صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

Mr. V. refers to Isa. xliii. 13. xlvi. 11. Dan. iv. 35. Ephes. i. 11. I have granted that the will of God is irresistible in every thing except in the virtue and happiness of His creatures. The above texts do not militate against this exception, and therefore do not require any further notice.

[ocr errors][merged small]

On the Extent and Efficacy of the Death of Christ.

CHRIST died for all men. I infer from this proposition that the salvation of all men is possible: my opponents infer from it that the salvation of all men is certain. My inference

supposes

salvation to be conditional : theirs supposes it to be unconditional. Does it require a scribe well instructed in the law to determine this matter? and yet it has been confidently asserted, that a consistent Arminian must be a Universalist.

Mr. Weaver writes in the following curious manner on 1 Tim. iy. 10. “ By saying the Saviour of all men, he “ includes the whole, both saints and sinners ; and then “ adding, especially of them that believe, he distinguishes “the righteous from the wicked, by which distinction it is

plain he meant to include both. But if Jesus Christ be“ the Saviour of all men, and yet is not the Saviour of « all men, nor ever will be, is not this a contradiction in "terms ?"** I believe with Mr. W. that Jesus Christ " is the Saviour of all men." But the question is, lo what sense must we understand this phrase ? The additional words, especially of them that believe, show that He is the Saviour of believers and of unbelievers in two very

* Free Thoughts on the Universal Restoration, p. 89.

3

different senses, which would not be true on the supposition that all are made finally holy and happy. The obvious meaning of the passage is, He is the Saviour of all men conditionally, and of believers fully and eternally. But what has this to do with their doctrine of the final restoration of all, especially considering the distinction which they have lately made between restoration and salvation ?

" It appears from 1 John iii. 8,” says Mr. Weaver, " that if the works of the devil are not destroyed, the

purpose of God's Son is not accomplished. And how " the works of the devil can be destroyed, if nine-tenths " of mankind be left to blaspheme for ever, I know not."* Guy Fawkes had prepared works for the ruin of the nation; were not his works destroyed without his being

made prime minister ? Before it can be concluded from 71

this text, that punishment must come to an end, it must be shown that it is the work of the devil, rather than of Jesus Christ, to punish sinners for their sins.

Mr. Weaver tacks together John i. 29.-xii. 47. and informs us,

that the world, whose sins the Lamb of God taketh away,

is so that world who hear his words and be" lieve not. But how this world is to be saved,” says he, " if their punishment is to be without end, I must confess “ I know not.”f Nor I neither. Nor yet do I know of

any text of Scripture which says that the infidel world is =to be saved. I am sure neither of the passages to which

Mr. W. refers say any such thing; and I know who e bath said, He that believeth not on the Son, shall not see life.

Mark ii. 10. is next brought forward by this gentleman. If the birth of Christ," he observes, was to be in "fact good tidings of great joy, and that to all people, " then all people must be benefited by it, but if endless "misery be true, &c."I The quality of tidings then, it

+ Ibid. p. 91.

| lb. 91.

* Free Thoughts. p. 91.

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

seems, depends upon the treatment which they meet with ;
wicked people may therefore tell God at the day of judg-
ment, that they never received one gracious message
from Him, for if they had they must have been benefited
by it ; and they may very truly say that they never de-
rived any advantage from the tidings which they received
from heaven. I have been in the habit of thinking that
those tidings deserve the denomination of good wbich
propose any advantages to me, whether I avail myself of
them or not.

Mr. Weaver assumes much importance on Rom. xi.
11, 12, 25, 26, 32, 33, “I would be glad to know,"
says he, “what riches there can be in that system which
“ shuts up a whole nation in unbelief for many ages to-
“gether, that he” (God) “ might at last have mercy on
“ their offspring. Every good man would desire to be

excused from such a happiness as he can receive only
“ at the expense of his ancestors' infinite misery."*
A man of Mr. W.'s pretensions to Greek and Hebrew
criticism ought to have known that the word, them, is
not in the original. The all concluded or locked up in
unbelief includes both Jews and Gentiles. The Gen-
tiles in times past had not believed God, ver. 30. i. e. were
not His people by profession, this privilege being re-
stricted to the Jews. Yet ye (the Gentiles) have now ob-
tained mercy through their (the Jews') unbelief: i. e. are
called to a profession of the Gospel, and to the enjoy-
ment of its privileges. See Acts xviii. 6.—xxviii. 28,
29. The apostle goes on--Even so have these (the Jews)
also now not believed, that through your (the Gentiles)
mercy, they also may obtain mercy, by being provoked to
jealousy. See ver. 11. He then observes,-God hath
concluded, (or shut up) all (both Jews and Gentiles by
turns) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

[ocr errors]

* Free Thoughts, p. 59. + See Coke's Comment on this text.

of

From this review of Divine Providence, in calling the Gentiles to be, by profession, the people of God under the Gospel, after the Jews had rejected it ;-in his provoking the Jews to jealousy by their observing his mercy to the Gentiles, and in his bringing the nation of the Jews, by this method, to a profession of the Gospel,the apostle might well exclaim, “O the depth !" &c. But what is there in this like bringing about the conversion of the Jews, in the latter day, at the expense their ancestors' infinite misery? If many of the Jews perish, it is not to purchase the salvation of their posterity, but as a punishment for their own unbelief, of which unbelief they themselves were the authors, and not God.

If the Universalists will have it that this chapter has any thing to do with their doctrine of a rest oration from hell, they should inform us, how the believing Gentiles can be said to provoke the Jews in hell to jealousy, and thereby induce them to seek salvation ; for the apostle says, “Salvation is come unto the Gentiles for to pro"voke them (the Jews) to jealousy." He also observes of himself,-“I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I mag

nify mine office; if by any means I may provoke to " emulation them which are my flesh, and might save “ some of them.” But I have not yet read of the apostle magnifying his office so far as to try to provoke the inhabitants of hell to emulation, that he might save them. If the Universalists have found out a method of doing this, it is a pity they have not published their discovery to the world, that others might assist them in this salutary undertaking.

We read of the restoration of all Israel in Ezek. xxxvii. 21, 24.

" I will take the children of Israel from among “the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather " them on every side, and bring them into their own land. " And I will make them one nation, and one king shall be

king to them all, and they all shall have one shep

[ocr errors]

grace never

“berd, &c.” The dead cannot be included in this account, because these Israelites are not represented as being taken out of hell, but from among the heathen nations. The political distinctions here spoken of, will not exist after the day of judgment. The increase of population mentioned in ver. 26. cannot take place according to our Lord, after the resurrection.

Now can any man make it appear, that the all of the apostle is to be understood in a more comprehensive sense than that of the prophet? and that they do not both refer to the same period ?

Mr. Wright remarks on Rom. v. 20, 21. suppose " that sin will abound and death reign to all eternity, over “ millions of creatures, is to suppose that "s will abound equally with sin ; but the apostle saith " much more; and if grace do not ultimately reign over " all mankind, it cannot be said that grace ever will reign

as sin hath reigned, for sin hath reigned over all."* Mr. Wright is mistaken as to the meaning of the word sin in this passage. He supposes it means all the sins, of all men in all ages. But if this were its meaning, the apostle's assertion in the next verses (Chap. vi. 1, 2.) would not be true ; for if we continued in sin, grace would abound; and the more sin we committed there would be the more grace; but the apostle enters a caveat against putting any such sense on bis words, and says, God forbid: If sin in this place is to be understood in Mr. W.'s comprehensive sense, even then grace could only abound as much as sin ; for how it could abound over more than all sin, I confess I have not penetration enough to discern; but the apostle says much more. By sin in this text, I un. derstand the sin of Adam which hath reigned unto death, ver. 12. Grace abounds as much as this sin, by justifying us from it as soon as we are brought into existence, 18. And it abounds much more, by taking away all the personal sins of believers, making them righteous, and

* Hints on the Restoration, p. 9, 10.

ver.

« السابقةمتابعة »