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PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
The first edition of the “Union” appeared | For Christ also hath once suffered for sins," in 1759. In the preface, Mr. Relly acknow- &c. And in this sense, men may “suffer ledges that he was for a long season, after for righteousness'sake,” and be blessed therebeing satisfied of the redemption which is in in. i Peter iii. 14. If vicarious punishment Christ, very uneasy at times concerning the be not implied in the one case, neither is it in equity thereof;" and this uneasiness was re- the other. solved into a positive difficulty by the hints Notwithstanding the error which, in our of a friend. “ He asked me,” says Mr. Relly, judgment, is thus confuted, Mr. Relly's trea* wherein was the justice and equity of one tise is a valuable one. The doctrine of Union man's suffering death, yea, even the torments is his principal theme: and this he abundantOf hell, for another-so contrary to reason, ly establishes by “ express warrant of holy and also to the scripture, which often declares scripture”—and this, too, without necessarily that the righteous shall not suffer for the involving the error referred to. To Adam, as wicked, but that every man's sin shall be the image of the earthly constitution, we are charged upon his own head.”
all united ; and hence, in Adam all die. To Our author confesses that he was not pre- Christ, as the image of the heavenly constitupared for such a question as this, and was tion, we are all united by the purpose of God; therefore involved in a difficulty.” The con- and hence in Christ, shall all be made alive. sequent inquiry and labour of thought resulted One of the sublime results of Paul's reasonin a solution, satisfactory to his own mind. in 1 Cor. xv. is stated in ver. 49: “And as we To the proof and elucidation of the basis of have borne the image of the earthy, we shall that solution, the following work is devoted. also bear the image of the heavenly.” Christ
It will be perceived that Mr. Relly adopts is the head of every man, 1 Cor. xi. 3; and and establishes the abstract hint of his friend, tasted death for every man. Heb. ii. 9. As the namely, the injustice of punishing one man head is glorified in the immortal resurrection for the sins of another; but instead of in- state, so also shall be the body of universal huquiring whether the scriptures really teach manity, which is marching onward to its that Christ was thus punished, he takes this union with God. for granted, and seeks to prove the justice of Besides the intrinsic merit of this Treatise, the procedure by proving such a Union be- its instrumentality in the conversion of JOHN tween the Messiah and mankind as would Murray commends it to the regard of every equitably bring upon the former the judg. Universalist. Mr. Murray was deputed by the ments deserved by the latter.
Whitefield convention, to which he belonged, The position which Mr. Relly, assumes, to visit a young lady who was suspected of namely, that Christ was punished in our be- a leaning to “ Rellyism,” with a view to withhalf, is entirely without foundation in truth- draw her from the dangerous snare. The as may be shown by a few considerations. conversation, which may be found in Murray's
1. There is a marked distinction and differ- Life, Chap. IV., is one of the most brilliant ence between suffering and punishment. Both j religious anecdotes on record. It is subjoinimply pain endured-but the latter also implies ed. He was staggered and confounded, but guilt and the consciousness of guilt, which the not convinced, by the young lady's reasoning; foriner does not. “Christ suffered for sins, the and“ from this period,” says he, “I carefuljust for the unjust, that he might bring us to ly avoided every Universalist, and most corGod.” 1 Pet. iij. 18. But to say that he was dially did I hate them. My ear was open to punished for sins, is quite another matter, the public calumniator, to the secret whisperHe was not guilty, and therefore cannot be said er, and I yielded credence to every scandalous with propriety, to have endured punishment. report, however improbable. My informers
2. Nor can this conclusion be evaded on were good people: I had no doubt of their verathe score of imputation-for, to impute guilt city; and I believed it would be difficult to paint or sinfulness to an innocent, yea, righteous Relly and his connexions in colours too black." person, is a violation of both truth and equity. Some time afterwards, a Mr. Mason, who Besides : Holy Writ never treats of imputing had attempted a reply to Relly's Union, subthe actions of one man to another; but every mitted the manuscript to Mr. Murray's inman's actions are spoken of in relation to spection. It was not satisfactory—and a himself, individually. “Abraham believed copy of the Union falling providentially in Gord, and it was imputed to him, for righteous- his way, Mr. Murray was led, step by step, to ness." Rom. iv. 22. Not to impute sin, sig- unwavering trust in God as the Saviour of nihes not to upbraid or reproach the transgres- all. An intimacy with Mr. Relly, of the most sor for his former iniquities. But it is intender and endearing character, ensued. He every instance a personal matter.
however resisted all importunity to become 8. The sufferings of the primitive disciples a public advocate of the faith once delivered were of the same kind as the sufferings of to the saints.” But in 1770 he landed in Christ. In the connexion of a passage above America, and became a messenger of good quoted, the apostle says, “For it is better, if tidings to all people. His memory is embalmthe will of God be so, that ye suffer for (or ined in the recollection of all our Churches. the cause of] well-doing than for evil-doing.)
A. C. THOMAS.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE ANECDOTE REFERRED TO IN THE PRECEDING PREFACE.
I had heard much of Mr. Relly ; he was a * And pray, sir,' said the young lady, with conscientious and zealous preacher in the great sweetness, 'Pray, sir, what is the unbecity of London. He had, through many revol- liever damned for not believing ?' ving years, continued faithful to the ministry What is he damned for not believing? committed to him, and he was the theme of Why, he is damned for not believing. every religious sect. He appeared, as he • But, my dear sir,' she asked, 'what was that, was represented to me, highly erroneous; and which he did not believe, for which he was my indignation against him, as has already damned ?' been seen, was very strong. I had frequent- Why, for not believing in Jesus Christ, to ly been solicited to hear him, merely that I be sure. might be an ear witness of what was termed • Do you mean to say that unbelievers are his blasphemies; but, I arrogantly said, I would damned for not believing there was such not be a murderer of time. Thus I passed on a person as Jesus Christ.' for a number of years, hearing all manner of No, I do not; a man may believe there was evil said of Mr. Relly, and believing all I heard, such a person, and yet be damned. while every day augmented the inveterate ha- • What then, sir, must he believe, in order tred which I bore the man and his adherents. to avoid damnation ?' When a worshipping brother or sister, belong- Why, he must believe that Jesus Christ is a ing to the communion, which I considered as complete Saviour. honoured by the approbation of Deity was, Well, suppose he were to believe, that by this deceiver, drawn from the paths of rec- Jesus Christ was the complete Saviour of titude, the anguish of my spirit was indescri- others, would this belief save him ? bable: and I was ready to say, the secular No, he must believe that Jesus Christ is his arm ought to interpose to prevent the perdi- complete Saviour; every individual must betion of souls. I recollect one instance in lieve for himself that Jesus Christ is his comparticular, which pierced me to the soul. A plete Saviour. young lady of irreproachable life, remarkable “Why, sir, is Jesus Christ the Saviour of for piety, and highly respected by the taberna- any unbelievers ?' cle congregation and church, of which I was No, madam. a devout member, had been ensnared; to my "Why, then, should any unbeliever believe, great astonishment, she had been induced to that Jesus Christ is his Saviour, if he is not hear, and having heard, she had embraced the his Saviour ?' pernicious errors of this detestable babbler; I say, he is not the Saviour of any one, unshe was become a believer, a firm, and un- til he believes. wavering believer of universal redemption ! • Then, if Jesus be not the Saviour of the Horrible! most horrible! So high an opi- unbeliever, until he believes, the unbelieter is nion was entertained of my talents, having called upon to believe a lie. It appears to myself been a teacher among the Methodists, me, sir, that Jesus is the complete Saand such was my standing in Mr. Whitefield's viour of unbelievers ; and that unbelievers church, that I was deemed adequate to re- are called upon to believe the truth; and thai, claiming this wanderer, and I was strongly by believing they are saved in their own apurged to the pursuit. The poor deluded young prehension, saved from all those dreadful fears woman was abundantly worthy of our most which are consequent upon a state of conarduous efforts. He that converteth the sinner scious condemnation." from the error of his way, shall save a soul No, madam; you are dreadfully, I trust from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. not fatally, misled. Jesus never was, nor deThus I thought, thus I said; and swelled with ver will be, the Saviour of any unbeliever, a high idea of my own importance, I went, Do you think Jesus is your Saviour, sir ?' accompanied by two or three of my Christian I hope he is. brethren, to see, converse with, and if need "Were you always a believer, sir?" were, to admonish this simple, weak, but, as No, madam. as we heretofere believed, meritorious female. Then you were once an unbeliever; that is, Fully persuaded that I could easily convince you once believed that Jesus Christ was not her of her errors, I entertained no doubt re- your Saviour. Now, as you say, he never specting the result of my undertaking. The was, nor never will be, the Saviour of any young lady received us with much kindness unbeliever; as you were once an unbeliever, he and condescension, while, as I glanced my never can be your Saviour.' eye upon her fine countenance, beaming with He never was my Saviour till I belived. intelligence, mingling pity and contempt Did he never die for you, till you believed, grew in my bosom. After the first ceremo- sir ?' monies, we sat for some time silent; at length Here I was extremely embarrassed, and I drew up a heavy sigh, and uttered a pa- most devoutly wished myself out of her habithetic sentiment, relative to the deplorable tation; I sighed bitterly, expressed deep comcondition of those who live and die in unbe- misseration for those souls who had nothing lief; and I concluded a violent declamation, but head-knowledge ; drew out my watch, by pronouncing with great earnestness, He discovered it was late; and, recollecting an enthat believeth not shall be damned.
gagement, observed it was time to take leave.
Hearing an Apostle say, that he used not my expectations are suited to their candour the excellencies of speech, nor the enticing and clemency. words of man's wisdom, when he came Through the knowledge of myself, and the preaching the Gospel of Jesus amongst the ohservation I have made in life, I understand Gentiles : I conclude, that what was then use a little of human nature; and having learned less, is altogether as unnecessary now. Truth of the Father, am not altogether ignorant of needs no art, but manifests itself by plainness him who is the Truth: I therefore perceive, of speech, in the demonstration of the Spirit, that reproach and the Gospel are inseparably and of power.
connected; that it is impossible to believe, I believe I may say, without uncharitable and bear witness of the one without being ex. censure, that mankind in the general judge posed to the virulence of the other, therefore according to appearance, and not with right. God forbid that I should seek to avoid it, but eous judgment; the flowery style, the swell. rather meet in rejoicing, and receive it with ing word of vanity alluring to the flesh, is open arms; being thereby crucified unto the that, which (by reason of the depraved world, and the world unto me. senses) is most pleasing to the ear, and strik- As I make no pretension to infallibility, ing to the mind, it being not important, wheth- nay as I pretend not to the abilities of fallible er it contain any matter or not: The Truth authors : respecting wisdom, and letters, it itself, being seldom that which the reader falls will not surprise me, nor need it surprise any in love with; it is language, sounds, and pomp body else, if some busy critic, whose genius of words, that enamours a fluttering world. leads him ever in search of offal, and garbage,
To urge, that the allurements and elegance should pretend to detect in my book, not only of speech adorns the truth, and removing the bad grammar, with inaccuracies in phrase ; prejudice which many have conceived against but errors in judgment also: Nor shall this it, excites them to read with delight, &c.-I say, trouble me, provided he substitute in stead this plea will be found upon impartial inquiry, thereof, what consists more with the honour to be a flat contradiction of the scriptures, a stale and glory of Jesus Christ our Lord, for then my device of Truth's grand enemy: For, let the aim and end is answered. same subject, be but treated of in the true apos- If I am asked in meekness to explain myself tolic language, viz. plainness of speech ; and in any particular, wherein it is judged I have those raptured admirers of the sublime, how- not been quite intelligible, though I cannot ever nervous its argument, will reject it. promise success, I find myself willing to at• To assert that the excellency of speech, tempt it. But, when any conceited spirit, and the enticing words of man's wisdom, is from mere wantonness, majestically declares necessary to enforce the truths of the Gospel : me wrong, I shall not reply; because the is lo impeach the judgment of one whose servant of the Lord must not strive, but be choice did not proceed of necessity, when he gentle unto all men, apt lo teach, patient," &c. chose plainness of speech, such as was fami- As I do not remember to have read the auJiar to the meanest capacity; I mean the Apos- thor, who hath treated of the subject containtle to the Gentiles; he looked on the entice- ed in the following tract; any farther than to ments of speech, as a proceeding unworthy the drop some very brief hints of such a truth, majesty of his matter, yea rather hurtful than which hath been immediately contradicted by helpful unto his hearers ; lest their faith should some other position: So neither do I rememstand in the wisdom of man, and not in the to have read any thing wrote in confutation power of God. Hence I am encouraged to thereof, except a few admirable pieces latehope, that the absence of those embellish- ly handed about; in some of which, my name ments from my Treatise, (though it proceed stands conspicuous as an heretic. I have of necessity) will neither mar the beanty, nor reasons with me very sufficient, why I take relax the nerves of Truth contained therein: no notice of those important spirits, so as to And, what further conspires to render my ex- answer them in form. pectations sanguine in ihis particular, is the First, Respecting such that I have seen, persuasion, that there are such in the world, their performances evidence beyond all conwhose ears cannot be charmed with dead un- troversy, that they did not understand the meaning sounds, and whose hearts are sus matter which they wrote against; and thereeeptible of truth, in its artless native dress. fore treated that with contempt which was
But as the multitude think otherwise, and above them, being not afraid to speak evil of are contrary to me ; in the grace and love of dignities. I would always, (unprovoked by Jesus Christ, I stand prepared for censure, and their petulancy) answer ihose with silence, reproach, and am not afraid of their utmost as being beneath my attention. I would harenmity : nor is it in the power of the world to den my ear against the roarings of ignorance, torment me with disappointments, because and be utterly insensible to their invectives :
It being ridiculous to fret at the barkings tives, would have a large run in the world; to of a cur, when it is the nature of the animal the great advantage of the authors: this to be noisy. Moreover, my wise, and power- thought had a sweet feeling in it. But, I beful antagonists, are generally positive without lieve, there has been a disappointment here ; candour; yea even infallible in their own con- it should have been considered, that the Perceit: With such it is unlawful to reason. To son, and doctrine, which they bespatter, are see what important airs those little masters, not sufficiently popular and formidable, to give themselves, strikes one at once with raise a general call for their confutations, and laughter and contempt; and constrains the preservatives.-The deliverance, is always serious mind to commisserate the abject state proportionable to the danger, nor can the latof man, which nothing more fully discovers, ter be great, from what is only the object of than the egregious vanity, and insolence, of hatred, and contempt, and not of fear: had absolute determinations without reason. For this been considered, their expectations had my part, after having abjured the Pope of Rome, not been so sanguine. I might, by appealing I can never submit to any infallible chair of to human nature, prove, that those my reaan inferior sort : therefore their positions sons, for not taking any farther notice of my hath no weight with me, where they produce antagonists, are not mere surmise ; which may not their reasons, and such reasons as imme- possibly be false : But I decline this, and dediately relate to the matter in hand, and take clare myself well assured of what I have said, in its meaning.
from circumstances sufficiently convincing : Until then, they may think as high as they however, I shall bid them all farewell in the please of themselves, (as vain conceit seems ne- words of the poet, cessary to keep up their spirits) I must of neces. Ir want provoke, or Madness makes them print, sity respect them, so, as to take no notice of I wage no war with Bedlam, nor the Mint. their anathemas, but boldly confess that af
It is not my aim in this Treatise, to defend ter the way which they call heresy, so wor by external argument, against gain-sayers, ship I the God of my Fathers.
what I conceive to be the truth, as it is in Another reason, why I do not choose to Jesus: but simply to throw such a light upon answer (in form) those antagonists who have the matter, that as it is true, it might appear as yet appeared in public against me, is, that in a measure intelligible also, I was for a personal pique, disappointments, self-interest, long season, after satisfied of the redemption &c. was not the least powerful motive with which is in Christ ; very uneasy at times, conthem in their opposition; and where those cerning the equity thereof : Indeed the hints considerations influence the mind, it is an easy which occasioned those disputings in my matter to find fault, yea, prejudice is dexter, mind, were merely accidental ; for having reous at making faults where there are none.. I ceived much consolation in the first persua. would not answer such as these, lest, by in- sion of redemption, the forgiveness of sins, Alaming them, I should drive them to an atter in the blood of Jesus, I judged myself suffirenunciation of Christianity; lest they should cient, (from the argument I fancied I was cast off, and reject that measure of truth: master of, and that resistless authority, which which at present they may have, only because I dreampt attended my words, when I spake (from personal enmity) they may be in all of divine things) for the conviction of the most things iny opposites. For, where a spirit of hardened, and averse to salvation by Jesus ; resentment and self-seeking takes the lead, and accordingly, as opportunity offered, failed it is not strange to see men change their max. not to exert myself upon this principle : at ims, lest they should be thought to agree in length I met with one, who (though his zeal, any particular with the objects of their envy; and self-sufficiency, bare no proportion to it is a pity the evidence that some of my op- mine ;) was far my superior in understanding: ponents are already too guilty of this charge, after he had with coolness heard what I had to is so full,
say, he asked me wherein was the justice, Besides, there were many other stimulating and equity, of one man's suffering death, yea considerations, well nigh as powerful as that even the torments of hell, for another: so of personal enmity, and revenge, which made contrary to reason, and also to the testimony them opponents to me, and my doctrine : such of scripture, which often declares, that the as making their peace with the world, at the righteous shall not suffer for the wicked ; expense of the persons and matter, trampled but that every man's sin should be charged on. They were well aware, of its being a upon his own head, &c. I was not prepared very likely method to gain the favour of man- for such a question as this ; and was therefore kind, in the general, especially of the pious involved in a difficulty, which I could not obpopulace; the light in which ihings stand at viate. I appealed to the sovereignty of God, present, administering them abundant oppor- it was granted that God was sovereign, and iunity for so doing, it being shrewdly foreseen, that from his sovereign pleasure, he created that prejudice against the person and matter us, redeemed us, &c. having nothing to move exploded, would not permit the world to in- him to it, but his own will: yet he wills no. quire impartially, into the merits of the cause. thing but what is just, and equitable, because 'They conld not but be greatly encouraged, be- he is just when he judgeth, and justifieth. I ing assured of victory, before they came to the would then have urged, that as God is infi. trial. It might reasonably be expected from nitely above us; his thoughts, and ways, above