« PreviousContinue »
A fifth kind of Universalists believe that the wages of sin being death, Jesus Christ hath taken the human nature into union with the divine nature, and in that nature done and suffered all which the law had exacted or threatened; and that in the character of the second Adam, as the head of every man, he has answered every demand, fully accomplished every purpose, and expiated every offence. That he has completely defeated the adversary, turned the tables on the foe, and saved the lost nature in himself, with an everlasting salvation. These Universalists believe there is no God but the Saviour, and they think it impossible that he who hath died to redeem, and who is all powerful should live to condemn. These are Universalists, even as Moses and all God's holy prophets, from the beginning of the world, were Universalists; and their faith is of that description, which glowed in the bosoms of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Those who believe Jesus Christ is not God, cannot consider him as a Saviour, nor do they profess to believe in him as such. But as I believe Jesus Christ to be the only wise God, our Saviour, I know no other God in whom to trust, or of whom to be afraid. I am a Unitarian. I believe in one God over all blessed forever, and I am persuaded that it is this one God, who is the Saviour of all
The fulness of the Deity, I conceive, dwelt bodily in the humanity, and I believe that he himself spake by the prophet, when he said, I am God, the Saviour, and beside me there is no other, and this faith is the joy of my heart, and my consolation forever. No,
my friend, I am not pleased with any salvation beside the salvation of God, nor with any plan, but the plan of my
God. I am persuaded that the word and works of my God will endure forever. I am beyond a doubt with respect to this salvation; all the scriptures are yea and amen, in character of the Redeemer of
men, to the glory of the Father.,
I have no prejudice in favour of a man, because he holds a particular sentiment, except he has embraced it agreeably to the law, and to the testimony. You mention Dr. Priestly; I do not consider him in the Christian character, I view him and his adherents as enemies to the cross of Christ. I think more favourably of professed Deists, inasmuch as open enemies do less injury to any cause, than deceitful, prevaricating friends-yet they sometimes speak truth, so did the grand adversary. Of Dr. Priestly, however, I am not greatly afraid, because I believe the Saviour of whoin he Vol. II.
speaks so irreverently, is both Lord and God, that he has all power in heaven and on earth, and that he will do all his pleasure, in spite of men or devils, and I have the pleasure to believe that even Dr. Priestly will ultimately be ashamed and confounded, for all that he has said against his Lawgiver, his Judge, and his Saviour ; and until this blessed period no more of this same Dr. Priestly.
I turn from this subject, to one abundantly pleasing. I consider your kind replies to the several queries I ventured to propose as truly obliging. I am delighted with your heavenly view of the celestial world. You are perfectly right in considering the state of the mind, creating for us a heaven in our own bosoms; when the mind is filled with God, heaven is there. I felicitate you on that foretaste with which our all gracious Father has indulged you, and that on so seasonable an occasion. The time is fast approaching, when we shall no more see through a glass darkly, when we shall know as we are known. Then, indeed, the harmony of the divine perfections will appear in full lustre. We shall not then see mercy and justice in opposition, nor any one attribute of the Deity wound-, ing the other, we shall then behold every divine perfection in perfect unison ; they will consist and unite in the Saviour, in the fulness of both natures, human and divine. Your idea of God is that he is a spirit. But as we can have no idea of spirit alone, he has been pleased to manifest himself in the flesh, in the seed of Abraham ; and to men and angels out of this seed, God must forever be unknown; but it pleased the Father that in him all ful. ness should dwell-Here is the temple of his rest, where he will forever abide. Thus God, manifested in the flesh, is the only wise God our Saviour. Jesus Christ was once asked by one of his little children, to show him the Father, and it would suffice him. Why Philip, said the Redeemer, have I been so long with you, and hast thou not known me? The Father and I are one. Were I sitting by my friend, and should say to him, friend, show me your soul, and it will suffice me ; you would naturally reply, Have I been so long acquainted with you, my friend, and do you not know me? Did you think my soul one person, and my body another? My soul has looked at you through my eyes; my soul and body make but one complete whole. Thus is Emmanuel God with us ; the Lord, saith the Apostle, is that spirit, and this Lord, this spirit, knows all things and calls all things his own. This God is love, not simply loving; but he is love, love in the abstract. As the sun is light, not en
lightened by borrowed light, like those opaque planets which bask in its beams. God is love, and this love is perfect; it thinketh no evil; a sense of perfect love casteth'out fear. The Lord is good, yea, the Lord is goodness, without the smallest shade of evil, light without darkness, love without hatred, sweet water without bitter. Yea, our God is one ; this is the joy of my heart, and my consolation forever; yes, my friend, it is true, all the perfections of Deity are modifications of love, for God is love.
Having closed my first sheet, with remarks on your ideas of our God, I begin a second by attending to your observations upon his offspring; for he is indeed the Father of the spirits of all flesh. God made man for himself. " What is the chief end of man ? To, glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Thus are we taught by our teachers. God made man in his own image. Emmanuel is the God in whose image man was made ; for all things were made by him as well as for him; and this image was made to represent or give an idea of the Maker, as far as the creature is capable of understanding it. In this image we see the THREE in the One, the body, the soul, and the spirit. The body is of the earth, earthy; and is in this character much inferior to the spirit and soul. The soul is the thinking, contriving, hoping, fearing, joying, sorrowing, inexplicable being that dwelleth in the body, and is as much superior to the body, as heaven is to earth. The spirit is that inexplicable part of a man which unites both body and soul together; and when the dust returns to dust, this spirit adheres to the soul, and of course ascendeth instead of descending; and as these constitute but one man, so Father, word, and spirit, constitute but one God, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and as I never could know any thing of the soul, without the instrumentality of the body, so I never could have been able to form any idea of the Divinity, had it never dwelt in the humanity. This is the trinity in unity. God did not make three persons as the image of himself, but he made a trinity in one person, as the image of himself. Hence, saith the Prophet, to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the everlasting Father, the mighty God, the Prince of peace.
But again, the image of God thus made, had in himself the woman that was to be called his wife, and it was while she lay hid in him, the husband, that God spake to both in one; he blessed both in one ; he gave the law to both in one ; and when the woman
came forth fron the side of her husband, he said, she is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. So, just so, the human nature was in Emmanuel. Grace was given us in him before the world
But again, the man was not deceived, but the woman was beguiled. But the man voluntarily put himself into the condition of his deceived wife, although he was apprized death, inevitable death, would be the certain consequence. Thus the maker, the husband of the creature he had made, was not deceived; but he put himself into the likeness of the deceived, that is of sinful flesh, although he knew death, an accursed death, would be the certain consequence.
That all these, the divine purposes of God, might be manifested, the creature was made subject to vanity; and herein is the love of God made known. The love of the creature may be made known in what he would do and suffer for a good man; but God commended his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, lie died for us. God might have prevented the adversary from beguiling our general mother, but had he thus done, although man was a rational creature, he never could have known any thing of a Saviour, nor could the purposes of God, proposed in himself before the world was, have been effectuated.
There is none by searching can find out the ways of God, they are in the great deep; but, although we cannot find out God nor his ways, seeing they are as much above us, as the heavens are above the earth, yet he hath in great mercy assured us, that all his ways are grace, mercy, and truth; that all his ways are pleasant, ness, and all his paths are peace.
Yes, man was made a rational creature, but this rational creature is now an intoxicated creature; he has drank of the wine of forni, eation, and is mad; but still, like an intoxicated mad man, he fancies himself wise. Vain man would be wise, although born like the wild ass's colt; yet all this is from the adversary. Because, said he, who is faithful and true, speaking to the adversary, because thou hast done this, thou art accursed. This accursed doer of the deed who has brought temporary ruin upon the offspring of God, has, by permission, had the address to make the children of men believe that it is the nature which he has been seeking to murder and destroy, that shall, by its Creator, .be forever doomed to his wrath and curse, to the wrath and curse of their Father, and their God. He goes further, though he himself knows he shall reign
but a little while; he has made God's children believe that his reign will be eternal ; and that although he hath not fully succeeded in ruining, tormenting, and destroying the whole of the hụman race according to his wish and purpose, yet a few, and a few only, will escape his snares; and that the number over whom he is finally to triumph will far exceed those who are rescued from his power.
If what we hear men, religious men say, be true, we may at the great day of decision expect to hear the insulting foe, vaunting not only over the heritage of the Lord, but over the Deity himself. Will he not have reason to say, “I have gained my point; I have counteracted the designs of God; I retain my captives, in chains of adamantine darkness I retain them. In vain hath He who made them, sought to rescue them ; He hath made every effort in his power, even to the giving his life a ransom; but all hath proved ineffectual : thousands swell my conquests, for one that is redeeined. It is true that the prophets of God declared that all the ends of the earth should look unto the Lord, that they should remember and turn unto him, that all the kindreds of the nations should worship before him, that in the seed of Abraham all the families of the earth should be blessed, that this seed should take away the sin of the world, that the kingdoms of the world should become the kingdoms of God and of his Christ, and that all nations and kindreds should serve him. The prophets of God have declared that all things should be restored; from the beginning of the world they have testified of the restitution of all things. He who sitteth upon the throne hath said, Behold I make all things new, and there shall be no more pain, nor death, nor sorrow, nor crying; nay, reported that I myself should be destroyed, and that not by any exertion of God's strength, but merely by the breath proceeding from the mouth of God, together with the brightress of his coming.
« But, I also commissioned my prophets, who were abundantly more successful. My prophets declared the reverse of this gospel testimony to be truth, and they every where gained almost universal credit; and doth not this day's result declare they merited credit? I, by my prophets, have opposed righteousness to righteousness, and scripture to scripture; my spirit was with my prophets, and I had the address, sitting in the temple of God, to show myself as God. When the promulgator of the gospel dwelt upon the magnitude of a Saviour's grace, my prophets convinced the people that nothing could be further from the truth; but the height of my