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As witnesses for God, they proclaim every where, that he sent his Son into the world to be the Saviour of the world; and that he may indeed accomplish the purpose for which he came, they declare, that he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. That he gave himseif a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. They, therefore, pray for the salvation of all men; and they are well persuaded, that thus to do is well pleasing and acceptable unto that divine Being, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth, who hath commanded them thus to supplicate, and being assured of the will of God, they pray in faith, nothing doubting; they know, that the Almighty performeth all his pleasure ; they know, that whatsoever they ask according to his will, they shall receive; they well know, that he who is faithful hath promised, who also will do it. They, therefore, look forward in faith, to the period when the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; when the face of the covering shall be taken from all people, and the veil from all nations ; when the wolf and lamb shall, lay down together; when the servants, the angels of God, shall be commissioned to go forth and 'weed his inheritance, gathering up all those tares which sprang from the seed sown by the adversary, the grand enemy of God and man; gathering up those tares and binding them in bundles to be burned. They know, that the Saviour was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and that he will assuredly do that for which he was manifested, destroying those works, both root and branch; that he will remove the cause, by taking away the deceiver of the nations and casting him out; that he will both bind the strong man armed, and spoil his goods. They now indeed see the nations turned into hell, with all the people that forget God; but they look forward to the period, when death and hell shall deliver up the dead which are in them, and death and hell -shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. They know, that their Redeemer hath the keys of hell and of death, and that he is already more than conqueror over death, and' him who had, but who hath not now the power of death, that is, the devil.
*It is matter of heart-felt consolation to the believer, to know that those who do not see the grace of God in truth, who ever preach another gospel, dissimilar to the gospel preached by the apostles, which is not yea and amen, but yea and nay; God will and he will
not ; you can and you cannot. I say, it is matter of consolation to the faithful witness for God, that these persecutors, these perverters of men's souls, who are indeed building on the foundation, because other foundation can no man lay, but who are building thereon wood, hay, and stubble, that in the great day of the Lord. which shall be revealed by fire, in order to try every man's work or what sort it is, their works shall be burnt, but they themselves saved in that day, though it be so as by fire.
It is now, indeed, with much pain that they see the God of this world, blinding the minds of the children of men, lest the light of the knowledge of the glorious gospel should shine into their hearts. But living by faith, they look forward with joy unspeakable and full of glory, to the blessed period, when he that letteth shall be taken out of the way. They now see, and it is with much indignation, this man of sin sitting in the temple of God, showing himself to the deluded children of men as God, and opposing himself to all that is called God, or worshipped. But they look forward with inexpressible satisfaction to the day of the Lord, when he shall be made manifest, when that wicked shall be revealed, which the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming.
They witness with sympathetic sorrow, the misery attendant upon unbelief; but they rejoice to hear the spirit, through the instrumentality of the Apostle Paul, affirm, that God hath included them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all; and triumphing in this God-honouring anticipation, they exclaim, O, the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
The witnesses of God look forward to a' day of divine power, and they hear the Redeemer say, My people shall be willing in the day of my power. In this day of divine power, they expect to see all flesh collected and cheerfully attending on divine worship, from one period to another; they expect to see all flesh, while thus engaged, looking with abhorrence on the carcases of the men who transgressed, which carcases shall then be an abhorring to all flesh, and their worm, the worm of the cárcases, shall not die; and their fire, the fire of the carcases, shall not be quenched ; and they, that is the carcases, shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
What is a carcase? It is a mass of corruption. Paul groaned, being burdened with this carcase, crying out, O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin and death ? Paul then looked, and every believer now looks on this carcase with ab
horrence, and so will all mankind, when all mankind shall be taught of God ; and being taught by this unerring Spirit, they shall all know him from the least of them unto the greatest.
I could pursue this subject with ineffable delight; it is a subject upon which all God's holy prophets, ever since the world began, have been taught to dwell. We all look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; where all old things shall be done away, when all tears shall be wiped away, when there shall be no more pain or death; when death, the second death, as the last enemy, shall be swallowed up of victory, and the former things shall be remembered no more.
It is, I humbly conceive, only in this point of view, that the Oracles of God can be found to consist; and it is for want of carefully attending to sacred testimonies, that professed advocates for divine revelation are often found its greatest adversaries.
The unbelieving world, listening to doctrines and traditions of men, said to be drawn from, and established by testiinonies found in sacred writ, start at the manifest contradictions which so notoriously abound, and pronounce decidedly, that such crude inconsistencies cannot be the offspring of God.
În compliance with your request, I have freely unbosomed myself, and frankly owned, that I believe in my heart every word of God, and that I may be enabled to comply with your every request; I have not delayed my answer. Thus in a hasty manner, without taking time to arrange my ideas, I have thrown on paper the first thoughts which offered, just as they have arisen to my pen. It is on the conclusion of such a letter, to such a friend, that I do most sincerely regret not having it in my power to converse with, instead of writing to you. But, have I not said this before? No matter; you will, no doubt, wish to ask many things, which, in this way you cannot easily ask; besides, I am no writer;, I am not accustomed to this mode of collecting or conveying my ideas; nothing but very strong affection for my friends, or a grateful sense of their very strong affection for me, could ever bring me to put pen to paper. I have given you then, by writing at all, proof positive, that the same amity which glows in your bosom, swells my own heart; and in writing to you thus frankly, I have given indubitable evidence, both of affection and confidence.
Having briefly touched upon the texts of scripture brought forward in your letter, and upon these doctrines, in the belief of which,
Christians of every denomination do not generally agree; before I conclude, I will take leave to mention a few particulars, to which a large majority of religious professors unanimously consent, and in which I do most cordially unite with every child of God.
First, There is a God known to us as a Creator, as a Father, as a Lawgiver, as an inexorable Judge, by no means clearing the guilty.
Secondly, This God was manifested in the flesh, reconciling the world unto himself, suffering and doing all that was needful for the restoration of fallen sinners.
Thirdly, He is now as the spirit, taking of what he did in the character of Emmanuel and showing it to his people, to some as preachers, that they may make it known to the rest of mankind; to others as believers, that they may shew forth his praise.
Fourthly, That as many as believe on the Lord Jesus enter into rest, and are under obligations to live to him, who died for them ; but if these children of God walk not in the statutes of the Lord, then will he visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes; nevertheless, his loving kindness he will not utterly take away, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail.
Fifthly, The believer is, in death, peculiarly happy; he is then made perfect in holiness, and doth immediately pass into glory. He leaves every thing distressing behind, and enters into the glory of the Lord. Thus holy and thus blessed, he-hath part in the first resurrection. The second death hath no 'power over him. He cometh not to the judgment; it is the world that will be judged. These having judged themselves, shall not be judged. These are not of the world, these were chosen out of the world. These rise to the resurrection of life; and instead of being judged, we are informed by an Apostle, that they shall judge angels.
The unbeliever is a wretched slave, first to the devil, secondly to sin, and thirdly, to fear. Fear, we know, hath torment;,he is like the prodigal feeding on husks. Has he hope? It is the hope of the hypocrite, which will make him ashamed; it will be giving up of the ghost.
The unbeliever is miserable in life, and in death, not crediting the gospel of God, our Saviour, which declareth that Jesus died for him: death appeareth to him no shadow, it approacheth as a most formidable substance : it is the king of terrors. Not having put on the Lord Jesus, the unbeliever dies in his sins; and where Christ is, where is fulness of joy, he cannot tome : when he dies
he lies down in sorrow, he leaves all his happiness behind him. Death and the grave, darkness and hell, receive him; and when the trumpet, destined to raise the dead, shall be sounded, he will rise to the resurrection of damnation or condemnation : he will call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon him, to hide him from the wrath of the Lamb. The books will be opened; he' will be judged out of the things written in the books; he will be condemned or damned, which words are synonimous. Every man will be rewarded according to his works. To him who, by patient continuance in well doing, did the will of God, glory and honour ; to him who was disobedient; tribulation and anguish. To the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
For the Lord shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them who know not God, and who obey not the gospel, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Then shall he say, bring forth these men who would not that I should reign over them, and slay them before me. Then shall a sword proceed from the mouth of him that sitteth on the white horse, with which he shall slay the nations. They shall be slain as Paul was slain when the commandment slew him, and he died; every mouth shall be stopped, all the world shall be guilty before God, confessedly guilty.
But, blessed be God, another book shall then be opened, and whosoever is found written in this book, shall be saved from the power of the adversary. But who are written in this book ?
In thy book, saith the spirit, all my members are written, and the aggregate of the human family, make up the members of Christ's body. The Redeemer will then separate his redeemed, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; placing the fallen angels, who have still stimulated the race of Adam to every evil, and prevented them from every good-placing these fallen angels, whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life, upon his left hand, while those who have been distressed and harrassed by their deceptions, thus separated from every evil, shall be placed on the right hand.
Thus will the one be taken and the other left; thus will the right hand and the left hand be given to thọse, for whom those seats were prepared ; thus it is true that God killetts, and that he
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