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which works by love, and overcomes the world; and whose conduct in general is according to the temper and conduct of Christ. Charity requires that we hope all things concerning those who appear to manifest something of the spirit of Christ, though we may think them in error on some points of christian doctrine.
Some of the following reasons induce many to believe that only a part of mankind will be made holy and happy.
They plead that the words everlasting, forever and eternal, are applied to the punishment of the wicked, as well as to the reward of the righteous. To this, I reply, that these words are ambiguous in their signification. They were applied to the priesthood of Aaron, to the covenant of circumcision; and to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish church. But the way we are to determine the extent of these words, is by the subject to which they are applied. Let it first be proved that the misery of the wicked is endless, then we may apply the words to that state. If there were no stronger words and arguments than these to prove that salvation would be endless, our "hope" would not be "sure and teadfast."
2. It is objected to universal salvation, that he that believeth not shall be damned." And many texts similar are produced to the same purpose. But in reply it may be said, that such texts prove nothing respecting the duration of damnation. While men continue in unbelief, they are condemned or damned. But multitudes in this state, have afterwards believed and been saved.
3. It is objected to our sentiments, that the Scriptures say, that "the wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God." In reply, it may be observed, that hell, when it does not mean grave or place of the dead, means punishment or misery, without regard to place or duration. Jonah and David and Jesus were cast into hell, when the two first did wickedly; and the last was made a sin offering for us: but they all were delivered. And we have the promise that all the nations which God hath made shall worship before him and serve him: and that death, and hell, and the devil shall be destroyed.
4 To close this subject, I would just observe, that the promises of God appear to lay as the foundation of our hope of the salation of all men. We might infer from the
nature and the providence of God, where we see his perfections displayed, that endless. misery could not be true, any more for mankind, than for the ravenous beasts, and poisonous reptiles, which destroy mankind and one another. But we could not learn certainly that mankind would ever live again, after death, if we had not divine revelation. Hence life and immortality are truly brought to light in the Gospel: which God preached to Abraham but especially by Jesus Christ, who was the promised seed of Abraham in whom all the nations, families, and kindreds of the earth, should be blest. Jesus was the resurrection and the life. "As in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive.'* "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. As sin has reigned unto death, even so shall grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." Hence all are called upon to look unto God and be saved; even "all the ends of the earth."
God is "the Father of the spirits of all flesh." All souls are his. God is the lover of all souls. He made all for his pleasure
*1 Cor., 15: 22.
and praise. He has made a feast for all. And he has declared, that all shall be taught of him. That all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest. That he will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sin and iniquity he will remember no more." Then "GOD WILL BE ALL IN ALL."
Amen. Hallelujah! The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Amen and Amen!!
OUR FATHER who art in heaven. As heaven is Thy throne, so is the earth Thy footstool. As Thou, O God, art love, Thou hast so loved the world as to give Thy Son, Jesus Christ, to save the world from sin and death, and give them holiness and eternal life. On account of sin, mankind are prisoners; but on account of Thy mercy they are prisoners of hope. Thou art the God of hope; Thou hast said, blessed are they that hope in Thy mercy.
Thou hast opened a door of hope for lost men, in the gospel of Thy Son, therefore, they are encouraged to lay hold of the hope that is set before them in the gospel; which
shall be as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, and entereth within the vail, where Jesus has for us entered, as our advocate with Thee, the Father, whose blood cleanseth from all sin. We praise Thy name for these great and precious promises, so that we may have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the blessed hope, by which we are saved from sin and despair. For we are assured, by thy servant of old,that he that hath this hope, purifieth himself, as God is pure. Such hoping christians desire to be holy, as Thou art holy. A good hope through grace, encourages christians to run with patience the race set before them, looking unto Jesus, and learning of him to be meek and lowly in heart, and so find rest to their souls. We pray Thee, most merciful God, to help us all to hope in Thee, then our souls will not be cast down within us. Thou Lord canst shine into our hearts, and give us the light of the knowledge of Thy glory. Give us rightly to understand Thy word, then we shall behold as in a glass Thy glory, and be transformed into Thy likeness. Pity the ignorant and unbelieving, who are without hope, and without God in the world, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and satan unto God,