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SERMON ON ELECTION, &c.
The sermon originally published under this title was written on a very particular occasion, and in too great haste for the difficulty and importance of the subjeet. The author's mind likewise was agitated at the time by the circumstances in which he was placed : yet, amidst these disadvantages, it was deemed necessary to print it verbatim as preached, except as some notes were added. When therefore the occasion which required the publication was passed, and the second edition, which had been called for in a few days, was disposed of, he dropped all thoughts of reprinting it; deeming it too personal, and too much adapted to special circumstances, to answer the permanent purposes of a calm, deliberate, matured, and impartial treatise on the deep' and mysterious subject. He finds, however, that the sermon is frequently inquired for: and this has made him apprehensive lest the circumstance of its being out of print should be considered as a dereliction of his principles. He has, therefore, at length, determined to publish another edition : but, in doing this, while he adheres strictly to the arrangement and sentiments of the original sermon, he deems himself at liberty to omit some things personal or occasional ; to revise the style ; and to make several additions and alterations, in order to render it somewhat more adequate to the ends proposed by the publication.
The reader will perceive, that the principal difference between the statement here given of the doctrines in question, and that of many modern Calvinists, relates to redemption by the death of Christ, as being of infinite sufficiency, and therefore in some respects the common benefit of mankind. This view of the subject makes not the least difference, in respect of the entire freeness of salvation by the sovereign purpose and grace of God, made known in the effectual calling of his chosen remnant'; while it gives the preacher an immense advantage in fulfilling “ the ministry of reconciliation,” and yields the awakened sinner the greatest encouragement in applying to Christ for salvation. On this ground we may say to any human being, “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou “ shalt be saved.” But, on the other plan, no sinner can know, previously to conversion, whether he has any more right to rely on the merits and mediation of Christ, than fallen angels have.
The author earnestly desires the candid inquirer after truth, and all who dare to think for themselves, to examine the passages quoted from scripture in this sermon, and to observe accurately whether they do not fully establish his statement. Then let them weigh all the other testimonies of holy writ with the same design ; and finally let them consider what immense pains and ingenuity it requires, to explain a variety of texts in consis