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this ground I hail him as my friend and brother. Our interview has been extremely affecting; he clasped me with ardor to his bosom, and dropped such tears as friends are wont to shed, upon meeting each other after a long and painful separation. I anticipate both pleasure and profit from associating with this gentleman.'-Letters, &c. i. 342-345.
His feelings towards Mr. Winchester are manifested in the following passage:
Pray, sir, said an inquirer to me yesterday, pray sir, did you ever hear Mr. W― preach? Murray. No, sir.
Inquirer. I understand he is turned quite about.
Ing. He has frequently preached in this place.
Inq. He was a very violent adversary to the truth.
M. So I have heard.
Inq. But he has outstripped you now, for he preaches the salvation of Devils, as well as men.
M. So I understand.
Inq. But, is there not as much danger in going beyond, as in coming short, of divine revelation?
M. I rather think not, sir. Truth, and nothing but truth, is, no doubt, greatly to be desired. Yet, it appears to me, there is more to be said in favor of him, who views the mercy of God as boundless, and thus, as a consequence, embraceth every intelligent being; I say, such a person deserves more credit, than that individual, whose narrow soul, wholly unacquainted with the immensity of divine love, limits the Holy One of Israel, to a small number of the human race. Yet, sir, I confess to you, that as the Redeemer passed by the nature of angels, and took not upon him their character, but the nature and character of humanity, I am willing to pass them by also; I conceive I am not called to preach to the fallen angels, nor do I aim at being wise above what is written.
Inq. But Mr. Winsists upon the restitution of all things; is not the restitution of all things a scripture doctrine? Surely, what is written in scripture, is a scripture doctrine.
M. The restitution of all things is undoubtedly a scripture doctrine, and I am far from objecting to the will of God, if he should choose to make the crooked straight, as well as the rough places smooth. Yet, as I said, I do not conceive I am sent to preach to Devils. One thing, however, I know; that if God should show favor to the deceiver, there can be no doubt of his showing favor to the deceived; and although the scriptures may not, in my view, appear to teach the doctrine of salvation, to fallen, angelic sinners, yet, another servant of my great Master, under the direction of the same spirit, may be permitted to fathom more deeply those waters of the sanctuary.
Inq. Why, I think, you must allow that all things are possible with God."
M. Surely; and I acknowledge it to be an incontrovertible fact, that we know not the extent of his power, or of his grace; and wherever I find a person preaching Christ Jesus, as the Saviour of the world, he shall have my heart, and my hand, nor will I quarrel with him, because he thinks too highly of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Inq. Do you know if it be true that Mr. W is a preacher of purgatory?
M. I really do not know what are his views of an intermediate state, as I have an account of this particular only from his enemies. It is said of me, that I take a purgatory into my calculations; but my ideas are wholly confined to the baptism of Christ, where our God as a consuming fire hath purified the whole of his inheritance; a knowledge of this fact, purgeth the conscience of the individual who receiveth it from dead works, to serve the living God; and when this knowledge is universally communicated, then shall the righteous shine forth, as the sun, in the kingdom of the Father. The views of Mr. W are, perhaps, similar to mine; at any rate, there are, from the same spirit, diversity of gifts: and it is proper that we should cherish toward each other a spirit of liberality.'-Letters, &c. i. 186, 187.
Writing to an English friend some years after this, Mr. Murray says, 'I believe Mr. W. to be a very sincere man, and a very warmhearted Christian. I think him in an error-I think his plan cannot be supported upon christian principles; but he believes it can. I have labored to convince him of his error, well persuaded that he would abandon any principle which he could be convinced was wrong. But when I hear our divine Master upbraiding his immediate disciples, with their hardness of heart and unbelief, and yet loving them with an everlasting love; when I learn that he hath compassion on the ignorant, and upon those who are out of the way, I am ashamed of the reserves which I experience toward those who differ from me in sentiment.'-Letters, &c. ii, 264.
Mr. Murray had a heart-felt affection for Rev. Noah Parker, of Portsmouth, N. H. His epistles to this individual were numerous; and he poured into them the undisguised feelings of his heart. 'Since I last wrote to you,' says he, 'I have seen and conversed with the Rev. Mr. Winchester. I admire him much; his conduct and expressions evince one of the best hearts I have known. I have conceived a very strong affection for him, and, to the confusion of the enemies of the gospel of God our Saviour, a very large number of respectable hearers have seen him and your friend enter the pulpit together. Mr. W. sang, and addressed the throne of grace, and, by his request, I preached. A greater part of his congregation are enemies to me, because, in their judgment, I do not sufficiently expatiate upon inward holiness; for, although they call
erudite; but he, who can develop the arcana of the Almighty, may claim equality with his God. It should be our care not to attribute to Deity a mode of conduct irreconcileable with rectitude; and to keep close to that revelation, which he hath graciously vouchsafed to bestow upon us.
The creation of man succeeded the fall of the angelic nature. God said,—Let Us make man, &c. &c. Speaking in the plural, with an eye to the complexity of that character He had predetermined to assume, and, as we before observed, past, present, and future, constituted, the token of Deity, one complete whole; and thus were important occurrences garbed in language, suited to the elevation of the Godhead. In process of time, this august Creator, was to be enrobed in humanity and become the son born; was to be exhibited as a HOLY SPIRIT of consolation, taking of the things of Jesus, and exhibiting them to the mind; thus speaking peace. Mr. Murray was at the same time a UNITARIAN, and a TRÌNITARIAN, beholding, constantly beholding the trinity in the unity. LET US inake man in our image, after our own likeness,-Yea, verily, man may be considered as made in the image, and after the likeness of his Creator. The figure is striking; man is a triune being, body, soul, and spirit, yet no individual is considered as three, but one man, the TRINITY and UNITY. The Almighty, clad in garments of flesh, became the GOD-MAN, and, speaking of Himself as man, he says, my Father is greater than me; while, reverting to the divinity he affirms, the Father and He are ONE. Philip, have I been so long with thee, and dost thou say, show me the Father? he who hath seen me, hath seen the Father. Was this true,—or was Jesus Christ an impostor? In this view the scriptures are beautifully consistent. I am GOD THE SAVIOUR; a just God and a Saviour; THERE IS NONE BESIDE ME. This same evangelical prophet exultingly exclaims, Isaiah ix. 6; Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Such were the comprehensive views of Deity, which became more and more luminous to the mental eye of the preacher.
He believed that the creation of human beings made a part of the divine purpose; in which sacred, uncontrollable, and irreversible purpose, the WHOLE FAMILY OF MAN were originally and intimately united to their august Creator, in a manner MYSTERIOUS, and as much beyond our limited conception, as the Creator is superior to the creature whom He hath formed.
Adam the first was a figure of Adam the second. Adam the first, the prototype; Adam the second, the substance of the prototype, the Creator of all Worlds, the Lord from heaven. The sacred scriptures abound with figures of this mysterious, this ennobling, this soul-satisfying UNION; among which, perhaps, none is more expressive than that of the Head and Members constituting one body, of which Jesus Christ was the immaculate Head. Hence the propriety and necessity, of looking with a single eye to Jesus Christ.
We are members of the body of Christ, who is the head of every man: Should a single member of this mystical body be finally lost, the Redeemer must, through eternity, remain iмPERFECT.
A Law was given, to the complete obedience of which, everlasting life was annexed; but no individual member was ever able to fulfil this Law; it was only the head and members collectively in their glorious head, that was furnished with abilities adequate to a performance of such vast magnitude. Yea, verily, we do indeed break the Divine Law, in thought, in word, and in deed, and the lip of truth declares, he who offends in one point is guilty of all.
Why then was the commandment so exceeding broad? To convince mankind of imbecility; and that the rectitude they had forfeited, could never, in their own individual characters be regained. But the plan of Deity was without an error, the revolution of time ushered in the great Representative, or, more properly speaking, the Head of the body; and the forfeit was paid, full atonement was presented, the ransom given, and, in this hour of NATURE'S JUBILEE, the prodigal family restored to their original
To make this truth manifest was the great business of our promulgator. He was convinced, that only he, who believed, could be saved; and that he, who believed not, was indubitably damned. Hence he has frequently said, he did not believe in universal salvation, because he saw the majority of mankind were not saved. But he was a firm believer in UNIversal RedempTION; because that sacred volume, which he steadfastly, and unwaveringly believed to be the word of God, assured him the price was paid, and the whole human family was redeemed.
It was the neglecting to distinguish between salvation and redemption, which so frequently drew upon the preacher the charge of prevarication, or, as it was termed by Mr. Croswell, hiding. An article of intelligence may be an established fact; it may most importantly affect us; but so long as the mind refuses to admit its authenticity, we are undeniably subjected to all those agonizing apprehensions, which we should endure, if no such fact éxisted; and it was the salvation from these mental sufferings, which Mr. Murray supposed consequent upon a preached Gospel; in other words, an exemption from those tortures, that consciousness of condemnation, which is most emphatically described, when it is said, He who believeth not, is, or shall be damned.
Yet it is an established truth, that every believer was once an unbeliever; every believer, then, was once damned, and it was only when he became a believer, that he was saved from those countless agonies, which erst times pierced him through with many sorrows. But he was redeemed, the price was paid, ere ever he was called into existence. Thus, in this view, redemption and salvation are distinct considerations.
The preacher unhesitatingly believed, all who learned of the Father would come to Jesus, and that all would finally be taught of
themselves Universalists, yet Christ is not sufficient for them; but I have preached to their preacher in private, and I have the satisfaction to pronounce, that he receives the grace of God with avidity.'-Letters, &c. ii. 112, 113.
The above will suffice to show the feeling which Mr. Murray desired to cherish towards the eminent individual whom we have here associated with him. It must not be supposed, however, that Mr. Murray felt any favor for the peculiar opinions of Mr. Winchester; on the contrary it is indisputable that he regarded them with no small degree of aversion. They both agreed in one great truth, viz. that the human race shall at last all be saved, but they arrived at this conclusion from very different premises. Their widest difference was on the subject of punishment. Mr. Murray's hope of salvation for the world rested on the fact, not that man would be punished to his full deserts and then released, but that God was in Christ, the divine in the human nature, reconciling the world unto himself: that the iniquities of all the stray sheep were laid upon the good Shepherd, and be, as the just one, bore the sins of the world, that he might take them away, and that God might with propriety say, 'Behold I see no spot in thee.' This guiltless Lamb suffered the death which is the wages of sin, that by his suffering he might eventually annihilate sin, so that those who are taught of God might see no more of the punishment as the effect than God does of sin as the cause: in fine, that there was no God but the Saviour, nor sin but what he bore in his own body on the cross, nor punishment but what he suffered when the chastisement of our peace was upon him.'-Letters, &c. ii. 153. Depend upon it,' says Mr. Murray, (Ibid. 306) 'the spirit of God will never represent any part of human nature in a deplorable state in consequence of their being sinners. Whenever the spirit of God teaches the children of men, he will assure them, that while they are yet sinners Christ died for them, and that if, while sinners, they were reconciled by his death, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.' And in answer to an inquiry how God will recompense or reward the wicked, (Ibid. 306) he adds 'There are in the Bible but two characters denominated wicked; the fallen angels, and fallen men. Nothing renders fallen men wicked, but sin or wickedness. But Jesus was manifested to destroy sin, and we have before seen, He is the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.
'There are but two ways in the which the sin of the world can be taken away; first, by Jesus Christ putting it away by the sacrifice of himself, and thus representing the human nature in himself as an offering in a clean vessel, without spot, and blameless in love; or, secondly, by his changing these vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to his mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. But in each of these views, the reward is a gracious reward.