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A FATHER AND HIS TWO SONS.
BY SAMUEL M. JANNEY.
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
JAN 16 1935
The following Essays are offered to the public with a hope that they may receive a candid perusal from inquiring minds, and that they may, under the Divine blessing, lead some to examine with attention the important doctrines of which they treat, and to build their houses, not upon the sandy foundation of traditional belief, but upon the rock of immediate revelation ; for on this rock only, the true church of Christ has ever been established.
The colloquial style has been chosen, in order to render the work more interesting to the young, and as affording a better opportunity of stating the objections that are generally advanced against the views here advocated.
The author has endeavoured to state fairly the arguments of those who differ from him in opinion, and especially to bring into view those passages of Scripture on which they have most relied: for he believes that these sacred records are, under Divine influence, of inesti. mable value in giving us a knowledge of Christian doctrines. It is, however, the principal aim of this work, to show that the kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom, and that wherever it is established in the heart, it ascribes “glory to God in the highest,” and promotes “ peace on earth, and good will to men.”
Occoquan, Va. 2d mo. 24th, 1835.
ON REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION.
James. I feel desirous of information respecting some of the principal doctrines of Christianity;—for the great variety of opinions which prevails among the professors of religion, and the bitterness which some of them appear to feel towards others, have had a tendency to weaken my faith, and I have no doubt they have produced discouragement in the minds of many others.
Father. It must be acknowledged that a great diversity of opinion does exist upon many points of doctrine; but this should not weaken our faith in the reality of vital religion; for a great variety of opinions may be found among men in most departments of knowledge. The greatest philosophers have often been mistaken by founding their systems upon speculations and conjectures, instead of watching the operations of nature and reasoning from facts: and it is in this way that many professors of religion continue to 'err, by attachSing too much importance to the conjectures they have
formed about religion, and by attending too little to the operation of the Spirit of Truth in their own minds, by obedience to which they might become experimentally acquainted with vital religion, and “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created them.” Notwithstanding the great variety of doctrines among the professors of Christianity, I