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consequence of which, this our nature is represented as a sorrowful woman, as a barren woman, as a widow woman. Yet, when life and immortality, as God's gift, were brought to light by the gospel, this sorrowful woman was called upon to rejoice cvermore in the Lord. The barren woman has become fruitful, for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the widow, whose first husband, the latu, is dead, is now married unto another, which is Christ.
Finally, this woman, or the human nature, enduring in this world, much tribulation consequent upon great turpitude and manifold transgressions, when separated from inherent contamination and every atrocious prope ty, when her chaff and her tares shall be burned, shall then be found, where John, in vision, saw her, viz. in Heaven, clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. I join issue with you, and exclaim, “a woman exceeds all that has been.”
You say, “We once had fellowship of the spirit.” So we had, and then our fellowship was with the Father, and with the son Jesus Christ, and while this blessed fellowship continued, and we abode in the light, we found none occasion of stumbling. 1 John ii. 10. We then had fellowship in the gospel. Philip. i. 5. We then saw our fellowship in his sufferings (as crucified with Christ.) Philip. iii. 10. If you had continued to walk in the light, we should still have fellowship one with another. We should see, and be assured, that the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord, cleanseth from all sin. 1 John j. 7. When we believed this, we believed the truth; and though you no longer believe, I still unwaveringly believe, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, even the sin of unbelief. But, should I cease to believe, it will nevertheless remain a divinely glorious truth; and when we with every eye shall see, then shall we know, and be ashamed of our opposition ; then shall we regard our doubts, and our incredulity, as instances of folly and infirmity.
You pronounce positively, that I “am doomed to spend a long eternity with you." Not in your present state, I trust. Blessed be God, eternity begins when time ends; but at the end of the world, God will command his angels to gather out of his kingdom (that is all people, nations, and languages,) every thing that offends (that is every thing which is sinful) and them that do iniquity, (that is the evil spirits who now work in the hearts of the children of disobedience, he will then command his angels to separate the seed sowed by the enemy, from the seed sowed by the son of man, and binding
the one in bundles, ordained for the flames, the seed sown by the faithful Creator, viz. the human nature, shall be gathered clean into his garner. Then shall we hold sweet converse, where nothing unclean, nothing which can irritate, shall enter.
Thus have I gone through every part of your letter, and the similarity of your objections has necessitated repetitions. However, upon the ear of the Christian, the good sayings of our God cannot too often vibrate.
Should I adopt your sentiments, I must, consequently, be wretched; but I confide in the sacred records of truth, and have peace. Possibly your heaviness may continue through the whole night of time ; yet God, I trust, will avert so deep a calamity : but even in this deplorable case joy, joy in the Lord, and rejoicing in Christ Jesus, will, in the unclouded morning of eternity, irradiate the benightud region of your immortal spirit. Then will be accomplished what John saw in vision, Rev. v. 13, and we also shall see, and we also shall hear. “Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever. Amen and Amen."
This, my ransomed friend, shall be our employ, and the employment of every creature in heaven, earth, and sea, through that never ending eternity, we are doomed to spend together. In the full assurance of this incontrovertible, this blessed truth, I faithfully, cheerfully, and unwaveringly exclaim, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly: make no long tarrying, O! my God.”
It is in our diviirely glorious Saviour, that I am, my afflicted
friend, your ever faithful servant, &c. &c. &c.
My beloved friend is anxious for particulars of the conversation I have recently held with the Reverend Mr L-of
- and I hasten to gratify a curiosity, which has for its object information most important and interesting. My memory is seldom equal to a verbatim recitation, but, be assured, I shall not willingly misrepresent. Words may vary, but the substance shall not be changed.
I am not certain if I apprized you of the circumstances which produced a result that seems so warmly to engage your whole mind. Mr. S a gentleman whose moral character is unblemished, and of high consideration in the church, was, in consequence of his uniform attendance upon, and firm persuasion of the truth of that gospel, which, by the will of God, I have repeatedly delivered, censured by his brethren as a Heretic. He was frequently called upon to acknowledge his error, while his mind, unconscious of deviating either in faith or practice, from the apostolical establishment, firmly resisted the encroachments of religious despotism. The church, at length, officially desired he would render a reason of the presumptuous hope he so confidently indulged: when, new to exhibitions of this kind, and totally unassuming, he modestly replied, that he stood alone, and did not possess the ability to explain himself or his tenets with that method or freedom which the subject deserved. Mr L-observed, that as I was in town, I had liberty to act as his Attorney-I give you his own words : accordingly Mr. Smsolicited my attendance; he felt assured of my ready compliance with his wishes, and it gave me pain to raise an objection ; but, as I had no connexion with his church, I could not think it consistent to accompany him there. If, indeed, they would commence a public examination, if they would, in the face of their assembled congregation, require a reason of the hope that was in him, I would then be present; and if his hope appeared to me a hope full of immortality, and his reasons reasonable, yet not ackowledged by his judges ; should they think proper to raise an opposition to this blessed hope, and then and there call upon me to defend it, assuredly I would not shrink from the appeal. Mr. S-~-hastened to report; the church Vol. I.
accepted the proposed arrangement; they appointed a day; they met on the appointed day, at two o'clock, P. M. when were assembled many of the clerical order and a very large congregation. Mr. S—was directed to declare his principles. He requested the meeting might be opened by prayer; when the Moderator, officiating Minister of the church, addressed heaven, apparently, in a truly christian spirit. He next explained to the audience the occasion of the meeting, and directed Mr. Sto proceed. The christian then arose and said,
“We are, my friends, assembled on a very serious account.”. (I shall aim at giving you his own words.) “We are now in the presence of the great Gud; we have been addressing his throne, and I hope we shall every one of us consider ourselves as interested in these great concerns. I am thankful to my brethren for the privilege of being thus permitted to declare my principles, and I hope I shall be able to prove them, by Scripture testimony, both rational and divine." Then, taking his Bible, he addressed the people with great solemnity; observing, that, called upon by the authority which he reverenced, to declare his sentiments respecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, he hoped he should be under the influence of sincerity and truth. “ I do then," proceeded he, “in this public manner, declare that I believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of all mankind; that he came into the world for this purpose ; that he accomplished that for which he came, and, that what he accomplished is alone the salvation of mankind. That this redemption is proclaimed by the gospel, and that no man can be happy until he be enabled to believe the gospel of our Saviour. But I do firmly believe that all mankind will be taught of God, will see his salvation. Thus I hope, thus I believe, and I request your patience while I render a few of the words of my God, which first present, as reasons of the hope that abideth
God, speaking to our first parents in the garden of Eden immediately after the transgression, manifested divine compassion. Genesis iii. 14, 15. • And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise. thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' To me it appears very plain that God gave Adam to understand he should suffer in consequence of his disobedience, but not like the serpent. God did not
qurse our first parents, but he cursed the serpent who beguiled them; and he preached unto them the gospel, assuring them that the seed of that woman should bruise the serpent's head. This enemy is he who goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour ; and if it were not that his head is bruised, he would devour. But that all mankind are, as Adam, interested in this promise, is doubted but not by me: I am a believer in its universality, and I request your attention to another witness in this same book of Genesis, (chap. xii. verse 3.) After God told Abraham that he would bless him and make him great, and that he should be a blessing, he adds, • And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' Now if the seed of Abraham was the same that God spake of to Adam, then I think Iought to believe that all mankind are interested with him in this great promise. In the 18th chapter, verse 18, of this same book, the grace contained in this rich promise is confirmed: And all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.' And in the 22d chapter, verses 17, 18, In blessing I will bless thee, in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven and the sand upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nat ns of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.' Thus, by the mouth of God himself, is this promise three times repeated to Abraham. Can I hesitate to give it unlimited credit? In the 26th chapter, verse 4, of this book, God proclaimeth unto Isaac the self same grace. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and I will give unto thy seed all these countries, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' Chap. 28, verse 14. The God-honouring, manrestoring promise is reiterated to Jacob. "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth ; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' Thus God appears in the magnitude of his mercy proclaiming to the family, to the families of the earth, grace and peace in Christ Jesus; and I am constrained to believe the word of a God, yea, and I confidently expect, that every thing which yet remaineth to be fulfilled, will, in due time, be accomplished.
“ Isaiah, in his 25th chapter, from the 6th to the 9th verse, furnishes additional reason for the hope that is in me. And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat