perfect but Jesus, and why was he perfect? because he was the son of God, and had the fulness of the Spirit, and greater power than any man.— But, notwithstanding our vanity, we look forward with hope, (because “we are subjected in hope,”) to the time of our deliverance.
He then made some observations on the first principles of the gospel, obser ving that many of the saints who had come from different States and Nations, had only a very superficial knowledge of these principles, not having heard them fully investigated. He then brief ly stated the principles of faith, repen tance, and baptism for the remission of sins, which were believed by some of the religious societies of the day, but the doctrine of laying on of hands for the gift of the holy ghost, was dis carded by them.
The speaker then referred them to the 6th chap. of Heb. 1. and 2. verses. “not laying again the foundation of re pentance from dead works &c., but of the doctrines of baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment &c.” The doctrine of eter nal judgment was perfectly understood by the apostle, is evident from sever al passages of scripture. Peter preach ed repentance and baptism for the re mission of sins to the Jews, who had been led to acts of violence and blood, by their leaders, but to the rulers he said, “I would that through ignorance ye did it, as did also those ye ruled.”— Repent, therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing (redemp tion), shall come from the presence of the Lord, for he shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you &c.” The time of redemption here had reference to the time, when Christ should come; then and not till then would their sins be blotted out. Why? Because they were murderers, and no murderer hath eternal life. Even Da vid, must wait for those times of refresh ing, before he can come forth and his sins be blotted out; for Peter speaking of him says, “David hath not yet ascend ed into Heaven, for his sepulchre is with us to this day:’ his remains were then in the tomb. Now we read that many bodies of the saints arose, at Christ’s resurrection, probably all the saints, but it seems that David did not. Why? because he had been a murderer.
If the ministers of religion had a proper understanding of the doctrine of eternal judgment, they would not be found attending the man who had for feited his life to the injured laws of his country by shedding innocent blood; for such characters cannot be forgiv en, until they have paid the last far thing. The prayers of all the minis ters in the world could never close the gates of hell against a murderer.
The speaker then spoke on the sub ject of election, and read the 9th chap. in Romans, from which it was evident that the election there spoken of was pertaining to the flesh, and had refer ence to the seed of Abraham, accor ding to the promise God made to Abra ham, saying, “In thee and in thy seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” To them belonged the adop tion, and the covenants &c. Paul said; when he saw their unbelief I wish my self accursed—according to the flesh— not according to the spirit.
Why did God say to Pharoah, “for this cause have I raised thee up?” Be cause Pharoah was a fit instrument—a wicked man, and had committed acts of cruelty of the most atrocious nature.
The election of the promised seed still continues, and in the last days, they shall have the priesthood restored unto them, and they shall be the “Sav iors on mount Zion” the “ministers of our God,” if it were not for the rem nant which was left, then might we be as Sodom and as Gomorah.
The whole of the chapter had refer ence to the priesthood and the house of Israel; and unconditional election of individuals to eternal life was not taught by the apostles.
God did elect or predestinate, that all those who would be saved, should be saved in Christ Jesus; and through obedience to the gospel; but he passes over no man’s sins, but visits them with correction, and if his children will not repent of their sins, he will discard them.
This is but a very imperfect sketch of a very interesting discourse, which occupied more than two hours in deliv ery, and was listened to with marked attention by the vast assembly present. [p. 430]