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“exceedingly enraged. But before he had received half “bis punishment, he saw clearly that they had acted right. “ He was entirely cured of all his rage, from which he
was as much freed by his punishment, as ever an effect was produced by a cause. This I think is an ar
gument ad hominem; and I think it must be admitted, " that although a certain degree of punishment will in“fame, harden, and enrage, yet farther degrees produce
quite contrary effects.”* - If men are as fully cured of their bad tempers by punishment, as ever an effect was produced by a cause,
may be demanded, in the name of common sense, how the blood of Christ can be concerned in the cure ?
In the following work, much is said about the liberty of moral agents. It is not pretended, however, that men are free by nature to choose good, since this power was lost by the fall. Its restoration is ascribed to the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and hence the whole glory of man's redemption is as fully secured to the Divine Redeemer by the advocates for moral liberty, as it can be by the abettors of the doctrine of necessity.t
It may not be amiss to remark here a late distinction between Salvation and Restoration. Mr. Wright con. siders this as a matter of “no small importance," and
* Dialogues, pp. 163, 164. 4th edition.
† “When a man loses a limb or an eye, or is wounded in any mortal « part, he cannot have that limb restored, or be recovered, but by a mira
cle; and the same will hold as to the spiritual functions; when they are “ lost or disabled, only he that gave them can restore them. Now this the
Holy Scriptures and the Catholic church have taught us to be the case of “ the will of man in its corrupted state as to spiritual objects, and there“ fore the effectual interposition of God's power to restore man, is the
• Christian doctrine. But though the restoring the faculty to its former 66 state, be the immediate work of God's Spirit, yet the acts performed by * that restored faculty are man's, and he is free in the exerting of them.'' King's Origin of Evil, Law's Note, pp. 408, 409. 2d edition.
charges Dr. Ryland with“ unfairness," and with“ chang. “ing the terms of the question,” for not attending to it.* According to this distinction, the saved are preserved from going down into the pit, and the restored are delivered out of it. Mr. W. demands,“ Why are the advocates for “ Universal Restoration charged with maintaining Univer“sal Salvation ?” The answer is-because they do maintain it in their writings. See Winchester's Dialogues, preface, p. 7.—“UNIVERSAL SALVATION," says he, “ is an antidote to all these evils,” &c. If they choose to give it up, they must give up, also, all those texts which relate to the salvation of sinners, such as 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4.-iv. 10. as affording no aid to their cause; and then the controversy will be brought within a much narrower compass.t
It may be necessary for the reader to know how strong his faith must be in order to believe the doctrine of the Restoration. Mr. Winchester, in his sermon on Philip. iii. 20, observes, “ It requires a vastly stronger faith to “ believe this important truth firmly upon the divine au
thority, than any one in the Bible ; and therefore I do “ not wonder that many good people who have faith
enough to trust their souls in the hands of Jesus, and " to believe that he will fulfil all his promises in their “ behalf, both as to soul and body, for this life and that
in this passage,
* Examination, p. 28. † Mr. Winchester, in his Dialogues, p. 101, renders 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4, thus : “ God our Restorer, who will have all men to be restored.” Now, since the apostle uses the plural pronoun of the first person (newv, our, or of us,) if we interpret it according to Mr. Wright's distinction, we must suppose that both Paul and Timothy would be adjudged to hell for a time : and if all men are to be restored, (and the Universalists will admit of no conditions here, nor of a restricted sense of the word,) then all men must be sent to hell: for none are said to be restored, according to their phrascology, but those who have endured fulure punishment,
“ which is to come, have not enough to enable them “ to believe the final restoration of all things.
“ The faith that was necessary for Abraham, in order 66 to believe that he should have a son in his old
and “ should be the father of a multitude of nations, was not “ to be compared to the faith necessary to believe that « our Lord is able, and that he will finally subdue, rehead " in himself, reconcile, and restore all things.
“ If God was to inform me by his word that he would 66 create a thousand worlds more than he has, turn all " the animals into rational creatures, change stones into " living intelligences, and perform ten thousand more is such wonders in creation ; it would not be balf so dif“ ficult for me to believe, as the doctrine of the Resto66 ration."
Who could have more effectually burlesqued the doctrine of the Restoration! The father of the faithful had no faith when compared with that of Winchester and his followers! If none can believe the Restoration but those who have this vastly stronger faith than is necessary to their own salvation, the author is under no apprehension on account of his readers.
On the Perfections of God. THE Universalists pretend to prove, from the divine perfections, as well as from divine revelation, that the restoration which they contend for; must take place; and that punishment cannot be eternal. The following observations go to prove that we cannot arrive at any certain conclusion upon this interesting subject, merely from reasoning on the perfections of God; since those perfections do not furnish us with data, from which we may calculate with precision, the future condition of impenitent sinners.
It may be supposed, that some virtuous people have not so large a share of happiness as of misery in this life, and hence it may seem reasonable that the Almighty should make up the deficiency in the life to come. But this does not apply to the case of the wicked. Abraham reasoned well in Gen. xviii. 25. Suppose then God were to annihilate the whole of the human race; the wicked at death, or after a period of suffering, and the righteous when their sum of happiness is equal to, or in some degree exceeds, their sum of misery, what injury would His perfections sustain by this? Would He not be the same just, and holy, and good Being, when man should be no more, that He was before man existed ?