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such as overcome, that they shall inherit all things, must mean all the blessings of the New Jerusalem state, which our Lord had just shown the apostle. The adversative conjunction BUT, shows the connexion of rer. 8., with what goes before, -forms a contrast between the state of believers and unbelievers,-points out, in the most striking manner, their difference,-and demonstrates that the fearful, and unbelievers, &c. will not be sharers with those that overcome in the privileges of that happy place.
After a description of the city, the apostle returns again to this subject; Chap. xxi. 27. “ And there shall “ jo nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither “ whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie : but “they who are written in the Lamb's book of life.” And all men and devils are not written in the Lamb's book of life. For" whosoever was not found written in the book of
life, was cast into the lake of fire,” ch. sx. 15. It is in vain that the Universalists endeavour to pull them out of the fire, and conduct them to the New Jerusalem; for the apostle declares, they shall in nowise enter into it. The poor subterfuge, therefore, about the restored entering into the city occasionally, is entirely cut off.
After a further description of the city, the apostle resumes this subject once more : chap. xxii. 14, 15. “ Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in “through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, “and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and “idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." The situation of those without is described by our Lord in Luke xiii. 25-28. “When once the Master of the " bouse is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye
begin to stand WITHOUT, and to knock at the door, say. “ing, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer “ and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are ; " Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk “ in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets. “ But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not, whence
“ye are ; Depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity. " There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye "shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the “prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves " thrust out." Now if it be said to the men of the New Jerusalero only, that there shall be no more death,-if many shall stand without the city, and shall in nowise enter into it,-if those dogs, &c. without, shall have their part in the lake of fire, and will there be weeping and gnashing their teeth,—and if, at every attempt to enter the city, they shall be ordered to depart, and be thrust out,—then I hope it is abundantly proved, that this vision is so far from affording any support to the res. toration scheme, that it fully overthrows it.
As I have shown above that the second death will not be destroyed, when the new heaven and new earth are created, Mr. Winchester must be mistaken in believing, that the earth when on fire will be the lake into which the wicked will be cast ; and that as the earth will be purified by the fire, and be made a new earth, so devils and sinful men, will be purified by it also, and be made new creatures. Mr. W. refers to 2 Pet. iii. 7. in support of his opinion.* It is only necessary now to observe, that in the parallel case which the le introduces in ver. 5, 6. we find that the bodies of the antediluvians perished by the flood, and not that their souls were purified : so “ the heavens and the earth are reserved unto fire, against “ the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men," not their restoration. It appears from this passage, aswell as from Rev. XX. 9. that the wicked will be devoured by fire just before the day of judgment; but this fire will no more be a soul-purgatory, than that was which consumed the inhabitants of Sodom. may as well talk about washing souls white with water as. purifying them by fire.
* Dialogues, p. 10.
On the Experience of Christians.
MR. WINCHESTER, in his Third Dialogue, em deavours to show that Christian experience naturally leads to a belief of the Doctrine of Restoration. He asks his friend, (p. 104.) “Did you aot see yourself lost "and undone, and that you were vile before God, un" worthy of his mercy, and totally unable to deliver your“ self from your sin and misery?" His friend replies, “I certainly did.” Perhaps. I am short-sighted, for when I saw that I was lost and undone that I could not deliver myself,--and that I was unworthy of the merc of God, I concluded that as I had no claim on mercy, God might justly withhold it for ever.,
Mr. W. inquires of his friend again, “ And were "you not brought by the power of God to resign your“ self into his hands without reserve, lo do with you, and ** dispose of you, according to his will and pleasure, being to convinced that he neither would nor could do you any * injustice.” “O yes," (sayo his friend,) and then I “ found peace.” According to this experience, it seems that, when a man is persuaded God will do him no injustice, he will resign himself into the hands of the Almighty with peace and composure. But I ask, Does not every man, who has just views of his condition, see that God would do him no injustice by sending bim to hell ? Does he therefore feel himself resigned to go thither? Is a conviction that God will do no injustice sufficient to fill the mind with peace ? Why then, to be sure, the inhabitants of hell are full of peace : for they can have nothing to object to the justice of God, in sending them thither. I never yet was willing to be damned ; I could not be satisfied till I received power to resign myself into the hands.
of God. under a persuasion of His mercy towards me. through Jesus Christ.
After this resignation into the hands of justice, Mr. W. and bis friend both “saw into the fulness, sufficiency, “and willingness of Christ to save ;" and then they were “ constrained to venture their souls into his arms.” p. 106. And there may they rest for ever!
But Mr. W. asks, p. 108, the following questions ; “ Did you not see and feel yourself the vilest of singers ? “ Did you not view the love of God infinitely full, free, " and unmerited? Did you not behold in Christ an infi“ nite fulness, sufficiency, and willingness to save all “ without exception? Did you not love all, and wish “ that all might come and partake of his grace? Did
you not earnestly desire the salvation of all your ene. “mies, and of all mankind ? Did you pot find it in your “ heart to pray for the salvation of all mankind as for your own? If
you had as much power as good-will, would you not bring all to bow to the sceptre of grace, and 6 to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ ? Would
you bring all to submit to God, and be happy if you 6 could, and will not He, to whom nothing that he pleases " to do is impossible, bring all his creatures to be re" conciled to himself at last ? He has infinitely more s love to his creatures than all the saints and angels in “ glory have.”
I will take the liberty, in, my turn, to ask a Universala ist a question or two. Would you send a person to hell for an age, if it were in your power to do or not to do it? Would you not put an end to sin and misery immediately, if you possibly could? Would you not have prevented the existence of sin and misery if you possibly could ? Tell me now, in Mr. W.'s language, that God, " to whom nothing that he pleases to do, is impossible, “ has infpitely more love to His creatures than all the u saints and angels in glory have," and tben say, whether these questions do not argue as truly against an age of
misery, or even against its introduction, as Mr. W.'s questions do against its endless continuance ?
But the fact is, the questions prove just nothing in either case ; for since creatures do not stand in the same relations to each other that they stand in to God, they must not presume to transfer their feelings to Him, then make them the test of his procedure in the government of the universe. In all these questions not a hint is dropped about man being a free agent, and God a moral Governor, for such a representation would have prevented that influence on the passions which they seemed designed to occasion. Sin flows from an abuse of liberty, and punishment is inflicted with a view to prevent that abuse in others, and thereby to preserve moral order. Wben a man is brought to the gallows for murder, you may meet with rogues and assassins, who would set him at liberty if they possibly could ; but does it follow from hence that the execution of such a man is an act of injustice ?
On the Duty of Christians.
«OUR Lord has commanded us to love all mankind,
even our greatest enemies. But if God doth not love “ all himself, Christ hath commanded us to be more “perfect, in that respect, than our Father who is in "beaven."*
We are commanded to love our brethren, our neighbours, and our enemies; but thousands of. Christians do this, without falling in love with devils and damned spirits.
“ 2. We are commanded to do good to all men, as we s have opportunity.”| True. But what opportunity
* Dialogues, p. 109. + Ibid. p. 110.