« ZurückWeiter »
kingdom of peace. This is He who preferred thy life to his own, who intercedes by his love, with the infinite Divinity. If he had not suffered what had become of thee? —there was but one step between man and death when He stepped in, and snatched him from the danger. Is there not here fuel enough for thy love to feed upon ? Doth not thy throbbing heart stop here to ease itself, and like Joseph seek for a place to weep in ? Do not the tears of thy love bedew these lines ? Go on then, for the field of love is large. It will be thy eternal work to behold and love; nor needest thou want work for thy present meditation.
How often hath thy Lord found thee like Hagar, sitting and weeping and giving up thy soul for lost; and hath opened to thee a well of consolation ; and hath opened thine eyes to see. How often in the posture of Elijah, desiring to be taken out of thy misery, hath he spread thee a table of unexpected relief, and sent thee on thy way refreshed and encouraged! How often in the case of the prophet's servant, crying out "alas what shall we do for a host doth encompass us?” He hath opened thine eyes to see more for thee than against thee! How often like Jonah, peevish and weary of thy life, he hath mildly said,“ doest thou well to be angry with me, or murmur against me." How often hath he set thee on watching and praying, repenting and believing, and when he hath returned, hath found thee sleeping.
0, Socinian Jews! will you sleep on and take
your rest on Earth? Will nothing awake you out of that sleep of hell? Will nothing awake you to taste of that love which true Christians feel ? Will you not be washed in the blood of the Redeemer (his pure and heavenly truth)? Methinks the very ground you stand upon is polluted, You are a burthen to the creation! “ Cut them down, why cumber they the ground ?” Luke xiii. 7. If the poor inanimate creatures could but speak, they would say to the ungodly, as Moses to Israel, “ must we fetch you water out of the rocks, ye rebels? Your very food would
say “Lord must I nourish such a wretch as this ! and yield my strength for him, to dishonour thee? No! rather (if thou wilt give me permission) I will choak him! The very AIR would
“ Lord must I give this man breath, to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn thy people, and vent his pride, and wrath—his filthy communication, and oaths, and blasphemy, against thee? No! if thou wilt but say
the word he shall be breathless for me!” A wicked, unbelieving man, the earth groans under him; and hell groans for him, till death satisfies both and stops the mouth of hell with him! While the Lord of hosts is against thee, be sure the hosts of the Lord are against thee, and all the creatures are, as it were, up in arms : but upon a man's conversion, the controversy being ended between God and him ; God makes a covenant of peace with the creatures for him.
0, Unitarians ! Return unto the Lord! Blot out
your name, and be ashamed of it for ever! Send your faith back to hell from whence it came, and return unto Christ, whose blood atoned for all the regenerate human race! O come, attest with us the depth of the mystery of true faith! O the breadth, the length, the height of the love of Christ : his stupendous humiliation when he left the father's bosom, was incarnate in the virgin's womb, and died on the accursed tree! All his astonishing exaltation from the dust of the grave, and the sorrows of hell, to the joys of heaven, and the highest throne of glory. All this immense work of incarnation, re-unites, and endears us to God. His natural birth, procures our spiritual regeneration. His unspotted life, restores us to a blissful immortality. His bitter agony gives us calm repose. His bloody sweat, washes away our manifold pollutions. His perfect obedience is our first title to endless felicity. His full atonement, purchased our free justification. His cruel death, is the spring of our immortal life: his grave, the gate of heaven : his resurrection, the pledge of glory: his ascension, the triumph of our souls: his sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high, the earnest of our future coronation, and exalted felicity; and his prevailing intercession, the inexhaustible fountain of all blessing !
O then ye Socinians ! ye conscious sinners! come and taste with us of the feast of pardoning love. Taste with us, that the Lord is gracious. Let not a false humility detain thee, under the fear that thou
art not yet hunıbled and broken enough : alas, who can humble thee but Jesus, who says “ without me ye can do nothing;” and how canst thou be broken, except thou believe in the atonement of Christ, and
the chief corner stone ? If humiliation and contrition are parts of the salvation which he merited for thee; is it not the quintessence of selfrighteousness to attempt to attain these without him ? Away then for ever with such a dangerous excuse: nor let the remembrance of thy sins, keep thee from a speedy application to Jesus for grace and salvation. The apostle says, “ I have not written unto you, because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it; and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar, but he that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Father also.” I. John ii. 21, 22, 23. Again, “ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man, some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Rom. v. 6, 7, 8. Once more the prophet declares “He is despised and rejected of men; a nian of sorrows and acquainted with grief; we hid as it were our faces from him ; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet did we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth : he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah liii. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. I need not illustrate these passages of Scripture; but I will make some remarks, and then close this epistle on the atonement, with the most affectionate feelings towards christian ministers of the gospel. I must confess that I feel what I have written, and that I write as I feel. I have neither written more than the truth of the Scripture, nor lessened its inestimable value. It may be truly said that much concern is felt, if a state, a kingdom, or an empire, is invaded by an enemy. The government of the invaded kingdom extends its arms far and wide. Contributions are levied even from the widow and the fatherless, that the finances may be equal to the expenditure. All the ministers of government are employed in their respective situations. All the world is alive to the common enemy. All the people's minds are fully employed to save their property; and others are employed to speak of politics. Editors of news