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whose circumstances have most led them to the close study of the scriptures, leaving the principles of childhood, after cautious, serious investigation, and often, in consequence of their avowal of obnoxious truth, subjected to many worldly privations and great discouragements, and yet rejoicing in the light they possess, desirous to impart it to others, and, above all, solicitous to display its influence in their lives, he feels that he is not laboring alone. While he is aiming to promote the glory of God, and the great ends for which his Saviour came forth from the Father, and for which he shed his blood, he knows that God's truth must be omnipotent ; hè knows that he must add to it no human admixture; he knows that, to promote it he must employ no unholy weapons; and he goes on in the work of reformation, with humble hope that he has his Lord's approbation, while in his name he endeavors to diffuse that knowledge which is the way to eternal life, while in his name he teaches men to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,' - while in his name he contributes to the arrival of the period, when the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God, shall extend over the whole earth, when Jehovah shall be one, and his name one,' — when everywhere the name of God shall be hallowed, and his will done on earth, as it is done in heaven.'

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No 44.

AN

EXPLANATION

OF THE WORDS,

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Notice. Through inadvertence the last tract (No. 43) appeared on the title page to have been published in 1830. It should have been dated Jan. 1831. For "convenient reference the tracts will in future he marked with the inonth of their publication,

PRINTED BY I. R. BUTTS....BOSTON.

EXPLANATION

OF

EPHESIANS II. 3.

And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

What did the apostle mean by the phrase, "by nature the children of wrath?" That man in his state of innocence had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good; and that by his fall he hath wholly lost all ability to will any spiritual good accompanying salvation, so as a natural man he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, dead in sin, and is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto?” -“In the primitive state of innocence, man was endowed with freedom of the will, which was lost when he sinned; his descendants are born into the world inheriting his nature, in its fallen state, despoiled of that power over the will which he enjoyed at first ; and without the grace of God, man has only the power of doing evil." "Previous to regen-, eration, men are dead, morally dead — dead in a moral sense, as to spiritual things, in all the powers and faculties of their souls: they have no more knowledge of them, affection for them, will to them, or power to perforın them, than a dead man has with respect to things

one

natural.” “ So long as men are in their natural state, they not only have no good thing, but it is impossible they should have or do any good thing."

" The nature of man is wholly infected with enmity against God. Every faculty and principle of action is wholly under the dominion of enmity against God. Every faculty is entirely and perfectly subdued under it, and enslaved by it. The understanding is under the reigning power of this enmity. The will is wholly under the reigning power of it. All the affections are governed by enmity against God:

there is not one affection, nor desire, that a natural man has, or that he is ever stirred up to act from, but what contains in it enmity against God. A natural man is as full of enmity against God, as any viper, or any venomous beast is full of poison.” “Man by nature is unholy, and cannot relish or even discern the excellency of true religion. He can neither repent, submit, believe, love, nor obey -- but must remain a rebel, an enemy,” &c. “There is in the dead body no power to return to life; neither is there in the soul any ability to attain a spiritual lise, or the exercise of holy affection toward God. There is in the dead body no spark of life, that time or care may fan into a flame; it will remain a corpse; nothing but the power of God can raise it from the dead. In like manner, there is in the natural man no latent principle of spiritual life; without a divine intercessor he must ever remain as he is: no good education, no good resolutions as they are called, will ever make him a good man, except there be a superadded principle from above, a change wrought in him by an eternal agent, life put into him by the spirit of God. He is born guilty, he is a child of wrath.

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