« PreviousContinue »
Do you not see the design of B. Do you not see that he wishes your accusation and condemnation to come from yourself. Pardon me, my dear Sir, if I say I cannot but wonder you should so readily comply with a request which you believed, and which I do not see how you, or any one else made acquainted with the matter, could avoid believing was a designing request, calculated to ensnare you. You add, however, a motive worthy of yourself, as an apology for your compliance. You think it may serve the cause of truth, so it may if properly handled ; and I pray God to furnish you with ability, and with strength, proportioned to your day, that you may fight the good fight, that you may hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering, and come off more than conqueror through him who hath loved you. You do me the honour to request mý
this occasion, and wish me to help you by furnishing you with, and direct. ing you how to use weapons, with which I am not myself acquainted. I am so used to speak of things as the true sayings of God, that I know not how to convey my ideas in any other language. Besides, to know wherein we differ from your order, I should know what your order hold. , But this I am not able positively to determine. I think they hold that all have sinned, that death, the death of the soul is the wages of sin, that Jesus died this death for all men. That be made by himself, once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world. All this I think your church professes to believe, and all this we really believe. But they believe that no one will ever finally enter into the rest which remaineth for the people of God, until they believe these sacred truths, and are made holy in themselves. This, also, we do most solemnly believe.
But here perhaps we part. They believe that all God's people are made holy and righteous in the present state, and that it is their becoming thus holy and righteous which constitutes them the people of God.
We believe that in the present state, none are righteous, no, not one ; but that all mankind have gone astray like lost sheep, every one to his own way, but that they are, however, the beloved of God so much beloved of him, that he gave them his Son, and laid upon the Son the iniquities of them all, insomuch that he might with equity and strict justice die for the sins of the whole world; and this we believe he did so effectually that every man was considered
as dead according to the sentence passed by divine truth, when he said, The soul that sinneth shall die. But the grace of God brought salvation to all men, when by his grace Jesus tasted death for every
So that now the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that as one died for all, then were all dead. But the sentence being thus executed upon all men, in the head of every man which is Christ, he who was mighty. to save, hath abolished death, and having once died for all, he dieth no more. Justice hath no further demand; and thus having suffered once for all, he became the real, unequivocal, complete, and eternal Saviour of all men, which could not be true, if all men were not completely and eternally saved.
But again, he bear our sins in his own body on the tree, not only that he might,with equity and strict justice, suffer the righteous sentence denounced against the sinning soul, but that he also might put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and so when he was the Lamb sláin, he was the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; and this sin of the world was the sin he appeared the second time without, when in the morning of the resurrection he arose, greatly triumphant over sin, death, hell, and the grand adversary, presenting the human nature in himself, as his fulness before God, without spot, and blameless in love.
Consequent on this sublime, God-honouring, and man-restoring transaction, the messengers of peace are sent forth to preach glad tidings to every creature. They are to assure the world that God was in Christ, reconciling them unto himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses. And this is an eternal truth whether be. lieved by the world or not.
But as many as believe this divine declaration have peace and joy in believing, and are saved from the power of the adversary, and from the deceptive wiles of his emissaries. Should the adversary perform great signs and wonders in preaching a false Christ, those who believe the divine report are saved from his delusions. They are saved from that tormenting fear of death to which the world who lieth in the wicked one, shut up in unbelief, are all their life time in bondage.
Again, we believe that all mankind will be ultimately taught of God, and that when thus taught, they will all believe, and that all believers will be saved, not only in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, which, in the divine mind and purpose, they were before the world was, and which in the fulness of the time, when Jesus suffered for their sins, and rose again for their justification, was effectuated in his person.
But we believe they will be saved in themselves also, saved individually from sin, for he shall thoroughly purge his floor, he will burn up the chaff and tares with unquenchable fire and gather his wheat into his garner. They will be saved individually from darkness, for every eye shall see, darkness shall no longer cover the earth, nor gross darkness the people; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. They will be saved individually from sorrow, for sorrow and sighing shall be done away, and there shall be no more pain, and the Lord God shall wipe away all tears from off all faces, &c. &c. They shall be saved individually from death, and from hell, for death and hell shall be cast into the lake of fire. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. ()! death, I will be thy plague ; O! grave, I will be thy destruction ; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
Thus are we taught, and thus do we testify that we know, and to speak in language the most simple, instructed in divine revelation by the Holy Ghost; we believe God to be the Maker of all things; we believe he is the Father of our spirits; the Father of mankind in every age and place; the eternal, unchangeable lover and friend of every man ; that all men have sinned; that the wages of sin is death; that Jesus, by the grace of God, hath redeemed all
; men from sin and death; that whatever punishment individuals may suffer, in or out of the body, is either the natural consequence of their folly, or the effect of divine, paternal affection; and with respect to every individual of the human family, will ultimately terminate in the good of the creature, and the glory of God.
We believe that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths are peace; and we know that it is every
man's interest to walk therein ; but mankind are blind to their own interest, and have greatly erred; have all gone out of the way ; but God hath compassion on the ignorant, and such as are out of the way. With respect to those who believe not, although they are consequently under condemnation, yet God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
But surely, my friend, you did not need my aid in this business, you who have entered so deeply into the subject, and written so clearly upon it. I think, however, had I seen you previous to your promise made to B. I should have ventured to give advice, that perhaps might not have so well answered the purpose. I should have wished that you would have waited for the charges that they may think proper to exhibit against you, and, thus called upon to make your defence, I think you would have found the sword, the weapons of the spirit, mighty through God, to the pulling down strong holds. If, however, the few hints thrown out in this letter should prove advantageous, I shall be very happy.
You will let me hear from you as soon as possible ; you will have frequent opportunities by captain I. but, by all means, forward me the result of the meeting between Dr. P. and Parson A.
I think your reasons for not visiting us at present are just, and of course I am necessitated to acquiesce. Remember me to Mrs.
and to each of our friends, and believe me ever, most faithfully, your friend and brother.
To the Rev. A. B, of South Carolina.
Alas! my brother, the friend to whom you have written has long since departed out of time. He hath left this bad world, in which he found much tribulation, and entering into that blessed world, where nothing that defiles can enter, he finds undisturbed repose. Mr. W. died in Hartford, in the State of Connecticut, I think about six years since. Your letter, my dear Sir, being directed to the minister of the Universal Church in Boston, I received and read it.
And now, my brother, permit me to make a few observations upon some paragraphs in your letter. Consequent upon your receiving the truth as it is in Jesus, and believing it in your heart, and from the abundance of your heart proclaiming it abroad, you have, it seems, experienced ill treatment from those who were formerly religious friends. I should have conceived it exceeding strange if
you had not. As long as the world continues in its present state, the worshippers of antichrist will be extremely in
veterate in their opposition to the worshippers of the true Christ; nor should this excite surprise in any one of our Lord's disciples, inasmuch as he has told them, that they should be hated of all men, for his name sake. There is no denomination in this world that do. not agree in hating Christian Universalists. I said Christian Universalists; there are many who are called Universalists, and who call themselves Universalists, who are not Christians. Some are negative Universalists, they believe all will be saved from future misery, for they deny a future state of existence! these are Materialists.
Some are Universalists, in consequence of believing that God is too good, too benevolent to punish his creatures hereafter, let the scriptures say what they will. Such are deists.
Some Universalists believe in a future state, and that the law of God, which is holy, just and good, and which declared that the soul that sinned should die, will be fulfilled by the death of the offender in his own person, and that when he has paid his debts to the uttermost farthing, he shall come forth from his prison, and of course be saved.
Other Universalists believe, that in consequence of Jesus Christ being made under the law, whatsoever the law said, it said unto him; that he fulfilled every precept, suffered every penalty, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness; and that in this seed promised unto Abraham, all the families of the earth are blessed ; but that no one of those families will ever be happy in themselves until they believe this truth, and that none ever dių, or ever will believe this truth, until the spirit of God shall witness with the spirit of the individual, to its excellency, and to its truth.
These Universalists believe, too, that multitudes of their brethren, bought with a price, all price beyond, redeemed by the blood
of Jesus Christ, and reconciled unto God by that blood, leave this 1 state of things, unacquainted with the things that make for their peace; and that they will continue unbelievers until that glorious illumination which will take place, in consequence of the fulfilment of that which was written, They shall be all taught of God. At this elucidating period, these Universalists unwaveringly believe, that every eye shall see, and every tongue confess to the glory of the Father.
VOL. II. 39