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world was, that he might put an end to fin, and de. stroy it ; we are bound to believe it; and to expect and rejoice in that happy period, when fin Thall be banished from the universe of God.
When Christ shall have effected the design of his coming into the world, the destruction of Gin, there will be no oppofition left to the morał government of God; sin, or moral evil, being the only thing that ever did oppose it. And, when moral evil fhall be extioguished, natural evil can no longer exist. And, when fin and suffering are thus extinct, all things will return into their natural course and order, and harmony and happiness will be universally restored.". Thus the pernicious errorists, the Universalists, reason.
When, however, Mr. S. Shall prove, that the de. struction of fin is its eternal punishment; and the destruction of the finner is his eternal misery ; we will submit. But scriptures which speak of the de. struction of Gn, and of the finger, whilst they are Stark nought for Mr. S. are a firm and fure' support to the doctrine of universal salvation.
Mr. S. next refers to St. Paul's epifles to the Thessalonians. He says, that "from chapter iv, 12, to chapter v. 4." of the first epistle, " The apostie gives a description of the day of judgment.” He expressly cites only chapter v. 1-4, of the first e. piltle. " But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For your. felves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall fay, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh, upon them, as travail upon a woman with cbild ; and they shall not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
What if it be allowed, that St. Paul is here speak. ing of the day of judgment ? it is an excellent pas. fage of scripture, in favor of the destruction of Goners. And if finners fball not escape, we are only the more certain of their salvation. For if in and finners, shall certainly be destroyed, then we are certain that the blessed era will commence, when fin and Ginners shall be no more. And, as there is no way revealed, in which the finner will be destroy. ed, but by being subdued to a voluntary and cheerful submission, at the feet of Jesus, to the moral government of God; we long, and wish, and pray, that the blessed period may advance, when this universal destruction of finners shall be effected; even though it will, in millions of instances, be wroug be by suffering a second death.
The next passage is one we have already confidered, when we expounded the v, chapter of the c. pistle to the Romans. It is 2.Thef. i. 6-10, the only passage, in all St. Paul's writings which Mr. S. has adduced, where the apostle speaks of the duration of future punishment. But I need to say no more upon it; as no passage of scripture can ever be admit. ted, as valid proof of endless punih meat, when that
1. proof depends on the ineaning of the word dioot OBör gidonios, Gace they are known to be equivocal
of the ž i verfe of the v. chapter, where, after he had cals enumerated several vices, which he calls fruits of the
flesh, the apostle closes thuś, “as I have often told you in time past, that they which do such things,
Tall not inherit the kingdom of God." But those, and who are now unworthị of the kingdom of God,
may hereafter be worthy,
From the epistle to the Galatians, Mr. S. goes on to the epifle to the Ephesians. Mr. S. undertakes to tell us what was St. Paul's desiga in this c. pifle to the Ephefians.
One part of his design, according to Mr. S. was to show that it was intended to unite Jews and Gentiles in one holy communion, and to destroy all the prejudices that formerly were in Jewishi breasts against such a union. This, he tells us, is the mys. tery meant in Rom. xi. 25. xvi. 25. Col. i. 26, 27. Chap. ii. 2. Mr. S. goes on to say, p. 66, “ One chief purpose of the epistle to the Ephesians, was to enlighten men in this subject, and teach them that Jesus Christ is the head of all holy intelligences, in the universal kingdom of God. Of Gentiles as well as Jews; of Angels as well as Gentiles; and that the whole holy church, of whatever rank or or. der of existence, would be gathered together as one
in him. This is the mystery meant in Eph. i. ga iii. 3, 4. A view of this design in the epistle, explains the universality of many expressions which are used in it. Such as this; That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, be might gather togerber in one, alli things in Cbril, both which are in beaven, and which are on earth, even in bim. Chap. i, 10. The subject," Mr. S. further adds," must explain the u. niversality of expression; and the subject is the gathering of all holy creatures under one head and not the gathering of all finners into heaven,"
No rational, consistent man ever thought of gatber. sring finners into heaven, whilst they remain Ginnere and unholy. The grand thing contended for is. that the time will come when, according to the glorious plan of redeeming and saving love, the whole race of Adam will be restored to virtue and holiness, and, in this way, to heaven and happiness. And this is the thing which Mf. Si ought to have kept constantly in view, and to have directed all his scripture proof against this proposition only..
We shall take the liberty to cite the whole paffage, ia the ist chap. of Ephe, to which Mr. S. refers. í
Ephe, i. 9; 10. “Having made, known unter us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: That! in the dispensation of the fulness of times, e might gather together in one all things in Chrift, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."
-205 in the dispensation of the fulness of times. St. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, chap.- iv. 4, (peaking of the coming of Christ, says, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son." So here, in the difpenfation, economy, or administration of times i meaning the times that are in the hands of Christ, as mediator; the whole term of time for which the Father gave him all power in beaven and in daril. In this, or during this term of the administration of mediatorial power and authority, this mystery of the divine will, according to his good pleafure, which he hath purposed in himself, fhall be accomplished, and all things in heaven and earth fhall be gatbered together in or by, Chrift. Io garker together in one, for all these words there is but one in Greek, anakepbaliooajibai, which Ggnifies to bead again or rebead or reduce into one fum, or whole, ä number of scattered and disunited parts. Theapoftle could not easily have selected a word from the Greek language, which would more fully have communicated his idea than this.
This apoftle, ever full of the great idea of a uni. vérfal restoration by Chrift, hath used a variety of terms very expreffive of his meaning, but never, one which gave a more lively idea of it, than this..
By the introduction of moral, every species of nato ural, evil was introduced. Things in the air, or at, mosphere, or aerial heaven, as well as on earth, fell into disorder and wild confufion. The beasts; and birds, and fish of the sea, the air and elements, all