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nied and cleprived of many blessings, he might otherwise have obtained, and rejoiced in. Be it then our highest care, to watch over the heart
, with all its evil tendencies and propensities; and evermore to keep Him in view,who is both the light and life of our souls ; and in the faith and love of whom, I am, once more, Affectionately yours,
LET T E R IX • being
posito !!! In which some other Reasons of the Non-recep
tion of it will appeara...?
I AM still on the reply ; and would row kep my word with you in transmitting you some other reasons of the partial, and as yet bot sien: der reception of the scheme of final Restoration. The last I mentioned was a natural instabilir and changeableness of mind. I would now speak of some passions, and evil affections of the heart
, which evidently appear to be the reasons of it in
Pride and self-wili, I have already mentioned as two: but there are others. - Envy and jealousy, are so strong in some, and a spirit of con. tradiction, that they cannot bear others should
go beyond, or out-strip them, in any matter whatever. They are peevish, fretful, and unhappy, if any are wiser, more knowing, or any way better of than themselves. Giving way to these evils, they work and grow upon them; and in time so prey and corrode, as to eat out all benevolence and philanthropy from the mind, leaving nothing but sourness and self-love behind.
The dog in the fable, finding no appetite him. self for the hay in the stall, snarled and grew invidious, because it suited the ox to eat it. Some people are of this turn; but they cannot thrive under it, so as to grow into the knowledge of Universal Salvation"; it is this peccant humour that hinders it : and when it prevails, and domineers, it produces à brood of other evil tema pers, as hateful and baneful as itself. It genders wrath, strife, debate, with many other evils, séttling sometimes in malice and hatred : the consequence of which is, the whole soul is debased and bronght low; gets pining and sickly, fractious and quarrelsome, and is carnal rather than spiritual.
The apostle had a complaint of this kind gainst the church at Corinth. He had planted, Apollos had watered, and God gave the increase: and when he reasonably expected to find it growing and flourishing, it was just the reverse. Envying one another, faction and division ensued and they sunk into infancy and childhood again, and their growth and spiritual health were so sadly interrupted, and impaired, that the apostle could not speak unto them as unto spir
itual, but as unto carnal2even as unto tabes in Christ. He suckled rather than fed them; gi. ving them milk instead of meat ; so weak and declining were they grown, And thus will these passions operate, and destroy private persons as well as churches; and if indulged and given way to, will prove cancerous and deadly; and eat out the very life and spirit of all such profes. sing persons. If we mean to come on, and increase with all the increase of God; growing in the saving knowledge of himself, and in all his truth ; we must lie open to conviction--be sub. ject one to another, as well as unto him-gratifyno forbidden desire of the flesh, or of the mind--but as far as we can, and may, fall in with one another's views and attachments, and converse and speak often one to another, even where in some things we differ. This would be more pleasing to God than shyness, and bisk fair for the fullest extent of wisdom and knowledge, as well as of grace; and the want of it, must be mentioned as one probable reason, why the universal view of salvation is not more known and embraced. Those who at present see it not, (being in other respects wise and discerning, and having a name in the churches) are very apt to expect implicit faith from others, and every submission, without making any : whereas the great Head of the church, sometimes sees fit to trust & open his fullest designs of love and mercy,not to lhese first, but to others below them, who are less popular,and more obscure ; that none may be trampled upon, or despised. The highest in gifts and abilities, or
even in grace, are not always the highest, without exception, in all truth-nor in the wisdom and knowledge of God's word : and for this reason, among others, that they be not high. minded, but condescend to men of loi estate : and this way the Lord sometimes teaches them this lesson, : by entrusting his whole mind and will with such as these first, and not with them, unless they will be taught it in this way.
What again is inimical to this view, is the jeering, scoffing, sarcastical spirit. So sure and confident are some Partialisis sometimes, that they banter & laugh at the idea of Universalism, as tho’it had nothing to be said in its favor. This may provoke the acvocates for it, and harden the hearts of those who are against it: but it never convinces. Hard arguments
soft answers, do more this
than all the tartness men can A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not; much less such wisdom as this. The ve. Fy temper of his mind is a bar to it.
- Ridi. cule, he supposes, is the test of truth ;" but it proves, in general, an obstacle in the way of it; especially of this truth we are contending for.
Others fail, and come short of this view of things, through bypocrisy : they are not simplehearted, nor single-eyed, in their converse with the advocates for it. They appear as if they disbelieved it, and are forever requiring more and more evidence of the truth of it, when all the while they secretly believe it, and are persuacled in their minds it is so. From the hab it of doing this, and shuffling continually in this manner, they at length deceive themselves, as
well as others, concerning it, and would fain, be thought not to believe it, when in fact and reality they do. The speech of such persons bewrayeth them. They are satisfied you are upright and sincere,your motives all good in maintaining it: that it is good news and a desirable thing, devoutly to be wished: but for them to think of it, and say it is truth ; Oh! this cannot be ! They are afraid it should hurt and carnal. ize them, and all the while they are living in some forbidden way or other, indulging their corrupt nature. If the outside of the cup and platter is clean, they are covetous, and worldlyminded ; and within full of rottenness and uncleanness. They abuse, and sin upon the other doctrines of grace; but this! Oh! it is a hurtsul doctrine ! they cannot conceive it to be true. Oh that it were !_Such is the talk of some men ; but the Searcher of hearts, seeing such chicanery, and provoked by their hy pocrisy and self-deceit, leaves them to their double.minded. ness, so that they never relish and heartily embrace the doctrine, or rejoice in this truth of the gospel.
Others at present are in the dark about it, through a naturul slowness of understanding; and a want of a ready apprehension. When the doctrine is proposed to them, they find no opposition to it, but they must hear it again and again ; have line upon line, and here a little and there a little, or they make nothing of it. As their understanding can receive it, it does; but it is often a long time first. Abundance of questions they will ask ; and the same things,