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for the salvation of our entire race; and now, if man will repent, and believe the Gospel, he may be saved, with an everlasting salvation, and his destiny shall be an eternity at the right hand of God. This is called God's greatest and most glorious truth, as revealed to man.
Excuse me, but I insist that it is no truth at all. So far as the question of human destiny is concerned, there is not a particle of absolute truth in it. It is a mere hypothesis, containing both the premises and the conclusion, both of which may fail, for aught men or angels can know, or God has revealed. A great plan has been formed. Aye, but will it be consummated ? That is the question, that your man-made Gospel does not
If man will repent and believe, he may be saved. But suppose he does not repent and believe, what then? Why, then he will not be saved. In that case, where is your truth of salvation, as the destiny of man? The fact is, there was no such truth announced, in this other“ Gospel, which is not another.” It does not tell us what shall be, but only what may be. It does not give us the real truth, but only a supposition of what
may be true, in case certain other things are
upon the opposite side of the picture, the case is the same. Endless and intolerable woe, as the destiny of some portion of our race, is an important item in the theology of man, and full often this is pronounced to be a solemn truth of God. At the same time, it is fully and freely admitted, that eternal salvation is quite possible for all men. If they will only repent and believe, they shall all be saved. Suppose now they should all repent and believe, what then? Then, of course, they would all be saved. Where, then, would be your truth of endless damnation, as the destiny of some men ? Does not the child see, that there is no such truth announced in this system? It was a mere hypothesis of yours, a thing that might be, and might not be true. And thus it is, that the theology of man, so far as human destiny is concerned, announces no truth to the world. It does not even pretend to inform us what the absolute truth is. It deals in suppositions and hypoth
It makes the plan of human redemption a
grand experiment, that God has set in operation, the result of which neither the wisdom of man nor the revelation of God can announce. It talks of salvation, but not as a “ fixed fact,” or an eternal truth — rather as the possible result of an experiment, which may, or may not, turn out favorably. And of damnation it treats in the same uncertain and doubtful strain. Upon that most interesting and momentous of all subjects, the destiny of the race, it has no word to say, save this one word : “ The whole matter is fearfully uncertain,” for our eternal interests are suspended upon the hazard of a die, which may turn one way, and may also turn another; and what the truth is, which way it will positively turn, God himself does not know, or, if he does, he chooses to keep it to himself. This is the doctrine that is after man.
But the Gospel is not after man. It proclaims the real truth, which will stand while the world standeth. Mark how the truth comes in its reality and absoluteness, when it comes from the sanctuary above, and speaks by revelation from God. Take that old Promise, which God made to the Patriarch, and which Paul calls the Gos
pel : “By myself have I sworn, for because thou hast done this, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thee as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore. And thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.''
Here is truth for you, and no hypothesis. No talk of a great plan, that may
fail - no supposition of what may be, in case certain other things come to pass; but the positive announcement of the absolute truth, and that, too, under the sanction of the oath of him, who, because he could swear by none greater, sware by himself not that we might speculate about probabilities, but that“ we might have strong consolation,” and “ lay hold upon that hope, which is as an "anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast.
So, also, the blessed Saviour taught the truth: “ The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hands.” " All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out.” And so Paul testifies : “ As in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive.” Christ shall subdue all things unto himself, and “shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and God shall be all in all.” There you have the truth in regard to human destiny. No hypothesis is that. No proposition of what God will do, if man will' help him — no experiment of doubtful issue is there. But truth, — true if men believe, true if they do not believe, true now, true henceforth, and true while God liveth, to whose name be the glory forever.
Let these illustrations suffice. They will show the difference between the revelation of God, and the teachings of man. The fact is, man cannot announce the absolute truth if he would, and, therefore, he is obliged to weigh probabilities, and balance chances, and his selfish heart is well pleased, if, by some sleight-of-hand, he can secure to himself two chances to his neighbor's one. But when God speaks, you get the truth, and no game of hazard, in which man's eternal destinies are at stake.
It is this definite announcement of absolute truth, that constitutes one of the peculiar characteristics of the Gospel, as distinguished from the