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repeat that bare relations signify nothing, but to aggravate the guilt of those who are insensible of them. Because wicked spirits and wicked men were originally the "race or offspring" of God, must he therefore make them happy whether they will or no? Must he invert order? change the nature of things? make good evil, and evil good? No; the author will allow this is neither reasonable nor possible. Nor is it reasonable or possible upon such terms, for Christ to save all the individuals who partake of that nature, which he condescended to assume. In a word, it does by no means follow, that because Christ was pleased to be made man, therefore all men will at last be saved. But if this be a truth, one may expect to meet with some footsteps of it, somewhere or other, in scripture; and it will appear, though not merely from the nature or fact of the incarnation, yet from the open, avowed, and declared design of it. "Yes, yes," continues the author, "the scriptures "every where declare, that Jesus Christ came to "save all men; and this is repeated in almost every page of the New Testament." But,
Does the scripture every where, or any where, declare, that all men will, in the event, be actually saved? Nothing like it. On the contrary, the scripture itself distinguishes in the case; by teaching us, that though Christ came to make the offers of salvation to all men, yet he becomes, in the event, the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him: Heb. v. 9. The reason is, that Christ came with no absolute design of saving all men, whether they would or not; whether they would or would not believe in him, and obey him; (such a design is absurd and impossible in the nature of things, and
can be entertained by no wise being;) but he offers, as the author says, all men the grace necessary to salvation; and if they will make use of it, and comply with his terms, he will actually, in due time, confer upon them the gift of eternal life. This indeed is his "positive will, which sooner or later will "have its effect." And his design of saving all men was far from being only" a bare wish" that they might be saved; since it was a real offer of salvation, upon the same terms that it was tendered to those who actually partake of it: Why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. Is this only "a bare wish" that they would not die? or does it not imply, that God had done every thing on his part, and that became his character to do? Which yet in the event might prove ineffectual, and iniquity still be their ruin. But enough of this: "Let "us come to something more particular."
"Jesus Christ came to restore all things, of which "mention is made, Acts iii. But if he saves only a “small number, all things are so far from being re"stored, that there would be but a handful so fa"voured, whilst the multitude would continue eter
nally in disorder and desolation." Here, omitting his old fallacy of "a small number," and "a hand"ful," &c. nothing can be more impertinently applied to a restoration of the damned, after the day of judgment, than this scripture; which speaks plainly of a restitution (whatever that may mean) at the day of judgment, or Christ's second coming. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, says the apo
↑ Ezek. xviii. 31, 32.
stle, ver. 19. that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; ver. 20. and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: ver. 21. whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Unless therefore the wicked are to be restored at the same time that they are to be condemned, and at the same time that the righteous are to be refreshed, the restitution here mentioned must be a quite different thing from the restoration of the wicked in hell; which, I dare say, God hath not spoken of by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
The author next dips into 1 Cor. xv. as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, ver. 22. Where he spends the fire of his criticism to shew that all means all men, universally. But alas! the point he should have settled is the meaning of, -shall be made alive. For since by man came death, says the apostle, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The words are a plain proof of an universal resurrection; and that is all. The restoration is still left in the lurch. All shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation, John v. 28, 29. He thinks the apostle "speaks of another future period, which "he calls the end, 1 Cor. xv. 24. And then the end "shall come, when he shall have delivered up the
kingdom to God, even the Father." Whereas the end is not another future period, but the very period of the resurrection and general judgment. By the decisions then made, an 8 end will be put to Christ's mediatorial kingdom; as he will have brought many sons unto glory, (all that were fit for it,) and have put all enemies under his feet. He may then deliver up the kingdom which he administered as Messias, or Mediator, because the purposes of it are accomplished. All the faithful are glorified, and all enemies are subdued. Then is the end: for he was but to reign till he had put all enemies under his feet, ver. 25. But this subjection, the author urges, must be voluntary; else it could never be spoken of as a thing to come; "be"cause from the foundation of the world all things
are subject to him ;" and if it be voluntary, there is no "more hell." As if the subjection of all enemies after the day of judgment, though far from being voluntary, will not be very different from what
g Since the writing of this, I have read Dr. Berriman's Discourse concerning the Perpetual Duration of the Kingdom of Christ, (in his Boyle's Lectures, serm. xii.) where, though he rejects the notion of the abrogation of Christ's mediatorial kingdom, yet he allows as much as I meant, either here or elsewhere, by saying, that "an end will be put to this kingdom," or that Christ will "deliver it up." I never intended by this, that this kingdom will be really abolished; but only that the present manner of administration, the acts and exercise of government, will be altered, and some of them cease; which is expressly asserted by this excellent writer, and is plain from the nature of the thing. Where the kingdoms are so different as the kingdom. of grace and the kingdom of glory, the church militant and the church triumphant, the exercise of government must necessarily vary. But still Christ, the king of glory, presides in this kingdom; and will do so for everinore.
it is at present. Wicked men and devils are always, in some sense, subject to God's overruling providence it would be bad if they were not. But they would find (and that they know) another sort of subjection at the day of judgment; when God will take to him his great power, and will reign, by rendering to every one according to his works. His arguments to prove that by death, the last enemy that shall be destroyed, is not meant temporal death," are surprising. His first is, because "after the coming of Christ, there is no room "for that death." Therefore, one would think, it is sufficiently destroyed; as there is "no room" for it to make new conquests, and its old subjects are rescued from it by the resurrection. But this death "is only termed sleep." And what then? If the death of the righteous, or death in general, be termed sleep, does that prove that St. Paul does not say that this death will be destroyed at the resurrection? It is called death much more frequently than it is called sleep, in the scripture, as is evident to every one who reads it without the author's glasses". No, continues he, what the apostle " calls death, the great death, 2 Cor. i. 10. is a separation from "God." Never was any point proved clearer! The trouble which came to St. Paul in Asia, which pressed him out of measure, above strength, inso
This alludes to the author's curious remarks upon the use of glasses, in his seventeenth Dialogue. The inhabitants of the gloomy kingdom (of the catacombs) have "an almost infinite va"riety of glasses of all sorts."-"They have glasses well coloured, which communicate the same colours to the object." Hence one sees black, where another sees white. Some perceive mountains, where others find only some grains of sand.