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sin and death.” And the spirit of our God, by the prophet Jeremiah xvi. 18, thus expresses this matter :
“ And I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double ; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.” These carcases are the flesh, the works of which are so very manifest. These carcases are the flesh that cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. When the nations are slain (as Saul was, when the commandment slew him) by the sharp sword, which goeth out of the mouth of him who is called the word of God, who trod the winepress of the fierceness of Almighty wrath ; then shall we find the result precisely as predicted, Revelations xix. from the 17th verse to the close of that chapter.
“ And I saw an angel standing in the sun ; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven ; come and gather yourselves togeiher unto the supper of the great
“ That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men both free and bond, both small and great.
“ And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
“ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before bim with which he deceived them, that received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
“ And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
In the parable of the sower, who went out to sow, we find some seed sell by the way side, and the fowls of the air catched them away. Our Saviour in his explanation of this parable says, and these are they by the way side where the word is sown; but when they have heard Satan cometh immediately and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
We learn in Revelations xviii. 6. that she who made the nations drunk with the wine of fornication, is to be rewarded. « Reward Vol. I.
her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works : in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double."
Many other passages might be introduced to illustrate this matter, but I am apprehensive I shall fatigue you.
Upon the whole, I must confess it appears to me from what little acquaintance I have with the sacred oracles, that they constantly hold up two beings, one the Father of spirits, the other the Father of lies; one the preserver of men, the other a murderer from the beginning; one an advocate for sinners, the other an accuser of the brethren ; one the giver of every good and perfect gift, the other the worker of every evil work in the hearts of the children of disobedience. It is true those two beings are mighty, but they are not, nor capnot both be Almighty: One only can be Almighty, and in order to strengthen our faith, in the good words spoken to us respecting what he is still to do, when he shall put the finishing hand to what he came to do, he hath already in many instances indulged us with specimens of his omnipotent power.
Yes, the pit digged by the Arch-Adversary, shall open and receive him who prepared it. Yes, the nations who are destined to walk in the likeness of the desire of nations, shall be gathered together at the very threshold of the holy place, where our immaculate fore-runner hath already entered for us, and where nothing that defileth or maketh a lie can enter: nor could we possibly find undisturbed repose even in the presence of God, if sin or evil of any description could obtain admittance there.
At this august perio<l, this grand enemy of our nature, shall by the great high-priest of our profession be brought forth, and his works, the iniquities of all mankind, shall be removed from them and laid on him to whom they properly belong; and when this is effected, the eternal separation shall then be made. The adversary and his vile abominations, shall be separated from the purchased possession, and sent into a land of forgetfulness, a state which the human family can never inhabit, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch his tent there, the shepherds shall not make their folds there, nor aught but emblems of darkness and uncleanness abide there.
But the ransomed of the Lord, thus completely saved, shall be made partakers of, and shine as the sun for ever in the kingdom of the Father.
All this is plainly exhibited to my understanding, in that menorable transaction before the door of the tabernacle, and there is one grand argument which serves to corroborate ; nay, in my opinion, which puts my view of this interesting passage beyond a doubt : the names of the beings to whom the lots belonged. There were, you will recollect, two lots ; one for the Lord, and one for Azazel, thus written in the margin of many Bibles. The word Azazel, says the Hebrew student, is literally translated Devil. This indeed is rendering to Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and to God the things which are God's. Amen, so be it.
I confess this view of things furnishes a key to many other parts of divine Revelation; those, however, I will not at present introducė, and it is with great difficulty I can ever explain myself in this way, on any subject. I am not, I repeat, I never was designed for a writer, nor, even in speaking, did I ever gain any thing by premeditation.
I persuade myself my Redeemer has given me a consistent view of his sacred word, and devout gratitude for his gracious and designating goodness, lives in my heart. It is in consequence of the great and elucidating mercy of my God, that I am rarely at a loss. The scriptures thus seen are mighty in my view; there is no standing before them; and it is by this sword of the spirit, that I so uniformly triumph over all opposition. I would not meddle with him on any consideration, said a clergyman, who was urged to encounter me, he does not argue fair, he is continually taking refuge behind the strong ramparts of scripture: he has absolutely embodied a number of texts, forming them into a kind of phalanx ;, these are his fortifications, his strong holds, from which we cannot route him, and until we can meet upon even ground, the contest would be unequal and vain.
I pity from my soul those who make use of scripture, without a view of its consistenc;. I acknowledge, said a preacher with whom I have had frequent opportunity of conversing, I acknowledge I am not consistent : but am I not as much so as the scripture ?
There are few things more surprising, than that such men as you introduce in the favour before me, who seemed so well acquainted with truth, should be such warm advocates for falsehood. Who can more fully display the extensiveness of the great salvation, or the universality of the redemption of man, than Mr. Wesley; or its freeness, than Mr. Erskine ; or both, than Mr. Hervey? yet they all agree in the number saved.
Those who are made holy, are elected, and saved, says Mr Wesley,
Such as are elected, are made holy, and then saved, says Mr. Erskine.
But of all who have written upon this subject, Mr. Hervey is to me the greatest mystery. Our invaluable friend, Mr. Relly, soon after I was indulged by his distinguishing regards, made me ac. quainted with the book you mention, and applauded it much. “I think,” said he, “ I may say of this book, as it is storied king Charles said of Barckley's Apology, it is as near the thing, and not the thing, as any thing I ever met with.” I sometimes exclaim, is it possible these preachers, these writers, do not see their own absurdities ? But why not possible, when it is not yet given them to know the things which make for their own peace, and for the peace of their fellow men.
The high priest of this place, who once called the people who hear me, his people, and who held them as long as he could, some time since paid a visit to a very old lady, once of high standing in his church, and after pathetically lamenting her relinquishment of principles, and dereliction of orthodoxy, the following conversation ensued.
B. It appears to me, Madam, that James Relly's Union is the bible of you Universalists, and yet it is plain he denies the work of the Spirit !
T. Mr. Relly, Sir, speaks of the work of the Spirit, the same way it is spoken of in the sacred scriptures. He speaks of it as glorifying the Redeemer.
B. But he denies the work of sanctification.
T. Sir, he assures us Jesus Christ is made of God, unto us sancfication.
B. But the scriptures declare we are sanctified in part,
B. I cannot remember the chapter and verse. But you surely do not doubt there is such a scripture ?
T. I do indeed, Sir.
T. Excuse me, Sir, I do believe you think there is, and there was a time when I should have conceived it criminal, to have called in
question any thing you had asserted; but although my attachment to you is not lessened, yet I do not depend so much upon you, nor am I so much awed by you, as I formerly was, except therefore you can point out the passage, where we are said to be sancii fud in pari, I must be pardoned for calling it in question.
He then called for the Bible, and, with an air of self-importance, turned over many leaves, and not being able to find such a text, he told her he would look for it at his leisure, and she begged that when he found it, he would show it to her. This he readily promised, and then proceeded to admonish her, warmly cautioning hei to beware of false teachers.
T. Thank you, Sir, assuredly I will follow your counsel.
B. I hope you will be brought back to your high standing in our church, for if you are not, you will give evidence, however bright may be your career, that you are not of God, and you will find, that awful scripture fulfilled, God out of Christ is a consuming fire.
T. Pray, Sir, where do you find that scripture?
T. Yes, Sir; and I am peculiarly happy, in being assured there is no such text in the Bible. I should be indeed miserable if you could prove there was a God out of Christ.
The disappointed gentleman arose in anger, literally gnashed his teeth, and after addressing her in the wrathful spirit of excommunication, quitted her, and has never since honoured her by the smallest attention.
But these masters in Israel, of whatever description, are continually preaching up a God out of Christ; a righteousness out of Christ ; a holiness out of Christ; and instead of gathering with him, they are continually gathering from him ; and instead of having the faith of Abraham, believing that in the promised seed, all the faniilies of the earth shall be blessed, with all spiritual blessings, they do not seem to have any idea of any one of the sons of men, being blessed with any spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus; and hence they are constantly directing their hearers to seek for the sweet water in the bitter fountain, light in darkness ; a new.piece in an old garment, new wine in an old bottle ; grapes on thorns ; figs on thistles ; the living amongst the dead, and indeed, it is the divine spirit alone, whose office it is to glorify the Saviour of the world, that can manifest him as the sweet water flowing from the fount of Deity; the true light of the world ; the new divine nature; the new and heart