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as well as the happiness of the creature he had fashioned, were the objects of his pursuit. Thus speaketh our God by the prophet Isaiah : “ For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it : for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.” But as our most arduous efforts cannot add a single stimulative to render Jesus Christ more unwearied in his attempts to ensure our salvation, in his effort to accomplish the gracious purposes
which were fore-ordained; as we cannot in any way, by adding to the force of his almighty power enable him to gain his point : so neither will any assistance, which our opposition to the Divine Being may afford the adversary, enable him to gain his point; he will as surely ultimately lose the day, although he should be assisted by every created being, as his conqueror will, by the almighty power of his own arm, obtain a decisive victory, leading captivity captive.
But, although neither our transgressions nor our virtues can avail in the great question of our redemption, yet in the place 'assigned them they are of high importance. Good and benevolent actions, uniform propriety of conduct, may profit a man like myself; virtue, human virtue possesseth much appropriate beauty; and the evil which I may do may pierce my own bosom, and may essentially distress my fellow creatures.
Hence the Apostles as well as their Divine Master, directed us to avoid every description of transgressions, and uniformly to be found in the practice of every virtue. And indeed those very admonitions, so frequently occurring in the book of God, as forcibly prove his love to mankind, as any arguments of an indirect nature, which we could possibly select. For if God commands me to glorify him, it is because he is determined his own glory shall be established; and if he commands me to do good unto all men, it is because he determines that all shall be the objects of his favour. The Divine Being would never make that my duty, giving to the performance of such duty strong marks of approbation : would never declare that an observance of his precepts, constituted the character of his children, if he himself were not found perfect in this character.
Indeed, indeed, Sir, every thing conspires to prove the truth as it is in Jesus, that one grand truth, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses. The sacred volume is calculated in every sentence to explain, and to illustrate this grand truth. The law of God stops every mouth. The gospel of God opens every mouth, and will finally give to every tongue a song of thanksgiving.
It is true that in the present state the sentence of the law doth not stop every mouth, because every individual doth not fully understand the law, neither is every mouth open to show forth the praises of him who was made under the law, to redeem them that were made under the law, being made a curse for them : because in this their day, these things that make for their peace are hid from their cyes.
But the day of the Lord cometh, when the exceeding breadth of the commandment will be made known to every one that is proud, and to every one that is lifted up, who indulges a vain imagination of attaining the righteousness which the law of God requires. Then will every mouth be stopped, which was not by the same divine discovery stopped before, and on the same great and emancipating day of the Lord, the things which make for peace will be fully manifested, and all flesh shall see them together. Then shall they behold the glory of the divine plan, in such sort, that from the overflowings of their grateful hearts, their mouths shall cheerfully and perpetually show forth his praise ; and you, my dear Sir, will even in this life behold so much of this salvation, as to enable you to proclaim abroad its sovereign efficacy. I feel a strong persuasion that the veil will shortly be taken from your heart, that your visual ray will be purged, and that you will walk steadfastly in the light of life. No, Sir, you will not continue shut up in darkness, you will be brought to acknowledge your present doubts as yoạr infirmity.
Again he sighed bitterly, and trembled exceedingly, while tears of anguish gushed in his eyes, and in a voice of horror he replied.
K. No, no, it is decreed I never shall, I never can be happy.
M. Many of the children of God have thus exclaimed : Hatha the Lord forgotten to be gracious ? Is his mercy gone forever? Will he no more return ? Thus they have believed, and thus questioned, as long as God permitted them to remain in darkness. But the vision is for an appointed time ; if it tarry, wait for it. Godi will say to the spiritual as to the natural world, let there be light, and beyond this appointed time the vision will not tarry a single moment.
I know all I can say, or all the men in the world, will not give you peace, until God is graciously pleased to shine into your be
nighted mind, and it is only the knowledge that the Divine Being graciously condescends to work by instruments, that ever upon these occasions opens my lips. I can only supplicate for you the mercy of our God, that he will restore unto you the joy of his sal. vation.
A multiplicity of engagements necessitate my departure; but ere I lcave you, suffer me to say, that although you should find yourself spiritually, as the prophet describes the land ; if the fig tree should not blossom, if there should be no fruit in the vine, if the labour of the olive should fail, and the fields yield no meat ; if the flocks should be cut off from the fold, and there should be no herd in the stall, yet may you venture to trust in the Lord, to stay on the God of your salvation : for although you walk in thick darkness, in darkness which you so severely feel, although you have no light, yet, of one thing you may be assured, that he who dwelleth in light, dwelleth also in the thick darkness, and although you know it not, he is ever with you ; and trust me, or rather trust the promise of your God, he will in his own good time bring you into his own irradiating presence. Farewell, you are my brother and my friend,
Again his eyes gushed, and he affectingly said, while he grasped my hand with ardour :
K. Farewell, may all those blessings which I can never taste, rest in great abundance upon your head.
I did not leave this gentleman without a pang, but your own feelings on this occasion will fully explain to you what mine must have been.
I have spent a cheerful, and I trust a profitable evening, with a number of my friends ; much conversation has passed, among other things a gentleman observed.
Your system, Sir, is the most unpopular of any that ever was thought of. I do not wonder it is so little attended to. We should address the passions of mankind, in order to draw them to any considerable purpose. There is nothing like playing upon the passion of fear; terror is a grand instrument. But your plan is effectually calculated to cast out fear, and so of necessity to destroy the influence of gloomy superstition, and remorseless bigotry. It is how. ever laying the axe to the root of a certain description of people. And so indeed it is, and this class of men will if possible, make me feel their resentment. God give me in patience to possess my soul.
You have silenced your enemies among us, Sir, said A; the peo ple in our village have now nothing to say. Your arguments are so convincing that opposition is struck dumb.
M. It is much easier to confound than to convince, to silence than to satisfy
A. But, Sir, our people are both convinced and satisfied.
1. I think you must be very happy, when you reflect that the same enemies who oppose you, opposed also your great master.
M. It is my glory that I am one of his household, and should my treatment correspond with that which he received, when they accused him of casting out devils by the prince of devils, still I am more than content, I am honoured and happy.
A. It is, Mr. Murray, my firm opinion,if Jesus Christ were again to make his appearance among us, he would be received precisely as he was among the Jews.
M. Why not, I beseech you. They who then conspired against him, did not know him, or they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory, and was he to make the same appearance, he would be no more known now, than he was seventeen hundred years since, and consequently his reception would be the same.
4. Your opposers discover a vast deal of passionate resentment, indignation, and rage.
M. Their resentment is harmless, Sir. It can never seriously hurt me, nor do I greatly wonder at their wrath, they are very proud, nor can it be a matter of surprise that they feel their elevation. They conceive themselves greatly distinguished from by far the greatest part of mankind. The discriminating attention of an illustrious character even in the present state, confers self-importance upon the object of favour, and the individual thus honoured, will not in general bear opposition so well as if he filled a more humble station, and as he is distinguished above or beyond the rest, he cannot forbear distinguishing himself ; so those who believe themselves elected from the greater part of mankind, while the rest are reprobated, are highly conscious of their privileges ; the more they conceive themselves advanced in the favour of the Supreme Being, the more arrogant they become, and consequently more opinionated, passionate, and spiteful. It has been observed
that the more zealous any person is in any religion, except it be the religion of the Lamb of God, the more he evinces a spirit of persecution and cruelty.
The religion of the meek and lowly Jesus indeed teaches us to measure unto every man, the same measure which we measure to ourselves. If we measure to ourselves the love of God, the salvation of God, and a fulness of bliss in worlds beyond the sky, we are taught to measure to every individual the self-same measure. We cannot set at nought our brother, we cannot despise him, we cannot say unto him, I am more holy than thou. Whenever an individual is puffed up with an idea that he is more holy than his brother, he will imagine God loveth him better, and he will feel towards that brother almost as much rancour as he imagines God feels toward him, and he wants nothing but the power, lo conduct toward him almost as bad as he believes God himself will conduct toward him.
Not that I conceive any individual in the present state, has attained so high a standing, as to be willing to become an instrument of eternal torment to any of his species. This kind of perfectibility seems, according to a fundamental opinion, inculcated by a certain sect, to be reserved for the blessed in a state of beatifaction, where the writhing torments of damned spirits are to constitute a large proportion of that felicity, which is laid up for those denizens of heaven.
But if the legislator does not empower the zealous bigot to strip, whip, and imprison the heretic, they will do all they can; they will rob him of his good name, they will murder his reputation, and if after saying all manner of evil against him, they find they have brought themselves into disrepute, and that they are regarded as backbiters, liars, and slanderers, while the object of their hate is invulnerable to all their abuse, they will next discover their pride and passion by contemptuous silence, affecting to take no notice of the object of their abuse.—He is below their attention; they will pass him with insolent scorn, thus sitting the example 10 others whom they know are in the habit of looking up to him for direction.
Such is the uniform operation of false religion, from which may God deliver us. I have both seen and felt the effects of it, and shall again I make no doubt.
A. I hope not, Sir ; I am willing to believe the days of prejudice are gone past, and that the morning of religious as well as civil liberty is dawning upon us.