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those who trespass against us, in which we resemble our Heavenly Father who was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.
We are commanded to forgive one another, as God, for Christ's sake hath forgiven us. This is conformity to God. We are required to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God; and in so doing we are reconciled to him.
But says our opposer, what if we do not conform to these divine requirements ? it makes no difference, if God loves all men, wills that all should be saved, and does not impute our trespasses to us. Reply; Our reconciliation to God, and our conformity to his will and all his requirements is the salvation which our heavenly Father wills for us; it is the life which Jesus came to give to the world; it is heaven, it is joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. This doctrine is the doctrine of divine love, this love is a fountain of living waters, it is that river whose streams make glad the city of our God.
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
As the time drew near that the Lord of glory, the mediator of the new covenant should seal his testament with his blood, there came to his disciples certain Greeks, and said to Philip, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip and Andrew communicate this request, to their master, who in room of either consenting to their request, or of refusing, replied saying, « The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
These Greeks, being Gentiles, were not the subjects of the ministry of Jests in the days of his flesh, but as soon as he should be put to death in the flesh and be quickened by the Spirit, then would the gospel be preached to the Gentiles. Therefore when he was told that certain Greeks desired to see him, he spoke of his being glorified in sending his gospel to them. He was the corn of weat that abode alone until it fell into the ground and died; but after it died and was quickened it brought forth much fruit, “even judgment unto the Gentiles.” The Saviour proceeded to speak of his sufferings, saying ; "Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said, that it thundered : others said, an angel spoke to him. Jesus answered and said, this voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: Now 'shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Here again it seems evident, that the Redeemer had special allusion to the request of the Greeks. As if he had said ; I must die; I must be lifted up upon the cross; I must be laid in the silent house of death ; I must rise from the dead, bring life and immortality to light through the gospel; then, not only these few Greeks shall be permitted to see me, but I will send forth to the fulness of the Gentiles, and finally to the Jews, the ministry of reconciliation by which I will “ draw all men unto me.”
A few arguments will now be directed to prove, that all men are the subjects of the Redeemer's grace. This point of doctrine is now before the public mind, and more than any other invites the attention of all denominations. It is true, those who preach a contrary creed, endeavor as much as possible to postpone the consideration of this subject, and they use all the influence which they can possibly bring to act on the public mind, to turn the attention of the people from à candid examination of it. However, it very frequently happens, that the efforts which are designed to prevent people from looking into these things excite their curiosity and incite them more to the examination than if nothing was said or done. If it were a crime for the rulers of the Jews to associate with the Saviour and attend on his instruction ; if excommunication awaited those who should profess Christ openly, there was the night season, when the enemies of the Redeemer were either lucked up in sleep, or perhaps in superstitious conclave, scoffing at the benign doctrine, of grace and concerting more severe measures to prevent its spread, when a Nicodemus, could go, unnoticed to Jesus and obtain a knowledge of salvation. If the wisdom of this world be crafty enough to employ gentle, soothing, and persuasive measures to quiet the people in that cold cruel system of partiality and endless misery, it is only like jogging the cradle to quiet the child, while its cries increase with its want of nourishment.
This doctrine of universal salvation, which we propose to prove in this discourse, seems to be favored by the dictates of sound reason, and fully supported by the evidences derived from the nature of the manifest economy of universal providence.
If we could do ourselves the justice to lay aside all the prejudices of our mistaught minds, and open our eyes to the light of reason, and our ears to the voice of enlightened understanding, we should soon find our minds engaged in the sweet contemplations of the impartial goodness of the Supreme Ruler.
The same creative power gave existence to all men, all are blessed by the same munificent providence, the sun that makes and rules the day, the moon that rules the night discovers no partiality in dispensing their fa
Do not the rains fall, and the dews descend as common blessings on mankind? Is not the vital air, is not the fulness of the waters the undivided inheritance of mankind ? Is there an element, is there a vegetable, is there a fruit which nature reserves from the general store-house of him, who opens his hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing?
Let us contemplate the unity of our common nature, the dependence of one on another, and that eternal indissoluble law by which we are united. Notwithstanding there is an infinite variety among mankind, there is no distinction of moral nature; nor is there a genio in the whole family of man that the philosopher can prove to be useless and of no advantage to others. Those who are considered to be the most useful members of community frequently owe their means to be so, to them, who being placed in the low walks of life, are scarcely known in society. What would kings be without subjects? what would rulers be destitute of people.? Are not servants as profitable in their stations, as their masters are in theirs ? and aro
not the rich and the poor blessings to each other? The sacred connexions of husband and wife, of parents and children, of brethren and sisters, if duly contemplated, furnish a most delightful prospect of the dependences of our common nature. In fact it seems that mankind forms one compact, indissoluble body, which may be represented by the human frame, which can lose none of its members without being rendered maimed and incomplete.
It is true the partial system has driven men of discerning minds to make calculations, that the eternal separation of those, who are in this life united by the tenderest ties of our nature, and the indescribable misery of children will occasion an increase of the parent's happiness, and the endless misery of parents will greatly increase the felicity of children in the eternal world. But it must be acknowledged that such arguments are equally as hostile to every good quality of man, as the system which they are designed to defend is to reason and revelation. We say, that men of discerning minds have been driven to argue thus, for they can discern, that unless this be the case, what they call heaven will be a place of the keenest mental torment, that can be conceived of. Losing sight of nature and of nature's God, and adhearing to their partial creed, many contend, that at what they call the great day, parents will rejoice to see their offspring turned away into the burning lake, while other instances will occur, in which children will sing praises to God in the highest a. seeing their parents, the inheriters of unspeakable misery.
If we can suppress our indignation against such unhallowed cruelty, so as to take a deliberate view of a faint simile we may suppose that the sweet slumbers of a numerous family are suddenly interrupted by the midnight cry of fire. They are roused from sleep amid the smoke and flames of their own dwelling; the father and several of the eldest children but just make their escape from the devouring element, and leave the wife and mother with a number of the children to perish in the flames. Now observe, the doctrine which