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ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Every part of the scripture is designed for the benefit of the church ; and should be taken in its plain and obvious meaning, without wresting, curtailing, or making additions. Indeed, the sacred scripture should be read with the mind deeply and seriously impressed with that solemn admonition, which concludes the inspired volume : “ For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book : and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen.” Rev. xxii. 18—20.
If the sacred scriptures were read and heard under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, with meekness, humility, and resignation to the will of God, many parts which appear difficult, would become plain and easy, and yield unspeakable comfort to the pious mind. Hereby many pernicious controversies would be prevented, the honour of sacred scripture would be maintained, and communion with the Father and Son would be preserved. Oh that we may receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save our souls! which
is able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The doctrine of Election is evidently a truth contained in the scriptures, and as evidently a doctrine according to godliness. It is now near thirty years, since the writer first felt his mind impressed with the truth and importance of this most precious and delightful doctrine. To endeavour to impress the minds of others with those truths which have been so comfortable and supporting to himself, he hopes will not be despised by the church of Christ, for whose benefit it is designed.—2 Tim. ii. 10.
When a person is enlightened to see his fallen, guilty, and helpless state ; when painfully lamenting the power of indwelling sin, as it is described by the Apostle in the 7th chapter of Romans ; when convinced that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked ; and when deeply humbled on
account of the imperfections and sins
by an unchangeable purpose of love and mercy-hereby rendering his salvation certain ! Yea, that the whole Trinity was engaged for his preservation ! How would it fill his desponding mind with hope-inspire him with holy zeal-excite him to cleave unto God and Christ his Redeemer—and pray for the Holy Spirit to make him perfect in every good word and work, to do the will of God, his heavenly Father! How would he bless God for his unspeakable love-and run the way of his commandments with delight, constancy, and holy assurance !
Is it not true that God has, in this manner, secured his salvation ? Is he not called to know, and enjoy the privilege? Yea, is he not exhorted to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure ? This treatise is written with an earnest desire to render assistance in seeking the knowledge and enjoyment of those important privileges of the christian. If you wish to profit