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refer the reader.-Nor does the latter observation, especially as connected with the former, appear to be more rational or pertinent. According to these two observations, the sense of Mark ix. 43, 44, is merely this; It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into the fire which never shall be quenched, though thou mayest soon be delivered out of it: and in which while thou continuest, thy torments will not cease. But where is the evidence of the truth of this proposition? How does it appear to be better for a man to cut off his right hand, and be forever after maimed, than to go into a fire which is indeed endless, and in which while he continues, he will be uneasy, and even feel torment; though he may not continue in it two minutes or two seconds? Who would not choose to suffer even a very painful torment, for a few seconds, or minutes, rather than to lose an hand or an eye? Thus the sense which Dr. C. puts on Mark ix. 43, &c. utterly frustrates the manifest design of our Lord, which was in that passage to exhibit a most powerful motive to the greatest self-denial. But according to the Doctor's construction, the passage contains no powerful motive to self-denial, or any thing else.
Besides; is it not flat and insipid, to tell a man, that he shall go into a fire which never shall be quenched, though he may be immediately taken out again ?—Yet this is the sense which Dr. C. puts on those words of our Saviour! But how is it to the purpose? or how does it concern any man, if he be not in the fire of hell, that that fire shall never be quenched?-Suppose a man is to be burnt at the stake. It would be a matter of indiffer ence to him, whether the fire, in which he should be put to death, be continued burning for five hundred years, after his death, or be extinguished immediately: and to tell him by way of threatening, that that fire
shall be kept up five hundred years after his death; or to threaten a criminal who is about to be executed on the gallows, that the gallows on which he shall die, shall stand a thousand years after his execution; would be perfect impertinence.
Doctor C. seems to insist much on this, That in Mark ix. 43, &c. a reference is had to the punishment of those whose bodies were either burnt in the valley of Hin nom, or permitted to lie upon the ground, to be fed upon by worms. But it does not thence follow, as Dr. C. supposes, that as the fire of the valley of Hinnom went out, when the bodies were consumed, and the worm died, when the bodies were eaten up; so the fire and worm of hell shall cease. The sense may be, that as those bodies in the valley of Hinnom, were consumed by fire and worms, which after a while ceased; so the wicked in hell shall be tormented by fire and worms, which shall not cease. Indeed this is expressly asserted: and as Mr. Hopkins justly observes, "It cannot be granted, that our Saviour, by those words, "Where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched," means a worm that dieth, and a fire that is quenched very soon. For this would be to suppose, he means directly contrary to what he says."'*
The Doctor argues against endless punishment from the smallness of the number of those who are saved in "the next state. That "only a few of mankind" should be saved finally, and "the greater part eternally perish" he thinks not reconcileable with the great mercy of the Christian dispensation; or with the glad tidings of great joy, and the divine good will celebrated at the birth of our Saviour. This argument is built on the supposition, that it would not be dishonorary to Christ, that a minority
Fature state of those who die in their sins. Page 3222.
of mankind be lost. But this would be equally inconsistent with Dr. C's scheme, as that a majority be lost, This argument, as it grants that some will not be saved, gives up the grand question, and disputes concerning the number only, which is to be saved. But this is no sub-ject of dispute in this controversy.
Is it then no instance of great and glorious mercy, to institute a scheme, by which salvation may be offered to every creature; by which whosoever will, may take the water of life freely, and no man shall perish, but in consequence of his own voluntary rejection of that institution? Is not the certain information of this institution indeed glad tidings of great joy to all people? Is not the institution a clear proof of the abundant good will of God to men, even though sinners, through their voluntary opposition, obtain no good by it? It certainly is, if we may believe Dr. C. for it is a maxim with him, "that we must not judge of the divine goodness, by the actual good, which we see produced, but must take into view the tendency of the divine administration," &c. see the quotations made page 181.
The Doctor says, "It is incredible, that God should constitute his Son the Saviour of men, and the bulk of them be finally damned."* But why is it incredible? Is it not an undertaking worthy of Christ, in a way most honorary to God, to open a door of mercy and salvation to all mankind, though by the wicked and ungrateful rejection of Christ by the majority, a minority only will actually be saved? If it be not credible, that God should constitute his Son the Saviour of men, and "the bulk"" of them be finally damned, is it credible, that Christ should be constituted the Saviour, and a bare majority of mankind be saved? If not, how large must the major ity be 2
As to the observation, "That it is a gross reflection on the Saviour, whose proper business it is, to destroy the works of the devil, and rescue mankind out of his hands; to suppose, that the devil should finally get the better of Christ, by effecting the everlasting damnation of the greater part of men ;"* there are some particulars in it, which want explanation. First; what is meant by destroying the works of the devil? If this mean to abolish all sin, and all the misery consequent on sin to any of the human race; it is not granted, that this is the proper business of our Saviour, nor is this the proper meaning of the original in 1 John iii. 8, the text to which Dr. C. refers. The verb is avon, dissolve, take to pieces, and thus prevent the ill effect of the works of the devil. But if destroying the works of the devil mean, to defeat and to prevent the ill consequences of those works, so that no final damage shall thence arise to the interest of God's kingdom, or of the universe; it is granted, that this is the proper business of Christ. But it is not granted, but that this may be effected, without the salvation of all men.-Again, what is meant by "the devil's getting the better of Christ?" This doubtless means, that he defeats Christ more or less, as to some object of his mediatorial undertaking. But Dr. C. has no more made it appear, that the final salvation of ́only a part, and a small part of the human race, implies such a defeat; or that it was not the original intention of Christ to save a small part only; than he has made it appear, that it was the intention of Christ to save all men.
Dr. C. seems not to have reflected, while he was urging this argument, that it equally militates against his own last resort, annihilation. For if an "end be put to the existence, both in soul and body," of all who die im
penitent, as the Doctor allows will be the case, if universal salvation be not true;* then on his principles, the devil will not be vanquished by Christ; the works of the devil will not be destroyed, but "he will get the better of Christ, by effecting the everlasting destruction of the greater part of those whom Christ came from heaven to save."-So that when this objection shall be answered, so far as it lies against Dr. C's last resort, doubtless an answer will be supplied to those who believe in endless misery.
After all, it is not an article of my faith, that only a small part of the human race will be finally saved. But my faith in this particular is not built on abstract reasonings from the divine goodness and the mission of Christ. That divine goodness which suffered all the apostate angels to perish finally, might have suffered all, or a greater part of the apostate race of men, to perish in like manner. My faith is built on several representations and prophecies of scripture, particularly concerning the millennium, and the general and long prevalence of virtue and piety in that period. Therefore in this view, the foundation of the objection from the smallness of the number saved, is taken away.
† Page 324.