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by Dr. John Thomas
I would, however, so far anticipate another part of this work as to say here, that the finality of creation, providence, and redemption is, man upon earth, glorious, honourable, and immortal, in a state of unmingled good.
It was because God loved man, and out of mercy to him, that He drove him out of the garden.
Had He been actuated by malignity (a feeling, by-the-bye, that has no place in the heart of God), He would have left him free to involve himself in everlasting misery by eating of the tree of lives.
But He did not create the man for such a destiny; nor did He subject his posterity to evil by a stern necessity, that it might in any mode of existence be consigned to interminable torment of mind, of body, or both.
The creed that inculcates this is God-dishonouring, and expresses the foolish thoughts of sinful flesh, unenlightened by His law and testimony.
It is the vapouring of the pagan mind, adopted by the Apostasy, and transfused into the symbols of its credulity.
As it knows not how to display the divine character in any other light than the propensities, the faintly-illumined intellect, and the perverted sentiments of the flesh exhibit; it presents God to the sons of men as more like the Saturn, or Moloch, of the heathens, who devoured their own offspring, in shrieks and groans, than as one who so loves the world that He beseeches it to be reconciled to Him: and to accept, without money or price, the exceeding great and precious things He has in store.
Thus, the "religious world" is ruled by terror.
The little faith it professes, works not by love to the purification of its heart; but by the unceasing apprehension of burning in molten lava through endless ages.
It works by "fear, which hath torment," and debases the soul; so that were it not for its fears, it would be honest and confess that it cared neither for God nor for His religion.
But there is no fear in love; for perfect love casteth out fear.
The world of professors, therefore, deceives itself in supposing that it loves God.
"He that feareth is not made perfect in love".
It loves Him not, for its conscience is defiled.
"Love is the fulfilling of the law".
Its "doubts and fears" demonstrate its consciousness of sin uncovered; and that it either knows not what the truth is, or knowing it, neglects, or refuses, to obey it.
It is an egregious contradiction to confess with the same breath that we love God and are yet afraid of Him!
Was Adam afraid of God so long as he continued obedient?
As soon, however, as he sinned, fear seized upon him, and he fled from the sound of His voice, and hid himself.
The righteous man's fear of God is the fear of offending one he loves.
God is terrible only to His enemies.
His sons and daughters confide in Him with the affection of children; and He protects them with all the love and jealousy of His holy and blessed name.
Being ignorant of "the exceeding great and precious promises" relating to the kingdom of God, the leaders of the people know not in what other way to move them to "get religion," as their phrase is.