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"and only one escape--make a profession of our doctrine, help us, and then, altho you justly deserve to be damned a thousand times, and may a thousand times more, 'Ye shall not surely die.""
3. It will be at once perceived, that the main artifice of the serpent now is, to admit the threatening true, and even aggravate its horrors; but artfully persuade his friends that it is not to apply to them, but others! Hence he whispers in every ear, "tho others may die for their sins, ye surely shall not." You ask one of his well instructed scribes if he believes God spoke truth when he threatened sin with death; he will answer, yes-and that this is endless death; ask him if he has not sinned; he will answer, yes-he commits sin enough every minute to damn him justly forever; ask him if he expects to be damned forever; he will answer, no-he does not expect to be damned at all-but he has a HOPE through the divine favor, that he has obtained pardon. Yes, his carnal mind has deceived him into the vain and idle HOPE, that altho he eats forbidden fruit every day, he shall not surely die; while he dooms his fellow sinners with daring arrogance to the unsparing wrath of Heaven !*
Here I protest against the Serpent's doctrine, upon this principle; he teaches men that their sins deserve endless death; but yet, that they shall not suffer it-and of course that they will not suffer the death which they ought to suffer. That Justice requires the elect to go to endless hell for their sins, as well as others; and yet, that they will not go; and of course, that justice will not be done them-and then of course God would be an unjust being! For if justice requires any person to be endlessly miserable, and God does not make him so, then God does not do him justice, and consequently cannot be a just being. Justice is a good principle; therefore, if justice requires a person to go to endless hell, he ought to go there, and God ought to send him there; and if he were just, he would do it. Nay, every man that loves justice would wish to have him go, and he ought to wish to go himself; and any being who should interpose to prevent it, could neither be just nor a friend to justice. This, therefore, is the way that the serpent *
Upon this same plan, the bishops of Rome engaged to pardon all the sins of the people at a stipulated price. Finding this a very lucrative scheme, they finally opened an office for the sale of INDULGENCES. To be sure, they taught and pretended to believe the doctrine of endless death for sin, but they added, they had the right to grant LICENCES for the commission of any crime they pleased for money. Thus did it seem that heaven was fairly put into the hands of the priests to be disposed of to the best advantage, and hell as a whip in the hands of Satan to compel the people to purchase: and men's consciences were warped till they would exactly fit the far published story.-"If we pay the money for our sins, surely we shall not die for them." Could the prophet of Israel rise from his grave, and look upon these things, would he not shake his hoary locks and exclaim again,
"A wonderful, horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so." (See Jer. v. 30, 31.)
4. In a latter period the old serpent induced his laborers to adopt the following decree, for the better security and farther promotion of his doctrine.
"All mankind by the fall (Adam's sin) lost commu
persuades people that God is unjust. Now, good reader, let me ask you, if he has never whispered thus in your ear? "My friend, your wicked neighbors, here and there, deserve endless misery, and they will have it; for God will do them justice; it would tarnish his glory to be unjust towards them; and you deserve it as well as they, but you will not have it, for God is not to be strictly just towards you, and never has been, or else you would have been in hell long ago." But the truth undoubtedly is, that all men have sinned, and therefore, that all must be punished, and each just as much as he deserves-and if it can be shown that any deserve to be always punished, they surely will be. If it be just,
it ought to take place; and let none attempt to save people from such a hell as justice requires them to go to. I think no one justly deserves endless misery, and that is the greatest reason why I think none will suffer it.
nion with God; are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and the pains of hell forever." Now this teaches the sinner, that he can never be punished for his own sins; for by Adam's sin he lost communion with God, and therefore cannot lose it by his own; by Adam's sin he is under God's wrath and curse, and can have nothing worse for his own; by Adam's sin he is liable to all the miseries of this life, and death itself; and therefore cannot suffer the miseries of this life and death itself for his own; by Adam's sin he is liable to the pains of hell forever, and therefore can have none of the pains of hell for his own. So it seems he must suffer out the want of communion with God, his wrath and curse, all the miseries of this life, death itself, and all the pains of hell forever, before he can begin to suffer for his own crimes! Is this any less than to say to him, 'for your own sins ye shall not surely die?'
5. But lest many should doubt this doctrine, and begin to tremble in view of their own crimes, the enemy has told us, that God has indeed threatened us for sin: but notwithstanding, if we take good care to repent afterwards, we shall not surely die. Hence it is that the good steady moralist is suffered to die unnoticed, and by the serpent is said to go to hell; whilst the murderer, in most cases, is visited by the pretended soulsavers, and is hopefully converted and goes unpunished to heaven. How seldom does he send his faithful ones, to men of understanding, industry and morals, to pretend to prepare them for the judgment day. But the highhanded villain, the notorious offender, whose soul is black with pollution, and whose hands are red with blood-he must be noticed-prayers and exhortations must be made for him-he must be converted-it will not do to let him go to hell for his own sins to be torment
ed with good sober moralists and honest people, (and as some say, infants not a span long,) who go there for Adam's sin! So the effeminate and credulous are not only persuaded that they shall not be punished for their sins, but that the more abandoned they are, the more likely to escape it. Thousands there are in our country, who pretend to no piety, who do not profess to live in moral and virtuous habits, and yet believe God's justice threatens every sin with endless woe; who believe their every act deserves the infinite pains of a never ending hell. But do they expect to really suffer this? O no. How do they expect to escape what Jehovah has threatened them? Why they mean to repent before they die! Yes, they either think they have repented, or they expect they shall before they die; and on that condition the serpent has always taught them that they might sin with impunity; that the very worst of human beings, dying in a converted state, would suffer no just punishment; while the very best of mankind, even beauty, virtue and the cradle's innocence, unconverted, must welter under the storms of unquenchable wrath, and drink the flaming vials of exasperated Omnipotence !
6. But lest some should wonder how divine justice can be satisfied with any thing less than what it requires, this artful deceiver, ever fruitful in invention to obviate all seeming difficulties in his system, gravely brings forward his doctrine of substitution. When all other sophisms fail, and the sinner sees the justice of the violated law impending like dark clouds over his head, then his master whispers in his ear, substitution, vicarious punishment, the innocent for the guilty! As much as to say to the sinner-Ye may transgress if ye please, for you was born in a damnable state, and you cannot render your condition any worse by your own actions, if you ARE to be damned, the thousandth part of what you
have already done, or even what Adam did for you, is snfficient for that purpose; but be it known to you, that you shall not be punished yourself, for your Savior has has been amply punished in your stead. What a delightful doctrine would it be to the thief, that if he should be detected, another should be punished for him! How sweet would it be to the murderer, that another should be executed for him!
My auditors-Suppose there was just such an animal or being as we have been taught to believe in-a mysterious, active, fearful, treacherous creature-an omnipresent, (and I like to have said) an almost omniscient and almighty being, called DEVIL. Suppose this being should fabricate a principle, as much like his own temper as possible, and call this principle justice; what should we expect it to be ? Should we not expect it would be vindictive as revenge, cruel as omnipotent wrath, dark and unrelenting as eternal hatred, and yet so capricious as sooner to punish the innocent for sin than the guilty ?Surely the father of Orthodoxy might be easily known by the dark and horrible features of his daughter.
7. In connection with other artifices for the extinction of moral light, and the complete delusion of mankind, he has told them, that they are totally depraved by nature, insomuch that the very best actions they can do are but abominations in the sight of God; so why should they try to do good, since it is impossible? And yet he is always clamorous in his invective against all doctrines but his own, as awfully licentious and demoralizing. Just as if it was possible to make poeple who are totally depraved worse than they are; or to prevent the reformation of those who have no power to reform !! But to make sin appear doubly excusable, he not only informs us that we have no moral ability whatever, but that he himself holds such dominion over us, and binds our affec