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L E O N A R D WOOD S, J U N.
V O L. II.
PUBLIs HED BY FRANK LIN KNIGHT,
BOSTON :—WILLIAM PIERCE, NO. 9 CORNHILL.
ART. I. MEANs of PROMOTING CHRISTIANITY.
THE divine influence is the sole efficient cause of all the success of Christianity, whether with respect to individuals or communities. No means or instrumentalities are to be employed but those which are divinely sanctioned, and which are therefore appropriate to the co-operation of that influence. The degree of success will be proportioned to the right use of these means. It were inconsistent with the very nature and all the pretensions of Christianity to argue otherwise, and would imply that the truths and sanctions of the Gospel were less adapted, even with aid from on high, to affect men's minds, than the perversions of errour. There is in the divine purpose and constitution with respect to these means and the nature and affections of the human mind, a fitness and connexion, on the ground of which, by the concurrence of the divine agency, success may be expected to follow their use, and cannot be looked for without the appropriate instrumentality. This connexion, fitness, and co-operation is analogous to that which occurs in other cases involving human agency, as in that of agriculture: insomuch that a departure from the scriptural method, and a reliance on other influences and grounds of success, will as certainly end in disappointment, as the calculations of a husbandman would, who, to produce wheat should sow tares, or who should look for a crop without sowing any seed. But there have been in modern, as well as earlier times, wide departures from the simplicity of the Gospel, and reliance has been extensively placed, in the reformed churches, on other means of success. Wol. II. 1