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C's evidence of universal salvation is valid. Though we should grant that it remains unimpaired by the words iwy and alwvios, eternity and eternal; yet it may be utterly invalidated by other considerations: and that this is in fact the case, I have endeavoured already, and shall further endeavour to show; how successfully, is submitted to the reader.
The Doctor manifestly argues, on this head from possibility to probability, and even to fact. He says, “If elves may signify a period of time only, there is not a shadow of an interference between its connection with the punishment of wicked men, and their being finally saved:" i. e. If it may possibly signify a period of time only, it is absolutely certain, that when it is applied to future punishment, it does signify a period of time only. The inconclusiveness of such argumentation must be manifest to every reader. In the same manner it is easy to prove, "that there is not the shadow of an interference between the connection of avios, eternal," with the life and happiness of the righteous, and their final damnation.
The Doctor says, "These words, day and alios are evidently more loose and general in their meaning, than the English words eternity, everlasting-If it were not so, how comes it to pass, that aw and alwvios will not always bear being translated eternity, everlasting?" By the same argument it may be proved, that the words eternity and everlasting in our language, are more loose and general in their meaning, than the Greek aw and avios. We frequently say, such a man is an everlasting talker, or he talks eternally; he is eternally slandering and quarrelling with his neighbours. But according to Dr. C's sense of the Greek words awv and arvios, the English phrases just mentioned cannot be properly translated, by the use of those Greek words. The Doctor says, they properly * Page 261. † Ibid.
mean the duration of an age. But when it is said, a man talks eternally, the meaning is not, that he talks for an age. The truth is, there are idioms in all languages, which will not bear a literal translation into any other language. The circumstance that alv, avios, will not always bear to be rendered eternity and eternal, no more proves, that they do not properly signify the same with our words eternity and eternal, than the circumstance that they will not always bear to be rendered an age, and during an age, proves that they do not properly signify the duration of an age. It is said Rom. xvi. 26, "According to the commandment of the everlasting God, ataviov Ocov;" but no man would render this, according to the-commandment of the God who lives for an age.
The Doctor thinks that "before eternal times is an impropriety in English," and hence infers, that po Xpovav alway, Tit. i. 2, means a limited duration. It is presumed, that the Doctor would not have objected to the propriety of expressing a proper eternity, by saying, From eternity, from everlasting, from eternal ages. Yet in reality there is as great an impropriety in these expressions, as in that which the Doctor pronounces an impropriety. Understood strictly and literally they imply, that there is a point at which eternity began, and from eternity is from that point. The very use of the preposition from implies this. It implies, that the computation is made from something, at which eternity began. This something must strictly be some time, or some point in endless duration. So that from eternity taken strictly, is as real and as great an impropriety as before eternity or before eternal times. The same is observable of to eternity. Yet from eternity and to eternity, are in fact used among us to express an absolute eternity: and how does it appear absurd, that the apostle should express the same idea by a phrase, in which no greater impropriety
is naturally implied, and which may as well, and in the same way, as the phrases from eternity and to eternity, be made properly to signify an absolute eternity? The impropriety supposed to be in the expression, Before eternal times, is, that it implies a beginning to eternity. The same is implied in the expression from eternity: and in the phrase to eternity it is implied that there is an end to eternity. But I mean not to insist on this: I do but just mention it, to show, that Dr. C's most favourite proof, that davies means a temporary duration, is not demonstrative.
The Doctor further observes,*" The particles and ETTEXEIVα, are sometimes added in the Septuagint, to the word alwy. Whereas, should we add the English words answerable to those Greek particles, to the term eternity, it would make evident nonsense." 99 The Doctor was mistaken: we do say forever more, forever and ever, forever and for aye. Yet no man will hence infer, that in our language the words for ever do not properly mean an endless duration, or that forever and ever implies an addition to eternity.
Doctor C. insists,† that “ aly and awes signify nothing more than an age, dispensation, period of continuance, either longer or shorter;" That "it is certain, this is the sense in which they are commonly, if not always used in the sacred pages ;" That this is "the frequent and almost perpetual use of the words-in the sacred writings." It is by no means granted, nor has the Doctor made it evident, that this is almost the perpetual use of those words, especially in the New Testament. Aay reckoning the reduplications of it, as of claves av alavar, to be but single instances of its use, occurs in the New Testament in one hundred and four instances; in thirty-two
† Page 264 and 267.
* Page 263.
of which, it means a temporary duration.* In seven, it may be taken in either the temporary or endless sense.† In sixty-five, including six instances in which it is applied to future punishment, it plainly signifies an endless duration. How then could Dr. C. say, that it is commonly if not always used in the sacred pages, to signify an age or dispensation only? and that this is almost the perpetual use of it? But if a used absolutely did generally signify a mere temporary duration; it would not thence follow, that it has the same restricted signification, when governed by the preposition . It is never applied to future punishment, but in this construction. In the whole New Testament, it is used in this construction, sixty-one times, in six of which it is applied to future punishment.§ That in
*The places are, Matt. xii. 32; xiii. 22, 39, 40, 49; xxiv. 3; xxviii. 20; Mark iv. 19; Luke i. 70; xvi. 8; xx. 34, 35; Acts iii. 21; Rom. xii. 2; 1 Cor. i. 20; ii. 6, twice, 7, 8; iii. 18; x. 11; 2 Cor. iv. 4; Gal. i. 4; Eph. i. 21; ii. 2; vi.12; 1 Tim. vi. 17; ? Tim. iv. 10; Tit. ii. 12; Heb.i. 2; ix. 26; xỉ. 3.
The places are, Mark x. 30; Luke xviii. 30; John ix. 32; Eph. ii. 7; iii. 9; Col. i. 26; Heb. vi. 5.
The places are as follows; Matt. vi. 13; xxi. 19; Mark xi. 14; Luke i. 33, 55; John iv. 14; vi. 51, 58; viii. 35, twice, 51, 52; x. 28; xi. 26; xii. 34; xiii. 8; xiv. 16; Acts xv. 18; Rom. i. 25; ix. 5; xi. 36; xvi. 27; 1 Cor. viii. 13; 2 Cor. ix. 9; xi. 31; Gal. i. 5; Eph. iii. 11, 21; Phil. iv. 20; 1 Tim. i. 17, twice; 2 Tim. iv. 18; Heb. i. 8; v. 6; vi. 20; vii. 17, 21, 24, 28; xiii. 8, 21; 1 Pet. i. 23, 25; iv. 11; v. 11; 2 Pet. iii. 18; 1 John ii. 17; 2 John 2; Rev. i. 6, 18; iv. 9, 10; v. 13, 14; vii. 12; x. 6; xi. 15; xv. 7; xxii. 5.-The six instances in which it is applied to future punishment, are, Mark iii. 29; 2 Pet. ii. 17; Jud. 13; Rev. xiv. 11; xix. 3; xx. 10.
In this construction it is found in all the texts mentioned in the last marginal note, except Acts xv. 18; Eph. iii. 11, 21; Once in 1 Tim. i. 17, and 2 Pet. iii. 18.
I have been thus particular in noting all the texts, in which alwy occurs in the New Testament, that the reader may examine them and judge for himself, whether I have given a just representation of the use of that word by the inspired writers.
all the remaining fifty-five it is used in the endless sense, I appeal to the reader. If in those fifty-five instances it be used in the endless sense; this surely is a ground of strong presumption, that in the six instances, in which it is applied to future punishment, it is used in the same.
The adjective avis is still more unfavourable to Dr. C's system, than the substantive atav. It is found in seventy-one places in the whole New Testament; sixty-six, beside the five in which Dr. C. allows it is applied to future punishment.* In every one of the sixty-six instances, except two, 2 Tim. i. 9; and Tit. i. 2; it may, to say the least, be understood in the endless sense. If beside the two instances just mentioned, Rom. xvi. 25; Philem. 15; Heb. vi. 2; and Jude 7, should be pleaded, which I think are all that any universalist will pretend do contain a limited sense; it may be observed concerning Rom. xvi. 25, that μυςηριου Χρονοις αιωνίοις σεσιγημένου may, with at least as great truth and propriety, be rendered " mystery kept secret during the eternal or unlimited past ages, or from eternity," as, "mystery kept secret since the world began."-The literal construction of Philem. 15, 16, is, "That thou mightest receive him eternal, no longer as a servant, but above a servant, a brother;" or more briefly thus; "That thou mightest
*The places are, Matt. xix. 16, 29; xxv. 46; Mark x. 17, 30; Luke x. 25; xvi. 9; xviii. 18, 30; John iii. 15, 16, 36; iv. 14, 36; v. 24, 39; vi. 27, 40, 47, 54, 68; x. 28; xii. 25, 50; xvii. 2, 3; Acts xiii. 46, 48; Rom. ii. 7; v. 21; vi. 22, 23; xvi. 25, 26; 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18; v. 1; Gal. vi. 8; 2 Thess. ii. 16; 1 Tim. i. 16; vi. 12, 16, 19; 2 Tim. i. 9; ii. 10; Tit. i. 2, twice; iii. 7; Philem. 15; Heb. v. 9; vi. 2; ix. 12, 14, 15; xiii. 20; 1 Pet. v. 10; 2 Pet. i 11; 1 John i 2; ii. 25; iii. 15; v. 11, 13, 20; Jud. 7, 21; Rev. xiv. 6.-The five texts in which Dr. C allows avios to be applied to future punishment are, Matt. xviii. 8; xxv. 41, 46; Mark iii. 29; 2 Thess. i. 9; To which is to be added, Jude 7.