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rious consideration; and if you can possibly detect any fallacy in the reasoning, be careful to acquaint yourselves with the fault, and communicate it to me. It is high time that I knew my mistake, if I am deluded. But I declare honestly before God and man, that I have laid the subject before you this evening as I believe the word of God warrants. avatud And I humbly desire you to do the subject and yourselves so much justice, as to acquaint yourselves with it thoroughly. And before you say that this doctrine leads to licentiousness, you must be able to show that the goodness of God leads men, not to repentance, but to sin. Your experience will teach you better than this. If you ever become acquainted with Christ, and feel the power of his resurrection, and become partakers of his blessed Spirit, you will feel no disposition to say, I will continue in sin, that grace may abound.
Delivered in the Callowhill Street Church, Wednesday Evening,
November 12, 1834.
" And the Serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surciy die."--GENESIS iii. 4.
Your speaker desires to mention some of the rea
sons which have induced him to bring this subject 31 before you this evening.
It is well known, everywhere, that the denomileading nation to which we belong, are accused of believing
the doctrine which the serpent preached to Eve in the garden. Now, so far as this accusation is believed, so far honest people will believe that we are in the wrong, and of course will condemn the whole doctrine. They will feel no disposition to inform themselves concerning it, nor even to hear what we have to say in vindication of it. It follows that we, as a denomination, owe it to ourselves, to our opposers, and to community at large, to show, if we can, that we are not correctly accused by our opposers. Setting aside every other consideration, you will perceive that I have a sufficient reason to take up this subject; for one of my objects in doing so, is to show, that we neither believe nor preach the doctrine of the serpent. We owe this to ourselves, on the principle that it is not agreeable to any per
son to stand accused before the community, without having the privilege of showing that the accusation is not correct. And here I will remark, that our accusers should be as ready to hear our defence, as we are to make it. For while they think of us as they do, they must certainly feel unpleasantly toward us. If, then, there is any way to remove the cause of those unpleasant feelings, it is our duty to attend to it-for we would always rather entertain favourable, than unfavourable, opinions of our fellow creatures.
Another consideration induces me to lay this subject before the congregation. We humbly and ho-. nestly believe, that our opposers, in reference to the accusation in question, are precisely in the situation of those of whom St. Paul speaks in Romans ii. 1: “ Wherefore thou art inexcusable, o man, whosoever thou art, that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself ; for thou that judgest, doest the same things.” “What,” says the hearer, “does the speaker intend to reverse the case? does he mean that those who accuse him of preaching the doctrine of the serpent, do the very thing themselves?” You have this question in your minds, and you are ready for an answer. The speaker will give it to you plainly. I have no more doubt, that our accusers do the thing of which they accuse us, than I have of their existence. Although this position may have the appearance of retaliation, I can assure you that it is not stated in any
such spirit, nor with any disposition to deceive. It is stated simply because it is believed to be a fact, and because it is a fact of which our accusers ought Chemselves to be informed. We feel the spirit of
B They were mil
charity towards them, and we would cultivate, and hold it fast;) we believe that what they do, they do ignorantly. They have no intention of preaching the doctrine which the serpent preached. They do not believe they do. They are honest to themselves in this case; but I firmly believe they have committed the mistake referred to; and while they are doing this very thing, they think we are doing it.
There is yet another reason why I attend to this subject. It is a reason which applies to community generally. I am persuaded that people in general do not understand the manner in which temptation operates. If the power of temptation were understood by them as it ought to be, they would be benefited by such knowledge. I desire to have all persons on their guard, so that when temptation assails them, they may be able to detect and resist it. It was by this power that our first parents were drawn away from innocency and happiness in the garden. By the power of temptation, sin entered into the world, and aleath by sin.- These considerations will justify your humble servant in bringing this subject before you.
What more useful topic could I bring, than one that will fix in the understandings of the young that which will serve as an efficient barrier against the power of temptation in all future time.
You may think that your speaker has laid out more work than he will be able to get through with in one sermon. But the truth of the several points to which I shall refer, is so exceedingly plain and simple, that we need not dwell long upon any particular. And I feel satisfied that I bave the attention of my audience, in such a way, as to make it necessary
for only a little to be said. When the minds of hearers are roving the world all over, a man might preach all night, and not be understood; but, with attention, a little said, in a right manner, will bring truth to the understanding. I shall now proceed with the subject.
And in the first place, an attempt will be made to show how our opposers have been led into the error of supposing that we preach the serpent's doctrine. And while I am about this work, let the hearer keep in mind, that I do not question their sincerity,—they really believe what they state.
Our opposers are acquainted with the Scripture, in which God said to Adam, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The doctors of the church have affixed a signification to the word death, which signification is the foundation of the mistake I am about to expose. They say that the death spoken of, comprehends death temporal, death spiritual, and death eternal. You have their sentiments in their creed, as follows:—“All mankind, by the fall, lost communion with God, fell under his wrath and curse, and so were made liable to all the miseries of this alife, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.” Our opposers believe this statement as firmly as they believe the Bible. They say, that God threatened man with eternal death, if he sinned; and that if he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, endless torment would be his doon, But our accusers say, that Universaliste