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vigilance to vigilance, and effort to effort? And since the prize contended for by the powers of darkness is our souls, what a melancholy reflection it will be, if the disinterested malice of our enemies renders them vigilant and active in seeking their destruction, while we are careless and negligent in seeking their salvation! Satan, conscious that the Word of God is capable of elevating us to that pinnacle of happiness whence he fell, contemplates its success with alarm, and spares no artifice or stratagem which his capacious intellect can suggest to obstruct its progress; and if we, by our criminal negligence, turn his ally against ourselves, we shall be guilty of that prodigy of folly and infatuation which is equally condemned by the councils of heaven and the machinations of hell.
ON THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE INNOCENT FOR THE GUILTY
APRIL 3, 1822.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
About seven years ago I went down to Leicester at Mr. Hall's especial request, for the purpose of advising with him as to the preparation of a volume of Sermons, an undertaking to which he had then made up his mind. After various conversations we fixed upon twelve, the subjects of which, with their respective modes of discussion and application, he regarded himself as able to recall without much difficulty. Among the sermons then selected was the following, composed in confirmation of a momentous point of Christian doctrine, and which he had preached at Luton, in the spring of 1822. He spoke of it as most readily occurring to his mind in its entire arrangement, and I therefore urged him to commit it to paper as soon as possible. This, there is reason to believe, he accomplished accordingly. But the continued indifferent state of his health, the numerous interruptions to which he was then exposed, and his total inability to satisfy himself in composing for the press, jointly concurred in preventing him from advancing any farther towards the completion of his design.
The manuscript copy of this discourse, in Mr. Hall's own handwriting, has been found since his death: not complete, it is true ; but there are only two chasms of importance, and these I have been enabled to fill up by means of the reports of the same sermon which I have received from various friends. Although, therefore, I cannot but regret that the portions alluded to are not given precisely in Mr. Hall's language, yet I trust that nothing essential to the train of argument or to its principal illustrations is omitted.