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offered by the abettors of the doctrine he opposes ? Does the Mirror combat error, by pursuing a course of misrepresentations ? Why should the Editor make remarks in addition to those, which were founded on a spurious exposition ? Does the truth require the use of such means ? And I have concluded, Sir, that the manner in which you dispose of this information concerning facts, and, these sincere inquiries, will be a good key, with which to unlock those mysteries. I hope you will publish this, and comply with my request.
CANDIDUS. P. S. Would you be willing to publish answers to your questions, viz. “ We ask then, what does the parable teach? What subject does it resemble and illustrate?” I should be happy to answer you in my illiterate and feeble manner.
66 CANDIDUS” is received. We would inform him, that our remarks in the last Mirror were grounded on the credit we gave to our correspondent Quæro, that he had seen a parabolic exposition, which we had not. We have since seen an article, which calls the passage in Luke 16th a parable, and confines its application to the present life. It is written in such a dark and confused manner, that we do not wonder Quæro took the impression he did. We perceive, however, on close inspection, that there is an attempt to give the parable a different application, which appears to us even more absurd than the other. Candidus cannot be admitted, till he writes in a very different spirit, and with a more manifest desire to search humbly for the meaning of scripture, without attempting violent contortions of common language.-Christian Mirror.
REMARKS. From the above concession that “ Quæro” was mistaken in “ the exposition" which he attributed to Universalists, it is evident that he has done nothing towards refuting their doctrine ; because the proposition which he attempted to support was, that: “ One evidence of the incorrectness of the doctrine of Universal salvation, is found in the forced and inconsistent construction, of
tengiven by its advocates to passages of scripture.” Consequently, as no Universalist has ever given the construction, which he opposed, he has failed in producing “ one evinence” against their doctrine. And even had Quæro been so fortunate as to have given the general views of Universalists, in relation to the passage in Luke 16th, and succeeded in proving that their explanations were inconsistent, it would not prove but that another exposition might be given, which would favor their doctrine, and be irrefutable. Calvinişts entertain different opinions on many passages of scripture ; but does that circumstance evince the inconsistency of their doctrine ? That Quæro is extremely ignorant on doctrinal and controversial subjects, is not only evident from the editor's being at the trouble of writing over his communications, but also, from his misunderstanding almost every point on which he writes.
He represents Universalists as arguing that the 16th chapter of Luke, affords no evidence of future and final misery, on the assumption, that it is a parable. But he does not understand himself ; for we all allow that the doctrine might as well be taught in parables as any thing else. We simply contend that with so many express passages in support of our doctrine, it is manifestly iniproper to explain parables, so as to turn the truth of God into a lie, and the salvation of the world into their endless miscry. But Quæro is informed that the Andover divines consider that passage a parable ; and even the Reverend gentleman to whom Mr. Rand looks for religious instruction, delivered a discourse in the Episcopal Church in this town, in which he treated it as a parable, and even called it such, several times. We hope this information will preventour opposers from harping any more on the parabolic construction of this text. As no argument has been offered to show that the passage supported the doctrine of endless misery, we can only say, when they appear we shall be ready to answer them, and prove beyond refutation, that no such doctrine is taught in this, or any other passage in divine revelation.
From the Christian Mirror, of February 7. 1 Tim. 2,4. Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The original word here rendered will, implies no more than is willing. It is frequently so rendered in other places. In very many passages, where our translators have given the same form of expression they have here, still the connexion evidently shows that nothing more than willingness, or pleasure, or desire, is meant. It is therefore by no means necessary to give it a more positive sense in this passage. There is no evidence that it expresses the purpose, determination, or decree of Jehovah, that all men shall be saved. The most obvious and natural rendering of the Greek is, who is willing that all men should be saved. Indeed to justify the common translations, the verb should be in the future time; whereas it is in the present. The passage we see declares the readiness of God to save all men, if they would repent and believe; which is abundantly declared in other places. It does not assert his determination to save all. We can therefore derive no hope from this passage for those who will not come to Christ for life, but neglect the great salvation till they die in their sins.
But take the expression as it stands in the English bible ; it does not necessarily imply a fixed decree. My feelings are ask- : ed respecting the poor of the town. I reply, I will have them all relieved and supplied, and also to come to a correct knowledge of the way to be satisfied and happy. I do not, in so saying, assert that they will all be fed and clothed. If my power were equal to my pity; if I could supply every one without the least sacrifice, my expression does not imply that I purpose to do it for the idle and vicious, who will not be reclaimed. The declaration of the Apostles gives abundant encouragement to every sinner, even the vilest, to repent, and flee from the wrath to come ; but not the least ground of hope to any to trust in the mercy of God, who through their hard and impenitent hearts remain workers of iniquity.
REPLY. . The passage of which the above is designed as an exposition, is made the subject of remarks on the first page of the same paper; but as the editor agrees in sentiment with his correspondent, and yet did not deem his arguments so conclusive as to preclude the necessity of this 6 familiar exposition," we shall take it for granted
that if we succeed in exposing the weakness and fallacy of one, we shall of both. Whether the editor has been most successful in exposing the contradictions in his own system of doctrines, or in refuting Universalism, by proving the Bible to be a collection of irreconcileable inconsistences, we can better decide after a few minutes critical examination of his exposition.
1. Our learned expositor understands the declaration, God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," to mean, he is willing they should all be saved, without limitation. It expresses his willingness, pleasure, or desire. Still he explains it in opposition to their salvation, by arguing that it does not express God's determination or decree. Observe ; it expresses no more determination that any man should be saved, than it does that all, without exception, should be. The meaning is, God is no respecter of persons, but is just as willing to save every man, as one man. But Mr. Rand maintains that God has a determination as well as a willingness, in relation to mankind, and that he is determined that some of them shall be endlessly miserable. And now, reader, just see the pitiable predicament in which the faithful advocate for error's triumph, is involved; he is endeavoring to prove that God is willing all men should be saved, notwithstanding his determination to make them miserable forever! Willing to frustrate his eternal decree !!
He would make us believe that the pleasure and desire of God are in direct opposition to his determination. To refute such a palpable absurdity is unnecessary. Its refutation is enstamped on its face. All we can do in this case is, to pity the dear man whose merciless creed drives him to such miserable subterfuges for argument. Let charity govern our feelings.
Our Calvinist's attempt to give his exposition an Armenian turn, by saying, “ the passage declares the readiness of God to save all men, if they repent and believe,” is, if possible, more sophistical than the foregoing. Mr. Rand will not deny but that God as much decreed the
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impenitence and unbelief of the sinners whom he determined to damn forever, as he did the damnation itself. This was as necessary a part of the divine determination as any thing else. Who is so stupid as not to discover, that, if the editor's doctrine be true, and all the reprobates were brought to the knowledge of it, they would be eternally miserable according to the divine determination ? Not one of them could repent and be saved, without frustrating the irrevocable decrees of his God.
2. Having availed himself of all the advantages of his superior learning, our expositor next comes down to the understanding of readers in general, and contends that 66 taking the expression in our English bible, it does not imply a fixed decree.” He supports this assertion by an example in which he would conduct in a manner, corresponding with his views of the subject; and takes it for granted that God will be just as partial as he would, were his powers equal to his pity, or could he do as he pleased. Mr. Rand gives us fully to understand that if his feelings were asked respecting the poor of the town, and he should say, it was his will they should all be relieved and supplied, his expression would not imply that such was his purpose, even if his power were equal to his pity, and he could supply every one without sacrifice" to himself. Really, the editor of the Mirror is an honest man, in good earnest. He admits that he would not be disposed to relieve the poor, even could he do it without injury to himself. Is he willing, is it his pleasure and desire, those should be supplied, whom he would leave destitute, with the means of giving relief ? But let us try his concession and argument, and see to what they amount. Does the fact that Mr. Rand would not be disposed to relieve all the poor whom he could with perfect convenience, after having expressed his will to do it, prove, that the God of truth is not disposed to save all men and bring them to the knowledge of the truth? If it does not, he has imprudently exposed his partiality and hardness of heart towards some of the poor, with