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to their several spheres and capacities and hath distinguished the rational part of the creation, to wit, man, in a peculiar manner; by giving him a soul which is capable of receiving spiritual light and knowledge; and which governs all his actions, and will eternally exist either in happiness or misery.
5. MAN being thus circumstanced, as he existed in the mind of GOD, even before he was created (for he must, of necessity, exist in the mind and will of GoD, previous to his creation, or he could never have existed at all) being ignorant of good or evil, having power to obey, yet more liable to fall, CHRIST the Son of GOD undertook the work of reconciliation (now properly called salvation) and thus became Mediator.
6. THE devil, or spirit of antichrist, seeing the great blessings that were preparing for man, and the high honors which would likely be conferred upon him, breathed out his malignity against the ETERNAL THREE; for which reason he was thrust down to the earth; and was permitted to make war with the woman and her seed, for the space of a "Time and times and half a time," or during CHRIST's mediatorial kingdom.
7. MAN being placed upon the stage of action and exposed to the temptations of Satan, soon transgressed the holy commandment of the LORD, became acquainted with sin, and of consequence, guilt and misery ensued, by which he lost that sweet communion and enjoy ment of Gon, with which he was created. His soul as well as his body felt the curse, and as his blood
became tainted with sin, it polluted all his posgrity; for which reason," Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”
8. BUT CHRIST, as he undertook the work of redemption, hath entered on his divine mission, and laid the foundation thereof, which the gates of hell cannot prevail against; by passing through every state, he has secured to himself power and dominion; to overthrow all the arts and wiles of the devil, conquer death, subdue sin,and finally reconcile the world unto himself, having destroyed the enmity thereof: And hath left us a glorious example for our faith and practice.*
I cannot express my mind in full, on this beautiful and sublime subject, for the want of language. The glorious plan of salvation, taken in a spiritual view, far surpasses my comprehension. When I take a retrospective view of the grand system of creation, and then look forward to the final reconciliation of all -things, O how I want words to express my ideas! It exceeds in magnitude any thing that I can write, as far as the great system of the planetaty worlds doth surpass the small atmosphere of this earth! Some people argue, that if GoD created man with a design to make him good and happy, in the service of God; and now man has rebelled against his Maker, and become sinful, and consequently miserable; he has therefore frustrated the designs of the ALMIGHTY: but it is my opinion that if all the powers of earth and hell should unite and combine together with a design to overthrow the plan of salvation, or the kingdom of CHRIST, or even to make one soul eternally miserable; they could have no more tendency towards promoting their design, than the small struggles of an ant, by impinging against the earth, would tend towards the removing of it out of its place, and rushing it to the sun, with a design to burn the inhabitants thereof! But notwithstanding that it is not in the power of any created being, nor all of them united together, to alter the Divine Plan, in the least degree; yet as GoD is every where present, at all times, and filleth all immmensity, he taketh notice of all sin and transgression, however secretly committed, and will most assuredly punish all transgressors according to the just demerit of their crimes. Yet saith the LORD by the prophet, "I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth, for the spirit should fail before me and
9. GOD is, through CHRIST, "Reconciling the world unto himself." The work of salvation is now going on, and the many souls which are brought to believe in the gospel, and to a knowledge of JESUS CHRIST,in a spiritual sense, "Whom to know aright is eternal life, already begun in the soul," is an evident token that the work is of the LORD, and will be accomplished in due time.
. 10. ALL those humble souls, and living and faithful witnesses of JESUS CHRIST, "Who have not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither have received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands," and who live and die with CHRIST, shall have part in the first resurrection, and shall "Live and reign with CHRIST a thousand years." Rev. xx. 4.
11. Ar the conclusion of this thousand years there shall be a general and final resurrection, when the sea shall give up the dead which are in it, and death and hell (or the grave) shall deliver up the dead which are in them; then shall the books be opened, and the dead shall be judged out of those things written in the books according to their works: And another book shall be opened, which is the book of life, and all that are found written in the book of life shall escape the second death, although they had no part in the first resurrection; as it is written,
the souls which I have made." Isaiah lvii. 16. Although this passage doth not argue, but that the LORD will continue to be an.. gry, or punish the wicked, as long as the wicked continue to rebel, yet I think it fully proves that he never intended to inflict endless punishment for one crime.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire," which is the second death.
12. AND all those miserable sinners, who shall be cast into the lake of fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels, must endure all the misery which is denounced in scripture, against the children of disobedience, and who despise all the calls and warnings of GoD, and would none of his reproofs. The smoke of their torment shall ascend up forever and ever (or ages of ages.): Awful and terrible indeed will be the state and circumstance of the damned,and although it is beyond all comprehension, yet it will continue until all are brought voluntarily to submit to the government of GOD,willingly to bow the knee to JESUS, and with their tongues confess him to be LORD, to the glory of GOD the Father..
13. BUT CHRIST JESUS still reigns in his mediatorial kingdom! for although he shall deliver up the kingdom to his Father; when he hath fulfilled his office; yet he must and will reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet; and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death; and when he hath "Reconciled all things unto himself (by the blood of his cross) whether they be things on earth (men) or things in heaven (angels) then shall he deliver up the kingdom to God even the Father, and he himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that GOD may be ALL in ALL," * 1 Cor. xv. 25, 26. Col. i. 20.
14. AFTER this there will be a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth will pass away; and there shall be no more sea; and the tabernacle of GOD'shall be with men, and they shall be his people, and GOD himself shall be with them and be their GOD. "And GoD shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things shall pass away." Rev. xxi. 4. And behold all things shall be made new: that is, not only the works of nature shall be formed anew, and there shall be no more sea, &c. but all creatures, principalities and powers, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven, shall be created anew in CHRIST JESUS unto good works, and reconciled to God through the death of his Son, or by the blood of his cross.
O How applicable to these ideas, are a few lines written by a person reputed to be an ideot,
ON THE LOVE OF GOD.
"COULD we with ink the ocean fill,
And ev'ry man a scribe by trade :
"To write the LOVE of GOD above,
"Would drain the ocean dry;