From the Strength of Israel's hands."I believe in Perseverance because I believe inthe Sovereignty of God, and I believe in theSovereignty of God because I see it in historyand experience* And thus I am persuaded thatit is impossible for a true believer, since he isin the grip of God*s purpose of grace, ever tofall away and at last be lost. It is SovereignGrace that first moves us to repent and believe,and it will carry us invincibly through all weak-ness and disloyalty to the final consummation.This faith is a splendid encouragement, yet itis open to serious criticism, and I wish now toconsider the main objections which have beenurged against it and to show you that, as it seemsto me, they spring from misunderstanding of the doctrine.I, The doctrine, it is alleged, is contradictedby experience. Have we not all known menwho lost their early faith and relapsed intoirreligion?Yes, and it would be a poor evasion to suggest72 THE PERSEVERACE OF BELIEVERSthat there never was any reality in their faith,and that they did not fall from grace inasmuchas they had never been in it. My answer is thatwe must distinguish between falling from graceand backsliding. A believer, by reason of in-dwelling sin, is liable to the latter — witness Davidand Peter and all the saints in every generation ;but, by reason of the faithfulness of God, he isensured against the former.