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whosoever will, may come and drink of the fountain of the water of life freely;" the primary truth is the acknowledgment of the divinity of the Lord's humanity, but it will not be sufficient to acknowledge this in the understanding, it must be acknowledged in the heart and in the life, before a full entrance can be made through the gates into the city. The apostle John was invited to see the BRIDE the LAMB'S WIFE ; Rev. xxi. 9. and he was carried (in spirit) to a great and high mountain, and there shown the great city Holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God," (verse 10.) we have stated above that the descent of the New Jerusalem is no other than the manifestation of the spiritual sense of the Word, but the spiritual sense consists of the Good and the TRUE, or what is the same thing of Love and Wisdom, and the affection of love on the part of the members of the church, is denoted by the BRIDE the Lamb's wife ; and the affection for wisdom or truth is denoted by the view of the city, whose walls, gates, foundations, streets, &c., are representative of the manifold truths of doctrine which the spiritual sense makes known. “Having the glory of God, and her light was like a jasper stone, clear as crystal," by these words is described their understanding of the Word, who are in the doctrine of the New Jerusalem and in a life agreeing with it. With such the Word shines when it is read ; it shines from the ord by means of the spiritual sense, because the Lord is the Word, and the spiritual sense is in the light of heaven which proceeds from the Lord as a sun, and the light which proceeds from the Lord as a sun, is, in its essence, the Divine Truth of his divine wisdom.
(To be continued.)
THE UNIVERSALITY OF DIVINE GRACE.
PROVED FROM THE TESTIMONY OF SCRIPTURE. A generally received doctrine respecting the divine Grace, teaches that it is confined to a part of the human race, while those who have the misfortune not to be included among what are termed “the elect, must inevitably suffer everlasting misery; and thus (for so this tenet declares) God glorifies his justice, in the condemnation of some, as well as his mercy, in the salvation of others. Another doctrine on the same subject maintains, that whether the divine and saving grace of the Lord, be extended to all, or to only a part of mankind; such grace is not always with man, but is given at such a period, as the Lord, in his divine wisdom, sees good to bestow it. These are the prevalent notions entertained in the religious world, in respect to the divine grace, and its extent, but surely their professors can never have seriously
examined them, for is it possible that christians can believe, that the Great Jehovah Jesus, whose “ tender mercies are over all his works,” could bring into existence myriads of human beings, for the express purpose,
and no other than of rendering them for ever miserable in the dark regions of the infernal world ? can they firmly believe, that a God who is infinitely kind and compassionate, who is love itself, should glorify his justice in the condemnation of a part of the human race, or that he should withhold, for a single moment, that grace so essentially necessary to the eternal welfare of man? Alas! many, very many professors of christianity believe this to be the truth, they do not consider that if the divine grace of the Lord was withheld from us for an instant, that very instant would be our last, we should be totally annihilated, “for in him we live, move, and have our being." The fallacy of doctrines which teach that the divine grace is confined to a few, and that man is without it until some indefinite period, thus that he is suffered to live in the wickedness to which he is prone by birth, without any power whatever to turn from the evil of his
and repent, is obvious from this consideration : they render the impeni. tent sinner guiltless; for who, with common sense, can blame any one for doing what he could not possibly avoid. Man is born under the influence of hereditary evil, and unless the grace of God be extended to him, he will be incited and impelled by his nature, to bring this evil into act; being thus incited and impel. led, (and having received no divine assistance to counteract his evil propensites,) he cannot possibly avoid sinning, and as it is in contradiction to every principle of justice, divine or human, that man should be accountable for the commişsion of a crime he could not by any means avoid, we must conclude, in this he has no sin to be accountable for: doctrines such as these, which limit the grace of God, and set bounds to the divine operation, are contrary to the best feelings of humanity; highly prejudicial'to the dearest interests of mankind, and a gross libel upon that Almighty Being, from whom all our mercies flow; they are not founded in truth; they are not in concurrence with the testimony of holy writ. If we examine the scriptures upon the extent of the divine grace, we shall be convinced that in them its universality is set forth in unequivocal language : they teach that “every one that thirsteth," may, if he is willing, “ come to the waters,” he may “buy and eat," may “buy wine and milk, without money and without price," or in other words, every one may, if he chooses, become receptive of the divine goodness, love, mercy, and grace of our beavenly father, who withholds no good thing from that man, who is willing, and in a fit state to receive it. In Ezekiel
VOL. 1.-No. 5
xviii. it is thus written, "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die ? saith the LORD God; and not that he should return from his ways and live ?” let this interrogation receive its answer, from the same divine voice, which dictated it : “ As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked ; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel ? if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he hath robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity: he shall surely live, he shall not die, he hath done that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live.” How eminently calculated are these passages, to show that divine grace is not withheld from any one; for our Almighty Parent declares that the death of the wicked gives him no pleasure, but rather that they would turn from the evil of their ways and live; and he informs us that if the wicked turn from their sin, and do that which is lawful and right they shall surely live. In the 145th Psalm are these striking words, “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy; the Lord is good to all and his tender mercies are over all his works." Jesus after he had risen, appeared unto his disciples, and said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Again Jesus declares he“ came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John xii. 47, and the apostle Paul affirms, that the “living God, is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.” 1 Tim. iv. 10. If we turn our attention to the 34th chapter of Exodus, we shall find that the great Jehovah of Hosts, proclaimed his own divine nature, in the following impressive manner, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and sin.” How strikingly is the divine nature pourtrayed in this passage! our God is merciful, gracious, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, he keepeth mercy for thousands, and forgiveth iniquity, transgression, and sin. This is a faithful, a scriptural character of the Christians' God; he is no respecter of persons, for “he regardeth not the persons of men.” how then can we attribute to this inconceivably good being, sentiments which militate against every principle of humanity, and consider he can reject a single soul that he has brought into existence. If we do not believe the universality of the divine grace, we render nugatory all the invitations of mercy; and the calls of the gospel to repentance for the remission of sins. The
Lord speaks to his people by the mouth of the prophet, and says, “Wash you, make you clean ; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well :” surely our God would never have invited us to cease to do evil, and learn to do well, if at the same time he knew it was impossible for us so to do; certainly not, for immediately after we are desired to wash and make ourselves clean, he points out the blessed effects of this cleansing.'-“Though” saith he “your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool; if” continues he "ye be willing, and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah i. 16-19. Again Jehovah says, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth ;" and the same Divine Being, when cloathed in the hu. manity, affectionately invites us to come unto him, and have rest, his language is, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!” Matt. xi. 28. These words cannot be without meaning, we are to go to the Lord Jesus Christ, and if we do go unto him, with an humble peritent heart, we shall assuredly find rest unto our souls. Again our Saviour gave as a convincing proof of the extent of his divine grace, when he lamented over his fallen creatures, and said, “O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thee together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” Matt. xxiii. 37. How beautifully does this sentence harmonize, with the doctrine which teaches that the saving grace of our Lord God and Saviour, extends to every individual of the human race, and that it is free for every one who is willing to receive it, and how deeply does it strike at the root of those tenets, which declare "God has elected a chosen few to enjoy happiness, and decreed thousands to everlasting misery. Many more passages might be adduced, but it is trusted these are sufficient, for in them it is declared in the most unequivocal manner, that the Lord our God wills and desires the happiness of all his creatures, that he is good, kind, and merciful to all; that his grace is freely given to all, that our great Redeemer came to save the whole world; not a part of it only--that his redemption and salvation are free for all men; and through his mercy and infinite love, the gates of heaven are opened for all ; not any are shut out from thence, but those who exclude themselves, by abusing his grace and mercy, persisting in a life of sin and guilt, and choosing death and hell, rather than life and heaven; and we may justly conclude that every miserable inhabitant of the world of darkness, has brought
his wretchedness upon himself: he has been the suicidical perpetrator of his own destruction.
ANSWER TO A.
-- Through the medium of your valuable and highly interesting work, allow me to offer a few brief remarks, by way of answer to your correspondent A. In your number for March, p. 76, a selection of passages from the New Testament is given, from which your correspondent states, the Calvinists endeavour to prove the doctrine of Election. It is well known that the Calvinists endeavour to prove every thing from nothing, but how they can attempt to prove their system of Election from any of these passages I know not. The Calvinistie Election is this, That God has from before the foundation of the world, 'elected a few of the persons of mankind from the great mass, to eternal happiness and honour, without any foresight of faith, good works, or any conditions performed by the creature, and that the rest he has been pleased to pass by, and give them up to eternal perdition. It would be doing this doctrine, worthless as it is, too much honour to attempt to refute it; its own weakness and wickedness will in due time bring it to destruction. That the Scriptures speak of an Election is readily admitted, but then it is not a Calvinistic one; the Scriptures do not teach that it is made without any fórésight of faith, good works, or any conditions wrought by the creature; but on the contrary. It is quulities and not persons that are the objects of the Divine choice and in "whatever persons, the heavenly qualities of love, meekness, charity, sincerity and mercy are to be found, these are the elect children of God-the called according to his purpose the predestinated to life, and the glorious heirs of an everlasting state of bliss ! The doctrines, then, which teach that God, by his arbitrary will and pleasure, has doomed from before the foundation of the world, the persons of men, some to misery and some to happiness, without any foresight of good or evil works done by the creature, are, without any doubt, absurd, irrational, unscriptural, and wicked. The wickedness of them is beyond all conception! for they throw a veil of darkness over the lovely countenance of Jehovah, from whence beam, love, peace, mercy, compassion, and every possible beatitude and joy.
ob';; Again, the doctrine of absolate predestination to misery, and