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gotten, that all the conquests, strumental of far more extensive which the church obtains over her mischief, by his insidious counsel spiritual enemies, are given by to Balak, than he could possibly Christ, her King. No means prove have been, eilher, by blessing, or effectual to this end, without di- cursing. Thus it is with those vine influences. And Jesus has who are not grounded and estabsaid, “ If ye, being evil, know how lished in the christian faith. Howto give good gifts unto your chil- ever liberal they may be with reschildren; how much more shall pect to every species of error; your Heavenly Father give the they are uniformly hostile to the Holy spirit to them that ask him." truth as it is in Jesus. A union It is a high privilege, then, as with them, on their terms, would well as an imperious duty to pray be like the union of the Israelites to God, and especially, to ask for with Moab, at their idolatrous his spirit. Christians cannot be feasts--and infinitely more destoo frequent, too fervent, too im- tructive.

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prayer for the peace of Jerusa- ERRORS IN PRINCIPLE MORE PERNIC-
lem ; though they do not curse at
all-give decisive evidence that Principles are general truths
they have no heart to bless at all. from which other truths are deriv-
The spirit of our subject is man. ed. The first principles of every
ifestly attached to those, who, science and of every religion are
bave not the spirit of prayer--by few and generally simple; they
their neglect, they are subserving form the root, from which others,
the cause of the adversary.

like the trunk and the brapches, We close with the single re- originate. It is a first principle mark. That those, who are unde- or general truth, that God is the cided, respecting religion, may al. Creator, and by consequence, the ways be found in the enemy's preserver and governor of the unicamp. They make great preten- verse. This being granted, it folsion, it is true, to candour, chari- lows, that all intelligent beings are ty, liberality and a desire to unite dependant on God--that he has a discordant parties; but, they are sovereign right to give them laws, mere pretensions. Trace out such and that they are accountable to characters, and you will always hin for their conduct. But if we find them siding with the world assime it as a first principle, that and plotting against the Church. all things came into existence Balaam had no better heart when without a cause or are themselves he blest the Israelites, than if he the cause, it will follow that we had cursed them; and he was in- are not thus accountable. Noi


an error in principle is meant the with himself, and therefore, if one adopting that as a general truth, fundamental doctrine or first prinwhich is false. Paul assumed it as ciple be abandoned, another and a first principle that Christ was another must be also abandoned, an impostor ; this general or for their is no consistency between first principle was false; but as- truth and error. Many believe suming it to be true, he verily that they have nothing to fear thought that he ought to do many from the threatnings of everlastthings contrary to the name of Je. ing punishment, which the script. sus of Nazareth. Thus also the ure denounces against the finally reception or rejection of any oth- impenitent, because all men will er fundamental doctrine of revela- be saved. How do they arrive at tion draws after it a train of prac- this conclusion ? In general, they tical consequences. That the hu- do it by assuming it as a first prinman heart is, in a moral sense, 10- ciple that sin does not merit etertally depraved, is a doctrine plain nal punishment. With this asand easy to be understood; its sumption they conclude, those pas meaning is simply that man, in- sages which assert their endless stead of loving the Lord bis God, punishment must be understood in with all the heart and his neigh. a figurative sense: for it would bor as himself, loves himself su- be the greatest cruelty to punish premely or is completely selfish. the sinner beyond the desert of his Yet upon the reception or rejec- transgression. Hence has arisen tion of this doctrine are built very a very great controversy in de. different systems of religion. Ad. termining what the bible reveals. mit total depravity and the dec- One man assumes that this, anothlaration of scripture, that “the er that, that doctrine cannot be ploughing of the wicked is sin and true. No matter, therefore, how his sacrifices are abomination,” plainly it is revealed; if it cannot appears with clearness and con- be true, it must be false, and ansistency ; for if the heart be total- other meaning must be attached ly selfish, the motives of the un- to those passages, in which it is regenerate, whether they plough revealed. The same difficulty or offer sacrifices are sinful. The would exist, if an angel should admission or rejection of this fun- speak to man from heaven. Were damental doctrine may appear to

an angel to reveal, that the finalbe a small matter, which oughtly impenitent shall go away into not to separate churches or pro- everlasting punishment, mankind sessing christians : yet if this doc- would begin to inquire, What does trine be given up, it will effect, he mean? Eternal misery cannot in many respects, an entire change be his meaning ; for this we know in our views of divine truth. Ev. would be cruel and unjust. What ery man wishes to be consistent then does he mean? Does he not

mean that all shall be finally sav- accomplished an entire change. ed? Thus Paul in the face of must be effected in their views of Christ's ministry and miracles, was truth. This difficulty proceeds prepared to shut up the saints from their errors, being errors in in prison and when they were principle. The drunkard promput to death, to give his voice ises a speedy reformation : but the against them, because he had as- errorist in principle, although led sumed it as a first pinciple, that to the commission of the blackest Jesus of Nazareth was an impos- crimes, presses forward in the tor.

full persuasion that he is doing his With this illustration of the duty. nature of first principles and of 2. Errors in principle have a their connection with practical con. more pernicious influence on socisequences, I can now proceed to ety than errors in practice. AIthe main design of this communi. though the errorist in practice is cation, which is to show, that Er- a pernicious example, as he blunts rors in principle are more pernic. the edge of sensibility, and renious than errors in practice. ders crimes familiar ; yet his in

1. They are more difficult of fluence will not compare with that detection. Errors in practice, of the errorist in principle. He when not the result of errors in may render crimes familiar, but he principle, are committed against dares not justify them. He is conthe united testimonies of reason scious that he is wrong; he thereand conscience; but errors in fore appears before the world principle are never sincerely a- with a self accusing countenance. dopted until reason and conscience He may endeavor to palliate, but are engaged to support them.- he cannot justify his errors. But Thus Paul verily thought, ihat he the errorist in principle is perought to shut up the saints in pris- suaded that he is right; he comes on and when they were put to in the disguise of religion, and death, he gave his voice against like Paul, thinks that he ought to them. Had Paul's been a prac- do many things against the name tical error only, his own con- of Jesus of Nazereth. These science would have testified ae things he will do. He offers you gainst him; but being an error in poison and with every appearance principle, it was exceedingly dif- of sincerity tells you, it is an exficult of detection. He really cellent medicine ; he blinds your thought it his duty to shed their eyes, yet really believes, he has blood, and to compel them to blas- enabled you to see more clearly. pheme. We are aware of the Although he ruins the soul, he great difficulty in persuading the verily thinks he has done God serheathen, that theirs is an idola. vice. Conscious of the rectitude trous religion ; before this can be of his cause, and fired with a per

Every per

severing zeal, like the ancient must be granted, that errors in
Pharisees, he is willing to com- principle, whether in law, poli-
pass sea and land to gain one tics, or in religion, have been the
proselyte, although he makes him most prolific source of errors in
two fold more the child of hell practice.
than before.

Our subject may serve to illus-
3. That errors in principle are trate the fallacy of the opinion,
more pernicious than errors in " That he is right who acts as
practice, is evident from the fact, well as he knows."
that they are the prolific source son, who acts according to the
of the worst kinds of practical er. testimony of his own conscience, ,
rors. They are the root of which may be said to do as well as he
practical errors are the branches. knows. Thus Paul, when he
This is exemplified in the history compelled the saints to blaspheme,
of Paul. He went from city to verily thought that he ought to
city, to compel their inhabitants do many things against the name
to blaspheme. He shut up the of Jesus of Nazareth. The hea.
saints in prison and when they then, who worship idols, burn
were put to death, he gave his widows, drown their children and
voice against them. He raged commit suicide, are fully per-
for their blood and persecuted suaded, that by such acts, they
them unto strange cities. Here shall merit divine favor. The
let us trace these cruel feelings universalists, deists, and other er-
to their cause. Was Paul more rorists are doubtless


of bloody than other men? Had he them, sincere in their belief.greater delight in blasphemy? Are they therefore guiltless? If This cannot be pretended. In their sincerity will justify them, other situations, he was tender, then Paul was guiltless ; yet Paul, affectionate and merciful. The under the inspiration of the Holy cause of these cruelties may be Spirit, called himself the chief of found in the influence of errors sinners, because he persecuted in principle. Paul was a sincere the ch'irch of God. But if Paul's believer in a false system of re- sincerity did not acquit him of ligion, and verily believed that guilt, we may conclude that there he was doing his duty. The page is an error in the commonly reof history is polluted with a long ceived opinion, that he is right catalogue of crimes, which owed who acts according to the dictates their existence to the same cause. of his own conscience. Permit me, Infidels have reiterated the charge reader, to substitute another in that more blood has been shed the place of this generally receivon account of religion, than from ed priociple. He is not necessarily every

other cause. Whether we right who acts well as he admit or repel the charge, it knows; but he is right who acts as

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well as he has the ineans of know- further and further removed from ing. Had Paul acted as well as truth. Admit that Jesus of Nazhe had the means of knowing, he areth was an impostor, and Paul would have been innocent ; for would find no difficulty in justifythen he would have improved the ing his persecutions, by the Jew. talents committed to his charge. ish law. When Christ was brought Paul did not do this, therefore he before Pilate, the Jews demandwas guilty. He had the means of ed his crucifixion, because he was knowing that Jesus is the Christ; guilty of blasphemy. Admit that but being exceedingly attached to he was an impostor, and both the self-righteous religion of the their charge and plea are good : Pharisees and exceedingly mad a- for by their law, blasphemy was gainst the christians, he shut bis punished with death. In the same eyes against the light and deceiv- way, every other errorist may esed his owa conscience. The hea. tablish his conclusions, if the then possess the light of nature, principles on which they are and if they improved their advan- founded are taken for granted.--tages, they would be justified.-- Admit the principle for which But not choosing to know what Hume contended, that the reality they have the means of knowing; of miracles cannot be established therefore, by the law of nature, by testimony, and deism might they are guilty. You enjoy the triumph over christianity. Admit light of the gospel, you have the that sin does not deserve an etermeans of knowing the way, the nal punishment, and it may be truth and the life. You may shut proved that there will be a gene. your eyes, prejudice your mind, ral restoration of the impenitent, harden your heart, and at last sin- Admit that Christ came to abrocerely believe any of the false gate the divine law, and you may and destructive errors of the age: prove that all will be happy after but your sincerity will not excuse death. Hence the importance of

God is treating us as ration- examining the evidence, on which al and intelligent beings, and he we rest first principles. If our will at last require of us, not sin- first priciples are false, we may cerity merely, but an honest and very sincerely embrace the greatfaithful improvement of the tal- est and most destructive errors : ents committed to our charge. we may think ourselves right

Our subject may serve to illus- when we are wrong, our state trate the importance of examin. safe, when it is ruinous ; that we ing the evidence, on which we are the friends, while we are the found our belief of first principles. enemies of God; that we are doOnly take a false principle for ing good, while we are doing granted, and you may reason fair- evil; and that we are advancing ly and conclusively, and yet be the cause, while we are persecuta


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