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Christ, and you, madam, were also serious, when you believed this good report, no indeed, we did not lightly esteem the words of Jehovah, when we used it as a lanthorn to our paths, thus walking safely through thick darkness. We did not then see occasion for stumbling, and blessed be the God of "truth, and grace that by the light of life, my own soul is still irradiated. What I first told you, when I preached unto you the gospel, assuring you that Christ died for your sins, according to the scriptures, is, I am confident, as true now as when you first believed, for as it was not your belief that created a truth, neither can your ceasing to believe, convert truth into falsehood. The assurance I first gave you that while we were yet sinners, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, is now as true as when believing it you found therein peace and joy. The gospel I preached unto you, was not yea, and nay, yea when you believed, and nay when you ceased to believe. No, assuredly, it is like its divine Author, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. Therefore, though you believe not, he is faithful, though you deny him, he will not deny himself, though we by unbelief deny that he is our Saviour, he will never deny himself, but on the contrary he will finally prove himself our Saviour, to the praise and glory of him, who so loved the world as to send him to be the world's Saviour.
When you first received the truth, you did not say with the unbeliever, adverted to in your letter, "Behold if there be windows in heaven." You then had no doubt of the truth delivered by the man of God, but, however faithless we may be, whatever has been written under the direction of the spirit of God, shall surely come to pass. If therefore you and I, concurring in opinion, should unite to say, Jesus Christ is not our Saviour, he is not the Saviour of the world, he is not the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, he is not the Saviour of all men, the whole earth shall not be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, the nations of the earth shall not be blessed in Christ. I say, should we, and every individual among mankind, thus absurdly, thus blasphemously affirm, should every son and daughter of Adam, under the influence of an evil spirit, thus, by unbelief, make God a liar, yet my God would still be true, and finally, all who thus gave to Deity the lie, would themselves be found liars, and although they would not enjoy the present good, because of unbelief, yet when that which is written shall be fulfilled, they shall be all taught of God, and, when thus taught,
they shall believe, and be ashamed, and confounded, for that false testimony, which, in their unbelieving state, they bore against their all-sufficient Redeemer.
You observe, “there is a sin unto death.” There is indeed, and, as you further say, "lust when it is conceived bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death," it does indeed, the wages of sin is death, the soul that sinneth shall die. God will by no means clear the guilty." All these are the true sayings of my Father and my God. The apostle had not known lust was sin, till the commandment said, thou shalt not covet. Lust was the first sin; our first parents coveted what they had not. The adversary told our general mother, she should be as God, this she coveted, and when this lust conceived, it brought forth sin, and this sin brought forth death. This death was the patrimony left us by our parents; we, as their descendants, are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and yet there are individuals of our contaminated race, who fancy themselves righteous, righteous in the sight of God, and boldly demand a reward: yea, they speak peace to themselves in consequence of their righteousness! yet, if the sacred records be true, which declare there are none righteous, no, not one, then these deluded persons, indubitably speak peace to themselves, where there is no peace. The apostle was once of this number, "but when the commandment came it slew him, and he died, hence the law is called a killing letter, and by this sword of the spirit, with which Saul was killed, the Lord will slay the nations. I kill, saith the Lord, and I make ali ve, but it is not till after they are thus killed, and made alive, that they become sensible how much they are indebted to the reconciled God, for the unspeakable gift with which he hath blessed them, in the seed of Abraham, which seed, is the life of the world. But there is a sin unto death. The soul that sinneth it shall die, says the prophet, and this sin when it was finished brought forth death, and as there is no man who liveth, and sinneth not, so the sentence of death is passed upon all men, and as God declared he would by no means clear the guilty, this sentence of death has been fully executed on every man. When Jesus died for the ungodly, when he died for the sins of the world, when by the grace of God he tasted death for every man, then sin being finished, brought forth death. He, says the prophet, shall finish the transgression, he shall make an end of sin. The apostle informs us, he put it away by the sacrifice of himself. Peter declares, he bore
our sins in his own body on the tree. John says, God sent his Son into the world, that we might live through him, but we could not live through him, if we had not died through him, for then the soul that sinned would not have died, God would then have cleared the guilty; nay, should we believe that we, as sinners, could obtain heaven, without, in some way consistent with divine justice, suffering the sentence of the righteous law, then would our faith make void the law. But Jesus came not into the world to destroy the law, but to fulfil the law. The law said the soul that sinned should die, but Jesus came to fulfil this law, yea, every jot, and tittle thereof, therefore he died once for all, he, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man, but, it was the finishing of transgression which brought forth death, when he cried with a loud voice it is finished, he bowed himself and gave up the ghost. The love of Christ, saith the apostle, constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. Thus God, instead of clearing the guilty, exacted the uttermost farthing, hence he is a just God, and a Saviour, hence he is just in justifying the ungodly, and hence also appears the justice of God, in the sufferings and death of him, who in himself, detached from the race of Adam, was pure, and undefiled perfectly sinless. But, it should be remembered, Christ is the head of every man, the individuals of the lost nature constitute the aggregate of our Lord's mystical body, the comprehensive term union is the key by which we unlock this mystery, the head and members are united, and the iniquity of the members, is visited upon the head. In any other view that law, which is holy, just, and good, could not have condemned to death an immaculate being; there would be as much injustice in punishing the innocent, as in clearing the guilty, but I repeat, our Almighty Saviour was the head of the lost nature, and he became accountable for the sins committed by the members of his body; yes, he bore the sins of all those who went astray, and, thus standing in our place, it was just the effect should follow the cause, that death, the wages of sin, should fall on the transgressor. It is therefore that when the Redeemer was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, he was dumb, and opened not his mouth. No, certainly, for the iniquity of his heels, at that awful period, tremendously compassed him about. Thus then, in this stupendous connexion, bearing the sins of his body, it became divinely just that he should suffer the death, that the punishment should follow the offence, but if it were
just to inflict the penalty of death upon Jesus Christ for our sins, then it becomes just that we should live through him, hence as he died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should be the Lord's, so he is now our life, and when he who is our life shall appear, then shall we appear with him in glory. Now, therefore, may every soul that hath sinned, say, with the apostle Paul, who styled himself the chief of sinners, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, but we behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. The strength of sin is the law, but Jesus was made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law, being made a curse for us. He has blotted out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, nailing it to the cross, so that beholding Jesus, who hath thus conquered death, and him that had the power of death, we are authorized to say, Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that this victory is given to every sinner, is abundantly evident from the command given to the disciples, to preach the gospel to every creature. Thus are we delivered from death by the dying of the Lord Jesus, and from the fear of death by yielding credence to the message, the disciples where commissioned to deliver. There was a time when you believed the message of peace I was sent to declare unto you, and you will again say, return unto thy rest, O my soul. Yes, I know the wages of sin is death, the scriptures assure me of this, and I believe their testimony, but the gift of God is eternal life. I am persuaded it is, the scriptures declare it, and I believe it, and believing that my life is hid with Christ in God, I am assured when Christ, who is my life, shall appear, I shall appear with him in glory. Were any spirit to tell me this will never be, I should know it to be a lying spirit, were any of my fellow men solicitous to rob me of my confidence in my God, I should know they were under the influence of an evil spirit. Yea, were every man in the world to unite in their testimony against this truth, viz. that God hath given me, and every man, life, and that this life is in his son, I should still say, Let God be true, and every man a liar. Yes, my friend, God hath given me life, I should make him a liar if I said he had not. But in this our day, the mystery of iniquity worketh in the hearts of a very large proportion of the children of men, so that they believe not. However, as you very justly observe, "God will destroy this mystery of iniquity, by the brightness of his coming," and when this mystery is destroyed, it
cannot work, then every eye shall see, then every tongue shall confess Jesus, and whoever shall confess, shall be saved. True, this is a time of probation, a time to determine who hath faith, and who hath not, who, as believers, are not of this world, and who, as unbelievers, are of the world, who, as believing, God hath given them life in his son, are giving him glory by setting to their seals that God is true, and who are uniting with him, who was a liar from the beginning, in giving God the lie.
Your are perfectly right, the apostles never worked miracles by the power of Satan; no, the true apostles, delivered from the power of Satan, make mention of the loving kindness of the Lord, and ascribe all glory unto our God. Thine, say they, is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. The false apostles say, the arch-fiend, combining with the evil heart, has power to destroy what Christ came to save! The false apostles affirm, that what Emmanuel came into the world to destroy, will never be destroyed. Jesus came into the world to destroy sin, which is the work of the devil, he came into the world as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, which is the work of the devil; he came into the world to destroy death, which is the wages of sin, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil. But the false apostles constantly affirm, that sin, death and the devil will never be destroyed, that they shall continue forever. The true apostles affirm that God so loved the world, he gave them his son, that the son so loved the world he gave himself a ransom for all, that by the grace of God he tasted death for every man. The false apostles declare that God does not love the world, that he did not give them his son, that the son did not die for their sins, or that if he did, it was to no purpose, that God has not compassion on every man, and that Jesus did not taste death for every man.
The true apostles assert positively, that while we were yet sinners we were reconciled unto God by the death of his son, and that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses. The false apostles assert as positively, that while we are sinners, we are not reconciled to God by the death of his son, and that God still does, and ever will impute unto the world their trespasses. The true apostles pronounce God the Saviour of all men; the false apostles declare he is not the Saviour of all men, that he never will be the Saviour of all men. The true apostles confidently say, that in the seed of Abraham all the nations