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With Universalists of these various descriptions I have frequent opportunities of conversing. But to the law, and to the testimony if any man speak not according thereto, it is a proof there is no light in him.
You say you are persecuted because you preach to the world, "that the Father so loved the world as to give it his Son; that he sent his Son to die for this world, and that in dying for it, he redeemed it; and that having died for the world, and having redeemed the world from the death merited by transgression, in his resurrection he sends forth his word and spirit to convince all men of their deplorable state."
That living in sin is living in misery, experience abundantly proves. But if Jesus suffered for these sins, in order to bring us to God; if the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin; if God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their trespassess; if he hath blessed them with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; if the gospel preached to every creature be true; I cannot see with what propriety God can send his spirit to convince all men of the deplorable state they are in.
If, indeed, Jesus had not died for their sins; if he had not been raised for their justification; if he had not redeemed them from the curse of the law; if God had not given the lost world redemption in the Beloved; if he did impute unto the world their trespasses and sins, and had not reconciled the world nnto himself; if he did not, as the Lamb of God, take away the sin of the world; if he had not reconciled Jew and Gentile in one body on the cross, so making peace; if he had not consequently blotted out their iniquities as a cloud, and their transgressions as a thick cloud, declaring he would no more remember their sins; if he had not given life in the second Adam to as many as died in the first; and if this second Adam was not the bread of God, giving life unto the world; nay, if he were not himself the life of the world; I say, in this case, the spirit of God may set his seal to the truth of your declaration, the world would indeed be in a very deplorable state. For as without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, and the Saviour having once died, dieth no more; the world, the lost world are truly wretched; universal damnation must be the certain consequence.
But God never sent his spirit to give the lie to his own testimony; no, Sir, whenever God sends his spirit, it is to convince the
world of sin, because they believe not in him. He declared himself to be the Saviour, the life of the world, but the world believed not his declaration; so far from it, they, in the style of those calumniators who are embodied against you, declare it a sin, a damning sin, to believe this good report. But when God sends his spirit, he shall convince the world that it was a sin not to believe the testimony which the Redeemer had given of himself. But this same spirit, which the Saviour will send, shall convince the world of righteousness. What, shall the Holy Spirit convince the world they are righteous in themselves? No, no; but he shall convince the world of righteousness, says Jesus, "because I go unto the Father." But how will the Holy Spirit convince the world of righteousness, because Jesus goeth to the Father? Because he was made under the law, not to break, but to fulfil the law; he was sent to seek and to save that which was lost; now, saith the Lord, "the word is gone forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah Iv. 11. Now when God sends his spirit, he shall convince the world of righteousness because Jesus goeth to the Father, which he never could have done, had he not finished the transgression, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Thus the Prophet Daniel, ix. 24. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
Thus the Saviour, as the Lamb of God, bearing the sins of the world, in his death, put away their sins; he therefore finished the transgression, precisely at the period, when he cried out with a strong voice, It is finished, and gave up the ghost. Thus sin, when finished, brought forth death, which the law denounced upon every soul, yea, upon every soul that sinned.
But the spirit was also to convince the world of judgment. What, that there will be a day of judgment? No. For those who have not the teaching of the spirit are convinced there will be a day of judgment. But the spirit the Saviour will send shall convince the world of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. He was judged in Paradise as the doer of the deed which brought ruin on the race of Adam. The righteous Judge then
said, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed. This sentence is confirmed in the last day, when the judge shall say to the nature represented under the figure of goats, Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
Thus, my brother, it is plain, that in all this work of the spirit, there is nothing but glad tidings of good things calculated to confirm, but not to weaken the faith of the believer.
The spirit is emphatically called the comforter, and he comforts, by taking of the things of Jesus, (he who saveth the people from their sins,) and showing them to the soul. Thus saith John the Evangelist, xv. 26. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." Depend upon it, the spirit of God will never represent any part of human nature in a deplorable state, in consequence of their being sinners. Whenever the spirit of God teaches the children of men, he will assure them, that while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them, and that if while sinners they were reconciled by his death, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans v. 10.
You say, Jesus will come again to reward the wicked, as well as the just. There are in the Bible but two characters denominated wicked; the fallen angels, and fallen men. Nothing renders fallen men wicked, but sin or wickedness. But Jesus was manifested to destroy sin, and we have before seen, He is the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.
There are but two ways in the which the sin of the world can be taken away; first, by Jesus Christ putting it away by the sacrifice of himself, and thus representing the human nature in himself as an offering in a clean vessel, without spot, and blameless in love; or, secondly, by his changing these vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to his mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. But in each of these views, the reward is a gracious reward.
The chaff, it is written, will be thrown into the fire; but not a single grain of the wheat, that grew in the chaff; chaff can never be made wheat, nor wheat chaff. Tares never were good seed, nor never can be. Human nature was good when sown in the earth, but the enemy came and sowed his tares, and they will both grow together until the harvest; but no longer. The harvest is
the end of the world, when the seed sown by the enemy shall be separated from the human nature, which was the seed sown by the Son of man; and consequent, upon this separation, the people shall be all righteous, Isaiah Ix. 21, "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified."
Take away all sin, and the people will be all righteous. Sin is of the devil; it is the work of the devil; it is the seed of the serpent. But the human nature is not the seed of the serpent. It was God sowed this seed, and it is God who will reap it; and when he has thoroughly purged his floor, he will gather it into his garner. Observe, it is God who will do this; it is God who will thoroughly purge his floor, &c. &c.
Sir, it would seem as if you believed there was one God out of Christ, and another in Christ!! or rather that the Saviour is not God! in any other sense, than as the lord lieutenant of Ireland, to the king of England. I know this is a common opinion among professing Christians, but it is not a Christian opinion. The Christian has but one God; of which God, the prophet Isaiah speaketh, xlv. 21, "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God, and a Saviour: there is none beside me."
The Apostle Paul knew no God beside the Saviour. the only wise God our Saviour;" Jude 25th verse. The Saviour himself knew no other. Shew us the Father, said Philip, and it sufficeth us. Have I been so long with thec, Philip, and hast thou not known me? The Father and I are one. Although the divine nature is infinitely above the human nature, yet like the body and soul of him, that was exhibited as the figure of him who was to come, they both constituted one man, the man Christ Jesus, in whom dwelt the Godhead bodily. Yea, I repeat, in the human nature of the second Adam, all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt. No, no, no-Jesus will never be subdued. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion that which shall not pass away. But the Apostle tells us, 1Corinthians, xv. 27, 28, "For he hath put all things under his feet." But, when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is 'excepted who did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
When man was lost, the whole of human nature was lost as one son, one prodigal son; and when the second Adam has brought this once lost nature in its fulness, in his blessed self, home to the divine nature from whence it wandered, then God shall be all in all; not only in Christ, who is the head of every man, but in every member, bolonging to that head. It is astonishing, truly astonishing, that it could ever enter into the wild imagination of man, to conceive that Christ Jesus, who, in his human character, always did what was pleasing to the divine nature, should be the last to be subdued! What is subdued must previously have been in opposition. The term subjection implies previous rebellion !!
You will excuse me, my brother; I have enlarged beyond my intention. When engaged upon these subjects, it is with reluctance I quit them.
I believe the articles of Mr. W's faith may be obtained in Philadelphia. Those we make use of are annexed to our hymn book; and if you hear of any vessel bound to this port, if it be your wish, receive both together. you may
I pray God our Saviour to give you, and those with whom you are connected, to grow in grace, and in the knowledge and in the love of God our Saviour.-Farewell.
To the Reverend C. R. of W—.
OUR letter of August 23d by Mr. S. has reached me; I am happy that my intention was answered, respecting the pamphlets with which you tell me you are so much pleased. I shall immediately attend to the hints you have favoured me with, respecting the doctrines you have propagated, as you say, for many