« PreviousContinue »
and directs the storm which calls home those who are appointed to die : thus stamping an idea of his power and goodness on the minds of survivors. But even storms and tempests, how loud soever they may roar, do not always speak loud enough to be heard by the insensible children of men.
You ask who shall doubt of the final preservation of your rescued son ? I answer every one, who being under the law, hears only the letter which killeth, without attending to the spirit that giveth life ; but all who see the truth, as it is in Jesus, will see his salvation in the Redeemer.
Indeed I am more and more convinced that to persuade men to believe on the name of the Son of God, is the work of God. I conceive it would be much easier to bring individuals to consent to go on foot to Rome, or to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to do or suffer any thing that could be done or suffered, than by mere human power, to prevail on them to believe what God has said ; and thus believing, to enter into rest. It is so natural to look to the things that are seen, which are temporal, that it must be a supernatural effort that will ever lead us by faith to look to the things that are not seen, which are spiritual ; and how is it possible while
; looking to the things which are seen, to have any other than a polluted conscience ? You would know why men are so opposed to the doctrine of the restitution of all things ? I answer; first, men in gencral are by nature unbelievers ; secondly, there is a class of men in
; every age, place, and denomination, who are interested to prevent mankind from receiving the truth ; and, thirdly, the grand adversary of souls is busy in blinding the children of men. All, however, acknowledge there is room enough in the fold, and sufficient power in the shepherd. But religious people are so regular in acknowledging and denying the same fact, that patience is exhausted while attending to their inconsistencies." The, Baptist with whom you have recently conversed, is an epitome of the religious world, and indeed of the whole world; and it must be confessed, as you justly observe, their language is so mạch like the serpent in the garden of Eden, that we need no other proof of their being under the influence of the same spirit which beguiled Eve.' However, this man of sin will not eternally sit in the temple of God, showing himself as a God, and opposing himself to all that is called God, or worshipped. This man of sin shall be revealed, not by the power of the flesh, nor by the power of the creature, but by the breath of that
mouth which hath spoken these gracious words. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Behold the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and his own strong arm shall rule for him ; behold his reward is with him, and his work before him.
What have we then to do, but as far as we are able, in patience to possess our souls? It is good that we both quietly hope, and patiently wait for the salvation of God.
I have had a conversation, which lasted many hours, with a respectable clergyman. He acknowledged he was one with me in evory thing, the universality of the redemption I advocated, excepted.
Murray. But by what means have you learned that Jesus was the Saviour of any individual, Sir?
Clergyman, By the word of God.
M. Then how comes it to pass that this same word has so much weight with you respecting the few, and is so impotent with regard to the many. Sir, the word of God is as full and plain, respecting all and every one, as it is respecting any one. For example, " He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world" He is the propitiation for our sins; that you will acknowledge plain, but is it more so than what followsAnd not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world?
Cler. Why, I believe the one part to be true, literally true, because he that believeth shall be saved; I cannot believe the other part to be literally true, because he that believeth not shall be damned, and these shall go away into everlasting fire, but the righteous into life eternal, and if you die in your sins, where I am ye cannot come, with many other scriptures to the same effect.
M. Please to mention them, Sir, because I intend, with your leave, to speak to them separately, and to show that they are all literally true, that there is in them not even the shadow of contradiction, but that they are all yea and amen, in the salvation of every child of Adam.
Cler. Well, Sir, if you can prove the salvation of every child of Adam, from the texts I have mentioned, I am satisfied.
I then took the passages he had cited, one by one, and spoke to cach of them as you would upon a like occasion, even to the conclusion of the matter. I conversed with him through the day, and when he could produce no more passages which appeared contra
dictory to the law or to the testimony. I produced some vouchers in behalf of God, as a universal Saviour, to which he had not attended; he seemed much softened: first silenced, and then pleased, and we parted with the appearance of mutual kindness.
I do assure you, my friend, I believe there are very few who understand the doctrines we preach, although no language can be plainer than that of which we make use. How can we account for this? Is it not one thing to receive, and another to understand a testimony?
Yes, our valued friend gave me an account of your little tour, and I am exceedingly pleased with it. Do you not see the advantages that may be derived from writing on the best of subjects.
The friends whom we address will show our letters to their friends, and those friends to theirs, and so on. In préaching, and in conversation, what we say frequently passes like a ship through the ocean, leaving no trace behind, or if remembered by those who wish to narrate what they hear, it is very rare we are favoured with the privilege of pouring instruction into the ear of any person, capable of giving a faithful relation of what they hear ; our remarks will suffer either in matter or manner. But when we write to an individual, we, in some sense, leave ourselves, and often our best selves with him ; and we forcibly, if not irresistably allure him to
; attention. Much more might be said on this subject, to induce you to commit your ideas to paper, but your own good sense will dictate more than I have leisure to say.'
I am not very sanguine in my expectations of any good this side home; yet I cannot but hope, that life and immortality will be more and more illustrated by a preached gospel. But, of the gentleman to whom you advert, it may be well to suspend our decision, and
ar judgment; we are shortly to see and hear him more fully in his own cause. Yet, from all terrestrial objects, I am prepared for disappointments; nothing at present surrcunds me, but scenes of melancholy, gloomy troubles of mind, body, and estate, present evils, and dread of future; and although I may stand exempted, at least for the present, in my own individual person, yet my sympathies are powerfully excited; there is a chord in my bosom which
; vibrates to distress; and I cannot be happy while witnessing the sufferings of my fellow men.
Farewell. May the peace of God abide with you. VOL. II. 20
To the same.
This morning is very gloomy; it exhibits a picture of the scene, which the distresses of my friends in this town open before me. How often am I reduced to the necessity of exclaiming, I am sick of life. It is a very melancholy thing, that as we get more weary, the road is worse. I envy none, but those who are on the threshold of this world. In this number is Mrs. O.; her infant died last evening, and we momently expect her exit. God is very gracious to this poor child; her love of life was strong ; her affection for her husband and children bound her to earth. It was the bitterness of death to leave them, and she dreaded the separation as much as did David, and other children of the Most-High. The unbelieving adversaries, by whom we are surrounded, who as an adulterous generation, are ever asking after a sign, greedily listen to the words of a dying Christian, that they may be furnished with materials for reproach, and occasion to blaspheme the name by which we are called. But this dear, departing saint, in her most disturbed moments, has repeatedly affirmed, “ that her mind was in perfect peace respecting futurity.” She knew her Creator, her Redeemer too well, to expect to find an enemy in him ; she never had a single doubt of happiness hereafter; her distress originated in her reluctance to quit her little family ; but she fervently prayed, that she might be delivered from this reluctance, and calmly resigned to the good pleasure of her God. This devout prayer is at length answer
vered, and she now waits as patiently, and hopes as quietly for the salvation of her Redeemer, as any dying person on whose departure I have ever attended, This is indeed the Lord's doings, and it is marvellous in our eyes. In such circumstances how desirable, how beautiful is death, or rather the moment in which we are to commence denizens of a new and improved state of existence!
Some of my friends have partially said, “I bring a blessing with me." Well, to some individuals there is a sense in which this affirmation may be true, when I am' made a distinguished instrument of promulgating his gospel, whose testimony is replete with blessings, whose doctrine drops as the rain, whose speech distilleth as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers
the grass. Such has been the effect of the gospel of God our Saviour, upon our expiring friend! It hath refreshed her once drooping mind, and given her strength to sustain the conflict with nature, and resolution to submit with cheerful patience to the dissolution of every earthly tie.
I am pleased to hear you have visited B-, accompanied by our
.friend; I am not surprised at the conduct of the worshippers of anti-christ, they act in character. Would to God, we could, on every occasion, act in character, we should then never fail to adorn by every movement, the doctrine of God our Saviour. I am happy to learn, that the good man to whom you advert, has repeated his visits to S and that his audience were so large and so attentive. There is a strange mixture in this worthy man, and I cannot but lament it. He certainly sometimes blows the gospel trumpet, but, alas, it is always with an uncertain sound! I think it is beyond a doubt, that he sows the same field with different sorts of seed. He is assuredly an advocate for Universal Salvation, but, as it appears to me, not upon Christian principles. This is, I repeat, a matter which occasions me great sorrow of heart.
Were he acquainted with the ministry of reconciliation, he would, I think, be an able minister of the New-Testament. Could, I say, this dear man but once see that God in Christ, or the divine in the human nature is the reconciliation of the world, and that in consequence of the iniquities of all the stray sheep being laid on the good shepherd, and he as the just one bearing the sins of the world, that he might take them away, so that as God, he may with propriety say, “Behold I see no spot in thee.” Could he behold this guiltless Lanıb of God, thus encompassed with the iniquties of his heels, suffering the death which is the wages of sin, that by his suffering he might eventually annihilate sin, so that those who are taught of God, might see no more of the punishment as the effect, than God does of sin as the cause : In fine, could he be brought to see there was no God but the Saviour, nor sin but what he bore in his own body on the cross, nor punishment but what he suffered when the chastisement of our peace was upon him, by whose stripes we are