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secutions and calumny of sectarians, has caused the scales to fall from my intellec: tual eyes, has removed the prejudice of my education, and local prepossessions ; has caused me to look for the indwelling of the Spirit of truth, as my infallible criterion and dictator, and not the vociferous eloquence of those interested and arbitrary worms of the earth, who call themselves rev. and right rev. doctors of divinity; or, with a little modification of title, but with the same arbitrary power, are called bish, ops, elders, deacons, &c.
It is the most difficult thing in the world to remove local prejudice, and long standing prepossessions. Oft times, the worst political and ecclesiastical tyranny, cannot do it. Men can see their fellow creatures oppressed, and applaud and justify the oppressor. But if happily they participate the same oppression, they sometimes do get their intellectual eyes opened thereby, and then, and not till then, they will seek
refuge in God, and see the absurdity and servility of apologizing for, or vindicating the cause of the oppressor, to the destruction of the oppressed, and the mist of ignorance once dissipated, can never be collected again. Let any impartial man read the Book of Martyrs, and he will see on the one hand, the cruelty of ecclesiastical tyrants, and on the other, the cringing servility of their adherents and flatterers; and that cruel spirit by which they were influenced, I am sorry to say, is far from being extirpated from this land of politica! liberty; and it is, as it always has been, the antipode, and the greatest enemy to the cross and spirit of Christ; and is the primary cause, the Christian world is crowded with infidels, and that so many well disposed people, nurture doubts relative to the impartiality of the great Jehovah, which we will now endeayour to remove by the most reasonable and scriptural argumentation. It is a fact as lamentable as it is
obvious, that man is a fallen creature ; that he is not now as he was when first created ; that the cause of his
miserable condition, is his own delinquency; that as the eternal and immutable laws of order were violated by the delinquency of man, an adequate punishment must follow the same, and nothing but an expiatory sacrifice could make God, consistent with himself, or (as the Scriptures declare) just; and yet the Justifier of those, who relied upon this exertion of divine wisdom and goodness in the great Creator, for the relief of his fallen creatures. That such was the immense and boundless mercy of God, that he gave the Son of his love a sacrifice, to make a full and perfect atonement for the delinquency
of man, as without such an atonement, it would be impossible for any of the human family to be rescued from the ruins of the fall; finally, that none are doomed to future misery, but those who despise and disbelieve this instance of unutterable,
inconceivable, super-eminent, and supercelestial goodness, wisdom, power and love.
There have been men, who in former times, invented the blasphemous doctrine of absolute and unconditional reprobation, by twisting and straining the words of Sacred Writ. As many great and good men have already, from Scripture reason and antiquity, refuted this hateful and horrible doctrine, I will say but little relative to it; yet as it is pointedly opposed, both to the title and subject matter of my book, I must intersperse here and there, a pointed remark on its inutility, inconsistency, and blasphemy; as it indirectly makes God the author of all the moral mischief that is, or ever was, or ever will be in the world. In contradiction to this anti-scriptural doctrine, I do contend, that God who delights not in the death of a sinner, but wills all shall be saved, has given his own Son, who is the intellectual light of the world, that whosoever believeth in him shall be saved. And this light enlightens every
man that cometh into the world, and tallies with the beautiful lesson (which I have already asserted) observable in the book of nature ; that we should learn from the goodness of God to us all, to be kind to each other. It also manifests what is reprovable in our conduct, and teacheth all godliness, temperance, and righteousness. And this light doth often for a long time, shine upon the minds of all men, and would most indubitably work out the salvation of all, if not resisted ; but as it would be un. reasonable, or rather impossible, for God to force a free, intelligent being, to obey the light, and love the truth, as this would be destroying his free agency ;) consequently his spirit will not always strive with man, nor his light always shine upon those, who love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.
Every argument against the universality of Christ's death, and God's love to man, may be answered by the declaration and