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Jesus spake to his own, so did the Apostle ; and the Apostle declares, God hath included all in unbelief, that he might have mercy
But Jesus Christ spake to sinners, and the Apostle declares himself to be the chief of those sinners which Jesus came to save. I wonder if Mr. I. never thought of the two last verses of the twenty-third chapter of Matthew? What could he mean by citing 2 Peter 2, 3? The fifteenth of Acts will explain of whom Peter was speaking; and although there were then but few of that description, yet they are now so multiplied, that it has become difficult to find in any denomination, preachers of any other description.
However, the probability is, that all that is intended by what Peter says, may be explained in 1Corinthians iv. 15, v. 6. I know that it is said, 2 Thessalonians, first chapter and ninth verse, Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power. But, blessed be God, the second chapter of this same Epistle fully explains this passage, and all others of like import:
“Let no man deceive you by any means : for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin, be revealed, the son of perdition :
“ Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way.
“And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."
• A certain ingenious preacher recently expatiating upon this text, “Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth ;" addressing his audience with abundance of sang froid, singularly, if not impiously, observed :
“Surely, my hearers, that could not be very great, which was destroyed with the breath of a mouth" !!!!!
The popular sophist might have added, The orb of day must be less than a rush light, since a rush light cannot be constructed without labour, and the orb of day was called into existence by a word. Genesis i. 3, "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Neither can the heavons, nor the heavenly host, be of any considerable magnitude, since they
Revelations, xix. 20, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet;" What him? Who was the beast? Whoever he was, he, with the assistance of the false prophet, deceived the nations, Revelations xviii. 23, and xix. 20. We find them meeting their reward; for these both are cast into the lake, Revelations xx. 10, 14. Pray, my dear Sir, are you not in an error? Were not these two last passages given by you to Mr. I.? I should rather
suppose they were. Is it possible he could look at these passages, and not feel confounded? I promise you he will be confounded, when he sees them fulfilled. Do but read them again; I will not utter a word by way of comment.
“And the devil that, deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night, forever and ever.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire ; this is the second death.”
But you, my friend, have the use of the Bible, as well as Mr. I. ; and could you not have found as many plain passages of scripture, on the face of the letter, proclaiming salvation to a lost world, as your minister could of those, who, in his view, preached damnation ?
Sir, are you not aware, that if the point were reduced to this question, you could greatly out number those apparently opposite passages. Make, I pray you, the experiment, and commence your pursuit, where our God, consequent upon the first offence, commenced his dealings of mercy. Hear him in the garden of Eden assuring the beguiled pair, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head; and proceed forward through Moses, and the prophets, through the evangelists, the Acts, and epistles, unto the last verse in the Revelation to St. John, the divine, make, I say, this experiment, and let me know the result. '
The nations are enmity against God. Why? Because they suppose he is enmity against them. How came they to form this conclusion? They are deceived. Well, if they be deceived, they are consequently in an error. But who hath deceived them? The beast and the false prophet. Suppose the beast and the false
were commanded into being by the breath of the mouth. Psalm, xxxiii. 6, “ By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth."-Edit.
prophet were destroyed, how then? They would no more deceive. Who is it undeceives any individual among the nations ? The true prophet. Who is the true prophet? Jesus of Nazareth. How does this true prophet undeceive them? By his word and spirit; through the instrumentality of those whom he hath brought into the light. These chosen, elected servants of God, know what the deceived nations of the earth do not know, but what sooner or later, they must know, because he that deceiveth them shall be destroyed.
Glory be to him, who was manifested for this very purpose ; when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him
as he is.
It is not my wish, that any thing should happen which can have a tendency to break your peace; and I trust you are so far taught of God, as to continue steadfast in the faith unto death. S. abused me in his sermon on Sunday morning-but I had my revenge; I preached Jesus in the afternoon to sinners as bad as he or me,
MY VERY GOOD FRIEND,
This moment your kind letter is handed me by Mr. H. for which, accept my thanks; nay, my wármest acknowledgments are your due.
When I parted with you in W-, my spirit seemed to go with you; it was our bodies only which separated. How grand the idea which combines with that sentiment; distance cannot separate minds, minds which are the most, if not the only essential part of being. And is it not just; how often do friends, between whose bodies yast continents rise, and whole oceans roll, meet and mingle souls?
I rejoice that you have spoken well of the Redeemer's name ; I congratulate you on your promotion; it is infinitely greater than if
you were raised to a bishoprick. True; this promotion of yours will not ensure the riches and honours of this world ; but you know what was our great Master's opinion of articles of this description, when the God of this world spread them before his view as a mighty bribe.
Our Christian friends at Om, no doubt, found both pleasure and profit from your labours; and I am well persuaded your own heart was gladdened by the consideration, that you had taken this method to spread the savour of a Redeemer's name. I expected you would, on Tuesday, be blest with a sight of your family, and I am happy to learn that they continue in health. I fully approve your proceedings amongst your connexions; and I am confident your conduct will give to all our Christian friends inexpressible satisfaction; may you go on from strength to strength, and may the pleasure of Jehovah
hands. I am sorry Mr. J. contemplates a removal; I do not think the dwellers at T will form a more advantageous connexion ; however, I am in sentiment with D. C.; he is not blame-worthy for declining preaching to empty pews. I think I could not bear to blow the trumpet, if there were none to hear. It appears to me, however, that if it had pleased God to have given honest Mr. J. the knowledge of the true Christ, and grace to determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified, he would not have been condemned to the necessity of preaching to naked walls. But to him it is not given; and no man can know the things of Jesus, but by the Spirit of God. Dear man, I both love and pity him ; and I do most devoutly pray, that the Holy Spirit may lead him into the paths of peace. Yet I know God will send by whom he will, and not by whom we will. I think our Saviour distinguishes you very highly, in giving you such friends and such enemies. That they, who dwell with pleasure on the final perdition of souls, are your enemies; on the final perdition of the offspring of God, for all souls, are unquestionably the offspring of Jehovah. Such as expatiate upon the destruction of these souls, are your enemies; while all those who love our Lord Jesus, and believe on him, knowing him to be the Saviour of all men, to be testified in due time, are your friends; this, I say, I regard as a precious distinction; it is a favour that never was conferred upon any but the true ambassadors of that King, whose kingdom is not of this world.
I am happy to find you solicitous for a more extensive knowledge of the scriptures; those scriptures command you, when you
are searching Moses, and the prophets, the evangelists, tai 358 lack wisdom, to ask of God, and assure you, that every one who asketh, receiveth. The scriptures in the hand of God, are sufficient to make you wise unto salvation. The scriptures are an inexhaustible source of good, so that however large the multitude may be, or whatever their characters, you will never be obliged to send any individual empty away; you will be able to distribute to every one of them a portion in due season.
The scriptures, says our Saviour, testify of me; and our Saviour says, I am the truth, and the life. Every one who is able to receive these sayings of our blessed Lord, will never be at a loss for subjects, if his Bible be in his hand. I pity those who are ever searching for the living among the dead, and for the dead among the living. They who look unto themselves for those characteristic excellencies, by which they are to escape eternal death, and obtain a prospect of everlasting life, let them call those excellencies by whatever name they please, virtue, change of heart, conviction, new nature, divine nature, holiness, inherent righteousness, sanctification, new birth or Christ within us, called by some, an inward or spiritual Christ, in opposition to that outward Christ, supposed by many, of no more advantage to mankind than Mahomet. I say, all who are, on such principles, searching for eternal life, are certainly searching for the living amongst the dead. On the contrary, they who apostles, for a Redeemer, a Christ descending from the abodes of blessedness to condemn the sons of men, are certainly searching for eternal death, amongst the living witnesses of him, who gaye himself for the life of the world, where, blessed be God, whatever they may think, they will never find their object, however diligently they may search.
You seem to lament your want of memory, the paucity of your ideas, and your slowness of speech. But, my friend, habit and attention will enable you, in a great measure, to surmount those difficulties, and that, before you are aware. That confidence which you must experience, in the consistent and well digested plan, which you have so deliberately, and so fully adopted, will be as oil to your chariot wheels. The Apostle speaks conviction when he
says, It is good that the heart be established in faith. I think this sentiment is expressed by one or other of the apostles, but if it be not, it is however true; fór no man can derive pleasure from speaking of the things of God, except he be blest with that confi