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the Lord would not have made sad: and this you will find when you come to be soundly tried. “To the weak, says Paul, became I as weak, that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, , that I might by all means save some.” Go we, and do likewise.
We are to separate the vile from the precious, and the chaff from the wheat, as the Lord discovers them; to purge out the old leaven, to draw proper lines, to show the sincere from the hypocritical, and to purge ourselves from disorderly and false professors. But the command to Simon is applicable to every minister of Christ: Lovest thou me? Feed my lambs; feed my sheep. The weaklings of the flock are to be fed as well as the sheep. The passage you refer to, “ He that doubteth is damned if he eat,” is perverted. The damnation of hell is not intended by that text: for although truth hath declared, that “meat commendeth us not to God, for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse, 1. Cor. viii. 8; “ for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;" yet God has not fixed the sentence of damnation upon meat, nor upon him that eats it, any more than he has promised heaven to them that fast in lent, or live upon fish and He that commandeth abstinence from meat under the gospel, contradicts the Saviour, who declares, “ Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth the man.” Forbidding to inarry, and commanding to abstain from meats, are doctrines of devils, and are enforced by those only who give heed to se
fish and eggs.
ducing spirits, 1 Tim. iv. 1-3. “I know,” says Paul, “and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” Such an one goes not by the word of God; he is awed, governed, and kept in bondage, by a blind, misled, or uninformed conscience; having not light to see his liberty.
God damns no man for eating meat: the sentence in the text is from the man himself: “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth,” but man is not lord of life and death; the sentence of eternal damnation is not lodged in his power; that prerogative belongs to the Judge of quick and dead, and none else. Nor is the sentence of God intended by the word damnation, but the sentence of a man's own conscience, which follows upon his commission of that which he believes to be sin: “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith, is sin;" Rom. xiv. 23. Dear Sir, adieu. While I subscribe myself,
Yours to command,
In the gospel of Christ,
END OF THE NINTH VOLUME.