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dangerous enemies. It must really shock a serious mind, to hear a person contending for the truth, with oaths and curses.
Another thing which has a tendency to bring a reproach upon the doctrines of the cross, in this town, and I am persuaded in many other places, is the wild manner in which those who profess to be of us, expound the sacred oracles; a text was given to one of these ill-taught preachers of Universalism, Jolu v. 28, 29:
“ Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in which all theat are in the graves shall hear his vcice.
“ And shall come forth : they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
I understand the gentleman immediately proved there were none that did good but Christ, and that it was he who arose to the resurrection of life, and as he was the head of every man, they are all risen with him, and therefore the whole of this text is already sulfilled in Christ, for he is all, and in all. What a Babel building! what a mixture of sacred truth and falsehood. Here is the future judgment of men and angels, here is individuality of character struck at one blow to the ground. The person who proposed the text. was, it seems, silenced ; no wonder, for lie was, he said, unable to prove it was not true, and yet it is not the truth held up in the text. Thus it is, that the mind is continually confused, at least thus it appears to me.
These considerations, with many others, combine to give me an unquiet mind, and prevented my being in tune to join the general choir to which I this morning attended. I believe that whenever a conviction of the great truths contained in the gospel of God, our Saviour, is received into the heart, it becomes an operative principle, stimulating to every good and perfect work-good, and perfect, speaking after the manner of men. But ideas may float in the head, and never reach the heart; for these we cannot be responsible. If we have declared nothing more than what the Lord saith, we have but fulfilled our commission ; we are not answerable for the consequences. Uzza like, we may reach forth our hand to support the ark, but it is better that we obey the commandment of God.
It might be truly urged, that there is no denomination nor sect, in the known world, whether Jew or Gentile, whether Heathen or Christian, Roman or Protestant, Lutheran or Calvinist, which hath not produced its professor's, who were a disgrace to humanity ; yet
could not the atrocity of those offenders destroy whatever of truth the systems they professed contained. Truth is invulnerable, it is based upon a rock and cannot be moved.
But, I would have the professors of the religion of Jesus an exception to this general rule; I would have every action of their lives, bear witness that they had been with Jesus; I would have them careful to add to their faith, virtue; I would have them consider the Almighty as a common Father; they should love and adore him for the magnitude of his mercies, for creation, redemption, and preservation, and for the assured hope of a blessed immortality; I would have them view the sons and daughters of Adam, the universal family of man, as their brethren and sisters, and they should be careful at all times, to render them every service within the compass of their power : in other words they should be careful to maintain good worke, well knowing that these things, as being profitable unto men, will be acceptable to the Parent of the Universe. And although their combined efforts cannot constitute the matter of their justification in the sight of God, yet every becoming action is their reasonable service, and it is fit and proper that they should be solicitous to contribute to the well being of those individuals, who are the children of him from whom they receive every good, and for whom the precious blood of the Lamb of God hath been shed. Would to God that every professor of the religion of Jesus would thus think, thus act.
Upon the explanation given by the preacher, on the text pointed out to him, I have to observe, “It is undoubtedly true, there is none, in the strict and comprehensive sense of the word, good, but one, that is God. We have the testimony of our blessed Lord himself, to establish this truth; peither is there any doubt that Christ Jesus is the head of every man ; this affirmation hath also received the stamp of divine authority, and it is likewise true that he hath arisen from the dead. If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching rain, saith an Apostle ; and he is assuredly all in all—the Alpha and Omega. Thus far I join issue with this misguided preacher, for thus far saith my God.
But I read in the same sacred oracles, of a judgment to come, that he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world by that Man whom he hath ordained, and that fallen angels are reserved in chains unto the judgment of that day. I confidently expect to see the Son of Man coming in his glory, with all his holy
angels. I suppose that the saints of God, the believers in Christ Jesus will be seated on the judgment seat with Christ, to judge the world.
That divine truth which proclaimeth Christ the head of every man, no more destroys individuality in our ascension, than it does in the present state. My hands and my feet are distinct from my head, although by virtue of union with my head they partake its situation-- Thus are we members of Christ's body, nor does the figure in any view destroy our individuality.
Yes, it is a solemn and a joyful fact, the graves shall open and all that are in their graves shall bear his voice, the dead shall arise, shall individually arise; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.
Those who lie down in sorrow, unacquainted with the compre. hensive name of Jesus, may rise as they lay down. It is not for us to say when, or how our God will manifest himself to the spirit : we do not aim at being wise above what is written; but we know that it is written Jesus Christ was given a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, although we know not when this due time will be. Many, no doubt, will arise to the resurrection of damnation, or, as it is more strictly rendered, condemnation ; and we are told they shall call upon the rocks and the niountains to fall upon them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb; so totally ignorant will they be of the character of their Creator, their Father, their elder brother, of Emmanuel, the God-man, all which characters are united in that righteous Being, who is appointed their Judge, their Saviour, that they will expect to find wrath in the Lamb!
What may be their sufferings in a state of separation from the body no tongue can tell, no heart can conceive: mistake me not, they will not suffer 10 atone for their sins, by no means. The Lamb of God hath paid the forfeit, hath made atonement, hath taken away the sin of the world. Yet, as they did not see the expiation, as they did not see Jesus, they laid down in darkness; in that darkness which engendereth fear, even that fear which hath torment.
But the world, the whole world shall be assembled before the judgment seat of Christ. A few there are, who are not of the world, the elect of God; elected to behold the truth. Judge yourselves, says our divine Master, and you shall not be judged. These saints of God, chosen out of the world, have judged themselves;
they have seen the magnitude of the divine law, they have seen and acknowledged their utter incapability to produce that conformity to its precepts, which can stand the scrutinizing ken of Deity; they are aware that cognizance will be taken, not only of their words and actions, but also of their thoughts; and judging themselves unworthy in their individual characters, they deny themselves, and fleeing for refuge to the cross of Christ they take shelter there, they assume his name, they are wrapped about in the robe of their Redeemer's righteousness. Thus they have denied themselves, they have judged themselves, they shall not therefore in this appointed day be judged: they are on the judgment seat with Christ, for they are the sealed, the first fruits caught up in the air to meet our God at his coming.
Then, and not till then, the whole world are assembled before the judgment seat. All the dead, both small and great, are gathered together, to be judged out of the things which are written in the books—Behold the books are opened, and the actions of those who conceived they had merited eternal life, in their own individual characters, are tried. If they have built upon the foundation which is laid in Zion, wood, hay, stubble, it shall be burned; but if their works abide they will undoubtedly receive a reward ; but when the searching eye of Deity shall examine, when justice, divine justice poiseth the scale ! think you any man's work will abide ? Verily there is none good but God; verily every man's works will be weighed in the balance, and will be found wanting. The consequences are declared: they must be burned, although they themselves shall be saved, so as by fire.
Open violators of the law, hardened transgressors, whose way has been very hard, they too shall be tried ; and thus every mouth will be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Romans, iii. 19, “Now we know that whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may ped, and all the world become guilty before God.”
Doubtless they will shrink appalled, from the face of him who sitteth on the throne: from that wrath which they suppose existing in the Lamb of God, who was manifested to take away the sin of this guilty world, which is now silent and trembling before him.
Who can describe their sufferings ? but are they thus atoning for their sins, have they been and are they now suffering a kind of purgatory? We affirm, and on the authority of the sacred Oracles, that VOL. I.
Christ himself hath purged his floor, that he himself shall gather his wheat into his garner. Hebrews i. 3, “ He by himself purged our sins ;" without shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins-Christ having once died, dieth no more ; and we can, according to scripture testimony, form no idea of the spirit suffering pur. gatorial chastisement, by way of atonement, or expiation for sin. But the sufferings of individuals here, while in a state of separation from the body, and at the judgment seat of Christ, is the natural effect of an existing cause. They have not seen the Lord who bought them, and therefore they are subjected to the most terrifying apprehensions. Joseph is a striking type of the Redeemer; his brethren of the assembled world. And after the judgment, after every mouth is stopped, and all the world is confessedly guilty before God; verily, guilty of this their brother's blood, then will this blessed elder Brother make himself known unto his brethren.
After the books have been opened, another book, the book of life, is opened. In thy book, all my members are written. Christ as the head, and the people as the members, of his mystical body. Christ will not be rendered imperfect, not a member shall in that day bo disunited from his mystical, his sacred body. Then will the angel preach the everlasting gospel, then will the veil be taken from every heart, then will every knee bow, and every tongue confess to the glory of God, even the Father. No necessity will then exist of saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know him, from the least unto the greatest. And thus, in the grand catastrophe, will every scripture be completely fulfilled.
If it be asked why are not those discoveries now made to the whole world, as well as to those few individuals selected out of the | world? I answer, I know not. I repeat, I aim not at being wise beyond what is written. God hath not revealed to me the times, nor the seasons. But he hath declared by the mouth of all his holy prophets, ever since the world began, the restitution of all things. He hath sworn by himself, that to him every knee should bow, and every tongue confess. It is written, Christ is the head of every man. It is written Christ hath tasted death for every man. It is written, Christ is given a ransom for all, to be testified in due time : and with these, and similar testimonies, I am well content.
What profit is there, says one, in preaching to the people ; why exhort, why admonish them? Christ is their Saviour, the world's Saviour, and that is sufficient. Why, it is for this very reason that