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« Lord's will and did it not, fhall be beaten with many ftripes, Luke xii. 47. I may add, that "those who do not thus believe, may be Jews, Infi"dels, or Atheists, but they cannot be Chriftians."
Firft let me congratulate the reader, that the doctrines of the school in which you have learnt these things are every day falling lower and lower in the public eftimation; before the Scriptures of the Old and New Teftament were by God's bleffing put into the hands of the people, that they might read and draw their own inferences from them, it was commonly received as an undoubted truth that every individual of thofe nations who do not poffefs the Christian religion would inevitably perifh everlastingly; and the fame doctrine is ftill retained by the party who have been fo zealous in difturbing the Jews; but it must be confeffed it is fomewhat mitigated by you, who, on account of their want of knowledge, think that they will not be condemned in the next world to fufferings fo great as those which you think await the Jews. I conceive that your ob. fervations apply to the other world and not to this world, for the Hottentots, Hindoos, and Heathens, cannot be confidered in any dangerous ftate as to this world. Our heavenly Father caufeth his fun to fhine upon them and upon the Jews alfo, as well as upon us and giveth his rain to them and to the Jews also, as well as unto us, Matt. v. 45. the dangerous state you therefore represent the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth to be in, must be confidered as applying to their fouls. Are they not the creatures
of that almighty and moft merciful God who made us all? Are they not all our brethren of mankind? Hath he not enjoined us in his moft holy word to honour all men? 1 Pet. ii. 17. Hath he not enjoined us in his moft holy word, faying, "Judge not, that ye "be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, 66 ye fhall be judged and with what measure ye mete, "it shall be measured to you again.” Matt. vii. 1, 2. They are in the hand of the fame gracious and merciful Creator as we are, and subjects of his gracious government as we are. If he hath fuffered all nations to walk in their own ways, Acts xiv. 16. have we any right to fay unto him what doeft thou? Dan. iv. 35. What concern of a religious nature have Chriftians with the Heathen nations, except to fulfil that commiffion which every time we read it ought to cause SHAME to make our faces hot, that above feventeen centuries have elapfed in which, quarrelling with each other, we have left the outer fields unfown? Have we any right to say that the obedient and respectful fon, the kind and affectionate father, the faithful and loving wife, the tender mother, the benevolent and hofpitable receiver of ftrangers, the man that would plunge into the waves and rifque his own life to deliver a stranger to his nation and his religion, Luke x. 33. from a watery grave, will perish everlaftingly, according to the doctrine of your fchool? Have we any authority thus to judge? We have not. Whoever does thus judge, commits a moft grievous offence against him who is the juft judge of all the earth, even he who fearcheth the reins and the hearts,
and giveth to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings, Jere. xvii. 10. Rev. ii. 23.
The Almighty hath not left himself without witness any of the nations of the earth, inafmuch as he doeth them good, and giveth them rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness, A&s. xiv. 17. and if thankfulness to God, the creator of heaven and earth, is thus formed in their hearts, will he not reward it?" That which may be "known of God is manifeft in them; for God hath "fhewed it unto them. For the invifible things of "him from the creation of the world are clearly feen, "being understood by the things that are made, even "his eternal power and godhead." Rom. i. 19, 20. The apostle Paul therefore juftly argues that God will "render unto EVERY MAN according to his "deeds: to them, who, by patient continuance in "well-doing, feek for glory and honour and immor"tality, eternal life: but unto them that are conten❝tious, and do not obey the truth, but obey un" righteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation "and anguish, upon EVERY foul of man that doeth "evil, of the Jew firft, and alfo of the Gentile; but "glory, honour, and peace, to EVERY MAN that "worketh good, to the Jew firft, and also to the "Gentile for there is no refpect of perfons with "God." Rom. ii. 6-11. You will not find that the term POOR is in Holy Scripture applied to the Gentile nations, who were then ALL OF THEM ftrangers to the truth; but the term poor you will find
in the 3d chapter of the Revelation: "Thou fayeft, "I am RICH, and increased with goods, and have. "need of nothing; and knoweft not that thou art "wretched, and miferable, and POOR, and blind, "and naked." Rev. iii. 17. " And he fpake this "parable unto certain which trufted in themselves that they were righteous, and DESPISED OTHERS: two men went up into the temple to pray; the one
a Pharifee, and the other a publican. The Pha"rifee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I "thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extor❝tioners, unjuft, adulterers, or even as this pub"lican: I faft twice in the week, I give tithes of all "that I poffefs. And the publican, standing afar off, "would not lift up fo much as his eyes unto heaven, "but fmote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful "to me a finner. I tell you, this man went down to his houfe juftified rather than the other: for "every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; " and he that humbleth himself fhall be exalted." Luke xviii. 9—14.
I now come to the confideration of the words quoted from your letter, which concern the DANGEROUS ftate in which you represent the Jews to be. Your argument is founded upon the IMPOSSIBILITY of the Jewish nation now observing the law of Mofes, because they cannot make the legal atonement at Jerufalem.
The impoffibility of the Jewish nation obeying the laws of God, as given to them by Mofes, his fervant, is a favourite doctrine of the fchool in which
you learnt thefe things; notwithstanding we read in the New Teftament that Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous before God, walking in all "the COMMANDMENTS and ORDINANCES of the Lord blamelefs," Luke i. 6. yet what fignifies paffages of Scripture when weighed in the unequal balance, in the hands of these men, againft a favourite opinion?
If weighed in the balance of the fanctuary, one ingle verfe extracted from the word of God would be found to be more ponderous than all the favourite opinions of mankind that are not in agreement with Holy Scripture. There is no point to which the zeal of Chriftians, as well as Jews, can be more properly directed than the vindication of the ways of God to man. The ways of JEHOVAH are EQUAL; he is the rock, his work is perfect for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. It is OUR ways that are unequal, Deut. xxxii. 4. Ezek. xviii. 25. and never fo unequal as when we impute any inequality or unrighteousness to him.
No act can be performed by a legiflature which would tend fo much to difgrace it in the eyes of mankind, and so justly denominate it a tyrannical government, as enacting laws IMPOSSIBLE to be bbeyed, with an heavy penalty annexed to the nonobfervance of them. The enacting laws VERY DIFFICULT TO BE OBSERVED, with an heavy PENALTY annexed to the non-obfervance of them, would be fufficient to fix the imputation of want of wisdom and