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Lorenzo Dow (1777-1834)
The Opinion of Dow...
(1st ed., Windham, CT, 1804)



   
  • Title Page

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  • pp. 003-019
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  • pp. 020-039
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  • pp. 040-059
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  • pp. 060-079
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  • pp. 080-099
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  • pp. 100-119
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  • pp. 120-139
  •    
  • pp. 140-159
  •    
  • pp. 160-164

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  • Biographical excerpt

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  • Transcriber's Comments:


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    T H E
    
    
    O p i n i o n   o f   D o w;
    
    
    O R,
    
    
    LORENZO's  THOUGHTS,
    
    
    ON  DIFFERENT
    
    Religious  Subjects,
    
    IN  AN  ADDRESS  TO  THE
    
    PEOPLE  OF  NEW-ENGLAND.
    
    
    
    Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good                  St. PAUL
    WINDHAM: PRINTED BY J. BYRNE. 1804.

     




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    THE

    O p i n i o n   o f   D o w.

    OR

    L O R E N Z O 's  T H O U G H T S.




    WHEN I was in Europe, considering the bitter cup I once drank in consequence of the doctrines of particular election and reprobation I felt my heart drawn to return and travel the continent at large, to strive by the blessings of God to remove the evils which I considered originated therefrom --- namely, presumption or despair, besides a flood of other evils arising from a train of doctrines which that draws after it, viz -- Universalism, Deism, and Atheism, as you may see them linked together in the following sheets.

    But in attempting to do this, though I have had many trials and discouragements to encounter, which nothing but the grace of God could have supported me under and carried me through yet a flood of opposition and evil reproaches arising from the bitter spirits of some, which (as love is the spirit of religion,)

     



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    must be considered as the spirit of perfection. Which spirit I know there is danger of my drinking in; but it is my prayer to God that I may ever be kept from it. Love, I conceive to be the best weapon to kill an enemy with of any that I have found, as I have experienced already in sundry instances. Where all others would fail, this had the desired effect, and would conquer. -- What is stronger than love? And perceiving that I felt a love to ALL, though I had been taught that God only loved a few, which he had given to his son: I could not reconcile the two ideas together, how my love should exceed the love of God -- and feeling within myself, that I stood in danger of falling into sin, and consequently into condemnation; I could not reconcile it with the common idea, that if a man once obtained religion, he was always safe, let him do what he would. This put me upon examining the scriptures for myself, and comparing past ideas therewith: and on examining of the same, I could find no promise that any should be saved, but those who endured unto the end. On the other hand, the

     



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    bible seemed to correspond with my feelings, that there was danger, being full of caution; and there is no need of caution where there was no danger. -- The more light and knowledge a person hath, and commits a crime, the worse it must be; because he sins against the more light; therefore any sin is greater in a professor of religion, than in a non professor, seeing he sins against the greater light.

    If the sin is the greater, of course the condemnation and punishment must be proportioned; as Christ saith, "he that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes, whereas, he that knoweth not his master's will, shall be beaten with few." -- Therefore, if the sinner who never had religion, deserves to be damned for actual transgression; why not the professor, upon the principles of impartial justice.

    Now it appears to me, that this doctrine, once in grace, always in grace, is inseparably connected with the doctrine of particular election and reprobation; and to deny the latter, and hold to the former,

     



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    to me appears inconsistent: for if a saint cannot be punished in proportion to his conduct, then he is not accountable; and if he be not accountable, then not rewardable; and if neither rewardable nor punishable, then his salvation or damnation does not turn upon his actions, pro or con, but upon the free electing love of God: Therefore God will have mercy upon whom he will, and whom he will, he passeth by: Thus they appear connected like two links in a chain. And it appeareth moreover, that the doctrine of particular election, leadeth to universalism: for according to the above we must suppose, that God decreed all things; if so, God being wise, whatever he hath decreed, he must have decreed it right; consequently nothing cometh to pass wrong -- then there is no sin, for it cannot be sin to do right: if then one shall be damned for doing right, why not all; and if one is saved for doing right, why not all, according to the rule of impartial justice. Again, the doctrine of election saith, all that was given from the father to the son, in the covenant of Grace, will be saved

     



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    none that Christ died for can be lost. -- The bible saith Christ died for all, and A double L, does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: Well, now if all Christ died for will be saved, and none of them can be lost, then Universalism must be true, => and you cannot deny it.

    And it appears furthermore, that Universalism leads to Deism -- for if all are saved, none are lost, and of course no future punishment: Therefore the threatenings in the bible must be false, like a sham scare crow hung up in the field, to represent that which is not real. And if the threatenings are false, the promises are equally so: for while the promises are given in one scale to encourage virtue, the threatenings are put in the opposite one, to discourage vice: To deny the one, disallows of the other, and of course breaks the chain of the bible, and thereby destroys its authority; consequently, ye cannot suppose with propriety, that it came from God by Divine direction; but rather, that it was hatched up by some cunning politician, to answer their political designs,

     



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    to keep the people in order -- and that it has been kept on the carpet ever since, by the black and blue coat, to get a fat living out of the people. "Away with the Bible," says the Deist, "I will be imposed upon by that no more, but I will go upon reason; for whoever came back from the other world, to bring us news from that country about Heaven or Hell, or exhibit a map thereof?

    Now, if I denied the bible, I should of course deny miracles and inspiration, for if I admit of them. I must in reason admit of the propriety of the Bible.

    But no one who denies inspiration and miracles, can prove the existence of a God. There are but six ways to receive ideas, which are by inspiration, or one of the five senses. Deny inspiration, there are but five ways; and matter of fact demonstrates, that a man by these outward sensitive organs, can neither hear, see, smell, taste or feel God: How then can we know him but by a revelation in the inward sense? why saith the Deist, the works of nature proclaim aloud in both my ears, "there is a God," but I deny it according to your scale of reasoning, for you

     



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    deny miracles; and yet you say what has been once, may be again: Now if there was a miracle once, there may be one again; if so, then there may be such a thing as revealed religion, for that is but miraculous: But if there cannot be a miracle again, that is an argument there never was one, and of course denies the works of Creation; for it must have been a miracle to have spoken a world into existence, and to have formed intelligent beings -- Therefore, if there never was a miracle, then there never was such a thing as Creation: Consequently the works of nature do not speak forth a Divine Being, for his hand never formed them; but they argue, that matter is eternal, and that all things come by nature -- for it is evident, that if nought had been once, nought had been now; for nothing cannot put forth the act of power and beget something: yet it is self-evident that something must have existed eternally. Then saith reason, if all things come by nature, then nature is eternal; and when forming from its primitive chaos, into its present position, by congelation,

     



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    brought forth mankind, beasts and vegetables spontaneously; something like the mushroom growing up without seed, or the moss growing on the tree and are kept on the stage by transmigration, like the caterpillar, transmigrating [and] turning into a beautiful butterfly; or the muck-worm into a horn-bug. Thus nature assumes one form or shape for a while, then laying that aside, takes up another. In confirmation of this idea, it appears, that one race of animals or beings goes from the stage, and another comes on the carpet: For instance, the bones of a certain animal, found in different parts of the continent of America, demonstrates there was such a race of beings once, called the Mammoth, which as far as we know, are now extinct: And the Hessian fly, which was discovered a few years since, near where the Hessian troops encamped, and from thence took its name, supposed to have been brought by them from Hessia -- and since this insect has greatly spread over New-England, and destroys the wheat; I have made much enquiry, but cannot learn that it is found in the country from whence the Hessians came.

     



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    From this, one may infer and argue, that it is an animal, come on the stage within late years, as it appears some other insects have done. In further confirmation of this idea, and which stands opposed to the account given by the bible, "that all animals were drowned, except those with Noah in the Ark." we find that although it is natural for us to conclude, that all animals would generate and be found on that part where the Ark rested, et the Racoon is peculiar to America: This then is a new species of animal, and we may say the account cannot be admitted that all other parts were drowned: But again in confirmation of revolutions in nature we perceive, that even if scripture be true, once Giants did exist; but they are now extinct. On strict examination, it appears that earth and shells congealed, form marble -- and wood when put into certain lakes of water, becomes stone. The turf bogs in Ireland, which are found on the tops the highest mountains, or in the vallies, miles in length and breadth, scores of feet deep, evidently appear to have been vegetables washed together

     



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    by some awful deluge; whole trees with ancient artificial materials, being found many feet below the surface. -- I likewise was informed of a spring in that country, by putting bars or sheets of iron therein, they would be converted into copper.

    On my way from Georgia, I could but observe great quantities of shells, which to me appear to belong to the oyster, some hundreds of miles from any salt or brackish water, and it is quite improbable they could have been brought by human art, considering the vast quantities found in the Savannahs or Pirarahs to Tombibgy, and thence to the Natchez country, and in the Chickasaw nation. It evidently appears likewise, that this western country was once inhabited by a warlike informed people, who had the use of mechanical instruments, and there are evident marks of antiquity, consisting of artificial mounts and fortifications, &c. pronounced by the curious, who have examined them, to have been deserted long before the discovery of America by Columbus. -- One of these mounts, a few miles above the Natchez, covers about six acres of

     



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    ground, forty feet above the common level, on which stands another forty feet high, making in all eighty feet. -- Great numbers of these artificial mounts, fortifications and beds of ashes, are to be found, extending from the western parts of Georgia, to the Mississippi, and then northward with the waters of said river, to Lake Erie, &c. all which denote it once was a populous, and since is a foresaken country; which neither history nor tradition hath given us any information of. Therefore it appears, that greater revolutions have taken place in this terraqueous globe, than many imagine; and herefrom we might suppose, that the earth hath stood longer than the six thousand years calculated from scripture -- and with the Chinese assent to their boasted ancient histories, &c.

    Thus I shall be an Atheist instead of a Deist, but I cannot be the one nor the other according to reason -- for if there be no God, nature depends on chance, and this earth would be like a well stringed instrument, without a skilful hand to play upon it; or a well rigged vessel, without mariners to steer her.

     



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    for every thing that has not a regulator, is liable to go to ruin" And if all things depend on chance, then by chance there may be a God and Devil, a Heaven and Hell. Saints and Sinners, and by chance the Saints may get to Heaven, and by chance the Sinners may go to Hell. It is evidence in reason, that as a stream cannot rise higher than its fountain, so confusion cannot be more noble than the cause: Consequently, if confusion had been once, it must have remained; but as the stars keep their courses without infringing upon each other in the different revolutions, so the astronomer can calculate his almanacs years before hand, it is evident there is such a thing as order; and to suppose this order to have been eternal, would be arguing, that the earth has stood forever, as we now behold it; and to suppose that the earth hath forever had its present form, is to suppose that there has been an eternal succession of men, beasts and vegetables, and that to an infinite number; (for if the number be not infinite, how could the succession have been eternal,)

     



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    and yet to talk about an infinite number, is a contradiction in terms, for there is no number but what may be made larger, by the addition of units; but that which is infinite cannot be enlarged. Again, if there has been an eternal succession of men and beasts; by the same rule there has been an eternal succession of days and nights, and years likewise -- This must be allowed, (that infinite numbers are equal, for if one number be smaller than the other, how can it be said to be infinite?) Well, if infinite numbers be equal, and if there hath been an eternal succession of years, and days, and nights, we must suppose, that their infinite numbers are equal. And yet to allow there hath been as many years as there hath been days and nights, is inconsistent, seeing that it takes 365 days to compose one year; and if the number of years be less than the number of days and nights the number cannot be admitted to be infinite; consequently, the succession cannot have been eternal; therefore it must be, that there was a time when years began: If so, we must admit the idea, there is something

     



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    superior to nature, that formed it, and of course an Almighty regulator, that with wisdom, must have constructed and preserved this system; and this power and regulator must be felt, dependent, and of course eternal, according to the foregoing: And this eternal, self-existent, all-wise regulator, is what we term GOD, and what the Indians term the GREAT MAN ABOVE, Various are the ideas formed concerning this GOD: Some acknowledge one Supreme Being, but disallow of what is called the Trinity; saying, how can three be one? Answer, as rain, snow and hail, when reduced to their origin are one, (water:) and as light, heat and colour, are seen in one element, (fire,) and as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, compose but one, so if in natural things three can make one, why may we not admit the idea with reason, that three can be one in things supernatural and Divine, &c. What is meant by God the Father, is, that eternal Being, that is every where present. What is meant by Christ the Son, is the manhood of Christ, being brought forth by the Omnipotent power of God, as the

     



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    Evangelists relate, and that manhood being filled with the divine nature, of course he would be God, as well as man, and man as well as God -- two distinct natures in one person; and it is no more inconsistent with reason, to acknowledge that the came as above, than to acknowledge a miracle for the first man's origin; which idea, in reason, we must admit, for there cannot be an effect without a cause; and as men do exist, it is evident there is but one way for them to generate in nature; if so, who did the first man and woman generate from -- to suppose that they came by nature, is to suppose the earth brought them forth spontaneously, if so, take the inhabitants from an island, and it would produce them again -- but matter of fact, sayeth it will not. Then, if nature hath not changed, it never bro't forth people; for if it had, it might again do so, and if not, a miracle hath taken place in nature. ==> What is meant by the Holy Ghost, is the spirit of God, proceeding from the father, through the mediation of the man Christ Jesus, down to the sons of men; the office of

     



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    which spirit, is to instruct mankind, and purify and prepare them, for the enjoyment of God in Glory.

    If I deny there was such a person as Christ on this earth eighteen hundred years ago, I should deny three things: -- 1st. Our Dates. -- 2d, All Sacred, and 3d, The greatest part of profane history; which historians in general would not be willing to give up. If U allow there was such a person as Christ, I must acknowledge his miracles, too, for the same histories, sacred and profane, which mention his person, relate his miracles, and to deny his miracles, would be giving the histories the lie, and of course destroy their authority. If I allow his miracles I must allow his sacred character also; for it is inconsistent, with reason, to believe that God would aid and assist a liar, or an impostor, to do the mighty deeds which we are informed Christ did.

    If there be no such thing as inspiration, how could the Prophets foretel future events, out of the common course of nature? Some people say the prophecies were written in prophetic language, after the things took place, but

     



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    that is unreasonable to suppose, for if they were, they were wrote as late down as what the New Testament dates back, and if so, then both Testaments came on the carpet about one time. You could not impose one Testament on the learned people, without the other; seeing their close connection: But as the Jews acknowledge the Old Testament, and disallow the New; I therefrom argue, that, the Old Testament was written sometime previous to the New, of course, previous to the things being translated, which were predicted. It must, therefore have been by divine inspiration. But says one, the word revelation, when applied to religion, means something immediately communicated from God to man: -- that a man tells a second, the second a third, &c. it is revelation to the first only, to the rest it is mere heresay.

    And if the Bible was revealed once, it was not revealed to me; to me, therefore, it is heresay? Answer. Allowing the above, yet if a man tells me, it is revealed to him, that my father is dead, &c. and the same spirit which revealed

     



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    it to him, accompanies his words with energy to my heart, then it is revelation to me as well as to him, and not bare heresay. Consequently, if the same spirit which dictated the writing of the Bible, attends the same with energy, then it is not heresay, but revelation; because we have a divine conviction, of the truths therein contained. And the sincere of different persuasions, find something in the Bible to attract their attentions, above any other book; and even the Deists, when conscience begins to lash them, find something in the Bible to attract their minds, of the truths of which the conduct of a number to be found on this continent might be adduced.

    Neither can I believe all will be favored; for in Mark 111. 29, we are informed of a certain character, which hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation, which they could not be in danger of, if there be no such thing; and in Luke 16th, we read not a parable, but a positive matter of fact (related by Christ himself, who knew what was transacted in eternity, as well as in time) concerning a rich man, who died and

     



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    went to hell; and there was a separation between him and the good place; and of one be lost, universalism is not true. We feel in our breast that, we are accountable to God, and if so, then rewardable or punishable, according to our behavior and capacity; and of course a day of accounts must take place, when the rewards, or punishments are given. Some say we have all our punishment here. In reason I deny it; for the benefit of religion is to escape punishment, and if so, none have punishment but the vicious; but as many of the virtuous have suffered the most cruel, tormenting, lingering deaths, as may be said, for years, in matters of tender conscience; while others have lived on flowery beds of ease, and thus die; from this I argue, that the punishment is to come hereafter.

    If all go to heaven as soon as they die, it being looked upon as a piece of humanity, to relieve the distressed, would it not be right for me to end all the sorrows of those I can, who are in trouble? And does this not open a door, to argue, that murder is humanity, and thereby send them to Heaven? But

     



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    says one. I will acknowledge future punishment, but it is not so long, or so bad as it is represented by some; for we read of the resurrection, when all mortal bodies shall be raised, of course become immortal, and spiritual; and corporeal fire and brimstone cannot operate on a spiritual body, and of course the punishment is but the horror of a guilty conscience. And the word Forever, frequently in the scripture, being of a limited nature, it may be inferred the punishment is not eternal. Answer. Allowing that the punishment is only the horror of a guilty conscience; (which will bear dispute) yet I think, that horror to the mind, will be found equal to fire and brimstone to the material body; for frequently I have been called to visit people on sick beds, who have told me, that their pain of body was great, but their pain of mind so far exceeded it, as to cause them to forget their pain of body, for hours together, unless some person spoke particularly to them concerning it. Again you know what horror you have felt, for a short space for one crime. Now supposing all the sins that ever you committed, in tho't,

     



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    word, or deed, in public, and in private, were set in array before you, so that you could view all of them at one glance -- And at the same time, that conscience were to have its full latitude, to give you the lash; would not the horror which here causeth people to forget their temporal pain, while there is hope, be worse than fire to the body, when hope is forever fled -- for when hope is gone, there is no support.

    And the idea that the punishment is not eternal, because the word forever, sometimes in Scripture is of a limited nature, I think will not do, because the duration of certain words, are bounded by the duration of the things unto which they allude. For instance, "The servant shall serve his master forever," in Moses' law. The word forever, was bounded by the life of the servant. And where it relates to mortality, it is bounded by mortality, of course, where it relates to immortality, it is bounded by immortality. And where it relates to God, it is bounded by the eternity of God. And as we are informed in several parts of Scripture, after that mortality

     



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    is done away, that the wicked shall be banished forever, from the presence of God. The word forever, and the word eternal must be synonimous, having one and the same meaning, as endless; being bounded by the eternity of God, and the endless duration of the immortal soul, &c. Matt. xxv. 41. 46. 2. Thes. 1. 9. Rev. xix. 3. Jude 7.

    And observing the doctrine of Particular Election, and reprobation, to tend to presumption, or despair, and those who preached it up to make the bible clash and contradict itself, by preaching somewhat like this: --

    "You can and you can't -- You shall and you shan't -- You will and you won't -- And you'll be damned if you do -- And you'll be damned if you don't --"

    Thus contradicting themselves, that people must do, and yet they cannot do, and God must do all, and at the same time invite them to come to Christ, &c.

    These inconsistencies caused me to reflect with my past experience, and conclude that, the true tenor of the bible did not clash, of course that a connect chain should be carried thro that book, and the medium struck between

     



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    the dark passages, which literally contradict, and reconcile them together by explaining Scripture by Scripture. And by striving so to do, I imbibed what here follows: -- 1st. That Election is a bible Doctrine, but not an elect number, for I cannot find that in the Bible, but an Elect Character, viz. "He that becomes a true penitent, willing to be made Holy, and saved by free grace, merited only by CHRIST. And on the other hand, instead of a reprobate number, it is a reprobate character, namely, him that obstinately, and finally continues in unbelief, that shall be cast off, &c. Thus any one may discover, that it is an election and reprobation of characters, instead of numbers ==> and you cannot deny it. But the following scriptures demonstrate undeniably, that God instead of reprobating any, is willing to receive all (2 Pet. 3. 9. Ezek. 33. 11. 1 Tim. 2. 3, 4. 2 Cor. 5. 19) Secondly, that Christ instead of dying only for a part, the Prophets, Angels, Christ and the Apostles, positively affirm, that salvation by his merits is possible for all. (Genesis 28. 14. Isaiah, 53. 6. Luke

     



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    2. 10. John 3. 16, 17.) Thirdly, that the Holy Spirit doth not strive with a part only, as some say, a special call, but strives with every man according to the hardness of his heart; while the day of mercy lasts -- (Titus, 2. 11. John, 1. 9, and 16. 8. compare chap. 6. 44, with chap. 12. 32.) Again, there is a Gospel for, and an invitation to all ==> and you cannot deny it -- (Mark 16. 15. Matt. 11. 28.) Again, there is a duty, which we owe to God, according to reason, conscience and scripture; and there are glorious promises, for our encouragement in the way of duty, and aweful threatenings in the way of disobedience. (Prov. 28 chap. 13 v. Matt. 5. 2 to 8, and 7. 24 to 28. Isa. 1 chap. 16 to 20. Psal. 9. 17.) And now to affirm that a part were unconditionally elected for Heaven, and can never be lost, what need was there of a Saviour? To save them from what? And if the rest have no probability of salvation, who are benefited by Christ? Or what did he come for? Not to benefit the Elect or Reprobate, but to accomplish a mere sham of solemn nothing. This reminds me of a story I heard, concerning a negro

     



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    who had just returned from meeting -- his master said, well Jack, how did you like the minister? "Why massa, me scarcely know, for the minister say, God makey beings, calla man; he pickey out oney here, oney dare, and givey dem to Jesus Christ, and da cant be lost. He makey all de rest reprobate, and givey dem to de Devil, da cant be saved. -- And de Devil, he go about like a roaring lion, seeking to get away some a Christ, and he can't. De minister, he go about to get away some de Devil's, an he can't; me donno which de greatest fool, de Pleacher or de Devil."

    It is evident that the Devil and the damned in Hell, do not believe in the doctrine of eternal decrees: For it is the nature of sinners, to strive to justify themselves in evul, and cast the blame elsewhere. This is an evil practice, therefore came from an evil source, and consequently from the Devil. When Adam fell, and God call'd to him, he cast the blame on the woman; God turning to her, she cast the blame on the serpent; God turned to him and he was speechless. Now, if he had believed in the doctrine of decrees, does it not appear evidently,

     



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    that he would have replied? Adam was not left to the freedom of his own will; he was bound by the decrees, and we have only fulfilled thy decrees and done thy will, and thou oughtest to reward us for it." But he was speechless, and knew nothing about such talk then, therefore it must be something he has hatched up since -- as saith the Poet:

    "There is a Reprobation plan,
    "Some how it did arise;
    "By the Predestinarian clan,
    "Of horrid cruelties.
    "The plan is this, they hold a few,
    "They are ordained for Heaven,
    "They hold the rest accursed crew,
    "That cannot be forgiven.
    "They do hold, God hath decreed,
    "Whatever comes to pass;
    "Some to be damd'd, some to be freed,
    "And this they call free grace.
    "This iron bedstead they do fetch,
    "To try our hopes upon;
    "And if too short, we must he stretched,
    "Cut off, if we're too long.
    "This is a bold serpentine scheme,
    "It suits the serpent well;
    "If he can make the sinner dream,
    "That he is doom'd to Hell.

     



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    "Or if he can persuade a man,
    "Decree is on his side;
    "Then he will say, without delay,
    "He tells one sinner, he's decreed,
    "Unto eternal bliss;
    "He tells another, he can't be freed,
    "For he is damned to miss.
    "The first he bindeth fast in pride,
    "The second in despair;
    "If he can only keep them tied,
    "Which way he does not care."
    It appeareth by the rich man's desiring his five brethren to be warned, least they cane to Hell with him, &c. Luke 16th, that he did not believe their states to be unalterably fixed by God's decrees; for if he did, why did he request their warning, saying, "if one arose from the dead, they would repent &c." It appeareth likewise, that if God hath decreed all things, that his decrees are as ancient as his knowledge; as decrees are generally argued from his foreknowledge, and that he foreknows it must be so, because he hath decreed it, &c. This opens a door to argue, there was a time when God was ignorant and knew nothing. For a decree is an act

     



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    of the mind, and there cannot be an action, without there being a particular time when that action took place; if so, then if God hath decreed all things, it must be, that there was a time when God passed those decrees; and if so, then there was a time, when the decrees were not passed, and if God did not foreknow any thing until he decreed it, then there was a time when God knew nothing: This is the truth ==> and you cannot deny it.

    And now to talk about God's foreknowledge or decreeing all things from eternity, appears a nonsensical phrase, because, to say from all eternity, implies eternity had a beginning: And as some use an unmeaning expression to convey an idea of unbeginning time; for the want of language, it is nonsense to attempt to build an argument thereon: For as it is argued in the foregoing, that God is eternal, we may admit with propriety, that he possesseth all the attributes that are ascribed to him; and yet it is not inconsistent to say that the first thing that ever God made, was time, and in time he made all things, and probably the angelic creation was previous to

     



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    men. Now many attempt to make God the author of sin: But sin is not a creature as many falsely think: it is the abuse of Good. And, to say that God who is good abuses good, is the highest blasphemy that we could impeach the Deity with; therefore he cannot be the author of it, consequently it must have come from another source. Now we must admit the idea, that there was a time when there was no creature, but the Creator only; and declarative glory could never redound to God; except, that finite accountable intelligencies, were created, for what should declare his glory, except such accountable beings were made; and of course must have remained in solemn silence: Therefore, declarative glory could never have redounded to God. But, that he might have declarative glory arising from his attributes, by intelligencies; it appears that angels were created, and we must suppose they were all happy, holy and good at first; seeing this is the nature of God, (as all argue, from the Christian to the Deist.) As likeness doth beget likeness, and every cause produces its own effect; and as we are informed,

     



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    that the Devil sinneth from the beginnings, and that some kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, and sinned, and were cast down to hell, &c. 2 Pet. 2, 4, Jude 6, Rom, 4. 15. 1 John, 3 c. 4. 8 v.) And as we read, where there is no law, there is no transgression: It must be, that the Angels had a law to keep and power sufficient to keep or break the law; or else, how could they be accountable? And if they were not, they could not be reasonable, and if not, then not praise or blame worthy. But says one, allowing that God did make such pure intelligent accountable beings, and had a sovereign right to demand their obedience, seeing they were dependent: What should induce a Holy Being to sin against a Holy God, especially as there was no evil in him nor them, nor yet any to tempt him? Answer, suppose I were walking along in meditation, in a great field; of a sudden I cast a look forward, and can see no end to it; it would be natural for me to stop and look back the way from whence I came, So, in my opinion, the Angels were looking into futurity --

     



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    they could discover no end to eternity, and it would be natural for them to reflect on time past. They could remember no time when they had no existence, any more than I can. This would open a door for a self-temptation to arise in thought, "how do we know but we are eternal with God?" And why should we be dependent on him, or be accountable to him? In order to find out whether they were dependent or independent, the only method was, to try their strength, by making head against the King of Heaven, by a violation of his command.

    Now, evil is the abuse of good, and the first abuse of good, was the origin of evil; and as their commandment was good, the evil consisted in the abuse of it; and the natural consequence of breaking the same, would be to convert them into Devils -- as the consequence of murder is death. From this we may see, that God made a Holy Being, but he made himself a Devil. Now, it appears to me impossible, for God to shew the Devils mercy, consistent with the principles of reason and justice, for I may sin against my equal, and in the eyes of the law;

     



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    the crime is looked upon a trifle; the same crime against a government, would forfeit my liberty, if not my life. Thus the magnitude of a crime is not looked upon, according to the dignity of the offender, but according to the dignity of the offended: Of course, a finite being sinning against an infinite God, there is an infinite demerit in the transgression: of course justice demands infinite satisfaction. A finite being can make finite satisfaction only, although the crime demands an infinity of punishment. -- A finite being cannot bear an infinity of punishment at once: Therefore the punishment must be made up in duration, and of course be eternal, that it may be adequate to the crime.

    But says one, why was not a mediator provided for fallen angels, as well as for fallen men? Answer -- It was impossible, in the reason and nature of things; for when mankind fell, it was by the action of one, and they multiply. So the Godhood and Manhood could be united, as in the person of Christ; But not so with the Devils, for they were all created active beings, and each stood or fell for himself, and of course

     



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    was actually guilty, and therefore must have actual punishment, except a Mediator was provided; which could not be, for the Devils do not multiply; therefore the Godhead and Devilhood. could not be joined together. -- But supposing it could, yet says Paul, without shedding of blood, there can be no remission, and spirits have no blood to shed: And upon this ground it appears, that the Devils' restoration or redemption, must fall through.

    The scripture which sayeth, Rom. 9. 11, &c. "The children being yet unborn, having done neither good nor evil, that the purpose of God according to Election, might stand, it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger"; as it is written, "Jacob have I loved, and Esau I hated." &c. any person by examining Genesis, 25. 23. and Mal. 1. 1, 2. may see that Paul's talk doth not mean their persons, but that, understanding it must be applied to their posterities. And to apply them the other way, as tho' one was an Elect, the other a Reprobate, on purpose to be damned, without a possibility

     



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    of escape, is a plot of the Devil, to blindfold mankind by a multitude of words, without knowledge; for no such inference can be drawn from that passage, that Jacob was made for salvation, and Esau for damnation. -- But observe, it must be applied to their posterities: See Gen. 25. 23. "And the Lord said unto Rebecca, two nations are in thy bowels, and the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger." Which came to pass in the reign of king David, when the Edomites were brought in subjection to the Jacobites, (2 Sam. 8. 14. 1 Chron. 18. 13.) and that passage, "Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated," was not spoken before the children were born, but hundreds of years after they were dead, by (Mal. 1. 1, 2.) Now, cannot any person who is unprejudiced, plainly discover, that the word "Jacob" here means the Jewish nation, which God saw fit to exalt to high national privileges, because Christ was to come thro that lineage, &c. And as to "Esau have I hated," the word here in scripture, frequently means loving in a less

     



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    degree, &c. for instance -- Christ sayeth, except a man hate his father, mother, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple -- the word hate here, means loving in a less degree, as we are to love God supremely; and lent favors in a less degree, as belonging to him: So the passage "Esau have I hated" meaning that God did not see fit to exalt the Edomites, to so high national privileges as the Jews; yet they were the next highest, for their land was given to them for a possession, which the Jews were not permitted to take from them, as they were going from Egypt to Canaan, (Deuteronomy, 2 c. 4, 5 v.) and that passage (Heb. 12. 17.) which sayeth, "that Esau was rejected, and found no place of repentance. though he fought it carefully with tears." we must not therefrom infer, that it was God who rejected him, because he was a reprobate, but his father Isaac.

    Take notice, at a certain time Esau went out a hunting, and on his return home, being at the point to perish with hunger, fell into Jacob's tent, and desired refreshment; but Jacob attempted

     



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    to make Esau's extremity his opportunity to grow rich; and to cheat him out of his birthright, for a mess of pottage: And Esau rather than starve, promised to give it up; and who can blame him. considering his distress. -- All that a man hath, will be given for his life, saith Satan, ==> this is the truth, and you cannot deny it, (Gen. 23. 30. &c.) but there is no account that ever Jacob got the birth right, but by Easu's continuing with his father, and being so rich on Jacob's return; it appears he lived with his father, and was heir to the inheritance. Jacob got not any thing from Esau; but Esau got a present from him. After this Isaac was determined to bless Esau, and commanded him to get venison for that purpose. And while he was gone for it, Rebecca tells Jacob to kill kids, &c. and he should get the blessing: He saith, "I shall get a curse instead of a blessing" -- she said, the curse be on me, &c. and it appears as tho' she got it, as it was the means of her looting her idol's company during her life time, for there is no account of her being alive at his return. -- Scarcely had he told the lies to Isaac,

     



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    and with drawn, &c. but Esau came in, and thereby blind Isaac perceived the deception in full, and began to tremble exceedingly, by which Esau perceived what had passed, and immediately lifted up his voice and wept, and sought after repentance: nor in himself (for he had done nothing to repent of) but in his father Isaac. But Isaac would not take back the blessing, but said, Jacob is blessed, and shall be blessed (Gen. 27 c. &c.) From this loss of the blessing, some people thing Esau was reprobated and damned: But Paul saith, Heb. 11. 20. by faith Jacob blessed Jacob and Esau. concerning things to come. Some forget to read that Esau was blessed as well as Jacob, though not in so great a degree, and how could he be blessed by faith if he were reprobated? (Gen. 17 c. 39. 40.) Esau was blessed with four things; the first two were like a part of Jacob's, viz. the dew of Heaven and the fatness of the Earth -- thirdly, by his sword he was to live -- and fourthly, when he should have the dominion, he was to break Jacob's (or Jewish) yoke from off his neck, which came to pass in the reign of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat,

     



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    2 Chron. 21 c. 8, 10. And now to show the inconsistency of thinking that Esau served Jacob, the younger, it doth appear that Jacob served Esau; and moreover that Jacob had no religion when he attempted to cheat and lie, that being contrary to the spirit of Christianity. But it appears that he got converted afterwards, when on his way to Padanaram; he lay down to rest in the woods, and in the night he had a Vision, in which he saw a ladder, the top reaching to Heaven, &c. Now, as the ladder had two sides, it represents the Godhead and Manhood of Christ, and the rounds, the different degrees of Grace. If Jacob had been pious, doubtless he would have realized the preference of God, being there to protect him from the wild beasts; but his expression. "the Lord was in this place, and I knew it not," argues ignorance. Secondly, he adds it is no other than the house of God, and gate of Heaven, which is the language of young converts. -- Thirdly, he made a vow, if God would give him food to eat, and raiment to put on, and bring him back in peace, that God should be his God; which certainly implies, that he

     



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    did not serve God before, as he did afterwards, (Gen. 28. 16.).

    Observe, Jacob served Esau first, was afraid of him, and ran from home twenty years, through scenes of sorrow, and had his wages changed not less than ten times -- Secondly, when he set out to return, his past conduct created such fear in his breast, that he dare not see Esau's face, until by messengers he enquired, "may I come in peace?" -- And understanding, that Esau with a body of men, was coming to meet him, his sleep departed from him. He divided his host in two bands, and wrestled all night in prayer; and such fear surely denotes guilt. Thirdly, he sent a number of messengers with presents, and a messenger to Esau, calling him Lord, as if himself was the servant. Fourthly, Esau bowed not at all; but Jacob bowed not once, nor twice only, but seven times; and then cried out. "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God." Now, if Esau was a Reprobate, how could his face have been as God's -- nay, it would have been as the Devil's. But as they had a joyful

     



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    meeting together, like two christian brethren, that had been some time absent; I therefore conclude, that Jacob saw the image of God in his brother Esau; and in that sense, Esau's face might be said to be as the face of God, and in no other. And as the general tenor of Esau's conduct, was not so bad as some parts of Jacob's conduct, I therefrom conclude, that Esau died in peace; and if ever I can be so happy as to get to glory, I expect to meet Esau there as well as Jacob. Gen. 32 and 33 c. &c.

    If I believed all things were decreed, I must suppose that Pharoah did the will of God in all things, seeing God decreed all his thoughts, words and actions: And the will being the determined faculty, it must be that whatever God decrees, he wills; therefore, Pharoah did the will of God, according to that doctrine. ==> and you cannot deny it. If the scripture be true, then Pharoah doing the will of God, according to that doctrine, must be saved according to the intimation of Christ; that whoever doeth the will of God, is his brother, sister and mother -- observe if all Pharoah's conduct was decreed, he

     



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    did as well as he could, and Peter as bad as he could; according to that doctrine then, which is the most praise or blame worthy? Again, if God decreed Pharoah's conduct, did he not decree it right; and if so, could it be wrong? -- If not, there was no sin, consequently no punishment; unless you say a man is punishable for doing right. Again, if God decreed Pharoah should do as he did, why did he command him to act to the reverse? Does he decree one thing and command another? If so, then you make God's decrees and commandments clash: For according to that doctrine, God's revealed will is, that we should obey; and his decreed will is, that we should disobey. Thus you make out that God has two wills right opposite to each other, which makes God divided against himself -- Christ intimates, that which is divided against itself cannot stand: If so, then Deity being divided; must fall, and of course the works of nature sink and go to ruin.

    There is no account of Pharoah's heart being more hard than others, until he became hardened; but it appeareth

     



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    from Rom. 5.19 & 20 v. that the hearts of people are alike, hard by nature, Well, saith one, what is the meaning of that scripture, "For this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I may shew forth my power in thee. And I will harden his heart, & he shall not let the people go &c." Answer, the Lord raised Pharoah up. Up from what? From the dust unto a child, from a child to a man, to be a king on the throne, that he might shew forth his power in him. And he has raised up you and me, and all mankind, for the same purpose: viz. to shew forth his power in us; if it be not for that, what is it for? We read in several places, that the Lord hardened Pharoah, and yet Pharoah hardened himself: How could that be? God do it, and yet Pharoah do it. We read that the Lord afflicted Job, and yet that satan did it: (Job, 19. 21, and 2. 7.) And that the Lord moved David to number Israel, and yet that satan did it, &c. (2 Samuel, 24, 1 and 1 Chron. 25. 1.) and that Solomon built the temple, and yet tells how many workman did it. Thus we see that there is a first cause, and a second cause, as saith the Poet:

     



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    "No evil from God proceed,
    "Twas only suffered, not decreed;
    "As darkness is not from the sun,
    "Nor mounts the shades, till he is gone."
    Reason saith, that mankind are agents or else Prophets; for they can foretell some things, and then fulfil them -- this is the truth, ==> and you cannot deny it. If so, then it may be said with propriety, that the Lord hardened the heart of Pharoah, and yet that Pharoah hardened himself, even as mankind are hardened in this our day, &c. Observe, First, the Lord called to Pharaoh by favor, and gave him a kingdom. Secondly, the Lord called by commandments, and Pharaoh would not obey, by saying, "I know not the Lord, neither Lord called thirdly, by miracles, but Pharoah reasoned against them in a diabolical way, by setting the magicians to work. Them fourthly, God called by affliction, then Pharoah made a promise to obey God, and let the Jews depart, if the affliction might be removed: But when the judgment was removed, Pharoah broke his promise; therein he was to blame; for breaking his promise,

     



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    his heart would naturally become harder, like metal when melted, it is tender, and when grown cold is harder than before, and of course requires a hotter fire to melt it again; so it required a heavier judgment to operate on Pharoah, and God would send it, and Pharoah would promise and break them, till ten afflictions passed away, and when the first born was slain by the Lord, and yet by Evil Angels, as David in the Psalms tells you, Pharoah was shocked and let the Jews depart -- He pursued them, and God permitted him to be taken in his own folly, and drowned in the Red Sea; thus we find how God hardened Pharoah's heart, and yet how he hardened himself by disobedience, and so in this our day it may be said, that God hardens some, and yet they harden themselves, as follows: -- First, God calls be prosperity or favours, and yet many enjoy them without a feeling sense from whom they flow. Secondly, God calls by commandments, an inward monitor, telling what is right and what is wrong. But some don't give attention thereto which, if they would, they would hear the voice more and more distinctly, till

     



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    at length it would become their teacher. Thirdly, God calls by miracles, the operation of his spirit perhaps under preaching, or some other cause, and they have thought, if I could always feel as I do now, I should soon be a Christian; or if all my companions would turn and serve the Lord, I would gladly go with them to heaven. But through inattention, those serious impressions, which I call miracles, soon wear off. A miracle is something done out of the common course of nature, by the operation of the power or spirit of God; therefore, O reader, it was not the minister who made you have those feelings, but the power of God; therefore, in some sense you have been called upon miraculously. ==> and you cannot deny it. 4thly, God calls by affliction, and when people are taken sick, and view death near, they make vows and promises, and think how good they will be if God will spare them and raise them up. But when they are recovered, then (Pharoah like) too soon forget their promises, and break their vows, and hereby become harder than before, and can do things without remorse which

     



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    once they would have felt the lash of conscience for. And that preaching which once would make impressions on their mind, strikes the heart and bounds back like a stone glancing against a rock. This character is what may be termed a Gospel hardened sinner. Thus you may discover that this plan clears the Divine Character and calls the blame on the creature, where it ought to be; whereas, the opposite would call the blame directly on God, if he decreed it so. Although Christ hath promised once to draw ALL men unto him, (not to drag, for bait draws birds, yet they come voluntarily) yet he never promises to draw them a second time, but on the other hand positively saith, my spirit shall not always strive with men. And again, because I have called and ye have refused, but ye have set at naught my council and would none of my reproofs, I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh. Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone. And the language of a reprobate is "the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jer. 8. 20. Prov. 1. 24 to 26. Gen 6. 3.

     



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    As the Lord requireth a right sacrifice in the path of (revealed) duty, those, who like Cain, bring a wrong offering, the fruit of the ground, instead of the firstling of the flock like Abel, must expect, like Cain, to be rejected, (Gen, 4. 7.) for God saith, behold I have set life and death before you, choose you this day, whom you will serve, &c. Josh. 24. 15. one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen the good part. We don't read, God chose it for her, even as we read in John 3. 19. that this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, &c. Oh! reader, prepare to meet thy God!

    Obj. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour.

    Ans. A potter never makes any vessel on purpose to destroy it, for the most dishonourable one in family sickness is as useful as the honourable tea-cup in time of health. Neither doth God make any on purpose for destruction, but all mankind are useful, if they get the spirit

     



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    of the station and fill up that sphere which they are qualified for. For without servants there can be no masters; without subjects, no rulers; without commonality, no quality; and any one may observe that David was elected or set apart to be king; Jeremiah and Samuel Prophets, &c. and any discerning eye may easily discover, that Paul's election, Rom. 9. was not an election to future happiness, but of temporal advantages. And yet those not so positive, but what the privileges might be forfeited and lost by sin, as you may find 1 Chron. 28. 9, 10. if thou serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will call thee off forever: Deut. 30. 15, 19. Moses dying declaration was that the children of Israel must obey, and if they would all needful blessings they should have, but if rebellious, should be cursed and scattered, &c. ==> This is the truth, and you cannot deny it. And observe Paul, when talking about the clay and potter, alludes to Jer. 18. where the prophet was commanded to see the potter work, &c. And then God says, v. 6. cannot I

     



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    do with you as the potter, O house of Israel, &c. Again, v. 7. at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation or kingdom, to pluck up, pull down, or destroy it. If that nation against whom I have pronounced "turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil I thought to do unto them." "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation or kingdom, to build or plant it, if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then will I repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them."

    Now observe, if God be unchangeable, as Paul saith, God cannot lie, then he is bound by his immutability or the law of his nature, to perform his promises to the obedient, and his threatenings against the disobedient. Objection. -- Bible language is, I will and you shall, and the promises are yea and amen, without any if's or and's.

    Answer. To take the promises without the condition is a practice of Satan, Luke 4. 10, 12, which he made use of to our Lord to get him to fall down from the battlement of the temple, and thereby tempt God, and presume on God, because of the promise which the

     



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    Devil intended he should think to be unconditional; and so bear him up in the way of disobedience. -- Whereas, our Saviour, knowing the path of duty to be the way of safety, replied, tis written thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. For in the way of obedience there is a promise of preservation, and in the way of disobedience a threatening of destruction: Therefore, to cut those two little letters IF out of the bible, which makes such a great significant word, is wrong, seeing it is so frequent in scripture; and frequently there are conditions implied in the Bible, though not expressed; for instance, David, when at Keliah, (1 Sam. 23. &c.) enquired of the Lord whether Saul would come down, and the men of the city deliver him up, and the Lord answered in the affirmative. Here is no condition expressed. yet there is one implied, for David left the city and fled to the wilderness, so Saul came not down, neither did the people deliver him up. Again, God said to the Ninevites, by Jonah, yet forty days and Ninevah shall be overthrown. Now if you say all threatenings are without condition, you give

     



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    God the lie, for the city was spared in consequence of their believing God, and turning from their evil way. Jonah 3. 5. 10. This is the truth ==> and you cannot deny it. Again, Ezek. 33 &c. There is a condition implied and explained undeniably, though not so fully expressed at the first, concerning the righteous and wicked man, which you may read at your leisure: Objection, Says one, God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, &c. -- Answer: --

    GOD will have mercy on whom he will,
    Come think you whom they be;
    'Tis every one that loves his son,
    And from their sins do flee.
    'Tis every one that doth repent,
    And truly hates his sin;
    'Tis every one that is content,
    To turn to God again.
    And whom he will he hardeneth,
    Come think you whom they be;
    "Tis every one that hates his son,
    Likewise his liberty.
    "Tis every one that in sin persist,
    And do outstand their day;
    Then God in justice leaves them to
    Their own heart's lust a Prey.

     



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    Objec. "My people shall be made willing in the day of my power," says one. Answer. That is home made scripture, for the Almighty doth not so speak, but king David (Psal. 110. 3) speaks to the Almighty. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." He doth not say, they shall be made willing; the word made is not there, neither has it any business there, Again, those little words in italic letters were not in the original, but were put in by the translators, to make what they think to be sense in the English language; and those little words "shall be," are in different letters, of course put in by the translators; now I leave them out, and in lieu thereof, put in the word are, and then read it, "Thy people are willing in the day of thy power." Now is the day of God's power, and now his people are willing; they are always a willing people. It is the reprobate character that is unwilling that God's will should be done; this is the truth, ==> and you cannot deny it. Matt. 9. 24, 26. Object. Christ did not pray for all mankind, &c. Answer. That's a lie, for John 17.9. sayeth Christ prayed

     



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    for his disciples; Secondly, v. 20, for those who should believe on him through their word; and thirdly, for the whole world, (v. 21, 23.) thus "that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Again, that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and this doth not mean, A double L, part. Objec. Paul says, Rom. 8. Whom God foreknew he predestinated, called, justified, and glorified, &c. -- Here is no condition expressed, of course, it appeareth that he glorified all that he justified, called, predestinated, and foreknew, &c. Ans. If that be taken just as it stands, without any conditions whatever, it will follow that Universalism is true, or else, that we are all reprobates. For God foreknows one as much as another, in every sense of the word, and of course foreknows all mankind; and now, if all that he foreknows he predestinates, calls, justifies, and glorifies, without any condition, in any shape, or sense, it undeniably argues, the universal salvation of every son of Adam. This is the truth, ==> and you cannot deny it. Or else, if you take the Apostle unconditionally, as he speaketh in the

     



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    past tense, then no more can be glorified. Therefore we are reprobates. But it is my opinion, that Paul is only rehearsing a catalogue of states, as they take place in succession. And to take any particular part of the Bible, in the face and eyes of twenty scriptures more; and doctrine thereby may be proved: and thus we find by such means, have sprung up the many sentiments in the earth. People, desirous to get to Heaven in an easier way, than God hath pointed out, will hew out an opinion of their own, a broken cistern, that can hold no water, and will twist and bend the scriptures to their sentiment, and sometimes will have to grind the same, and put it into a press, and press out a construction of their own. But this will not do, scripture must be explained by scripture, and that according to reason so as not to make it clash, but rather correspond with true christian experience.

    Objec. We read as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. Answer. True, but the word ordained, signifies, set a part as a minister for his office. Thus Jeremiah was set apart a

     



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    Prophet. And David saith, the Lord has set apart him that is Godly for himself, Psal. 4. 3. And there is no account of any being set a part for the Lord's self but the Godly. No man is Godly or Godlike, but the believer; therefore, none are ordained, or set apart for Heaven, but those that believe. Besides, the Acts of the Apostles were written some time after the things took place, and of course is all written in the past tense. Ordained is in the past tense, and so is believed, and there is no account of the one being prior to the other. But it may be said, as many as believed, were ordained to eternal life, as none are ordained or set apart for eternal life, but the saints; no man is a saint except he believes. For he that believeth not is condemned already, saith Christ. -- Therefore, as soon as one believes, he is free from condemnation, and of course set apart for Heaven, and not before; he being in Christ now, by the act of faith. Now observe, Peter talks about elect in Christ, not out of him -- Paul saith, 2. Cor. 5. 17. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, &c. and Rom. 8. 1. saith, there is now (not yesterday

     



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    or to-morrow) no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit, &c. which implies, there is condemnation to those who are not in Christ, but walk after the flesh, and not after the Spirit. And Paul saith, -- they which have not the Spirit of Christ, are none of his, Rom. 8. 9. And John saith, -- he that committeth sin, is of the Devil, 1 John 3. 8; and again, no man can call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. May God help thee to consider the above candidly, and judge impartially, and improve thereon conscientiously; that it may be well with the in thy latter moments. God grant it for Christ's sake! Amen.

    Objec. Him being delivered by the determinate council, and foreknowledge of God, &c.

    Answer. I disagree with some who think the determination there alluded to the Jew's crucifying of Christ, &c. for if that was decreed, it was right, and of course it was not wrong; and then how could it be sin, or how could they be blame worthy, or punishable? But as Christ said, "No man taketh my life

     



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    from me," &c. I therefrom argue, that it was the sins of the world being laid on Christ, that caused the blood to gush through the pores of his skin, and run down like drops of sweat, through the agony of his mind. The same caused him to say my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, and likewise to die so much sooner than malefactors in general do; so that the governor himself was astonished, and could hardly credit the account, until he had enquired of the centurian, if he were already dead. I think that that passage which saith, him being delivered, &c. has an allusion to the determination of God, when being resolved to send a mediator into this world, for Adam's lost race, which were in his loins, when God manifested, that the seed of the woman, should bruise the serpent's head, &c. -- This I argue from John 3. 16 and 17. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, and sent him into the world, that the world thro him might be saved, &c. For, observe, all the blessings were forfeited by Adam's sin, and of course the curse rested

     



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    on him, and all that he represented; therefore, these blessings could not be enjoyed except they were purchased; God's justice demanding infinite satisfaction. A finite being could not make satisfaction beyond his own finite sphere, of course, if there should be no Mediator, God's declarative glory must be greatly eclipsed, seeing that he could not be glorified in the salvation or damnation of any, except Adam and Eve; and thereby the plan of Satan would have been accomplished. Some people say, that there are infants in hell not more than a span long, for Adam's disobedience. But I deny it, upon the principles of scripture and common sense. I acknowledge, however, it would have been just in God to have damned Adam and Eve, for their own sins, but to have suffered Adam and Eve to multiply, and punish their posterity with an actual punishment, for that which they were passive in procuring; would represent God as unjust; for the principles of true justice say, that the punishment should never exceed the transgression; therefore we being passive in Adam's loins when he fell

     



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    we must have been passive in the punishment, and of course have perished there. This, in my opinion, would have here left the loss we should have suffered; because that all the blessings we enjoy come through Christ's merit. Of course, if it had not been for that merit, I should not have had my temporal life, which is a blessing. Of course God could not have been glorified in my salvation or damnation. If not then as above, his glory would be eclipsed, but his love for his own glory, and to fallen man, caused him to determine to send his Son as a Mediator. -- And he revealed the same according to Gen. 3. 15; John 3. 16, 17; Acts 2. 23; and on the principles of scripture, I acknowledge, we feel the effect of Adam's fall in our experience; but not the guilt of it, for the demand of the Adamic law, was satisfied by Christ, so as to remove the curse, that we might enjoy the blessings forfeited by Adam; not by works of our own merit, but a simple act of faith in Christ. Therefore the plaister is as great the wound, according to Rom. 6. 18, 19. Therefore, as by the offence

     



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    of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so (not uneven) by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon ALL men, unto justification of life, &c. &c. Also, Isai. 53. 6. Thus you see the bible points out free grace, to extend as far as just wrath. ==> and you cannot deny it.

    Query. If all things are decreed right, is it not evident that there is no such thing as sin or guilt? For it can't be wrong to do right. Consequently, there can be no redemption, for there is nothing to redeem them from; consequently, if mankind think they have sinned and are redeemed, their thoughts must be a deception, and are imaginary; and of course, their praising God for redeeming love is folly. For they praise him for that which he never did. Now, supposing this imaginary, false, mistaken idea, that they "had been sinners and were redeemed," was removed, and they so enlightened as to discover that nothing according to right decrees had ever taken place wrong, &c. how would the heavenly host be astonished to think they had been deceived? What silence would immediately ensue!

     



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    Some people hold to a falling from grace, which I think is wrong; for say they, if we were always to be in the light, we should grow proud; therefore it is necessary that we should have darkness to make us feel our weakness and dependance. From this it appears, that they think a little sin is necessary for the perfecting of the saints. Now to hold a thing necessary, implies holding to it, same as I think perfection in love to be necessary, therefore I hold to it. Thus you see they hold to a falling from grace which I think is wrong. Yet I adopt the idea that a man can fall from grace according to conscience, reason and scripture, which idea, some people think to be dangerous; but I think it is not naturally attended with such bad consequences as the other; for if a man thinks he is safe, he is not apt to look out for danger, whereas if he thinks there is danger, he is apt, like the mariner, to look out for breakers. Again, supposing I have religion, I think I can fall so as to perish everlastingly. Here is another man with the same degree of religion believing once in grace, always in grace. Now, if my idea of the possibility

     



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    of falling, &c. be false, his sentiment if true, will certainly catch me; so I am safe as he. But supposing his doctrine to be false, and mine true; he is gone for it, and mine will not catch him.

    So you see I have two strings to my bow to his one. ==> This is the truth, and you cannot deny it. Now reader, observe, as I heard of a seine on Rhode- Island, which caught a school of fish, and for fear of the escape of some, a number of seines encircled and enclosed, so that they could not escape, and if any did escape the first or second net, the others should catch them, &c. So you may plainly discover as I have linked the above doctrines, if my ideas are false, the other ideas, as so many seines, will catch me. Once in grace, always in grace, or predestination, or universalism, or deism, with atheism. But if they are false, those characters are gone, if they have nothing else to depend upon but principles -- yet I shall be safe.

    Again, it is evident to reason's eye, that the more light a person hath, if he abuse the same, the greater is the sin and guilt. Therefore, in justice, the condemnation and punishment must be

     



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    propositioned, according to the saying of Christ, "He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes;" -- whereas he that committeth things worthy of stripes, and knoweth not his master's will, shall be beaten with few stripes. Thus you see it is required according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not. As we read every man is to be rewarded according to his works, or the deeds done in the body, Rev. 22. 12, and 14. 13; Luke 12. 47, &c. Now scripture proof that a man may fall from grace, runneth thus: "if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." The backslider in heart, shall be filled with his own ways, &c. Now if a man were in a high pillory, it would be nonsense for one to cry out, "hold tight, stand and hang fast, for if you fall, it will hurt you;" if there be no danger of his failing, and more so, if there is not a possibility of it. If so, then how much greater nonsense, for an Almighty God, to give us his will, with many cautions as needless as the above, there being no danger, nor even a possibility of danger. And yet he like some passionate

     



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    parents, who say to their children, if you do so and so, I'll whip you; I'll burn you up; I'll skin you, and turn you out doors, &c. and yet have no intention to perform the threatenings, but to lie to them. Just such a character some people seem to represent the Lord in. When he cautions as follows: -- Gen. 2. 17. In the day thou eateth thereof thou shalt die, (Serpent like say they,) Gen. 3. 4. Ye shall not surely die. But it is evident that God is in earnest in the following threatenings: Rev. 22. 19. If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, &c. there is no account of a sinner's having a part in the book of life, or Holy City, but the saint. For it is holiness that gives the title, Heb. 12. 14. Again, hold fast that no man take thy crown, &c. Rev. 3. 11. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life -- And he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved, Rev. 2. 10; Mark 13. 13. Jude tells us of some whose fruit withereth, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Now it is

     



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    evident, that a sinner is but once dead, then there must have been once alive in the scripture or scriptural sense; or else how could the fruit wither, or they be twice dead and plucked up by the roots? ver. 12. Again there is a sin unto death, which we are not commanded to pray for: compare 1st John 5. 16, 17, with Heb. 10. 26 to 31. Again, Peter tells us of some that have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins, and even escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of Christ, &c. -- and yet are again entangled therein. And saith he, it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from, &c. (2 Pet. 1. 9, and 2 c. 20 v. to the end) how could they have forgot that which they knew, &c. Again, (Heb. 6. 4, to 7th) what higher attainments can one have than are here mentioned -- and (2 Peter 3. 17, &c.) if any man thinketh he standeth, let him take heed lest he fall, (1 Corin. 10. 12. Rom. 11. 20, 21. Heb. 4. 1.) Observe, there were six hundred thousand Jews, all well, active men, &c. which come out of Egypt

     



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    with Moses, and one was in as fair a way for Canaan as another; and God promised as positively to carry them to the promised land, as ever he promised to carry the saint from earth to heaven; only four got through the wilderness. -- Aaron and Moses died on the mountains, and Caleb and Joshua reached the desired country. But all the others, who it appears, were once favorites of Heaven, from Paul's talk, 1 Cor. 10. 3, 4. &c. As Paul saith, they all drank of Christ, the spiritual rock, &c. and yet some of them tempted him, &c. verse 9, and thus they all by sin fell in the wilderness. And Paul addeth, moreover, that these things happened unto them for examples, and were written for our admonition, verse 11. Now what need of saints being admonished, if there be no danger of losing the spiritual land of rest? Paul was afraid of falling, chap. 9, 27th verse; but observe, though God had promised to carry the Jews to Canaan, &c. yet there was a condition implied, Numb. 14. 34; and ye shall know my breach of promise. That was a condition implied, though not fully expressed before. Gen. 17, 8 and 28,

     



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    13 and 50; 24, 25; Heb. 11. 2; Ex. 3. 16, 17, &c. and Lev. 26, 27, 26, &c. Hark! If ye will not for all this, hearken unto me (saith God) but walk contrary unto me, then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury, and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. Now if all things are decreed right straight forward, how could the Jews walk contrary to God? and if not, how could God walk contrary to them? God help thee to consider this, if there be no condition implied; and likewise, Exod. 13. 17; and Numb. 14. 21, 22, 23, and 24, &c. Because those men, which have seen my glory, and miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice, surely they shall not see the land which I swear unto their fathers, &c. verse 34. God help you to take warning by the Jews, for it is evident, that according to the talk of Moses, Deut. 28. that great blessings were promised, if the nation would obey, and curses in consequence of disobedience, which ideas were confirmed in the dying speech of Joshua, 24. 20; which was fulfilled

     



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    according to the book of Judges. -- When it went well with the Jews, we find they were serving God; but when they did evil, God sold them into the hands of their enemies. God help thee to compare the promises and threatenings in Deuteronomy, to the book of Judges, &c. And observe God's dealings thenceward, and apply that to Mat. 7. 24, &c. and observe the Gospel, for we are to take warning by God's dealings with the ancients, and square our lives accordingly, because to judgment we must come, and be judged with strict justice, and receive sentence accordingly; either "Come ye blessed, or depart ye cursed," Math. 25. 34, 41, &c. -- Now observe, if I am guilty, I must have pardon here, and then if my life from the day of my forgiveness, brings forth good fruit from a holy heart, it is right; consequently the reward must ensue accordingly. But if I turn, and willingly love sin again, my conduct flowing from that evil desire, thus living and dying, my sentence must be accordingly, agreeable to the principles of true justice; ==> this is the truth, and you cannot deny it. Read attentively about the good

     



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    and civil servant, from Math. 24. 46 to 48, &c. and 18. 23, &c.

    Observe, Paul exhorts Timothy to war a good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience, which, faith he, some having put away concerning faith, have made shipwreck; of whom is Hymenius and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1. 19; John 15; Christ saith, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the Husbandman; every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away, (observe, he could not take them away unless they were there) and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean, through the word which I have spoken unto you." -- Observe, a sinner is not clean, but filthy. But if these were made clean thro' the word of Christ, as just mentioned, then they were saints, ==> and you cannot deny it; verse 4. "Abide in me, and I in you." As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me, I am the vine, ye are the branches, &c. verse 6, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered,"

     



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    &c. Observe, a sinner is not compared to a green tree, but a dry, this could not wither, except it were green, and a branch once withered, it is hard to make it green again, &c. but they are gathered and burned -- verse 7. 8; if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you; herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples; verse 9 -- Continue ye in my love. -- Now ye may see that, the five little letters that are herein included, which too many people overlook, and which fixes the sense of a great many scriptures running parallel thro the bible, &c. -- viz: "If and eth." Now the Bible runneth thus: if ye do so and so, I will do so and so; and if ye do so and so, I will do so and so, &c. And again. "ed" past tense, we find but little in the Bible. But the scripture, instead of making a "yesterday christian it maketh a present, every day christian." Thus, he that believeth, heareth, seeth, understandeth, knoweth, pursueth, watcheth, hath, enjoyeth, and endureth; this is the truth, ==> and you can't deny it, for the Bible doth not enquire

     



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    what I was yesterday, but what I am now.

    Objection. Christ saith, my sheep hear my voice, they follow me, and shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, &c. John 10. 27, 28. Answer -- Here the saint is represented by the similitude of a sheep, hearing and following a shepherd; and observe the promise is made as before observed, to a certain obedient character, and here the promise is to those that hear; hearing doth not mean stopping your ears, or being careless and inattentive; but it implieth, giving strict attention to the object, which requireth the fame, and following, likewise, doth not mean running the other way, but a voluntary coming after -- Therefore, there is a condition implied and expressed in this passage, vis: hear and follow, and the promise is to that character: of course, a backslider doth not initiate it, and of course, cannot claim the promise; and though Christ saith none can pluck them from his hands, &c. yet he doth not say, but what they may turn away according to Ezek. 33. 18. --

     



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    "When the righteous (man) turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby," &c.

    Object. The death there spoken of is temporal. Ans. I deny it, for the body will die, whether you sin or not; and God, when he meaneth the body, doth not say the soul, but positively declares, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" -- chap. 16. 4.

    Objec. But the righteous man then spoken of, is a self righteous man. Ans. I deny it, for he is pronounced a righteous man by God himself, and how can he be righteous in the judgment of God, without saving faith? God doth not call a wicked man good, nor a good man evil, yet you say, that him that God here pronounceth righteous, is only self righteous, a Pharisee. Oh scandalous for any man to twist the scriptures thus! Now look at it in your own glass; self- righteousness being wickedness, we will stile it iniquity, and the man an iniquitous man, and then read it "when an iniquitous man turneth away from his iniquity, and committeth iniquity, for his iniquity, &c. shall he die" -- read the above twice over, and then sound and

     



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    see, if there be any bottom or top according to your exposition. Leaving your shameless construction, I pass on to answer another objection, which may be urged from Rom. 8. 38, 39. where Paul saith, "I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, principalities, powers, things present or to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, &c."

    Observe, though Paul speaks of a second cause, not being able to separate us from the enjoyment of God's love; yet he doth not say but what we may separate ourselves by disobedience, which is sin. Sin is not a creature as some people falsely think, but sin is a non-conformity to the will of God. -- If you still say, that sin is a creature, I ask you what shape it is in, or what colour it is of, or how many eyes or wings, it hath, or whether it crawls like a snake: Paul doth not term it a creature, but agreeth with St. John, where he saith, sin is the transgression of the law, and where there is no law, there is no transgression; and being not without law to God, but under the law of

     



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    Christ. The Christian still feeleth himself conscientiously accountable unto God, ==> and you cannot deny it. -- 1 John, 3. 4. Rom. 3. 20 and c. 4. 15. 1 Corin. 9. 21 for we read, not that a good man falleth into sin every day, and still is in the way to Heaven, being a child of God, but in the reverse -- 1 John 3. 8. "he that committeth sin, is of the Devil, John 8. 34. whomsoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" -- v. 36. "if the sin therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." Rom. 6. 18. "being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness, v. 20, for when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness; v. 22, 23, but now being made free from sin, &c. for the wages of sin is death."

    Any person by reading the 89th Psal. may plainly discover, that the promise made therein to David, as in the person of Christ, was not altogether without condition, by comparing the promise from v. 19, 20, to 29. &c. to 38. From that, either there is a contradiction in the Psalm, or else a condition must be allowed; for one part saith, that his seeds and throne shall endure forever --

     



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    and another part "thou hast cast his throne to the ground" v. 36 and 44, &c. But observe, most people when quoting this Psalm, to prove once in Grace, always in Grace, read thus, v. 33, "nevertheless will I not utterly take from them nor suffer my faithfulness to fail," which is a wrong quotation: He does not say in the plural, he will not take it from them, but in the singular, will not utterly take from him; that is, from Christ Jesus, as David frequently represents Christ -- compare this Psalm with 1 Chron. 28. 6, 7, 8. Kings, 9. 4. to 9 -- where understandably, you will find the condition.

    Objec. I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and he that believeth, hath everlasting life. Ans. The life there spoken of, is the love of God, which is called everlasting; because it is his eternal nature, which all those that believe enjoy; yet, God being holy, cannot behold iniquity with allowance; of course his justice cries against it, and demands satisfaction: It must be, that if I lose that life, that the nature of it does not change, but returns to God,

     



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    who gave it; by my outsinning, the day or reach of mercy, &c. But says one, can a man sin beyond the love of God, or out of the reach of mercy? Ans. We read that God loved the world and yet that there is a sin unto death, which we are not commanded to pray for, when one committeth. John 3. 16, 17. 1 John 5. 16. Those who may read the above, that have enjoyed the comforts of religion in their own souls, when they are faithful to God, they feel his love, and enjoy the light of his countenance; and a mountain of trouble appears as a hill, and he surmounts it with delight, and cries in the Poet's language "Give joy or grief, give ease or pain
    "Take life or friends away;
    "But let me find them all again,
    "In that eternal day."
    They feel the truth of Christ's words, John 6. 12. "He that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," but when they let down their watch, that their strength departs like Sampson's, when shorn and their enemies get the better: A hill of trouble

     



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    appears as a mountain, and they feel like one forsaken; and on reflection, conscience lays the blame not on God, like the doctrine of decrees, but on them; and they have no peace until they repent, and do their first work, viz. to go to God as a criminal, and yet as a beggar, broken hearted, willing to part with the accursed thing -- then they find the Lord to lift upon them the light of his countenance, and their peaceful hours return. They take their harps from the willows, and cry like the ancient, "our soul is escaped, as a bird from the snare of the fowler, the snare is broken, and we are escaped."

    Query -- Who ever fell from Grace? Ans. We are informed, 1 Sam. 15, 17. that when Saul was little in his own eyes, God exalted him to be king over Israel, and c. 10. 6. when Samuel anointed him, he saith, "the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophecy, and shall be turned into another man, &c." v. 9. we read moreover, that God gave him another heart, &c. and what sort of a heart God gives, I leave you to judge. And God seemed

     



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    to prosper Saul, while he was humble, c. 13. 12. It appeareth after two years, that his heart got lifted up with pride, and the Lord sent him to utterly destroy the Amelekites, and all things belonging thereto, according to the commandments by Moses: But Saul rebelled, and committed a sin thereby, which was as the sin of witchcraft and idolatry, c. 15. 23. After this, the Spirit of the Lord departed from him; and afterwards Saul murdered himself in the field of battle. And we read, no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him; and that murderers hereafter shall be shut out of the Holy City, c. 16. 14. and 31. 4. 1 John 3. 15, Rev. 22, 15. But saith one, was not David a man after God's own heart, when committing adultery and murder? Ans. No, for God hath not the heart of an adulterer, nor a murderer. And again, no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him, 1 John 3. 15: And supposing David was a man after God's own heart, when feeding his Father's sheep; that's no sign he was, when committing adultery and murder, any more than if I were honest seven years ago, and then turned thief -- am honest

     



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    still, because I was once; this is the truth ., ==> and you cannot deny it. But observe, the Lord was displeased with David, being angry with the wicked every day: and there is no account that the Lord put away David's sin until he confessed it, &c. 2 Sam. 11. 27, and 12. 13; and all backsliders who sincerely repent, may receive pardon, as David did, &c. But yet, there is no scripture that saith, they shall be brought to repentance irresistibly, whether they will or not; for God will have volunteers for Heaven; or none at all, Rev. 22. 14, 17. We can't with reason suppose, that a king would choose an enemy as an ambassador, with an embassage to rebels, with propriety, that God or Christ would call an enemy, a child of the devil, to go and preach and do miracles; but a friend. Yet we find in Mat. 10, that Judas with the others, was positively called, and commanded to preach, and had power to raise the dead, heal the sick, and cast out devils, &c. And the twelve went out, and returned, &c. It speaks of them collectively, but not individually, doing miracles till after

     



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    Christ's resurrection. Chapter 19, Peter saith, we have foresaken all (not I) and followed thee, what shall we have therefore? Christ answereth, verse 28, Verily (or certainly) I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration. when the son of man shall set in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Now I ask, how they could follow Christ in the regeneration, except they were regenerated, i. e. born again? Doth it not mean Judas for one, seeing there were twelve apostles, twelve thrones, and twelve tribes. A throne for each; but it appeareth that the thrones were promised on conditions of overcoming. Rev. 3. 21; and that Judas forfeited his title by disobedience, &c. But saith one, "I thought Judas was raised up for the very purpose, to betray Christ, and was always a wicked man," -- Ans. -- Many people think so, through the prejudice of education, and set up their opinion for the standard, and attempt to bend the scriptures to it, but that will not do: for truth will stand when error falls, and of course our tenets should correspond with

     



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    the Bible, which doth not say, that Judas was always evil: but Christ conveys an idea to the reverse, when referring to John 13. 18, to Psal. 41. 9: where David is speaking of Judas, as in the person of Christ; and faith, "Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lift up his heel against me." Here Judas is not only stiled Christ's friend, but his familiar one, in whom he trusted. Now can we suppose with propriety, that Christ would be familiar with the deceitful, and put confidence in them? No! methinks he would have set a better example.

    Objection. Christ says, John 6. 70th, have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil.

    Ans. Sometimes Christ spoke as man, and sometimes as God, and God frequently speaks of things that are not, as tho they were; for instance, Rev. 13. 8, we read that Christ was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and yet he was not actually slain till four thousand years after.

    Again, God said to Abraham: I have made thee a Father of many nations,

     



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    when he was the father of but one child (Ishmael). So Christ foreseeing as God, that Satan would enter into Judas, spoke it, as if it was in the present tense; tho it was not really so, for some time after; there was more trust put in Judas than in the other Apostles, he being made treasurer. We have repeated accounts of Peter, James and John, sinning; but no account that Judas did until six days before the Passover, John 12, Mark 14. 3. when our Lord was in the house of Simeon, the Leper, which appears to be Judas' Father's house, in came a woman to anoint Christ, &c. and it appears that Judas felt a thievish, covetous disposition to arise; and from that no doubt he was called a thief, and had the bag, for he never was called a thief before; and Christ gave him a gentle rebuke, and it appears that Judas got affronted by his complying with a suggestion of Satan. (Satan was not really in him yet, only tempted him) And going out the same day, he made a bargain, John 13. 2. and Mark 14. 10. (like some ministers) saying what will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto

     



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    you, &c. Some people make scripture and say, whom Christ loves, he loves to the end (to the end of what?) There are no such words in the Bible -- John 13. 1, we read thus: "When Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end;" namely, the night in which the sacrament was instituted. Judas being present, &c. received the sop, after which Satan entered him, verse 27. And now it may be said in the full sense of the word, that he was a devil, and not before, unless you allow of his being one before, and another entering him now, and so make a double devil of him -- and what sort of a being that may be, I cannot tell.

    I think if Judas had regeneration, or was ever a friend to Christ, as you talk from Matt. 19. 28, 29. and Psalms, 41. 9. "that he is gone to glory." -- Ans. No, he has not, for Christ affirmed, "woe to that man, good were it for that man if he had never been born." Mark 14. 21. Luke 22. 19, 20. Again, we read Judas murdered himself,

     



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    and no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. -- Object. I do not think one that is given to Christ can be lost. Ans. Then you do not believe the bible, for we read, John, 17. 12. that Judas was given to Christ, and yet he is lost, and stiled a son of Perdition, which means a son of Destruction -- and Acts, 1. 24, 25. where the eleven surviving Apostles, chose Matthias to fill up Judas' sphere, no more or less than what Judas did; they prayed thus, "Thou Lord, which knoweth the hearts of all men, shew whither of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which, Judas by transfiguration fell, &c." Now, if Judas were already a devil, (which could not be, for there must have been a time when he began to be one.) why would they choose a good man to fill up a devil's place? Observe, there were twelve parts of the ministry, and the Apostles being accountable persons to God. Judas fell by transgression. Now, what did he fall from? An old profession -- to fall from an old profession is no transgression at all; for transgression is sin, which implies the violation

     



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    of a known law; of course, falling by transgression, implies losing something which is valuable, by misconduct, &c. this is the truth, ==> and you cannot deny it. But says one, I don't like your talk, for you destroy my comfort; and it is a discouraging doctrine against getting religion, if one thinks they can lose it after they get it: Answer, I might on the other hand, or in another case say, that it is discouraging against getting money, or buying this farm, or that horse, for perhaps it may be squandered, lost or die; therefore I would not try for them. What would you think of the man that would stop and be negligent at such objections? People temporally do not term such things discouraging, so as to flee, and methinks none will make that reply; but those who love and plead for a little sin; one leak will sink a ship.

    Object. Solomon was a wise man, and yet did many things wrong; and yet wrote Ecclesiastes afterward, from which we may infer, no doubt he is happy. Ans. Solomon, no doubt was a wise man, above all the kings of the earth, and yet became the greatest fool

     



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    by abusing his wisdom; for after that God had done so much for Solomon -- Solomon turned and committed sin; and according to the Mosaic law, was worthy of temporal death in five respects: First, he made an affinity with Pharoah, King of Egypt -- Secondly, took his daughter to be his wife -- Thirdly, made affinity with Hyram, king of Tyre -- Fourthly, fell in love with heathenish women, who turned his heart from God -- Fifthly, he fell into idolatry. He had four gods that he worshipped himself, and others for his wives, When Solomon was young, we read the Lord loved him, but now he was old, we read the Lord was angry with him; and he is angry with the wicked every day. The Lord endeavored to reclaim Solomon, first by mercy, & then by affliction; and raised up three adversaries for that purpose -- but Solomon would not hear, but went on a step farther, and attempted to kill Jeroboam, who arose and fled to Egypt: And as the scripture leaves Solomon, he died in that state, with murder in his heart, as he attempted to slay the innocent; and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. And there

     



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    is no account of Solomon's repentance, but that he died in his sins, and our sins, where he is, we cannot come. And David's dying words to Solomon were, "If thou seek the Lord, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever." Solomon fought the Lord, and the Lord appeared to him twice; afterwards he forsook God, and there is no account of his return, as before observed: and as for believing that Ecclesiates was wrote afterwards, I no more believe Solomon could write when he was dead, than I believe I can; and to evade this answer, and say Solomon wrote it when he was old, I reply, it is no more than any old man that swears or gets drunk can do, to cry out vanity of vanities, &c. when their lives become burthensome: But what makes the beauty of Ecclesiates is, to see that a young man could cry out vanity, which is so contrary to nature, when nature is so fond of it: And as for the Book of Proverbs, any person may discover they were wrote before the building of the Temple, by turning to

     



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    the first of Kings, 4. 32, &c. and before much of his wickedness. You need not say, that I said that Solomon is gone to hell. I did not affirm so; but I take Solomon where the scripture doth, and leave him where the scripture doth, in the hand of a merciful God. Asking why the Bible is so particular to put down all the good conduct of Solomon, and then his bad conduct, if he repented, why was not that put down? Turn to the history of Josephus, and it leaves Solomon if possible, in a worse situation than the Bible doth, &c.

    Some people blame me for holding a perfection, and at the same time they hold to a stronger then me; and moreover, for not holding to the final perseverance, of the saints; which assertion I think is wrong, for I think there is danger of falling away -- therefore I hold to perseverance ==> and they cannot deny it. But they hold, a man cannot get rid of sin: Here therefore they hold to persevering in sin, and they hold to falling from grace of course, ==> this is the truth, and they cannot deny it. Some have heard ministers pray to God, that the people might be sanctified from all

     



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    sin: and then told them that they could not get rid of all sin -- this was a clash. People frequently feel good desires from God to get rid of "all sin," James, 1. 17. and yet they can't obtain the blessing, so pray in unbelief for it. We read, that whatsoever is not of faith, is sin; therefore, if I hold with them, I should pray thus, "Lord save me from part of my sins now, and at death take them all away," &c. But this doth not correspond with the Lord's Prayer, which commandeth us to pray that God's Kingdom may come, and his will be done, &c. as in Heaven; and we delivered from evil.

    The kingdom of God, we read, is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. And Paul saith, this is the will of God, even your sanctification: And if a man be delivered from all evil, there is no sin left -- And what's the benefit to pray for it, if we can't have it? but in obedience to the commandment to pray for the deliverance from evil. Paul besought God to sanctify the Thessalonians wholly, and to preserve their whole spirit,

     



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    soul and body blameless unto the coming of Christ, i. Thes. 5. 23; and again, verse 16 to 18, he commandeth them to rejoice, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you: Math. 5. 48, Christ saith, be ye perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect, i. e. for a man in our sphere, as perfect as God is for God in his sphere: Again, be ye holy, for I am holy: Again, the commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as our self, &c. And blessed be God, the promise is equal to the commandments; for God hath bound himself by a promise. Ezek. 36. 25; then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean, from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you, a new heart also will I give you, &c. Again Psalms 130. 8; the promise is that Israel shall be redeemed from her iniquities: John 8. 12, Christ saith, he that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life: And again, God hath promised by the hand of Moses,

     



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    thus "I will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord with all thy heart," &c, and thy neighbour as thyself. And Paul speaking of the oath and the promise of God, two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie. Now if God can't lie, then he cannot do all things, especially that which is contrary to his nature; if so, then the above-mentioned promises are equal to the commandments, and God is bound by the law of his nature to perform the same. This is the truth, ==> and you cannot deny it.

    Object. David saith, "There is none righteous, no not one," -- Ans. True, yet we read about righteous Abel, and Lot's righteous soul (2 Pet. 2. 8. -- St. Mat. 23. 35.) Object. Solomon saith, "there is no man that sinneth not;" -- Ans. True, but John saith, he that is born of God doth not commit sin. Object. Paul saith, 'I am carnal, sold under sin;' yet he was a saint. -- Ans. Paul addeth elsewhere, "that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be, and to be carnally minded is death." Again, "Christ came to save sinners, &c. of

     



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    whom I am chief." Now, to take these expressions together, just as they stand, you might prove that Paul was one of the worst of men, in the way to death, and at the same time one of the best Apostles in the way to life, &c. Tho' Paul saith, I am carnal, sold under sin, yet it cannot be that he was speaking of himself, as a holy Apostle; but was describing or rehearsing the language of one under the law, as you may see Romans 7.1: "I speak to them that know the law &c. but c. 8. 1, 2. Paul saith there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death," -- And now, if Paul was made free, he could not be groaning under the bondage at the same time, unless you can reconcile liberty and slavery together. Paul saith in one place, I robbed other churches. Now, to take this passage just as it stands, and you might prove that Paul was a robber; if so, would not the Americans hang him if he were here, as we hang robbers, &c.

     



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    And to take any particular passage, you may prove almost any doctrine, if it be not taken in connection with the context, or general tenor of scripture; but as the Bible in general doth not plead for sin, but condemneth it. commanding us to be holy in heart and life, &c. Therefore we should not plead for sin as though we loved it, and rolled it under our tongues as a sweet morsel, but should be scripturians or Bible men, for Paul telleth the Romans to whom some think Paul made allowance for a little sin, inferring it from the 7th chapter; but, by the by, they should remember that Paul talketh thus, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God; chap. 5. 1, and 6, 18, 22, he saith, being made free from sin," &c. and being now made free from sin, &c. -- ==> Well says one, what next? Ans. Any person by reading the Epistles of John may find a sufficiency of proof to convince any candid mind, that the doctrine of Christian perfection in love, is a Bible doctrine -- Query. How far can a man be perfect in this life?

    Ans. A perfect sinner by the help of

     



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    satan, ==> and you cannot deny it. -- Now, if a man can be a perfect sinner, why not a perfect saint? Shall we not allow as much power to God to perfect his children in his own nature, which is love, as the Devil has power to perfect his in sin, &c? But, says one, answer the former question, and likewise, whoever attained what you are talking about. Very well -- I'll tell you: I think a man cannot be perfect as God, except it be for men in our sphere, as God is for God in his sphere; for absolute perfection belongs to God alone; neither as perfect as angels, or even Adam before he fell, because I feel the effect of Adam's fall, my body being mortal, is a clog to my soul, and frequently tends to weigh down my mind, which infirmity I don't expect to get rid of till my spirit returns to God, yet I do believe that it is the privilege of every saint, to drink in the spirit or nature of God, so far as to live without committing wilful or known or malicious sins against God, but to have love the ruling principle within, and what we say and do, to flow from that divine principle of love within, from a sense of duty

     



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    though subject to trials, temptations and mistakes at the same time; and a mistake in judgment, may occasion a mistake in practice -- I may think a man more pious than he is, and put too much confidence in him, and thereby be brought into trouble. Now such mistake as this, and many other similar ones, I might mention, you cannot term sin with propriety; for when Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp, Joshua mistaken in his judgment, thinking they did wrong, occasioned a practical mistake, requesting Moses to stop them, &c. which was not granted. Observe, One sin, shut Moses out of Canaan, of course one sin must have shut him out, but as God said, "Joshua wholly followed him," and wholly not being partly, and as he entered Canaan, from that circumstance, I argue that a mistake following from love, is not imputed as a sin. -- Again, as we are informed, that Christ was tempted in all respects like as we are, Heb. 4. 15. yet without sin, and can be touched with feelings of our infirmities, &c. Again, as we are commanded, James 1. 2. to count it all joy

     



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    when we fall (not give way) into diverse temptations. And if the devil, or wicked men tempt me, and I reject and repel the temptation with all my heart, how can it be said that I sin? Am I to blame for the devil's conduct? I can no more prevent my thoughts, than I can prevent the birds from flying over my head; but I can prevent them from making nests in my hair.

    Some people expect purgatory to deliver them from sin; but this would, methinks, make discord in Heaven. -- Others think death will do it. If death will deliver one from the lust of sin, why not two? Why not all the world by the same rule? So, universalism be true, and death have the praise, and Jesus Christ be out of the question? But death is not called a friend but is stiled an enemy, and it don't change the disposition of the mind. All that death does is to separate the soul from the body; therefore as we must get rid of the lust of sin, either here or hereafter, as but few in America allow of purgatory, it is before the soul leaves the body, consequently it is in time, of course before

     



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    death. Now the query arises how long first? Why says one, perhaps a minute before the soul leaves the body. Well, if a minute before, why not two minutes, or an hour, yea, a day, a week, a month, or a year, or even ten years before death -- or even now? Is there not power sufficient with God, or efficacy enough in the blood of Christ? Certainly, saith the scripture, all things are now ready, no is the accepted time, and behold now (not to-morrow) is the day of salvation. To-day if you will hear his voice. Remember now thy Creator, in the days, &c. and there being no encouragement in the Bible for to-morrow, now is God's time ==> and you cannot deny it, &c. Observe examples -- by faith Enoch walked with God (not with sin) three hundred years, and had the testimony that he pleased God -- Gen. 5. 22. Heb. 11. 5. Caleb and Joshua wholly followed (not partly) the Lord -- Numb. 32 11, 12. Job likewise, God said was a perfect man and you must not contradict him; and tho' Satan had as much power to kill Job's wife, as to destroy the other thing, as all except Job's life was in his hands, but

     



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    he tho't he would spare her for an instrument, or a torment: Job, 1. 8, 12. 22, and 2. c. 9, 10 v. David was a man after God's own heart, when feeding his father's sheep, not when he was committing adultery -- 1 Sam. 13, 14, and 16, 7, 11 -- 2 Sam. 12. 13. Zacharias and Elizabeth, were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments, &c. blameless -- Luke, 1. 5, 6. Nathaniel was an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, &c. John 1, 47. -- John speaking of himself, and those to whom he wrote, "herein, is our love made perfect, and perfect love casteth out fear" -- 1 John, 4. 17, 18. Again, of the seven Churches of Asia, five had some reproof, but two had no reproof at all; Smyrna and Philadelphia, why not if they had a little sin; the latter was highly commended, Rev. 2. 8, 9. and 8.7, and so on, &c.

    Query -- Must we not get rid of all sin before we go to glory? Don't we feel desires for it? Did not God give us those desires? Don't he command us to pray for it? Should we not look in expectation of receiving? God help thee, without prejudice, to consider the

     



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    above impartially, as a sincere enquirer after truth, let it come from whom it may, intending to improve conscientiously as for eternity -- Amen. Says one, do you think a man can know his sin is forgiven in this life, and have the evidence of his acceptance with God? Answer -- We are informed he was righteous -- Gen. 4. 4. Heb. 11. 4. Enoch had the testimony -- v. 5. Job said, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though he slay me, yet will I trust in him; Job 19. 25. David said, "come unto me all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul." "As far as the East is from the West, so far hath the Lord separated our sins from us." Psal. 66. 16. Peter said, John, 21. "Lord thou knowest that I love thee." John saith, "he that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself." 1 John 5. 10. and Mat. 1. 25. Jesus shall save his people (not in) but from their sins. Again, John 3. 8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, thou hearest the sound thereof, &c. so is every one that is born of the spirit. The wind, though we don't see it, we feel and hear it, and see

     



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    the effects it produces, it wavers the grass, &c. So the Spirit of God, we feel it, it gives serious impressions, and good desires within our breast for religion. Again, we hear it, an inward voice telling what is right and what is wrong; and the more attention one gives to the inward monitor, the more distinctly they will hear the sound, till at length it will become their teacher. Again, we may see the effect it produces -- some that have been proud and profligate, get reformed, and become examples of piety; which change, money could not have produced, &c. Says another, I will acknowledge the ancients could talk of the knowledge, but inspiration is now done away: therefore. it is nonsense to expect any such thing in this our day. Answer. We read Jeremiah , 31 c. 33, 34. v. of a time when all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. Now, if there hath been a time past, when people have known God, and a time to come when all shall know him; which time is not yet arrived. Isai. 11. 9. Heb. 2. 14. Why may not people know him in this our day? nature has not changed, nor God

     



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    and if it matter still can operate on matter, why not spirit upon spirit. Some people are so much like fools, that they think they are not bound in reason to believe any thing except they can comprehend it. This idea centers right in Atheism; for the thing which comprehends, is always greater than the thing comprehended: Therefore, if we could comprehend God, we should be greater than he, and of course look down upon him with contempt: but because we can't comprehend him, then according to the above ideas, we must disbelieve and reject the idea of a God. The man who so acts, supposes himself to be the greatest, he comprehending all other men or things, and of course he is God; and many such a god there is, full of conceit. Observe, I can know different objects by the sensitive organs of the eye, ear, &c. and tell whether they are animate or inanimate; and yet how my thinking power gets the idea, or comprehends the same through the medium of matter, is a thing I cannot comprehend; yet it being such a self-evident matter of fact, I must assent to the idea, &c. But says one, who knows these

     



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    things in this our day? Ansr. the Church of England prayeth to have the thoughts of their hearts cleansed by the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, and the Church of Rome, acknowledgeth what is called the Apostles creed; a part of which runneth thus: "I believe in the communion of Saints, and the forgiveness of sins." Again, the above ideas are in the Presbyterian Catchism, which saith, "that the assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost, doth accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, in this life," (not the life to come.)

    Again, what ever is, or exists abstract from God, is finite. How or what God conceives or knows of himself, or the manner of his knowing, I shall not attempt to fathom, till the day of eternity. But relative to his knowledge, as it concerns his creatures, I think the term infinite improper, for he can know no more than what hath been, is, and will be, which are only finite in any and every sense whatever. Therefore, to attempt to build an eternal covenant, by arguing or attempting to conceive his

     



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    infinite knowledge, is a contradiction. For first, the term knowledge, implies a power of perception, to know and comprehend the existence of qualities, or things, &c. -- therefore, in this sense, when you speak of the knowledge of God relative to creation, or his creatures, in the sense they speak, you must necessarily bound God's knowledge by finity, and of course to apply the word infinite, &c. to argue great knowledge is a contradiction, ==> and you can't deny it, because there cannot be an infinite finite.

    Again, to talk about an eternal covenant between the Father and the Son before all worlds, a bargain that Christ should have a certain number of mankind, which some call the elect, is a contradiction in terms and a piece of inconsistency. For first, a covenant is a contract made between two parties, and there can not be a covenant without two parties.

    Therefore, to say the Father and Son made a covenant, would be to adopt the idea that there were two divinities, which would divide the Godhead, and of course argue two Gods. ==> and you can't deny it.

     



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    But the Bible authorizes us to believe in one God and no more. Again, if the Father and Son made a covenant, there was a time when they made it, and if so, then there was a time before they made it, consequently it was not made from all eternity, unless you suppose eternity implies unbeginning time.

    Again, this covenant cannot be a new one if it be so old, and a new covenant of works made with Adam but six thousand years ago, cannot be called an old one; therefore, to term the oldest covenant a new one, and the newest, the old one, is a piece of inconsistency, like putting the cart before the horse, => and you can't deny it.

    With regard to the soul of man, some deny its immortality, whilst others say it is a part of God; but I say both.

    Matter when it is moved by another cause, cannot stop of itself, and when stopped, cannot move of itself. But as we have the power of action, (the same as I give out my appointment months before hand, and then fulfil it) it is evident

     



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    that we are prophets, or else agents. To adopt the idea of prophesy, you will not, and if not, you must acknowledge agency, which material substance, without thinking power, doth not possess. From this I argue that there is something in man abstract from matter, which is spirit, which some call the soul, and which makes him sensible and rational, &c. And to suppose the soul to be part of God, is inconsistent, because God is completely happy, as is acknowledged from the Christian to the Deist. Therefore, if my soul was a part of him, I should have one continual stream of happiness.

    But as I have frequently felt unhappy in mind, I herefrom argue, that my soul is spirit abstract from God.

    Some people have an idea that the souls of infants come right pure from the hand of God, by infusion into the body, and that the body, being of Adam's race, pollutes the soul, and causes it to become impure, just as of the body governed the mind. Allowing the above, When did God make the soul of the child that was born yesterday?

     



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    Why, says one, within the course of a few months past. Hush, I deny it, for the Bible says, Gen. 2. 1, 2, 3, that God finished the heavens (that is the starry heavens) and earth and all the HOST of them, and then God rested from the works of creation on the seventh day -- he hath not been at work in creating new souls ever since. Therefore your idea that God makes new souls daily, falls to the ground; ==> and you can't deny it, if the Bible be true.

    But says one, their souls were made in the course of six days.

    Where then have they been ever since? Laid up in a store-house in heaven? If they were, they were happy; if so, what kind of a being does this represent the Almighty, especially if connected with the opinion of some who suppose that there infants in Hell, not more than a span long!

    First, God makes Adam happy in Paradise, and these infantile souls happy in a store house, then when Adam falls, prohibits adultery, and at the same time previously decrees that they shall commit it to produce an illegitimate body, and he to help them on to perfect

     



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    the illegitimate, takes one of these pure souls, infuses it into the body, and the body pollutes it, causes it to become impure, and is now a reprobate for Hell fire. Thus you see some people represent God as making souls pure, and keeping them happy some thousands of years, then damning them for a sin they never committed, and now the difference between this BEING if any such there be, that dealeth thus with creatures and HIM that we call the Devil, I leave you to judge. God help you to look at it in the scale of equality, and see whether the above be right or wrong.

    But says one, where do you think the soul comes from?

    As Adam was the first man, I must suppose from reason and scripture he got his soul right from God, as there is no other source for him to derive it from, but Eve was taken out of Adam, and there is no account of her receiving her soul right from God; and if not, I must suppose the whole of her was taken from Adam and of course she got her soul from him as well as her body. -- And as we read that the souls of Jacob's

     



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    children, Gen. 46, 26. were in Jacob's loins and came out, &c. I herefrom infer, that they were laid up in a stove house in Heaven, but came by natural generation from the parents as well as the body. Well, says one, estimate the value of the soul, (by mechanism.)

    First, some people prize a thing according as who made it, if one mechanic made it, they prize it of so much worth, but if another made it they would prize it higher, because it was made by a more perfect workman. If we prize the soul by this standard, it must be considered as valuable, because it was made by the perfectest and the perfect, and the wisest of the wise, him that cannot err, GOD ALMIGHTY.

    Secondly, some people value a thing according to its duration. If the soul be valued on that ground, it must be prized high, for it being spirit, it is immortal and must endure as long as eternity endures.

    Thirdly, some people prize a thing according to the case of it, if the soul be prized on this ground, it must be esteemed as valuable, for at a certain time five millions were offered to any one,

     



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    who could contrive a machine that would perform perpetual motion, and as yet none have been able to do it, yet in the construction of the case of the soul, which is the body, there is more discoverable than all the wisdom of the mechanics, in all the machinery on the face of this terraqueous globe.

    If the case is thus wisely and beautifully made, how valuable must the soul be which the body is made to contain!

    Fourthly, some people prize a thing according to what it costs, if the soul be prized according to this medium it must be valuable, for if any smaller ransom than the blood of Christ could have purchased immortal souls, from the course of a broken law, doubtless GOD would have accepted the offering. -- Some people say that one drop of Christ's blood is sufficient to cleanse a soul, which idea I condemn, because the magnitude of a crime is not looked upon according to the dignity of the offender, but according to the dignity of the offended; therefore a finite being sinning against an infinite GOD, there is an infinite demerit in the transgression, and justice demands infinite satisfaction. --

     



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    But a finite being can make finite satisfaction only, therefore there needs a mediator between a rebel creature and the CREATOR, which could be formed no way but by the two natures being joined together, which is to say the finite and the infinite, or in other words, the Godhead and manhood or divinity veiled in humanity.

    But here comes up a diest, and says hush, Lorenzo, it is inconsistent to adapt the idea that divinity and humanity can be joined together, as you talk in the person of Christ. -- But I say hush, for it is no more inconsistent with reason to adapt the idea that divinity and humanity can be joined together, than to adapt a former one, which is self-evident, viz. that spirit and matter can be joined together, and form a man, which idea, or how it is I cannot comprehend, yet self-evident matter of fact, puts it beyond all doubt, that spirit and matter are joined to from man, ==> and you can't deny it -- and of course, the idea that divinity and humanity can be joined together in the person of Christ, may be admitted according to reason. The manhood being offered up by the influence

     



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    of the divinity, the sacrifice would be according to the transgression and the demands of justice. But to return, I cannot suppose that Christ would have done any thing superstitious for man's redemption, and of course, that one drop of blood is sufficient to cleanse a soul, or save a world, is inconsistent, as though a considerable part of what he did, was superfluity, &c. and of course in atoning for what is called original sin. I must believe that nothing needless was done, if not, then Christ did no more than what was necessary, and if so, the idea that one drop of his blood, &c. to cleanse a soul is inconsistent. And if the demerit of one transgression demands infinite satisfaction, then the atonement made for that, would be a sufficiency for all the world, or ten thousand times as many; for what greater satisfaction could be made, than that which is infinite? Therefore, the human nature being offered a sacrifice by the influence of the divinity, for the SIN of the world, which was the sin of Adam, the sacrifice or ransom in some sense, may be considered as infinity, it being

     



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    offered under the influence of the infinite divine spirit; therefore, the satisfaction would be according to the transgression, and of course, in doing that, there would be a sufficient provision, for all the actual sins of men, considering the nature of it, and how unbounded it is. Therefore, the soul, when prized according to what it cost, must be considered very valuable.

    But again, fifthly, some people prize a thing according to the scarcity of it. If a thing is very plenty, they would give so much for it, but if it were more scarce, they would give much more, &c. So, immortal souls are plenty, and yet very scarce, for each man hath but one, each woman but one. O sinner, if thou lose thy soul, thou losest thy all; thou hast nothing left; God help thee to consider seriously, and stimulate thee to improve thy time, (which is on the wheel) for eternity accordingly.

    The soul, which we perceive governs our body, (as the body without the soul, is a lifeless lump of clay) we find from experience hath a memory, which is the power of reflection or recollection, to call past things to remembrance, &c.

     



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    Again, it hath an understanding, which is a power to comprehend and realize things as they are; again, it hath a will which is the power of choosing or determining.

    We also have passions, one of which is love, inclining us to that which appears delightsome. Anger is another passion, which implies dislike or opposition to a thing that is odious in our minds. Likewise we have fear when danger we behold. Also, joy, when pleasure or happiness we possess. -- There are five outward senses, by which we distinguish objects or qualities; these are inlets of knowledge to the mind, and only through them, can we receive ideas, (except by inspiration, which is an inward conviction wrought by another spirit.) These five senses, are hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and feeling.

    There is an inward feeling of the mind, as well as an outward feeling of the body, for instance, sometimes my mind is calm, yet I feel pain of body, at other times, my body is well, and I feel pain of mind, remorse, guilt, fear, &c.

     



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    which are not feelings of the body, but in, or of the mind, which feelings are as perceptible as the wind blowing upon the body, and you cannot deny it. Again, a man walking along, spies the wild beast of the forest and feels his hair to rise and his flesh to crawl upon his bones. What is the cause of this feeling? It must be the fears in his mind, originating from a view of his dangers, and perhaps likewise he may feel the powers of his limbs in a measure to fail, and sits down under the shock. Now allowing the above, why should it be thought strange, if people were to fall under the mighty power of God, operating upon the human mind.

    But, says one, it is inconsistent with reason to adopt the idea that God will work in this form, but I say hush! There cannot be a law without a penalty, and we know that we are accountable unto God, for our moral conduct: for we feel it in our own breasts, and when we do wrong, we feel misery, and living and dying therein, shall carry our misery to eternity with us; as death only separates the fool from the body, but doth not change the disposition of the mind.

     



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    Again, through the medium of organs, my spirit can convey an idea to the spirit of another and make him angry or wrathful, or please him with novelty, and make him laugh and feel joyful; if so, then spirit can operate on spirit, as well as matter upon matter and convey ideas, ==> and you can't deny it. If so, why not the divine spirit operate on the human mind, and give an inward conviction, &c. of right and wrong? If we are accountable unto God, then we are rewardable or punishable, according to our behaviour and capacity, and of course, a day of accounts must take place when these rewards and punishments must be actually given. From this, I argue, there is such a thing as moral evil and good, or vice and virtue, and of course, there is a road to shun, and a particular one in which we ought to walk; therefore it is necessary to have a guide. And now the question arises, what guide is necessary? Some say the Alcoran, but there is more proof for the belief of the writing of Moses, than for those of Mahomet. Moses got a whole nation of people to believe that he led them through the Red Sea, by drying it

     



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    up before them, &c. -- likewise got them to erect a monument in remembrance, that they actually saw it, viz. to kill the paschal lamb and eat him with bitter herbs, and walk with their staves in their hands on a certain night of the year; which monument is now standing, and has been annually observed among them, for some thousands of years, tho' for near eighteen centuries, they have been scattered as a nation. Now, it is evident, the most ignorant people could not be imposed upon, and made to believe that they saw a river dry up, if they never did see it dry, and likewise to get them to erect a monument of stones in remembrance, that they saw it, if they never did. But Moses left this proof of his mission, which the other did not; therefore there is more reason to credit him than Mahomet, ==> and you can't deny it.

    Another says, reason is the surest and only guide; this I deny, because the greatest divines, so called, disagree as you may find, that out of about three hundred and seventy denominations, thirty one take the scriptures to prove their doctrines by; yet, out of these

     



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    thirty one, neither two agree with regard to their religious tenets or opinions: yet one says I am right and you are wrong; another, no, you are wrong and I am right; here steps up a Deist and says, all religion is counterfeit, and the reason why they so disagree, is because no consistent system can be formed on the Christian plan. Answer -- Your objection proves too much, and is not solid. For, first, to say all religion is counterfeit, is inconsistent; because, counterfeit religion implies a false one, and there cannot be a false one, except there be one to falsify, and if there be one to falsify, before it is falsified, it must be genuine; therefore, to say all religion is false, is proving too much, and just argues that there is a genuine one -- as there cannot be such a thing as falsehood without truth, of course counterfeit is the opposite of genuine.

    Again, reason alone is not a sufficient guide without revelation; because, when reason was to determine the number of Gods, she said there was about thirty thousand, and in this our day, the men of the greatest acquired information, and strongest powers of mind who deny revelation,

     



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    of whom some Doctors and Lawyers, &c. may be included, disagree in their ideas on divine things, and that which is in connection with them, as much as the ministers and preachers; whereas, if reason was a sufficient guide, suppose they would agree and come into one particular channel, &c.

    Some say the Bible is revelation, but deny that there is any in this our day, saying the Bible is sufficient without the influence of God's spirit. But observe, I believe in the Scriptures as much as any person, &c. But with regard to the influence of the spirit, I believe it is strictly necessary; for supposing I was to cast a look at the print and paper, what would be the benefit, except I realized the truth of what is contained therein; and how can I realize it but by the influence of the same spirit which dictated its writings? Surely we read that no man can call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, and that the natural man, understandeth not the things of the spirit, for thy are spiritually discerned. (Rom. 8 c. 0 v.  1 Cor. 20. 11 v. to 16 v. and Chap. 12. 8 v. Rev. 19 c. 10 v.

     



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    Why is it that men of the greatest natural acquired abilities, get to be Deists? They say it is reason, and that the more weak and ignorant part embrace religion; this is pretty true, viz. their reason makes them Deists, and why? There are certain ideas which must be taken through certain mediums, in order to have a right and just conception of them; and otherwise, would cause a person to run into absurdities; for instance, I heard of a blind man, who hearing persons talking about colors, informed them that he tho't he could describe what the color of red was like, viz. the sound of a trumpet. This absurdity, that red was like the sound of a trumpet, originated by attempting to catch an idea through the medium of the ear, which was wrong, and could only be taken through the medium of the eye. -- Equally absurd would be the idea of sounds, if taken through the medium of the eye, which only can be taken thro' the medium of the ear. So these Deists attempt to conceive just and accurate ideas of revealed religion, by natural reason, which leads them into an absurdity, and causes them to conclude that it

     



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    is imagination, deception, or hypocrisy in those who pretended to it; whereas, if they would conceive of it through a different channel or medium, viz. the inward sensations or convictions of the mind, &c. -- if they would give due attention to the same, as sincere enquirers after truth, they would feel the spirit of truth bearing witness to, or of the truth, to convince and correct, &c. and their Deism would flee away. O may God. cause the reader to reflect on what I have just observed, and turn attention within your breast, and weigh the convictions of your mind for eternity!!!

    Well, says one, what next? Answer from the Christian to the Deist -- It is acknowledged that God is happy and holy; if so, then reason says, that as likeness produces likeness, (as wheat brings forth wheat and motion begets motion, so every cause producing its own effect.) man must have been happy and holy primevally; but it is evident that much unhappiness is in the world, likewise unholy fruit, denoting an unholy heart, in the sons of men. This denotes that a change hath taken place and destroyed innocent happiness, and caused the children

     



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    of our people to become deceitful, whereby they watch each other with a jealous eye. Many, many proofs might be brought; but let that which comes within the limits of your acquaintance be sufficient to convince your judgment with regard to the present state of the sobs of men by nature. -- Your own experience, and the premeditated evil designs of others, in cool blood, demonstrate that there is such a thing as vice or moral evil in the world, and of course there is need for a moral change; a change within, from vice to virtue, from sin to holiness, and from love of pleasure to the love of God, which can be effected only by the inspiration of God's holy spirit and which strives, not with a part barely as some say, but with all mankind; and for my own part, I must believe, that as a small degree of his love when shed abroad in our hearts, makes us or young converts, feel such a love towards all, and that as God's love is infinitely more than ours, therefore, these contracted ideas, that God has given a small part to his son, &c. in a covenant before all worlds, came not by the teaching of

     



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    God's spirit; but by being frequently harangued from the pulpit, was taken on trust and tradition, without a close examination by the spirit and the written testimony, &c.

    Now observe how I hold the covenants. The first covenant, the covenant of works, was made with us in Adam, we being in his loins, he was our federal head and representative, and God required him to keep a moral law of innocence for us in himself, &c. Adam fell from his innocent happiness, and we being in his loins fell with him. Well, says one, would not God have been just to have damned us for Adam's sin? Answer -- a punishment should never exceed the transgression, and of course, we deserve not a real punishment for that which we were never actually guilty of; but as we were passive in the action, should have been passive in the suffering; of course, as we fell in Adam's loins, should have been punished in his loins, and of course have perished in his loins. Adam and Eve only were actually guilty, and of course they only deserved an actual punishment, which I believe would have been just in God to

     



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    have inflicted; but to punish his posterity with a personal punishment, for that of which they were never personally guilty, would be representing God as unjust, by making the punishment to exceed the crime, which would exceed moral justice. I therefore argue, that as the punishment should be proportioned to the crime; if a mediator was not provided, we should have perished by being punished in Adam's loins as above -- and if we had, then God's declarative glory must have been eclipsed, he not being actually glorified in our personal salvation or damnation. In further demonstration of this idea, I argue, that as every title to any blessing was forfeited by Adam's fall, they could never have been enjoyed, except they were punished (for if they could there was no need for him to purchase them for us, &c.) Our temporal lives being blessings, they came thro' the merits of Christ, of course, if it had not been for Christ's merits, we should not have had this blessing, and of course, should have perished in Adam, as we fell with him as above. But as we read that Christ was a lamb slain (not from all

     



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    eternity) form the foundation of the world, though not actually slain till four thousand years after; meaning that God made a revelation of his son to the ancients, who were saved by faith in a Messiah which was to come, the same as we are saved by faith in a Messiah which hath come eighteen hundred years ago, &c. as Christ said. Abraham rejoiced to see my day, he saw it and was glad. John 8 c. 56 v. Romans 1 c. 19, 20 v., 10 c. 2. 14, 15 v. Galat. 3. 8. Job was an heathen, yet observe his faith, Job 19 c. 25, 26 v.

    Observe, as the first covenant, the covenant of works was made with us in Adam, he being our head and representative, &c. So the second covenant, the covenant of grace, was not made between the father and the son, as some do vainly think, but was made with us in Christ, he being given to the people for a covenant, &c. *

    God had a sovereign right to make the first Adam and require his obedience, and when he fell, he had the same sovereign right to raise up the second Adam as he

    * Isaiah, 42. 6. and 19. 8.

     



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    had the first, & to require his obedience. But, says the Deist, there would be no moral justice to make the innocent suffer for the guilty. Allowing it, what then? If the innocent suffer voluntarily, who can be impeached with injustice? For instance, if I break a Law and the penalty is pay five pounds, or take the lash. If I cannot advance the money, I must take the stripes. But a gentleman steps up and voluntarily suffers the loss of five pounds, out of his own pocket, no body can be censured with injustice. At the same time the law having full satisfaction, would have no further demand, and of course, I should be extricated from the punishment. So Christ, our second Adam, our second head and representative, was raised up to heal the breach that Adam made, For this purpose, he stepped right into the shoes of the first Adam, between that law of moral innocence, that Adam was required to keep for us, and kept it for us, even as Adam was required to keep it. How did he keep it? First by a passive obedience, having no will of his own, abstract from what law required,

     



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    Secondly, by an active obedience, doing what the law did require, during the thirty-three years which he resided in this veil of tears. And thirdly, by voluntarily laying down his life to suffer in our lieu, what we must have suffered in Adam, if he did not do it. Observe, it was not the divinity of Christ that suffered, but the manhood. And where the bible calls Christ the son of God, it does not allude to his Godhead, but manhood; as we read, that he * "he was made of a woman, (who was the first in the transgression) and made under the law, as no man ever came into the world as we are informed Christ did, &c. Luke, 1. 35. But, says one, prove that he did it voluntarily. Very well -- Christ saith, "greater love than this hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends," and "I lay down my life for the sheep." Again, "no man taketh my life from me -- I have power to lay it down, and power to take it again."

    Now, if no man took Christ's life

    * Galatians 4. 4.   Heb. 10. 5. and 1.
      5. 6.   John 15. 13, and 10. 18.

     



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    from him, then their nailing him to the tree, did not cause him to die; if not, then it must have been something else, and of course, the sin of the world. -- Again, we read, that "Christ was * heard in that he feared -- and that he pleased not himself, but gave himself a ransom." And Heb. 12. 2. "he, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God, &c. Again, he said in the garden of Gathsemine, "not my will, but thine be done, &c." which certainly argues that he had a human will, and when he thus gave up voluntarily, &c. we find that the sin of the world was laid upon him, and caused him to cry out, "my soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death -- and the agony of his mind, caused the very blood to gush through the pores of his skin, and ran down like drops of sweat; and by his dying so much sooner than malefactors do in general when crucified, the governor appeared to have been astonished, and

    * Hebrews 5. 7.   Rom. 15. 3.
    1 Tim. 2. 6.   Luke 22. 42.

     



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    marvelled if he were already dead, and could hardly believe the account till he had called the Centurian and had it from his own mouth, &c. Mark 15. 44, 45. I herefrom infer, that as no man took his life from him, and as he died out of the common course of nature, that something out of the course of nature killed him -- which must have been the sin of the world. And when he had suffered as much as what was necessary to suffer, even unto death, the law which Adam broke, had full satisfaction on him, and having full satisfaction, it had no further demand. On the third day the DIVINITY raised the humanity from the dead, by which means, life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel; and glory be to God.

    We read nothing about John the Methodist, nor John the Presbyterian, in all the Bible, but we read of John the Baptist; and what did he say? John 1. 29. He sayeth, "behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

    Observe, the sin of the world was the sin of Adam, as he was the representative

     



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    of the world, and Christ, the second Adam, John says, took it away -- How? By atoning for it, &c. Now if John preached up that Christ took away the sin of the world, then all John's people ought to preach it up; and if he took it away, then it does not lie upon us, and if not, then we do not feel the guilt, only the effect, which is the evil corrupt nature instinct within, &c. and not the guilt.

    Thus, you see, the first covenant of works was made with us in our first head, and the second covenant with us in our second head, (Christ.)

    According to Isaiah 53. 6, all we like sheep, are gone astray, &c. and the Lord hath laid upon him (Christ) the iniquity of us all.

    Observe, John did not say sins of the world, but sin, the singular, and the prophet Isaiah doth not say iniquities, but iniquity, which must have alluded to the fall of man. Therefore, the plaster is as large as the wound. As we read Rom. 5. 18. therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men unto condemnation, even to (not

     



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    uneven) by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Observe the words justification and regeneration are not synonymous, as some use them, but are of different meanings. Regeneration signifies to be born of the spirit of God, i. e. to be purified within by its inspiration, and to become holy and Godlike, &c. But justification signifies to acquit and look upon us free from guilt. And now if the free gift from God by Christ, came upon all men unto justification of life, I herefrom would infer that God hath justified all men by the death of his son, i. e. acquitted them from what is called the guilt of original sib, and looks upon them free therefrom, as they come into the world.

    From the above you may see that I make a distinction between justification and regeneration -- likewise, that I acknowledge that we feel the effect of Adam's fall, but not the guilt, and that a change is necessary, &c. -- But says one, how can infants be happy? They can't repent. Answer -- they need no repentance who die in infancy, because to repent of the sin of Adam, they need

     



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    not, as Christ took that away. And they have no actual sins of their own to repent of, and of course, need no repentance. All that is necessary to be done for them, is to have them purified from the evil propensity with which they are born into the world, which is the effect of the fall -- Observe, John 1. 9. we read that Christ is the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Observe this light being of a sanctifying nature, brings sanctification with it, and where it is not resisted, it sanctifies. And if it lighteth every man that cometh into the world, then it lighteth the very heathens, and those infants that die in fancy, or else how can it be said, he lighteth every man that cometh into the world, &c. Surely if any are not lighted by the true light, they never came into the world, (for all that do are) and where they are to be found, I can't tell; and if any are reprobated unconditionally, it must be them ==> and you cannot deny it. The infant dying in its infancy, is not in a capacity to resist that light. I herefrom infer, that the light sanctifies it,

     



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    and prepares it for the fruition of God in glory.

    Some people suppose that all the heathens are damned; but for my own part I beg leave to dissent from that opinion, for the word Christian signifith Christ like, as we read that they which have not the spirit of Christ, are none of his; which implies those that are his, have his spirit, and if Christ lighteth all by his spirit, then he lightens the heathens; and if they, instead of resisting the light, yield to its influence, it will distill the nature of Christ in them, and then they will be Christians, not in name but in nature. And if they act according to the light they have, I must believe it will be well with them in eternity. For I cannot believe any man will be damned for the sin of ignorance, which he could not possibly avoid.

    Some people suppose that none will be saved but those of their particular party or opinion.

    But for my own part, I must observe as a Dutchman in New York state said, the merchants when we carry out our wheat to market, do not enquire what road the

     



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    wheat came, but their enquiry is, is the wheat good? So when we are called to an account for the deeds done in the body, I do not expect it will be enquired what road or party I came, but is the wheat or heart good.

    O ye different sects, who all declare,
    Lo, here is Christ, and Christ is there;
    Your strongest proofs divinely give,
    And shew us where the Christians live,
    Your claim, alas, you cannot prove,
    Ye want the genuine mark of
    LOVE.
    Rev. 5. 9. and 7. 9. we read of some out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people, &c. standing with the lamb of God on Mount Zion, or singing redeeming love. Therefore, Christianity is not confined to name nor party; but as Peter saith, God is no respector of persons, but he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him in every nation, Acts 10. 34, 35. But, says one, how can a heathen be saved when he never heard of Christ, and there is no other name given, whereby we can be saved, but in and through him. Answer -- Christ, in scripture

     



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    sense, is termed the mercy of God, and the heathen do believe in the mercy of the great man above. Therefore, in this sense, they believe in Christ, though they never heard of him by the hearing of the outward ear. Cant. 8. 8. we read about a little sister that hath no breasts, which no doubt, alludeth to the heathen church, which have not the two breasts, i. e. the Old and New Testaments; yet will be accepted according to the light they have, as by the parable of the talents, if they occupy. And the rejection of the man with the one talent was for his not occupying, and he was not commanded to occupy it, till the talent was given -- ==> And you can't deny it.

    Conscience, so called, is the result of the judgment, and the judgment is the result or conclusion of the understanding, and according to the information or illumination of the understanding, so the judgment is formed pro or con, and accordingly the conscience speak, from which I argue that reason without revelation or the influence of the holy spirit, is not a sufficient guide; for instance, a Roman's conscience will not

     



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    allow him to eat an egg on Friday, and yet they will curse and swear. A Quaker's conscience will not allow him to partake of the sacrament, as a sincere one informed me, when taken prisoner by the Romish rebels in Ireland, they strove to make him conform to their ceremonies -- he replied, nothing that you can inflict will make me yield. Thus you see, men's consciences lead them diametrically opposite to each other -- from which I argue, that conscience is not properly regulated, and thereby runs into absurdity, as Paul mentions some, whose consciences were defiled, &c.

    Any man who does a thing contrary to what he thinks or judges is right, his conscience, which is the result of his judgment, will convict or condemn him. Therefore, supposing a man's understanding to be misinformed, he might conclude or judge a thing to be wrong

     



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    when it is right, and thereby feel conviction, as if in an error, when in fact there is none but his mistake, &c. -- From this I again argue, the need that we have of revelation, in order to understand and know our duty aright, and likewise to form proper ideas of GOD, and eternal things, &c.

    As God is a spirit, we can know no more of him than what he is pleased to reveal, except we draw it from his dealings with his creatures, &c. and as we have not the language of immortality, we can form no just or proper ideas of the eternal, immortal, or celestial realms, or world; but by the representations of earthly things. Therefore, for the want of a better language, we have to make use of the most striking metaphors or representations that moral language will or can admit, &c. and this is so far short of the real essence of the matter, that if people are not much aware, they will form improper ideas from unmeaning expressions which we are obliged to use for the want of better, and so form wrong ideas by drawing a wrong conclusion relative to the same, and then lay down those

     



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    ideas for positive arguments. By these means, much error is gone, abroad into the world; and from expressions similar to these -- INFINITE NUMBER, an eternal decree, &v. -- Now observe, there is no number but what may be enlarged by the addition of units; but that which is infinite cannot be enlarged. Therefore in talk about infinite numbers, is a contradiction in terms.

    Again, a decree is an action or determination of the mind, and there cannot be an action or decree passed, but what there must be a particular space or period of time when the decree was actually passed, or took place, &c. -- if so, of course, to talk about an external decree, is a contradiction, just as if eternity began at the particular time when the decree was actually passed, &c. -- ==> and you cannot deny it.

    Light giveth sight, sight giveth sense, and sense giveth sorrow. When the divine influence shines into the understanding, and gives the soul a discovery of the danger to which sin exposes it, &c. The soul that yieldeth obedience to this light, findeth the mind to grow solemn,

     



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    under a sense of eternal things, the heart to grow tender, and the conscience to be as the apple of an eye, arising from a view of their situation, occasioned by this divine relationship in the mind, &c. So the soul, seeing the evil of sin, which at once cleaved to in love, now abhors it like one fleeth from a serpent. Here penitence takes place, the heart melts to tenderness like wax before the fire, and becomes willing to part with their sins, and to be saved by free grace; they likewise feel a cry in their hearts for mercy, not like the man who says over his prayers as a lazy school boy says his lesson, and thinks he has done his stent, but rather like a drowning man that cannot swim, calls mightily to one on the shore for help, or I am drowned, &c. Their cry is, what shall I do to be saved? God be merciful to me a sinner!

    Here is repentance pointed out, which implies three things -- first, a sensibility of the evil done -- secondly, brokenness of heart, or contrition of mind for it -- and, thirdly, a willingness to make confession or satisfaction, &c. Observe, a man cannot repent of his error till he is sensible he is in one -- here I again argue

     



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    the need of revelation to give an internal conviction, with regard to that which is displeasing in God's sight , &c. Again, if a man persists in a thing, he does not abhor it, and of course does not repent of it, for if he did, he would forsake it, instead of delighting and persisting in it, &c. Again, if one be in an evil and will not confess it from his heart to the injured or abused, he is impenitent; of course, he does not repent -- God pity him! The way to have repentance towards God is to yield obedience to the influence of God's awakening spirit, and consideration is the first thing; God help thee, O reader, to adhere to the inward whispering voice, and seriously reflect on the value of thy soul; the shortness and uncertainty of time, and the necessity of improving your accountability for eternity. Again, a resolution is positively necessary to be on the Lord's side, as saith Christ, the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. The prodigal son came to himself, (which implies he was beside himself, as every sinner is) and reflected or considered, how many hired servants,

     



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    &c. at my father's house, and I perish with hunger. A resolution was then formed; I will arise and go to my father; and the resolution was put into practice, not in a dilatory way, as though he must first go and tell the citizen; but he at once left all behind, and his father did not wait for him to get clear home, but met with him when he was yet a great way off.

    So, reader, if you intend to serve God, you must count the cost, and then enlist for the war, i. e. set out for eternity, and give up the idols of your heart, for you cannot serve two masters, saith Christ. And again, he that loveth father, mother, brother or sister, wife or children, houses or lands, more than me, is not worthy of me; and except a man deny himself, and take up his daily cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple. God help thee to reflect whether you will set out and encounter the difficulties to enjoy future happiness, or whether you will slight the offers of Heaven, and sell your soul for the sake of the pleasures of vice, which you can now roll under your tongue as a sweet morsel, but your latter end will be

     



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    bitter; O will you run the risk of being cut off in your sins!!

    Faith is a divine conviction, wrought in the mind by the spirit of God, that there is a reality in the invisible world, or a supernatural evidence communicated to the understanding, that there is a reality in spiritual things, as saith the apostle, say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into Heaven to bring Christ from above, or who shall descend into the deep to bring up Christ, &c. But the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine heart, i. e. the word of faith which we preach. -- Rom. 10. 6, 7, 8. The word there spoken of, is what in other parts of the Bible is called the word of God, which is the divinity of Jesus Christ, (speaking to the hearts of the sons of men, as you may observe, John 1, 1, to 4 verse, and 15. 3, 22. Some people suppose that faith and belief are synonymous expressions, with one and the same meaning; but I think they are different, and that believing is the act of faith, the same as seeing is the act of sight. I cannot see without sight; God gives me sight;

     



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    but the act of seeing is mine. So believing is the act of faith, it is the act of the creature; if it were not so, why should we be commanded to believe, and condemned for unbelief or not believing?

    Surely, believing is the action of the creature, but he cannot believe without faith, any more than I can see without light -- faith is the gift of God, that it, the internal power to realize spiritual and eternal things. Well, says one, when I attempt to pray, what shall I believe? Answer -- prayer being the sincere desire of the heart, earnestly ascending to God: when you feel your need of a blessing, raise your desires with fervency in expectation, believing that God is able to give you the things you feel you need. Believe, secondly, that he is willing to do it, as he willeth not the death of a sinner, but that all should come to repentance. (Ezek. 33. 11.) 2 Peter, 3. 9. Believe, thirdly, that he will bless you because he has promised it. Observe, some people claim the promises when they have no right to them, for they live in the commission of known sin -- "for the ways of

     



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    sin is death," and "the soul that sinneth it shall die," But those who are willing to part with their sins, have a right to the promises of God, according to Prov. 28. 13. and Matt. 11. 28. for God cannot lie, says Paul. Therefore, God is bound by the law of his nature, to perform his promises to the sons of men, when they fulfill the condition, which is to be sensible of their need, and become penitentially passive in his hand; so far resigned as to have no will of their own abstract from his, and yet active to continue his will, willing to do it as far as it is manifested, &c. Some people under a sense of their unworthiness, think that God is so very angry with them, that he will not receive them till they are better, and of course, that they must do something to pacify him, just as if his will must be turned in order to be willing to receive them. But observe the Poet saith --

    "If you tarry till you are better,
    "You will never come at all."
    Therefore, you cannot make yourself better by tarrying from him a span, by striving to do something to recommend

     



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    yourself to his favor. But remember that God is willing to receive you, if you are but willing to receive him at the expense of your sins, and submit, for him to take possession and reign within. For we read 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19 and 20 verses, that God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself; and it is for us to be reconciled to God, as God is love, and his love, according to John 3. 16, 17, influenced him to send his son to make it possible for our salvation. Therefore, he is willing to receive us, if we are willing to receive him, as now is the Lord's accepted time and day of salvation, all things are now ready, &c. Therefore, take GOD at his word now, and let thy soul's desires be enlarged in expectation of the blessing, as the watchmen looketh out for the dawn of day, believing as Christ died for all, he died for me. Now is the time for salvation, and I can only receive him by faith.

    "Lord, I give myself to thee,
    "'Tis all that I can do."
    The very moment you thus yield, and give up and submit to the grace of God by throwing down the weapons of your rebellion, relying your whole dependence

     



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    on the mercy of God in the merits of the Redeemer for salvation, &c. that very moment the spirit which converts will give the testimony of parson, and reconciliation in the beloved; (Revel. 3. 20) and thou wilt feel a change within, whereby thou can say one thing, I know, that whereas I was blind I now see, or the thing I once hated I now love, and the thing I once loved I now hate, i. e. the things of the world, which I once placed my heart upon, I see how empty and vain they are, and religion, which I little esteemed, I prize to be of more value than all the world besides. Give me Christ, or else I die.

    "Only Jesus, will I know,
    "And Jesus crucified."
    The word hope, implies a well grounded expectation of the enjoyment of something in future; therefore, it is more than a bare wish, desire or presumption, that it will be so, without any evidence, &c.

    Supposing I was condemned to die for the horrid crime of murder, and there is no possibility of escape, one asks me, Lorenzo, do you expect to escape

     



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    the gallows? I reply, I hope so. Now if there be no probability of escape, how could I hope? I would naturally despair, and if I despaired, I could not hope, for hope and despair do not go hand in hand. So my hope would be but a wish or desire. So it is with some sinners who are more afraid of what will happen after death, then they are of death itself, and yet say they hope to go to Heaven, when they die, and yet they know in their own hearts and feel that they are unprepared, &c.

    I herefrom argue, that their hope is nothing but a wish or desire; for doubtless they would wish to escape misery, as self preservation is said to be the first law of nature. But a wish or a desire (which all feel at times, &c.) will no more carry a person to Heaven without practice, than a desire to see my parents, would carry me to New England, or when there, bring me back to Cumberland county, in this state, to see my Papa and Mama Hobson, &c. without a determination or resolution.

    Again, suppose a man possessing a plantation would neither plow nor plant, yet expect a crop in the fall, because

     



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    God was able to make it grow in a day -- this man's hope would be nothing but presumption -- presuming on the power of God without any evidence that God would exert that power. -- Just so it is with some people, say they, I have not been so bad as many of my neighbors, and God is good, and Christ is good, and I hope to make out some how when I die. Thus they conclude all is well, without evidence, and deceive themselves. This presumptuous hope will do to live by, but will desert the planter in the fall, and thee in death.

    O reader! thou mayest cry peace, but remember it is a great thing to die and change words, and pass into eternity and appear before God.

    Examine, O examine whether thou hast a well grounded hope.

    Observe, the Christian hopes for happiness beyond this life, and his hope is something more than a bare wish or presumption that it will be so without evidence, but rather he is like the man who plows the ground, the crop springs up and begins to grow, there is a fine probability that he will have a crop in the

     



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    fall: so the christian has a probability of Heaven or future bliss, arising from a good prospect, for the spirit of Christ which reigns in Heaven, hath convicted him, and given him a divine evidence relative to his present dangerous state, brought him to repentance, enabled him to yield obedience, and given him an evidence of pardon, so the burden is gone, and the man feels a change wrought within, and can tell you an experience. God pity those that have not experienced repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Again, the Christian viewing the goodness and mercy of God in redemption, and viewing a beauty in holiness. feels his heart drawn out in love to the Lord and to his ways, and can say in Bible language, "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee; or we love God because he first loved us." And they obey him not so much out of a slavish fear of being damned, as out of a loving filial fear of offending. Again, they love the Lord's people according to the eleventh commandment, and can say with John, "by this we know, that

     



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    we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." The Christian loves the image of his master wherever he can see it; he loves their company and conversation, for their hearts run together in cords of love, like two drops of water. And Christ has given us a method whereby the wicked may know whether we possess religion or not. John 13. 34, 35. By this shall all men know, that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    Observe, you take a piece of iron and wood, and you cannot weld them together, but two pieces of iron might be welded together -- but iron if welded around wood, the wood would shrink from it and get loose. So relative to religion -- two Christians will unite like iron, but it is not every professor that is a real possessor. And the non-possessing professor, will not unite with the true professor, and if an appearance of unity is taking place, they will shrink from it like the wood from the iron, which hath too frequently been the case in Christendom, to the no small injury of the cause

     



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    of religion in the unbelieving world. But as far as holiness prevails, so far a union of spirit will take place. O may God carry on the revival of religion, now in the earth, and open a door for the promulgation of the gospel, and may laborers be raised up, such as will count not their lives dear to themselves, so that they may finish their course with joy, and a nation be born to God in a day, and the nations learn war no more.

    Again, the spirit of Christ influenceth his followers to obey his commandments, which are, to love your enemies, to bless them that curse you, and pray for them that de spitefully use and persecute you.

    And that man who cannot pray for his enemies, but feels malice against them, hath got no religion, for the Christian being holy, abhors their evil conduct, yet loves their precious souls with a love of pity, Mat. 5. 44, &c.

    Again, he being justified by faith, he hath peace with God through Christ. The spirit of peace reigning within, he hath peace of conscience, and becomes a peace-maker; and such are called the

     



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    children of God, Mat. 5. 9. and this influences him to live peaceably with all men, as much as what the nature and circumstances of things will admit of. Likewise, this peace makes his soul like the ocean, while the surface is uneven by the tempestous storms, the bottom of it is calm; so the Christian possessing this peace within, while in the midst of outward difficulties, the centre of the soul is calmly stayed on God.

    Again there is joy in the Holy Ghost, which is sweeter than the honey from the honey-comb, and will give refreshment to the mind like corporeal bread, refreshing the hungry body, to the satisfaction thereof. The things of this world, can no more give contentment to the mind, than a handful of sand can refresh the hunger of the body; for the mind is spirit, and its happiness must be spiritual, and come from a spiritual source; of course from God, consequently it must be found in religion.

    Therefore, we need the influence of the holy spirit, which I call inspiration or revelation, &c. which we all feel at


     



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    times and seasons temperate upon our minds, causing good desires to spring up within, &c.

    And by the help of this spirit, many have, and all may repent, if they will but obey it whilst the day of mercy lasts, as faith the maxim --

    While the lamp holds out to burn,
    The vilest sinner may return;
    But if you will not when you may,
    When you will, you shall have nay.
    And now, reader, thou knowest, that abstract from religion, thou hast never taken happiness in things of the world, sufficient to counterbalance thy troubles and sorrows. Now come and try religion, and see what solid satisfaction may be found in that, and if after a suitable trial, thou wilt tell me that thou hast found no benefit by it worth thy while, I will never ask thee to pursue religion again, but thou canst turn back to sin, and the Devil will be as willing to take you then, as he is now, &c.

    The eighth quality of the Christian fruit is temperance -- many, to avoid one extreme, run into another on the other side. Temperance implies avoiding extremes, by striking the medium -- I may

     



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    talk too little, and prevent my usefulness -- I may talk too much, and spoil my influence -- Likewise, eat too little or too much, and injure my constitution -- also, drink too little, or perhaps drink too much, and get drunk, and become worse than a beast or devil, for they do not get drunk; and in this one sin, I commit ever so many -- first, I injure my body -- secondly, I bring s scandal on myself -- thirdly, I set a bad example for others -- fourthly, I lay out my money for that which is worse than if thrown into the fire -- fifthly, I break the command of God -- sixthly, I quench the good spirit -- seventhly, I deprive myself of the power of reason -- eighthly, I hereby am liable to injure or murder my friends, &c. &c. Therefore, O youth, beware of the cursed growing practice in these climes -- observe to be temperate in all things.

    Ninthly, there is meekness, which implies humility, or the possessing the spirit of our station, to act in the sphere of life, which heaven hath allowed or qualified us for; nor wishing to appear above what we really are, neither to sink ourselves below our proper dignity;

     



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    whether among the great or small, willing to take up our daily cross and follow Christ through evil as well as through good report to joys on high. Christ saith, come and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, Matt. 11. 29. But some people are proud and haughty and think great I and LITTLE U.

    The tenth quality of the fruit, is long suffering; for if God had come out in strict justice, he would have cut us down while in our sins, as cumberers of the ground -- but he bore with us, and forbore to cut us off, that we might have a longer space to repent in.

    So we should be God-like in this respect, and never return evil for evil, but contrariwise, good for evil, and bear and forbear as much as what the nature and circumstances of the case will admit of.

    Again, gentleness is another quality of the fruit, as saith the Apostle, a servant must not strive, but be gentle, and let your moderation be known to all men, &c. Some people give reproof in anger, &c. to the no small injury of Christianity, by prejudicing minds thereby against it, &c. But as God

     



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    came to Adam in the cool of the day, and as soft words turn away wrath, I entreat those into whose hands this may fall, never to take the harsher way, when love will do the deed. For by reproving in anger, you make the opposite party angry -- they then will take you to be their enemy, and thereby their ears are cut off, and none but Christ can heal them on; so your talk will be as chaff before the wind.

    But go in gentleness, in the Christian spirit with sound argument, and though they get raised at first, yet this way will tend to cool them down, and convince their judgment, they see their error, feel conviction, and for the sake of peace of mind, reform. &c. How much more probable is this way of success than the other?

    The twelfth and last quality I shall now mention, is patience, which implies bearing trials with an humble resignation to the will of God, believing that he will carry us through, &c. The greatest mercies, when abused, becomes the greatest curses, as the offers of mercy when rejected is the cause of the sinners condemnation; whereas, the greatest

     



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    afflictions, when sanctified, are mercies in disguise; for instance, it is said that a man in the reign of Queen Mary, said every thing which happened to him would be for the best; and he was to be burned as a heretic, on account of his religion, &c. and being made prisoner, when crossing London bridge, happened to fall down and break a limb. Said the guard, will this be for the best? He answered in the affirmative; and before he got able to walk to the stake to be burnt, the Queen died, and the law was altered, by which means his life was preserved -- thus see the truth of his words. Whatever trials I bring upon myself by my misconduct, I may thank myself for it.

    But whatever trials befall me, when in the path of duty, such as I cannot avoid without getting out of duty's path -- such I believe happen not by chance, nor come from the dust, but are God's mercies in disguise, as above.

    We read that it is through much tribulation, we are to enter into the kingdom of God. And those who have got through, came out of great tribulation, and all that will live Godly in Christ,

     



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    shall suffer persecution, which implies that if he meets with no opposition, he hath not religion enough to make the devil angry with him. Again, Christ saith, in the world you shall have tribulation, but in me you shall have peace, and Heb. 12, we read what son is he whom the father chasteneth not. And though no chastening for the present, seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterwards, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them, which are exercised thereby; and we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but glory to God, he can, as saith the Poet, "He in the days of feeble flesh,
    "Pour'd out strong cries and tears,
    "And in his measure feel afresh,
    "What every member bears.
    "A smoaking flax he will not quench,
    "But raise it to a flame,
    "A bruised reed he will not break
    "Nor scorn the meanest name."


    Therefore,

    "Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
    "The clouds ye so much dread,

     



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    "Are big with mercies, and shall break
    "In blessings on your head."


    Therefore,

    "Ye conquering souls fight on,
    "And when the conquest toy have won,
    "Palms of victory you shall bear,
    "And in Christ's kingdom have a share,
    "And crowns of glory ever wear,
    "In endless day,"
    Christ saith, Luke 21. 18. In your patience possess ye your souls -- O how much there is contained in this expression! And if we possess our souls in our patience, how ought we to exercise patience under trials, and be resigned to the will of Providence, who hath the disposal of all events, least we prevent the sanctification of the affliction, and thereby lose a blessing, and get a curse. James saith, you have heard of the patience of Job, and seen the end of the Lord, and exhorted his brethren to count it joy, when they fell into temptations or afflictions for a trial of their faiths, which worketh patience, and patience experience, &c. which enlarges the captivity, so that we shall be

     



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    more capable of enjoying God here and hereafter. Job's afflictions were great, yet remember, God carried him thro'; and first, Job had a great experience, which otherwise he could not have had; second, he saw the salvation of God; third, his latter end was blessed twice as much as his beginning; fourth, his enemies were brought to bow to him, and this is left on record for the benefit of the after generations; and God in this our duty, frequently sees it necessary to suffer his dear children to pass thro' trials and difficulties, to set them up as examples of patience for others to copy after, and to wean them from the world, and ripen them for the kingdom of everlasting glory; and those who put their trust in him, he defendeth not, but proportions their strength to their day, and gives them suffering grace in trying times. Yea, he is with them in six trials, and in the seventh he forsakes them not, as saith the Apostle; he will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear; but will with the temptation make way for your escape. A storm denotes a calm; so do trials and

     



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    afflictions denote good days, to those who put their trust in God, with prayer and resignation to his disposal.

    When all things go well with me, like pleasant sailing, I conceive there is a storm some where gathering; I endeavor to lay out accordingly, for a trial, and by so doing, I am prepared for it, when it comes, and if I am disappointed, I am disappointed on the right side. It is now upwards of eight years, that I have devoted my life as a travelling missionary, though not in the common way, but rather like the fowls of the air, more dependent for my daily bread, have no particular source to depend upon, except divine providence, whom as yet I have never found to desert me, no, not in my greatest discouragements; but hitherto he hath helped and raised me up friends in times of need, and now I am among kind friends, and tho' I expect trials are before me previous to my dissolution, yet he who hath been with me, I trust will still continue his mercy, and one day take me to rest above where the wicked shall cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.

     



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    "When all our toils are o'er,
    "Our sufferings and our pain,
    "Who meet on that eternal shore,
    "Shall never part again."
    David saith, Psalms 84. 11, No good thing will God withhold from them that walk uprightly, therefore, if God withholds a thing from the upright in heart, it is because he sees that the fruition of it would not be best for them in the long run. And Paul saith, all things shall work together for good to them that love God. Therefore, let us lie passive in the hand of Providence, at the disposal of his will, knowing that if we are active to enquire and do it according to the light and knowledge imparted, it being the delight of Providence to do his needy creatures good -- he will be well pleased with us in Christ, and choose those things which shall be for our present and eternal good; for God is love, and doth not willingly afflict the righteous, or punish the wicked, without a cause, for his tender care is over all his works. Therefore, it is not good to be our own choosers, least

     



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    we pursue wrong things, and be brought into difficulties and woe. But rather give thy heart to God, who will then become thy friend; for this purpose, watch much, pray much, and that in private. Give daily attention likewise to the scriptures, and follow the inward convictions of the divine spirit, which leadeth from vice to virtue, and from the love of sin to the love of God, and from the things of earth to the things of heaven, &c. and live as you would wish to die, and be willing to give an account to the GREAT JUDGE of all the earth "MAN PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD ---- may the Lord bless you and bring us to glory." ---
    Adieu.
                   Lorenzo Dow, F. M. K.
    At the house of my Papa and Mamma,  |
          in Cumberland County, Virginia,     }
          April 12, 1804.                                |




     

    TRANSCRIBER'S  COMMENTS

    Lorenzo Dow (1777 - 1834) was one of the most widely-known American evangelists of the early 19th century. Nominally a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he was critical of its hierarchical structure and practices, and functioned as an independent itinerant preacher for much of his life, traveling between the North and the South on horseback.

    Dow was known for his eloquence and eccentricities -- a man odd in both his manner and dress. A great promoter of camp meetings, Dow was in many ways the fore-runner of the great American revivalists like Charles Finney. His impassioned jerking and wild gestures became the norm in backwoods preaching extravaganzas, eventually influencing the pulpit presentations of even normally staid evangelists like the Campbellites. The "high-faluting, spread-eagle" spellbinding mannerisms of exhorters like the Rev. Sidney Rigdon may well have been local imitations of "Crazy Dow."

    Lorenzo Dow and the Early Mormons

    It is not know for certain that early Mormon doctrines and practices owed much to "Crazy Dow," however. As a Christian primitivist who spurned predestination, infant damnation, "priestcraft," and established religious institutions, Dow's religion obviously overlapped that of many people who eventually became Mormons. Unlike the Cambellites and most of the established denominations, Dow allowed for contemporary divine revelation, visions, the ministering of angels, etc. The Mormons of the early 1830s must have found at least some of Dow's critical views regarding Deism, Universalism, and Unitarianism similar to their own. But, if they did, there is no indication that the feeling of their sharing common religious ground was reciprocated by Dow himself.

    Future LDS President Wilford Woodruff, in his younger years enjoyed reading Dow's Journal & Travels. In 1890, at the 61st Semi-Annual LDS Conference in Utah, Woodruff would quote Dow's famous "damned if you do, and... damned if you don't" saying, applying it to the cessation of polygamy among the Mormons. Brigham Young, on the other hand, was less approving of Lorenzo Dow. In July of 1860 Young lectured in the Bowery at Great Salt Lake City, saying "Many of you have heard of Lorenzo Dow and his oddities. He would go into the woods, get on to a stump, and preach without a soul being near to hear him, and probably leave an appointment to preach in the same place a year from that day. I have seen him. He was as odd-looking as were his acts. (Journal of Discourses 8:120). President Young probably did not appreciate the irony that the first Mormons in Kirtland engaged in similar stump-preaching to invisible audiences. Eleven years later, in Ogden Utah, Young would deliver sharper remarks at Dow's expense: "I recollect when I was young going to hear Lorenzo Dow preach. He was esteemed a very great man by the religious folks. I, although young in years and lacking experience, had thought a great many times that I would like to hear some man who could tell me something, when he opened the Bible... when he got through I asked myself, 'What have you learned from Lorenzo Dow?' and my answer was, 'Nothing, nothing but morals.' He could tell the people they should not work on the Sabbath day; they should not lie, swear, steal, commit adultery, &c., but when he came to teaching the things of God he was as dark as midnight..." (Journal of Discourses 14:192).

    Like many others of their day, the religion-minded people who eventually became Mormons liked to name their children after "Crazy Dow." A list of the early immigrants to Utah reveals many a "Lorenzo D." among the Saints, not the least of whom was LDS President Lorenzo Snow. One of these pioneers, Bishop Lorenzo D. Young, offered these remarks to the Mormons in 1857: "Lorenzo Dow told the people, on a certain occasion, "You old professors, go home and take down your Bibles that have lain on the shelf until you can write damnation in the dust that has collected on them, and read the old Prophets, and see what the Lord did for his people of old." The Lord, at one time, sent forth his angel in the time of battle and slew a hundred, fourscore-and-four thousand souls in one night. At another time, when the people of God went forth to battle, and they were afraid, the servant of the Lord stood before them and encouraged them, exhorting them with words of consolation, saying, "The Lord is at the head of his armies." (Journal of Discourses 6:226).

    Lorenzo Dow and the Mormons: contemporary sources

    The Historians of Mormonism have generally given Lorenzo Dow an evident miss. He is not mentioned by scholars of Mormon origins such as Marvin S. Hill and Grant Underwood, the very sort of investigators of Christian primitivism one might expect would take an interest in "Crazy Dow" and his possible influence on American religious thought. Donna Hill, Brent Metcalfe, Robert N. Hullinger and D. Michael Quinn barely give visionary Dow a mention; his name is absent from Fawn Brodie, Wesley P. Walters and H. Michael Marquardt. One pleasing exception to this seeming unwritten rule of avoiding the eccentric revivalist may be found embedded in the old Reorganized LDS Junior Sunday School lessons of some decades past. In a chapter entitled "Religion" an anonymous enlightner of young minds had this to say:

    A notable preacher was Crazy Dow. Equipped with a bulging umbrella and riding a sway-backed nag, Dow offered salvation or damnation to the whole West and South. He was skinny, filthy, and unkempt, with shoulder-length red hair and a red beard that hid his chest; but he was a showman of stature and his harsh voice, portentous and coarsely comic by turns, could hypnotize an audience -- and sell quantities of Dow's Family Medicine. But he wasn't just a charlatan; he made no fortune, and he drove his frail body with the zeal of a fanatic. Though the circuit rider did his share of camp-meeting shouting and sometimes mistook hysteria for spiritual rapture, his dedication to his calling was complete and unassailable. He took no heed to the morrow and made his rounds in all weather, at all seasons, praying, visiting, exhorting, with no thought of reward this side of Jordan... (Untitled RLDS Junior Curriculum, c. 1970, p. 365).
    Lorenzo Dow's name has not been totally divorced from that of the Mormons in scholarly writing. Now and then he pops up in unexpected contexts -- such as in a 1999 presentation given by Notre Dame Professor of History Nathan Hatch, entitled "Evangelicalism and American Life. See his section on "Methodist and Mormon Success," (unpublished paper read in Sept. 1999 at Prouts Neck, Maine). Hatch has also written about Lorenzo Dow and the Mormons in his Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989). Another book which explores complementary topics is Holy Ground, Too, the Camp Meeting Family Tree by Kenneth O. Brown. (Hazleton, PA: Holiness Archives, 1997).

    Lorenzo Dow and the Book of Mormon

    Revivalist Dow's preaching journeys must have taken him into many place where he crossed paths with folks who would later become Mormons. As noted above, Brigham Young recalled attending one of Dow's meetings many years before he moved to Utah. Young may well have encountered "Crazy Dow" in western New York about the same time Mormonism was coming into the world. Pomeroy Tucker, a one-time editor of the local newspaper in Palmyra, NY, recalled walking together with proto-Mormon Martin Harris "to hear Lorenzo Dow preach in Palmyra" in 1829 (Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (NYC, D. Appleton Co., 1867, p. 285). Lorenzo Dow's presence in the region at that time is confirmed by an article that appeared in the Wayne Sentinel on 28 Aug. 28, 1829 -- saying that the Methodist evangelist preached to three thousand people "in the field next to the Methodist church."

    Dow's philosophical and geographical proximity to the earliest Mormons naturally raises the question of whether his preaching might have any way effected the text of the Book of Mormon, first sold in Palmyra, NY only a few months after Lorenzo preached in that same town.

    This question was finally addressed by rare books dealer Mr. Rick Grunder of Syracuse in 1999 and then publicized by Mr. Stan M. Shepp of York, PA in 2000 -- in a most unusual way. Having procured a copy of Lorenzo Dow's 1804 book, The Opinion of Dow, Mr. Shepp advertised that fact in February and November auctions on the popular e-bay web-site. In lengthy, bold-type hyperbole (borrowed largely from Mr. Grunder), the seller touted his Dow book as a "RARE. ONLY EDITION thus... The pre-existence of man, or our pre-mortal creation as spirits, is here announced as a current early nineteenth-century doctrine. Dow renders a major service to twentieth-century Mormon scholars by recording heretofore little-known Mormon parallel beliefs which were accepted by people with whom he came in contact..." etc. etc. (e-bay 2000 auction item #501377288). After disposing of his 1804 Dow book for a hefty sum in Feb. 2000, Mr. Shepp came up with a second copy of this "only edition" -- which he sold for over $800 in Nov. 2000 (e-bay Item #264379367). In both cases Mr. Shepp neglected to inform his auction viewers and bidders that a great deal of the same "rare" text was affordably available as the "chain" essay on "Election, Universalism, and Deism" printed in later Dow books -- such as the 1841 biography The Eccentric Preacher... (Lowell, MA: E. A. Rice, 1841, pp. 133-182). While Messrs. Grunder and Shepp were probably acting in good faith in their attempting to identify "Mormon parallels" in the 1804 Dow book, between the two of them they failed to present compelling evidence for their respective theories. For example, it is highly unlikely that Lorenzo Dow was visiting the Joseph Smith, Sr. family in central Vermont c. 1811, much less organizing Primitive Methodism in their kitchen. The various religious subjects touched upon by Grunder and Shepp in their presentations were mostly matters widely-discussed in New England and New York c. 1790-1830. It is no surprise that the early Mormons were also interested in some of these issues -- or that (as pre-Mormons) they had adopted some of Dow's well publicized doctrinal views. Thus, while Dow's preaching may have influenced a few proto-Mormon beliefs (in persons like Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Jr., etc.), Lorenzo Dow himself was probably not a major, direct source for subsequently adopted Mormon doctrines and practices.

    Another question one might ask is: was The Opinion of Dow a source for the writing of the Book of Mormon? If it was, Dow's book certainly was not quoted from directly and at length when the manuscript of the "Gold Bible" was first written. There is some overlap in ideas, language, and intent in Dow and the Mormon book, but the list of textual parallels which might be compiled for the two works would not likely provide compelling evidence that parts of the 1830 text were derived from parts of the 1804 production. It might, however, be useful for interested researchers to take the time and compare Dow's teachings with the earliest of LDS doctrine (as promulgated in the first Mormon newspapers and books). Such a comparative study might prove more fruitful for "parallels" compilations than our attempting to mine the Book of Mormon for hidden nuggets of Lorenzo's spiritual treasure.

    Another possibly productive study would involve a comparison of Dow's writings to the writings of Solomon Spalding and Ethan Smith. Spalding was just such a "Deist" as Dow condemned, at least for part of his ill-spent life. Ethan Smith, on the other hand, was a straight-laced professor of orthodox religion who probably have found preachers like Lorenzo Dow more than a bit distasteful. Still, both Ethan Smith and Solomon Spalding would no doubt have been interested to read Dow's speculation regarding extinct American "Mammoth" (p. 10) and a mysterious Ohio Valley, "once inhabited by a warlike informed people, who had the use of mechanical instruments, and there are evident marks of antiquity, consisting of artificial mounts and fortifications;" a depopulated, forgotten pre-Columbian America that "once was a populous, and since is a foresaken country; which neither history nor tradition hath given us any information of. Therefore it appears, that greater revolutions have taken place in this terraqueous globe..." (p. 12-13). Certainly Spalding, at least, liked to speak of "Mammoth," ancient artificial mounts and "fortifications," and "teraqueous" domains in his known writings.


     

    
    
    THE  ECCENTRIC  PREACHER: OR
    
    A  SKETCH  OF  THE  LIFE  OF  THE  CELEBRATED
    
    
    L O R E N Z O   D O W,
    
    
    ABRIDGED  FROM  HIS  JOURNAL;  AND  CONTAINING  THE
    MOST  INTERESTING  FACTS  IN  HIS  EXPERIENCE.
    
    ALSO,  AN  ABRIDGEMENT  OF  HIS  CELEBRATED
    
    
    C H A I N!
    
    AND  OF 
    
    HIS  CURIOUS  THOUGHTS  ON  MATRIMONY!
    
    
    Lowell: E. A, RICE & CO. 1841.


     

    [ 9 ]



    L O R E N Z O   D O W,

    OR  THE  ECCENTRIC  PREACHER.


    CHAPTER I.
    FROM HIS BIRTH TO HIS CONVERSION.

    LORENZO DOW, commonly known as "crazy Dow," was born in Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut, on the 16th of October, 1777. His parents were of English descent. They had a son and four daughters, beside Lorenzo, who was the youngest but one of the family. They were caredully attentive to both the secular and religious education of their children.

    Lorenzo's mind appears to have been under the influence of strong religious impressions from his earliest childhood, as will appear from the following extract from his journal:

    "When I was bewteen three and four years old, one day, whilst I was at play with my companion, I suddebly fell into a reverie about God, and those places called heaven and hell, which I heard people converse about, so that I forgot my play; which my companion observing. desired to know the cause: I asked him if ever he said his prayers, night or morning; to which he replied no -- then, said I, you are wicked, and I will not play with you; so I quit his company and went into the house."
    In this brief extract we see the incipient beginnings of that boldness and energy of reproof that afterwards


     


    10                        THE  ECCENTRIC  PREACHER:  OR                       

    characterized his public ministrations and private labors, and which probably was the secret of the attention he every where excited.

    As an instance of the native eccentricity of his mind, the following incident may be useful. He was scarcely twelve years of age, and feeling anxious to know if God would answer prayer, as in primitive days, he promised to serve him provided he would enable him to gain the highest prize in a small lottery then about to be decided in the place. He gained the prize, nine shillings! broke his promise, and was very uneasy for several weeks.

    His constitution was severely shaken by a painful sicjness, while a boy, occasioned by overheating himself and drinking cold milk and water; from the effects of this early affliction he never wholly recovered.

    Lorenzo seems to have been a great believer in dreams, from an early period. While suffering under this sickness, which took an asthmatical turn, he dreamed that he saw the prophet Nathan addressing a large assembly of people. Inquiring how long he should live, the prophet replied, "Until you are twenty-one." This dream occasioned him much anxiety in his mind.

    He describes his awakening in the following nervous manner, "When past the age of thirteen years it pleased God to awaken my mind by a dream of the night, which was, that an old man came to me at mid-day having a staff in his hand, and said, "Do you pray?" I told him, "No." Said he, "you must," and then he went away; he had not been long gone before he returned, and said again, "Do you pray"? I again said, "no:" after his departure, I went out of doors and was taken up by a whirlwind and carried above the skies; at length I discovered, across a gulph, as it were, through


     


                       LORENZO  DOW'S  LIFE  AND  TRAVELS                  11

    a mist of darkness, a glorious place in which was a throne of ivory overlaid with gold, and God sitting upon it and Jesus Christ at his right habd, and angels and glorified spirits, celebrating praises Oh! the joyful music! I thought the angel Gabriel came to the edge of Heaven, holding a golden trumpet in his right hand, and cried to me with a mighty voice to know if I desired to come there. I told him I did. Said he, "You must go back to yonder world, and if you will be faithful to God you shall come here in the end."


    Pages 11 to 132 have not yet been transcribed



     



    [133]






    ELECTION, UNIVERSALISM AND DEISM.

    OR

    THE CHAIN OF THE PREACHER ABRIDGED.




    After I found religion, I began to reflect on my experiences, and perceiving that I felt a love to ALL, though I had been taught that God only loved a FEW, which he had given to his son: I could not reconcile the two ideas together, how my love should exceed the love of God; -- and feeling within myself, that I stood in danger of falling into sin, and consequently into condemnation: I could not reconcile it with the common idea, that if a man once obtained religion he was always safe, let him do as he would. -- This put me upon examining the scriptures for myself, where I could find no promise that any should be savedm but those who endured unto the end. On the other hand the bible seemed to correspond with my feelings, that there was danger, being full of cautions; and there is no need of caution where there is no danger. The more light and knowledge a person hath, and commits a crime, the worse it must be; because he sins against the more light: therefore any sin is greater in a professor of religion, than in a non-professor, seeing he sins against the greater light.

    If the sin is the greater, of course the condemnation and punishment must be proportioned; as Christ saith, "he that knoweth his master's will and doeth it not, shall

     

    134                        ELECTION,  UNIVERSALISM  ETC.                        

    be beaten with many stripes, whereas, he that knoweth not his master's will, shall be beaten with few." -- Therefore, if the sinner who never had religion, deserves to be damned for actual transgression; why not the professor, upon the principles of impartial justice.

    Now it appears to me, that this doctrine, once in grace, always in grace, is inseparably connected with the docrine of particular election and reprobation; and to deny the latter, and hold to the former, to me appears inconsistent: -- for if a saint cannot be punished in proportion to his conduct, then he is not accountable; and if he be not accountable, then not rewardable; and if neither rewardable nor punishable, then his salvation or damnation does not turn upon his actions, pro nor con, but upon the free electing love of God: Therefore God will have mercy upon whom he will, and whom he will, he passeth by: Thus they appear connected like two links in a chain. And it appeareth moreover, that the doctrine of particular election, leadeth to universalism: for according to the above we must suppose, that God decreed all things; if so, God being wise, whatever he hath decreed, he must have decreed it right; consequently nothing cometh to pass wrong -- then there is no sin, for it cannot be sin to do right: If then one shall be damned for doing right, why not all? and if one is saved for doing right, why not all? according to the rule of impartial justice. -- Again, the doctrine of election saith, all that was given from the Father to the Son, in the covenant of Grace, will be saved; none that Christ died for can be lost. -- The bible saith, Christ gave himself for ALL. -- 1 Tim. ii. 4, 6; 1 John ii. 2. And A double L does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: Well, now if all Christ died for will be saved, and none of them can

     

                           ELECTION,  UNIVERSALISM  ETC.                         135

    be lost, then Universalism must be true, => and you cannot deny it.

    And now it appears furthermore, that Universalism leads to Deism -- for if all are saved, none are lost, and of course no future punishment: -- Therefore the threatenings in the bible must be false, like a sham scarecrow hung up in the fields to represent what is not real. And if the threatnings be false, the promises are equally so; for while the promises are given in one scale to encourage virtue, the threatenings are put in the opposite one, to discourage vice: To deny the one, disallows of the other, and of course breaks the chain of the bible, and thereby destroys its authority; consequently, ye cannot suppose with propriety, that it came from God by Divine direction; but rather, that it was hatched up by some cunning politicians, to answer their political designs, to keep the people in order -- and that it has been kept on the carpet ever since, by the black and blue coats to get a fat living out of the people. -- "Away with the bible," says the Deist, "I will be imposed upon by that no more, but I will go upon reason; for who ever came back from the other world, to bring us news from that country about heaven or hell, or exhibit a map thereof?"

    Now, if I denied the bible, I should of course deny miracles and inspiration, for if I admit of them, I must in reason admit of the propriety of the bible.

    But no one who denies inspiration and miracles, can prove the existence of a God. There are but six ways to receive ideas, which are by inspiration, or one of the five senses. Deny inspiration, there are but five ways; and matter of fact demonstrates, that a man by these outward sensitive organs, can neither hear, see, smell, taste or feel God: How then can we know him but by

     

    136                        ELECTION,  UNIVERSALISM  ETC.                        

    a revelation in the inward sense? Why saith the Deist, the works of nature proclaim aloud in both my ears, "there is a God," but I deny it according to your scale of reasoning, for you deny miracles; and yet you say what has been once may be again: now if there was a miracle once, there may be one again: if so, then there may be such a thing as revealed religion, for that is but miraculous: But if there cannot be a miracle again, that is an argument there never was one, and of course denies the works of creation; if there was no creation, then there is no Creator: fir it must have been a miracle, to have spoken the wotld into existence, and to have formed intelligent beings. -- Therefore, if there never was a miracle, then there never was such a thing as creation: Consequently the works of nature do not speak forth a Divine Being, for his hand never formed them; but they argue, that matter is eternal, and that all things come by nature -- for it is evident, that if nought had been once, nought had been now; for nothing cannot put forth the act of power and beget something; yet it is self-evident that something does exist; therefore, something must have existed eternally. Then saith reason, if all things come by nature, then nature is eternal; and when forming from its primitive chaos, into its present position, by congelation, brought forth mankind, beasts and vegetables spontaneously; something like the mushroom growing up without seed, or the moss growing on the tree; and are kept on the stage by transmigration, like the caterpillar, transmihrating or turning into a beautiful butterfly; or the muck-worm into a horn-bug. Thus nature assumes one form or shape for a while, then laying that aside, takes up another.

    The remainder of this text has not been transcribed

     


    eBay item 501377288 (Ends Nov-26-00 18:27:40 PST)
    ~RARE~ 1804 Mormon Book - Lorenzo Dow ~RARE~




    Note: The original web-document for Nov. 2000 e-bay bidding carried this notice:

    The research on this page and the HTML code for this page is copyrighted ©2000 Stanley M. Shepp. Any unauthorized use of this research is subject to all existing laws and penalties... Portions of the research on this page is copyrighted ©1999 Rick Grunder
    So as to remain within the "fair use" provisions of US and international copyright law, only short excerpts from Mr. Shepp's original document are reproduced here. Three minor editorial insertions by the transcriber are marked thusly: [insertion]





    ©1804
    .
    First Edition

    .
    15 cm.
    164 pages.
    Original calf.

    Important Mormon Parallel!! ...



    THE
    .
    Opinion of Dow ; ...



    ... who ever heard of a book from 1804 having Mormon content...

    But did Lorenzo Dow really
    have an effect on early Mormonism?


    I'll give you the information and you decide!!




    ... the Primitive Methodist Church... was organized in 1811 after Wesleyan Methodists refused to countenance camp meetings, a program introduced in England by an American Methodist, Lorenzo Dow...

    "The first meeting of the Primitive Methodists was held in the Tunstall [United Kingdom -- not USA] kitchen of a former Methodist, Joseph Smith..." -- Julia Stewart Werner, The Primitive Methodist Connexion: It's Background and Early History (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), pp. xi, 55. ...

    LORENZO DOW
    WAS HOLDING RELIGIOUS MEETINGS
    IN JOSEPH SMITH'S HOME!!!
    ...




    ... My interpretation here is that Joseph Smith [Jr.] leaned towards the teachings of the Methodists. And most likely, he leaned towards the teachings of one Methodist minister in particular,

    Lorenzo Dow! ...



    This is a very rare book
    I can't stress enough how unlikely it is that you
    will ever see this book offered here
    [e-bay auctions] again.




    The following Blue Text...
    is from the Web Site of Rick Grunder's Books
    (font size and arrangement has been changed) ...



    THE LITTLE BOOK WHICH PROVES THAT
    IDEAS ABOUT THE PRE-EXISTENCE
    CIRCULATED IN POPULAR CULTURE IN
    MODERN TIMES BEFORE THEY WERE
    ARTICULATED BY JOSEPH SMITH.


    The author (1777-1834) had a tremendous effect on grass-roots American religion in the early nineteenth century. Countless children were named after this monumental revival preacher, including Brigham Young's brother (Lorenzo Dow Young) and probably Lorenzo Snow.

    RARE. ONLY EDITION thus, and one of Dow's earliest books.
    announced as a current early nineteenth-century doctrine. Dow renders
    a major service to twentieth-century Mormon scholars by recording
    heretofore little-known Mormon-parallel beliefs which were accepted
    by people with whom he came in contact: ...

    ... Mormon parallels abound in this small volume, including references to "the necessity of modern-day inspiration" (p. 120), "the salvation of the 'heathen' through their "adherence to the light of Christ which is in them," (p. 134), and the following important clarification about infant baptism: ... "how can infants be happy? They can't repent. Answer -- they need no repentance who die in infancy..." (pp. 132-3) compare to Moroni 8:5, 8, 11-12, 19...



    END OF QUOTE FROM RICK GRUNDER'S WEB PAGE...




    There are Plenty of other parallels in this book...


    Election and Reprobation
    (p. 5)

    God is bound by his promises to the obedient
    (p. 51)

    God foreknew all men but does not predestinate without condition
    (p. 55)

    Those made clean through the word of God called "Saints"
    (p. 71)

    plurality of worlds
    (p. 105)

    they (souls prior to birth) were laid up in a store house in Heaven
    (pp. 107-110)

    "There can not be a law without a penalty"
    (p. 116)

    the necessity of modern-day inspiration
    (p. 120)

    "And the agony of his mind, caused the very blood to gush through the pores of his skin, and ran down like drops of sweat."
    (p. 129)

    they need no repentance who die in infancy
    (pp. 132-33)

    the salvation of the "heathen" through their adherence to the light of Christ which is in them
    (p. 134) ...




    This book is definitely worth having for the parallels that you can read in it!!... Many thanks to Rick Grunder for his diligent research in unearthing this book and it's incredible Mormon Parallels ...

    ... send the money to:

    Stan Shepp
    PO Box 3489
    York, PA
    17402


    ... The research on this page and the HTML code for this page is copyrighted ©2000 Stanley M. Shepp Any unauthorized use of this research is subject to all existing laws and penalties.


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