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such inconscious innocence, cannot be the subject of damnation, for “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Neither can the nonelect be damned for the sin of Adam. No man shall suffer punishment, beyond this life, but on account of his own sins; and that punishment, we are told, will be in proportion to their demerit.— “Every one shall receive according to the deeds done in the body.” “Every man shall be rewarded according to his works." How does this proportionate punishment, comport with the idea of neverending torments? If every one consigned to hell, shall remain there, to all duration, where is the proportion of punishment.— How can ceaseless and never-ending torments be termed, a “few stripes?” And if infinite justice required it, justice would require a satisfaction, that it never could receive, even in eternity. Thus, then, we see that God is love, even in his bitterest chastisements, and punishments, just as every parent and ruller, is commanded to be, in immitation of Him. Now, I believe, there are few who will just deny this, in plain terms. Neither can it be denied, that the scriptures abound with declarations, as we have already seen, and will yet more abundantly show, that all shall be subjected, reconciled, restored, at last. Where then lies your difficulty? All the difficulty lies in one word, which is frequently used in reference to punishment, and this word is sometimes translated everlasting, eternal, and for ever, although it is more frequently applied, in scripture, to duration of various measures of time, (as I have shown in an essay on that subject.) When this word then can, and does admit of such a meaning, how unwarrantable is it to render it unlimited, in reference to punishment, at the eagense, and to the disannulling of his attributes of benevolence, and mercy, and love, which shine so conspicuously throughout the sacred volume 2 You cannot, and you do not, attempt to deny the limited acceptation of the term, in scripture; but you say, “the language of scripture is, tipon this system, not more conclusive regarding the happiness of the blessed, than it is respecting the duration of the misery of the wicked." But I have elsewhere sufficiently exposed the fallacy of the argument, by showing that the blessedness of the redeemed is always identified with the life of Christ. “Because I live ye shall live also.” And we know, that “Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him.” And the redeemed are represented as “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ,"—heirs of “his kingdom which cannot be
ways relation to some good towards mankind, but never with a view to perpetuate their torments, as you have the awful presumption to assert, and call on us to believe. You once told me that you were, at one time, almost a convert to the doctrine of universal redemption, and that you would not, even yet, speak against it with much firmness. Latterly, however, the torments of hell, and the eternity of them, has become much your theme. I have referred particularly to last night. The Sabbath before that, you told us (which I noted down at the moment), “He therefore delights in the punishment of the unbelievers,” in direct opposition to Ezek. xxxiii. 11.and the whole tenor of the gospel scriptures. And, one day, after telling us, in the words of scripture, that He willeth not the death of the wicked, you added, in your own anti-scriptural language, “but should they fail in obtaining salvation, He wills that they should perish eternally.” Thus you make God to have two wills or double-minded, contrary to that passage, “He is of one mind.” It is certainly a mistake, to think, that this mode of preaching is the way to bring sinners to God. And you cannot show me, either from the Epistles, or the Acts of the Apostles, that this was the mode of preaching in those days. From detached passages of scripture you may deduce such doctrine as you have lately dwelt so much upon, but from the scriptures, as a whole, you cannot. And I aver that such is neither the genuine spirit of the gospel, nor is it at all in the nature of christian philanthropy. You told me, one day, that you objected to the doctrine of univers ol redemption, on the following ground.— You cannot, you say, find out, from the scriptures, what discipline they are to undergo, who die in unbelief, in order to effect a reconciliation, or by what process they are to be restored. In reply, I beg leave to premise— that in all I have said, you have never seen me attempt to be wise above that which is written: I, therefore, honestly confess that I am no more able than you are, to describe the discipline, nor define the process by which sinners are to be restored. It is enough for you, and for me, to believe that it shall be so, if the Lord has said it. Permit me, here, to adopt your own language, (page 51), and say, “How unreasonable for one to presume to ask questions, to reason about consequences, to lay down premises, and draw conclusions, with a view to invalidate the most obvious part of the testimony of Jehovah, merely, because from his limited knowledge of divine things, he finds himself unable to reconcile it with other But why stop here to multiply quotations, when the scriptures abound with such “blunt truths,” namely, that he is “the Saviour of the world,"—“the whole world,”—of “all men,”—of “every man,”—of “every creature.” In short “he came to save that which was lost,” and where will you show me the man that is not included in that term? But these, though enough for my purpose at present, are a mere sample of the “blunt truths" which I intend to call your attention in the sequel. How do these
you have already got suit your purpose? What method will you take to explain away their meaning 2 Tell us not, as in your publication, that he died for millions whom he never intended to redeem:—that he died for those who shall be eternally damned, as well as for the saved. This, I consider, to be so absurd, as to be apparent to every one but yourself, so that I shall neither waste time nor words with you about it. I should like you to point out the man of common understanding, who, after reading the first part of your book, would read the second also, or who will just read the quotations from it, in my former letter to you, and not perceive your absurdity. For my part, I have not met with any, even the most senseless, who has not perceived and remarked this. Now, as I have made all this so abundantly plain, in my former letter, and as you have not attempted to clearyourself from the charge of inconsistency, I must conclude that you cannot, and I aver you cannot. Tell me not that “the inconsistencies and contradictions betwixt your letters and sermons, are of no consequence to the point in question."—This is an expression so silly, and so ridiculous, that I feel ashamed at it, and will spare you the mortification of the reply that it merits.
With regard to the process by which sinners are to be reclaimed, namely, by the death of his Son, I have no need that you should inform me. This forms the grand topic of revelation. I know that there is no other name given among men, whereby they can be saved,—no man can come to the Father but by him. (John xiv. 6.) It is the process, or discipline, by which those who die in unbelief are to be reclaimed, in the world to come, of which I confess myself ignorant, because the scriptures are silent respecting it. The scriptures do inform us, however, that they shall be “reconciled," and “restored." And as they are said to become “reconciled to Christ,” and “through him,” we are warranted to conclude that their punishment will be under his superintendence, and a • . purpose than that of glorifying himself in their eternal misery.” ...;
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 atonement 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
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
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 disappoint
ed 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
. . . . . . 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 :
. - ... ." . 'o. 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
, '''': ...is universal.”. Now, these are exactly my sentiments; for I be-,
‘. . - .* habitually breathes that heavenly principle, and whose philanthropy .
o - “. . . . ." subjects of it. From his very nature and essence it must be sp.
- . ... But, I would ask-how, in the name of reason, or common sense,
.. - . the rebel angels to bottomless perdition, or in damning the des-.
... quotations, and not be a believer in the doctrine of universal redemption ? How can the love of God be manifested, in consigning . .
. . . . . . 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. “ - * ". .
- .. .*.* - - - - - - - -
dently involve the characterof J ehovah, and the consequence will be . .
a perfect consistency, on the glorious scheme of universal reconcilia-
chastisements are in love, and mercy, they must issue in salvation, .
good sense and liberality? I should think not. Yet, true it is,...
... By comparing different expressions in yourbook with one another,