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system-believe its Divinity, and even defend its doctrines and extol its ethics : yet, make no approaches towards a personal and practical obedience to its claims.
In a word, they know nothing of repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. It will surely appear to a spiritually enlightened mind, a subject of vast and solemn moment that, this delusion should be exposed—that, this foundation of sand should be undermined, and the absolute necessity of experimental religion, as necessary to an admission within the kingdom of glory, be strenuously and scripturally enforced.
Another consideration which had its weight with the author's mind was, the conviction that the state of the church demanded a more spiritual, experimental and practical exhibition of Divine truth. To those who have been silent, though sad, spectators of the recent history of the American Church, it is known that controversies of an alarming character have, for a lengthened period, existed in her bosom. They have seen and deplored the divisions that have rent her—the party feeling that has been engendered, the alienation and distance that have existed among those who holding one Head, should therefore, “love as brethren.” To mitigate this alarming evil, to heal these divisions, and to draw the different sections of the church more closely together, various able disquisitions have been written, many ingenious plans have been proposed, and many affecting appeals have been made. But, it is the author's honest conviction that, the first and the chief step towards the accomplishment of an end so earnestly to be sought, and so fervențly to be prayed for, is to, deepen the
spirituality of the churches of each evangelical denomination. Nothing short of this will bring it about. Vain will be all expectation of returning to an Apostolic unionfruitless will be every plan for a coalition of sects while the spirituality of the church is at so low an ebb. But, augment the true piety of the churches—hold up a more elevated standard of holiness—let them be deeply baptized in the reviving and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, and these controversies will all terminate, these divisions will all be healed, and the din and the strife of party interests will speedily be hushed. Christians will not hold less firmly, and defend less zealously their conscientious views of truth, but they will hold and speak the truth in love. In order then thus to strengthen the tone of spirituality among the churches, experimental and practical religion must be more frequently and earnestly insisted upon. There cannot possibly exist genuine piety apart from experimental truth, and in proportion to the deep experience of the truth, will be the depth of spirituality.
It will suffice to mention but one other consideration which influenced the author in the preparation of these works, and that was, the demand which the church herself has made for writings of this class. The church is wearied with controversy. There is a restlessness, a growing desire for publications of a less polemical and more spiritual and experimental character, which it is important should be met. There are those, and the number is increasing, who are hungering and thirsting for the simple truth of God, broken up and presented to them unmixed with the bitter herbs of controversy and discussion. They want
EXPERIMENTAL AND PRACTICAL
Α Τ Ο Ν Ε Μ Ε Ν Τ.
BY OCTAVIUS WINSLOW,
“ The Precious blood of Christ.” i Peter 1. 19.
in himself.” 1 John 5. 10.
JOHN S. TAYLOR,
Theological and Sunday School Bookseller, Brick Church Chapel,
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