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cy upon them, and he that formed them will shew them no favor.
ANSWER.-These words must necessarily understood with some limitation, and - refer to a particular season, when they shall have judgment without mercy, but finally mercy shall rejoice against judgment.
OBJECTION.-That the wicked shall never see light.
ANSWER. Not until subdued, or overcome, as the words ought to be rendered.
OBJECTION.-A great ransom cannot deliver those who are taken away by the stroke of God.
Answer.— The great ransom cannot intend the blood of Christ, the power of which is unlimited, but gold, and all the forces of strength, riches, wisdom, &c. none of these can deliver their possessors from death.
OBJECTION.--Solomon says, that there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave; and that in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
ANSWER.—The first part of this objection respects only the state of the body in the grave, but cannot be brought to disprove the conciousness of the soul in a separate state, the resurrection of the body, a future state of existence, or the final Restoration.
The second part of this objection has not the least relation to the subject; but belongs to quite another matter.
OBJECTION.-The living have hope, but the dead have none, their love, hatred, envy, &c. are perished.
ANSWER.—This belongs to the present life,
OBJECTION.-Our Saviour has said, the night
Answer.–Our Lord was diligent in his work,
OBJECTION.-Many terrible passages of Scrip-
our reason to admit the possibility of such mon-
OBJECTION. –There will come a time when
confirmed, that no change can afterwards take place upon them. He that is unjust let him be unjust still, and he that is tilthy, let him be filthy still, &c.
Answered.-1. By considering the words as belonging to a certain period, and by the consideration of many other scriptural passages of a like import. 2. By comparison; as even the most holy creatures are unclean, con:pared with God, so those who remain filthy and unclean, during the present life, may be so esteemed hereafter, in comparison of those holy souls, who have purged themselves from all uncleanness here, shall be reckoned as vessels of the highest honor in the house of God.
OBJECTION.-Those who add or diminish shall have the plagues added to them, or their part taken out of the book of life, &c.
Answer.—This is no objection to the general Restoration, but is a solemn warning for us to take heed that we do not fall under those dreadful punishments which await unbelievers and profane persons, nor lose those inestimable blessings which Christ has promised to the faithful, obedient, overcomers, &c.
The reflections cast upon the doctrine of the Restoration by its opponents shewn to be highly absurd.
The doctrine of annihilation considered.
There can be but three things possible; eni'less misery, total annihilation, or the Restoration.
The doctrine of annihilation, or a final state of non-existence, proved unscriptural. 1. By the wicked being actually tormented for a long
season, ages of
2. Because they are destroyed, not that they might cease to exist any more, but that they might come to know the Lord. 3. By the unexceptionable instance of Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. who were so long ago destroyed, and yet shall have their captivity returned.
The promises made respecting Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. prove the doctrines of annihilation and endless misery, both to be erroneous and the restoration alone to be true.
An objection taken from Mr. B-'s sermon that sinners in hell, will be always under the necessity of committing fresh sin, therefore God will be obliged to continue their punishment to all eternity.
ANSWERED.---The objection unscriptural, merely a rash conjecture, totally unfounded.
The scripture represents future punishment as the reward of sins committed in this world.
Their intention is to destroy sin, and consequently will cause it to cease from being committed.
Whatever rage punishments may at first seem to provoke, they must continue until the most rebellious are entirely subdued.
The last objection. That sin is infinite, being against an infinite object, containing infinite hatefulness, and justly deserves infinite punishment; and which cannot be fully executed, and therefore endless misery must be their portion.
This unscriptural, unreasonable, trite objection largely answered. 1. By shewing the absurdity of ascribing infinite actions to creatures. 2. Acts of the highest goodness do not extend to God, cannot be infinite, much less can evil actions be infinite. 3. Though iniquities are once in Scripture styled infinite, yet it is evident from the whole passage compared with other parts of Scripture, that infinite is only used for a great multitude.
4. The idea of every sin being absolutely infinite, and deserving infinite punishment or endless misery, entirely confounds and destroys all the different kinds and degrees of sin, and all those distinctions which God hath made and revealed to us in the Scriptures. 5. God threatens to punish sinners for all their sins; and to render their sin and iniquity double upon them: and yet promises to be graciods to them after all, &c. 6. Even allowing that sin is naturally infinite, and deserves infinite punishment, that will not prove that any of the human race must be miserable without end, &c.
Eight reasons given why the author sometimes treats in public upon the doctrine of the Universal Restoration.
Eleven reasons mentioned why the author doth not speak of it more frequently and fully in bis public discourses.