« ZurückWeiter »
man is determined to do a certain piece of work which must needs be done, what need is there of his doing of it? Supposing a man was in the water, where, if he stays long, he will certainly drown, and he believes he shall not die there, but believes that God intends he shall use his endeavors, and get out and live, what use would there be in his trying to get out? If God means that all men shall repent and believe the gospel, and so be saved, and that repentance and faith are the very way to salvation, and that for man to repent and be lieve is the only means by which he can ever come to salvation, what need is there of his using these means? I conclude by this time, the objector is ashamed of his objection.
And, seeing no ground there, for any further objection, he forms another, thus:
Well, if your doctrine is true, and mine is false, I shall finally be saved, for if your doctrine is true, it will pick me up; but if yours is false, and înine true, it will not pick you up, so you see I have two chances for Eternal Salvation, to your
ANSWER, I allow, if you have good works enough to be as certain a Saviour as Jesus Christ, then you have two chances for Eternal Salvation to my one ; for I confess, that I have but one chance for Eternal Salvation, and that is Jesus Christ. But will you consider what this objection amounts to? It is this : that if you cannot finally be sav. ed in believing a lie, and trusting to your own inventions, you can finally be saved by the truth, yes, and I rejoice in believing that when you have labored for salvation in your own way, and shall find that your own labor all fails you, Jesus will not cast you off forever, although you now seem to be so willing for him to cast off others, for I confess, and my heart rejoices in it, that you have as good a right is Jesus as I have, blessed be God; But would it not be better to believe the truth,
AN APOLOGY FOR BELIEVING IN and be saved now by receiving Jesus Christ as all in all ?
And now, to the limitarian preacher, or brother, or sister, I have only one request to make to you, and I have no more to address to you in particular, at present, and that is, I request of you to use these arguments which I have offered in this little book, in the same manner that you wish people to use your arguments when you are laboring to convince them of the truth, believing them to be under a deception; for I do seriously view you under a deception; in that you think that you understand the Mystery of Salvation, whereas, you are altogether ignorant of it
, and therefore go about to establish your own righteousness. Now, if you
think my request is reasonable, I beg you to attend to it; but if you say it is not reasonable, I beg you to remember that you are undeserving of the candid attention of any person with whom you may wish to reason, and that sooner or later, you must receive that measure which you mete to others.
Now, a few words to those who profess to believe in Universal Salvation through Jesus Christ, and yet live in a course of open wickedness, friends, that which I believe is the gospel of Salvation, is blasphemed by its opposers through you, when they know of your committing wickedness, they say: Ah! there is the fruit of the doctrine of Universal Salvation; thus, your wickedness is the cause of blasphemy against that truth which proclaims the salvation of a lost world. O, my friends! if you do not believe that Jesus Christ has died unto sin once for all men, and that therefore all men ought to reckon themselves dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God through Jesus Christ: I say, if you do not believe this, why do you say so ? but if you do believe it, why proceed so absurdly? Why do you not say in your hearts, "how shall we that are dead to sin, live
any longer therein ?" Think not, my friends, that your acknowledgment of the truth will exempt you from stripes if you live wickedly: No, no, you must die to sin, you must die the second death, and if you do not submit to it willingly, it will have power on you, and hurt you, for let me tell you, if you continue in your wickedness, a time of awful calamity to your souls stands be, tween you and the Kingdom of glory; but if you will believe the truth which you profess with all your hearts, so as to turn to Jesus by prayer and supplication for the manifestations of his grace, you will soon obtain a victory over sin, and your souls will be like a watered garden, and you will rejoice in that day, in the salvation of God, and praise him with a song of thanksgiving. Thus you may be born again, and see the Kingdom of God through faith, to your souls joy and rich consolation. Now say, is not this better than a mad course of wickedness in which you have to endure the tortures of guilt and damnation, or condemna. tion ? And in which your own ways cast up the mire and dirt of your own corruptions, and if you acknowledge it is better, then leave your wicked courses, turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and look to him diligently until you feel the well of Salvation spring up in your souls to your entire satisfaction, for I tell you, it is as free for you and all men, as the air in which we breathe, or the rays of the sun which shines, or the drops of rain and dew which distill upon us. O, then, open your hearts by believing, and looking until you receive it, and live! And now to conclude: it seems to me, if we had no prepossessions respecting Eternal Salvation, but had only understood how the goodness, knowledge, wisdom, and power of God was exercised, we should have thought our eternal safety, at the end of all our works, and rewards, surer than the pillars of Heaven and earth. And it is believed that
in ages to come, the Christians will think it as strange that ever we could believe in the doctrine of eternal misery, as we now think it strange that the people in the dark ages could believe that it was right to have a court of inquisition, and torture people to death in the most cruel manner, to support Christianity. And if I have erred in any of this work, may our Good Creator forgive me and all the rest of the children of men their faults and trespasses, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE following is not written with a light mind, and it is hoped that no reader will consider it a light thing whether we really entertain the true faith or not; and the writer* understands that the sentiments, expressed in the following few lines, are congenial with the faith of God's Elect.
A CHARGE TO THE JURY ON THE FOREGOING CASE, BY THE RT. HON. CHIEF JUSTICE,
Gentlemen of the Jury :'
The case now before you, is properly a law question ; for although the defendant was indicted, or accused of very high crimes, such as believing lie, and deceiving others.. Yet it is evident that the plaintiffs were either malicious, or else they knew not what they were about, for as the point at issue is this : does the law of God require eternal misery as the punishment for any crime what, ever? And as the plaintiffs say, it does, and the defendant thinks it does not; therefore he had as fair a pretence to accuse them, as they had to accuse him, until they had proved their assertions. —But as this question is submitted to you to an: swer, I have somewhat to lay before you, for your assistance. I have been acquainted with the law of God more than five thousand years, and I have never seen a threatening of Eternal misery in it. And while the defendant has been laying before you the immutable promises of him who cannot lie, I have taken a fair view of the immutability of God, the immutability of his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and declared afterwards, by the mouths of all his holy Prophets, the immutability of his Son Jesus Christ; the immuta