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from God that they should thus die, except they repented; in all such cases we cannot conclude, from the circumstances of their death, whether they die with regenerated hearts or not. Men may allo commit high treason, murder, &c. which crimes always merit death, without any conditions of pardon; but as they may improve their short space of repentance, relative to their future life, they may of course die heirs of eternal life. But if a murderer, who was under sentence of death by the authority of man, fhould havethe offer of pardun on condition of repentance, and we should afterwards hear that this murderer was executed; we should nat. urally conclude that he died without repentance, that he went into eternity with murder in his heart. Huw much higher evi. dence have we when God threatens, and at the same time offers pardon : God who is infinitely faithful to his promises, who a. lone has the supreme power of life and death, who knows the hearts of men, and in this case deals with men, even in this world, according to the feelings of their hearts: how much higher evi. dence have we to conclude, therefore, that those, who thus die by the execution of divine threatenings, have died without repentance ? have gone into eternity with all their crimes ftill in their hearts, which God has charged upon them? God has no .pleasure in the death,' the untimely death, of the wicked ; .but that the wicked would turn from his way and live.'* God in ancient time suited all his threatenings of this kind, in the best manner, to excite the wicked to turn to him and live-prolong their temporal lives. When the wicked, who were thus thread cned, had turned to the LORD, although they were then upon the brink of eternity, as near to eternity as one thought is to anoth: er; there was the same reason they should be called back from eternity, as in any period of their lives, their days should still be prolonged. Because, when the wicked had turned to the LORD, his threatenings had then answered their natural import. This sentiment, that all men do die with penitent hearts, muft of course be given up. Which is giving up our author's whole scheme. But if we do not give it up, we must be found fighting against the clearest light of divine providence. A work so daring, as is fcarcely to be expected from the moli ftupid and ignorant among the heathen.
5. All the awful threatenings, in the word of God, and which the Do&or cails awful threatenings of vengeance, of destruction, and of death, to the wicked; on his plan, these are converted into the most endearing promises of grace and salvation. Thus, when God threatened to destroy the inhabitants of the old world, by a
deluge . Ezek. 33. 11.
deluge, and fixed the time of the expiration of an hundred and twenty years, this was, indeed, a most gracious promise, that then he would bring them all to repentance and take them to heaven. Also, in Dr. H's language, when that most surprising message of destruction by fire and brimstone, came to Sodom and Gomorrah, it was truly a general proclamation of grace and salvation. And when the angels set themselves to execute the vengeance of eter
nal fire' upon the inhabitants of these cities, their grand object must have been to deliver them from the damnable power of impenitence,' and take them all immediately to heaven; except. ing righteous Lot and his two daughters. Divine truth informs us the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah was great', or it reached up to heaven. Dr. H. appears and says, heaven heard their blai: phemous cry, and sent and took them all up to the everlasting kingdom of glory! If the reader will please to turn to Gen. iii. 5% he will find language exactly corresponding with the Doctor's : * And the ferpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die'.
6. In Dr. H's scheme, the day of death is eminently the day of grace, and the day of the out pouring of God's Spirit. When death comes ,and so assuredly as death comes to every individual mortal, the fanétifying operations of the Holy Ghot come with it. This is the doctrine of universalism. And when any noted season in which death has been spread through the land, or through the world, there was then a special out-pouring of the divine spirit into the hearts of men. But we read in Gen. vi. 3. •And the • Lord faid, my spirit shall not always ftrive with man, for that 'he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.' According to the renour of fcripture, God here warns the inhabitants of the old world, if they perfevered in their wickedness, at the expiration of an hundred and twenty years, his fpirit should no longer strive with them; they hould be wholly given up to their own vile affections, and destroyed in their own corruption. Had Dr. H. been there, he would have said, this was a most 'gracious pro.nise; and although they persevered and increased
in wickedness, to ever so high a degree, the holy spirit would not be grieved with them, but would, at the end of the above
period, eminently strive with every creature, even to the lanc*tification of every heart.' And when it was said of the Canaanites, as in Josh. xi. 20. It was of the LORD to harden their hearts,
that they should come againft Ifrael in battle, that he might de stroy them utterly ;' Dr. H. would say, 'It was of the LORD to ' send his holy spirit into their hearts, to save them wholly, or to take every one of them to heaven.' And when Joshua made H я
that general Naughter among the Canaanites, Dr. H. would say that Jethua was thereby instrumental of the universal out-pouring of God's spirit among them; and that God hardened their hearts and brought them against Joshua for this end.
7. Dr. H. cannot be in the least doubt, he must certainly know when to rejoice over repenting sinners. When the abandoned ' sailor whose head is taken off with a cannon ball, with an horrid ' oath in his mouth ;' when Dr. H. is certain this abandoned creature is dead, he is then certain that he has become a true penitent, and is prepared to rejoice over him on this account. The Doctor asks the question, who dare say of this character when • he is dead, I am certain that man shall burn forever in hell ?'* But he is certain that man' is then become a true penitent, and gone to heavens. He is as certain finners are become true penió tents as he is certain they are dead. Or he is as certain when finners are dead, they have repented and gone to heaven, as he is of the truth of divine revelation. Therefore, he can have not the least hesitation when to rejoice over repenting finners, but he has the same certainty of the time when as the angels in heaven; and that is when finners go down to the dead. Jeremiah says, 'Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a foun'tain of tears, that I might weep day and night fo tie fain of the * daughter of my people.' But when such vast multitudes, are brought to repentance, Dr. H. on this account, must have a day of special rejoicing. But it is needless to proceed any further, in showing the absurd coníquences which naturally follow from this sentimient, that all men die with renewed hearts.
I am &c.
L E T T E R IV.
Dr. H's definition of the Gospel compared to what he says
befel judas. MY DEAR FRIEND, HE Doctor calls the gospel good news. Thus far we are
agreed. The wide difference lies here, he strips the gospel of all its threatenings. The gospel,' says he, on whatever page
of facred writ it is found, either in the old teftament or new; - whether in types, sacrifices, prophecies, epistles, or any other 'way; knows nothing at all of mifery, or torment, or the pun
ishment * P. 187.
• ishment of any creature under heaven. I should have said, any • mere creature.'* He dwells much on this idea, in many plán ces in his book : Abundantly extoling the good things the gospel speaks to men, and all the bad things it speaks, all the threatened evils, never, in the least degree come on one of the human race; but all come on Christ. On this one head,' (on Christ he means) ' the gospel tells us of just as much indignation and wratlı, * tribulation and anguish, as the whole law of God does from the . beginning to the end of the bible. But as to any mere man, the gospel says not one uncomfortable word; quite the reverse.'t
He allo holds the revelatiou of the gospel, as an outward inean, to be very extensively useful to all nations, or to the whole world of mankind. His meaning is, all men are enlightened, restrained, and fitted for heaven, more or less, in proportion as they are favoured with the outward privileges of the gospel. He employs several pages to illustrate and confirm this, by comparing Christ, or the gospel, to the natural fun. From this illustration, the following things are liere selecied.
1. · The natural sun revives, quickens, and gives life to all things in the natural world : So doth Christ with regard to the • whole spiritual world.' • The natural sun is certainly and great• ly beneficial to the whole world ; though not to every part in
the faine manner and degree.' . It is to be observed, in gen.
eral, that there is no seafon of the year, no period of time, no • hour in the formy day, or midnight darkness, in which any * part of the world is left wholly without any benefit, or even
considerable benefit from the sun.'} He goes on to show how the inhabitants of every climate have communication with eac!, other, &c. &c. fo that all the world always have fome precious * things brought forth by the fun. Just so with regard to the 'true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the * world. All the human kind are at all times much the better • for Chrift.' In the same connection he tells us, Christ, by * his merciful energy, began immediately after the fall to with. * ftand the force of man's depravity, and has done so ever fince, ' in a greater or less degree, in all human nature, in
child of Adam.'
2. The pagan world is benefited by the gospel, comparatively, as the frigid or frozen zones are by the fun. The frigid zones, he says, "feem least of all to feel the blelings of that glorious * luminary; though they have their day, and a long one, and ma* ny other benefits derived from the sun.'I •Every part of the pagan world, all nations of the earth unacquainted with divine
revelation P. 42. + P. 3. P. 196, 137.P. 138. || P. 141, 15. 1 P. 137.
• revelation dire&tly or immediately, have indirectly something • valuable of the same light and knowledge, in various degrees • and measures, by conne&tion with the people of God, more or
less, by tradition, communication, &c.-There are no people • in the world, but what have some religion.'* · All people know
the truth in some degice. All are orthodox in some points, • and right in fome measure.'t
3. 'The covenant people of God, under every dispensation, may be compared to those clates and regions molt peculiarly • under the blessings of the natural sun :' or, 'the regions in•cluded in the temperate zones.'
4. Each of thole parts of the earth, is more blessed with the benign influence of ihe sun at one time than at another; and • all of them more in the day time than in the night ; more in
the serene and clear day than in the dark and gloomy day.' Just so, the Doctor holds, the Jewish dispensation had its supe: rior blessings, being freed from night and the dark and yioomy day. Thus he says, 'The first openings of divine revelation are • limilar to the first Streaks of dawning day : Increasing light is like the grey of the morning. " : The Jewish dispensation was, at first, like the horizontal beams of the rising fun. As liglue
added, under that dispensation, the sun advanced towards “the meridian. Christ and the inspired apofles, with the light * of that time poured into the world, may compare with the sun . in his strength.'I
Some remarks on the above will decide what is the Doctor's opinion and meaning.
1. He makes this comparison of the fun with the gospel, to argue his main point, the salvation of all men. This is to be kept in view.
2. He not only holds the gospel to be a great blessing, in its own nature and tendency, and the great mean which gives light to our dark world; but all men are in fact berefited by it. And in such manner as to fit them for salvation, or for heaven; in proportion as they have its outward privileges. If this be not granted, his comparison is loft. Should it be faid, his meaning is that the gospel naturally tends to the greatest good among men, and is really fuch when rightly improved; but if abused, it be. comes a stone of furnbling and rock of offence; this would make nothing for the Doctor. It would only go to destroy his scheme.
3. We will refer back to his own words. The natural suņ revives, quickens, and gives life to all things in the natural
! world : + P. 141. P. 138. $ P. 137. ibid. 17.129
P. 139, 140