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perish, through the deceitfulness of sin:—hut, to come to the point. "For as in Adam all die," says he, "even so in Christ shall all be made alive," (chapter xv. 22). So that whatever he the nature, or the extent of that death introduced hy Adam, it is here counteracted by Christ. All the evils introduced by sin, shall be cancelled by grace,—nay, this Apostle says, that "grace shall much more abound." "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," (verse 26). So we see that death itself (which is surely the very opposite of life), shall be destroyed. [Or, as another Apostle expresses it,—not only death, but "death and heU;" those last enemies of sinful creatures, "shall be cast into the lake," and shall no more be found; when "there shall be no more sorrow nor crying, for the former things are passed away"]. "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory," (verse 54). But I shall proceed to his
2d Epistle. He says, (chapter v. verse 14.) "Because we thus judge," a very rational judgement, "that if one died for all, then were all dead." It is worthy of our particular notice, that the Apostle is not here attempting to prove universal redemption, but universal death. The fact being admitted, namely, "that he died for all," he argues from it thus,—". then were all dead." He is here reasoning with the Corinthians on the very principle of universal redemption, which appears to have been admitted by them all, and on this alone he founds his argument, that if he "died for all," as nobody then disputed, then all belwved to be dead. Is not this reasoning of the Apostle very conclusive against you? For we see that the all for whom he died are the very same all who were dead, and who will venture to say that all mankind are not included here? And to tell us that Christ died for those who shall not be saved, is just saying that Christ died in vain. When once you will show me how you can, consistently, limit the term all, in the above, and similar passages, then I shall listen to your arguments in favour of never-ending misery: but I suspect you will find some difficulty in this. Again,
In his epistle to the GALATIANS (chapter iv. 4.) he says "God sent forth his Son," &c. "to redeem"—who? "them that were under the law." And who are they that were under the law? They are the whole family of man: Christ fulfilled the law for them:—Therefore, all they that are under the law, must be his redeemed heritage. As he says (chapter iii. 13.) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” &c. “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed,” (verse 8). And, again,_
In his epistle to the EPHESIANS, he thus writes (chapter i. 10.) “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” And it follows (chapter ii. 16.) “That he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross,” &c. “And came and preached peace to you who were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” There is much more that I might quote, in proof of the universality of the atonement, especially from the third chapter; but I must pass on to
The Epistle to the PHILIPPIANS. I have already shown, that in writing to the Romans, he said that “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God.” But, as if he had anticipated your limitation of the terms every knee, and every tongue, to any particular class of men; and, in order to silence you on that subject, he, in this epistle (chapter ii. 10.) resumes it thus—“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And when he says, in another place (1 Cor. chapter xv. 28.) that “All things (God excepted), shall be subdued unto him;"—And when it is said, as above, that “things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth;” and, in other places, that he will “reconcile all things unto himself.”—“put all things in subjection under his feet;"—and that “angels, principalities, and powers shall be subject unto him.” I cannot see how we can exclude any of God's created intelligences, either angels, men, or devils. “For,” as this same Apostle says (Heb. ii. 8.) “in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.” But I must proceed in my regular order.
In his epistle to the colossIANs, as also in all his epistles
which we have yet reviewed, he does not neglect to teach them the same doctrine. In no one instance has he failed to remind those to whom he writes, that the salvation by Christ shall be as universal as are the effects of sin. Nay, one would think, that, in every succeeding epistle, he adds new force to his expressions, on the subject. This we have seen to be the case, in those we have already passed over: and here again he resumes the sulrject thus (chapter i. 14.) "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature." Then follows the enumeration of his creatures, thus, "For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and, "notice the expression "for him." What can be more to the purpose than this? But, as if the Apostle anticipated such objections as you advance, on the subject, and for ever set the matter at rest, it follows (verse 20.) "And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." By the all things "in earth," that are to be reconciled, we must surely understand all sinners of mankind. And what are they "in heaven" that stand in need of"reconciliation, if they are not "the angels that sinned?" Here then, we are to have the whole lapsed creation reconciled to God. And to show that every thing is comprehended, both in the spiritual and material world, he uses the utmost stretch of language, thus, "visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers?' Now, let me ask—have words any meaning? If the answer is in the affirmitwe, you must admit the doctrine of universal restoration.
Having already dwelt so long on the writings of Paul, I shall merely glance at the remainder of his epistles, to show that he uniformly taught the doctrine I maintain.
He says to TIMOTHY (chapter ii. 1.) "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." This is the will of God—the good of all men* And in this universal benevolence we should be imitators of God, for it follows, "Fortius is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," which must of course take place, one time or another. And again, it follows (verse 6.) "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Again (chapter iv. 10.)—" Who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe?" And he adds—" These things command and teach." Again:—
In his epistle to TITUS, he writes, as we have it in our version, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men." One cannot but remark, here, the anxiety of our translators to conceal, as it wore, the universal aspect of the grace of God. For the passage reads thus, as you will see on the margin of your bible, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared," &c. This remark, is not applicable to this particular passage only,—For, I find, that in many passages, throughout the bible, which would admit of another reading, that reading, if adopted, would, in so far as regards the case of mankind, have more an aspect of mercy, than our common translation. Such is the merciless "inhumanity of man to man," and the injustice done to the character of God! But I must proceed:—
The epistle to the HEBREWS, is so full of the doctrine of universal redemption, that I cannot do justice to the subject without quoting largely,—but I must confine myself.
He begins, by saying, that "God, who at sundry times, and in diverse manners, spake in time past unto the fathers, by the prophets" (all of whom, as we have seen, spake "of the restitution of all things") hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son," notice what follows, "whom he hath appointed heir of all things." Here, at the very commencement, he. enters upon the subject. And he follows it up thus,—" Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him." But now we see not yet all things put under him:" This is reserved for another state, or dispensation. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for (or by), the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;" notice what follows, "that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man," (chapter ii. 7—9 ). Can words more appropriately express a universal subjection, or universal salvation? And it follows (verse 14.) "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." How will this comport with your doctrine? How can death and the devil, after being destroyed, reign eternally, over all who die in unbelief, —of course, over ninety, at least, of every hundred who have lived and died (infants excepted), since the creation of the world?
But I shall now have done with the epistles of St. Paul, and proceed to show that the other Apostles spake the same things as he did.
The Apostle JAMES is not quite so much to the point, as Paul, upon this subject. His short epistle is chiefly showing, and inculcating good works, as the effects of genuine faith: but although he does not, in such plain language as some others, tell us that "God is good unto all, and that his tender mercies are over (or upon) all his works;" this is surely implied, when he tells us that "The wisdom that is from above is full of mercy," and " without partiality," (chapter iii. 17). He reproves such as hold your sentiments, for "cursing men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth," saith he, "proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be," (chapter iii. 10). Arid it follows, next verse, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? And, again; "no fountain can both yield salt water and fresh." Now, how will you appl v this doctrine to a God whom you represent to be so destitute of mercy, and so full of partiality, that from the same Being, or fountain, are constantly proceeding both blessing and cursing; and the latter, not only in greater profusion, but to never-ending duration? Reconcile these things if you can, for I cannot; and will not so reproach God as to attempt it. Again:—
The Apostle PETER has surely some meaning in view, when he speaks of Christ "being put to death in the flesh, but quickned by the Spirit: by which, also, he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah," &c. (chapter iii. 18). And, again;—" For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might he judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit," (chapter iv.