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you introduce; but do not they testify of those personages as figures of Jesus? But you have said they do.
Are we not led, when reading the scriptures, to the consideration of opposite characters? And is there not danger of erring, by not rightly dividing the words of sacred writ? May not many welldisposed persons offend, by not so understanding the scriptures as to render to Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things which are God's? There is a preacher of the gospel, of some respectability in this country, who, I fear, has done much mischief in this way. Taking it for granted that Christ is all, I understand he has confounded him with the grand adversary of souls. It is thus, that our great Master is frequently wounded in the house of his friends.
The scriptures speak of our blessed Saviour as being made a curse for us. But does not the same sacred volume speak of the arch adversary as being accursed? Because thou hast done this thou art accursed. When searching the scriptures, I find they testify of Jesus, as the Prince of peace; and the same scriptures testify of the adversary, as the prince of the power of the air. The scriptures testify of Jesus, as the only wise God our Saviour; and the adversary is testified of, as the god of this world. Our deliverer as the Lion of the tribe of Judah; and our malignant adversary, who goeth about seeking to devour, as the roaring lion.
The excellence of a character, is said to be best illustrated by contrast with its opposite. The scriptures abound with such contrasts. In figure, between one man and another; in substance, Christ and Belial. Persons and things are made use of to elucidate the beauty and excellence of the one, and the deleterious nature and horrid deformity of the other.
We know of whom David was a figure, when he slew the Phillistine; but of whom was the monster slain, a figure ? Perhaps of the serpent, whose head the antitype of David was destined to bruise. We know of whom every character good and great, and good as great was a figure; but of whom were the other characters great indeed, but not good, figures? To investigate this subject accurately, would be worthy the pen of my venerable, my experienced friend.
You have, no doubt, often thought of these things; and you have frequently been blest with the privilege of hearing our invaluable, heaven-taught friend, Mr. Relly, expatiate thereon. I pray you to
indulge me as often as possible, with communications upon these subjects; you shall not find me ungrateful.
In looking once more over your kind favour, I find you authorize a hope, that you will confide to me manuscripts you have already written; delay them not, I beseech you, and it shall not be my fault, if they be not made public.
I take leave to inclose you a little piece, written some time since by a member of our community. It was penned for her own family, and yielded to the press with much reluctance.
You will observe, by attending to this piece, that our views of some parts of scripture do not correspond with yours; upon one at least: The man of sin; the son of perdition, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming.
One passage more of which you have expressed your sentiments in the letter before me, I do humbly and earnestly request you to reconsider. The more I think of this passage, the more difficulty I discover in ascertaining the real design of our divine Master in this parable. Who is the king? Who is his son? What is the marriage? To what period does this parable point? What do the oxen and the fatlings represent? Who were the servants first sent out? Who were the guests first invited, who were not worthy? Who were the armies as the instruments of his wrath? What was the high way? Who were the guests that attended? Were they worthy? Who were the good, and who were the bad? When did the king come to meet his guests? What is the wedding garment? Who is the individual found among those guests at this period, and the only one that had not on the wedding garment? What are we to learn by his being bound hand and foot? Why do the servants bind him? Why is he separated from the guests; and why is he cast out into outward darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth? I request your sentiments upon each of these particulars.
Could I spend one month with you and my others friends, and could we devote our hours to the contemplation of these subjects, I should indeed be most happy.
No one, I am persuaded, can fathom the depths of that humiliation, to which our suffering Saviour descended; nor can any creature, however elevated, soar even in imagination, to the height of his exaltation. But I humbly conceive in no place beside the
right hand of the Majesty on high, does he appear more glorious than when while his body was held the prisoner of death; being quickened by the spirit, he preached to the spirits of the rebellious. Antideluvians, who were disobedient in the days of Noah.
Will my venerable friend excuse me, if I hazard a conjecture upon a part of this parable? If I mistake not, our grand adversary is spoken of in sacred writ, as a man; not indeed as the man who is God's fellow, who sits at liberty them who are bruised; but the man, that by his cursed devices, made the world a wilderness, who opened not the house of his prisoners,but rather blinded their minds, lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine into their hearts. When the sons of God assembled in the days of Job, this enemy was in the midst of them; so he is still, and so he will continue to be, until the redeemed of the Lord shall be gathered together, when this accuser of the brethren shall be cast out into his own element, where is sorrow and fear, weeping and gnashing of teeth.
But what is the wedding garment? Is it not the righteousness of God? The finished salvation? When the maker, who is said to be the husband of the human nature, when he, as the bridegroom shall appear, and the bride, the ransomed nature, shall make herself ready, will she not then say, O Lord I will praise thee, for thou hast clothed me with the garments of salvation, and covered me with the robe of righteousness? But unto the nature which the Saviour took not upon him, the king will say, How camest thou in here, not having on the wedding garment? Say, my respected friend, is it not more rational to suppose what is here said, is spoken to the enemy than to the friend of man? To the murderer than to the life of the world? To him who is the head of the powers of darkness, than to him who in every condition, is the head of every man? especially when we recollect we were ever with him, crucified with him, buried with him.
It was, I humbly conceive, the fulness of our nature, in our head, that said upon the cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. Wherever the Saviour was cast, or whatever he suffered, we, as his fulness, had fellowship with him. When I, said he, am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.
I do but just touch upon this matter, hoping you will consider it more fully. In the mean time, I trust, I shall be able to go on in the strength of the Lord, and in the power of his might, making mention of his righteousness, and of his righteousness only; con
tinually affirming that the righteousness of the mere creature is at best but filthy rags; that in the Lord alone we have righteousness and strength; but that although we have in the Lord this righteousness and this strength, until the spirit truth makes this manifest to our spirits, we can have neither peace nor joy in believing.
Yes, by the grace of God, I will continue to preach him of whom the scriptures testify as the meek Moses, the perfectly patient Job, the man after God's own heart, the truly wise Solomon, &c. &c. &c. I will tell the children of men, Christ Jesus is their Saviour; that he died for their sins, and rose again for their justification; that he was their sin, their death; that he is their righteousness, their life; that because he died, they shall not die; that because he lives, they shall live also; that they are not their own; that they are bought with a price; and that therefore they are to glorify God, both in their bodies and their spirits, which are the Lord's.
Yes, by the grace of God, I shall continue to assure mankind, that he who is for them is greater than he who is against them; that he shall put down all power, even the power of the air; that he shall separate the precious from the vile; the tempter from the tempted; the works of the devil from the works of God; completing the destruction of the one; completing the salvation of the other.
Yes, by the grace of God, I shall continue to affirm, that to our Saviour belongeth the kingdom, which consists of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, the power to make them willing, and to destroy death, and cast him who had the power of death into the fire prepared for him and his angels; and the glory of counteracting the devices of Satan, and of doing good to the evil and unthankful.
O, boundless theme! O, unfathomable depth! O, glorious day! when every creature in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all of them being taught of God, and filled with wonder, love and praise, shall, consequent thereon, with one heart and one voice, celebrate the praises of him who loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, cheerfully ascribing to the Lamb who was slain, glory, and honour, and power, worlds without end, amen and amen.
Yes, my friend, the name of the Lord precious to me, and has been, I doubt not, to you, for many years; and it will continue to be right precious to every believer.
Your letter breathes a true, christian spirit.
my thanks, and I render you my utmost gratitude.
Remember me to all those who love our Lord Jesus. In that glorious name I am with unfeigned affection, your friend and brother.-Farewell.
You are entitled to
To the same."
ALAS! my friend, my brother, how little do we know of the future will and pleasure of our heavenly Father. When I last addressed you, the name of Mr. N. stood foremost among the number of the preachers of the truth, as it is in Jesus, in this new world. But since that period, having fought the good fight, and kept the faith, he hath finished his course, and laid hold on that eternal life which was given him, and will be given to all that love the appearing of the Lord Jesus.
I have suffered no bereavement since I came into this country, beside the death of our dear departed friend, Mr. Relly, which has affected me so deeply. I mourn with them who mourn; how great this affliction to his family, to his friends. The Sunday before last they buried him; and last Sunday was the first Sunday his hearers have been without a preacher, since the Redeemer opened his mouth, and enabled him to show forth his most holy praise. The gout thrown into his stomach became his passport to blessedness. I have a letter from his friends, requesting me to visit them, which, God willing, I shall certainly do.
Never did man labour more diligently than our departed friend, in the promulgation of the gospel of divine truth, both in private and in public; it was his sole delight, and this he did without fee or reward; never receiving from the people the smallest pecuniary consideration. He was blest with ability and inclination to follow the example of the Apostle Paul more closely than any indi