Page images
PDF
EPUB

any claim to make, but because he would have mercy on the he would have mercy; of the same lump, making one a resse to honour, and another a vessel to dishonour. Which sorereign right to dispose of his own grace, they saw belonged to God; of whom, and by whom, and to whom, are all things : to whom be glory for ever! Wherefore, as the fittest and happiest thing in the world, they brought themselves, soul and body, as the Jew used to bring his bullock to the altar, and presented themselves a living sacrifice to God; seeking daily to be more and more transformed into the divine image, and devoting themselves, in all bumility and love, to the duties of their several places; not slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (Please to read the 12 first chapters of the Epistle to the Romans.),

The Saints at Ephesus also, who formerly had their understandings darkened, their hearts blind and alineated from God; yea, who were quite dead in sin ; and so far froin any right to claim mercy, that they were without Christ, having no hupe, and without God in the world: yea, even by nature children of wrath: yet these, of God's mere sovereign grace, according to his purpose before the foundation of the world, were quickened, had divine life communicated to them, were raised from the dead, were brought to know Jesus Christ, and trust in him ; in consequence of which they were sealed, bad the holy Spirit given to dwell in them, whereby they were furnished to all good works. Aud conscious to this divine change and to the glorious blessings they were now made partakers of, they were fervently engaged to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called; to live up to their holy religion; to forgive others as God had forgiven them, and in all things to imitate their heavenly Father, being followers all with singleness of heart, as unto the Lord, &c. (Please to read over the whole Epistle.)

But time once was, O my dear Aspasio, when your Theron, not conscious of any sanctifying operations in his own .breast, believed all the blessings of the Gospel to be his, without any “evidence from Scripture, sense or reason.” Which belief served to still his conscience, and keep him at case, while blind to the beauty of the divine nature, and a

ged

Fings hapHan

stranger to divine life. And in this case, having no sufficient evidence from inherent graces, to support his confidence, he was obliged, without any evidence at all from any quarter, resolutely to maintain his belief, by believing. Oh, what awful delusion! How was I like one blindfold; one destitute of any sense or reason, or knowledge of the Scriptures, led captive by satan at his will! by satan transformed into an angel of light.

Oh, my dear Aspasio, pity an ignorant benighted world, who love to flatter themselves, and to hear no cry from their teachers, but PEACE, PEACE; and guard them against the sad delusion which had well-nigh proved the ruin of your own Theron.

If all your sentiments, as they exist in your own mind, are exactly right; if you had not the least design to convey one of those mistaken notions, which your Theron imbibed from your persuasive lips; if he misunderstood just every word, and framed a mere chimera in his own head, a chimera you abhor with all your heart; yet, O my kind, my tenderhearted, my dear Aspasio, pity an ignorant world, who are like generally to understand you as I have done; and in compassion to immortal souls, be entreated, once more to take your fine, your entertaining, charming pen, which commands the attention of thousands, and ten thousands through all the British dominions in Europe and America, and warn poor sinners of their dreadful danger ; lest multitudes perish in the road : the bewitching, the enchanting road, once trodden by your own pupil ; and to which, but for the sovereign grace of God, he had been for ever lost! It is the humble and earnest request of

YOUR EVER AFFECTIONATE

THERON.

END OF LETTERS AND DIALOGUES.

AN

ESSAY

ON

THE NATURE AND GLORY

OF

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST :

AS ALSO ON

THE NATURE AND CONSEQUENCES OF SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS,

AND THE

NATURE AND EFFECTS OF DIVINE ILLUMINATION.

DESIGNED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE AUTHOR's

LETTERS AND DIALOGUES,

ON THE NATURE OF

LOVE TO GOD, FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, AND ASSURANCE

OF

A TITLE TO ETERNAL LIFE.

“ We all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, “are changed into the same image.”

“ But if our Gospel is hid, it is bid to them that are lost.” ST. PAUL.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »