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from the chief judge, Unbelief: in which they condemned my cause wholly unheard. Therefore, I appeal from this unjust court; and now proceed to make my Plea, or Apology, before the honorable, the supreme court of Proper Candor, Sound Reason, Good Understanding, and True Faith. I have chosen this figurative representation of the manner in which many people judge of religious ideas and practices, which do not cor respond with their own, for the sake of calling the attention of the reader to the nature of my Appeal. For I wish you to observe; that as I have seen* and heard that many people whom I had highly esteemed, have condemned my present sentiments as dangerous doctrine, &c., when they had never been candid enough to reason on the subject at all, so as to understand whether it was a subject of true faith or not. I say, I wish you therefore to take notice, that I have appealed from that Bigotry, which prevents the reader froin being candid; and from that blind Superstition which is against Reason; and from that Ignorance which blinds the Understanding; and from that Unbelief which hides the truth of God from the Understanding, and so keeps the place which ought to be occupied by true faith in the promises of God. I wish you therefore not to read my book with Bigotry, which means an unreasonable prejudice against it; nor with Superstition, which means a blind attachment to your own religious practices. For if you read with these principles in you, you will remain as ignorant, and as unbelieving when you have done reading, as you are before you begin.
And be so kind as to consider further, that I make my Appeal, and my Apology, to Candor, Reason, Understanding and Faith.
These are the tempers, and powers of mind in, and with which, I wish you to read my little book; and if you are not exercised with these,
you had as good not read as to read: for I have nothing to address to your Bigotry, Superstition, Ignorance, nor Unbelief. I have had trial enough before that hateful, self-important, pretended court already. Neither am I the first man who was condemned in this unjust manner. The Papists always refused to hear the reasoning of the Protestants; but persecuted them to death, without giving them a hearing. Yea, and the Presbyterians, Calvinistic-Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, Free-will-Baptists, and others, have each in their turn, been used more or less, in the same manner by the older denominations, as soon as they were supposed to be for any innovation. But do you think it an honor to those people who burnt the Protestants alive, or those who hanged the Quakers in Boston; and banished the Baptists to Rhode Island: that they refused to hearken to their arguments before they persecuted them? And if you acknowledge that their proceedings were hateful, then be wise enough not to follow their example. And especially if you profess to be Christians, let your moderation be known to all men.
N. B. I shall omit, in my quotations from Sacred Scriptures, those words printed in Italics, as interpolations, or words supplied by the English translators, because they are not Sacred Scrip. ture.
In which the Jury, composed of Calvinists, Arminians, and Universalists, are desired to be under the immediate influence of the honorable bench before mentioned.
WHEREAS, it is acknowledged by Calvinists, Arminians, and Universalists, that all men have sinned, Rom. V, 12. That the Scriptures hath concluded all under Sin, Gal. III, 21. And that God hath concluded them all in unbelief, Rom. XI, 32. Therefore it has become a question which occasions much dispute at the present time, whether God has determined to employ such means as will finally issue in the restoration of all his creatures to his own nature; or whether he will finally leave a large portion of them to linger under the galling torments of Sin and unbelief, to the
wasteless range of a world without end.
This question is the occasion of the following work. And I expect to be able to show, that the best evidence which we can have, from Holy Scripture, from sound reasoning, and from the best feelings of man, is in favor of the restoration, and of course that the doctrine of endless torment is a false doctrine. In producing this evidence, I expect,
1stly. To reason from the Scriptural and acknowledged attributes of God.
2ndly. From the state of man from Adam to Moses, and from Moses to the coming of Messiah, and the state of thousands since.
3rdly. The promises, and prophecies to be fulfiled in the gospel dispensation, together with the nature of the gospel testimony, and best feelings
I believe it is acknowledged by all Christians and Christian ministers, that God is Infinite, (let us remember that Infinite is a word which means more than we can think.) And that whatever quality the Holy Scriptures attribute to God, he of course is infinite in said quality. Now the qualities which the Holy Scriptures attribute to him are, Power, Wisdom, Knowledge, Goodness, Love, Righteousness, Holiness, Truth, Justice, Mercy, Patience, Light, Life and other such heavenly qualities.
As I now mean to state the Calvinistic and Arminian systems, and to show their falsity from the nature of God, I would have it noticed, that it is an absurd notion to suppose that any one attribute of Jehovah is opposed to another, as for instance, to suppose that his justice is opposed to his mercy, as is often represented, or that his love and goodness are opposed to his power, or his anger, (or, more properly, ardour;) for if Jehovah was possessed of two qualities at the same time, opposed to each other, it would follow of course, that he had two minds, or inclinations; yes, as many minds as he had dissenting qualities. And it is frequently represented so by those who profess to be gospel preachers. They say that justice says, cut down the sinner and send him to eternal misery; but mercy says, spare him, &c. Now these are both supposed to be in our Creator, as if he had two dispositions towards the sinner, opposed, one to the other: or, which is equally absurd, to say, that God the Father is for destroying sinners, having justice and power to do it; but as if God the Son having more mercy, and not so much justice, pleads with his father to spare them. This idea must be rankly opposed to the following Scriptures, Deut. Vi, 4, "The Lord our God one Lord." Gal, iii, 20, "But God is one." JOB XXIII, 13, "But he is one, and who can turn him? And his soul desireth even he doeth.”
JAMES 1, 17, "With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." MAL. III, 6, "I am the Lord, I change not."
It is evident from the foregoing Scriptures, that God is one, and of but one mind, without any variableness, or even a shadow of turning. Of course he never had but one disposition towards any creature, neither will he have any other to the ceaseless rounds of Eternity.
But as mercy and justice are supposed to be opposed one to the other, I would observe; there is no mercy but what is agreeable to justice; neither is there any justice but what is agreeable to mercy: hence, God, by the Prophet, asked man, Micah vi, 8, "And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy," &c. Now, I suppose every person will acknowledge this Scripture is consistent; but if the above notion of mercy and justice were true, how could it be consistent, if they were opposed one to the other? The man who loved justice, must hate mercy, and the man who loved mercy, must hate justice.
But the truth is, the man who hath mercy on the poor and distressed, and giveth them of his money or goods to relieve their distresses; he acts justly," for the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof;" and if it is rightly understood, the merciful man knows it is just that God's suffering children should be partakers of his bounty, let who will be the Steward, who hath the care of his goods. While the just man dealeth justly with all, he knows it is unmerciful to withhold from any man his just due; and that mercy and justice both require that he should do by others, as he would have others do by him, in like cir
By this time you cannot avoid seeing that mercy and justice are perfectly united in man, who was made after the similitude of God, and of