« PreviousContinue »
repeat, that the whole Bible agrees in this one divine testimony, that Jesus is, and will be, the complete saviour of his own, that is the human family, which for his pleasure are, and were created, and the complete, all-sufficient, all-glorious conqueror, of his, and all men's inveterate adversary, the complete destruction of death, and of sin, which originated with, is the work of, and springs from, this baleful foe. Hosea xiii. 14. “O grave I will be thy destruction.” Glory therefore to our incarnate God, the just God, and the Saviour who will render unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are God's. The descendants of the first dwellers in Paradise are, unquestionably, the things which are God's. Sin, that now abideth in our hearts, is indubitably the work of the devil, and the sins of mankind may, with propriety, be considered the things of Caesar. This Prince of the power of the air, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience, and thus letteth, and will let, until he be taken out of the way. But out of the way he shall be taken, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, and he is faithful, who hath promised, and who will perform. Again, Zachariah v. The prophet saw in vision a woman, in the midst of an epha, and the spirit “ said, this is Wickedness.” Thus you see wickedness is called a Woman, the woman spoken of in the Revelations, who made the nations drunk with the wine of fornication. But this wickedness was carried into the land of Shinar. Babylon was in the land of Shinar, and being the residence of iniquity, is properly styled the abomination of the whole earth. Revelations xvii. 5. The Prophet Ezekiel, in the 18th chapter of his prophecy, gives us a view of God's righteous Law, we are there assured that the soul that sinneth shall die. We have before considered this positive declaration, we have before concluded all under sin, every soul hath sinned, death, we have seen, is the wages of sin, and Jesus by suffering death, hath paid the wages which were due, by the grace of God, tasting death for every man. Tis therefore that the love of Christ constrained the apostle to judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, so that what Moses and the prophets say of sin and of death, the wages of sin, only serves to shew the greatness of the grace which came by Christ Jesus, and of the gift of God through him. The sum and substance of the Old and Mew Testament results in two eminently consolatory facts. The wages of sun is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Death, the wages of sin, was due to every man, to the whole world, and the gift of God, which is eternal life, is given to every man, to the whole world. But the gifts, as well as the callings of God, are without | reflentance. God having so loved the world as to give them his Son, that this son, thus given, may be the life of the world, will never repent, or call back again the mighty gift. Jesus Christ is now, and will forever be, the life of the world, which divine truth will, in due time, be testified, for it is written, They shall be all taught of God, and when they are all taught of God they shall know him, and when they know him they shall believe in him, and when they believe in him they shall be saved from the misery which is consequent upon unbelief. Unbelief is the work of the devil, every unbeliever is blind, but it is the God of this world that blinds the children of men. Jesus, however, as we before observed, was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and he will assuredly accomplish his purpose. Indeed the revelation of Jesus, who is the light of the world, will destroy the darkness which covers the earth, the gross darkness which covers the people : like the rising sun, he will dispel by the brightness of his coming, the long night of error which hath enshrouded his inheritance. You obscrve “you will now preach to me.” I am ready to hear every one, who is willing to preach to me, because I possess a criterion, by which I can distinguish the ministers of Christ from the ministers of antichrist. The ministers of Christ are under the influence of the spirit of Christ, nor can we be deceived in the character of this spirit; our Saviour has told us, his shirit is a comforter, who shall take of his and shew it unto us. Every one taught by this spirit when preaching to their fellow sinners will preach the same doctrines which the apostles preached, “to wit, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses,” and whoever lends credence to this divine report, will have peace and joy in believing. The spirit of Antichrist, on the contrary, is a spirit of bondage; they who are under the influence of this spirit, will assure us that God does not love sinners, that Jesus Christ is not their Saviour. They do not preach peace by Christ Jesus, they assure sinners God is not reconciled to them, nor ever will be, and the believers of these doctrines will have neither peace nor joy. If you be under the influence of the spirit of God, your preaching to me will be in the following manner. “Thou art a guilty, an ungodly man, thou art a poor undone lost sinner, but listen to the word of the Lord by
the prophet Isaiah, i. 18. Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord ; though your sins be as scariet, they shall be as white ás snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool: and you would add, behold, by grace thou art saved, for when thou wert without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly, yea verily, and his errand into the world was to seek and to save that which was lost.” If my unbelieving heart should reply, But he did not die for me, I must therefore assuredly die for myself. Taught, and sent of God, you would confidently return, “ Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man, Death as the last enemy shall be destroyed, shall be swallowed up of victory.' In fine, God is love, and every one directed by his spirit will preach the truth, as it is in Jesus, they will shew sinners that the love of God, is the love that thinketh no evil, that God's thoughts from everLasting, were thoughts of peace, and not of evil, and that even where he chastises, he loves, and where he scourges, he receives, and that though his offspring forsake his Law, and walk not in his statutes, and that in consequence he may visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes, nevertheless his loving kindness will he not take away, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail.
Be assured I am too well acquainted with my faithful Creator, my mercifui Preserver, my divinely glorious Redeemer, my complete, and all-sufficient Saviour, be assured, I know too well what belongs to all these characters, ever to consider myself unsafe in his hand. I shall never harbour suspicions of this my best friend, I shall place unwavering confidence in every word he hath uttered, and although angels ard men were to unite in their endeavours, to render me afraid of the august Parent of my spirit, I would boldly
say, Let God be true, though every other individual thus become a liarsures, when you told me “we should mcet at the judgmenti.
seat, and spend an eternity together,” I blessed God for the truth which you uttered, and I do so still, because I firmly believe the word of the Lord, which word assures me, that the just God, before whom we shall stand, and who will be our judge, will also be our Saviour, and that when, in that day, we shall meet our Saviour, we shall find him in the very same disposition of mind he was in, on Niount Calvary, when he gave himself a ransom for all, and when praying for his murderers, he said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When I blessed God that we should spend an eternity together, I fully believed it would be a blessed
I'eternity; this I believed on the authority of God, and on the same
divine authority I still base my unwavering faith, nor can any thing you say, nor any thing advanced by any other person or persons, ever create doubts of my Saviour's veracity. Indeed I did not expect a blessed eternity in consequence of any thing in you, or me, to merit the divine favour. No, I had a much better ground for my hope, such a ground as gives me an hope full of immortality, of a blessed immortality, for you, and for me, and for all the fallen race. On testimonies similar to the following, this, my enduring hope re
6 Be it known unto you, not for your sakes do I do this, but for mine own name sake. But his name is an everlasting name. It is Jesus, his name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, and all souls are his : and as nothing can hurt mankind but sin, this is glad tidings to all people. The name Jesus disarms my fears, and bids my sorrows cease; it is musick in the sinner's ears; it is life, health and peace. While this is the name of God, my Lawgiver, and my Judge, I say again, not all the men on earth, nor all the Devils under the dominion of the Prince of the power of the air, can ever make me afraid. No, certainly, it is impossible to know his name and not to trust therein. They, said the inspired writer, who know thy name will trust in thee. You direct me, in your next page, to attend to the prophet Isaiah, where he de. clares, I am God, and there is none else, well, I am satisfied this is the same God, who affirms, by the same Prophet, “ I am God the Saviour, and beside me there is no other.” Is there no God, but the Saviour? and can I expect any thing but salvation from a Saviour? From the same divinely instructed, heaven-taught scribe, you add “My council shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” His council, was a council of peace, the council of peace was between them both, this peace was made by the blood of the Cross, and the Covenant of his peace shall not be removed. This is the peace the angels preached to the shepherds this is the peace the Saviour gives us; this is the peace signed, and sealed, by the blood of the covenant, and delivered to the Apostles, when they were sent forth to proclaim peace to them that were nigh, and to them that were afar ff. The true apostles all preach this peace, and they preach it to all, to every creature, How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of those that publish this peace.
Again, The Lord saith I will do all my pleasure ; God taketh no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but rather than the sinner should
die, it pleased the Lord to “ bruise the Saviour, and to put him to pain," to make his soul an offering for sin, God's will is his pleasure, but God willeth that all men should be saved. It is therefore his pleasure that all men should be saved, that all men should come unto the knowledge of the truth, and the God of truth declares, I will do
all my pleasure. If I had no other support than this, it would not ; be in the power of men or devils to shake ny confidence. Indeed if
Gud had said, by his prophet, The Devil, and the evil heart, will not suffer me to do all my pleasure, but they, by their opposition, will execute all their pleasure, then assuredly, I should be filled with the most terrifying apprehensions; but, blessed be God, neither the one, nor the other of these are almighty, Omnipotence is the attribute of no other being, but of him who says, “I will do all my pleasure. Yes, blessed be his glorious name, He is mighty to save, and strong to deliver, and it is therefore, that when we, by his direction, pray for the salvation of all men, we pray in faith, nothing doubting. We cannot doubt his power, for he is Almighty; we cannot doubt his will, for he is love ; and he hath moreover assured us, that it is his will all should be saved, we pray therefore in faith, knowing that whatsoever we ask, according to his will, we shall receive. When therefore I pray for your salvation, and the salvation of every individual, who says I shall not receive an answer of peace? Not the spirit of God, for then the promises would not be yea, and Amen to the glory of the Father : and, authorized by the word of my God, I pronounce positively, that whatever spirit affirms I shall not have my petition granted, when I ask the salvation of all men, and ask according to the will of God, and by his direction, such spirit, I say, must be a liar, even that spirit who hath been a liar from the beginning.
Again, you add, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed, I will also do it. “The Lord hath spoken, what? And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts, make unto all people a feast of fat things, 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 will wipe away all tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, If therefore the Lord says, I have spoken, I will bring it to pass, what have I to fear respecting myself, or any other of the children of men ? though they may be now blinded by the face of the core