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God says he will reprove them, Psalm 1. 21. From this pretended affection, influenced by a spirit of rebellion against God, come all the universal doctrines that we hear of in our days. God's love, which in every age has appeared discriminating, is fixed upon all the human race, they tell us; when the Saviour declares it to be sovereign; "Many be called, but few chosen," Matt. xx. 16. Some declare that God chose all alike (if such a choice can be); but the Saviour says that he chose his people out of the world, John xv. 19.
They tell us that Christ redeemed all men; when the scriptures declare that God redeemed his elect from among men, Rev. xiv. 4. If God redeemed some from among others, then those that the elect were redeemed from were not redeemed. When God gave Egypt for Israel's ransom he gave no ransom for Egypt. If the wicked are a ransom for the righteous, and transgressors for the upright, Prov. xxi. 18, then those wicked transgressors had no ransom paid for them, however the doctrine of universal redemption is earnestly insisted on. But I defy the world ever to get one text of scripture to prove it. Christ says, "I lay down my life for the sheep," John x. 15. But all are not sheep. They that are the chosen flock of God are redeemed; I lay down my life for the sheep. All that the Saviour died for were ordained to life; and those that are thus chosen and redeemed must be brought to receive the grace of faith; for "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed," Acts xiii. 48. But
some are not chosen; these are not sheep, therefore the gift of faith is withheld from them. "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you." John x. 26. Christ, in the 12th yerse, had called them hirelings, and in the next place he told them that they were not of his sheep; and that was the reason why the gift of faith was withheld from them. When the Jews heard this, then they took up stones to stone him, John x. 31.
As universal redemption cannot be proved from the Bible, I am sure it cannot be taken nor supported from any observations that can be made on the conduct of the world; for the generality of mankind give us no proof, by their conduct, of their being washed in a Redeemer's blood, or of their being redeemed from a vain conversation, 1 Peter i. 18.
Thus these universal bowels of corrupt nature, that sound so universally in their compassion towards the inhabitants of earth and hell, are set up as a standard for God to work by, and have brought forth the doctrines of universal grace and universal redemption, which I believe to be nothing but universal lies. Hence I conclude that those persons who pretend to have so much love for poor sinners as to make the grace of God, and the redemption of the Saviour, come over to their standard, is a pretended charity, which comes not from God, but from themselves; because it favours falsehood more than truth; and, while it is sounding out universal grace, it bears a false witness; it contra
dicts the scriptures; and it rebels against the sovereignty of God, in perverting his word to please men. Surely "there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel, against the Lord."
I doubt that some have been so strenuous for universal redemption, that they have neglected particular redemption. Every man that is saved must experience redemption for himself; it must be known by every particular sheep of the Saviour's fold. Universal redemption will afford but little comfort to one in rebellion against God, condemned by his own conscience, and who never was purged from his guilt, nor redeemed from his vain conversation. Thus redemption becomes particular to every chosen vessel: nor can it ever be proved to be universal, until we have gotten the testimony of every man in the world having received it; which I see no likelihood of at present.
Reader, fare thee well. Peace and truth be with thee; while I remain thine to serve, with such as I have,
PURSUED AND TAKEN.
"Try the spirits whether they are of God," 1 JOHN IV. 1.
PRAY, from what fountain does this Universal Charity flow, which seems to exceed even the bowels of the Almighty? God himself has declared his love to be discriminating: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated," Rom. ix. 13; Mal. i. 2. But is the eternal love of the Godhead fixed on all the human race? I answer, No. An erroneous church, or a mystical harlot, is one of the deep pits which the abhorred of the Lord are to fall into, Prov. xxii. 14. Now, as the scriptures declare some to be hated, and others abhorred of the Lord, it cannot be the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost that appears so tender of rebels, and so furious against the decrees, and against the obedient and loyal subjects of the King of kings.
As God does not appear to be the fountain of this love, it must come from a corrupt spring. I