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I know many high professors of religion who are devoid of mercy and common humanity; they cannot therefore, be led or influenced by the Spirit of truth. I will allow, a man may be a good man, and nurture that good spirit, and yet, by weakness, unwatchfulness, or infirmity, deviate from the paths of moral rectitude; but if he errs one moment, he will repent with heart-felt sorrow the next, not for fear of hell, but from pure love to God; but to be destitute of mercy, is to be a stranger to the experimental knowledge of the truth altogether. Is not therefore, a humane barbarian 'more estimable and amiable in the sight of heaven, than-a hard hearted and inhuman preacher of the gospel? without any manner of doubt. If any will affirm, that although there may be, and no doubt are, many amiable qualities observable in the characters and conduct of some heathens, yet without a literal knowledge of, and belief in the Saviour's name, there can be no salvation. In answer to which I would ask, is not the experience of the love of God in the heart, without the historical account of the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, better than a knowledge of the history, without this experimental feeling? Most assuredly it is. If the pagan world feels the direful effects of the fall of Adam, although they never heard of such a person, may they not, on the same principle, feel the blessed effects of our Saviour's obedience unto death, although they never heard the history thereof? If an ideot, who knows nothing of the history of our blessed Lord, is capable of participating the merits of his death, why may not a virtuous heathen be allowed the same privilege? Yet there are · Christians, so called, who believe, and boldly assert, that they will all be damned, both good and bad, for not believing the historical account of our blessed Redeemer; yet they never had au opportunity of hearing any such account, at least with the outward ear; although, no doubt with me, many of them hear in their hearts,
and obey in their lives, the still small voice of the spirit of Christ.
St. Peter, who was inclined to be. lieve, as millions of professing Chris. tians now do, that God was partial to the Jews, in preference to all other nations, whom he considered as rejected by hin. But God, in order to prove his impartiality as clear as a ray of light, convinced this good man, by a miraculous manifestation, that such sentiments were not agreeably to truth. As the narrative of Cornelius is so much to the point, and such a positive proof of the force of my arguments, I will humbly take the liberty to entreat the reader, to peruse the said narrative at his leisure, in Acts x. 1,-35.
Nothing can be more plain, than that this good man was led by the spirit of Christ, and participated the merits of his death ; although a heathen, and of course, a stranger to the Jewish, as well as Christian theology. And the same might be said of righteous Job, who feared God, and eschewed evil; and was of course, led by the spirit of Christ; for, without that good spirit, he could do no good, negatively or positively, much less enjoy that faith, by which he knew his Redeemer lived; and that although worms destroyed his body, yet in his flesh should he see God. Again, I would ask those hard. hearted sectarians, and their dignified doctors of divinity, arrayed in sacerdotal silk and cambric, was it the holy Spirit, or the spirit of the devil, who taught the friends of Job so much excellent knowledge? What clerical don in Christendom could preach, with or without his crutches, (alias, his written sermons) such excellent doctrine as they did, some few sentiments excepted? Who taught Elihu in particular, that “there is a spirit in man," and that “the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him an understanding?" Who taught him to vindicate the impartiality of Jehovah thus ?
66 Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding : far be it from God, that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty, that he should commit
iniquity. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed. He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others : because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways. So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.” Job xxxiv. 10, 12, 23,--28.
I would also ask, who taught Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Mel. chizedek, and many more. I could mention, the true knowledge of God; who had no written word, nor pompous parsons to teach them? I answer, they were taught by the immediate inspiration of the holy Spirit. They de. pended only upon the holy Spirit for direction, but we Christians in this en