AN ATTEMPT To nip in the Bud, the unscriptural Doctrine of UNIVERSAL SALVATION, and some other dan­gerous Errors connected with it; which a cer­tain STRANGER, who calls himself JOHN MUR­RAY, has, of late, been endeavoring to spread in the First Parish of GLOUCESTER, to draw away Disciples after him.

IN A LETTER Addressed to one of those that are drawn away; if possible to reclaim him and the others. To this End and in Hopes that it may by the Bles­sing of GOD serve also to confirm all in some of the most important Doctrines of GOD's Word, it is made public, in Answer to the Desire of a very respectable Number of Persons of Reputation and Influence in said Parish.

TO WHICH IS SUBJOINED, The DYING TESTIMONY for the Truth, and against Error, of their worthy Minister, the Reve­rend Mr. SAMUEL CHANDLER, lately deceased.

By JOHN CLEAVELAND, A. M. Pastor of the Second Church in IPSWICH.

2 Cor. xi. 3.

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.

SALEM: N. E. Printed by E. RUSSELL, at his Printing-Office, Up­per-End of Main-street. M, DCC, LXXVI.



IT is now about a year since the following Letter was sent to the late Essex Printers—hostilities commencing soon after, by the British troops against the Americans, opened such a scene of business, &c. as hitherto to prevent it's publication.

The Author, though he looks upon the followers of the Stranger, herein referred to, to be under a sad and sorrowful delusion, yet has a benevolent affection to them, and his daily prayer to God for them is, that they may be undeceived in time and made wise, un­to eternal salvation; and earnestly prays them to read the following Letter with unprejudiced attention and an honest desire to know the Truth: "It is no more their interest than the Author's to be de­ceived." Nay, if the doctrine of universal salvation, or of the final happiness of all men is true, we run no hazard in denying it to be true; we shall as cer­tainly be saved and finally happy, as those will who avouch it, and enter heaven at death without going through purgatory or their intermediate state, pro­vided we are washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God, be­fore we die; which the advocates for universal sal­vation must allow we may—without believing their doctrine of universal salvation to be true; otherwise deny there are, or ever were any true Christians— any born of God in this life, but those that believe [Page iv] that doctrine; which will not only deny all the Pro­testant Churches of the present and past genera­tions, but also all the Christian Martyrs, &c. to be true Christians, sanctified in Christ, and called to be saints.—But what if this doctrine is not true? What if you have been given up to a strong delusion to believe a lie? Where will the sin­ner—Where will the unbeliever, the impenitent, the profane, the ungodly apppear? Will it be your in­terest in this case to be deceived? If your doctrine of the final happiness of all mankind is true, the Bible is not true! Let common sense speak, yea let Deists and Infidels say, whether they do not with one consent acknowledge that the Bible teaches in an open and express manner, that the unbeliever, the ungodly and impenitent, dying such, shall be pu­nished with an everlasting destruction? Pray consider death is coming on us all, and the deceived will then be undeceived:—But what comfort will it be to find ourselves in hell with a lye in out right hand and a great gulf fixed?—O my dear fellow-probationers, let us consider our latter end—let us be wise for eter­nity—let us repent and be converted while the long-suffering of God is waiting, and the door of salvation is open before us.—Let us fear God and keep his commandments, and be holy as God is holy in all manner of conversation and godliness, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord, but true holiness consists in real, hearty, practical conformity to our Lord's will in his word.




BY a benevolent affection to you and others you now associate yourself with to attend the mi­nistrations of the Stranger lately come into your Town, and from a serious concern for the cause of Christ and glory of God, I am moved to write a few things, which, I pray you and others concerned to take under proper consideration, viz.

I. That all men are naturally in a sinful, con­demned, and perishing state.—Sinful, for there is none that doth good, no not one—so then they that are in the flesh (as opposed to a being in the spirit) cannot please God.—Servants of sin—under the power of sa­tan, who worketh in the hearts of the children of diso­bedience.—Condemned and perishing, for he that be­lieveth not, is condemned already—by the offence of one, judgment is come upon all men unto condemnation—under the curse—guilty before God, and the wrath of God abideth on them, which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

II. That it is absolutely necessary that we be born of the Spirit—have repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

— Born of the Spirit, for except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God; he cannot enter the kingdom of God; Christ says, Mar­vel [Page 6] not, that I said unto you, ye must be born again. The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God; he must be washed and sanctified.—Without holiness no man shall see the Lord with comfort; hence we must be renewed in the spirit of our mind.—We must be cre­ated after God in righteousness and true holiness.—None will receive Christ, or believe on his name, but such as are born of God.—The natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither CAN he know them, because they are spi­ritually discerned.—No man CAN come to Christ, except the Father draw him.—None will or can love God or man with such a love as God requires in his com­mands, without being born of God; he that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.—True saints are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.—Such as are passed from death unto life love the brethren—love them, not in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth:—And this is love, that we keep God's commandments and Christ's sayings. They do their Lord's will. They do not live in the practice of what they know their Lord forbids, nor in the neglect of what they know he commands. We must have repentance toward God and faith to­ward Christ our Lord and Saviour; for except sinners repent they must perish—they must repent and be con­verted that their sins MAY be blotted out.—God now commands all men every where (where the gospel comes) to repent.—Such as are not moved to repentance by the goodness, long-suffering, and forbearance of God, are, after their hardness and the impenitency of their hearts, treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.—Wo un­to Chorazin and Bethsaida, that repented not! It shall [Page 7] be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for them;—they that repent not, are the children of their father the devil, and the lusts of their father they will do.—They are the enemies of God and Christ, they will not be reconciled to God, nor have Christ to reign over them.—Impenitent sin­ners, dying such, must be damned; consider this, says God, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, who has said, Vengeance is mine, I will repay it—and will by no means clear the guilty.—If the sinner turn not, God will whet his sword, he hath bent his bow and made it ready, and yet calls to sinners saying, Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?— We must turn to God with weeping and mourning, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, loathing our­selves for all our abominations, and abhorring ourselves in dust and ashes before God, lying low, infinitely low, in the deepest humility at his feet.—But we must re­pent and turn to God by faith in Christ, for no man can come to God but by Christ, or by faith in Christ; Christ is the only way to the Father; it is by faith we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.—If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, (as all unbe­livers are) in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glori­ous gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.

Faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is expressed by receiving Christ, the gift of God; com­ing to Christ; eating his flesh and drinking his blood; believing in him with all the heart; coming after Christ; denying ourselves, selling all we have, or leaving all and following Christ; by being in Christ.—abiding in him [Page 8] as the branch in the vine, rejoicing in Christ Jesus without any confidence in the flesh; counting all things as loss and dung, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, to win Christ and be found in him.—Fleeing for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us.—All which variety of expression of faith in Christ necessarily implies, that in true faith, there is application to Christ, union to Christ and a change of our state.—We are in Christ, and no longer out of Christ, or with out Christ.—We are members of his bo­dy, of his flesh, and of his bones.—Old things are done away with such. Behold all things are become new! There is no condemnation to such—they shall be saved:— They have peace with God:—They are justified, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them:—They are God's adopted children! They have power or right to become the Sons of God.—They have the Spirit of Christ, and are led by his Spirit.—Walk in it, walk after it, and live to Him that died for them—in newness of life—in righteousness and holiness.—Their delight is in the law of God after the inner man.—Their faith works by love to God, by love to saints, and by love of benevolence to the persons of wicked men and to personal ene­mies, for they pray heartily for them.—These be­live to the saving of their souls, are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation and shall receive the end of their faith the salvation of their souls, they shall be glorified.

III. That all such as die out of Christ, neglecting so great salvation, cannot escape damnation in hell forever: It is Christ that says, He that beliveth not shall be damned.—Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.—Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will [Page 9] the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of the Father with the holy angels.—Wo unto you that laugh now, for ye shall weep—shall be cast into outer darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.—And in the day of judgment, Christ will say to the wicked, depart from me ye cursed into ever­lasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.— The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment.— There is a great gulf fixed between heaven and hell, or the spirits of just men made perfect in heaven and the damned in hell-torments, so that there will be no passing from heaven to hell, nor from hell to heaven.—But wide is the gate and broad is the way, which leadeth (from us on earth) to destruc­tion in hell, and many there be that go in thereat; be­cause strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leads from us on earth, to life, in heaven, and few there be that find it.—And as to what the inspired Apostles say of this matter, time would fail me to relate—it is enough to observe, that such professors of religion as draw back, draw back to perdition;—that there re­mains no more sacrifice for sin, for such as sin wilfully after they have received the knowledge of the truth, but a fearful looking for of judgment and firy indignation.— That it is impossible to renew such again unto repen­tance, who fall away and crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame, after they have been once enlightened and tasted of the good word of God, &c. That the heavens and the earth which are now, by the word of God are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of un­godly men.—That Christ will be revealed from heaven [Page 10] in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, whom he will punish with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.—Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of, &c.—We must all stand before the judg­ment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.—Unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness, the righ­teous Judge will render in that day, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish of soul. And the smoke of their torment will ascend up forever and ever. From the whole it appears as evident as inspired language can make it.

1. That the time of life here on earth is our only probation-time for eternity. Behold now is the ac­cepted time! Behold now is the day of salvation! God is now in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto him­self—he is now on a throne of grace, but after death is the judgment; after death, they that are fil­thy will be filthy still; and they that are holy will be holy still.—When Christ cometh to judgment then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father—that God may be all in all.—And

2. That after death unto the final judgment, while our bodies are in the grave our souls will be in a fixed state of happiness or misery, according to the state we were in when we gave up the ghost;— if in Christ, of happiness; if out of Christ—of misery, and after the resurrection and final judg­ment the wicked will be in a state of punishment in soul and body forever and ever.

[Page 11]Now if all mankind will finally be saved and happy, Why did Christ and his inspired Penmen of holy scripture speak of the damnation and punishment of wicked men, dying in their impenitence and unbe­lief, as being, after the day of judgment, fixed for an eternal duration? Or why do they, when speak­ing of the misery and punishment of wicked men in hell, always make use of such terms and expressions, as are the most emphatical to impress our minds with an apprehension of their eternal, or endless and neverceasing duration; without the least hint, in other terms or expressions, that the damned shall finally be released from the punishments of hell, and be translated to the regions of eternal blessedness? What end could Christ and his inspired Writers have in view, in using such words in such a manner, upon this awful subject of the damnation of hell, as they knew all men of common sense must and would un­derstand to import endless, neverceasing duration; if they knew at the same time the punishment of wicked men in hell will not be eternal, but have an end? Yea, What reason can be given why Christ did not tell his hearers, that no man would be fi­nally lost, but every individual of mankind should finally be saved, especially when one of his hearers made it almost necessary, by putting this question to him. Are there few that be saved? Christ did not answer him saying, "You are under a gross error or mistake by means of the damning doctrine of your Teachers, who are proclaiming every where through the country, that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat; because strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life and few there be that find it."—No, No; but he said unto [Page 12] them, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many I say unto you will seek to enter in and shall not be able, when once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door, and you begin to stand without and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, &c."—Which answer plainly teaches, That none will be saved but such as enter the strait gate which opens into the narrow way that leads to life eternal.—That many of those that shall seek to enter therein shall not be able and hence shall not be saved, and that the reason why they shall not be able to enter the strait gate is, because they will not begin to seek, or to stand at the door and to knock until after the master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door, until after their probation-time is at an end.

But if, notwithstanding what Christ and his in­spired Penmen say to the contrary, the damned, after suffering in hell a certain finite or limited dura­tion, shall be translated to heaven: Before we can receive this as an article of faith, we must be able to produce in the scriptures of truth, a thus saith the Lord for it; but where will you find the divine testimony in the book of God, that the wicked in hell will in some future period, either before, at or after the day of judgment, be delivered from the pains of hell and made blessed in heaven forever? And where is it said in the bible, that though Christ and the inspired Writers speak of hell-punishment as everlasting, eternal, forever and ever, &c. Yet it must not be understood, that they taught, it would be properly everlasting, eternal, forever and ever, or to an endless durarion? Or where is it said in the word of God, that the words eternal, everlasting, forever, * [Page 13] signify endless, neverceasing duration, when joined with life and blessedness in heaven; but never so when joined with destruction, punishment, or misery in hell?

Besides, if the wicked in hell shall ever, hereafter, come out of hell and be blessed in heaven, they must first pay the very last farthing or mite of the debt of ten thousand talents, for which they were cast into the prison of hell; for they shall not come out thence, until they have paid the very last farthing or mite, is the testimony of Christ; that is, they must suffer in hell as much and as long as they deserve to suffer at the hands of justice for the infinite evil of sin, as it is a violation of infinite obligation to love and obey God!

Now it is possible for a finite Being to suffer as much as he deserves to suffer for his sins, in a limited duration of time, or it is not: If it is possible, then we did not stand in absolute need of Christ, as an infinite Person to become our surety, and to make atonement for our sins by suffering for us, the just for the unjust, in order to deliver us from the wrath that is to come. For after persons have suffered as much as they deserve to suffer for their sins, they must be immediately delivered from a state of suffering; it will be no act of justice to hold them under punishment any longer: But such as are deli­vered from hell on account of their own suffering, will not join with the redeemed in heaven in ascrib­ing their redemption to Christ, as having redeemed them unto God by his blood:—But it is not possi­ble for sinners in their own persons to suffer, in a li­mited duration of time, all that they deserve to suffer for sin at the hands of justice, because sin is an in­finite evil, which God infinitely hates, and therefore an infinite punishment in duration is what the sin­ner deserves to suffer for it at the hands of divine justice.

[Page 14]But supposing it possible to suffer in hell as much s we deserve for our sins, so as to be released from a state of punishment, this would not qualify the sin­ner for the enjoyment of heaven; the inflicting pu­nishment on men or devils in hell has no tendency to take away their enmity against God, and to make them his cordial friends; but this is absolutely ne­cessary to our enjoying heaven, if we do not love God for his own sake, if we do not love him su­premely, yea, if we do not love him in all his moral character as the heaven of heaven, heaven will be no heaven to us!

But we are sure from the most sure word of pro­phesy, unto which we do well to take heed, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God—and that such are all we, by nature as fallen creatures, and by practice sinners, and therefore, that none of us will inherit the kingdom of God, but such as are washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

4. That the holy scriptures abundantly call upon us to watch and pray that we enter not into tempta­tion—to examine ourselves whether we be real christi­ans—to watch our own hearts—to see that we receive the love of the truth, because such as do not receive it are in danger of being given up to strong delusions to believe a lie that they may be damned—to be vigilant and sober, because the devil, our adversary is going about seeking whom he may devour, as a roaring lion.—To beware of satan's ministers—wolves in sheep's clothing, who transform themselves into the ministers of Christ: We must not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God, because there are many false prophets gone out into the world, who will privily bring in damnable heresies, by means of [Page 15] whose pernicious ways, the way of truth shall be evil spoken of; and because, by all deceivableness and by good words and fair speeches they will deceive the hearts of the simple, and use such cunning craftiness to corrupt the minds of people from the simplicity in Christ, that if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect, we must not go after them, but let them alone—for they are blind leaders of the blind—their words eat as doth a canker—their doctrine like leaven will spread and infect, or like a fascination or charm, captivate the reason and bewitch the senses or minds of people. "O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, &c.—Ye did run well, who hath hindered you? I bear you re­cord, if it had been possible, you would have pluck­ed out your own eyes and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"

Ah, ah, you will say, false Teachers and their doctrines are to be avoided: But who are these false Teachers? I will answer.

1. False Teachers (wolves in sheep's clothing) are ungodly men; sensual not having the spirit of Christ; they may have the form of godliness, yet they always deny the power thereof.—They are of the world.—They have never been convinced, by the Holy Ghost, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.—Have ne­ver been slain by the law; never through the law become dead to the law—that they might live to God.—Never had their mouths stopped and become sensibly guilty before God, as justly condemned.—Ne­ver seen themselves cut off for their parts and brought to the feet of sovereign mercy with a God be merci­ful to me a sinner.—Never brought to justify God, should judgment proceed against them in their ever­lasting [Page 16] punishment.—Never had the eyes of their understandings opened in the knowledge of Christ to see him in his true character, as the Son of God and Savior of men, as having all fulness in him, as being altogether lovely, so as to forsake all things, in affection for him, and to have every imagination and high thing which exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, cast down, and every thought brought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. And to worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus without any confidence in the flesh:—Never been formed into such a temper of mind, as to delight in the moral law after the inner-man, as being just, holy, and good—to love God's glory for its own sake, as an ultimate good, and to live to the Lord, and glorify him in their body and in their spi­rit which are his—to esteem God's precepts con­cerning all things to be right, and to hate every false way—to repent and turn from every evil way, and to abhor themselves and repent in dust and ashes.— And to exercise a truly benevolent affection towards all men, friends and enemies.—It is true, they may have had awakenings and illuminations, and joys and comforts, and great confidence of their good estate before God, and great gifts of knowledge and utterance, speak with the tongue of men and angels, &c. and yet have no charity, no love to God, no genuine benevolence to men, no friendly affection to Jesus Christ and his kingdom; but be wolves, dogs, concision, wholly wrapt up in a base, contracted, selfish spirit, inimical to God, Jesus Christ, and mankind.—And you may be sure, that Teacher is a wolf in sheep's cloathing, is destitute of true love to Christ, who lives in the neglect of family religion, and teaches others to do so, at least by [Page 17] his practice, and makes light of Christ's ordinances, institutions, and sacramental seals of the covenant of grace.

2. False teachers are hirelings, whose own the sheep are not, they do not naturally care for the good of the flock, the things which be Jesus Christ's.— They do not travel in birth of souls until Christ be formed in them; they do not wrestle in prayer with God for the outpouring of his Spirit on sinners to convince them of sin, to regenerate and effectually call them unto the fellowship of the Father and of his Son Christ Jesus.—And such are false teachers, and manifest they have no true care for souls, that neglect to press sinners to speedy repentance—to a speedy flight by faith to Christ for refuge—neglect to pray and beseech them in Christ's stead to be re­conciled to God, to be at peace with him, and to live a life of universal obedience to all the revealed will of God; and neglect to do it on principle! John said, "The ax is laid to the root of the trees, every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire:"—Christ said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."—That such as will not cut off a right hand, or put off the old man that is corrupt, must go to hell with all their lusts, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched; and wept over hardened Jerusalem saying, "How often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and ye would not."—"Behold," &c.—The Apostles called on sinners to "repent and be converted that their sins might be blotted out."—Prayed souls and beseeched them in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God, and know­ing the terrors of the Lord persuaded men, saying, "How can ye escape if ye neglect so great salva­tion!—Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the [Page 18] dead and Christ shall give you light:—But while ye cry peace and safety to yourselves, sudden destruc­tion shall come upon you, &c."

Such do not care for the flock, that neglect from time to time to urge professors of religion to give all diligence to add to their faith virtue, and to vir­tue knowledge, &c. And to give diligence to make their calling and election sure;—neglect to urge them to be holy in all manner of conversation and godliness, and to give diligence to be found of the Lord in peace without spot and blameless, from a consideration, "that the heaven and the earth which now are, by the word of God are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men:"—Neglect to urge them to believe to the saving of their souls from a consideration, that such as draw back, draw back unto perdition, and God's soul has no pleasure in them, and he will swear in his wrath that they shall not enter into the rest which remains for the people of God, as he swore unbelieving Is­rael should not enter into the promised land of Ca­naan.—The Apostle Paul says, "I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, testifying both to the Jews and also unto the Greeks repentance to­ward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ: Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men, for I have not shun­ned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."— And again, "Whom (Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."

3. Such are false teachers, who privily bring in damnable heresies.—Privily under sheep's cloathing— under a cloak of zeal for our good, they zealously affect you but not well.—Wrap them up in good words and fair speeches to deceive the hearts of the simple. [Page 19] They corrupt the word of God, retain hidden things of dishonesty—walk in craftiness, and handle the word of God deceitfully—wrest the scriptures by their forced interpretations to speak what the Holy Ghost never intended, yea, what is contrary to the letter and spirit of the written word of God.—The Apostle Paul says, "That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with eve­ry wind of doctrine, by the slight of men and cun­ning craftiness, whereby they lye in wait to deceive."

And here it may be affirmed without the least he­sitation, that such a person is a false teacher, who advances certain leading principles or tenets in re­ligion, which have a tendency to produce very fatal consequences to the souls of men, if embraced, to maintain and support which, he is forced to contra­dict the common sense of mankind, the common sen­timents of the whole Protestant Church, and the plain and obvious meaning of Christ and the inspired Pen­men of sacred scripture:—Such is the doctrine of universal salvation as advanced by the Stranger, his doctrine of purgatory or intermediate state, and of no application of Christ, or effectual calling, conversion, or believing in Christ as necessary in order to our being pardoned by God, justified as righteous in his sight, received into his favor, and made heirs of eternal salvation through Christ's name.

It may also be affirmed to be an infallible mark of a false teacher, if at his first coming into a strange place, it is his practice to make use of such language only, or forms of speech as he understands con­vey to them orthodox sentiments until he has gain­ed their affections, and then by little and little, as he finds it will bear, to devulge his corrupt tenets in language directly contrary to what he used at first▪—That is, more open and less equivocal; thus [Page 20] the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty—and thus the Apostle feared the minds of the Corinthi­ans would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, by those Ministers of satan, who transform­ed themselves into the apostles of Christ, or as the ministers of righteousness, even as "satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

4. As false teachers are of the world, they speak of the world and the world heareth them; but the Apostle says, "We are of God, he that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us; hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." And Christ says to the Jews, "I am come in my Father's name and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."— Again, "Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my words—and because I tell you the truth ye believe me not.—He that is of God heareth God's words, ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.—Many therefore of his disciples when they heard—said this is a hard saying, who can hear it?—From that time many of his disciples went back and no more walked with him." These were only nominal, that is to say, not disciples indeed.—Now as none can cordially acquiesce in the doctrine of Christ, but such as are born of God, because it is directly contrary to the sinful in­clinations of our hearts, and we must deny ourselves in complying with it; we must conclude, such teach­ers come not with the doctrine of Christ, nor in his name, but in their own name and with the spirit of the world; if wicked and carnal men find no dif­ficulty in complying with their doctrine arising from their own corrupt and sinful inclinations, and that they would gladly become their disciples, but are [Page 21] kept back by the objections from common sense, the light of their reason and conscience, and a ra­tional belief of the contrary truths.—Let us illus­trate this a little.

Christ preaches, that we must believe in him, repent and be converted and become as little children, must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow him—must forsake all that we have and love him above father, mother, wife, children, house, land, and even our own life, yea must cut off a right hand and pluck out a right eye that offends, or other­wise we must be damned, we must go to hell with both hands and both eyes, even into a state of everlast­ing punishment, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.

But supposing a Stranger comes into Gloucester in A. D. 1775, and teaches, "That Christ, by making complete atonement for sin by the sacrifice of him­self, has made up the breach between God and fal­len men, so that all men are now pardoned, all are justified, and all will finally be saved; Christ has bound up the broken in heart; my bible says he has done it. Some, indeed, speak of application to Christ as necessary, but my bible knows of no such application as necessary to our being pardoned, justi­fied, or saved eternally; no, we are saved by grace, and justified freely through the redemption of Christ; all mankind were in Christ before the foundation of the world; all men were chosen in him in contra­distinction to the fallen angels.—Christ having given himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time, he has made peace by the blood of his cross for all, and God is now reconciled to the world, not im­puting to them their trespasses, and Christ is made of God unto all men wisdom, righteousness, sancti­fication, and redemption.—As we are in Christ be­fore [Page 22] we believe, so we are pardoned and justified be­fore we believe, and our sanctification is not in our­selves, but in Christ as our justification is in him.—God sees no iniquity in men, all men are the children of God.—No man is a child of the devil.—The chil­dren of the devil, or of the wicked one, are the tares, which the enemy or devil sowed in the world. Did the devil send men into this world? No, no; but sin is of the devil and there are doctrines of devils.— These sins and errors are the tares, the hay, wood, and stubble, which shall, in the end of the world be bound in bundles and sent away into that everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.

"That all mankind will finally be saved and made eternally happy, appears from the declaration of the divine goodness and his will relative to this matter: As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; and the Apostle Peter says, The Lord is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and the Apostle Paul speaking of God our Saviour, says, Who will have all men to be saved and come to the know­ledge of the truth—nay, is it not expressly said, "As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to con­demnation, even so, by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.—For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.— Christ gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.—He tasted death for every man.—Christ is a pro­pitiation for the sins of the whole world, and will draw all men unto him.

"You must be sensible, beloved, that preaching this doctrine of universal salvation, and that all are beloved of God, and interested in Christ, &c. is preaching the gospel, that is, glad tidings of salvati­on unto all people.—For how can ministers preach the [Page 23] gospel unto every creature, if every creature has not an interest in Christ? Yea, How can God sincerely offer salvation to all, if all are not to be saved? And how can any person believe; yea, how can all be required to believe, if all are not to be saved?

"It is true, he that believeth not shall be damned, but you know that the words damned and condemned are used as synonimous, as for instance, he that doubt­eth is damned if he eateth; and the word damnation signi­fies some temporal loss, judgment, or calamity, when it is said, he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, for which cause some are sick­ly, &c. Therefore, he that believeth not shall be damn­ed, must signify no more than this, he shall be con­demned in his own mind, and suffer the loss or want of that comfort, which such enjoy, as believe; it doth not mean that he shall be damned forever; yea though such as die in unbelief may go to hell, or to an intermediate state, where Judas went, when he went to his own place, which may be a state of in­quietude, or perplexity, yet they shall in due time be finally released from that state and be blessed in heaven forever; for mark the words, Christ gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, * and Judas himself shall hereafter, as well as the rest of the twelve apostles, sit on a throne judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

[Page 24]"And as to faith, or believing, which pretended divines and ministers of Christ have wrote loads of volumes to define, that serve only to confound and perplex the minds of the people; it is in no sense at all a condition or mean of our interest in Christ, of our pardon, justification, or salvation; for otherwise how are we saved by grace and justified FREELY? And besides;, is it possible for our believing, to make a change in our real state, or to give us a real interest in Christ?—No, it is only a believ­ing the gospel, these glad tidings, which I preach, that all men are interested in Christ.—That God is reconciled to all.—That all men shall be finally happy, &c. And hence that God is reconciled to me in particular, that my sins are pardoned, &c. In believing thus our hearts are filled with all joy and peace, and this faith works by love to God, we love him because we believe he loved us first.— [Page 25] We love Christ because we believe he loved us and gave himself for us.—Hence, my Brethren, away with all the damning doctrine inculcated by all the preachers in these American Colonies, except one or two at most.—You do not hear me insist upon the nature and necessity of regeneration, nor upon re­pentance toward God and faith toward Christ as necessary to our being interested in Christ, pardon­ed, justified, or saved; nor on our being new crea­tures—holy as God is holy in all manner of conver­sation and godliness—on our keeping Christ's say­ings, attending on the administration of gospel-sa­craments, and praying always with all prayer in se­cret, in family, and public worship as necessary to evidence to ourselves and before men, that we are in Christ, that our faith is not a dead faith, but that we are such as are or shall be saved.—And much less do ye hear me telling the drunkard, the profane swearer, the whoremonger, &c. that they must re­pent and be converted now while they have a space to repent and the long-suffering of God is waiting on them, or else they must hereafter lift up their eyes in torments, in an unalterable state of misery, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quench­ed and the smoke of their torments shall ascend up forever and ever! No, no; I do not chuse to offend the ears of my hearers with such disagreable sounds, but rather, leaving this to the preachers of this land, I chuse to entertain my auditory with noble specu­lations in divinity and explications of deep mysteries in sacred scripture, such, for instance, as the man's going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, &c. that this signifies Adam's gradually falling—fall-ing—fall-ing until he quite fell among thieves, even death and the [Page 26] devil, which, it seems, after stripping him of his rai­ment and wounding him, departed from him and left him but half dead. Mark, my hearers, Adam was but half dead, he had a life hid in Christ, which the eye of that vulture, the devil, did not discern!" &c. *

Now, my Friend, is it necessary to ask the questi­on, which of these two sorts of doctrine and preach­ing is the most agreable to corrupt nature, to our sinful inclinations, and the selfish spirit of the world— such as Christ and his apostles preached, as specified in the foregoing pages—or such as has been just spe­cified above, and which your Stranger may be sup­posed to preach quite consistently with his leading principles? You must know, Sir, that drunkards, profane swearers, whoremongers, and the most aban­doned sinners, feel no opposition to, no quarrelling in their sinful inclinations, affections, and lusts, with such doctrine and preaching as the latter.—They do not say, it is a hard saying who can hear it? No, for it encourages them to bless themselves in their hearts, saying, we shall have peace, though we walk in the imaginations of our hearts to add drunkenness to thirst! And the little boys in your streets are already caught in the snare and say, "We may swear and curse and lie and quarrel and do what we will that is bad without any danger of going to the devil in everlasting burnings; for Mr. M— preaches that all men will be saved and be happy forever."

[Page 27]This new scheme of religion is totally destitute of divinity, self-denial, and true holiness—it is Anti­nominiasm itself—contrary to all divine law of reli­gion and holiness.—The carnal mind, which is enmi­ty against God, it being not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be, is cordially pleased with this new scheme!—This carnal mind is a mere selfish spirit—a selfish spirit is the very soul or spirit of wickedness, iniquity, or sin;—if a selfish spirit reigns in us, sin reigns in us, and we are the servants of sin and under the power of the devil, and hate the Fa­ther and hate Christ, and are enemies to both:— And such persons will not come to Christ—will not believe in him—will not have him to reign over them as Lord of their conscience, faith, and obedience: They must be drawn of the Father—they must be born of God in order to believe in Christ; and must deny themselves and forsake all they have, in the act of believing:—But what is there in this new scheme, that a person wholly under the power of sin, a selfish spirit, or the carnal mind, could not heartily subscribe to? What need is there of being born of God, in order either to believe, or to love God and Christ as required in this scheme? If there is no application to Christ—no application of Christ to ourselves—no uniting to Christ in believing, an unregenerate person will be as able to believe as one that is born of God:—And if wicked men love such persons, as they believe love them, and an apprehen­sion that others love them, is the only motive of their love to the others; then wicked men may love God and Christ with just such a love as is taught in this scheme, to be the fruit of the faith described there­in.—The love which wicked men, who were never [Page 28] born of God, have to God, to Christ, and to mankind, is wholly selfish—founded in self, even in the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; and hence is not in the least degree holy, but altogether sinful.

Neither does this new scheme require godly sorrow for sin—deep humiliation and repenting as in dust and ashes—watching and praying—keeping under the body and crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts and the like, lest otherwise we die—we be­come castaways as urged by Christ and his apostles! But on the contrary teaches, that God sees no ini­quity in us, let us live as we list, and that strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth to de­struction and few there be, none at all, that find it; because wide is the gate and broad is the way which leadeth to life and many there be, even all mankind, go in thereat! What is the broad way to destructi­on, spoken of by Christ, but error and sin? And what is the narrow way to life, but faith or truth as it is in Jesus, and holiness?

This new scheme is a compound of heresies founded in a wrong application, a misinterpretation, a perversion, and a wresting of the holy scriptures. The written word of God contains a perfectly con­sistent system of religion, yet every person of com­mon sense, who reads the same with careful attention will find many words used which have not in every place precisely the same meaning, as for instance damned, saved, or damnation and salvation—the will of God—all men, &c.—And the meaning may in ge­neral be known by the context and parallel texts, or by the general analogy of sacred scripture.

What if the word damned may be used in some [Page 29] place to signify the same as condemned, or the word damnation, the same as judgment, even a temporal judgment; will it be agreable to common sense, from thence to conclude, that the damnation of hell, resurrection to damnation, and eternal damnation sig­nify no more than a temporal judgment!—And wont it be just as sensible and reasonable to conclude, that if the word saved or salvation may be used in some places to signify only temporal deliverance from some judgment, eminent danger or distress; that salvation from wrath to come, eternal salvation, and a being saved as opposed to a being damned, signify no more than a temporal deliverance from some temporal judgment? Christ says, he that believeth—shall be saved and he that believeth not shall be damned; if damnation here is temporal, why not the salvation too? Fol­low this scheme but a little farther and you will deny a future state of reward as well as punishment, and then join issue with the atheistical and swinish Epicures, saying, Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. q. d. When we die there will be an end of us; we shall cease forever to know either plea­sure or pain, happiness or misery.

And what if the word God's will in some places is used to signify God's absolute and sovereign de­cree, the purpose which he purposed in himself, cal­led his determinate counsel and the counsel of his will, after which he worketh all things and which none can resist, for who hath resisted his will? Will you from thence affirm that this word is never used to signify something else? Or can you deny that God's will in some places is used to signify the moral law, and in some other places the gospel of salvation? The moral law is God's will, as our moral governor [Page 30] and lawgiver and judge of all the earth, pointing out what we must do to please him and what we must forbear to do on pain of suffering his infinite displeasure.—It is the will of God in the moral law that we be holy as God is holy, perfect as he is perfect: But this will of God is not done on earth as it is in heaven by any mere man; it is totally resisted and rebelled against by multitudes; many that know their Lord's will, yet do not do according to it.— And it is the will of God, as a righteous judge, in the sentence of condemnation, passed upon all men to suffer that punishment, which is the just demerit of sin, that all men shall be damned; or the sentence of condemnation, as it is a binding the condemned over to suffer damnation, is God's willing as a righ­teous judge, that all such be damned.—A judge's con­demning a criminal to suffer death by hanging until he is dead, is his willing as judge that the criminal shall thus suffer.

The gospel of salvation is the will of God consider­ed as the God of grace and on the throne of grace, God reveals to us in the gospel, that a door of salvation is opened for perishing men, that through the redemp­tion of Christ he can justify us freely, yea be both just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus:— That he is willing to be reconciled to us, to pardon, justify, and save all that will come to him by Christ, and his commanding his ambassadors to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, pray­ing all in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God, as though God by his ministers did beseech them, and his commanding all men every where by the gospel to repent, believe on Christ and to take the water of life freely and thus be saved, is his not willing that any [Page 31] should perish, but that all should come to repentance, or his willing that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth as the means or way of salvation.—Even as a king's issuing out an act of grace to pardon all such rebels as will throw down their arms, submit to his government, and accept of the offered pardon, is his not willing that any of these rebels should perish as rebels, but that all should come to repentance and receive a pardon.—But there are many that resist the will of God in the gospel, make light of God's gracious calls and invitations—neglect so great sal­vation—and will not come to Christ that they may have life—will not repent and be converted that their sins may be blotted out, but go their ways, provok­ing the holy one of Israel to anger until he swears in his wrath, that they shall not enter in his rest, and in the great day will say to them, because I have cal­led and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsel and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity, &c.

As to all men, a careful reader will observe, that it signifies sometimes all mankind, Adam with all his posterity coming into the world by ordinary genera­tion, as when it is said, by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.—In Adam all die.—By the deeds of the law no flesh living can be justified in his sight.—We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; though when it is said, it is appointed unto all men once to die—there is an ex­ception not only of Enoch and Elijah, but of many millions who shall remain alive upon earth at the coming of Christ—we shall not all sleep but we shall be changed.—Sometimes all sorts of men, as, that— [Page 32] supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority.—We are not required in the word of God to pray for those that are in heaven; nor for those in hell, or in your STRANGER's inter­mediate state, his purgatory; nor for such on earth as have sinned the sin unto death; nor for the eternal salvation of the non-elect.—And sometimes all men signify all that the Father gave Christ out of the world of mankind—all that the Father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they might be ho­ly, &c. All that were predestinated to the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ—all that Christ calls his sheep for whom he laid down his life with a special design to save;—all called his seed, for whose sins Christ made his soul an offering;—all foreordained to be Christ's church, which he loved and gave himself for that &c.—foreordained to be members of his body, and he to be their head as the second public man; the se­cond Adam:—As the first man—the first Adam had his body to which he stood related as head, so the se­cond man—the second Adam has his body to which he stands related as head; and as the body, or all men of the first Adam were his natural seed by natu­ral generation and birth, so the body, or all men of the second Adam are his spiritual seed by a spiritual birth, by regeneration—created in Christ Jesus unto good works;—hence, when it is said, by the righteous­ness of one the free gift came upon all men to justifi­cation of life—in Christ shall all be made alive— who gave himself a ransom for all.—Tasted death for every man—there is no difficulty in understanding all men—all and every man—to mean, all that were chosen in Christ—chosen to salvation through sancti­fication [Page 33] of the spirit and belief of the truth—all given to the Son by the Father that shall come to him, and whom Christ will in no wise cast out.—We must either understand it thus, or else that by the righte­ousness of one the free gift came upon all mankind unto justification of life, and all mankind shall be made alive in Christ, and that Christ gave himself a ransom for all mankind with an absolute design to save the whole and every man in particular.—But this latter we know is false, because multitudes die in their sins, will be raised up at the last day to damnation, and be punished with an everlasting destruction from the pre­sence of the Lord and the glory of his power!

Yet as Christ took on him that human nature, which is common to all men, whether considered as elect or not; as he brought in an everlasting righteousness for the justification of men—by his obedience to that law, which is the law of righteous­ness unto all men.—And obtained redemption for men, by suffering, the just for the unjust, to the full satisfaction of divine justice, that penalty which all mankind stood bound by the sentence of condem­nation to suffer; it follows, that his righteousness and atonement are as sufficient for the justification, par­don and salvation of one sinner among men as another, and for every sinner of mankind individually con­sidered; and that God can, as consistently with the honor of his moral law and government, on Christ's account, pardon, justify, and save one as another, and every one equally that shall accept of his gra­cious offer.

And as God's method of addressing himself to men in the ministry of reconciliation, by setting before [Page 34] them life and death, a blessing and a curse, yea, by holding out to them pardon, justification, and eter­nal life as a free-gift, and inviting, beseeching, and praying them by his ambassadors to accept of the same, or otherwise they must eternally perish, is a treating men as men, as reasonable creatures, drawing them with the cords of a man.—And as he addresses himself to men in the ministry of reconci­liation, not immediately, but through the instrumen­tality of his ambassadors who know not the hearts of men, nor whether all to whom they are sent to preach are elect or not—one has as good a warrant to be­live in Christ the Saviour as another, to whom Christ is preached:—And as every one is to blame for not believing in Christ, it is his own fault that he doth not, because he either sinfully neglects, voluntarily makes light of, or wickedly treads under foot the offer, and will not come to Christ that he might have life; it fol­lows, that it is the duty of one sinner as much as of another and of every one alike under the gospel, to re­pent, to come to Christ, or believe in him: And as God knows none can, none ever will come to Christ and be saved, except he draws them by his efficacious grace, and yet when drawn they actually come—be­living in Christ as set before us in that gospel which is committed unto his ambassadors to preach to every human creature, and commonly are drawn, and do come while hearing the blessed gospel preached, for faith comes by hearing, &c. And as they come to that Christ that all are invited to come to, be­living no one proposition but what all are required to believe and cordially accepting of that offer only which is made to all in the gospel:—It follows, that such as are saved, are saved wholly by grace in [Page 35] a way that excludes all boasting from themselves. And that such as perish under the gospel are wholly inexcusable for their neglect and will be punished for not believing on the name of the Son of God.— And as Christ's righteousness and atonement are suffi­cient for the salvation of the whole world; and as all mankind in general, by virtue of Christ's media­tion and merits, have a temporary salvation—a day of God's forbearance—a space to repent, or a time of probation.—And as God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself—Christ may be called the Sa­viour of all men—the Saviour of the world—and a pro­pitiation for the sins of the whole world, so far, that whosoever, in all the world, believeth in him, shall be saved;—yea, that if the whole world would re­pent and believe in Christ, as God commands them to do in the gospel, they should be saved.—And yet such as will not believe in him, shall be damned.— In an army there is one instituted to be a Surgeon-General to the whole army—all the sick and wound­ed in the army have a right, by virtue of his being a Surgeon-General, to apply to him; yet such as will not apply, or do refuse the use of his means, will receive no benefit by him:—Christ is by office the Saviour, and only Saviour of the world—there is none other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved—all are called upon to come to him, where the gospel comes.—Whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life—and him that cometh to Christ, he will in no wise cast out; but such as will not come unto Christ that they may have life, abide in death, and the wrath of God abi­deth on them:—Yet all that the Father giveth Christ shall come.—God has engaged, in the cove­nant [Page 36] of redemption, on condition of Christ's making his soul an offering for sin, and his bearing the sins of many, that he shall see his seed and by his knowledge justify them.—Hence from the considerations above, it appears, that God may as sincerely offer salvation to such as he knows will never accept of it, as to such as he is determined to make willing to accept of it in the day of his power, for God may sincerely treat men as men or as reasonable creatures.—It also appears, that such as do believe in Christ, in the act of believing, do not believe any one proposition but what such are called upon to believe as finally perish in unbelief; nor accept of any thing but what is offered to all alike in the gospel. Hence saving faith is not a believing that I am in Christ, that God is reconciled to me, and sees no iniquity in me.—That my sins are pardoned, that I was never a child of the devil, &c.—But it is a seeing the Son as the true God and only and alsufficient Saviour of men, and a believing in him, trusting in him alone for sal­vation—a fleeing to Christ for refuge from pursuing vengeance to lay hold on him as the hope set before us—a coming to Christ weary and heavy-laden with the burden of sin and guilt for rest—a coming to Christ, sensibly perishing with hunger and thirst, as to a feast, eating his flesh and drinking his blood, as meat indeed and drink indeed:—A bowing the knee at the name of Jesus, cordially submitting to him as Prince and Saviour, Lord and Christ, counting all our own righteousness as loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, &c.

But as to your strange notion, that all mankind were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, in contradistinction to fallen angels, I do not [Page 37] know of one text of scripture that can be forced, even by misinterpretation, to shew the least counte­nance to it.—Let us consider it in relation to a few texts where election is mentioned, viz. Many are called but few are chosen. Have the fallen angels ever been called? Christ says, "I lay down my life for the sheep—my Father gave them me—but ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep." Were these fallen angels that were not of Christ's sheep?— Again, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were and thou gavest them me—I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them, which thou hast given me; for they are thine: "Doth the world here signify fallen angels?—Again, "And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Were all those fallen angels who did not believe? For it is certain there were mul­titudes who did not believe so much as the devils did! Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye? said the evil spirit.—Again, "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved—even so then at this present time also there is a remnant accord­ing to the election of grace.—The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."—Were the rest and all beside the remnant, (the election) fallen angels?—Once more, "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure." Doth it mean that we are to give deligence to make sure that we are men and not fallen angels?

And as to your notion that the tares, explained to be the children of the wicked one, the devil, sig­nify, not wicked men, not heretics, but sins and [Page 38] heresies, which shall be gathered together bound in bundles and burnt in the end of the world, it is too senseless to be maintained by any person in his right mind and professing to be guided by the scrip­tures of truth! Christ expressly says, he means, by the tares, the children of the wicked one, the devil, and by the children of the wicked one he means, them that do iniquity, and that these shall be cast into a furnace of fire, not to purify, but to torment them, where their torment is expressed by wailing and gnash­ing of teeth.—Are sins and heresies subjects capable of pain and torment!!! But to wicked men Christ will say, in the judgment, "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire—I was hungry and ye gave me no meat," &c. Christ is speaking to wicked men, when he says, Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do.—Paul calls Elymas the sorcerer a child of the devil—because he was full of subtilty and all mischief—an enemy of all righteousness: And the apostle John says, Such men as commit sin are of the devil, that is, who are workers of sin—live in sin, and these he expressly calls the children of the devil as opposed to the children of God, who are born of God, do not commit sin but do righteousness, and are righ­teous even as their Father is righteous.—Their sanctification is not out of themselves, for they are created in Christ unto good works—are re­newed in the spirit of their mind—created after God in righteousness and true holiness, are new creatures—have crucified the flesh with the affecti­ons and lusts and have put on the new-man, and as the elect of God, holy and beloved, have put on bowels of mercies, kindness, gentleness, humble­ness of mind, &c.

[Page 39]Dear Sir, time will fail me to say all that I want to say, to recover you out of the snare of the devil. The scriptures speak of false teachers bringing in privily damnable heresies, and of some being given up to a strong delusion to believe a lie that they might be damned, and this as a punishment for not receiv­ing the love of the truth that they might be saved! I am sure that the leading doctrines in this new scheme are damnable heresies, because they are false doc­trines, also when embraced for truth will effectually keep persons easy and secure in an unconverted, Christ­less state.—And how is it possible for a godly man, an experienced christian, who has received the love of the truth to be carried away with such gross er­rors, so contrary to the plain letter of the word, and common sense, and gracious experience of all the godly?—Christ says, if it were possible they would deceive the very elect: Persons must be infa­tuated or bewitched by a spirit of delusion, as the foolish Galatians were, to be captivated into a belief of such palpable errors!

Once I did hope that you was a good man, that you had received the love of the truth—you did run well, who hath hindered you? But if you was ever truly converted to God through faith in Christ the Mediator, you was convinced of sin—that it ren­dered you obnoxious to the wrath and curse of God—you saw yourself in a condemned state, in danger of eternal damnation in hell—the wrath of God revealed from heaven against you—your feet standing in slippery places—you was pricked in your heart, and with the three thousand, cried, What must I do? Or, with the publican, God be merci­ful [Page 40] to me a sinner! You saw yourself condemned by the just judgment of God, so that your mouth was stopped and you felt yourself guilty before God.— You found also, your heart was a heart of stone, contrary to that which is good—full of enmity against God—that you stood in absolute need of a new heart and a right spirit:—You was also con­vinced, if you was ever saved, it must be in the way of free, sovereign grace!—And if you are truly converted, you was also convinced of righteousness and judgment; Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth—that by his obedience and death has brought in an everlasting righteousness and made complete atonement for sin. You saw Christ in his person and offices to be alto­gether lovely, desirable, precious, and suitable, so that your whole soul united to him and count­ed all things as loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, to win Christ and be found in him.—You now began to find peace with God, began to delight in God and his holy law, and to wage war against sin, all sin, and to feel a bene­volent affection towards all men, desiring that all might have repentance toward God and faith to­ward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that their sins might be pardoned and their souls made happy in the favor, friendship, and fellowship of the Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, in walking in the light of truth and holiness as God is in the light.—Now a change of this importance every true christian is experimentally acquainted with: And Christ's mi­nisters are travelling in birth of their people that Christ may thus be formed in them; and if you have experienced a change of such importance, how [Page 41] unaccountable is it, that you should be carried away after one, whose avowed principles necessarily teach, That such a change is needless, and that all convictions of danger of eternal punishment and wrath to come, which move sinners to strive to enter in at the strait gate—to press into the kingdom, (whereby the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force) and to flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them, are a meer delu­sion! Pray consider these things—and the Lord give you understanding in all things:—It is no light matter to be deceived in such matters as these—or to be turned aside by a deceived heart, so as not to be able to say, Is there not a lye in my right hand?—Christ says, "If any man will do God's will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself—and every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice."

To conclude, if you, Sir, or any other person, shall maintain for scripture-truth, that the whole race of Adam, or all mankind will finally be saved and happy; and that application or union to Christ by faith is not necessary to our enjoying any saving benefit of Christ, or the like, I am as sure that you, or such an one, is under a strong delusion to believe a lye, as I am that the bible is a book of divine reve­lation, or that there is salvation in Christ for men! adieu.—I am your hearty welwisher,



THAT cannot be true christian doctrine, which naturally tends to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness: But such is the doctrine of universal salvation, at taught by this Stranger, for nothing can have a greater tendency that way than to teach, that all men shall be finally happy, even though they live and die Pagans, Mahometans, worship­pers of the Antichristian-Beast, open enemies to the cross of Christ, whoremongers, adulterers, blasphemers, murderers, &c.

That cannot be true christian doctrine, which is agreable to corrupt nature, or to that mere selfish spirit the carnal mind which is enmity against God: But such is the doctrine of universal salvation; for nothing can be more agreable to carnal and wicked persons than this doctrine, that they shall have peace and be finally happy, though they walk all their days in the imagination or stubbornness of their own evil hearts, adding drunkenness to thirst, or the like.

That cannot be true christian doctrine, which teaches, that it is no matter, as to our future well-being, what our religion is in this world, whether the christian or the pagan! Or whom we worship, the true God, or idols! Or whom we serve and obey, Christ, or the devil! But such is this doctrine of universal salvation; and hence it will not be at all strange, for those who embrace it, to live, by and by, in the entire neglect of the instituted worship of God as commanded by Christ, of family religion, and become openly, after awhile, as their consciences grow more and more feared by resisting the light, downright practical Atheists.

That cannot be true christian doctrine, which tends to make all, who embrace it, Deists or Infidels: But such is this doctrine of universal salva­tion; for such as embrace it, cannot embrace it, because it appears more evidently to common sense to be scripture-doctrine than that of the ever­lasting punishment of impenitent sinners in hell; nor because they can interpret what the holy scriptures say of the eternal damnation of the wicked, so as to make the same consistent with the doctrine of universal salvation, without doing the greatest violence to the common sense, or meaning of words and language.—What boldness and violence too, to say, the chaff or tares, which shall be burnt in unquenchable fire, sig­nify, not men, but the sins and error of men, when they cannot but know, that Christ says, They are the children of the wicked one, and they that do iniquity! — Also, to say, the goats, on the left hand of the Judge, signify not men, but either the sins of men, or devils themselves, when they cannot but know Christ says, the sheep and goats are the righteous and [Page 43] wicked of all nations, and that as the righteous shall go away into life eternal, so the wicked shall into everlasting punishment, represented by fire unquenchable or everlasting!—Now he that will do such violence to the meaning of some passages of sacred scripture to establish a particular tenet, would do violence to every passage to serve a turn, and thereby proves himself to be an infidel, and hence that he never embraced this doctrine of universal salvation from a conviction of divine authority for it, but because it was agreable to corrupt nature: Men that do not like to deny themselves and take up their cross daily in following Christ— that do not chuse to have Christ to reign over them, nor to keep his com­mandments, would be glad to persuade themselves of enjoying happiness hereafter without passing the strait gate into the narrow way of holiness and self-denial, even in the broad way that the multitude goes in to do evil; for what wicked man is there that would not heartily like to serve the devil all his days, or the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and would not do it, if he could persuade himself that he should be happy for all this, or should not suffer for it in the coming world?—And they that have fallen in with this persuasion, commonly advance this argument for it; "That God is a merciful Being" and therefore for him to damn any of mankind forever would be inconsistent with the goodness of his nature, and imply that he made creatures to damn them, which is a thought they cannot entertain of so good a Being:—Which necessarily supposes several things, viz.

1. That devils will either be finally happy, or else, as they are crea­tures as much as sinful men, God created them to damn them forever: By the way, God made angels and men for his glory; but fallen angels and fallen men have fitted themselves for destruction.

2. That there was no need of the sacrifice or atonement of Christ, in order for our discharge from condemnation; for if it was inconsistent with the nature of divine goodness to punish us with everlasting destruc­tion for our sins, what need could there be of Christ's dying for us to re­deem us from the curse of the la [...], and deliver us from the wrath which is to come, that we were condemned unto? Yea, how came God to condemn us to everlasting punishment, if it was inconsistent with the nature of his goodness to inflict it upon us? Or if it was not an everlasting punishment that Christ died to redeem us from, what was it?—Only a temporal punishment, which would have had an end, though he had not died for us! Then Christ died in vain, and the Deists are right, and the bible is a book of non-sense!—If I were to em­brace this new doctrine I would be so honest and consistent with myself, as at the same time to fling away the bible, for it is impossible to recon­cile it with the bible-religion, let common sense be judge.

3. That those persons, who plead the above argument, have no proper conviction and sense of the moral rectitude of God, his moral law and government—of the nature, evil, and demerit of sin—of the nature of the remission of sin and of salvation from it, nor of the nature and necessity of the atonement by Christ in order to the same.

[Page 44]In a word, that cannot be true christian doctrine, but damnable heresy, which makes sad the hearts of the godly, as it encourages wicked and vicious persons to live without fear of eternal punishment, in the neglect of repentance—of their own salvation—of religion and virtue, in the prac­tice of every vice.

The following anecdote was communicated to me by a person of repu­tation, who assured me that there was good authority for the truth of it, viz.

Turning to a part of his audience, where a number of privateers-men were swearing at one another, said, "Well, you may go on and drink and swear and damn your fellow-men and blaspheme your Maker and think to dishonor him; but you do not dishonor him at all; you only magnify his grace and display the merits of Christ so much the more."— Huzza! Good doctrine for privateers-men! cried out a certain C— of a privateer.

It would not be acting out of character in the least for that person to address vicious persons in such a manner, who asserts and endeavors to propagate, that all men shall finally be happy, and that the most vicious and criminal persons are beloved of God, if not as much beloved of God, while in the practice of sin, as after they become penitent and virtuous.— Query 1. Whether such a teacher is not a minister of satan, an encourag­er of vice and irreligion, and an enemy to virtue and pure religion? Query 2. Whether such a teacher ought not to be taken care of by au­thority as an enemy to mankind and a bane to civil society? "Righte­ousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people;—one sin­ner destroyeth much good—Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth."—God saw, in certain pretended prophets of Jerusalem, "an horrible thing; they commit adultery, and walk in lies; they strengthen also the hands of evil-doers that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomor­rah. Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning (those) prophets, Behold, I will feed them with wormwood and make them drink the wa­ter of gall; for from (these) prophets of Jerusalem is PROFANENESS gone forth into all the land.—Thus saith the Lord of hosts, hearken not un­to the words of (these) prophets, that prophesy unto you; THEY MAKE YOU VAIN; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord; they say still unto them that despise me, the Lord hath said, YE SHALL HAVE PEACE; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, NO EVIL SHALL COME UPON YOU." Jer. xxiii. 14, 17.

J. C.

THE ADDRESS OF THE LATE REVEREND MR. CHANDLER, TO HIS PEOPLE, By the Desire of many of his bereaved flock is here inserted, in order to preserve it, and that though he is dead, they may as it were hear him still speaking in his dying testimony for the truth and against error. It is here verbatim as printed in the Essex Gazette, February 14, 1775.

"To the Printers of the Essex Gazette.

"The following Address was lately delivered to the people of my charge, and many of the hearers have desired it might be printed in your Gazette. If you will insert it in your next, you will oblige them, many of whom are your constant readers.

"My Brethren and Friends,

"I Have much sorrow of heart considering the state of affairs among us.—I am far advanced in life, and labor under threatning ma­ladies, and know not how soon I may be taken from you and from this world. As one drawing near the eternal world I would give you cau­tion—Take heed what you hear. The seeds of heresy are sowing and sprouting up among us; and souls are in danger of being seduced into errors.

"There is one, who calls himself John Murray, * who has declared the following things to be his settled opinion.—That the whole human race, every one of Adam's posterity, have an interest in Christ and are God's beloved ones.—That the whole human race, every individual of mankind shall finally be saved.—That Judas shall sit upon a throne in the kingdom of heaven.—That at death the good go into happi­ness and the bad into an intermediate state, a place of misery, to [Page 46] abide there for a certain season, but shall finally be saved; which how­ever dressed up in soft terms and smooth expressions, is the very po­pish purgatory.

"The substance of these things, and many other errors, he hath openly avowed and fully declared to be his sentiments, at my house, in the hearing of many witnesses. These are unscriptural tenets, and notwithstanding all his perverting of the holy scriptures, and wresting and torturing the word of God, he was not able to produce one plausible proof, nor one rational argument for the support of these pericious prin­ciples.—They naturally lead to many other gross errors and popish absur­dities.—And they are extremely dangerous to the souls of men: They encourage the wicked in their wickedness; for upon these principles a man may live and die in sin, and yet go to heaven at last; he may get drunk, and commit fornication and adultery, he may cheat, and steal, and lye, and indulge all manner of carnal gratifications, and be saved notwithstanding.

"But you may say, you do not discover any of these errors in his preaching.—Why others, who have been accounted serious, discern­ing, judicious men, and whose judgment would heretofore have had some weight in your minds, have discovered them in his public discourses.

"But however, he seems artfully to hide them, your minds are not prepared to receive them, your affections must first be broke off from your ministers, and your minds filled with prejudices against them by their being reviled and vilified, and your affections set upon him­self, and you brought to receive the words of his mouth with an im­plicit faith, then doubtless these dangerous doctrines, and many others, will be inculcated.

"My brethren and friends, I must caution you to take heed and be­ware of false teachers. Beware, lest ye be led away with errors and fall from your stedfastness.—Beware of false prophets, concerning whom our blessed Saviour hath warned us, that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.


Now in the press, and speedily will be published, and sold by E. RUS­SELL, at his printing-office, upper end of main-street, Salem. The Fifth EDITION of Dr. GILL'S excellent Three SERMONS on the present and future State of the Church.

SER. I. Isa. xxi. 11, 12. The burden of Dumah. He called to me out of Seir, Watchman what of the night? Watchman what of the night? The Watchman said, The morning cometh and also the night: If ye will enquire, enquire ye; return, come.—Wherein he shews there has, from the beginning, been a succession of night and morning, darkness and light.— And shews what time of the night is is with us at present.—SER. II. 1 Chron. xii. 32. And of the children of Issachar which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do: The heads of them were two hundred, and all their brethren were at their commandment.—Which is an application to the former Sermon, in which he gives us an excellent description of good works, placed upon their proper foun­dation.—SER. III. Psalm lxxxvii. 3. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God, Selah.—In which he represents to us not only the spiritual, but likewise the personal reign of Christ on earth a thousand years.

*⁎* Those Gentlemen who are possessed of subscription-papers for these Sermons are requested to return them to the Publisher immediate­ly, as the names of the subscribers will be printed.

☞ The Publisher hereof intending in a few weeks for Boston, his na­tive place, from whence, during the troubles which that unfortunate and devoted Metropolis hath met with, he was drove by the tyranny and cru­elty of a British administration, would inform Country Shopkeepers, Travelling-Traders, Flying-Stationers, and others, That he has still re­maining on hand a number of new books, &c. on the times, which he is determined to sell EXCEEDING CHEAP, either by the groce, hun­dred, dozen, or single, rather than to be at the trouble and expence of removing them.—Among which assortment are, just published, (curi­ously ornamented with Five Plates,)

The CONTINENTAL KEY of the LIBERTIES of AMERICA: In three Parts. To which is annexed, The Lamentations of a bad market.

Perhaps the critics of the age,
May find a fault in ev'ry page,
Or yet, perhaps, in ev'ry line,
Well, they've their faults, I have mine.
If any man should ask the price,
One or two shillings take your choice:
Sometimes true whigs have giv'n twenty.
But tories think that five is plenty.

The first and second volumes of that excellent and much-admired pamphlet, entitled, COMMON SENSE, addressed to the inhabitants of America.—A Letter from King Agba [...]us to our blessed Savior, with the Answer.—The American Wonder, or the New-England Vision of the Night. To which is added, a Preface, with a concise Retrospect of the present unhappy civil war in America, containing a list of the killed and wounded officers and soldiers, as far as the battle of Quebec.— Nimble and Quick, or the Humor of the Age, &c.—A Poem on the death of the truly gallant and heroic JAMES MUGFORD, late Comman­der of the Franklin Privateer, belonging to Marblehead, and the particu­lars of the fight.—With a variety of other new poems and songs.—Like­wise, a quantity of good writing-paper, some pocket-books, and a par­cel of houshold furniture.

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