« הקודםהמשך »
M—. No, Sir, I have answered many questions; suffer me to repeat, the present question must be determined before I reply to another. The restitution of all things. It is preached by all God's holy prophets. How are we to understand it?—The moderator here interposed with a declaration that Mr. I had answered the question as well as he was able.
M. Will Mr.L- make this acknowledgment, Sir? If he will I am indeed answered.
1-, “ Yes, Sir, I have answered your question, except a remark which I propose by way of illustration. Suppose a piece of mechanism, a'clock for example, is damaged, the artist comes and puts it in order, restorcs every part to its original place, thus rendering it fit for use."
M—. Thank you, sir, most sincerely I thank you. This is a very beautiful figure and as excellent as beautiful. Yes, I believe it will be realized, and that whatever is wrong in the human family will assuredly be rectified.The shades of evening becoming prevalent, it was observed it would be well to come to a conclusion ; when a very respectable character addressing the moderator, informed him he believed it would be pleasing to the congregation, if the meeting instead of being dissolved, were adjourned to another day; and he added some expressions indicating a confidence that both pleasure and profit would result from such an arrangement.
The moderator replied, this must be left to the gentlemen themselves.
L-. “I am so well satisfied with my own sentiments, that I do not wish to hear any thing further upon the subject. Yet, if Mr. M-- be desirious to pursue the inquiry, I have no objection to a future day, provided we can have a moderator able to keep us like lawyers to our point, that we may not wander from it by unnecessary harangues.”
M—. For myself it was not my wish to be present on this occasion, but being thus unexpectedly engaged I have no objection to a future opportunity; nor have I the smallest objection to our moderator, I think he has conducted with the utmost propriety: but Mr.L-- has originated an idea with which I confess myself much pleased. “If we can be kept like lawyers to our point.” We are indeed lawyers; a lawyer is an advocate ; we are advocates, we have a most capital cause to plead; what language can describe its magnitude! all heaven and earth are more or less interested in its issue.
Would to God that I possessed abilities to do justice to this cause' to enter upon the subject with all the advantage of which it is susceptible and which it indubitably merits. But I shall examine the sacred records. Those records, which are the result of the united labours of the most eminent lawyers of ancient and modern times, I confess I am fond of introducing them. They have one striking advantage which cannot fail to please. The veracity of their reports is acknowledged by all professing Christians. They are what lawyers may not always be, holy men of God and holding the infallible
pen of inspiration ; and when I name such men as Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, with many other less voluminous writers, though of equal respectability, I conceive their testimony will be considered as decisive. With those ancient authorities, I shall, as I said, combine some of a later date, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is upon the reports of all these celebrated lawyers collected and arranged in the Oracles of God that I shall rest the merits of the cause.
1-“Mr. Murray seems to lay much stress upon the number of texts which he can produce, but if he could name nine hundred and ninety-nine to my one, I should pay no regard to that ; it is to the tenor of scripture I look.”
M. I have always supposed the tenor of scripture, was to be found in the major part. However, if Mr. L- will have the goodness to appoint his day, we will, by divine favour, enter on the subject. I, as an humble advocate for the Redeemer of men, will undertake to prove that every individual son and daughter of Adam, belongeth unto God by creation, by redemption, and by preservation.
Mr. Lmay urge, that although it may be proved we were in the first instance the property of the Most High, we are not so now, that we have sold ourselves, that we have made a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell. On which I shall endeavour to prove, that this same covenant is not good in law, that not being our own, we have not in ourselves the right of disposal, and that consequently our agreement cannot stand But it may be said, we are in captivity, and that he who hath lcd us captive, will continue us in his chains. But I shall reply by observing, that the original proprietor was able and willing to lead captivity captive. It may be insisted that the people led captive, will not come to their original owner, that they may have life. To which I shall answer, they shall be willing in the day of God's power.
Yes, we are ; I repeat it, we are advocates, we are lawyers, and we have a mighty cause to plead; there are two Gods, the God of heaven, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the spirits of all flesh. These characters are concentrated in the character of our God. The other God is styled the God of this world ; the Prince of the power of the air. This God, although a deceiver and the adversary of God, and his inheritance, yet, appearing as an angel of light, has deceived the nations. He began his work of deception in the garden of Eden, and was recompensed by the curse then denounced upon him. He beguiled our general mother, who gave to our father Adam, and he trangressed. An advocate for the arch destroyer, may urge, that possession is a great point gained, and that the enemy of mankind is endowed with the strength of a lion, but as an advocate for God the Saviour, we will undertake to prove, that the lion of the tribe of Judah is infinite in strength, that he is mighty to prevail, even to the bruising the head of this roaring adversary of his inheritance. My opponent may insist, that under the denunciations of the righteous law, God himself will give the greatest part of the human family to that enemy, who hath from the beginning been indefatigably employed to procure their destruction. Producing however, testimonies which it will be impossible to invalidate, I shall prove, incontrovertibly, that this can never be, inasmuch as the Divine Nature hath already made a deed of gift of the fulness of the human nature to his Son, and, that although, while the fiends of darkness continue to work in the hearts of countless individuals, they may, with one voice declare they will not have this man to reign over them. Yet in the day of separation, they shall unite in the grand hallelujah, which shall resound through the universe. These dark spirits, that now work in the hearts of the ransomed of the Lord, shall be separated from those who are redeemed; God himself will make the separation, yea, even as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. God hath reserved those instigators of mischief unto the judginent of the great day, when the curse denounced upon their general head, in the garden of Paradise, shall be completely accomplished. Yes, the world's Saviour shall, at this august period, separate the Devil and his angels, from the individuals of that nature, whom they are hourly stimulating to evil; and, placing himself as a barrier between them, so that they may never again intermingle. The Redeemer of All Men, shall say to these fallen angels, “ depart ye
cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for you, from before the foundation of the world.”
Should I, in such a contest obtain a victory, will it not become evident, that there is indeed abundant cause for rejoicing? my very respectable opponent himself will rejoice, all the angels of heaven will rejoice, every faithful individual that dwelleth upon the face of the earth will hymn the praises of the mighty, the redeeming God, in fact, every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that are in them, will, with emancipated spirits and enraptured hearts, unite to swell the grand chorus of never ending praise to Almighty God, and the Lamb who hath redeemed us by his blood.
In truth, I know of but one, who will mourn, our adversary; this adversary, who was a murderer from the beginning, will bchold with accumulating indignation, the redemption of the human family. The restitution of our nature hath been, and will yet continue to be, the torment of the fallen angelic nature. Already he anticipales this God honouring man, restoring event. He believes, and trembles. Art thou, said a number of these infernals, when our Saviour dispossessed them of a part of his inheritance, « Art thou come to torment us before our time. What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?” Matthew, viii. 29. We are told the adversary is come down among us, having great wrath, because he knoweth he shall reign but a short time. Blessed be God, his knowledge in this respect is the superstructure of truth.
Soliciting your kind forgiveness, for the liberty I have taken to expatiate thus far. I beg leave to add, that I wait the day appointed.
A solemn pause ensued; until a gentleman requested Mr. Ito name a day, to which he answered, he would have nothing further to do with the business, and the contest of course closed.
Many remarks were made, such as, that it could not be matter of wonder Mr. L-disliked his client, &c. &c. But, on these I forbear to dwell. I have, to the best of my memory, which is not always tenacious, rendered the account you have so frequently solicited, and I have only to add, that I continue with unalterable affection, your faithful friend,
To a Clergy man in the city of London, Great Britain.
I am seated at my writing desk, for the purpose of conversing with you, on the subject of your invaluable epistle. Had it been less estimable, I should have answered it at a much earlier period, and our good friend will be able to add some palliating circumstances, for my long silence.
Never did I see the grand truths of the gospel more clearly taught, than in this precious letter. I am delighted with it, so are all those to whom it has been communicated ; and, after praying you to accept my cordial thanks for this proof of your affection, I shall take this opportunity to assure you, I should not have resumed the character of a public preacher, had I not, by the grace of God, been made to understand, and with my heart to believe, the sacred truths upon which you so ably expatiate.
I feel a deep and solemn conviction, that our Saviour led me into an acquaintance with the great salvation, not for my sake only, but for the advantage of many: and that I may answer the end for which, in the course of his divine providence, he brought me into this new world, he has, by his mighty power, kept my mind steady to one grand object, the redemption of mankind. I began in my present character, with the apostolic resolution, to know nothing amongst this people, but Christ Jesus, and him crucified, and, by the grace of God, I have been hitherto enabled to abide thereby.
But while this great and effectual door is opened, my adversaries are multiplied, and if I encountered those adversaries, only among those who are without, I think I could be well content. But alas! I find them within, my worst foes, are of my own household; the plague of the heart is a tormenting plague, it is a burden which makes me groan, so that I frequently, and earnestly cry out, “ to be delivered from this body of sin and death."
When I reflect that in heaven I have durable riches, with righteousness, and that here I am doomed to struggle with many VOL. I.