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not afflict willingly,- then it must follow, that greater sufferings than those of the present life will got be necessary to bring men to virtue in the life to come, and of course will not be inflicted. It would therefore be as absurd to live in the fear of hell, as to torment myself with the thought I am subject to bodily affliction and disease. lo short, Sir, should I find my situation in the other world unpleasant, I have only to pray for qualifications for a better, and in answer to prayer I shall obtain both. You will therefore excuse me if I say, that there is nothing in the decision of a future judgment of an alarming nature.
: Who does not see that the jargon of this carnal professor is consistent with the doctrine of Universal Resti. tution. The Scriptures uniformly represent the day of judgmenti as a most dreadful season to the wicked, from the consideration that the Divine vengeance will be then displayed in its most terrific forms ; (2 Thess. i. 8-10) whereas the Universalists' account of it is only calcu. lated to harden the lukewarm and careless, and to bolster up the presumptuous hypocrite. What a dreadful account will such ministers have to give when they undergo the strict scrutiny of their Judge! A doctrine which is unfavourable to the interests of morality, by destroying a sanction of the divine law, has its origin inscribed upon its forehead is very legible characters.
Mr. Vidler affirms, “ That judgment is a mediato“rial work, and founded upon the mercy of God in " Christ."* Let judgment be founded upon what it may, it cannot be a mediatorial work, for that is a contradiction in terms. To judge, is to determine a case according to law. To meditate, is to endeavour to reconcile contending parties. It is therefore impossible for a person to act in both these capacities, toward the same individual, at the same time, while he is mediating he
Dialogues, Note, p. 77.
cannot be judging, and while he is judging he cannot be mediating.
The proof that judgment is founded upon mercy is given in these words," However judgment may be * shown without mercy during the proper age thereof, " yet mercy shall finally rejoice against judgment.” I suppose Mr. V. wishes to be understood, that the same persons may have judgment without mercy, and afterward find mercy.
It is really astonishing that a writer, in the same paragraph, should venture on so palpable an absurdity : Judgment is founded on mercy, and yet judgment may
be shown without mercy! If Mr. V. can reconcile such contradictions, he is qualified to prove, that darkness is light, and light darkness. I suppose he had an eye to James ii. 13. A little attention to the context will convince any unbiassed mind that the apostle alludes to two sorts of persons. There is royal law” which the saints are under. It is defined in these terms,-“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ver. 8. By this law they will be judged; “ So speak ye, and so "do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty,' ver. 12. Hence we gather that those who obey this law, by their acts of mercy, will find mercy in judgment, according to Matt. v, 7. “ Blessed are the merciful, “ for they shall obtain mercy.” But the wicked, who have "showed no mercy.” shall have “ judgment without
mercy.” This is clear and consistent; but I have yet to learn, how those who have no judgment but what is in mercy, can, notwithstanding, have judgment without mercy,
ON Isa. xlv. 23, Mr. Winchester remarks, “ Mind well,
EVERY TONGUE SHALL SWEAR.-Swearing allegiance, I " as every civilian will tell you, implies pardon, reception, "and protection on the part of the king, and a hearty re
nouncing of rebellion, true subjection, and willing obedi
ence, on the part of the rebels."* Mr. W. has here taken for granted what ought to have been proved, namely, that to swear to Christ, intends swearing allegiance. The following verse is inconsistent with such an interpretation : " Surely shall one say, In the Lord bave I right
eousness and strength : even to Him shall men come, "and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed." If to swear, in this passage, denotes swearing allegiance ; and if swearing allegiance implies" a hearty renouncing * of rebellion, &c. then the “ all that are incensed against “ Him” will swear bypocritically ; for no man can willingly obey a sovereign, against whom he is incensed.
The apostle Paul alludes to this passage in Rom. xiv. 10, 11, 12. Philip. ii. 9, 10, 11. Instead of inferring from it an universal restoration, he quotes it, in the former passage, as proving an universal judgment: “We “shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For " it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall “ bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So “ then every one of us shall give account of himself “ to God." Philip. ii. 9, 10, 11. must be interpreted as referring to the same event, to make the apostle a consistent writer; for if the words, Unto me every knee shall
* Dialogues, p. 21, 22.
bow, and every tongue shall swear, mean, Every one of us shall give account of himself to God, they cannot possibly refer to “ willing obedience on the part of the rebels."
It is worthy of remark that, for the word swear, used by the prophet, the apostle substitutes the word confessa The confession will consist of two parts, 1. Every one will acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus, or His right to judge : “ Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is " Lord.” No one will presume to dispute the authority of the court. 2. Every one shall give account of his conduct. “Every tongue sball confess to God. So then,
every one of us shall give account to God.” It has been usual, in courts of judicature to put the parties upon their oath to secure the truth of their testimony. The prophet alludes to this custom. He must not however be understood literally, but merely as speaking with a reference to the truth of the confessions which men will make before the tribunal of God. No imposition will be practised there! Thus the prophet and the apostle are reconciled, and the weak subterfuge of the Universalists is cut off.
But this confession, says Mr. Winchester, must“ imply " a willing subjection to the authority of the Saviour, “ brought about by the operation of the blessed Spirit, " because no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by " the Holy Ghost.” The devil confessed, “I know “ Thee who Thou art.—The Holy One of God.” Did this confession “imply a willing subjection to the "authority of the Saviour, brought about by the opera“ tion of the blessed Spirit ?” Why then to be sure the devil is already restored !
“We ask,” says Mr. Vidler, “ Are not the effects of judgment here represented by every knee bowing to “ the authority of Christ, and every tongue confessing “his government, so that the Father shall be glorified ?''
* Dialogues, p. 22.
+ God's Love to his Creatures, p. 19.
I apster in the negative, and demand proof, if any can be given, of the affirmative.
Mr. V. proceeds, “ You seem to think that the result “of judgment will be only a forced submission to Christ, “ and a forced confession of his name ; if this be all, it “ will rest with you to point out the glory which is to “ arise to the Father from such constraint."'* That is very easily done. It is universally allowed to be the glory of a sovereign to administer justice to his subjects with an impartial hand, so that not one refractory rebel can escape being brought to justice and punishment, nor one faithful subject lose his reward. To say that there is no glory in such a conduct because some of the subjects do not love their sovereign and his laws, is to make him accountable for their delinquencies, which is perfectly absurd.
“St. Paul assures us,” says Mr. Winchester, “ that though all things without exception are put under bim” (Christ) “ in one sense, yet, in another he says,
we see not yet all things put voder him.' But he “ leaves us not in the dark about the matter ; but speaks “ of that effectual workiog, whereby he is able, even to “subdue all things upto himself,' Phil. iii. 21. And when “ all things shall be subdued unto himself, then shall the “ Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things " under him, that God may be ALL IN ALL, 1 Cor. xv. 28. “ Here we plainly find a very necessary distinction s between things being put under him, and all things being " subdued unto him ; the former is already done in the “ fullest manner : and the latter shall be as perfectly “ and as fully accomplished in due time : because the “ creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of “corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of « God. For we know, that the wbole creation groaneth " and travaileth in pain together until now," Rom. viii. 21, 22.1
. But now
* God's Love to his Creatures, p. 19.
† Dialogues, p. 42.