« PreviousContinue »
"thee." Here we see that the plain of Sodom lay full in view; and since we cannot doubt of Abraham's obedience to the Divine command, we are warranted in saying, that he took possession of it, by walking over it. But it is certain that neither he nor his posterity have yet enjoyed it: the promise, therefore, remains to be fulfilled.
The promise made to Jerusalem in ver. 61. cannot well be applied to the persons only; but if we suppose that the land of Israel with the ten tribes, and the land of Sodom, with the Moabites and the Ammonites, will then be united with the land and tribes of Judah and Benjamin, under one government, the capital of which shall be Jerusalem, the difficulties will vanish. We can easily see how Jerusalem can receive Sodom and Samaria, and how these sisters will then become her daughters. But if it be still insisted on, that the promise will only be fulfilled in the restoration of the ancient inhabitants of these cities to heaven, I hope we shall be told how Jerusalem can be said to receive Sodom and Samaria,-how these sisters can be given to her for daughters,-and how they can all return to their former estate.
Mr. Winchester opposes the vision of Ezekiel, ch. xlvii. to the promise made to Abraham; because it is there said that the deadly waters shall be healed, and that the lake shall produce an abundance of excellent fish. It would be a very easy task to show that the vision in question cannot be literally realized; but it is unnecessary. Mr. W. grants, that many people will be employed in the fishery, and that the fish will be more useful for food to the inhabitants, than all the vegetables that would grow there.* Supposing this to be the case, the captivity of that present useless lake will then be turned: but people will not be employed in fishing upon the lake, and in drying their nets upon its shores, after the day of judgment. I dare say, that, by this time, the reader will conclude with me, that if the whole cause
* Dialogues, p. 181.
cannot be built upon a better foundation than this prephecy, it must lie in rains for ever.
On the Strength of the Terms which are applied to Future
FROM observing that the very same terms are usually applied to future happiness, which are applied to future misery, Mr. Whiston gave up eternal salvation with eternal punishment. The modern Universalists insist "that there are many stronger expressions (even in our "translation) to set forth the well-being of the righteous, “than any that are used as connected with the misery of "the wicked."* This is absolutely impossible. The English language does not contain stronger expressions relative to duration than eternal, everlasting, for ever and ever; and all these are used to express the duration of the wrath to come. Since, however, it has been repeatedly urged, that the promises are much stronger than the threatenings, I have put down in the left hand column below, the texts which Mr. Winchester thinks, “will show us that 66 the felicity of the righteous is promised in much stronger "language than the misery of the wicked is threatened in "the Scriptures ;" and in the opposite column, I have put down the texts which, I think, show that future punishment is expressed in as strong terms as future happiness. By comparing them the reader will see that the two doctrines must stand or fall together.
And the smoke of their
Israel shall be saved in Jehovah with an everlasting torment ascendeth up for
Winchester's Dialogues, p. 29.
Vidler's God's love, p. 35.
salvation; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end, Isa. xlv. 17.
An inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven, 1 Pet. i. 4.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, Heb. xii. 7. Neither can they die any more, Luke xx. 36.
I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, John x. 28.
Whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die, John xi. 26.
This is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die, John vi. 50.
Provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens which faileth not; where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth, Luke xi. 33.
ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, Rev. xiv. 11.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, Matt. v. 13.
They that go down inte the pit, cannot hope for thy truth, Isa. xxxviii. 18.
Neither can they pass to us that would come from thence, Luke xvi. 26.
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation, Mark iii. 29 They shall never see light. Their worm shall not die, Psalm xlix. 19. Isa. lxvi. 24.
He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, John iii. 36.
It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than to go into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,-If the salt have lost its
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory, 2 Cor. iv.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, &c. For I am persuaded that neither death, &c. shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Rom. viii. 35-39.
Because I live, ye shall live also, John xiv. 19.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 16, 17.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, Rev. iii. 12.
saltness, wherewith will you season it? Mark ix. 33-49.
Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, 'neither in the world to come, Matt. xii. 32.
Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance, Luke xiii, 24. Heb. vi. 4-6.
Wo to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man, if he had never been born, Mark xiv. 21.
The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman-For this ye know, that no whoremonger, &c. hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, Gal. iv. 30. Eph. v. 5, 6.
And there shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh
If the common translation must decide this controversy, and it be that to which Mr. Winchester appeals, I feel no hesitation in saying, that every unbiassed mind will be convinced, from the foregoing contrast, that eternal punishment is as clearly revealed in the sacred writings, as eternal happiness, and that both doctrines are established beyond dispute. But the common translation is supposed to be full of error on this subject, particularly in the rendering of the words awv and diarios.
It is surprising what pains the Universalists have taken to explain away the meaning of the word avios. Mr. Winchester in his Dialogues, p. 17. says, it intends a hidden period; in his remarks on Mr. Taylor's Sermon, p. 45. he renders it perpetual, during a hidden period; and again, p. 47. perpetual, unceasing. Mr. Vidler says, it should be rendered age-lasting. In Mr. Scarlett's translation, we read of aionion life, aionion punishment, &c. According to Mr. W., therefore, the word contains in it two ideas, perpetuity, and duration; according to Mr.