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when he will require from that generation all the righteous blood shed from the blood of Abel.
Reader, I have not in this work gone through what he has written upon this subject, in canvassing and sifting his perversions and damnable sophistry. This I find is already done by a Mr. Mason, whose book, I believe, is just out. It is easy for a man to sit down and quote from scripture a thousand texts, and say all these favour a notion; but it is another thing to bring one plain text, which, in its literal, grammatical, and received sense, proves it. Mr. Winchester has adopted the former method, in order to deter men from answering him. For to reinstate such a multitude of texts in their own proper light, and to refute all his carnal arguments drawn from them, would fill a quarto volume, to answer a twopenny squib. Mr. Winchester was aware of this; and he may thank Satan for his counsel. What he has aimed to prove is, the universal restoration of devils, and all sinners, from hell to heaven; and my aim is, to prove him a liar, and his speech nothing worth, Job xxiv. 25. And upon scripture ground I am willing to meet him; and, by the help of God, to dispute the point as long as he pleases; for God does not allow him one text in the bible to support his doctrine. He may choose which text he pleases; I have no doubt but the Lord will enable me, or some other of his servants, to recover every text that has fallen among these thieves.
Reader, beware, lest, being led away by the
error of the wicked, you fall from your own stedfastness. This awful doctrine is calculated to bolster up the awakened sinner, to embolden the hypocrite, and to encourage the presumptuous, by promising life and glory to those who work all uncleanness with greediness. The Lord deliver us from this, and every other path of the destroyer, for the sake of his dear Son! Amen and amen.
ADVOCATES FOR DEVILS REFUTED,
« They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth."
Isa. xxxviii. 18.
In handling these words, I shall invert the order of my text, by placing hope and truth before the pit; and give you my thoughts under five general heads, and shall
First, Describe a good hope.
Fourthly, They that go down into it are without truth.
And, lastly, Such cannot hope for it.
First, Treat of a good hope. The word, hope, is n common use among most men, and is often used in connexion with salvation: “As I hope to be saved' is a common expression, and is often used to confirm a word, or clear a person suspected of falsehood; and generally used by those who are
ignorant of salvation, and destitute of all hope in it. There is a hope, so called, that is from self, not from God; as that of a pharisee, which springs from a false supposition of his being more holy than other men; which hope is encouraged by an observation of the conduct of the most openly profane, and comparing himself with them, and looking at his own duties, through the false mirror of the other's excess of riot: but then this hope anchors in self, not within the vail; it is founded on legal duties or dead works, not on Christ's merit; it centres in a killing commandment, not in a lifegiving promise; it rises from deception in the heart, not from a work of grace; it is the hope of the self-righteous, not of the justified soul; it is the hope of the hypocrite, not of the saint, and therefore it must perish with the sinner. “ When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.”
The Holy Ghost, who best knows the state of all mankind, has declared that men in a state of nature are without God, having no hope in the world. And every sinner who is taught of God will set to his seal that this is true; for, when the killing commandment enters and awakens the sinner's benumbed conscience, when revealed wrath and accumulated guilt meet together in the sinner's soul, his false hope is like a spider's web; it is no anchor of the soul; it is neither sure nor stedfast; it gives way as soon as the storm begins, and down the singer goes into the horrible pit
and into the miry clay, into all real and imaginary torment; and down he would go into despondency, despair, distraction, and perdition too, unless upheld by almighty power: for the entrance of revealed wrath makes terrible work with a false hope. All resting in legal performances, all false props, and expectations of heaven on the footing of human merit, founded on self-confidence, die, and shall never live again. And such is the end of the wicked in death. “But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape; and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.”
A sinner in this state finds himself without hope, and without help; and it is not in his power either to hope in, or expect any thing from, God, without divine assistance. Hope is one of the spiritual blessings given us in Christ Jesus; it is a free grace gift, and comes to us by the Spirit of promise, and is wrought in us. It is a rich grant of a gracious God, which leads the soul to Christ Jesus, from whose fulness it comes, and in whom, as in its proper object, it centres. It's an anchor within the vail; and, as it is a free grace gift, and has an Almighty Saviour for its object it is called, in opposition to all false hopes, and to all hopes founded in self and self-righteousness, a good hope through grace.
Sinners, who are convinced of their sins by the Spirit, know, by experience, that a hope in God is not the produce of nature. Nor can the awakened sinner either obtain it by his own power