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of some, who, “when they knezo God, glorified him not as God, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened." The promise of eternal life is made to obedient, persevering believers; to those who hear the voice of Christ, who conduct themselves in such a manner as to he approved by him, and who follow him in the narrow way of self-denial. Such are in no danger of perishing. To such the promise will be infallibly accomplished. None shall pluck such souls from the hands of Christ. The holy Trinity is engaged to keep all such from falling ; and they shall finally inherit everlasting life at God's right hand. This is the comfort of the believer, that nothing shall harm him, if he be a follower of that which is good. It is not by his own strength that he stands, but by the power of God that God who has pledged himself to defend them against the power and malice of their enemies, to console their minds in the unidst of their temptations and afflictions, and to strengthen them in the inward man to do his will.Fulfil the condition, and the promise is sure.
" Let" then 6 him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. Behold the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell, severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou shalt be cut off.” If the believer persevere in obedient faith and humble love, God has pledged himself to be his defence by night and by day. To such it may be said, No weapon
that is formed against them shall prosper.
They may triumphantly say, We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
That we may so pursue in the path of righteousness, that an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom may be administered unto us, is, dear sir, the prayer of yours, &c.
Rev, S. Williston, Durham, N.Y.
Rhinebeck, May 24, 18 15.
ANIMADVERSIONS ON MR. WILLISTON'S SERMON ON
THE MINISTERS OF SATAN-THE NECESSITY OF THE WITNESS
THE SPIRIT ; AND SOME REMARKS ON DISINTERESTED BENEVOLENCE, &c.
Red. Sir, 1. HAVING attended to the five points which were debated, I might now dismiss the controversy, only it seems necessary to make some remarks upon what you have said concerning Satan's transforming himself into an Angel of light. Passing over what you say respecting his character, I come to your improvement, where you very justly assert, p. 192, “Satan has his religion as well as his irreligion in the world.” You then proceed in p. 194, to speak of Satan's ministers ; but what is very extraordina. ry, in p. 195 you gravely tell your audience, “no rules can be laid down, by which the hearers can with certainty distinguish between a sanctified and an unsanctified minister;" and yet, astonishing to tell, a few lines below you assert, “And this was a distinguishing characteristic of them, that they prophesied smooth things," and also quote our Lord's words, By their fruits ye shall know them.
Now I should suppose that Satan's minister's would resemble him in some instances at least. And he is unquestionably a propagator of error. But how are we to distinguish between truth and error. Truth is like a straight line, while error is self-contradictory. You say, "No rule can be laid down by which” Satan's ministers can be distinguished; and then proceed to give us a " distinguishing characteristic of them?"? Which side of this contradiction is true, and which false ? for it is morally impossible they should both be true. If no rule can be given by which false ministers are known, how is it that you attempt to describe them? Did you in that instance work without rule? Or did Satan deceive you while composing that discourse?
2. I think we have an infallible criterion by which we may distinguish between the doctrines of Satan, and the doctrines of truth; and it is natural to suppose that Satan's ministers will propagate his doctrine. The first account we have of his doctrine is recorded Gen. iii. 1-5. “And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. For God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Adam and Eve were at ihis time in the favour of God, possessing his image, and enjoying all the fruits of paradise, one tree excepted, which was interdicted on pain of death. The devil admitted the prohibition, but denied the consequence resulting from disobedience. May we conclude that his ministers imitate him in this