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mercies, or extraordinary human agencies — is manifest in the earnest attention which is given to the verities before made known in the Bible, but which had been little considered and felt by the minds to which they had been addressed. No excitement of the conscience, or the passions, disconnected from the knowledge of revealed truth, has ever proved sufficient to turn any human being from sin to holiness. There may be strong emotion, violent impulses, vehement resolutions, and outward acts of any number or kind, from the influence of error; but none, nor all of these, do necessarily imply an essential change of character. No zeal could have been more ardent than that of the devotees of Baal in the time of Elijah; and Mohammedans and idolaters have boasted of their trances, illapses, and visions. But in all

the stronger the conviction of the votaries of false religion, the farther are they removed from true humility and godliness. By the Gospel alone we learn what true religion is; and it is conformity to the Gospel, and that only, which constitutes the evidence of one's adoption into the family of God. Such is the constant teaching of the Scripture on the subject. 6. The law of the Lord is perfect, convertingrestoring -“the soul.” “The entrance of thy words giveih light." The 119th Psalm is but an unvarying and divine celebration of the power of God's word, when set home upon the heart by the Spirit, in enlightening, renewing, comforting and strengthening the soul amidst the conflicts and perils of her wearisome earthly pilgrimage. Observe the language of God by Jeremiah: “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord; is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh a rock in pieces ? ” Observe the testimony of the Saviour himself: “Now ye are clean, through the word, which I have spoken unto you.” Again : Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.Hear the great Apostle of the Gentiles : “ I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Again : “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” Again: “I came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God; for I determined not to know"[make known] “anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” “ Of his own will,” says James, begat he us with the word of truth ;” and, “Being born again,says Peter, “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” The current

of the Scriptural teaching is in full accordance with these passages. Is it not obvious that no measures can be worthy of confidence which contradict, or disregard, facts so repeatedly and strongly affirmed in the inspired Volume? God will employ the Gospel as it is, and no other immediate instrumentalities, to accomplish the salvation of his people. Not error, not the substitution of philosophy, or human machinery, for the Gospel, will secure his promised blessing on efforts professedly made for the conversion of the world. Infidels indeed have been accustomed to say with Pope, and some professed Christians have concurred with them in the sentiment

“ For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight,

His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right." Indifference to creeds has sometimes been even regarded as an evidence of a high degree of sanctity, and enlargement of heart. On this principle, the less a man cares for any specific doctrines of the Gospel, the better; and the more does he honor by his life that very scheme of grace which he treats practically as of no importance. Adopt the same reasoning in its application to politics, and it will follow that the best Republican is the man who cares least for the leading peculiarities of Republican institutions.

Some glory in the thought of their exalted liberalism. They are willing you should think as you please, especially on the side of laxity; and, very possibly, regard erroneous, or unsettled, opinions in religion with peculiar favor. In their view, the distinction of New School and Old School — Arminianism and Calvinism — should hardly be discussed; all the controversies resolving themselves into the single question, “ How does a man live?” In the estimation of some, all that is necessary for a professed convert is to pray, and exhort, and do good, and be thoroughly engaged in what he may call religion. The Bible, however, does inculcate faith in what is actually revealed, as essential to all acceptable religious services; assuring us, that he who believeth not shall be damned ; requiring ministers to preach the word in its fulness; commanding Christians to be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment; to hold fast the faithful word; and to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Do these declarations and injunctions mean nothing? The charity which is indifferent to them cannot be the charity which is inculcated by the Gospel; nor can those revival measures and results, which promote looseness of doctrinal opinion, command the respect and confidence of enlightened Christians.

In connection with the foregoing, but deserving a more distinct consideration, I observe

3. That safe revival measures imply correct riews concerning the

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naturc and author of that spiritual change which is the commencement of divine life in the soul. The necessity of such a change to every child of Adam is undeniable. It is declared to be a radical, internal work, the fruit of a special divine agency, while the liberty of the creature is not only left unimpaired, but is secured by the creative act of God. The Bible describes it as a new heart, a new spirit, a new birth, a new creation, a new and undying life, sustained by the constant exertion of almighty power. Read Jer. xxxii. 39 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 35-37; John i. 13; üi. 3-8; 2 Cor. v. 17; Eph. i. 18-20; ii. 1, 5, 8-10; 2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. iii. 3-6, &c., &c.

Any scheme of measures, or doctrine, which gives a lower view than this of regeneration, representing it as consisting in any outward rite, in any formal services, however punctually performed, in any change of purpose, not including in the very act supreme love to God, and humble, ardent devotement to his cause, – is to be repudiated, as at war with the Scriptures and the best interests of the human race. The unregenerate promises of the anxious seat, and all unregenerate works, however extensive and multiplied, fall infinitely short of that submission to the Gospel, without which men do not even begin to serve the Lord. What then shall we say of measures which encourage selfish, hasty resolves, as themselves constituting the actual beginning of religion in the soul? No wonder that apostasies are frequent where the promise, hastily exacted and tendered, is mistaken for the effectual inworking of renewing grace in the heart.

4. Measures are to be distrusted which encourage a boasting, forward spirit in professed converts. It is to be expected, indeed, that they who have been truly regenerated, and have any suitable apprehension of the depths of guilt and misery out of which they have been raised, will be anxious, in the exercise of profound pity for sinners and zeal for the honor of God, to do what they can to bring others to Christ; and stupidity on this subject little comports with the joyousness and varied emotions of a heart humbled and subdued at the foot of the cross. How can efforts for the salvation of sinners be avoided by one so taught from above? The same grace, however, which teaches us to love, labor, and pray for others, is promotive of genuine modesty and self-distrust in ourselves; and cannot fail to remind the young Christian of the recency of his conversion, and the consequent imperfection of his experience. The same book which inculcates mutual exhortation and reproof, enjoins, with equal explicitness, lowliness of mind, as indispensable to the exhibition of the Christian character. Nothing can be more remote from the spirit of genuine piety than “brazen impudence" and self-conceit. The young convert is to account himself a learner, rather than a teacher. Says God by the prophet, “When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel.” It was a favorite dec

laration of the Saviour, “ He that humbleth himself, shall be exalted, and be that exalteth himself, shall be abased."

5. Measures are to be disapproved so far as they give countenance to irreverent or disorderly acts in religious assemblies. Among these may be reckoned levity of manner; the loud talking of numbers at once; the union of singing and praying and exhorting at the same time; screams of hysterical delight, and passionate outcries of alarm. These, and other disturbances of the like kind, tend to obliterate solemnity, extinguish conviction, and produce mere animal excitement, in place of those reasonable reflections, fears and hopes, which are among the fruits of the Spirit's gracious operations. Revivals connected with such disorders as these I have now mentioned, are generally brief in duration, and often followed by the most alarming evils. Perfectionism, Shakerism, Mormonism, Spiritualism, and every species of extravagance and licentiousness, have had their origin in what were called revival scenes, of the like character with those which I have now specified. Conscience is stifled, reason is stupefied, and all the powers of the soul are overwhelmed by clamor and tumult and the excessive nervousness generated by confusion. I plead not for lukewarmness in religion. Far from it. Let the whole soul be awake in serving God and seeking her own salvation. But to be awake to any purpose, she must think deeply, and reason, and plume all her wings for her upward flight. How can she do this when all around her is commotion and uproar? “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."

6. Measures are to be disapproved, the direct tendency of which is to encourage premature hopes, and precipitate admission into the church. The Scriptures repeatedly require us, before we take upon ourselves the vow of a Christian profession, to estimate with a wise calculation the sacrifices we shall be obliged to make. (Luke xiv. 25-33.) It is easy for sinners to deceive themselves. Caution, therefore, in forming a favorable judgment of their own character and state, is of the utmost noment, both on their own account and for the sake of the influence which their decision will exert on the church and on the world. In the early days of the Gospel there were reasons, which do not now exist, for a speedy union with the visible church; and the persecutions and perils which every disciple was then obliged to encounter, furnished tests of sincerity and strength of purpose not found at the present time. It has sometimes happened in later times, that awakening, and what was called conversion, and reception to communion, have followed each other in such rapid succession, that no opportunity has been left for self-inspection and the trial of spirits. In some cases, where many have been thus hastily admitted to the fellowship of the church, a few months have shown a small number, if any, who appeared as living members of the body of Christ. How has Zion been in this way dishonored! and how

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have the open rejecters of the Gospel been hardened in their infidelity!

"To be burnt over has become a common phrase to express the state of a community laid waste by imprudent measures in times of religious excitement. There are no such prolific sources of error and profaneness as injudicious and fanatical movements in religion, — sudden, temporary, and succeeded by a deathlike stupidity and worldliness. Relapses, indeed, after the purest revivals in this fallen world, are more or less to be expected; but where a work of grace is genuine, these relapses will not be such as to justify any suspicion of its general soundness, or serve as a discouragement to Christians to pray and labor for a return of those seasons of mercy. On the contrary, every true revival brings with it such lasting blessings (as well to communities as to individuals) that even the enemies of the Gospel are constrained, on the review, to acknowledge the power of the religion of Jesus in transforming the heart and reforming the world. “ Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."

In one word, genuine revivalş, and scriptural measures for their promotion, betoken only good; saving souls from death; while they give no undue prominence to any one virtue, or obscure or throw in the background any duties of godliness or common morality; joining all in one compact frame of beauty and truth : of which love to God, faith in Christ, and unfeigned benevolence to men, constitute at once the foundation, the superstructure, and the crowning, glorious summit.

J. W.




The views of the church in Hadley on this subject were not, as I suppose, essentially different from those of other Orthodox churches in the vicinity, and throughout New England. It may be well, however, to call to mind the opinions and doings of the fathers on a point of such practical moment as that to which I now refer. There were, at the time of which I am speaking, two highly respectable, moral, and influential families related to each other, both of whom had not long before removed into Hadley, and who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, and other kindred articles of the evangelical system. Of these, one of the families had formerly professed Orthodoxy, and, as Orthodox,

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