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dence from scripture, sense, or reason.

It is easy to see, that if faith could be before love and repentance, justification might be before sanctification, and consequently sanctification could be no evidence of justification. But this doctrine, though taught by many noted divines, is contrary to the whole current of scripture, which represents love, as before faith and repentance, and as the best evidence of pardon and justification in the sight of God. Paul says, “If children, then heirs;” and not, “If heirs, then children.” John says, “Love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” The only proper evidence of justification is sanctification. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” If we place love before faith and repentance, we make repentance and faith holy exercises, and holy exercises the evidence of justification and a title to eternal life. The placing of the first exercises of the renewed heart in this order, is of the highest practical importance. It lays the only solid foundation for all real christians to know, that they are born again, and heirs of everlasting life. I must add,

3. It is absolutely necessary to place love before repentance and faith, in order to distinguish true religion from false. All true religion essentially consists in pure, holy, disinterested love; and all false religion essentially consists in interested, mercenary, selfish love. Now, those who place faith before love and repentance, make all religion selfish; because upon their supposition, all religious affections flow from a belief of their being elected and entitled to eternal life. They maintain, that men must first believe, that God through Christ is reconciled to them, and intends to save them from the wrath to come. And who that believes this, in respect to himself, will not love God, and be very

2. If the holy Spirit, in converting sinners, always produces love to God before faith in Christ; then it is extremely erroneous, to represent faith as previous to love in the renewed heart. This is the greatest and most prevailing errour among those who believe in experimental religion. For all who place faith before love, suppose that men cannot love God, before they believe that God loves them, and intends to save them. But the love, the repentance, and all the religious affections, which flow from such a faith, are totally selfish, and diametrically repugnant to all the precepts of the divine law. And for this reason, the religion originating from such a source, is properly called Antinomianism, or a religion against the law of God. All Antinomians suppose, that unregenerate men are not bound to love God as the law requires, until they believe the gospel; and that believing the gospel is the same as believing that Christ died for them in particular, and that they are actually interested in the benefits of his atonement. It is easy to see at once, that such a faith will naturally produce love to God, love to Christ, love to the holy Spirit, love to the visible friends of Christ, love to prayer, praise, and the external per. formance of all religious duties. Such a faith may make the most devout, affectionate, and lively christians in appearance, while their hearts are full of nothing but spiritual pride, hypocrisy, and selfishness. What made the Scribes and Pharisees so devout, so prayerful, and so strict in their external conformity to all the rites and ceremonies of their religion? was it not because they thought they stood high in the favour of God? What made the multitudes at first follow Christ, with their hosannahs? was it not a belief that he loved them, and came to save them in particular from temporal and eternal ruin? The doctrine, that faith is be

fore love in conversion, is calculated to lead men into the most fatal delusion. It teaches them to believe, that Christ died for them in particular, and intends to save them; and to love him, and to love God, to repent, and to obey, from mere mercenary, selfish motives, which is a fatal error, and if cordially embraced and acted upon, will destroy them forever. Christ always did, and always will reject those, who love him merely for his favours.

3. If there can be no true experimental religion, but what originates from that supreme love to God, which is before faith in Christ; then there is ground to fear, that there is a great deal of false religion among all denominations of Christians. For many of their most devout Teachers inculcate the doctrine, that faith in Christ is always before love to God. And it is to be presumed, that a doctrine so agreeable to ever y natural man, has been cordially embraced by multitudes, who have been made acquainted with it, by books and by preaching. If we look into many grave Treatises published upon vital or experimental religion, we find faith placed before love and repentance. If we read Hervey's Dialogues, Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, or many of the Writings of the Presbyterean Divines in Europe or America, we find that those Authors inculcate the doctrine, that faith always precedes love, and lays the foundation for love, in the sinner's conversion. If we hear many of the most admired Preachers of the present day, we find them most frequently and most pathetically dwelling upon the love of Christ to sinners, and endeavouring to persuade them to believe, that Christ is willing to receive them into his favour just as they are, before they exercise either love or repentance. They preach this false and dangerous

2. If the holy Spirit, in converting sinners, always produces love to God before faith in Christ; then it is extremely erroneous, to represent faith as previous to love in the renewed heart. This is the greatest and most prevailing errour among those, who believe in experimental religion. For all who place faith before love, suppose that men cannot love God, before they believe that God loves them, and intends to save them. But the love, the repentance, and all the religious affections, which flow from such a faith, are totally selfish, and diametrically repugnant to all the precepts of the divine law. And for this reason, the religion originating from such a source, is properly called Antinomianism, or a religion against the law of God. All Antinomians suppose, that unregenerate men are not bound to love God as the law requires, until they believe the gospel; and that believing the gospel is the same as believing that Christ died for them in particular, and that they are actually interested in the benefits of his atonement. It is easy to see at once, that such a faith will naturally produce love to God, love to Christ, love to the holy Spirit, love to the visible friends of Christ, love to prayer, praise, and the external performance of all religious duties. Such a faith may make the most devout, affectionate, and lively christians in appearance, while their hearts are full of nothing but spiritual pride, hypocrisy, and selfishness. What made the Scribes and Pharisees so devout, so prayerful, and so strict in their external conformity to all the rites and ceremonies of their religion? was it not because they thought they stood high in the favour of God? What made the multitudes at first follow Christ, with their hosannahs? was it not a belief that he loved them, and came to save them in particular from temporal and eternal ruin? The doctrine, that faith is be

were true converts; soon lost all their religious affections, and turned bitter enemies to the gospel of Christ. This gave Christ occasion to warn his hearers against the danger of entertaining false hopes, which would not stand the test of the last day. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Men are in as much danger of forming and living upon false hopes now, as ever they were. They are in danger of being deceived, by the great enemy of souls, who often appears in the form of an angel of light, to deceive and destroy. They are in danger of being deceived by false teachers, who come to them under the garb of the ministers of Christ, and of the friends of truth, And they are in still greater danger of being deceived, by the deceitfulness of their own hearts. Surrounded by so many dangers of deceiving themselves, in respect to their religious hopes, they need to be very strict and impartial in examining the nature of theirreligious affections. Hence says the apostle, “Examine yourselves, whether yebe in the faith; prove your own selves, know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ, isin you, except ye be reprobates.” And again he says to the same professors of religion, “I am jealousover you with a godly jealously. I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” This he said in direct reference to false teachers. It is commonly through the means of some false doctrines, that men deceive themselves, with false hopes of being the subjects of grace. They have 10 right to hope, that they have experienced a saving

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