I will come with another appeal to your conscience, which, I think you cannot be offended at, because you have taken away both the power and the sovereignty of my Lord and Master, and assumed all yourself, by asserting in this your letter, “that you have a power to do good, and a will to choose or refuse good.” Therefore, as an ambassador of Christ I come to you; for where can the servant of a dethroned sovereign go, but to those possessed with sovereign power? and according to your letter, you are the man.
I believe, if you were to make your will tomorrow, you would make it greatly in favour of your beloved son; and perhaps cut off one, that you are far from being kind to, with a shilling. God does not go so far; for though he insists upon it, that Ishmael shall not be heir of the providential substance, and promised blessings of Abraham, yet he provides for Ishmael as a Father in providence, and tells him he should live by his sword. Thus God’s mercies are over all his works: God loveth the stranger in giving him food and raiment; and makes his sun to shine on the unthankful as well as on the grateful, and sends his rain on the just and unjust.
And I suppose it would be taken as a very great offence for any person to ask you why you gave your substance and homestall to one child, and only an Ishmael’s portion to the rest? your reply would undoubtedly be, “I am not accountable to man for these things, but have an undoubted right to do as I please with my own.” God says the same, “Why dost thou strive against him, for he giveth not account of any of his matters?” and asks, if it is not right that he should do as he pleases with his own?
I have perused your letter over and over, and considered it minutely; and the whole of it seems to amount only to this; you are labouring to prejudice poor sinners against the sovereign power of God your Maker, and to establish your own sovereignty instead thereof. But, if there is truth in the bible, living and dying in the work and spirit that you are now in, you will never see Christ with acceptance. “Those that honour me will I honour, but they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
All the human race have sinned, and are in a state of death and condemnation by sin, and it is God’s pleasure to have mercy on some, and those are the objects that himself chose, according to his own good pleasure: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” This he proclaimed from heaven himself; and though there are many that have and still do resist his will, yet there is none that have or ever shall alter it; God is of one mind, and none can turn him; and what his soul desireth that he doth.
If ten men taken, are combined in one robbery, and being tried and found guilty, are cast and condemned for the same; yet it lies in the king’s breast to pardon one or more of them, though all are alike guilty; and it would be no less than rebellion, if not treason, in you to call your sovereign unjust or wicked in so doing; yet you are guilty of such rebellion against God: hear the Lord’s own voice in the court of equity, “Is it fit to say to a king, thou art wicked, or to princes, ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor?” But in this God differs much from the king, because a king often pardons without any satisfaction to his law; but God pardons none without a full satisfaction both to law and justice; and though an infinite satisfaction be given both to his law and justice, yet he will not pardon all the human race.