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ment, will never be removed. T'he plentiful pofi. tive proof of the final falvation of all men, is not, in the least, affected by any such paffages of scripture, as these Mr. S. produces. If there be any texts which declare, in unequivocal language, that the future misery of the wicked will absolutely be endless, why are they not brought forward ? One of Mr. S.'s texts I will recite, merely to show the read er what a facility lie has acquired, of introducing ideas into his inferences, which are not to be found in his premises. It is Johó viii. 21-24. go my
and shall die in your fins ; whither I go ye cannot come Then said the Jews, will he kill himself ? because he faith, whither. I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world ; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die'in yaur firs: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye fhall die in your fins.
" Mr. S.'s inference follows; p. 33. "He' prays' the
Father that all those whoʻwere given to him might be with him, where he is; and he here says there are some who never can be with bise; the consequence is plain.” Does the reader perceive that, in the passage of soripture above cited, Christ any where says, there are some who can never be wisk bim ? Chrift prayed for the world, as we have seen ; that the world might believe and know that the Fáther had sent him ; which knowledge and faith
he himself declares to be eternal life. What will prevent the world's finally going where he is ?
The next scriptures Mr. S. produces, are those which speak of blasphemy against the holy Ghost. He cites Matt. xii. 31, 32.-Mark iii. 29.-And' Luke xii. 10. "All manner of fin and blafphemy shall be forgiven unto men : but the blasphemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever fpeaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; ' but whosoever speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world: neither in the world to come.” " He that shall blaspheme against the holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Unto him that blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven."
The interpretation of these passages given by the great and learned Grotius is, at least, very plausible, and agreeable to the analogy of the scriptures. Grotius supposes the words of our Saviour to have been spoken according to a manner of speaking which was very frequent and familiar with the Jews, by which they represented the extreme difficulty of some things, in comparison of others.
His reasoning on the subject, as Dr. Chauncy has it, is as follows, falvation of all men, p. 333, 334. " It could not be the design of our Saviour, in the former part of these sentences, where he speaks of other fins and blasphemies, to affirm absolutely concerning them, that they fall be forgiven ; because this is not true in fact, as there are multitudes of these fins that are not forgiven : and therefore,” says he, “ we ought, in all reason, to look upon these fentences as Hebrew forms of speech, like that in the 5th chap. of Matthew, where our Saviour declares, that heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. The meaning of which is explained by Luke, in the sixteenth chapter of his gos. pel, where the words are, not that heaven and earth all pass away, but that it is easier for them to pass away, than that Christ's words should fail." It is a common way of speaking among the Jews, this thing fall be, and ibat hall not be, when it was not their inten. tion to affirm any thing absolutely of either, but on. ly to express the greater difficulty of effecting the latter than the former,''-Upon which he concludes zhat the only meaning of our Saviour, in the words is, that it is easier to obtain the pardon of any sins, and therefore of the greateß blafpbemies, than the blasphemy against the holy Ghost. As if it was his design to be understood comparatively, fignifying the greater beinousness of the blaspbemy against the boly Gbost, and that tbe pardon of it would be more difficultly obtained; not that it is Arietly and absolutely anpardonable. He refers us, as the final confirmation of this sense of the words, to i Sam. ii. 25. where he supposes there is a like comparative mode of speech with this of our Saviour, if one man in a gainst another, the judge shall judge him : but if a man sin against the Lord,who fall intreat for him?"
I efteem this interpretation of Grotius as very rational and judicious, and well supported by scripture analogy. I am well satisfied with it.
But I will propose another to the reader, and he may compare them. After the direct and positive proof I have produced from scrípture, that the Mc. diator will never deliver up his kingdom to the Fa. ther, till the last enemy is subdued ; I no more doubt of the final virtue and happiness of all men than of any thing that is proveable by scripture evi. đence. According to St. Joha, there is a second resurrection to happy life. Our Saviour says that the blafphemy against the holy Ghost fall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come : neither in shis age, nor in the next 'age. St. John expressly informs us that some shall be torment. ed in the lake of fire for ages of ages. This is the longest term mentioned in scripture, for the duration of the future misery of any part of mankind.
And this term is exactly commensurate with the reign of the saints with Christ in the new carth, according to St. John. Now as some of the wicked will. lic in the lake of fire for ages of ages; blasphemers of the holy Ghost may make a part of this number. And, after they have fuffered the pains of hell, and lain in the lake of fire for ages, they may be forgiven, without any contradiction of the literal expreslions of our Saviour. They have then not been forgiven neitber in this world, neither in the world to come; but have fuffered eternal damnation.
This interpretation is as fatisfactory to my mind as that of Grotius. But, as the utmost that can happen to the blasphemer of the holy Ghost, is, that he be in danger of eternal damnation ;, if he must suffer this extremity of punishment, it will be no final bar in the way of his enjoyment of that salvation, that will be absolutely without end.
Our Saviour, according to what we have recorded, was extremely cautious in his manner of expresfion. If he had fudied ever so long, he could not have ex. pressed better his great deteftation of the sin of blasphemy against the holy Ghoft; and, at the same time, bave guarded more effectually than he has done against error. He first fays, as Matthew records it, “ All manner of Gin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy of the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
But least a wrong construction should be put upon what he had already said, if he left, it there ; he goes on to an explanation of himself; “ And whofoever fpeaketh a word against the Son of man,
it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the holy Ghost, it Ihall not be, forgiven him, neither in this world," or age, “neither in the world,” or age, " to come "+Mark records it thus, “ He that shall blaspheme against the holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." This verso is juftly.rendered thus, " Whosoever fall blafpheme against the holy