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the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not,” &c." Even so Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight," &c.-“ As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offence," &c. But, “ have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid." (I think Romans xi. throws great light on the subject.) “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all.” Well might the apostle break out in this rapturous exclamation, “0! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Under these considerations he says, “ I beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." The apostle to the Ephe. sians says, “ Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him ; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ; in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation ; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
It appears that the mystery of God's will, is, that he might gather together in one all things in Christ, &c. He says,
66 After that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, ye believed." The gospel of their salvation, was a truth as much before, as after they believed it; otherwise, faith creates the object of our belief. The record that God has given of his Son, is, that in him “we have eternal life ;" (this is a truth,) if we believe it not, we make God a liar. 1 John v. 11. So long as we disbelieve this truth, we are in a state of condemnation; being ignorant of the things that make for our peace, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world ; and we suffer the misery consequent upon unbelief. believe not, yet he abideth faithful.” What if some did not believe ? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar:
:- no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost :-when the Spirit takes of the things
66 If we
of Jesus, and shows them unto us, we shall believe his testimony. We cannot love the character of God until we know him. “He who loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is LOVE. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. We love him because he first loved us.” Thus it appears to me. We read, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. But now, we see not all things yet put under him ; but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage." It appears, those spoken of as being all their life-time subject to bondage through fear of death, were unbelievers; yet Christ came to deliver them.
I am taught that, “ by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.” That “had there been a law which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” That “ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” When we all like sheep had gone astray, the “ Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all. That he suffered, the just for the unjust. His soul was made an offering for sin. He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Therefore, “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (The knowledge of these facts gives us peace; or by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.) ff I know my own heart, upon this foundation rests my hope,-the sufferings, death, and resurrection of the Redeemer. “Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference ; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth, to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting
then ? What God hath cleansed, call not thou common” or unclean, Under a realizing sense of these truths, I am constrained to say, with Peter, For as much then as God hath given unto them (the world;) the like gists as he has unto us who believe on the Lord, what am I, that I should withstand God? Who hath made me to differ from those that see not the things that make for their peace ?" I know not that it is necessary to say more.
What I have written appears to me to be truth. When I hear the restitution of all things spoken of by all God's holy prophets, (Acts iii. 21.) and the declaration of Jehovah to Abraham, saying, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;" and again, “ I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth, righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, surely shall say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength, to him shall come,” &c.; I am fully persuaded he is able to perform what he has promised, and that he will do all his pleasure. We are told, “The last enemy shall be destroyed, Death. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory. The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
How can I reconcile these consoling declarations with the doctrine of endless misery! If these sentiments be erroneous, my understanding must be convinced before I can renounce them. I have endeavoured to give a reason of the hope that is in me, I trust, with meekness and fear.
P. S. Since writing the above, I have received a citation to appear before the Session on Monday, the 11th inst. which I decline doing, as I have written all I have to say, presuming this will be laid before the Session.
New-York, February 1, 1822.
MRS. MARIA TOWNSEND,
It has become our painful duty, as
STEPHEN LOCKWOOD, Committee.
New-York, February 16, 1822.
MRS. MARIA TOWNSEND,
am directed by the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church, to transmit to you the following extract from their minutes.
At a meeting of the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church, Mon
day, Feb. 4, 1822.
The moderator laid before the Session a written communication from Mrs. Maria Townsend, dated Jan. 31, 1822, in which she attempted to defend the error she has embraced ; acknowledged the receipt of the citation, but declining to appear personally before the Session, ob
serving that in this communication she had expressed to the Session all she had to say.
Resolved, That Mrs. Townsend be, and hereby is, suspended from the sealing ordinances of this Church.
Resolved, That the case of Mrs. Townsend be referred to the Presbytery of New York, for their advice.
Your obedient servant,
New-York, June 29, 1822.
MRS. MARIA TOWNSEND,
It has become my duty to transmit to you, the following extract from the minutes of the Session of Brick Presbyterian Church in Beekman-street.
Your obedient servant, (Signed)
H. W. BULKLEY,
Clerk of Session.
At a meeting of the Session of the Brick Church, Beekman-street, held
in Session Room, Friday, June 28, 1822. The Committee in the case of Mrs. Maria Townsend, reported, That they had called on Mrs T. and made a last effort to convince her of her error, and they regret to say, that their efforts were without any salutary effect.