« PreviousContinue »
ering, though the veil should be now upon their hearts, though in consequence they may be greatly terrified, and their eyes run down with tears, God, who cannot lic, has pledged his sacred word, that he himself will remove the face of the covering, that he himself will take away the veil, that he himself will wipe away tears from all faces, and that he will swallow up death in victory. Yes, I join issue with your quotation from the prophet Isaiah, “because God knew that his fiedfile overe obstinate, and their neck as an iron sinew and their brow brass, therefore he erhects nothing good from them, acquainted with their character from the beginning, he knows it is not in them to will, or to do ; but it is in God both to will and to do. He can, and will remove the brow of brass, he can unbind the iron sinew, he can, and he will make them willing in the day of his flower. You say, the fat and the strong shall be filled with judgment, and that the abomination, that maketh desolation standeth where it ought not. The fat and the strong must intend either that wicked, which the Lord will destroy, or self-righteous individuals, who are full of their own fleshly excellence, and glorying in their own strength, such shall indeed be filled with judgment, for every high and lofty imagination shall be brought low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted. Isaiah, x. 23 “For the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in the midst of all the land.” And in chapter xxviii. 22. of the same prophecy, “Now thcresore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong, for I have heard from the Lord God of Hosts, a consumption even determined on the whole earth. Thus the Lord will consume that flesh which causes men to glory in his presence, after which era, whoever is found glorying will glory in the Lord. But, the abomination that maketh desolation standeth where it
ought not. The Mystery of iniquity, is the abomination of the
whole earth. Therefore, saith the Lord, Isaiah iii. 26, “she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.” Sin has made dreadful desolation in the earth. But Jesus came into the world to destroy this abomination, he found it, he still finds it in his surchased fossession, where it ought not to be. It was the work of an enemy to sow it there, but behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. God knows the abomination standeth where it ought not, and therefore he will take it away, and when he has done this, it shall be so completely removed, that it shall be sought for, but shall not be found. Its place, the human nature, shall know it no more.
And for this we will enter his courts with thanksgiving; for this we will sing hallelujah to the name of our God.
Your list of quotations continues—Ye compass sea and land, to make one proselyte, &c. &c. Our divine Master is here preaching to the scribes and Pharisees. Let us hear how he who spake as never man spake, describes them. First, they shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, they would neither go in themselves, nor suffer those to go in who were entering. Secondly, for a pretence they made long prayers. Thirdly, they devoured widows' houses. Fourthly, they paid the tenth of mint, but omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. Fifthly, they made clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they were full of extortion and excess. Sixthly, they scourged such as God sent unto them. Yet, seventhly, and lastly, to complete their character, they were so very good, and had so much zeal for the welfare of mankind, and so much pity for the souls of men, that they compassed sea and land to make one proselyte. This character you seem disposed to apply to me. With me, however, it is a light thing to be judged of men's judgment. Such as are acquainted with me, will know I never attempted to shut up the kingdom of heaven against any individual. Having, by the grace of God, entered myself, I do not take pains to hinder those who are entering. I make no pretensions to superior excellence, nor do I assay to prove the sanctity of my heart by the lengths of my prayers; I have not availed myself of my unblemished rectitude of character, for the purpose of devouring widows' houses. I have not insisted upon the payment of the tenths of mint, &c. I have, by the grace of God, spoken of judgment, mercy and faith; of judgment, because the Prince of this world is judged; of mercy, because it shall be built up forever ; of faith, because it is the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for, by it the Elders obtained a good report, without it it is impossible to please God. I have never approved of scourging a messenger, whether he was sent by God or man. Lastly, I have never crossed sea nor land for the purpose of making proselytes. I am no maker of proselytes, nor of any thing else. I make mention of the loving kindness of our Saviour, and of his righteousness all the day long. The scribes and Pharisees, as proud, vain boasters, self-righteous, and bitterly opposed to Jesus of Nazareth, were properly called the children of Hell, and when they made proselytes, the young zealous converts were two fold more proud, vain,
self-righteous, and opposed to the true Christ, and his righteousness, than the old moderate deceivers who made them. When I preached to you, I did not hide from you the righteousness of God, in order to stimulate you to go about to establish a righteousness of your own.
I endeavoured to prove you had no righteousness of your own.
I strove to prevail upon you to submit to the righteousness of God, which is by faith. You believed, and submitted ; what was the consequence? You had peace and joy, you rejoiced in Christ Jesus, and had no confidence in the flesh. You passed from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, and you then found that you loved the children of our common father.
Again, you turn my attention to the marriage of the King's son. When the whole company were assembled, the King entered, &c. &c. When the servants went out into the high-way, they gathered all they found, but the King on his entrance found there a man who had not on the wedding garment; this man was bound and then cast out. Now who is the King ? and who the Son of the King ? The everlasting Father, the faithful Creator, the divine Nature is the King. The head of every man, the second Adam, in whom it pleased the Father all fulness should dwell, is the beloved Son. The guests are the children of men, men of every description. The wed. ding garment is the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference. But who is the man found among the wedding guests, without a wedding garment ? The man of sin who opposcth, and exalteth himself, &c. &c. The man who made the world as a wilderness. Isaiah xiv, 16, 17. This man had not on the wedding garment, when our Saviour took on him the seed of Abraham, that he night be the Saviour of the world, by becoming their righteousness. That he might be the life of the world, he passed by the nature of Angels. This enemy is however with, or in the midst of the guests, and will continue there, until the King, as Almighty, gives orders to bind him, and cast him out. Then will it be emphatically said, “ The arcuser of the brethren is cast out.” Then shall this evil spirit be taken, and separated from the guests. Then, when the sons of God, and we are all his offspring, shall assemble together, this adversary shall no more be in the midst of them.
When he shall be questioned in the last day, he shall be speechless. The Prince of darkness shall no more mix with God's inheritance, but the king shall cast him out into his own kingdom, into
outer darkness. The guests are very numerous, but there is but one amongst them without a wedding garment, even that one who was found among the sons of God, in former times, Job i. 6. Thus is the salvation of the human nature, the destruction and torment of your adversary the Devil, who said to our Saviour, on seeing him draw near, in order to cast him out, “Art thou come to torment us before the time?” Let us then give glory to our strong deliverer, who will, in his own time, complete the work of salvation, by binding this strong man armed, and spoiling his goods. You say, “it is not in your power to manifest unto me, the torment of your body and soul.” God help you, my afflicted friend, I sympathize with you most sincerely, you are indeed in the dark; darkness genders fear, and fear hath torment. But if you had power to look with a single eye on that Saviour, who was the proftitiation for your sins, and not for your sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world, your whole body would be full of light. Darkness is Hell, Light is Heaven. In Hell there is torment; in Heaven peace and joy. You are dead, but your life is hid with Christ in God. Shut up in darkness, you cannot see this life, but God our Saviour is not in the dark. He knows he is your life, and he knows when he who is your life shall appear, you will appear with him in glory. The things which make for your peace are now, in this your day of darkness, hid from your eyes. But the day of the Lord cometh.’ The Lord's day will be a day of light, and this light will manifest what the darkness concealeth. Why God who is emphatically styled Love, Love in the abstract, should suffer so many of his purchased possession to remain so long under the power and dominion of the grand adversary, is a secret which belongeth unto him, and him alone. But blessed, forever blessed, be the merciful High Priest of our profession, he has not left us in the dark, with respect to his divinely gracious purposes. The things which make for peace, will not always be hid from the eyes of his inheritance; you, as a part of his purchase, will shortly know your Redeemer, and live to sing his praises. Yea, even while you set in darkness, and see no light, the Lord Jesus is your light, and your salvation, and as he is now, and ever will be, the light of the world, so, in his own time, he will assuredly lighten every man who cometh into the world. I know this, and am not afraid ; that is I believe God, and I am in consequence saved from fear. If I should believe you, and not God, I
should be in as much torment as you are: but God is true, he is faitho
ful who has fromised, and he has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You tell me of my casting out the unclean spirit, “when you had power to cast out the unclean spirit, &c. &c.” Alas! I never had any such power, when I preached the gospel unto you, and you believed the good report. The power that drove from your heart the spirit of unbelief, of bondage, and of fear, was not the power of the imbecile individual who was sent to you, on an errand of peace; all the power which was delegated to me, was to proclaim the truth of God. I trust I did not arrogate any thing to myself, I meant not to assume the attributes of Deity, I only took of the things of the power of Jesus, and shewed them unto you, and we beheld his salvation, and rejoicing therein, we united in doing homage to the Redeemer of men.
Again, you direct me to the book of Revelations, anxious to attach to me the character of the false prophet. This reference necessitates mc to repeat myself, or rather the good sayings of my God. That there are two spirits cannot be denied ; the one benign, the other baneful; the one a true, and the other a lying spirit; the one affectionate, the other malignant, the one the friend, the other the adversary of man; the one the accuser, the other the advocate, or mediator. Both these beings have their kingdoms, and dominions, the one a furchased kingdom, consisting of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, the other a kingdom usurped by an adversary, and by deceit and violence, enchained until an appointed time ; the former is a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, the latter a dominion ordained for destruction. Again, these two powers have their kingdoms, the one consisting of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, the other of unrighteousness, confusion, and sorrow, cngendered by an evil spirit. The former of these kingdoms is eternal, the latter is only temporary; certainly not, for the time is rapidly approaching, when there shall be no more pain, when there shall be a new heaven, and a new earth, and the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his feofile, and he will be their God, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more flain, for the former things are passed away. Revelations xxi. 3, 4. Thus shall the kingdom of Satan pass away, while the kingdom of the Prince of Peace shall endure forever.