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that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
28. Moses has given us a rule to try a false prophet by: “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.” But how are we to try Mr. Winchester? His commission is to reprobates, devils, and damned sinners; and their restoration from everlasting burnings is the subject of it. But then how are we to get at a sight of the seals of this his apostleship? All that ever descended into hell are there still: there is not one of these that has ever appeared as a living witness of the truth of his doctrine; not one of these that has been a partaker of his grace; not one has ever appeared to bear witness of this his universal charity before the churches; not one living epistle for Mr. Winchester's restoration is to be found in heaven or earth, nor indeed are they to appear until time is no more. And here the devil has outwitted us all, and one would think even Moses himself; for we cannot bring Mr. Winchester to this touchstone of Moses till the heavens be no more, till all things be eternally fixed, and consequently till Moses's rule can be of no use. We don't want to know the speech of them that are puffed up, says Paul, but the power, 1 Cor. iv. 19. But then Mr. Winchester's power is not to be known till this universal deli
very of the damned commences. This scheme, Satan, is well planned, and deeply laid, and is a notable proof that thou art not divided against thyself! Nevertheless I will stick to my text; “They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
29. There is nothing more sure and certain than the truths, blessings, and promises, of an everlasting gospel; let them hold forth or promise what they may, they are sure to all the seed. A preacher of the gospel should not be a sceptic, one that doubts of every thing; but should be at an assurance about his own state, and at a point about his doctrine. The gospel that I preach is not yea and nay, says Paul; but yea and amen in Christ Jesus, to the glory of God by us. “ The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." But Mr. Winchester is at a point in nothing. All are to be saved, but by whom? all are to come from hell, but how? and all are to get to heaven, but when? Where is his yea and amen to these things? When shall they come to perfect day, who shall never see light? Who is to kill the neverdying worm? Who is to put out the unquenchable flame? And when are they to come out who are to remain in the congregation of the dead? Who is to unlock the gates of hell? And who is to remove the gulph that God has fixed? How much weeping and gnashing of teeth will satisfy divine justice for infinite crimes? And how many oaths
and imprecation, such as cursing their king and their God, will do, in order to magnify the law and make it honourable? And how many years suffering in eternity, when time shall be no more, will it require to appease the wrath of offended majesty? And when is that wrath to be done away, which God says abideth upon them? Mr. Winchester must be at a point, and come to some conclusion, about these things, in order to establish his reputation as a minister of the gospel. Preachers of Christ do not run at an uncertainty, nor fight so as to beat the air; nor does the gospel give an uncertain sound. Driving every thing into eternity, and into hell, is gaining the time with a witness. However, if there is nothing certain or conclusive in Mr. Winchester and his doctrine, there is in my text; for “they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
30. Boasting lies sadly in the way of this restoration. The man who suffers the law in his own person is not at all indebted to the king's favour. I have already proved that not one person in the holy trinity will ever have any thing to do with this gaoldelivery; they have declared it, and my text proves it. These devils must get to heaven by the merit of suffering the law, not in their surety, for they have none; but in their own persons. “The wages of sin is death;” this I know; but whether the wages of sinning and suffering in hell fire can be everlasting glory in heaven, is the great question. If this can be proved, there is room enough for boasting, but not before God. All the substance of a man's house is to be contemned, if offered to purchase love. All the cash of Simon Magus was to perish with him for offering to buy the Holy Ghost. The Jewish pharisees were to have the greater damnation for expecting heaven on the footing of dead works and long prayers. And what damnation shall he be thought worthy of who is promising the kingdom of heaven, which it is the Father's good pleasure to give, as the reward of them that suffer the just demerit of sin in the damnation of hell? “ They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
31. The mansions of bliss are promised to the elect, not to those who die in sin; and a seat at the Lord's right and left hand shall be given to them only for whom it is prepared; not for Judas, for he is gone to his own place, prepared, appointed, and intended, for him. And the angels who left their own habitation, who kept not their first estate, who abode not in the truth, but who were charged with folly, are reserved under chains to the judgment of the great day: and, as for all the rest of the reprobate, they shall certainly share in the same abode. “He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world; surely, such are the dwellings of the wicked; and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.”
These mansions were prepared in the purpose of God; but they appear to have a second preparation by the ascension of Christ, and by his entering into the holy place as our representative, to appear in the presence of God for us.
This blissful abode is sometimes called perfect day; but there are some who go to the generation of their fathers, they shall never see light, Ps. xlix. 19.
Sometimes they are called peace. “He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds.” But “ there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
Sometimes these glories are set forth by a kingdom. The wicked shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God, and they themselves thrust out; for “ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God:” and the world cannot receive the Spirit of God.
It is called entering into the joy of the Lord; but this joy is not for all. “Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.”
It is called entering into the glorious liberty of the children of God: but some are bound hand and foot, and cast into utter darkness, and this at the end of the thousand years reign. Instead of coming out of hell, their souls are cast into it a second time.
It is called entering into the heavenly Jerusalem; but without are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie;