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power given unto them to believe the preached word; and the the third, For all that the Father gave the Son. But, who were given by the Father to the Son? Behold, saith the Father, all souls are mine; and, saith the Son, all thine are mine. I will give thee, said the Father to the Son, the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. All things, we are told, were made for him, and he is the appointed heir of all things. Yes, I repeat, I do believe there are an elect number to whom it shall be given, in this their day, to see the things that make for their peace; the election hath obtained it, and the rest are blinded; but I say again, the day of the Lord cometh, when all that which in this their day is hidden from their eyes shall be made manifest, and then every eye shall see. What shall every eye see? Why, the things which make for their peace, to be sure; which was that Jesus was indeed the propitiation for their sins, and that Christ is indeed the life of the world.
What our Saviour saith of the right eye, &c. &c. he saith unto us and to all, even to the elect. It would undoubtedly be better for us to enter into life with one eye, than into hell with two; for in hell the worm never dieth, in hell the fire is not quenched; and the Pharisees who would not part with their right eye or their right hand, were not only children of hell themselves, but their converts were two-fold more the children of hell, than were those whose proselytes they were; but, blessed be God, death and hell shall deliver up the dead which are in them, and death and hell shall be cast into the lake of fire. I regret my letters have not been sufficiently explicit. Yes, truly, these shall go away into everlasting pun. ishment; but I do not recollect that it is any where said, the sheep shall go away into everlasting punishment; again, and again I say, that I unwaveringly believe this denunciation was addressed to another nature, a nature which is reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day, a nature which was cursed from the beginning; which nature shall then be separated from God's inheritance,and sent into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Yes, undoubtedly, the unbeliever at his death bids adieu to every source of consolation; and not informed that he has redemption in the Beloved, and that God can be a just God and a Saviour, he feels ten thousand deaths in fearing one; and this misery shall continue until the people are all taught of God, until the face of the covering shall be removed, and the veil taken from all nations, and death
swallowed up of victory. Yes, I am a believer in future misery, but of its duration I know nothing, because I know not when the end of the world will be. But this is certain, that at the end of the world, the tares will be gathered out, will be separated from the seed sown; and I know nothing else that gives offence to God or misery to man. I frequently cry out with the prophet, How long, Lord, ere the wickedness of the wicked shall come to a final end; ere Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, shall fall to rise no more; ere the whole earth shall be filled with that knowledge, which leadeth to everlasting peace?
No, my friend, the scriptures do not every where speak of the punishment of unbelievers as everlasting; yet, I am confident if they could be everlastingly held in unbelief, they would be everlastingly miserable. But the God of this world who blinds the minds of all unbelievers, hath but a short time to reign; this consolatory truth is well known to all the followers of the Redeemer; and the abundant mercies of their God fill the hearts of the redeemed with joy, and give a song of thanksgiving to their lips.
Yes, there are characters, there are individuals of the human family, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord; but it is one thing to be punished with everlasting destruction, and another to be everlastingly punished with destruction. If your candle were to burn to endless ages, and you put your finger into that candle, but for a moment, you would suffer, for that moment, the pain of everlasting fire. But, saith the scripture, O, thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end!
No, dear Sir, I am not an advocate for purgatory in the way it is generally understood. It is not purgatorial fire, it is the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord which cleanseth from all sin. I know nothing more necessary than for the Saviour to say to all men, as he said to the man among the tombs, Come out of him; or as he said unto the leper, I will, be thou clean. When, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, he purged our sins by himself, he then finished the transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness.
Jesus Christ hath now only to make himself known to the offspring of his Father, as Joseph did to his brethren; to make them understand that God sent him into the world to save them alive, and light and life will inevitably follow.
I know that the scriptures affirm, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. And thus the same scriptures will continue to say, For the gospel day, which is the day of salvation, is the last dispensation. The scriptures will therefore continue to say, "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
If in this life only we had hope, we should indeed be miserablė. This is a solemn truth, which we are taught by experience forcibly to feel, and we know that God is able to subdue all things to himself.
No, dear Sir, God will not say at the moment of our dissolution, Let him who is filthy be filthy still; let him who is unholy be unholy still; for who then could enter into that rest, where nothing that defileth can enter? Are there any who can say, I have made my heart clean? But after that the Lord of the harvest shall have thoroughly purged his floor, he shall then say, Let HIM that is filthy be filthy still; and HIM that is unholy be unholy still. O, my friend, how much more we shall know in future than we have yet been taught; but this we may now know, that many of God's offspring may, and no doubt will be everlastingly blessed and happy without being born; and this being the case, all the words of our Saviour may be true; their names may have been written in heaven; they may sit on thrones, &c. &c. although it might have been better for one of them that he had never been born; in other words, that he had given up the ghost ere he drew, in this vale of tears, his first vital breath.
What a changing state is this; blessed be God, it is not our everlasting home. There is a rest remaineth for the people of God. You must sensibly feel the loss of your amiable sister; yet she is not lost, but gone before-yet, a little while, and we shall hear our Saviour say to us also, Come up hither.
I regret that I cannot have the happiness of looking in upon you in your little retreat; but we shall meet at home. Forever blessed be our Redeemer, who hath assured us, that in his Father's house are many mansions; there, through his almighty love, and almighty power, we shall ultimately meet though death and hell obstruct our way; until that period, may you encounter as few of the evils, and experience as many of the blessings of existence, as may consist with a state of humanity.-Farewell.
To a Friend, entreating him to commence a Gospel Preacher.
YOURS of the second instant was delivered me yesterday. The vein of humour which it contains is perhaps peculiar to yourself. I cannot say that I do not experience some pleasure in casting my eye over such productions; but the effect is as transient as the cause is light. Pope has said, Wit's a feather; and you will have no hesitancy in subscribing to his opinion.
Let me see you as soon as you can find it convenient; and if this cannot be immediately, do not delay to indulge us with the music you have composed for the particular measure of Mr. Relly's hymns. Your harmonical friends, (and they inform me I merit a place among them) are anxious for your performance of the promise, with which, as they say, you voluntarily indulged them, relative to this said music.
There is no one, or rather there are very few, who take so much pleasure in music, as I myself do; and although I am entirely ignorant of those rules of which you are master, and probably shall continue in ignorance in this particular, at least while I remain at the foot stool; yet none are more sensibly hurt by discordant sounds. Does this fact rank me with your harmonical friends? At any rate, I think it characterizes me a lover of music. Yes, I delight in harmony; and although I can never hope to bear a part with those who sing with understanding in the present state, yet, in that hope which is full of immortality, I please myself with the prospect of bearing a considerable part in the grand chorus taught by your teacher. There, I trust, through the merits of a complete Saviour, I shall be permitted to join in singing the song which will be forever new; and if what the Poet affirms be just, I shall unite with those who say,
"The chief of sinners you'll allow,
I think I have heard it somewhere observed, and if I have not, I take the liberty to make the observation myself, that no person ever made a good singer who was not inspired; and although there is divine inspiration to some souls, even in mere sounds, yet I cannot forbear thinking the sweet singer of Israel made much better music, when he felt the divine enthusiasm accompanying the witnessing spirit, when the truth was made known to him, which stands on record in those divine songs which were penned for our instruction and consolation: I say, the royal Psalmist sang a higher and a bolder strain when he tuned his harp to such heavenly music, than when he warbled thoughtless and unmeaning sounds. O, my friend, the subject of those inspired songs of Israel's King warm and elevate the soul, giving it to soar, on wings of fire, to its native source.
This leads me directly to a paragraph in my last letter, to which you have not replied. Was it that when you penned the facetious epistle before me, you did not feel yourself sufficiently serious for a subject so important; or, not having well weighed the matter in question, did you intend to take it up at a more convenient season?
You are, it must be acknowledged, a very useful man in your present character. But, trust me, my friend, it would give you more pleasure on reflection here and hereafter, as a servant of Jesus Christ, to know that you had turned a single individual from the error of his ways, and taught him the things that made for his everlasting peace, than if you had taught the whole world every principle of music, that your extensive genius has given you to comprehend.
Sir, since our Saviour has made you acquainted with his salvation, there is a duty incumbent upon you. Ought you to put your candle under a bushel? you know you ought not. Why do you not let your light shine before men, that they may glorify your Father which is in heaven? Have you not heard that they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever? Is it not a desirable object to pursue a prize of so high a description? Tell me, my friend, of whose side are you? Are you on the Lord's side? If you be, come up into the chariot of love, and ride on from conquering to conquer, through him who hath loved you. Many are striving to turn the children of men from righteousness, even the righteousness which is of God, by faithShould there not be some with trumpet tongues to point them to