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IN WHICH ARE CONSIDERED DR. C'S ANSWERS TO THE ARGUMENTS DRAWN FROM WHAT IS SAID CONCERNING JUDAS, MARK XIV. 21;-FROM THE UNPARDONABLE SIN;—AND FROM THE TENDENCY OF THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL SALVATION TO
THE Doctor answers to the arguments from Mark xiv. 21, "Wo to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. Good were it for that man, if he had never been born;" That perhaps it may be a proverbial expression, not literally true ;*-That if the literal sense were the most reasonable, considering this text by itself; yet considering the many passages brought by Dr. C. which declare the final salvation of all men, we must not understand this passage in the literal sense, as in that case we shall set the scripture at variance with itself:-That the real meaning of this passage may be prophetical, as if our Lord had said, "The man who shall betray me "shall practically declare, that in his apprehension, it were good had he not been brought into being."-As to the first of these answers, it is a mere unsupported conjecture, and therefore is to be set down for nothing.-As to the second, it is not allowed that the Doctor has produced any one passage of scripture which declares the final salvation of all men: but this in view of what has been said on the passages produced by the Doctor, is submitted to the reader.-As the Doctor contends that this passage cannot be understood in the literal sense, without setting the scripture at variance with itself; so it is contended by the advo
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cates for endless punishment, that it can be understood in the literal sense, without setting the scripture at variance with itself in the least degree; and that the general tenor of the scripture points out the literal sense to be the true sense.-As to Dr. C's third answer, it is, in the first place, a mere unsupported conjecture: secondly, it may be noticed, that it is manifest, that the text pronounces the proper wo or curse, which should fall on the man who should betray our Lord. "The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him; but wo to that man, by whom the Son of Man is betrayed: good were it for that man, if he had never been born."-But according to Dr. C. all the curse which this text denounces, is such a weariness of life and impatience of existence, as has sometimes befallen even true saints; as in the instance of Job. And is it credible that this was the proper and full curse of betraying the Lord of life and glory? Or that if this be but a very small part of the curse of that abominable wickedness, our Lord would have mentioned it in such a manner, as naturally to communicate the idea, that it is the proper and full curse of it?
After all the ingenuity of Dr. C. and other universalists, in torturing this passage to a meaning consistent with their scheme; it remains a plain, direct, and positive testimony against it.
Next follows Dr. C's answer to the argument from what is said concerning the sin against the Holy Ghost, Matt. xii, 32; "Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Mark iii. 29; "He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Luke xii. 10, Unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven."
The Doctor's first answer to this argument is taken from Grotius-he tell us that Grotius looks upon the words as an Hebraism intended to signify, not so much the pardonableness of some sins, and the unpardonableness of others; as the greater difficulty of obtaining pardon for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, than for any other blasphemy." It is wholly immaterial whether the words were intended to signify not so much the unpardonableness of some sins. If they were intended to signify at all the unpardonableness of some sins, that is sufficient for the present purpose. So that both Dr. C. and his favourite author Grotius, virtually concede all that is demanded in this instance.
Concerning this construction of Grotius, which is but a mere conjecture, brought in to help over an argument which crowds hardly on Dr. C's scheme; the Doctor says, "Whoever goes about to prove, that there is no truth in it, will perhaps find, that he has undertaken a very hard task." The same may be said of any man, who should undertake to prove, that there are not a dozen primary planets belonging to the solar system; or who should undertake to disprove any one of a thousand other conjectures.
After all, the Doctor does not depend much on this construction of Grotius, and proceeds to give us his own sense of the passages above quoted; which is, That it is indeed true, that "the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is absolute unpardonable;"* that the divine law shall take its course on those who are guilty of that, blasphemy, and no intervening pardon will prevent the full execution of the threatened penalty on them; and forgiveness strictly and literally speaking will not be granted to them; fyet that they will be finally saved, and admitted to heaven,
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after they shall have suffered the full penalty threatened "In the law. On this idea of Dr. C. some remarks have been already made in Chapter i. Nor can it escape the notice of the attentive reader, that it implies, that some men are saved, not only without forgiveness; without the exercise of divine grace, in the scriptural sense of grace; without any aid from the merit or atonement of Christ; and therefore not "on the account, on the ground, or for the reason of Christ's obedience and death;"* but wholly on the footing of the law. But the idea that any of mankind are to be saved without forgiveness, is wholly foreign from the scriptures, nor can it be pointed out to be contained in any part of scripture. Every chapter of the gospel is inconsistent with it; to refer to particular texts would be endless and needless.-And what divine grace is there exercised in the salvation of one, who has by suffering the whole threatened penalty of the law, made full satisfaction for his own sins?—There is manifestly no more grace in saving such a man, than there is in saving one who has never sinned. Nor is he who has suffered the full penalty of the law, saved on account of the death or obedience of Christ. On the account of Christ's obedience or death he is released from no punishment and to suppose, that God has not goodness enough, without an atonement, to take a creature to heaven, who in the eye of the law is perfectly innocent, is a supposition utterly inconsistent with the divine goodness. Lastly, he who is saved in consequence of suffering the whole penalty threatened in the law, is saved on the foot of law. Yet it is utterly and abundantly denied by Dr. C. to be possible, that any sinner should be saved on the foot of law.
In view of these observations, the reader will judge, whether Dr. C's construction of the passages, which speak of the sin against the Holy Ghost, be admissible: and whether those passages and the argument deduced from them, do not remain in full force against universal salvation.
We come at length to Dr. C's answer to the last argument of those in the opposite scheme which he considers, which is drawn from the tendency of Dr. C's system to licentiousness and vice.
On this the Doctor observes; "To disprove the final salvation of all men, it must be plainly shown, that this doctrine does naturally and directly tend to encourage men in vicious practice."* In this it is implicitly granted, that if the doctrine of universal salvation do indeed naturally and directly tend to encourage men to persist in vicious practice, it is not true. On this we may join issue with him. That that doctrine does comparatively encourage men to persist in vice, will appear perhaps from the following considerations.-It will not be denied that if there were no punishment threatened to the wicked, it would naturally and directly encourage them to persist in vice. This is granted by Dr. C.-" Had we attempted to introduce mankind universally into a state of happiness, upon their leaving this world, whatever their moral conduct had been in it, the argument," that Dr. C's scheme tends to licentiousnes, "would then have held strong." But if the argument holds strong, provided there be no future punishment, it holds proportionably, if that punishment be very small and far less than is deserved by the wicked; and especially if at the same time that punishment, be suited to their personal good. Now that the future punishment of the wicked is, on Dr.
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