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“For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the
Holy Ghost: and these Three are One."- John v. 7. "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."-Jude 3. “ Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”- Tim. üü. 6.
Dear BRETHREN, --In addressing you once more at the close of another year, we would say to you as Paul said in days of old to the saints which were at Ephesus, and which language is no less applicable to the saints which are now in Britain, “ Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will :”—but our space here will not permit us to copy in all the rich inventory of blessings with which the Lord hath endowed his church, and which, a3 the links of a golden chain, follow in unbroken connection from the grand fountain blessing of God's eternal election of his people in Christ.
Let those, whose bosoms have never been melted with a live coal from the altar of divine love; whose hearts have never realized the softening influences of efficacious grace; whose proud wills have never been subdued by the Lord the Comforter; let them rail at a doctrine which secures to us the possession of our brightest anticipations, and which alone causeth us to differ— let them with unblushing faces call eternal election eternal nonsense--we see it here plainly stated as an eternal truth, and all they whose understandings are enlightened by the God of truth, will acknowledge it and embrace it to the saving of their souls. Unregenerate men may scornfully inquire, if so it please them, how an unfrustrable salvation can consist with a sensibly felt hourly dependance upon God ? those who are partakers of the gift know the reality of the blessing; and while we repose beneath the shadow, and are bounteously regaled with the fruit of our ever green and ever-fruitful apple tree, we will pay but little heed to the wranglings of those who, envious of our joy, seek to persuade us that it is a barren and a withered stem.
Is it not strange that persons who thus deny doctrines so clearly revealed in the word of God, should yet so zealously seek the name of disciples, and assert that they are believers in that Saviour whose truth they thus endeavour to mutilate : thereby proving themselves to be walking in sparks of their own kindling; enemies, though in sleep's clothing; Canaanites, whom our God permits to dwell in the land to trouble us, that we may know this is not our rest. But, dear Brethren, the days are come now which the prophet described, when it is indeed almost a reproach to say of a man that he is n it a christian. Empty professors, therefore, and worldlings, and the openly profane, come, as the seven women are represented, and in the same language they say, We will eat our own breadwe will live upon our own fleshly performances- --we will wear our own apparel—the fig-leaf covering of our own righteousness suits us well; we want no white robe of a Saviour's merit, we contemn your silly idea of au imputed righteousness-only let us be called by thy name, let us be regarded as christians, and though infidels and blasphemous in heart, and word, and life, let us not among men sustain the reproach of irreligious at a period when religion happens to walk in her silver slippers.
But we have in our day a party, suddenly arisen, and which by the aid of wealth and overmuch zeal, hath attained a proud pre-eminence in the ranks of heresy. These denounce, arrogantly and boastfully, the name which their forefathers gloried in. They cast scornfully away the designation of Protestant, as the badge of a long gone by controversy which ought now to be buried in oblivion; and not content with the insidious approaches