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tion of heart and mind to God and godliness, to his cause and ways, and to all that belongs to him, they shall be recovered ; and instead of that froward heart and self-will, which now rules and reigns in them, and keeps them enemies, and up in arms; they shall be brought to submission ; to the temper and spirit of obedient children and loyal subjects; and the disposition of dependent, new creatures in Christ. From serving divers lusts and pleasures, and joining in league with the devil and his agents, and the enemies of the cross of Christ; they shall hereby themselves, be crucified to all this; and from enemies and rebels, shall become friends, and yield all due and willing obedience, and allegiance to Christ, their Sovereign King. They shall 110 longer dispute his commands, nor
their own will in opposition to his ; but, with all cheerfulness and readiness of mind, shall come forth for him, and do him all free and wil. ling service. They shall admire, worship, and adore him : They shall bless and praise him, and tell of the wonders of his love. They shall esteem it the highest honor to be ever sitting at his feet ; and their greatest glory to be employed and engaged for him, and his causc. And they shall see Christ so much in all this change of character, and that, by the grace of God, they are what they are, as not to have one vain or rising thought of themselves. They shall be so satisfied, that it was through the blood ard 'spirit of Fesus, that they are thus restored, and brought to God; that they shall have no inclination to
sacrifice to their own net, or burn incense to their own drag.
Fine, airy scheme! say you ; and wonderful Utopian plan! But, where is your Scriptureauthority ? and what ground from thence do you go upon ?
The Old Testament has it more obscurely revealed to us; and the New, with greater brightness. The 'following single, as well as more enlarged passages, have convinced me; and let them have fair and full weight with you. Read them, as though you had never read them before. Let nothing but love and affection for the truth prepossess the mind ; and suppose, at least, they may have the seal of the Spirit to them. Be single-eyed, and simple-hearted,and careless who is for or against it. If they carry no weight at one time, read them at another, and be open to conviction. Make allowance for prejudice of education ; the long habit of thinking othertise, you have been in ; and for. mer impressions. Let not the reasoning spirit prevail against Revelation ; and heware of Philosophy in interpreting Scripture. Admit Reason, in her proper place; but Revelation must dictate, and take the throne. God must speak to us; and we, all attention to Him. Rightly stated and understood, Reason will approve this doctrine; but I would ground it on the Word of God. Corrupt Reason only, misunderstands and abuses it.
Thus prefaced, I particularize the following Scriptures, which, at your leisure, I hope you
will turn to ; they being too long, and too many, to transcribe in a letter :
Isaiah xlv. 22-25. compared with Phil. ii. 10, 11. and Rev. v. 13. Acts iii. 21. Rom. xi. 32. 2 Cor. v. 19. Eph. i. 10.Col. i. 20. 1 Tim. ii. 1-7. iv. 10. Heb. ii. 8, 9. Psalm xxii. 22. to the end. Psalm Ixxii. from beginning to end. Psalm lxxxiii. 13. to the end. Psalm lxvi. 1-10, Isaiah xlix. 5-13. Psalm cxlv. 9, 10, 13, and the latter clause of 21.
These passages, to mention no more at present, are, to me, abundant proofs of Universal Restoration, that it is a Scripture-doctrine : and they, doubtless, will confirm and establish you in this faith. In some future letters, I mean to enlarge upon the subject--dilute what may seem to want it and throw in any thing that may help to promote the digestion of it more easily. I am sensible many objections will start up, and many difficulties meet every sincere enquirer into this point; and you will probably have several questions to ask, which you have not yet proposed. As I am able, I will
endeavor to reply to them. The doctrine must · have come with some force and evidence to · your mind already, to have come out for it so nobly as you have done. I can easily conceive it must have cost you something. But, as it is natural to wish to defend a truth we have recei. ved, and to answer others who may ask us the reasons of our faith ; I will comply with some further requests you make in your last, and tell you more of my mind on the subject, from time to time. In the mean while we stand firm in this part of the word and counsel of God, as we have received it--we will be faithful to the light of it, as far as it has broke in upon us—thankful to our God, for his indulgent, condescending goodness, in letting us into it-and modest and humble in all our defences of it, with our brethren and fellow-creatures-looking to our living and triumphant Head. In whom I am affectionately yours,
L E T T E R III,
Wherein some Objections to it are considered, and
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I WAS pleased to find my two last had their weight with you, and have answered a valuable purpose. This noble and generous view of the gosple-grace and mercy, you are learning from a higher hand than mine, and will be taught it from a better pen; because you rait at the feet of Jesus, make bis Word your counseilor and guide, and are asking his teaching Spirit.
It gives me little trouble to find thai you have still your dificulties, and are not without your doubts concerning it.
No one truth of the gospel comes, at first, with full assurance to the mind ; much less, such a cioctrine as this.
Objections, not a few, arise, you say, in the way of it. Your own mind suggests a great many ; and your opponents have furnished you with
This all, is for trial and confirmation ; not meant to discourage your pursuit. Take heart and courage from it. The first you mention, and lay stress upon,
is the Novelty of it; its so recently coming to light, at least to your knowledge. " If this be a Scripture truth (say you) how comes it so few are acquainted with it? I have never heard of it till lately; it never struck me as a Bible-doctrine --nor have others spoke of it as such.” To this I reply-Many think well of it, who speak but little concerning it; and numbers believe it, who do not confess it.--Experience, of late, has shewn this. The apostles and prophets all taught it ; and some' fathers of the Church have maintained it. But a vail came over it, and it was almost stifled in the birth, through one cause or other ; but has revived, as dead flies in their season. This, and all truths, have their rise, progress and perfection, and many times an irregular growth. This is one of those truths. But it is no argument against it : a plea rather in its favor. Things that are now known, were once hidden and concealed in the womb of Nature, Providence, and Grace. The herbs and trees, that are now in sight, where once in their seed only, and under ground. Animals, and other visible creatures, were once in embryo, and invisible. Children lay silent in the womb, before they existed in the world; and slept long in their cradles, and at their mother's