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knowledge of it? No, let us search the scriptures daily, and compare spiritual things with spiritual, and pray to God for light and understanding, laying aside all prejudice, and traditions of men, so that we may be enabled to obtain the plain tenor and meaning of the word of God; and in this way we shall grow in faith, and in the knowledge of the truth, and travel on from one degree of grace to another, until we arrive at the perfect man in CHRIST JESUS.
I HAVE thought of late, that I never should attempt to vindicate the doctrine of Universal Salvation, nor any other principle whatever; but only to proclaim the glad news of salvation, in and thro' a glorious Mediator, and to set forth the danger of living in the paths of sin, and the blessings that were promised to those who pursued a contrary course of virtue and piety. But seeing the doctrine very much abused by many; some preaching the principle (being charmed, as it were with the pleasing sound of the name) without leading people into the true theory of it, and without teaching men the necessity of breaking off their sins by righteousness, and their iniquities by turning unto the LORD, in order to enjoy CHRIST, as their Saviour; while others, by being prejudiced against it, have treated it with contempt, as though it was a very heinous and licentious doctrine: therefore, I feel constrained to declare the whole truth as it is in JESUS, according as I understand the scriptures.
AND Considering my youth and inferior abil ities, in knowledge and grace, I knew of no
way in which I could contribute more to the good of mankind in general, than to republish the productions of those men who have been esteemed eminent, for their religion and piety, and whose works have heretofore been attended with the blessing of Go», in bringing many out of nature's darkness into God's marvellous light, and turning many from sin unto holiness.
THE Philadelphian Magazines fell into my hands about nine months ago. I found them to contain many important subjects, all of which appeared to be written with that candor which becometh a christian. They were published in London, and but a very few volumes had ever been brought to this country, and it was very uncertain whether any more would ever arrive from thence: Therefore I thought it would be very advantageous to the people of the United States, to have a part of them reprinted. I have endeavored to select out the most important subjects, and have arranged them in such order as naturally to lead the mind into the truths contained therein.
I SHALL NOW conclude what I have to write by way of introduction, by setting forth, as briefly as possible, the present state of my mind, concerning the glorious plan of salvation. I cannot give but the outlines, and shall only give them as my opinion, without attempting to prove the same, by scripture or reason, and leave them for the reader's contemplation.
BUT before I enter upon the subject, let me observe, that eternal truth will stand, notwithstanding I may write or think and others believe
"The council of God is sure,"
what they will. whether I stand or fall.
1. THERE IS ON E, Great and Incomprehensible, Omnipotent and Allwise JEHOVAH; who is the source of all goodness; the Author of all Creation, whether natural or spiritual, animate, or inanimate; and who eternally was, what he eternally will exist to be, Gon over all, blessed for evermore.
2. IT hath pleased GoD, for the accomplishment of his glorious purposes, to act in three different spheres, as, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and as such, to fulfil the offices and capacities of each, separately and distinctly, and yet all three to agree in one GOD.*
3. GOD hath created all worlds for himself, and to make a display of his glory; all of which are fixed by his eternal decree, which so planned the great system of nature, that it will roll on the wheels of time, until all his glorious purposes are accomplished.
4. He hath endued all the animal creation with volition, and the power of action, suitable
There have been various ideas respecting the doctrine of the Trinity, and I find that Divines are not fully agreed in it at this day. Some suppose that CHRIST had no pre-existence, before he existed in the womb of the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Ghost, or the power of the Most High, and in that capacity he was a Child born; which was a holy or spiritual Child. That he took to himself flesh and blood, when he entered on his public ministry; and then he was a Sun geren "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." "And the government was not placed
upon his shoulders, until after his resurrection; then he was calied, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. And as it was said, he was a Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world: this only consisted in the mind and will of Gop, who spake of things that were not, as though they were; because infinite wisdom had ordered it so to he
to their several spheres and capacities: and hath distinguished the rational part of the creation, to wit, man, in a peculiar manner; by giving him a soul which is capable of receiving spiritual light and knowledge; and which governs all his actions, and will eternally exist either in happiness or misery.
5. MAN being thus circumstanced, as he existed in the mind of Gon, even before he was created (for he must, of necessity, exist in the mind and will of God, previous to his creation, or he could never have existed at all) being ignorant of good or evil, having power to obey, yet more liable to fall, CHRIST the Son of GoD undertook the work of reconciliation (now properly called salvation) and thus became Mediator.
6. THE devil, or spirit of antichrist, seeing the great blessings that were preparing for man, and the high honors which would likely be conferred upon him, breathed out his malignity against the ETERNAL THREE; for which reason he was thrust down to the earth; and was permitted to make war with the woman and her seed, for the space of a "Time and times and half a time," or during CHRIST'S mediatorial kingdom.
7. MAN being placed upon the stage of action and exposed to the temptations of Satan, soon transgressed the holy commandment of the LORD, became acquainted with sin, and of consequence, guilt and misery ensued, by which he lost that sweet communion and enjoyment of GOD, with which he was created. His soul as well as his body felt the curse, and as his blood)