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“ So long as I do His will to the letter, brother, I have not a doubt of it, and that's the reason I came here so early this morning; it's the early bird that catches the worm, you know. 'I am after your soul, brother, and I have come to tell you that if you don' come right out and own your Master with us - stand up like a good soldier of the cross and do your duty, you will soon fall into Satan's ranks and be eternally lost.”
He fixed his eyes upon those of Israel with a look like a maniac. Yet he was pleasant and genial as the
“Let us pray,” next spoke Cutting, while he dropped suddenly upon his knees.
A listener would have inferred that he had full faith to the measure of his “soul's request,” that “the heavens would bow and come down.” To characterize this prayer by the word earnestness, is as scant of the fact as “light” falls short of a description of the
It was a practical obedience to the words of the Lord found in Isaiah xli: 21. Produce your cause : bring forth your strong reasons.
The breakfast bell terminated this exercise, but not the interview, for Cutting accepted the invitation to accompany Israel to breakfast, adding that he had not eaten a “full meal” for four days. It soon transpired that Cutting was boarding himself, and in all ways trying to eke out enough to provide the means for an education.
“It must be very hard for you,” said Israel.
“ Not at all, dear brother, since my Master looks out that I have all I really need. The glorious service
pays, I assure you.” And he smiled as though contemplating a broker's board, on which he had a right to thousands of gold.
In answer to the request of the landlady that he should ask the blessing, he prayed at least five minutes, in which he took occasion to remember every individual around the table, each with an original request, not forgetting to offer a petition that the colored handmaids who wait upon us
may have their souls washed and made white in the cleansing blood of the Lamb.” Also, he said in conclusion, “If any of these persons, O Lord, fail of securing admission to Thy kingdom, it will not be the fault of Thy servant who warned them on Tuesday morning, August seventeenth, in the year of our Lord, (here he gave the year,) Amen."
The result of this unprecedented faithfulness to a conviction of duty appeared in a few days, in the form of a new coat, ordered by subscription of those persons there present, for “Mr. Cyprian Cutting - a man among a thousand, who dares to say what he thinks."
ISRAEL soon became so much interested in what he heard and saw among these Methodists, that he took advice of the minister of this persuasion, whose services he now chiefly attended, as to what books he should read in order to become acquainted more thoroughly with their doctrinal belief. He was told that no stress was laid upon the belief of the laity for membership, provided they loved our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and were striving to live a good life ; but that the ministry were strictly required to accept their creed in the fifty-three discourses of John Wesley, and his Notes on the New Testament, all of which is of the “ Arminian type.”
He was curious to know how the belief of the Arminians could read in distinction from those “ Five Points” of Calvinism which he had received with so much reservation of confidence.
He found it to read thus:
I. That God, from eternity, determined to bestow salvation on those who, he foresaw, would persevere unto the end, and to inflict everlasting punishment on those who should continue in their unbelief, and resist his divine succors; so that election and reprobation are conditional.
II. That Jesus Christ, by his sufferings and death, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind, and of every individual in particular ; that, however, none but those who believe in him, can be partakers of his benefits.
III. That mankind are not totally depraved, and that depravity does not come upon them by virtue of Adam's being their federal head.
That the grace of God, which converts men, is not irresistible.
V. That those who are 'united to Christ by faith may fall from a state of grace, and finally perish.
Upon some of these views he found that those of Wesley appeared to join issue. For instance, in Wesley's own words, he read as follows:
“Question. In what sense is Adam's sin imputed to all mankind ?
“Answer. In Adam all died, i. e., 1. Our bodies then became mortal. 2. Our souls died,' i. e. were disunited from God. And hence, 3. We are all born with a sinful, devilish nature; by reason whereof, 4. We are children of wrath, liable to death eternal. (Rom. 5:18; Eph. II: 3.)
"Q. In what sense is the righteousness of Christ imputed to all mankind, or to believers ?
“A. We do not find it expressly affirmed in Scripture that God imputes the righteousness of Christ to any, although we do find that faith is imputed for righteousness. That text, As by one man's disobe
" dience all men were made sinners, so by the obedience of one all were made righteous,' we conceive, means by the merits of Christ all men are cleared from the guilt of Adam's actual sin.”
In addition to what is contained in the creed of Arminius, he found these teachings, also, of Wesley :
"2. What is implied in being a perfect Christian?
“A. The loving the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our mind, and soul, and strength.
"Q. Does this imply that all inward sin is taken away? "A.
Without doubt; or how could we be said to be saved from all our uncleanness.?” (Ezek. 36: 29.)
Of faith, he found the Wesleyan idea to be, “not only a divine evidence or conviction that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, but a sure trust and confidence that Christ died for my sins, that he loved me, and gave himself for me. And the moment a penitent sinner believes this, God pardons and absolves him ; and as soon as his pardon or justification is witnessed to him by the Holy Ghost, he is saved.”
A standard writer of this connection, Israel found, adds to the foregoing :
"That comfortable persuasion of God's favor, resulting from the witness of the Holy Spirit, for which the Methodists contend, they distinguish from an assurance of final salvation. It is simply a persuasion of present pardon and acceptance. Without this, say they, we cannot love God, and therefore cannot yield those fruits of righteousness which indicate a state of grace and safety. The induction thus supposes the antecedent' witness,' as truly as lunar beams give evidence of the power and brightness of the sun. Where the attesting spirit dwells, He produces the graces which are enumerated in Holy Scripture; and