Chapter 33

Of Mr. John Hunt’s other Six Errors, in the Article of the Extent of Christ’s Death, running into Universal Redemption.

His Seventh Error falling into Universal Redemption lies thus, “I proceed to some motives, hoping God will make some of them as arrows that shall stick fast in the hearts of his enemies, that so they may be made to fall under him; and that some wound may be made hereby that may never be cured but by Christ the Great Physician of souls.” {Page 194.} Mind, “arrows in the hearts of his enemies, that some wound may be made hereby that may never be cured but by Christ the Great Physician of souls.” ‘Tis not elect enemies or the elect now in their enmity; ‘tis not redeemed enemies for whom Christ in a special manner died; but ‘tis his enemies at large without any distinction; and these he hopes God will make use of some of his mercies upon; and what use? Why the same use and efficacy that is made of the blood of Christ, the Great Physician, to elect and redeemed souls; namely, a cure of the wound upon the hearts of his enemies he has so mentioned at large. It is upon these words I take hold to range the expression among the errors laid together in the article of Redemption; for otherwise it might as well have been among the errors of the preceding article. The reason is, when he comes to produce his motives of which he speaks of, his first motive is to get an interest in Christ, which I have answered already, beginning with Election-Interest; for interest, or being in Christ began with an Election in Christ or choosing in Christ before the Foundation of the World.

Now because this matter runs both ways, partly into the error of Anti-Election, in his coherence, from the first motive to get an interest in Christ, and partly into the error of Universal Redemption in the particular passage cited, I may answer it a little more under the matter of the former article about Election, II Cor.5:18; and then passing from the coherence, may give some direct answer to the passage transcribed, under the present article I am on about the Death of Christ. {God did as infallibly foreknow that the blood of Christ would not be accepted by all, as he foreknew it would be shed for any. Why should men think then that God would suffer the Merits of Christ to run wast, in respect of the far greater part for whom the Blood of Christ was shed?} An interest in Christ begins at Election, at God’s choice of the persons of a remnant, viz., as the objects of Electing Love, viewed and considered apart, and so distinguished from conditional objects, or persons if they do so and so, &c., from false propositions, such as he that is holy shall be Happy, he that repents shall go to Heaven, he that believes shall be Saved, &c. These propositions were chosen secondarily for elect persons, and not elect persons, elect as viewed in the primary decree, elected under the view and truth of the secondary, and under-fall Decree in these propositions. Again, their persons chosen, as distinguished from qualifications good or dis-qualifications bad; from motives to get an interest, and the like. It is absolutely the person in the over-fall decree, {the Supralapsarian Decree prior to the Fall,} and not the proposition that the one who is saved walks in Gospel ways, for the “Lord knoweth them that are his,” II Tim.2:19, and all such who name Christ in truth do depart from iniquity, and not in order to obtain righteousness, but because their righteousness resides in Christ. This we have absolutely pitched upon. The text for it is Romans 9:11-13, which I need not open again, having done it in my 29th Chapter already. I will here only answer to the Arminian evasion in this proof.

You must know the Arminian Remonstrance have devised a new plan of their own, to evade the strength of those texts brought against them in Romans 8; 9, and the eleventh chapter, by perverting them to an Election of the good things of this life, {as in Acts 17:25, Matt.5:45, Rom.2:4, &c.,} and that according as God foresees man’s behavior to be good or evil. But nothing can be more odd than such an evasion. For that question, 9:14, “what shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God,” disproves this new Excogitation and Device of theirs. The Apostle in the question doth obviate the objection which does naturally arise out of men’s hearts against God’s Supreme disposal of the everlasting states of men by a Decree from Everlasting. {“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” Psal.135:6. “But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Psal.115:3. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isa.46:10. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” Dan.4:35.} This is certainly the matter which unregenerate men grumble at, and therefore this is the Doctrine the Apostle was defending by this question, “is there unrighteousness with God?” Men can make a shift to be pretty quiet {though not altogether easy} under the Decrees of Providence, that the Lord would make one poor, while another was made rich in this world; one low, while another is great and exalted; they are not so apt to quarrel that all be not Kings, Lords, Dukes, Magistrates, Knights and Gentlemen, I Sam.2:6-8, as they are to find fault with the Decree of Predestination, that one is chosen to Everlasting Life, and another left to drop of his own accord into Everlasting Destruction, without any primary {though there is a secondary} consideration of Sin or Holiness. This is that which almost hath set all the world a grumbling, Rom.9:19-20; to this therefore, which is most reasonable to interpret, the Apostle is speaking, in the question put; as if he had said, what of all this? “Is there unrighteousness with God?” And this is more confirmed, to go in the sense I am defending, by verses 16-24, to which I remit the reader.

Supposing it had been spoken of an Election to the things of this world; yet works are expressly excluded, as having any Influence or Motive with God towards this getting an Interest in Christ; and {to argue from the less to the greater} will not this overthrow the Arminian sense of the Decree, wherever they themselves will allow it to be spoken of Election? For if the children there, verse 11, without any consideration of their works are chosen to good things here, and God will not so much as look at earnings for the bread of this life that perishes, Jn.6:27, can we think that God would go by it in the bread that endureth unto life eternal, and decree to give his Christ and Happiness and Glory with him upon the foresight of man’s works?

Had the Election been to temporal things, as the Arminians say, to avoid an Election of persons to Everlasting things, then why does the Apostle contradict his own argument {if that be it} so much in all other places, by throwing down the world, looking not at things that are seen, II Cor.4:18, but at things that are not seen, &c., for he should {if the Arminian gloss were true} everywhere else magnify the world, in those who are elected to enjoy the world; but on the contrary he despises the world, and looks upon the happiness of a saint in consisting in a portion in Christ, which lies far above the world. Now surely, if his argument was so strenuously engaged to defend the matters of the world here, he should also have had a better opinion of it in other places. Upon the whole, it plainly appears to be the persons of men abstractly that are the objects of God’s First and Pre-Fall Decree. Otherwise, instead of making Election an express mystery, the Arminian gloss as expounding it of the history of their outward condition, would digest it into a very ordinary thing. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Eph.1:9-11.

So again, Romans 8:29-30, “for whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The Arminians here make this text to be only a Predestination unto sufferings; but this is a Predestination linked with Calling, Justifying, Glorifying; nay, verse 29, which they interpret of sufferings, ought to be understood of the very nature-image of Humanity, preserved from Everlasting entire and untainted in the Person of Christ, from whom we received his own Image by Creation, as I have opened “image” in other clear texts; and this, the Foundation of our Recovery to the Perfection of the Nature-Image again, in Christ, after our loss of its moral integrity stamped upon that nature in the first open man in Paradise. So that they allow it inclusively to be a Predestination unto sufferings {though ‘tis hard to conceive how there could be a Predestination unto sufferings for Christ, before Calling unto Christ in the Order; as also, how there could be Calling immediately, to stand next Predestination, and nothing of the Nature-Image Predestinated to, as I have opened, before. Wherefore if the Arminian gloss could stand; that it is meant of a Predestination to sufferings} yet it is but inclusively, let them make the best advantage they can from the place; for there is far more than a Predestination unto sufferings.

The Predestinating them to sufferings must presuppose their being in Christ, where the Decree, in the Under-Fall way, keeps God’s hold of them, and never lets them go out of Election-Interest. Sufferings also come in upon Believing, walking Spiritually and Holily in Faith, Worship, Order and all the Government of Christ, as a separate people from the world, so as the world could not tolerate them. Otherwise, what need of their sufferings? If they are of the world, and would conform to the times, the world would love his own. {“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Jn.15:19.} All shows it was their persons which were first pitched upon. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom.8:28.

Again, Romans 9:15, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Mercy and Compassion on whom? Is it not distinct persons? It is not I will have mercy on what I will have mercy; as it should have been, if conditions, qualifications, creature-acts, complying with motives, &c., had been in the Decree before persons. Had it been I will have mercy on “what” I will have mercy, then the Arminians might have looked to things instead of persons, and pleaded qualities; but ‘tis persons “whom,” not conditions and propositions, if of such a sort or thing; or again, they that are of such a sort, of such a kind, shall be saved. How weak therefore is the Remonstrants gloss upon this and the like texts that make the Election here to be God’s choosing the people of the Jews as called to obey the Gospel, though they disobeyed it? This is another innovation too they have for the words, to jostle out the Efficacy of the Call, even the work of God the Spirit, the Third Person, rather than they will build this Calling upon Absolute Election, I Pet.1:2 with Eph.1:4-6, the work of God the Father, the first Person; and that, as to a certain number of persons defined and limited in the Purpose of God, which can neither be increased nor diminished, not one more to be chosen, after all your motives to get an Interest in Christ, or one to be struck out. See Romans 11:4-5 with Romans 11:7 and Romans 9:25; Eph.3:11; John 13:18 & I John 2:19 from all which places now to argue the matter I have no room.

By all it is evident how Mr. Hunt’s thread of argumentation depends upon and symbolizes with Arminians on the 8th, 9th and 11th chapters to the Romans, and not upon the absolute doctrine of Electing Love.

Now I may proceed in the remainder to a farther digest {or ranging} of the aforesaid passage in Mr. Hunt’s book, under the Article of Christ’s Death; since in the close of that sentence, Christ is mentioned as the Physician of souls curing wounds which can be cured no otherwise than by his blood. That which will be needful here to be done is to consider and open what the Holy Ghost’s meaning must be by “enemies” in the 45th Psalm; for though he does not name the place, he uses the words of that Psalm at verse 5, “thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee;” and this passage hath Mr. Hunt confusedly adapted, or without any distinguishing, to serve the interests of Universal Redemption. I will not say designedly, but eventually. The meaning of the place is, without doubt, thus, that God’s providential arrows of Judgment and Destruction shall be sharp in the heart of Christ’s leading enemies, who have kept the people from owning the Gospel and Government of Jesus Christ. These enemies he will take out of the way, and then the Gospel will prosper, and redeemed souls, by a mighty blessing on the faithful labors thereof, will be brought in; when that which letteth is taken out of the way. II Thes.2:7. The people freighted and over-awed, or cheated and seduced, or any ways misled, shall be brought back, and brought in to Christ. Whereupon this is set forth by an allusion to Absalom’s death for his rebellion against David, when Joab took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak, II Sam.18:14, after which the people quietly submitted themselves, came in to the King and fell under David’s government. So when the Lord hath taken out of the way many a leading man by some irresistible and terrible stroke, or judgment, Christ will have some or other of the elect fall under him in the Power of the Gospel by this occasion. Mr. Hunt {with too many of his interpreters, Exod.23:2,} expounds it amiss of one and the same subject, as if the enemies, and the people falling under, after the heart of the enemies is smitten, were exegetical, or one thing spoken two ways; whereas they are two things, two subjects, two interests. The Enemies were not elected, were not atoningly redeemed; and again, the people fall under when these enemies are taken out of the way, which proves some of the people were distinctly or diversely from the enemies, the Lord’s redeemed ones; for the falling under runs on in a twofold line. For which cause, proper means are exerted by Providence to make way for their Conversion by the Gospel, as many as belong to Christ; and the restraint of others keeping them under some awe, when the headstrong ones are subdued.

I shall insist upon some arguments for this interpretation against Mr. Hunt’s Arminianism; and prove that these were not enemies elected, nor redeemed by the Lamb of God, as the Lamb of Propitiation, Jn.1:29; though in some sense it may be asserted that they were benefited too by the Lamb of God, as the Lamb of Provision, to find them common mercies, Psal.145:9, and to buy their persons as a Lord, II Pet.2:1, into a right and use of such common mercies and gracious bestowments, &c., as he saith, II Peter 2:1, and other places. {Deut.15:15; 7:8; Jer.15:21; Deut.9:26, &c.}

Argument #1. Enemies in Psalms 45:5 are absolute enemies to be made a footstool, and so never to be Christ’s friends; as Hebrews 10:13, “from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool,” out of Psalms 110:1. The reason is, because these enemies are so plainly represented by Absalom, II Sam.15:11, who headed the people of David in the Israelitish faction, and whose heart was smitten through by Joab’s three sharp and pungent darts. His death and the manner of it, no doubt, was designed of God, to shadow out the Destruction of some of the arch-rebels to Christ and his Gospel in the world; and so enemies signify enemies in the same predicament with Absalom; that is, enemies of Christ and Grace that are not to be spared in the Day of Vengeance. {“For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” Isa.63:4. “For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isa.34:8.} Enemies that shall be utterly cut off in their enmity and shall not be spared alive.

Argument #2. The Psalm does not speak so much of Conversion as Conquest; for in that very expression of the People’s falling under, it seems rather to be an awing of their spirits feignedly, than a changing of their principles freely. {“Say unto God, how terrible art thou in thy works; through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.” Psal.66:3.} The reason is that Christ is set forth in this 45th Psalm as a King, and so ‘tis mostly victories over Enemies and People; a rather conquering as a King by the crushing power of his Sceptre, than conquering as a Priest, and so converting, by the mollifying blood of his own Peace-Offering. {“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.Col.1:20. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb.10:10.} The Psalm speaks not of him as such, and therefore leaves no ground upon which to erect the Conversion of his Smitten Enemies. And the people falling under him are very few of them elect and so converted, but do mostly fall down under him by submitting to him as a Conqueror, and finding their main props gone, they now perceiving that they could not stand out any longer. We do not read in this Psalm of the Lord Jesus as a Physician, or a Healer, to ground our interpretation of the enemies here spoken of to be converted enemies, as enemies {elect} are to be understood, Col.1:21, were enemies, but now hath he reconciled; and ‘tis the Death of his Son that God there brings in as the ground of it; whereas we have no such argument insisted upon in this Psalm. Elect enemies and redeemed enemies are made at last converted friends; and where ‘tis so, the Holy Ghost makes a distinction which is perfectly wanting in this Psalm; the enmity is considered apart from the Enemy, the one is slain and the other saved. The enmity of the Redeemed being taken away by a cure, shows ‘tis not a hopeless and unalterable enmity, as the other is. In a redeemed enemy, {an enemy I mean in his mind by wicked works, yet being redeemed by Special Grace, Col.1:21,} the Lord by his Spirit slays the enmity, and saves alive him that was the enemy. ‘Tis not slaying the enemy, as in Psalms 45, but slaying the enmity, Eph.2:16, and abolishing in his flesh the enmity, verse 15; but now here is a Conquest by Providence, not by the Power of the Gospel. These providential arrows of the King of Saints are sharp in the hearts of Persecutors, who ought to have been Protectors. ‘Tis not the enmity is slain, but the enemies are so themselves, Lk.19:27, “but those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” Which providentially came to pass upon the non-elect and non-redeemed Jews by the fury of the Romans; their leaders are cut off, and then the people fall under Him that smote their leaders, or fall down wounded in the battle, as Judges 9:40, and many other places; and as at the time when the darts were struck through the heart of Absalom, a great many of the people fell under King David’s victories, “and there was there a great slaughter” of Israel before the servants of David, II Sam.18:7, and there were destroyed that day twenty thousand men; and then it was the residue of the people got them by stealth into the city, as people being ashamed steal away, when they flee in battle; so ‘tis in the matter of Christ’s Gospel-Victories over non-elect men brought under.

Argument #3. The whole Psalm is a Marriage-Song between Christ and the Church, celebrated spiritually by the Holy Ghost, yet openly by God’s Faithful People in the Ordinances of his Christ, and his Worship before the world; and so it brings in the open solemnization of this Marriage in the Glorious Kingdom of Christ. Psal.45:14-17. Now this that’s done here upon enemies, is done upon them in a way of Revenge for their having opposed this match between Christ and the Spouse, they having persecuted the Church and the Gospel to the utmost of their Power. {“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.” Rev.19:7-9.}

Argument #4. That expression which precedes verse 4, “thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things,” proves that the object which presently follows, “thine arrows shall be sharp in the heart of the Kings Enemies,” is the calamity of the non-redeemed. {Arminian impetration without Application cannot stand. For ‘tis absolute Redemption, Eph.1:7, not redemptibility or redeemableness; and so Remission, Mt.26:28, not remissibility or remissibleness. ‘Tis Reconciliation, Dan.9:24, II Cor.5:18-19, not reconciliability or reconcilebleness. ‘Tis Justification, Rom.5:9, not justificability. All which proves there could be no impetration of these things beyond the bounds of their Efficacious Application.} They who mean it {as Mr. Hunt must} that this wounding of the heart of the King’s enemies, is the Holy Spirit’s work of Conviction in the soul, his awakening of sinners, and beginning the good work of Grace upon them, must needs be all mistaken; because these things, though they may seem terrible to the soul, yet do carry in them the work of the Paraclete, or He who is given beside the Gift of Christ to work Grace, whom we translate Comforter, and so are not in a strict sense, or the Holy Ghost’s own sense, “terrible things.” 2. These things are joyful to the saints to hear of, people under Awakenings. 3. They can’t be terrible to Christ who works Grace sometimes this way, though they may be never so terrible to nature. Whereas the word is “shall teach thee terrible things;” in the other way it should be, teach them that are convinced, troubled for sin, terrified in their conscience by the Law, teach them terrible things. By all it appears the Place of Scripture, as Mr. Hunt hath used it, is woefully misapplied, and so far too, as he hath misinterpreted this place, and has stumbled into the error of Universal Redemption. For what Efficacy had there been, aye, what Sufficiency {for without Sufficiency to God’s Covenant with Christ, what Efficacy, and with Sufficiency what Non-Efficacy} in the blood of Christ to heal these enemies in the 45th Psalm, if the Blood of Christ was not intentionally shed in an Absolute way for the healing and saving these? And if intentionally shed for these in an absolute saving way of Grace, it should have been Efficaciously applied to these, and not a man of them perish in their wounds; and yet whereas the Holy Ghost hath left them upon record as perishing enemies, and stuck to the heart providentially, and run through as Absalom was, Mr. Hunt gives you hopes they may do well, and puts you upon looking for their cure; yeah, expresses his own longing for it, from the Great Physician of souls, though the very implacable enemies of Christ that in that Psalm are spoken of. {“Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people; cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.” Jer.15:1. “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear thee.” Jer.7:16.} What can he build this hope of cure on but as the Arminians do, upon Universal Redemption? Thus the Arminians must be as well satisfied in the scope of his gloss as he.

Objection: The vulgar or simple reader {for whom his book is calculated} will not see one error on that page where ye judge ye see two or three.

Answer: I partly believe so too, for if the learned reader vindicates the book, ‘tis then no wonder if the vulgar reader, Isa.9:16, see no fault in it. But let me consider the matter otherwise, for this calculating of books of the Gospel for the vulgar reader {as if it was a direction in husbandry, or in catching vermin, and did not concern men’s souls} is a poor dry way of expressing it in any Minister of Christ. Tit.2:1. The children of God drink down doctrines, they read to refresh their souls; and shall we perceive that to be in the cup which will ultimately hurt them, stupefy the sense till the soul feels nothing, and make men that were once lively Christians to be dead branches, or else some way increase their distemper; and shall we not discover what we know in that cup is the cause of it, to warn men? Col.1:28. A man who hath nothing in him but humanity, would in ordinary cases warn a child, disposed to drink of a cup which would hurt him; and methinks he who is taught Divinity by the Spirit of Christ, as he should allow, that children of God, I Cor.3:1-2, under God’s work of giving them desires, do drink in the matter of a Gospel Treatise, and not express it by the vulgar reader’s using it as an almanac, calculated to find out the day of the month; so he should allow withal, that the child should be more looked after in what he drinks, than a mere vulgar reader and what he runs over. {“I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” II Cor.11:2-3.}

His eighth error against the Redemption of the Lord’s captives only, is traced in these words, “you may have Christ, and all things with him freely; yea, this is the highest price that ever was set upon the Water of Life, Rev.22:17, which difference will be matter of grief and torment one day to such as reject him. How will it make the worm of conscience gnaw in another world, for to think, O fool that I was, that had such a low price put into my hand, and yet had no heart to improve it! That had Christ so freely and so frequently preached to me!” {Page 23}

As to redeemed ones that have, and they shall have Christ freely; but as to the rest whom Christ never knew in this Redemption-Grace, Mt.7:23, to say of them, they too may have Christ freely, is one of the greatest contradictions opposed to the Bible. I am satisfied, that this poor man hath never steadfastly believed that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Rom.9:18. There’s nothing to be found in all his book like the doctrine of the 9th of Romans. ‘Tis then no wonder, having no regard to a chosen generation, I Pet.2:9, that he falls in with the Arminian discoveries upon Revelation 22 and Revelation 17. The words of that text are these. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Alas! He mistakes these things greatly! This text is not fulfilled yet to this day, under the preaching of the Gospel. ‘Tis prophetical, and hath its own time. ‘Tis reserved for the Glorious Day of the Lord, and then shall be brought to pass, when the upright shall have dominion over them, and be above the wicked, “in the morning.” {“This their way is their folly; yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall receive me. Selah.” Psal.49:13-15.}

For mind, in the preceding verse Christ appears, the Morning Star is there risen, “I am the bright and Morning Star, Rev.22:16, as if he had said, this will be my voice in that morning, behold me! Behold me! Here are so many bright and shining glories, but see me your Lord, how I outshine them all! I am the Bright and Morning Star, among all those stars of the night; ministers, saints and holy souls, raised in their bodies from the dead! I am, says he, the First Star in glory, and the others are conformed to my Shining Body. Phil.3:21. Oh! ‘tis the Bright and the Morning Star that will give them all their starry lustre! He is the Sun, the Glorious Head-Star, that fills the whole sphere with their glory, whilst one star shall differ from another star in glory! I Cor.15:41.

Also then immediately next follows, “the Spirit and the bride say, come.” The Spirit is to be then poured forth, even to the utmost effusion beyond all present measures. Jn.7:39. He will very gloriously, Isa.30:26, enlighten with the shine of the Everlasting Gospel. He will prevail mightily in his work; he will encourage, and convert every redeemed soul with the abundance of peace and truth. Jer.33:6. They shall come flowing in together, Isa.60:5, at the Spirit and the Bride’s call, till the, Isa.60:5, abundance of the sea {in ships and islands} be converted to her. Every redeemed soul shall come, even together, to the least vessel of Election. “The Spirit and the Bride, say, come.” The Spirit draws with a marvelous Operation, when he makes the Waters of the Gospel rise, Ezek.47:1, and the conduits run with the wine of the Gospel at the open crowning of King Solomon. {“Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” Song.3:11.} The Spirit says, come, when he brings in the full tides of Love, and the waters of Grace are risen, Ezek.47:5, beyond the ankles, verse 4, knees and loins, even waters to swim in, verse 5, and a river that cannot be passed over. Then there shall be a universal flow of the Spirit of Christ, and the whole Earth full of the knowledge of the Lord, Isa.11:9, as the waters cover the sea. The Spirit, in that marvelous Call of Power shall finish converting work at once among those of the redeemed who shall be found alive, to whom it is the Father’s good pleasure to give the kingdom, Lk.12:32; and a flock marvelously increased on Earth, to what it had been in Christ’s Day. And yet still in that Kingdom a flock of sheep to be taken care of, Mt.25:33, in a lower station by the Shepherd, than the King’s risen brethren, and yet advanced in all the earth. Psal.45:16.

Moreover, the Church glorious, the Lamb’s Wife, Rev.21:9, on that morning, Isa.26:19, awakened out of the dust, Isa.52:1, puts on her beautiful garments, Psal.45:14; to be brought unto the King, her Bridegroom, in her raiment of needle work, openly and triumphantly, Isa.61:10, clothed with that Righteousness and Glory, Isa.64:4, which shall surpass all our present thoughts. In this glorious apparel of Jehovah our Righteousness, Jer.23:6, she shall be found in Christ, Phil.3:9, shall call to them that are secretly hid in the same apparel, Col.3:3, and shall say, as the Spirit saith, come. Thus the Spirit and the Bride shall say come, whosoever of you thirst, you that were wandering yesterday, and yet today are converted; you that were taken from shop and merchandise, you that were called from farms and cattle plowing in the field; in a word, you that are now called at the eleventh hour, Mt.20:6,9, when others are left out of this last Conversion of all; whosoever of you thirsts; you that have the latest, new desires wrought, and have misspent all your time till now, yet come and take freely, come without upbraidings, come, come away, for the Lamb upon his throne is not come to chide you! You that have thirsting desires of Grace to come and partake, as you now are able, in this glory-day, and drink of these pure sanctuary-streams, Rev.22:1, where there shall be no more paddling, no more muddling, Ezek.34:12, of the Waters of Life, Zech.14:8, forever!

To open some other things in it also more particularly. The glory of this text is a thing evidently to be fulfilled in the glorious Kingdom of Christ, Isa.30:26, on earth, Rev.21:1, immediately after the first resurrection, Rev.20:5, or, the resurrection of the Lamb’s Wife, Rev.19:7, at her making ready in her glorified body, when the glory of the Lord, Isa.60:1, is risen upon her, even as the whole of Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 jointly speak; and not of the succeeding, eternal state of the saints in Heaven, which almost every interpreter carries it over to without any thoughts of consistence. That other glory is to follow, after all the glory-state on earth is ended; and in that New Jerusalem-State the saints shall have an account of the third heaven’s Eternal Glory, by eating of the fruit of the Tree of Life, Rev.22:2, in the midst of the Paradise of God, Rev.2:7, for until the openings of the Kingdom-Glory, that other last and consummate Glory of all, at the end of time, is a doctrine in the language Paul heard, when caught up into the third heavens, II Cor.12:4, but could not utter, or use any words of it, to work in any men conceptions of the unspeakable speeches that Apostle heard. It’s a Glory no doctrine yet can fully utter.

The rest of the elect found then alive upon the earth, will be all Converted by a fuller Effusion of the Spirit, Isa.32:15, at once, for all the elect Gentiles are to be called to this Glory-Light, and kings shall come to, Isa.60:3, the brightness of the Church’s rising, to which all the scepters, glory, governments of the whole earth have been but a transitory, Mic.4:1 & Isa.2:2, shadow. These risen saints, the King’s daughter all glorious within, Psal.45:13, with the Glory substantial, Rom.8:18, which is to be revealed in her, shall be brought unto the King, attended with a great company of other saints, or virgins, her companions, Psal.45:14, extraordinarily qualified to be brought unto the King, and be admitted into the King’s palace with the Queen; yet with an inferior glory, II Pet.1:11, to a rising from the dead, and very much below that glorious Church they wait on, to receive the laws of Christ from her mouth, as she receives them from the mouth of Christ, and to disperse them through all the world, when the Lord shall set judgment in the earth, Isa.42:4, and the isles shall wait for his Law. These virgins or holy companions of the Bride shall be present, and hear, as a chosen company, Acts 7:38, the lively oracles, as is said of Moses in the Church in the wilderness with the angel; or hear the immediate dictates, as pronounced by Jesus Christ. This glorious Rose of Sharon, Song.2:1, will set over her on his Throne of Glory in the New Heaven, above the, Rev.21:1, brightness of the sun, Isa.24:23, in an open, Rev.21:23, personal appearance to her; I Jn.3:2, to her, I say, the Lily once among thorns, Song.2:2, now in Conversation with the Rose, and sitting there in her glory, Rev.22:4, next him; which high degree of her promotion of above the gracious Church through the whole world, is called the queen, Psal.45:9, standing at his right hand in the gold of Ophir; and thus shall she reign with Christ, Rev.20:6, in his beams of light, Rev.21:22, forever, Rev.22:5, and ever. Forever, as long as his Kingdom on earth endures, which will be to the end of time; and again forever in Eternity, when time shall be swallowed up in a boundless space beyond it. It’s her glory reflected immediately from his own Glory beheld, that shall make the shining pavements, Rev.21:21, of the New Jerusalem; her windows of agates, and gates of carbuncles, and all her borders of pleasant stones. And all her children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of her children. Isa.54:12-13.

This Palace of Glory and Enjoyment, Rev.7:16, without eating and drinking corporal refreshments from the labor of the field, or the fruit of the vine, without marrying, or giving in marriage, Matt.22:30, will be the glorious and proper state of the risen ones for a whole Lord’s Day, II Pet.3:8, or one thousand years of time. There shall be likewise free interviews and correspondence of the gracious Church, then spread throughout the world, Isa.2:2, with this glorious, triumphant Church, and now presented, Eph.5:27, to Christ Himself. The saints shall be stirred up, Mic.4:2, as men of every nation, in the earnest of it, were stirred up heretofore, Acts 2:5, to go and receive purer and fuller knowledge, Zech.14:8, and enjoyment of God, and the worship of Jesus Christ, Isa.66:23, to be spiritually planted, and in the same Gospel-Way, Zech.14:9, of Dispensation established over the face of the whole earth, and this glorious Church in the center, Ezek.38:12, {where in the Hebrew it is the navel, which is the middle of the body, “for God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth,” Psal.74:12,} which place in Judea of her assembling is shortly to be cleansed of the vermin that now infest it, even Turks and Mohammedans, Ezek.38:2-4, and all the great multitude of Gog. Then conversions after the opening of this state of things will be all made up, and “he that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Rev.22:11.

Whosoever therefore, is a whosoever made up {at that time} of Children and Saints and all the earth, who looking for that blessed hope, Tit.2:13, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, shall be stirred up, not with curiosity, but with spiritual desire to see the King in his beauty, Isa.33:17, and behold the land that is very far off. Now all that have the will given unto them, or thirsting desire of this Glory-State, {for that is the object of the thirst there, the pure River of the Water of Life,} are the true children of Zion; and thirsting with a sort of painful desires of the Kingdom, are represented, as it were, crying after their Mother, this Jerusalem above, Gal.4:26, which is the mother of us all. ‘Tis no invitation to any but redeemed ones; for there can be none but these, in the sense of the Holy Ghost, thirsting after it. ‘Tis no invitation unto dogs, nor unto strangers, for these shall have no heavenly will forever, but be every one terrified at the glory and terrible change of things at this latter day, Job 19:25, and shall be turned out of doors, Zech.14:21, for without are dogs. And though they’ll bark and growl, Psal.59:14-15, and be mad at the Dispensation, to see the Spiritual Church so govern and carry all before them, so that they cannot help themselves, for out they must go from the House of God, for without are dogs. {“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Rev.22:13-15.}

And all this now, though men count it {what I do not follow} a cunningly devised fable, as the Apostle says, II Pet.1:16, is consistent with the entire Gospel of Christ; as it stands with the witness of all the holy prophets which have been since the world began; and is lodged upon record that these times of refreshing shall certainly come from the Presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19; and seven times shall pass over it; the time of the first glory-resurrection, Dan.12:1-2; the time of the morning-judgment, Matt.25:7; the time of the glory-reign in the land of Judah; the time of the gracious reign contemporary in all the earth; the time of the last resurrection; the time of the last, or the evening-judgment, Matt.25:31-32, and the time of the giving up the Kingdom, I Cor.15:24, when Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. These are the times of refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord; and then follows Eternity, when we shall be forever with the Lord, I Thes.4:17, and God shall be all in all. However the times of refreshment do precede Eternity, a time of the glory-Church, and a time to the gracious Churches measured out proportionately to what both their states will be, and that reign of Christ, through this happy Millennium. {“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Lk.1:32-33.} {“I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him,” Ezek.21:27, three overturnings. 1. The Jews. 2. The Roman Empire, Pagan and Anti-Christian. 3. The Mohammedan Empire in Turks and Saracens; all which have dwelt at Jerusalem, and all three interests overturned by the Glorious Three in Heaven to make way for Christ.} That the glory-part of this will be in the land of Judea is most consistent with the whole doctrine of the sufferings of Christ. He endured the cross and despised the shame in the Land of Promise. No doubt, but it was part of the joy that was set before him, that that mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, on which he wrought Redemption, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all, Heb.10:10, should be at last the glorious holy mountain, Dan.11:45, when the Lord himself shall stand in that Day upon the Mount of Olives, Zech.14:4, and so Judea be absolutely made the glory of all lands, Ezek.20:6; and, in a higher sense than when Joshua gave the Israelites a rest in it from the Canaanites, be the rest, or Sabbath, or keeping of the glory-Sabbath, for a thousand years, which remaineth to the people of God, of which the first day of the week, Heb.4:9, now under the Gospel, is the earnest-Penny. And so still in a higher sense than ever, be a land flowing with milk and honey; when all glorious ones that rejoice for joy with this glorious Church, shall milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. {“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.” Isa.66:10-11.}

‘Tis so prophesied, Rev.21:24, “and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” I do not look upon it, that these two clauses of the verse are of the same import or fulfilled at the same time; but aim at two things very unlike to one another. Here are two tenses, present and to come; the future, “shall walk in the light of it;” and the present, “do bring their glory and honour into it.” “Shall” signifies, that the one shall have an authority from Christ so to walk; and so implies, the Divine Appointment of many human usurpations in these kings that introduce their own glory and honor into the place, of their own heads, and after their own wills, whilst it continues an Old Earth, before the New Earth, and glorious model, comes, and so act without any rules of Christ. The present therefore “do bring” is but a description of the carnal glory and glittering glow-worm monarchs, that were now presently from John’s time to take place, and there commencing, to hold a lease of it, according to the will of God, till the time of the end, Dan.12:4, that his Daniel comes with Christ, and the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, Jude 14, and each stands up in his lot, Dan.12:13, at the end of the Days. Accordingly, for a long time present, the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it {even such a glory as is consistent with that which is to be brought into the place at the latter Day, Job 19:25,} bringing in all their carnal pomp, and making their own show of glory. Well, the LORD himself will have them in derision, and channel all to his own ultimate Glory in Christ.

The Roman Emperor, soon after Christ’s Day in the flesh, begins, and brings in his glory of paganism within these local boundaries assigned to the New Jerusalem. Then comes the Turk and stays a while, and brings in his glory, then the Saracens, both Mohammedans. Then came the Popish princes, Godfrey of Bouillon, Baldwin of Jerusalem next, and on to a train and succession of the kings of Jerusalem; these brought their honour and glory carnally into the place of this City, after that their armies, fighting under the sign or banner of the cross, had recovered the holy land. These crusaders were first begun by Pope Gregory the Seventh, at the instigation and motion of Peter the Hermit, and their victories completed by the next Pontiff, Pope Urban the Second; at last comes the Turk again, bringing his glory and honour into it, and possesses the place unto this day; but must turn out before the New Jerusalem-Glory, and before the nations of them that are saved, shall walk in the light of it.

I am certain all this scheme of the Kingdom, and frame of interpretation, to hold the meaning of Revelation 22:16-17, {where I began to rescue the abuse of that text,} is more consistent with the truth of God that cannot change into a lie, than it is to paddle in that Revelation-Oracle, as the Arminians, and poor Mr. Hunt, have done, by making the “whosoever thirsts let him come,” &c., to be a parcel of poor creatures now thirsting in their natural affections to go to Heaven by their nature-wills in their own doings, whilst these feed them with the general hope in their Universal Redemption Expectations.

As to the residue of Mr. Hunt’s error, as if the redeemed could miss their season, I have spoken so much already under the head of opportunities, that here is no occasion to enlarge. I may only take notice of what he himself has added. “How will it make the worm of conscience gnaw in another world, &c.” Here he supposes that the damned might have been saved, and that in Hell they will think they might. He insists upon the price put into the hands of one that’s lost forever. Now if he holds this price was a price to be saved, he must hold it upon the Arminian tenure of Universal Redemption; for the Scriptures do nowhere say thus of the damned, who are the only ones that have the worm of conscience, Mk.9:44, that dieth not in another world. They who are hopeless in another world, had only such a price put into their hands, when they were in this world, Prov.17:16, as was their opportunity to do less evil, and more natural good. But how many would not so much as show tenderness to men’s consciences in this world, nor forbear their opposition and spite to the Gospel, being angry that Christ went on and saved his elect in his own way. These shall find at Judgment, that such as they spurned at, and hated the more for Christ’s Spirit of Glory shining the brighter on them, I Pet.4:14, are saved against all their opposition. They had never any price to be saved by Grace, Matt.26:28, Dan.9:27, Isa.53:11, but to be saved more than they were saved by common nature from common judgments. They had a price to do good to the saints, and not hate and persecute, and refuse civil kindness to them for the sake of that Gospel-Power and Holiness which saves one, and shall rise up in Judgment against the other; for his hatred of it towards that One. He therefore that admits that the damned had a price to be saved, must admit it, as the Arminians do, upon the foot of Universal Redemption. For the Arminians think, by laying on their warm divinity of General Exhortations, pressing and driving men, without any due regard to the Foundation of the Gospel, to keep souls out of Hell, and bring them to Heaven; and then conclude if they miscarry, it is because they did not mind their good exhortations, and follow the directions they gave them. And this is Mr. Hunt’s Arminian way too, generally throughout his book, as much of it has been laid open.

Nevertheless, one of the dissuading Ministers who have written to me on the matter to take off my hand in these labors, argues for Mr. Hunt’s book at this rate. “The book you designed to print against, I understand has been very useful to many Christians; and for my part {he adds} I cannot see anything in it that deserves censure.” Ah! Useful is a cheap word. ‘Tis the proof of the matter which will cost a man all the labor to make out. I would have been glad to have known which way it has been so useful; but I could never learn from that commendation. I hear of no understanding opened by this book’s lack of opening the Mystery of Christ, Eph.3:4; I can perceive no will drawn to Christ by the irresistible cords of a man, Hos.11:4, let down upon any soul in reading it. No conscience washed; for this preposterous divinity puts upon being clean first, and then coming to the Laver next. Peradventure, the book has been a means of working zeal upon the affections; but what usefulness is that without useful knowledge in the upper faculty from an understanding given in what men read, to know that they are in Christ? I Jn.5:20. Reading books that tell me I am out of Christ; and that I must do this or that to get an interest in Him, can never be useful reading, let men pretend never so much to be pleased with what affects them; for to be sure, that which darkens evidence in Christ {as Mr. Hunt’s book does with a witness} must needs be all a false way of guiding to Him. In short, I can’t imagine how the book has done any useful service but one way; and that is, as the Lord hath made it an occasion of giving me, by writing against it, and to others by hearing some of it read, more light, strength and presence of Christ, than ordinarily enjoyed. And for my own part I must add, this is often renewed in my own soul upon the reviews of this Vindication.

His Ninth Error coalescing with the doctrine of the Universalists, is this, “and what a wound will it be to thee to see others cleansed, who once were as unclean as thou art, whilst thou must remain in thy sins.” {Page 41} When will it be a wound? Why, he means in another world. The words just before are, “know, it will be but a little while that this Fountain will be open; for the time is at hand when Christ will say, he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.” {Page 41} Now, the Fountain is opened to every elect, redeemed sinner, so long as he continues in this world. If it be shut then, ‘tis to them that are lost, II Cor.4:3; yet he puts these upon “pleading hard the gracious promise,” as found in Ezekiel 36:25. If so be they are but in their blood, as all the world are, “thou that art yet in thy blood {says he} beg of Him to wash thee, and say, Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean. Plead hard that gracious promise, Ezek.36:25, then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean, &c.” {Page 41} Yet he makes this person’s case to be hopeless at last, as I have shown. First he gives him hopes, and yet at last he must remain in his Sin. I must profess, if this be not Arminianism, I don’t know what is! I must not quote Episcopius, Corvinus, Grevinchovius, and the tribe, upon him, to prove the parallel, though I have all these writings by me; because few readers, for whom these papers are principally intended, mind originals. Any one may see this, that if Mr. Hunt’s way of Preaching to souls runs in this style, it can’t consist without the supposition of a Universal Redemption to support it. For he makes this wound to be upon once a probability of cleansing; and then what else can he lay as the ground of that probability, but the Redemption of a soul that perishes, equally with the Redemption of another? Nevertheless, he that is redeemed from his sins, is not as unclean as he that is not redeemed from them. Redemption leaves a mystical cleanness upon the soul in Christ, and secures the conveyance of the influential cleanness, in God’s time; so that if the person he speaks of in his error, be wounded after the sentence {he that is filthy, let him be filthy still} is passed, to see others cleansed that were as unclean as he; then he must look upon it, that that person’s case, in General Redemption, was as good as the other’s. Whatever it be, Christ expressly says, “he laid down his life for the sheep,” Jn.10:15; and yet this Universalist hath brought in his goats into the same privilege. To conclude, {for I contract it with brevity,} what ground has any man to conjecture that the damned will be wounded, because they were never cleansed, by which Mr. Hunt means holiness of nature; more likely to be wounded, that they are not saved without cleansing, in all their unholy pickle; and so saved absolutely from wrath, without any regard to Sin or Holiness; and this is most likely.

His Tenth Error in Redemption of the Arminian latitude is thus worded, “and since this parting from Christ will be so sad, Sinners, beware of this day, and prevent your misery by a speedy closing with Christ.” {Page 193} {It is plain, if the Misery be such “as thou may of be beware and prevent,” then another and another may, and so on to everyone, as well when Discriminating Grace is left out, as here; and then what can this be laid on but Universal Redemption?} Mind, a parting with Christ? Now all that are particularly redeemed are inseparately united; or as they who are separated from Christ in another state, never belong to Christ in this state; never were united in Him here; no, nor by Faith united to Him. Neither can any think so, but the Universalists, who hold he died sufficiently for all alike. What remedy for this? The Arminian medicine still, in the articles that follow, free will and ineffectual grace. “Beware of this day, and prevent your misery by a speedy closing with Christ;” as if the Holy Ghost, the Operator of the Free, Rich and Sovereign Grace of God, was to have no hand in the application of God’s Grace and Christ’s Blood; but to stand by, and see the creature do all. Ah! What Arminianism upon Arminianism do we find piled up in this same creature the most excellent; or, the Glory of Christ eclipsed! And yet my dissuader caresses me with his moral suasion, to believe that the book I oppose is free of all Arminian taint. His words are, “are there in it any of the doctrines of the Arminians, doctrines that are leveled against the free, rich and sovereign grace of God? Does not the author with great zeal and vigor exalt Christ and debase proud man? Why then, sir, should ye go about to print against him?” Aye, aye, let him that is taught of God judge in this matter; for what have I now done? Is there not a cause? I Sam.17:29. Discern I pray you in what I produce of the book, and call Arminianism. Whose tokens are these? Here’s the signet, the bracelet and the staff, Gen.38:25; therefore let Judah look to it.

His Eleventh Error in the Extent of Christ’s Death, “but to come nearer to the point in hand, suppose his Son offers to die for them, and yet after all they should spurn dirt in his Son’s face, and should tell him they like neither Him nor his message.” {Page 168} What can more plainly lay open the principle of a man for Universal Redemption at the bottom, than to come so near to the Arminian point in hand, as God’s Son offering himself to die for them that perish? And die for them too whom he foresaw would die in their own sins blaspheming? For the book saith, “spurn dirt in his Son’s face, and tell Him they like neither Him nor his message.” Sure, Christ never told the Jews that he offered to die for those murderers, whom he positively, for rejecting the Cornerstone, doomed to be miserably destroyed, Matt.21:41-43; and by armies sent forth to burn up their city, Matt.22:7, and that the very Kingdom of God should be taken from them; but not a word of offering to die for them; that is Arminian Jargon and Mr. Hunt’s Excogitation. Moreover, Christ told the Jews who spurned dirt in his face, and said, we will not have this man to reign over us, that they should be brought thither to him, Lk.19:27, and slain before him. He was for slaying their persons, not dying for their wounds. So to the Jews in their spurning of dirt in his face, “ye shall die in your sins, and whether I go, ye cannot come.” Jn.8:21. This now is very far from the Son of God offering to die for them. ‘Tis plain in God’s Word, that Christ offered to die for none but for whom he gave himself, and died; and he died for none but whom were given Him of the Father; and he redeemed every one for whom he died. Jn.17:2. This is the truth. The other is a scrap of the Remonstrant forgery.

Now though here’s a man that pleads the Death of Christ for such as Christ imprecated Destruction on beforehand in Psalms 69 and Psalms 106, and though he pleads for the Enemies of Christ {to be cut off} as if they had the Offer of Christ to die for them, and so might not be cut off, we must not interpose to write against this, and set the matters even, for fear it will do mischief, because it is a piece of Nonconformist Arminianism. Hear my dissuaders speak out. Says one, “give me leave to express my fears, that the common enemy will make an advantage of our differences. One or two errors in a page are not like to do near so much hurt, as your mutual contests are like to do. I am bold to beseech you in the bowels of Christ to drop the quarrel.” Says another, “let me entreat you to consider how grateful to our enemy’s contentions among Christ’s ministers are. How does it rejoice them to see such clashing and fighting one against another. Are they not watching for our ruin, and shall we give them advantage by fierce contentions among our selves?”

These are all uncertain things suggested. Nevertheless, if they came to pass, the rule is open, “fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.” Rev.2:10. Fear brings more dishonor to God, and mischief to ourselves than men will readily believe. Blessed be God, the Gospel, ever since I felt the power of it on my soul, hath lifted me up beyond all these painful frights. “I, even I, am he that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy, and where is the fury of the oppressor?” Isa.51:12-13. And where is the fury of the oppressor? The Holy Ghost hath assured us, that the fear of man bringeth a snare. Prov.29:25. And as fear brings it, they are only the fearful that are taken in the snare it brings, whilst the righteous are bold as a lion. Prov.28:1. They are the fearful in the Revelation-times, Rev.21:8, which were loath to set forwards, are put foremost, and so exposed to the first shot, in a very black Company; and shall I choose to list myself in any of that regiment? No, for it is he that overcometh, verse 7, which shall inherit all things. It’s a sign men don’t see in whose Hands their mercies are put, that fears of this nature shake them. I look upon faithfulness to the Lord Christ to be the appointed means to preserve our mercies, and if ever they are taken away before they fully ripen to our hands, it will be for cowardice, sinful compliance and walking to go down into Egypt, whilst men think to cover and defend themselves with that which is not of God’s Spirit. {“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin; that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!” Isa.30:1-2.}

Why should the common enemy be thought to make more advantage of our differences than the common enemy did of the differences of Paul and Silas, in their day? Acts 15:39. And yet though the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other, who before had lovingly preached together, it pleased the Holy Ghost, however to publish that contention of the good men, that it has run throughout all the Christian ages, and continues upon record forever! Moreover, Jews, Mohammedans and other infidels, were foreseen would be prying into the New Testament to observe, among other things, the behavior of the Christians, and so make an advantage of the open differences. I add further, that it is the nature of the Gospel to heal corrupt affections in the Vindication of itself, and the Opposition it makes unto contrary doctrine. Indeed, when men write to vindicate themselves, and cover a party, as is usual in men’s writing one against another, then it is that the flesh gets up. The reason is obvious, they begin in the flesh, and so are made perfect by the flesh. Gal.3:3. My meaning is this, when men are more concerned for their own names and interest, than they are for the great Name of Christ, God usually gives them up unto their own heart’s lusts therein; they fall under vile affections, and their pens become daggers in a quarrel, that they could kill the man they write against; and from hence arises wrath in mutual contests, hatred in contentions, and abundance of sin in clashing and fighting one against another. But through Grace I find the Doctrine I vindicated in these papers, heals my spirit. I have loved Mr. Hunt more whilst I have been answering him, than I ever loved, or valued him before. The reason is, I can sometimes see him interested in that Grace I have been helped to vindicate, beyond what he sees his own interest. And this is the Foundation of my Gospel-love to that man; though I can’t say that I have the same grounds, one way or the other, for all preachers which I ply against in this Vindication of Christ, and the Grace of God to the elect, redeemed and new born ones. Nevertheless, in particular, as to this brother, I deal sharply, cuttingly, with his errors, Tit.1:13, and fall upon the good man’s pride and ignorance.

His Twelfth Error which runs into a wideness with all the world, according to the foundation upon which it stands, is this, speaking of one in Hell, “poor rich man, had he had more love for his soul, though he had fared as hardly as Lazarus, he had been a rich man indeed.” {Page 60} {No, on the contrary, if he had been a rich man in Christ as Lazarus was, he should have had more love to his Soul.} He uses poor here in a compassionate sense, superadded to indigent. Besides, what an extravagant heat of charity is it {sure, ‘tis next to praying for the dead in purgatory} to pity a soul in Hell! Poor rich man! It is no proposition to assert his indigence, but is a sort of ingemination sighing over it. “Had he had more love for his soul,” which follows, that by this account he had a true love to his soul, but he wanted more of that true love. The speech tacitly commands the kind of his love, but openly complains of the degree of his love.

This is just according to the quill of another of my dissuaders, “the vulgar reader {for whom I suppose his book is calculated} will not see one error in that page were you judge you see two or three.” Why, that is one of the worst of cheats, which is truth so long as it is not known, and then a fault when it is laid open.

But let me lay the matter open touching the Redemption-Error in the present section. “Poor rich man, had he had more love for his soul, he had been a rich man indeed,” which is as much as to say in other English, he had been saved. Now is not that Arminianism, which holds, that men in Hell might have been saved, and have been in Heaven, if they had had but more love to their souls {though none to Christ} when below on Earth? How could the rich man have been rich towards God, Lk.12:21, unless bought, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ? I Pet.1:18-19. And if one man in Hell be so bought, then another was, and another; thus by an induction of particulars all were redeemed by the Blood of Christ alike; and here is the Doctrine of Universal Redemption interwoven, though it be not in so many words expressed. For indeed Arminianism implied is worse than Arminianism expressed, even as a pit slightly covered is worse than a pit kept open, because of men’s falling into it when they are not aware of it. So much may suffice against his errors on the second article.