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much punishment as the justice of God, or the reason of things, or their own case required, (for these men look upon all punishment as curative,) are they to go into some other state of probation, and take their chance once more (or more properly have another option) for happiness or misery? The author of the Letter concerning Origen lays down his master's doctrine, as to this point, as follows: "I come now," says he, p. 71. "to the father's fifth opinion, "which is this, that after long periods of time the “damned shall be delivered from their torments, " and try their fortunes again in such regions of the "world, as their nature and present disposition fits d


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d So again, p. 80. "But whether their release be by any change "wrought in the disposition of their spirits, but without death, or "whether by an escape, as it were by dying to the body so tor“tured, there is no doubt to be made but that both ways they may come into play again, and try their fortunes once more in "such regions of the world as Providence judges fit for them." Here we see this ingenious writer does not determine, whether their release will be by death, or without it; whether in the body or out of the body; but be it as it may, they "are to come into play again, and try their fortunes once more." In the next page he asks, "What should hinder but that these punished souls, "whom long vexing pain drove from all commerce with matter, "and cast them into a senseless sleep, will after their long inactivity awake again into life and action?" According to which representation, the scheme seems to be this; viz. that their punishment or pain will be so violent, that it will not only separate the soul from the body, "from all commerce with matter," but also cast it into a "senseless sleep," a state of insensibility; that after a "long inactivity" in this state, it will "awake again," and being vitally united to matter, come into " play again, and try its "fortune once more," in another state of probation. I would here only ask, whether, after this "senseless sleep" and "long inactivity," they are to remember any thing that passed before it? We at present have forgot every thing, both what we were, and

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"them for." This appears to imply, that they by no means as yet obtain their rest and reward; but are first to pass through some future trials, and be again exposed to the risk of another damnation. For there can be no such thing in any state of trial, as an infallible security against miscarriage. There must be free agency, a possibility of sin, and some temptations to it. And, if these prevail again, the consequence must be another judgment, and another state of punishment. And of these revolutions and vicissitudes, as well as of such reveries and wild conjectures concerning them, there is no end.

But it will be said, perhaps, that this was a singularity of Origen's, which the modern advocates of a restoration do not think themselves obliged to defend. Then, I conceive, they must defend what I am going to mention, viz. that their reformation is wrought in hell itself, so that they immediately pass from the torments of that place into a state of happiness. This, however, is not easily conceivable : that does not seem a proper place for such a work. The Letter Writer has taken notice of this, and put the objection himself. "It is hard to conceive how


a state of blasphemy and despair, such as that of "the damned is represented, should be proper to purify and reestablish them in virtue and bliss e." And whether he has answered it, in the dissertation


what we did, in our preexistent state, according to Origen's hypothesis of preexistence. If the case be the same with them, what they suffered for their ill conduct in their former probation, will have no influence on their behaviour in their future.

e At the end of Letter V. N. B. By the Letter Writer I always mean, the author of the Letters translated out of French; not the author of the Letter of Resolution concerning Origen.

that follows it, I leave others to judge. At present I must pass on: and to be as brief as I can in these preliminaries, I say, that this restoration must be effected in some or other of these ways. They must either be restored all together at the same time, by a sort of general release, and that too immediately, or to a state of happiness without any intervening probation or they must all together, and at the same time, be placed in another state of probation; (where their final happiness will still be in suspense ;) or every individual must be put into a new state of trial, or into a state of happiness, singly and by himself, at his own time, and as his own case requires: or some only must undergo a new trial, while others go immediately into happiness; and this again in companies, or singly, according to what each one's condition, character, and temper fits him for. Then, those that have bodies must either leave them behind them, by dying as it were again, or bring them with them into their new place or state of exist


In all these points, though it be none of my business to reconcile them, it were to be wished that our restorers would come to some good agreement. Each of these ways, I conceive, has its difficulties; and, if any one was fixed on, we might then argue the case on that particular hypothesis. As they are, however, they may serve to shew, that the case is not so very clear as some may think it. It is easy to talk of a restoration; but when we come to consider more particularly the ways and means and methods by which it must be effected in the complicated case of wicked men and devils, it turns out a very intricate affair, and will require some proof, much clearer than its

own intrinsic evidence, to support it. However, to proof, direct and positive proof, every thing must give way. And, if such can be produced in the case before us, we will readily admit it, notwithstanding any difficulties in the thing itself.

The proofs then of this great point, a restoration in general, are fetched either from reason, (or as the Letter Writer loves to express himself, "immutable "truths,") or from scripture. I shall begin with the latter, that I may not be demolished at first by attacking their main strength, which they are sensible does not lie in the word of God. Some of them hardly pretend to allege scripture-evidence in the point; but the Letter Writer has supplied that defect, and placed his proofs of this kind in very orderly array. They follow in his own words;

"One of the chief of them is drawn from the in"carnation of Jesus Christ, and the design of his coming.


"A second, from the many positive declarations "wherewith the scriptures abound, That God will "not always chide, nor keep his anger for ever.

"A third is taken from the numerous prophetical "promises agreeing with these first proofs." (Letter II.)

Now as to the first of these topics, the "incarnation "of Jesus Christ," it does not affect the Devil and his angels; and therefore whatever force it may have with regard to mankind, still one race of God's creatures are left unprovided for: For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Or rather, as it is in the margin of our Bibles, He taketh not hold of angels, (to relieve or restore them,) but of the seed of Abra

ham he taketh hold: Heb. ii. 16. But passing by this, how is the argument from the incarnation managed with regard to mankind? Why, says our author in the first place, "Christ has thereby ennobled "all human nature, and become the brother of “mankind; which single thought might be sufficient "to make us presume that none of that race, whose "nature God assumed, shall perish eternally." To which I answer, first, that whatever we might have "presumed," if we had had no declarations to the contrary, it is great folly to presume so now, when we are assured in almost every page of the gospel, that notwithstanding the incarnation of Christ, we may still bring ourselves into the condemnation of the Devil. 2. The more Christ has "ennobled our "nature,” the more inexcusable are they who defile and deprave it; and who, instead of being sensible of such an honour, and such obligations, throw them all behind them, and trample as it were the divine Author of them under foot. 3. Admitting that Christ is, in some sense, "become the brother of "mankind," yet he himself hath taught us, in effect, that mere natural relation will avail nothing, Matt. xii. 48. Something more is required to make us heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. This may obviate what the author suggests in a note about the relation between man and the divinity, as man is not only "the work of God," but also "his race or offspring;" which he says is "a very strong proof "on this occasion." And indeed if it be any proof at all, it comes home to the point of an universal restoration for no doubt those sons of the morning who fell from heaven, were the "race or offspring" of God, as well as men. But I take the liberty to



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