Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

Who had written to the Author, while suffering under a temporary derangement, originating in fearful affirehensions relative to her situation in the World of Shirits.


I have before me a collection of writings from your pen, forwarded to me by a philanthropic friend. It is unnecessary to say that I greatly lament the present state of your mind: but I rejoice in the assurance that in the Saviour's time you will be brought out of darkness, into the light of life, and be translated from the kingdom and power of Satan, our inveterate, implacable adversary, into the kingdom of our everlasting, never failing, unalterable friend, the friend of sinners, the son of the ever living God. Yes, Madam, I do remember, that many years since I was providentially introduced to a lady, who being then under the influence of the arch-deceiver, (who was from the beginning a liar) imagined herself a devil, and that she endeavoured to persuade me to credit her wild, and irrational assertion; but I remember too, that I had then the inexpressible pleasure of convincing her of the utter impossibility of her assertion, the devil being a spirit, and a spirit being without flesh, or bones, both of which it was manifest she possessed. I remember, I informed her, that although my commission, as a preacher of the Gospel, did not extend to the fallen angels, having received no command to preach the gospel to devils, I was yet authorized to preach to her ; she was of my own order, a fallen sinner of the race of Adam. I granted, indeed, that this suffering lady might have been possessed by the devil, and I pointed the mourner, to one of her own sex, who was afflicted by seven of these infernal spirits, and I adverted to the man among the tombs, possessed by a legion; but, I added, that as the Redeemer of men distinguished, in both these instances, between the tormented individuals, and the beings by whom they were tormented, accepting the former, with never failing compassion, and dismissing the latter; so I was enabled to assure her, that God would do with her, and every part of his inheritance, held by this strong man armed. I do remember also, that while I preached peace by Jesus, who is Lord of all, the spirit of God took of the things of Jesus, and shewed them unto the sufferer, and that the evil spirit, not being able to continue (for light and darkness, Christ and Belial cannot dwell together) left her, and she had peace and joy in believing, and consequent upon believing, she was saved from all the misery, and torment she now endures in consequence of not believing. However, let not the enemy rejoice over her, although she be fallen, she shall arise again, although she now sits in darkness, the Lord will be a light unto her, for he who gave himself for her hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. He hath said, when thou fiassest through the waters I will be with thee and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle usion thee, so thou shalt not be drowned by the one element, nor burned by the other. You ask me “why I pretended to cast out Satan by the power of Satan?” But, my dear Madam, I did not pretend to cast out Satan at all, I only made mention of the power and loving kindness of our Saviour, who as a conqueror of death, and him who had the power of death, that is the devil, could by a single word, separate him from you, and every individual of the human family, and who has moreover promised that he will, in his own due time, accomplish this peace-establishing, predetermined division. But if the power of Satan could cast out Satan, then it should be remembered the kingdom would be divided aginst itself, and, of course, could not stand. Poor, stricken sufferer, you have indeed fallen among thicves and robbers, who have cruelly mangled and plundered you, but although you may be robbed and wounded, and left half dead, the good Samaritan still lives, and is as full of compassion as ever, and what the high Priest and the Levite will not, cannot do, he is both able and willing to fierform. You desire me to read the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. I will, I do, and whenever I take them to read, I will remember the words of our Saviour. Search, says he, the scriptures, they testify of me. All the prophets testify of him, and what do they testify of him 2 What says Isaiah? Surely he hath borne our

griefs, and carried our sorrows, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Chapter liii.- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, ix. 6, 7. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it. Chapter xxv. 6, 7, 8.

What says Jeremiah ? Why criest thou for thine affliction ? thy sorrow is incurable ? For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord, because they called thee an outcast, saying this is Zion whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places : and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make merry, and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them and they shall not be small. And

ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Chapter xxx. and all this in consequence of the fearful exhibition narrated verse 23. Behold the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind, it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. Either on Jesus Christ who was made sin for us, who is the head of every man, or, finally, on that wicked spoken of by the apostle Paul, in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, ii. 8. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming. Again, Jeremiah, xxxiii. 5, 6, 7, 8. I have slain in mine anger, and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. Behold I will bring health and cures and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of

peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me, and I will pardon all their iniyuties whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And, verses 15, 16, In those days, and at that time will I cause the branch of of righteousness to grow up unto David and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely, and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

But let us inquire of the prophet Ezekiel, who, notwithstanding all that is said of the blind and rebellious people, assures us, chapter xvi. 60, 62, 63, that God remembers his covenant, I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel informs us, xxxiv. 29. “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.” We are told,verse 30, Thus shall they know that I the Lord their Godam with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.” The prophet Daniel in the second chapter, and fortyfourth verse, asserts positively, that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and, in his 7th chapter, and 17th verse, we are made acquainted with the nature of this kingdom which is never to be destroyed. “And there was given him a kingdom, dominion, and glory, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” But why, permit me to ask, shall not this kingdomn be destroyed? are not sinners threatened with destruction, and is there an individual who liveth, and sinneth not ? This illustrious writer, (ix. 24,) furnisheth a ready answer. “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 reconcilia. tion for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness" and again, verse 26, “ And after three score and two weeks shall Mes. siah be cut off, but not for himself:" This ministry of reconciliation was committed unto the apostles, to wit, God was in Christ reconciling

the world unto himself, not imfuting unto them their transgressions, So says the prophet Isaiah. “The Lord laid on him (Jesus) the iniquities of us all, he was wounded for our transgressions.” The testimony of Daniel is strongly corroborative. “He shall be cut off, but not for himself, he shall finish the transgression, he shall make an end of sin: after which, adds the apostle, having put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” My preaching, both in private and publick, amounts to no more than affectionate and devout solicitations to the wandering children of men, to behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, who died for the sins of the world, who was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, who came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved ; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, who tasted death for every man, and who, by consequence, became indeed, and not in word only, the ficrfect, unequivocal Saviour of all men. It was this redeeming God who I preached unto you when I first saw you. Your mental agonies were then very great, you did not know that God was your father, your reconciled father. The whisperer had separated between you, and your choice friend, he had persuaded you that he who created you was your enemy, and you therefore feared, but did not love your maker. But when I had the felicity of showing you, that this tender, kind, compassionate father of your immortal spirit, so loved you as to give you his son, and with this son freely gave you all things, you believed this good report, and you had peace and joy in believing. You joined your glad voice, gratefully declaring, We love him, because he first loved us, you continued for a time strong in this faith, giving glory to God. No, positively no, this was no “dream,” no vision of an inflated, or heated imagination. It was a well grounded hope, full of immortality, the self-same hope which Abraham cherished, when he believed, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. No, I did not retail to you a “cunningly devised fable,” but I faithfully delivered the message of my God, I found you in a perturbed sleep, scared by dreams, and terrified by visions, but God directed me to awaken you from sleep, and to point you to the irradiating morning of light, and your eyes were opened, you saw the light, and you joyfully exclaimed, “now I believe, not because

« PreviousContinue »