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we cannot take it in its literal and utmost extent, unless by the figure before mentioned, which Dr. C. cannot admit, without giving up what he most earnestly contends for, in his comment, on Rom. viii. 19, &c. But if we once admit a limitation of that universal term, every one must be allowed to propose his own limitation, and some doubtless will insist, that it extends to angels and to believers only from among men : as it is said, that all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, were baptized by John: all men counted John that he was a prophet: all men came to Christ, John iii. 26.
But if we should allow, that all things in heaven and earth include all mankind; still even in this extent it is true, that it pleased the Father to reconcile all things; but in such a sense, as not to imply the salvation of all This is true in the same sense, in which God hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked, Ezek. xxxiii. 11; or in the death of him that dieth, chap. xviii. 32; in the same sense in which God was unwilling to give up Ephraim, Hos. xi. 8; and in the same sense in which Christ was unwilling to give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and would have gathered them together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; though they would not.-The destruction of the sinner is not in itself agreeable to God; as the punishment of a child is not in itself agreeable to a good parent. Yet as a good parent may, to secure the general good of his family, punish a disobedient child; so God, to secure the general good of his kingdom, may punish a rebellious creature. As the good parent who, to prevent that punishment to which his disobedient and apostate child must, going on in his disobedience, be subjected, uses all proper means to reclaim him; may be said to be pleased with the idea of his impunity; so the Deity who uses all proper means to reclaim all mankind, and to reconcile them to
one another, may be said to be well pleased with the idea of this reconciliation, or to choose to reconcile all men to one another, and to bring them into Christ. In itself it is the object of his choice and complacency.-In this sense it pleased the Father to reconcile all things: it was what pleased him.
On the whole it appears, that if Dr. C's sense of this passage be the true one, it affords no proof at all of universal salvation;-That his construction of it is far less favourable to that doctrine, than that which seems to be holden forth by our translation;-That if this last construction be adopted, still it would be no real proof of universal salvation, for two reasons; (1) That the universal term must be limited, and therefore may be so limited as to comprehend angels and believers only of all nations. (2) That even if the universal term be extended to all mankind, still the text is capable of a construction both rational and analogous to other passages of scripture, which yet does by no means imply universal salvation. And the sequel of the apostle's discourse favours this last construction, implying, that it pleased the Father, or was in itself pleasing to the Father, to reconcile all men, on the terms of the gospel, and not absolutely, as Dr. C. supposes. The sequel is, "And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled-to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.”Will any man pretend, but that this implies, that if they did not continue in the faith, they would not be presented unblameable in the sight of God?-But this is far from the doctrine which teaches, that all mankind, whether believers or unbelievers, whether they continue in the faith or not, shall be saved.
Before I quit this part of the Doctor's book, I shall add one remark more. In his comment on this, Col. i. 20, and on Rom. v. 10, he takes great pains to make out a double reconciliation to be taught by the apostle Paul. "The one," he says, 66 means that change of state all men are absolutely brought into by the death of Christ; and is opposed to the condemnation through the lapse of the one man Adam. The other is that change of state, which is connected with an actual meetness for, and present interest in, eternal life."* But these two reconciliations are really but one; for the definition which the Doctor himself gives of the latter, perfectly agrees with the former. He abundantly holds, that "that change of state, into which all men are brought by the death of Christ," "is connected with an actual meetness for, and present interest in, eternal life;" and his whole scheme implies this: otherwise there is no certainty, that all men will be saved, in consequence of the death of Christ. The Doctor himself, in the very next sentence to that just quoted, allows, that the former reconciliation is connected in the scheme of God, with the latter, and will finally issue in it. Now, if his first kind of reconciliation be connected with that kind, which is connected with actual meetness for, and present interest in, eternal life; then that first kind of reconciliation is itself connected with actual meetness for, and present interest in, eternal life. If Jacob be connected with Isaac, and Isaac be connected with Abraham, then Jacob too is connected with Abraham.
Let us now attend to the Doctor's argument from Eph. i. 10; "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."-On this text the Doctor says, "By
means of the lapse, and what has been consequent thereupon, all things in heaven and on earth, were got into a broken, disjointed, disorderly state; and the good pleasure of God to reduce them from their present separated, disorderly state, into one duly-subjected and well subordinated whole, may very fitly be signified by the phrase, ανακεφαλαιωσασθαι Τα πανla, to gather together in one all things. And this I take to be the thing intended here."* But what is this to the purpose of the salvation of all men? It is granted on all hands, that by the lapse, all things relating to men, got into a broken, disjointed, disorderly state; and that it is the good pleasure of God to reduce them from their present separated, disorderly state, into one duly-subjected, well subordinated whole, under Christ as their head; and that this is the thing intended by the apostle in this passage. But if the Doctor supposed, that this implied the repentance and salvation of all men, it was but a mere supposition without proof.
Suppose a rebellion be excited in the kingdom of a most wise and good prince, and this rebellion extend far and wide, so as to throw the whole kingdom into confusion. At length the king's son, at the head of his armies, subdues the rebels, pardons the generality, sentences the leaders, some to the gallows, others to perpetual imprisonment and thus restores peace, tranquillity, good order and government. Is not a well subjected and duly subordinated state of things in that kingdom now restored and established, although those rebels who are confined in prison, still retain their rebellious tempers, and, are not in a state of happiness?
Nor does Dr. C. pretend to point out how a well subordinated state of things proves the salvation of all men; unless it be in the following and other passages * Page 144.
not more conclusive: "If God created all men-by Jesus Christ, we may easily collect hence, how he comes to be their common Father-and if they are his children, how fit, proper and reasonable it is, that they should be fellow-heirs to, and joint partakers in, that happy state, which he has proposed shall take place," &c.* It seems then that Eph. i. 10, proves that all men will be saved, not by any thing contained in the text itself, but because all men are the creatures of God. The argument is this: All men are the creatures of God, therefore that well subjected and duly subordinated state of things, which is to be effected by Jesus Christ, implies the salvation of all men. It seems then that that well subjected and duly subordinated state of things, does not of itself imply the final salvation of all men, and therefore this text is introduced with no force of argument. Dr. C. might have argued just as forcibly thus, All men are the creatures of God, therefore all men will be saved. But as to this argument it is entirely different from Eph. i. 10, and hath been already considered.
We are, in the last place, to attend to Dr. C's argument from 1 Tim. ii. 4; "Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth."-The questions concerning the meaning of this text, are, as Dr. C. justly observes, two; (1) Who are meant by all men; whether all men individually, or generically. (2) Is there a certain connexion between God's willing, that all men should be saved, and their actual salvation.
1. Who are meant by all men, whether all men individually, or generically.-Dr. C. gives two reasons, why this expression should be understood of all men individually.
(1) "That God's willingness that all men should be saved, is brought in as an argument to enforce the duty Page 160.