Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

pleasure in the death of the wicked ; he clearly evinces the falsehood of the assertion, that a certain number of the human race are reprobated, or destined to eternal misery.” How does this comport

with your former expressions—“He delights in the punishment of .

the unbelievers.”—“He wills that they should perish eternally?"
Again,_in page 22, you say, “Are the blessings of the atone-
ment compared to a feast? It is a feast prepared for all people,
(Isa. xxv. 6.) Is the account of it denominated glad tidings?
it is so to all people, (Luke ii. 10.). Was the brazen serpent
a figure of Christ, as the Lord that healeth? The cure, in this
case, was as universal as the malady, (John iii. 14.). Is Jesus
the bread of life? He gave his flesh for the life of the world,
(John vi. 51.). Is he a propitiation for sins?- It is “for the
sins of the whole world.” And, in page 23, you say, “If there .
be, in the creation of God, one human being, not redeemed by
the blood of Christ, then I aver, that, for that being, there is no

Gospel, no Saviour, no Pardon, no Heaven—and the Salvation of

that creature is morally and physically impossible." You reason. justly (page 31) when you say that “upon any other principles than. that of universal atonement”—why not say universal redemption—”

“the language of the apostles is absolutely unintelligible, and that it

--

would be dishonourable to God, the supposition, that he is capable . . .

of creating, perhaps, the greater part of the human race, for no other

purpose than that of glorifying himself in their eternal misery." ...

Now, to reason thus, so justly and scripturally, in favour of univer

sal redemption, and with the next breath, to admit, that the greater . . - portion of the human race shall never obtain mercy, is a manifest contradiction in terms. It is absurd to tell us, that though all .

shall not be saved, Christ nevertheless died for all. This is saying, in plain language, that “he died for millions whom he never

[ocr errors]

meant should receive any benefit from his death.” It is either

giving the lie to that passage “Thou hast created all things, and,

for thy pleasure they are and were created;" or it is asserting that his pleasure was their eternal damnation, or that he was disappointed in his end respecting them, either of which would be blasphemy. In short, to talk of universal atonement, as you do, and not to ad- . mit universal redemption, is just saying that the atonement is incomplete. * . . . ."

. On the subject of the love of God, you have some beautiful, and , christian-like remarks... And these, I maintain (whether you will

- - I -
- - t
-

. . . ." - 66

... ." . . admit it or not), can only be consistent in one who is a believer in

* universal redemption. You remark, page 53, “He is love, as es... sentially as he is light; and St. John says, God is light, and in. him is no darkness at all. It hence follows, that God is love, and . . . . . . . in him is no hatred at all.” “ God was no less love when he con, , ; ; , signed the rebel angels to bottomless perdition, there to dwell in - . . . . . . adamantine chains and penal fire, than when, in the form of a ser‘. . . . . vant, he bore our sins in his own body on the tree; and he will . . . . . . . . be no less love when he damns the despisers of his grace, than when "... he shall welcome his saints, to the Kingdom, prepared for them

- . before the foundation of the world. Shall we dare to aver that

. . . .” - God is, in some instances, the opposite of love, because our pur. . . blind reason cannot trace his philanthropy, distinctly, in every act of .

‘. . . . . . his administration?. He is eternally, and uniformly, Love. And ... . . . . . he dwells not in love who exercises that principle, in some instances, . . . . . . . and to some individuals merely." No; he only dwells in love, who

; : -* habitually breathes that heavenly principle, and whose philanthropy o: ... is universal.”. Now, these are exactly my sentiments; for I be-, ' ' ' '. lieve that his every act of chastisement, damnation, or punishment,

. . . . . " ' " is, “though not joyous, but grievous,” nevertheless, in love to the

“. . . ." subjects of it. From his very nature and essence it must be so.

. ... But, I would ask-how, in the name of reason, or common sense, "... can you, consistently hold these sentiments, expressed by the above

o quotations, and not be a believer in the doctrine of universal re- . ... demption? How can the love of God be manifested, in consigning . . . . . . . . the rebel angels to bottomless perdition, or in damning the des-.

. . . pisers of his grace, unless these awful dispensations are of a media-. "

. . . ...tory nature, and are ultimately to give place to endlesslife? If all his

. . , , or he is not omnipotent to Save them—There is no avoiding this . . . . . conclusion. “. . . . . . . . . . o ** By comparing different expressions in yourbook with one another, • and with various sentences in your discourses, you are, evidently . . . . very inconsistent with yourself, and no less inconsistent with the - . . o most obvious parts of the divine testimony. ... Forego, therefore, that . . . . . which is both dark and doubtful, and which, if admitted, would evi- dently involve the characterof J ehovah, and the consequence will be a perfect consistency, on the glorious scheme of universal reconciliation. Is it possible the phrase Universalist can offend one of your good sense and liberality? I should

[ocr errors]

chastisements are in love, and mercy, they must issue in salvation, .

[ocr errors]

arrive. Then shall the Minister,” or Preacher, he no longer the bond of union among christian societies, their bond of union will

that the very best of men are, less or more, the creatures of prejudice. But the shackles of “tyrant custom,” and prejudice, imposed by priestcraft, are wearing off, and will utterly give way before the force of Scripture, Truth, and Reason. But a few cen

turies ago, it would have been reckoned blasphemy to deny the . . "

doctrine of transubstantiation, and now even the most zealous catho

lic is half ashamed to avow it. And but half a century ago, the

salvation of all who die in infancy, was but partially believed, or

at least avowed.—“None but the elect children,” said they “can . . . . . .

be saved.” Now, where will you find one, who is not devoted to

bigotry and prejudice, who will hesitate to pronounce all such to

belong, to the Kingdom of Heaven. The march of true know

ledge is advancing ; and prejudice will, by and by, as ashamed,. . . hide its face. I have no doubt, that in a century hence, the doc- -

trine of eternal torments will be as little believed in, as either tran

substantiation or the damnation of infants are at the present day. So true it is, that in nothing have mankind ever been so much misled, .

as in their opinions about religion, as the history of the world

abundantly showeth. . . .

Wereprejudice, superstition, and bigotry, banished from amongst mankind, as becometh saints, then farewell to the dominion of the .

clergy, and to all national establishments of christianity. Then

would men, with the scriptures in their hands, with God and a .

good conscience before their eyes, under the influence of Scripture,

Truth, and Reason, look every subject fairly and candidly in the face... Then would men only act a rational part, when they should

. begin to think and act for themselves, unassisted by Priestcraft, and

... uninfluenced by prejudice. This day is upon the wing, and will

be love, for the truth's sake. There shall then be a real “ unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." - * * *

. ... October 29.-You told us from the pulpit, this day, after recit-> *

ing that passage, that “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive,” that “allmankind are the subjects of his mediation;" and that “he will vindicate his mediatorial authority, over sinners,

... in raising them to condemnation.” - And you referred to that pas

sage, “ That aS sin hath reigned unto natural death, over all Adam's

- posterity, so would grace reign, through righteousness, unto eterItal life, in that all shall be raised to life through Jesus Christ." So,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

then, according to your view of the subject, this is the benefit they all are to enjoy (who are not of the elect) from Christ's mediation and atonement, namely, to be made eternally alive, in order to be eternally miserable / / / . Much better had it been, for at least nine tenths of the human race, who arrive at maturity, had Christ never interfered in their behalf at all, nor died

o : .*, for them, as you are pleased to say he did. In this case, the

language of the Saviour, when he shall come to deliver up the kingdom to the Father, will behove to be such as the following— “I have done what I could to save the whole human race whom I died to redeem, but I found their natures so corrupted by Adam's fall, and their appetites and passions so vitiated, and the devil so 'artful and cunning, in suiting his temptations to their corrupt ap

petites and passions, that I was at length obliged to come to a com

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

promise with him, and give him up nine tenths of the human race, to recover one tenth.” And well might the Devil triumph over

the Saviour and say—“Here are the millions you fondly imagined you could rescue from my power;-for them you left the bosom of

your Father:-for them you assumed the human form ;-for them you suffered many hardships and indignities;–for them you shed

... your blood on the cross; but after all this, behold ! they are mine

eternally;-you tried to save them, but you could not.” As one justly asks—“Is this the triumphant victory the Savour of mankind was to gain over the powers of darkness ! Is it all to terminate in peopling the infernal regions with those very beings, who the Father of mercies wished and intended should be eternally happy p" Where then the triumphant exclamation,-" O death where is thy

sting, O grave where is thy victory?" Where then the boasting that “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he

might destroy the works of the devil?" I shall now, in borrowed language, ask you one question,-according to your doctrine, “who

has ultimately the greatest cause to triumph—God, or Man,

or Devil 2" . . . - -

To conclude:—I recollect you said to me one day, when speak

ing about the subject of universal reconciliation, that you wished .

the doctrine were true. This is truly a benevolent wish, and such a wish as every good man must secretly have, whether he may express it or not. I think it was the pious Philip Dodridge, whose " benevolence, shuddering at the common doctrine of eternal tor

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

ments, involuntarily exclaimed,—“Well! if even the Devil is to be damned to all eternity, I shall be sorry for it.” And elsewhere he says “of all things credible to me, the doctrine of endless. damnation appears the most incredible.”. He shuddered at it, and secretly dissented, though he never publicly renounced the popular belief. Now, let me candidly ask you, and do you candidly answer the question.—Whence, do you think, does this wish of your's . —of Philip Dodridge's, and of all good men, proceed? - Does it proceed from a truly christian-like temper of mind, and heavenly principles; or, does it proceed from an unregenerated mind, and . from hellish principles 2 Whether can such a wish be ranked, amongst the “fruits of the spirit,” or “the works of the flesh?” I think I need not put the question. Well then, if such are the o fruits of the spirit, how do you think that He, “with whom is the . . residue of the spirit,” can be less benevolent than you are, or than he enjoins us to be, as imitators and followers of him? Do not, I beseech you, make the Almighty Father of our spirits, of “the spirits of all flesh,” less benevolent and merciful than you are yourself. This would be arrogating to yourself a perfection which, ac: . cording to your representation, is not to be found in God. Let . you—let popular opinion—let what is called orthodoxy—let all, or any who will think so, for my part I cannot—I dare not. - - - - 3Letter #tton't. . . . . From the Baptist Minister to the Author. MY DEAR SIR, *: Agreeably to your desire, I sit down to `... make a few remarks on a written communication, which you have thought it necessary to submit to my consideration. Had you thought proper to discuss the subject in a conversational way, I should have been more happy, as an epistolary correspondence between individuals, situated as you and me, indicates a want of confidence, which does not exist, at least on my part. - A categorical reply to the communication, in question, suits

neither my time,’ nor inclination. I shall, however, in the first . . .

place, notice a few passages in it, and then confine myself to some

general observations. . . . . - * '

In regard to what concerns myself, I certainly have no pleasure
-- - . • . -

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »