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moral powers, render themselves finally miserable, that then, he fhould have withheld from them "the gift of existence.' Page ift and 3d. Is it poffible to reconcile thefe notions with God's fending his Son into the world to teach us the everlast ing fire and punishment prepared for the devil and his angels, to which he will fentence both them and the finally wicked, in the laft day? Will it not follow from this notion, compared with this doctrine Chrift taught, that God fent his Son to teach the world, he would make thefe creatures miferable, contrary to the end for which he made them, and when he should have withheld their exiftence? Is not this deftruction to the character of the Father and the Son? Thefe new world makers, and tranfmutation ftates makers, are, it feems, vaft projectors. They can project fuch an effential change in the nature of things, as to transfer the obligations of the creature to the creator; and of the finner to the Saviour: fo that if the rebellious creature perifheth in his iniquity, the reflection of dishonor fhall be caft upon the Creator and Saviour. Suppofe infinite wisdom, pow er and goodness doth not exert itself in new created worlds, tranfmutation ftates, and effectual meafures of human inven tion for the reduction and falvation of all the rebellious, shall the Creator and Lord of the world be reflected on as defective in benevolence? as not defiring the falvation of his creatures? and as doing what ought not to be done, in giving them existence? Or, if the Saviour doth not fave all who will not come unto him for life, fhall difhonor be reflected on him as not executing his truft, because they perifh for their faults? Is there any foundation in the fcripture doctrine as commonly received, for fuch abfurd conclufions and bafe reflections? Is not eternal life God's gift? Are not his gifts his own? May he not do what he will with his own? Doth not rebellion forfeit this gift? May not the wife, juft, and good Governor of the World punish the rebellious according to defert? These felfevident truths, are fufficient to fettle this point. I can fee fervice done to God or man, by fuch "falfe philofophy and vain deceit. What honor or service can it be to the Moft High? We are too late by almoft fix thousand years to be
of counsel to the infinitely wife God, to teach him for what end to create the world, whom to create, and from whom to withhold exiftence; and what new worlds and tranfmutation ftates to make for the recovery of the rebellious, &c. The divine plan of creation is fettled by the infinitely wife God, according to the council of his own will, and carried into execution. And he hath taught us the grand end défigned, viz. moral government in its infinitely important connections, as hereafter stated and illuftrated. And this plan of moral government, in which the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished, in final iffue, hath already existed in operation almost fix thousand years, is now carrying into execution, will remain forever, and be compleated in highest perfection and glory. Neither can these notions be any more fervice for the real good, comfort and happiness of mankind: they cannot inforce the important requifitions of duty in the law and gofpel of God, wherein is found the true good, comfort and happiness of mankind; for the great commandments of love and duty in the law, and of faith, repentance, &c. in the gospel, all proceed upon this fuppofition and ground-that God hath an abfolute right to govern and give law to the creation-that the creature is fervant to the creator, and not the creator to the creature-and that duty and obligation lies wholly on the creature, and if he rebels and makes himself miferable, the fault and blame is in the creature and not in the creator; in the unbelieving and difobedient finner, and not in the Saviour. And it is itrange, that fuch vain fpeculations and base reflections, are not long ago filenced and banished the chriftian world, by these clear dictates of reason, by the repeated appeals of God to it; " are not my ways equal and yours unequal;" by the perpetual doctrine of revelation, every where exprefsly laying the fault upon the creature: "The wicked that is warned but continues in his wickedness, fhall die in his iniquity, and his blood fhall be upon him :" " If thou be wife, thou fhalt be wife for thyfelf; but if thou scorneft thou alone fhalt bear it." "Thou alone," and not the Creator and Saviour, fhalt bear the blame and reproach with
the punishment:" And above all by the oath of God purpose ly clearing himself from all fuch impious infinuations, fuggef tions and reflections: "As I live, faith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he turn and live:"Turn ye, turn ye, why will you die?" It would be a hard cafe for any to ftand upon fuch terms with their maker, as not to credit the oath of God, unless he would please their fancy in their invented, new created worlds, and transmutation ftates, which may be very contrary to his all-wife arrange+ ment of things, in his everlasting kingdom. Is it honorable to the Father of Mercies, to take up the cause of the devil and his angels, and of wicked men, againft God? Hath he commi ffioned any one to teach the world, if these creatures are finally miserable in their rebellion, the creator fhould have withheld their existence? Judas, for inftance, will be finally mife, rable, if our Lord's words be true: "It had been good for that man if he had not been born." God foreknew this: Will any fay to God, he should have withheld the gift of existence to him? Will he fay, this very man was born an expectant of a bleffed immortality, upon a foundation which cannot disappoint him? confequently that our faviour's words cannot be true; or, if verified in the execution of this woe, Judas will be deprived of his birthright inheritance fecured upon a foundation which cannot fail. Will he teach as their "honeft Mr. Whifton," the punishment is cruel both in the threatning and execution; and that God must give up his juftice, and much more, his mercy in fuch execution, if Judas be finally and for ever miserable? Did God fend his fon into the world to teach a doctrine false and incredible, as they make this to be, and thereby to destroy the character of the Father and the Son? Can fuch teaching be for the good of mankind? Doth it tend to inforce their obedience, and promote their comfort and hap÷ pinefs? Yea, doth it not tend directly to strengthen the bands of wickednefs? Can it comfort the wicked for man to tell them happiness is their end, when the God of truth repeatedly declares" their end is deftruction ?"
Thefe questions carry their own anfwers in them, and plain
ly thew, that these men run with their maxims and reasonings "of falte philofophy and vain deceit," before they are fent. And it is very likely, if the prophet Ezekiel was now alive, he would give us a new edition of that folemn message from God, he addreffed to fome of the prophets in his day: "With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous lad, whom I have not made fad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked that he fhould not turn from his wicked way, by promising him life." Ezek. 13. 22. Will any one say, in the face of this declaration from God," that the promifing him life doth not ftrengthen the bands of wickedness, and harden the wicked in it, that he fhould not return from his wicked way?" Befides, if the happiness of the creature be the ultimate end of creation, every man may make his own pleasure and happinefs his ultimate end; and what wicked work this would make in this finful world, notwithstanding all the grave cautions and councils given against it, any man of difcernment and reflection may eafily fee. The reader may, I think, find this notion well expofed and confuted in Bishop Butler's Ana logy. I fpeak this from memory, not having the book by me, and it is, perhaps, twenty years fince I read it,
Again, Thefe projectors give us a very different, myfte. rious plan of Salvation, which we are to embrace "in the room" of our former faith. And it is faid no man is a com» petent judge of it "who has not often read over the New Teftament in the language in which it was wrote, and studi. ed Paul's epiftles for a confiderable time, &c." This looks fufpicious. It must be a very different plan from " that ftrait and narrow way of life," and those terms of " life and death"? taught by our Saviour and his apoftles, which are very plain. This highway of falvation is made fo plain, that it is written "wayfaring men, though fools, fhall not err therein." character of the two plans, the one given by infpiration, and the other by themselves, fhew they cannot be the fame and we are not prepared to "renounce" the old and true gof. pel for any other. This projected plan, is to fave the finally rebellious, in fome future new-created worlds and tranfmuta
See the Preface, p. 8, 9.
tion states, and by more effectual means than the gofpel affords.
Moreover, their piety and benevolence feems to need great correction. True piety teaches us a hearty acquiefcence in the allwife, perfect government of God, exhibited in fcripture---as founded in perfect wisdom, immutable truth, righteousness and goodness; and conducted by wife laws, conftitutions and terms of mercy; and enforced by most wife promises and threatnings; and to be settled in the day of judgment in a state of final retribution. True piety and benevolence, influences the subjects of it to pious endeavours to fupport the authority and govern ment of God, the requifitions of the law and gofpel, and the promises and threatnings of God in all their force; and to en deavour the repentance of finful men, and their reconciliation to God, upon the merciful terms of his divine conftitution only. But where do we find piety and benevolence exercised in taking up the cause of his enemies against God? In fupporting the prefumptuous hopes of the wicked against the force of his threatnings? In taking up, arguing and fupporting their objections, and thereby ftrengthening their misapprehenfions, hard thoughts and prejudices against the character of God as illustrated, and the government of God as it will be settled in