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that the restoration will not precede the creation of the new earth. And in the new earth, the apostle remarks there will be no more sea, Rev. xxi. 1. This chorus must therefore be sung before the creation of the new earth; and since the restoration is supposed to take place at, or after that time, the vision cannot be descriptive of the great year of jubilee.
2. It is a very singular circumstance, that at the time the four beasts, or living creatures, are prostrate before the Lamb singing this song, they present "golden vials "full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." What can the saints be praying for when the whole universe is happy?
3. The apostle has told us when this song was sung, "And when He" (the Lamb) "had taken the book," (with seven seals, see ver. 1.) "the four living creatures "and the four and twenty elders fell down before the "Lamb, having every one of them harps. And they 64 sung a new song," &c. ver. 8, 9. This song ended previous to the opening of the seals, see chap. vi. where we find the four living creatures who joined in this song, employed in unfolding to John the vision. Mr. W., and all writers whom I have consulted upon this vision, are agreed, that it is many hundred years since the seals were opened. If, therfore, their doctrine of restoration can be proved from this vision, it must have taken place near two thousand years ago.
On Rev. xxi. 4. Mr. Winchester observes, "Here is a "state spoken of beyond all death; a state wherein sor"row, crying, and pain, shall be no more. This state is "cotemporary with the new heaven and earth, after the " lake of fire hath ceased. Most certainly the word death "here implies the second death; for we are informed, "in the foregoing chapter, of the first resurrection. After "this, we find, that the dead, small and great, stood "before God, and were judged; and such as were not
"found written in the book of life, were cast into the "lake of fire, which is expressly called the second death. "In this chapter we find that all things are to be made "new, and death is to be no more. But this must be the "second death, for the resurrection of all the bodies, "both of the just and unjust, had been spoken of "before."*
All that is urged in this paragraph, as proof that, by death in the text, is meant the second death, is this: "The "resurrection of all men had been spoken of before." Does any man of common sense call this reasoning? Is it a thing impossible for an inspired writer to speak twice upon the same subject? There is no difficulty in this to an uninspired writer, for, in the middle of the above paragraph Mr. W. observes, "Most certainly the word death "here implies the second death; for we are informed in "the foregoing chapter of the first resurrection;" and then after a short digression, he returns to the subject again : "But this must be the second death, for the "resurrection of all the bodies, both of the just and un"just, had been spoken of before !"
The following affords presumptive evidence, that the word death, in the verse under consideration, does not mean the second death. It appears that all which the apostle saw from chap. xx. 11. to chap. xxi. 8. inclusive, was one vision; for the throne, and the Person upon it, are the same in both places. In this vision, the punishment of the wicked is twice spoken of in the same terms, chap. xx. 14, 15.-xxi. 8. In both these places the lake of fire is explained to be the second death; and if John meant the same in ver. 4. it is strange that neither the lake of fire, nor the second death, is mentioned, but simply death. It is also worthy of remark, that the revolutions which will take place after the coming of Christ on his throne, are particularly specified in the vision, as
* Dialogues, p. 62, 63.
the fleeing away of the earth and heaven :-the resurrection and judgment of the dead :-the casting of the wicked into the lake of fire :-the creation of the new heaven and the new earth :--and the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven; but not a word is said about the quenching of the flames of hell, or of the restoration of the damned. Was it because that singular circumstance escaped the apostle's notice? for he was commanded to write what he saw in vision, chap. xxi. 5.—But to proceed to direct proof.
The exemption from 'death, sorrow, and crying, promised in ver. 4. is the exclusive privilege of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem. "And I John saw the holy
city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. "And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He "will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and "God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: "and there shall be no more death," &c. If the word tabernacle do not mean the same as the New Jerusalem, yet there can be no doubt but that the tabernacle will be pitched in the New Jerusalem. The men, therefore, with whom is the tabernacle of God, must be the inhabitants of that glorious city. And it is to them exclusively that the promise in ver. 4. belongs: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death," &c. The question, therefore, is, whether all the human race, zens of the New Jerusalem. us with a sufficient reply to it. "inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall "be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : "which is the second death." The promise, made to
and all devils will be citiThe apostle has furnished "He that overcometh shall
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 Gonjunction BUT, shows the connexion of ver. 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 "in 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. xx. 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 aré 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 "house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand WITHOUT, and to knock at the door, saying, 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 Jerusalem 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 restoration 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 apostle 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, as well 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. In fact, we may as well talk about washing souls white with water as purifying them by fire.
*Dialogues, p. 10.