them, and render the peculiar doctrines of each so palatable and inoffensive, as to gather the whole mass by one sweeping clause into one net. And how the gracious effects of which the committee speak are to follow, of christian union, christian affection, and christian zeal'-how these are to be induced from the joint occupation of this large portion of common ground, the committee have not stated, but certainly have no warrant from scripture to support it and indeed, what christian union can that be which begins not in Christ, and is not founded from an union with Christ? What christian affection can form a cement of love between the members unless from the head, even Christ? Is it not said, that it is from him, "the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love?" Ephes. iv. 16. And what christian zeal can be concentrated and rendered proportionably effective by the amalgamation of principles so hostile to each other? Such may act for the moment, as the collision of the flint with the steel will elicit the spark; but there can be no fire to keep alive any true zeal which is according to knowledge, and which is kindled no where but at the divine altar. What begins not in grace, can gather no stability from nature. And however specious the philanthropy which may be supposed to subsist on this large portion of common ground between man and man, there will be nothing in it solid and substantial to appear in before God. The whole is a spurious kind of godliness, which, however amusing

among men, can afford no grounds of consolation in those momentous concerns, the salvation of the soul.

But it is time now to examine into the leading principles of the Gospel Tract Society, and to scrutinize the tenets by which their committee profess to be guided in their publications. Having given precedency in the investigation of the one, it will be proper to bring to the same ordeal the other. In the accomplishment of which purpose, after what hath been already stated (though incidentally) in relation to this society, my labours will be limited within a narrower compass. I shall only have to shew, that the Gospel Tract Society takes her stand on the opposite ground from the Religious Tract Society; for while this latter-mentioned treads over the large portion of common ground, with all the world of heterogeneous characters jointly occupied by the churchman, dissenter, and the foreignershe forms her plan of action, within the sacred enclosure of the word of God: and every operation by which she is guided differs more or less from all around: the universal offers of general salvation come not within her mode of proceeding, being taught by the infallible authority of scripture, that all such can find no warrant there to make the offer, or power to perform it when made. The Gospel Tract Society is instructed, to consider the chosen of God as constituting the church of God; to whom alone the invitations, promises, and blessings belong: hence, with whomsoever she hath to do, whether professor or profane, her language is qualified, like that of Paul, "Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, (Gal. iii. 29.) and whosoever among you feareth God, (Jer. xxxii. 39, 40.) to you is the word of this salvation sent!" Acts xiii. 26. And looking wholly to the Lord both for direction and support, she fearlessly causeth her feeble productions (as far as her finances enable her) to be dispersed in every

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direction to be helpful in the Lord's cause "in gathering in the children of God which are scattered abroad." Sending them forth on the knee of prayer, she confidently looks forward that ultimately under the Lord's blessing, prayer will be followed with praise: hence with her, there is no regard to human attainments, but the divine favour; not from what man can do for himself, but what the Lord can do and will do for him : and her tracts are simple and plain, "not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God," 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5.

Agreeably to this prospectus, the first overtures of the Gospel Tract Society were made in the same words as God the Holy Ghost directed Peter to address the church, "To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (for the words are equally suited in the present hour to all the Lord's scattered ones throughout the earth) elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," 1 Pet. i. 1, 2. Thus bottoming the whole of the gospel, where Jehovah himself hath founded it, in the gracious facts of the Holy Three in One towards the church in Christ. And the Gospel Tract Society in all their subsequent labours have followed this plan; and by supplication and prayer for the Lord's blessing on the Lord's own cause, they have all along waited, and still wait in hope, that the superstructure of the spiritual building will correspond to the almightiness of the foundation, and that the Lord himself "will bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, grace, grace, unto it!" Zech. iv. 7.

I would pause for a moment over the distinct statement of those distinct societies! The difference between them is incalculable. The Religious Tract

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Society, considers all mankind as alike salvable: the
Gospel Tract Society, acknowledgeth none but the
election of grace. The former, conceives that the
common ground which the churchman, dissenter, and
foreigner jointly occupy, will bring about those evan-
gelical principles in which all are agreed; the latter,
limits according to scripture, "the remnant of Jacob in
the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, and
as showers upon the grass," Micah v. 7.
The one
Society, professeth that the most opposite principles
may amalgamate into christian union of a general mass;
the other, observing the divine command, desires to act
instrumentally only in the Lord's hand, "to be as his
mouth, and to take forth the precious from the vile,"
Jer. xv. 19. The Religious Tract Society contend,
that there is a somewhat in every man by nature, by
which he may be helpful to himself, and become instru-
mental to his own salvation; the Gospel Tract Society,
following the unalterable declarations of scripture, con-
siders every man by nature "dead in trespasses and
sins," and incompetent to a single act of spiritual life,
but by regeneration. The one, therefore, is for ever
leaning upon some supposed goodness in the creature ;
the other, hanging wholly upon the righteousness of
God. This, sacrificeth to the unhumbled pride of hu-
man nature, in the merits of the free-will of man; that,
gives the sole glory to the free grace of God. Hence,
while the one goes only in search "of the lost sheep of
the house of Israel;" the other, cherisheth the hope
from an hypothesis of his own creating, that on the
large portion of common ground jointly occupied by
mankind he shall ultimately convert the whole world!

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Brethren of the spiritual church of Christ! bear with me, I beseech you, in this address. If I know any thing of my own heart, (and deceitful and desperately wicked as it is by nature, I think I know this) I write in the affection of the christian. It is with me a sub

ject of grave importance, a matter of solemn consideration, yea, of eternal moment. And while analyzing the principles of both Societies, I have endeavoured to keep in view the holy scriptures of God, as the only standard of decision: and if there be one sacred truth of God more fully made known in the word of God than another, it is this; namely, that God's designs all along, in every revelation of himself in his Trinity of Persons to his church, is to magnify the freeness, and fulness, and riches of his grace: to this end and for this purpose, he hath reserved an whole eternity for the display of it, "that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus!" Ephes. ii. 7. How far the mingling of any thing of the creature with this militates against the divine sovereignty, it will be well for all men, and especially such as minister in the word and doctrine, to consider. The statement Paul made of himself on this ground cannot be wrong for every one to follow, "I do not frustrate (said he) the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain!" Gal. ii. 21.

I trust in God that there are many, yea, very many among those, both of the committee and patrons of the Religious Tract Society, (for the great majority, compared to our handful of the Gospel Tract Society, is with them) who, though at present unconscious of the original and eternal purpose of God's electing love towards them, are of the remnant of grace: and if so, they will be brought out and brought home, in the Lord's own appointed time and way, notwithstanding the present opposition they are making to those distinguishing truths of the gospel. The same man that said, “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth," in the after stages of his life, when better taught of God, said, "I count all things but loss for the

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