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wrath, fitted by sin for destruction; shall the ungodly, before of old ordained to this condemnation; shall they upon whom God will have no mercy, and to whom God will shew no favour; they, who never were born again, and who can never see the kingdom of God; who are to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power; shall these share in the great reward of inheritance? No. They, that find not the path of life in this world, will never find it in the next; they, that are strangers to the truth at death, shall never hope for it in the pit; and they who have known something of the way of righteousness in this life, and who have departed from it, leaving the paths of righteousness to walk in the ways of darkness; who err from Christ the only way, and walk no more in hiin; shall never see nor enjoy God in the light and land of the living. “ The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” And, if they remain in the congregation of the dead, then “ they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
They that go down into the pit are without the truth of grace. God requires truth in the inmost parts; and the gates of paradise are to be opened, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in, Isa. xxvi. 2; and none else. Grace is given as an earnest of glory. No grace in this life, no glory in the next. Grace is
to reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. The sinner who dies graceless cannot hope for the truth.
Grace unto repentance must be obtained by all that are saved; “ Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” The impenitent soul, that goes into the pit, cannot hope for the truth.
Sin-pardoning grace must be received if ever a man be saved. If ye die in your sins, where I am ye cannot come, John viii. 21. The dead in sin cannot hope for the truth. .
Justifying grace must be found in all that are saved. We are "justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" but the unrighteous shall not enter the kingdom of God; consequently they cannot hope for the truth.
Regenerating grace is essential to eternal salvation. “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his:" and unless a man be regenerated and born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. No false prophets; no deceivers; no children of the flesh; no advocates for devils; no liars; shall ever enter that kingdom: they shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and they themselves thrust out, Luke xiii. 28. These can never hope for the truth.
God purges his Jerusalem by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning; and he will purge away the filth of the daughter of Zion, But
God's purifying furnace is in Zion, not in hell. God's people are purged by the spirit of burning, not by brimstone; in the furnace of affliction, not in hell torments. No purging of sin shall ever be experienced in the bottomless pit; no deliverance from guilt, death, or wrath there. “In mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said; and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call;" and no where else: for they that go down into the pit are without God in covenant, without Christ in every covenant character, without the Spirit of truth, without the word of God, and without the truth of grace in them; and therefore cannot hope for it. “ He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?” These can never hope for the truth.
I have long wondered from whence the Arminians got this notion of an universal restoration; there never was one text in God's book to countenance or support it. I thought it had been a branch of Pythagoreanism; but, on referring to a note in Virgil's Æneid, I rather doubted it; for I find that Plato, Socrates, and others of the ancient philosophers, held the sentiment as well as Pythagoras. The following passage from Pitt's translation of the Æneid contains the substance of Mr. Winchester's doctrine: but from which of the heathen philosophers Virgil has taken it, or whether he has compounded their different opinions,
and reduced them into the following system, is a point, I believe, undetermined.
But while on earth, by earth-born passions tost,
Pitt's Virg. b. vi. p. 203, 204.
Here seems to be the foundation of the doctrine; only the poet has devised three ways of purging away sins. Some are bleached in the wind, some washed in the streams, and some purged in the flames.
However, Mr. Winchester differs from Virgil; for he makes no use of the streams, or the wind, only of the flame. And in his purgation and restoration he includes all men and devils, but Virgil a chosen few. And by this doctrine of devils he exhibits Satan to be a mere fool, and not half so wise as the scriptures represent him; for it is clear that Satan aimed at the destruction of Christ from the manger to the cross: and must not Satan in this be greatly divided against himself, to aim and plot to destroy his great restorer? But the truth of the matter is, that the devil knows better than Mr. Winchester; who never yet either believed or trembled, as the devils do. Satan knows that in God's book there is no promise of good to him: and that God's voice is not to devils, but to the sons of men. “ Thou art cursed above all cattle,” and “ The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan,” is all that falls to the share of devils in the scriptures of truth. Their restoration is the mite of poor Winchester, which contributes but little either to himself or them. We read of some who are made to be taken and destroyed; and nothing can be added to this work, or taken from it. I. come now to my last head; which is to shew that they who go down into the pit without truth cannot hope for it, either devils or men.