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an infidel?” I don't know, Paul; you must ask Universal Charity this question; it is all her work. If a man was to bring into my house a troop of wizards, witches, heathens, robbers, and murderers, and unite them with me and my family, I should not think it a very charitable act: and those that couple Christ and Satan will find nothing but wrath from him for their pains. « What is chaff to the wheat?”
Surely the Saviour's family, which he received in eternity, and redeemed from among men, are not to be thus jumbled together with pagans. But all this is the noble effect of free-will, free-thinking, and pretended love. Pope says, Though God bound nature fast in fate, yet he left free the human will. And he has acted with God and his saints as all free-willers do, namely, stir heaven, earth, and hell together. But God's gulfs are fixed, and no free-willer shall ever spread the sails of human merit, nor strengthen the mast of free-will, nor use the oarof human excellency, to cross that unfathomable gulf, Isaiah xxxiii. 23. “ And, beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence,” Luke xvi. 26.
Universal Charity operates wonderfully on that learned body the Deists. They discover the same enmity against the sovereign God of the universe, and his revealed word, as the Arminians or papists do; but are as tender of rebels and brutes as any
on earth beside. I believe the doctrine of Pytha. goras sprung from this root, namely, the brutal passions of unsanctified nature: and we have many in our days who will advance errors to the destruction of many souls, yet are so tender of brutes and insects, that they would kiss a fly, and disdain to hurt a worm.
Not long ago I was in company with a gentleman who makes a profession of Christ, and was to spend the evening and lodge that night with him. I found his head wonderfully stocked with the doctrines of the millennium, or Christ's personal reign on earth a thousand
gave him to understand that I believed the heavens must receive Christ till the restitution of all things, Acts iii. 21; and that he would not be seen till he arose from a throne of grace, shut the door of
appeared on the throne of judgment; however, he had wonderful notions of the thousand years' reign to come. I thought to-day I was to hear his voice, and that a heart established with grace was better than a head stored with notions of a thousand
years to come. However, he brought many strange things to my ears about it, and he is welcome to them; for my part, I must confess I love a religion that is near home, I mean in my heart; that I
may enjoy it in my pilgrimage through this miserable world.
Having sat a while to have my head stuffed with these things; only my head, I say, for it went no deeper, the second entertainment was to be per
formed by Mrs. Charity. As soon as she came forth I expected something new and strange, for she is very pregnant with her witty inventions. Here I was told that this millennium was to restore all things; brutes, fishes, creeping things, and insects; all were to appear as when created: and he had some hope of their salvation too, devils themselves also not excluded. And to prop up his fancy, he brought this text of scripture; “ And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever," Rev. v. 13.
I sat and argued with him till one o'clock in the morning, but to no purpose; he was too firmly established to be moved with such weak arguments ás mine. I therefore left him in his principles; and since that time have taken care never to hear any more of them. This convinced me that Universal Charity is a resident in a carnal heart, but only a visitor to God's elect. I know a lady who is wonderfully influenced by it: she is like Saul of old, a pharisee of the strictest sect; and charitable to all sorts, except those crawling mortals called Whitefieldites. She cannot bear them nor their doctrine to be mentioned; but is very tender to any poor girl of the town whom disease has rendered incapable of business; yet a poor honest married woman, who is rich in faith, and poor in pocket,
would speed but badly if she went to her in the name of Jesus.
The innkeeper that we read of in Luke appears to be one of this sort; the inn was full, there was room for all but Joseph and Mary; they were of another lineage, therefore they must house in the stable, though the blessed virgin was in the perils of childbirth.
I was informed that a minister of the church of England once went on the thirtieth of January, to preach king Charles out of purgatory; in which discourse he painted the Presbyterians in very sable colours, but drew the king in very pathetic lines. Where he took his text I know not: but we all know that the Bible says nothing against an honest Presbyterian, nor any behalf of the author of massacres. However, this discourse was not without effect; an aged woman, who sat very attentively to hear what the Bible, or rather the priest, had to say, had her bowels of charity so moved with sympathy for the king, that her cheeks were all bedewed with tears; and yet so incensed against the Presbyterians, that she declared to an old dissenter, who sat next to her, that, if there had been a Presbyterian as near her as he was, she would have run her knife into his heart.
It was well for the man who informed me that she was ignorant of his being one of that number. This sort of charity always flows two ways; it runs up in rebellion, but down in compassion. I believe Herod was not destitute of it, for he was very ten
der of his brother's wife; he could take her to his own bed rather than send her home in the dark; and a great rewarder of fleshly excellency, he offered half his kingdom to reward a dancing foot; but in the matter of John, the Calvinist, he was rather severe, as it generally happens with such sort of pretended lovers.
It is common in our days to see lapdogs in the coaches of childless women, which would look better if filled with crippled infants. I have some reason to suspect that Ahab had many of these hairy passengers in his chariot, which caused Elijah, the salt of the earth and chariot of the nation, to run in the storm to Jezreel; and very likely the blood of the king was a supper to his own dogs. I am told that many in play-houses will sit quite dissolved at the tragic scene of Hector dragged round the walls of Troy, and also at the scene of fair Eleanor's fatal end; but they can read of all the agonies of a suffering Saviour, who was the man that bore our sorrows, and was acquainted with our griefs; who bore our sins, and that wrath due to us on that account. Yea, these tender spirits, which are so pitiful to Cain, Esau, Ahab, Judas, king Charles I. fair Eleanor, Hector, and dogs, can hear of a Saviour's groans, temptations, persecutions, and bloody sweat, and yet shew no more signs of compunction than a flint! Surely the sable canopy of the heavens, the blushing of the sun, the convulsions of the earth, the phenomenon of the cleaving rocks, the rending of the vail, the confession of trai