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put it at the worst, as in all prudence we ought to do, it is by all possible means to be provided against. So terrible, so intolerable is the thought, yea, the very least suspicion of being miserable for ever."
there are such reserves in his most wise and gracious providence, as will both vindicate his sovereign goodness and wisdom from all just disparagement, and take such course with, and so dispose of all his creatures, as they shall never be but in such a condition, which, all things considered, will be more
This has been looked upon as so open an intimation of this great man, that on this account he has been written against, in vindi-eligible than never to have been." cation of the eternity of hell-torments.
But the most full and pregnant testimony to this doctrine, we shall collect, and that pretty largely, from that ingenious letter of resolution concerning the opinions of Origen, printed Anno 1661, known among the learned to have been written by a Bishop of the Church of England, famous for his excellent tract, De Veritate. We find him declaring, p. 71,
Again, speaking of hell torments, he adds:"A sad and pityable state, and torture insufferable! But no doubt as just as great. Just, I say, not only according the estimation of modern theology, (which, from an excess of compliment to the justice of God, becomes almost as rude and troublesome as the ass in the fable, who did not fawn upon but invade his master; and which tragically pronounces that the least peccadillo highly deserves the greatest punishment conceivable ;) but also in the compute and judgment of that Allrighteous mind, which judges and orders all things by the living law of equity. But what, though it be so great and just;-is it therefore so different from the reason of all other punishments inflicted by God or man, that there is nothing in it of that end for which they are inflicted? They are curative, for the emendation of the party suffering; but this, if it be eternal in the scholastic sense of the word, leaves no place for the bettering of the sufferers, who are never to get out of this inexplicable labyrinth of woe and misery.
"I come now to the Father's fifth opinion, which is this; That after long periods of time the damned shall be delivered from their torments, and try their fortunes again in such regions of the world as their nature and present disposition fits them for.'-There are in some men's minds wonderful high reaches at great and unusual objects. That disposition of soul whence such extraordinary offers proceed, you may not improperly call, the magnificence of the intellect, which often hath something of temerity in it; as the moral virtue of that name not seldom hath some touch of ambition. But as we are very favourable to this, and apt to pardon its smaller extravagancies for the sake of those high designs and eminent works to which they ad- "Now to think these miserable souls are so here so by the same reason and justice far amiss, as to be beyond the power of all ought that other to be candidiy sentenced by redress and restitution, is to suppose God us, when it seems to slip, because of those made some of his creatures very untowardly; raised and important discoveries it makes, and that when he pronounced them all very where it lights right and happily; especially good, he looked only upon their primitive where it seems to have been betrayed by a state: for, certainly, if he had cast his eyes forward and pious endeavour of doing honour to all possible conditions they might afterto God. Which is Origen's case here; of wards fall into, and seen this never-to-bewhom his greatest adversaries cannot in rea-ended doom of intolerable pain and anguish son but confess, that, the error they con- of body and mind, the infinite compassionateceive him fallen into in this opinion, proceed-ness of his blessed nature would scarcely ed from his over great solicitude of rendering the ways of Providence clear, and righteous, and benign. Yet this, as strange as it looks, has its probabilities too as well as the former. For he looked upon God as making all things for their good and benefit; with this gracious design that they might be happy, according to their place and order in the infinite orb of beings."
And afterwards, p. 72, we read,-" That eternal mind, therefore, making all things out of a principle of infinite love, and for the good and happiness of the things themselves, and seeing what he had made, and how he had made them, and what was likely to he the lot of some of them, from the necessary unperfectness of their natures, if their future ill-hap was like to be infinitely more sharp and dolorous, than all the good they should enjoy from him, till that calamity befel them, grateful and pleasant; his great compassion certainly would have persuaded him quickly to annihilate them; or rather his wisdom would have judged it more decorous never to have made them. But we see such mutable creatures made, and hear nothing of their annihilation:-Therefore we may be assured,
have given so cheerful an approbation to the works of his hands.-But then, to think they are not beyond the power of redress and recovery, and that that great punishment they shall undergo in the end of this world may contribute thereto, and yet to imagine they shall, for all this their disposition, be still kept in it for ever and ever, is to fix so harsh a note upon the mercy and equity of the righteous Judge of all the world, that the same temper in a man we should execrate and abominate."
And that the damned are in a probability, and even in a way of being bettered or dis posed for grace, this learned bishop proceeds to shew from the father, viz., "That though the divine life is extinguished in them, their reason and consideration remain; and that their brutish desires being slacked by the tormenting pains, and the ideas of their joys in sin consumed or become disgustful to them, any offer of release would be welcome to them." And then he adds: “What is it then that should make the merciful Governor of heaven and earth, and hell too, the compassionate Father of spirits, either forcibly to keep off and prevent this natural course of
things, or which is worse, suffer those offers or preparations which it induces for the bettering the present condition of so great and so considerable a part of his creation, and for the putting of them into a way of return to what he at first made them, to come to nought? So that whithersoever we look, whether to the gracious Providence of God, or the necessity of the nature of things, we find some probable hope, that the punishment of the damned, as it implies the sense of pain, should not be eternal in the highest sense of the word. But whether their release be by any change wrought in the dispositions of their spirits, but without death; or whether by an escape, as it were, by dying, to the body so tortured: there is no doubt to be made, but that both ways they may come into play again, and try their fortunes once more in such regions of the world as Providence judges fit for them."
And towards the end of the book, p. 130, we have upon this head, something further, very considerable: viz. Against the fifth [supposed error of the father] Epiphanius says not a syllable; I think he does not so much as barely name it; and I remember nothing in St. Jerome about it, but such admirations as these "That the devils should become angels again! and Judas a saint!"-And since he has been pleased to say no more; I shall not say much, but only, what difference is there between a devil made an angel, and an angel made a devil? I am sure the advantage lies on the ascending part, rather than on the descending; for the mercy and compassion of God to all other works of his hands, may reasonably be supposed to help them up, though undeserving; but there is nothing in his most righteous nature, which would cast them down with their high deminerit. But if St. Jerome wondered at this restitution, as certain, or easy, or of short despatch, tis his own mistake he wondered at, not Origen's opinion, at least in the two last particulars.
"What Methodius disputes from the nature and reason of punishment, against Origen's making the terrestrial body doμor nas ridas, [the bond or confinement of the soul] if it be applied to the final punishment which God will inflict upon all the obdurately wicked in the end of this world, will as much confirm this fifth opinion, as he imagined through mistake of the father's doctrines, and a pedantic accuracy in the use of a word, it would weaken the third; and so he really gives the father as much with one hand as he bat thinks he takes from him with the other. For he very largely disputes in his Socratical way, that all punishment is curative, and for the emendation of the suffering party."
"Some there are that think those phrases of pavior, and xinais acer [i. e. everlasting fire, and everlasting punishment] and the like, cannot be reconciled with Origen's opinion. But these objectors seem to take the word [rendered everlasting] from scholastic definitions, rather than from the true and lawful masters of language, or the authentic rule of its popular use. For 'tis notoriously known, that the Jews, whether writing in Hebrew or Greek, do by Gnolam and aion mean
any remarkable period of duration, whether it be of life, or dispensation, or polity. Any of which periods, if plainly computable by a known time, they do then define it by a set number of years; but others which are not so known, they simply express by Gnolam, and a leaving the length of them to be determined according to the subject matter; which, where it is such as comprehends more than a single determinable a they express it in Hebrew by the phrase of Lagnolam vagned, in Greek by sister autora naixi or S τις αιώνας, and εις αιώνας των αιώνων. by none of these do they mean a scholastic eternity; unless the nature of the thing then expressed require such interminable duration. And hence the period of this world is called
OTUS, when yet there is another to succeed, av xiv. And as these ans differ, so would also the meaning of be different according as it was applied to the one or the other of them. And so in the plural, Christ is said to appear and suffer, UTI six rayar, when yet the longest av of all was not then come. And he of whom it is said, Thy throne, O God is, uç rèv aiæra ti av [for ever and ever] yet to 'deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, and to be subject himself to him, who did subject all things to him.' So that here is plainly an end to that reign which is said to be for ever and ever. And as a way does not in Scripture signify from all eternity, in the sense of the schools, so by the same reason ought not is ava to signify to all eternity, in the same notion: and is not ava, and as all one? Every lexicographer and expositor will furnish you with authorities enough to confirm what I have said: and I leave you to judge, whether the whole subject matter in this periodical doom, the nature of that fire and its fuel, the power of a spirit incorporate, be not such as will enforce us to make it shorter than some men do; who hav ing got easy ways of assuring themselves it shall not be their portion, do as little pity those calamitous souls whose lot it may be, as they darkly fancy God himself does. But though we from the reason of things and right use of the words, do make it shorter than they do; yet according to our hypothesis, the whole punishment of pain and death will necessarily be so long, as may justly be called air, in a very high sense of the word.
"But if out of filial respect to the authority of our dear mother the Church of England, you are yet something backward to give assent to the probability of Origen's doctrine, I would have you first to consider, that all those that write and preach in this nation, are not her sons, no more than they of Geneva, Scotland, or New England are. Secondly, I would fain know why she, who in her xxxix articles does so punctually follow the articles agreed upon in King Edward's days, or with little variation, should wholly omit that article which condemns the restorers of this opinion, if she had thought it ought to have been condemned."-Thus far this excellent and ingenious author.
This doctrine has been cultivated by seve
reason, and such a cloud of witnesses to the truth of this doctrine, the design and endeavours of the editor of this work may yet meet with a more favourable reception, as in a time when the broken state of the Church obliges all to be looking towards the first foundation of it; and the revival of apostolical truths as well as practice, is so highly needful.
ral others; as, SADLER, in his Olbia; PETER ground in Scripture, so great strength in STERRY, author of The Freedom of the will; the author of the Enochian walks with GOD, and the Revelation of the everlasting Gospel Message, to which an excellent preface is prefixed, running very deep into the rationale of it; as also by a Scotch gentleman, author of the Cabalistical epistle, printed in the Theosophical Transactions, No. 5, where he brings in the testimonies of the Jewish Rabbis conspiring also to the truth of this great point, with several others. But I must contain myself; and hope what is advanced may be sufficient to show, that this opinion is not so strange and unusual, nor counted so absurd a tenet by the pious and learned, both of elder and later times, as it is by the generality imagined to be.
And it may be further hoped, that seeing upon examination there appears so good
And lastly, if there be any thing stipt in the edition that may be complained of, he hopes it will be candidly censured, not having enjoyed his health for some time, during the attendance upon the press; so that it has necessarily been subject to various interruptions, and also changes from one hand to another; and so I shall no longer detain the reader from the body of the work itself; wishing him the satisfaction and benefit that it designs, and is also capable of giving him,
PREFACE TO. THE THIRD LONDON EDITION.
THE first edition of this work was printed for Cliffe & Jackson, at the Three Crowns in the Poultry, 1712. Another edition was printed for J. Woodword, in Scalding Alley near Stocks-market, and J. Morphew near Stationer's Hall, to which no date was prefixed: the present is printed from that of 1712. The writer of the preceding preface (for some particular reason) thought proper, at the publishing the book, to conceal the name of the author.
Neither in Bayle's nor in the Biographical Dictionary, is there any mention made of JEREMIAH WHITE;-the principal particulars I have read concerning him, are to be found in Dr. Calamy's account of ejected ministers, printed in 1713. Page 5, he says,
"Mr. JEREMIAH WHITE, M. A. was fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, and after wards preacher to the Council of State, and household chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. He lived privately after the Restoration,preaching occasionally, without ever undertaking any pastoral charge. His conversation was very facetious, and much valued by some persons of rank and figure: he died anno 1707, Et, 78-I know not of any thing of his writing being printed in his life-time, besides a funeral sermon for Mr. Francis Fuller, and since his death, a treatise of his has been published in octavo, entitled, A Persuasive to moderation and forbearance in love, among the divided forms. of Christians, in which more of his works are promised."
In Dr. Calamy's 1st volume of the Continuation, page 85, is as follows:
[* This edition was printed in London, in the year 1779; for John Denis & Son, Booksellers, No. 2 Bridge street, near the Obelisk, Fleet street.]
| "Mr. JEREMIAH WHITE, had with a great deal of pains and charge made a collection of the sufferings of the dissenters by the penal laws, after the restoration in 1660, which contained an account of the ruin of many thousand families in the several parts of the kingdom. by the severities of those times; when King James the second came to the crown and gave the dissenters liberty, he was very much importuned by several to print this account. Some agents of King James were with him, and made him very considerable offers if he would publish it; but as circumstances then stood, he was not to be prevailed upon, for fear of strengthening the Popish interest, which I mention in honour to his memory.
"A book of his has been published since his death, entitled, 'The restoration of all things; or, A vindication of the goodness and grace of God,to be manifested at last in the recovery of his whole creation out of their fall,' octavo, 1712; but this is perfect Origenism, which is too unscriptural, too venturesome an hypothesis, to be depended on with safety."-So far Dr. Calamy's account.
But there was a book in quarto, printed 1683, entitled, The rise, race, and royalty of the kingdom of God in the soul, by PETER STERRY; to which a most excellent preface was wrote by JEREMIAH WHITE.
The author of the preceding preface having inserted some quotations, both ancient and modern, in support of the doctrine of the Restoration, I shall take the liberty to mention a few other authors, who have written upon the same subject.
Anno 1658, a small book, entitled, "Of the torments of hell, the foundation shaken and removed; with many infallible proofs that
there is not to be a punishment that shall never end:" page 180, the author writes,—
"Such torments, of such continuance, in the least agree not to the gracious mind and merciful heart of a saint-he desires not any man or creature to be in such torment an hour; therefore it doth in no way agree to the mind of God. We find, the more the Lord manifests himself in any, the more their minds and spirits are humbled, the more loving and merciful they are, even to their enemies, and can do them good for evil. Christ is full of love and mercy to the worst of men: it was truly said of Christ, that he was a friend of publicans and sinners.'"
In a quarto book, printed anno 1653, entitled, God's Light declared in Mysteries, page 12, he says, "Now, what is hell, or darkness? "Tis a separation from an enjoyment that it was capable of; that is hell, and devil, and liar, and fulse prophet: they shall not come forth till they have paid the utmost farthing, then shall they receive mercy. For know, that God is good, and just, and merciful, and he will not punish a finite thing infinitely."
RICHARD COPPIN, in his book called Truth's Testimony, printed 1655, says, "God hath declared in Scripture, both by the mouths of his prophets and apostles, the salvation of all men without respect of persons, 1 Tim. ii. 4-6. He will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth: for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to he testified in due time.' Then may we say, 'Lord, who hath resisted thy will? Let thy will be done. Paul says, "That as by one man death came to all, so by one life and salvation to all; else Christ were not sufficient to save all that Adam lost."
WILLIAM ERBURY, minister in South Wales, appointed by the Committe in Oliver Cromwell's time,at a salaryof £100 per annum, preached publicly the restoration of all men, and is charged by Mr. Edwards, in his Gangrena, p. 109, with holding many gross errors, one of which was that of universal redemption. This Erbury, although he had nothing to depend on for the support of himself and family but his salary, was obliged to throw it up, his conscience accusing him of preaching for hire: he published a treatise on that account, called The Terror of Tythes, alluding to the anxiety of his mind whilst he received them.
The late Dr. CHEYNE held this world to be a state of punishment, and in his discourses, p. 27, says, "Some individuals may be delivered sooner, some later, according as their expiation and purification is perfected; and at last, the whole system and all its inhabitants, must naturally and necessarily, be harmoniously or analogically, and according to general laws, undergo some great and violent crise, and an universal gaol delivery will be brought about, but when and how this will be accomplished, is beyond conjecture."
Dr. THOMAS BURNET, master of the Charter House, and author of a book entitled "The Theory of the Earth, left a treatise in Latin,
that was not printed in England before his death, entitled, The State of Departed Souls; page 343, he says,-"The soul flies from the thought and abhors the remembrance of everlasting misery; and several things have. occurred to me, while I have been thinking on this subject, by which I am sensible that others have been persuaded, as well as myself, that God neither will or can endure the perpetual affliction and torment of his own creatures.”—p. 344. "That God should condemn his own creatures to a state of eternal misery, and should retain them in that state, seems to be repugnant both to divine wisdom and goodness, and I may add likewise, to justice."
The second volume of The World Unmasked, or, The Philosopher the greatest Cheal, translated from the French, is a series of letters, proving from Scripture and reason the restoration of all men.
The late Rev. WILLIAM Law, so well known by many pious divines, in his Letters, 1st edit. octavo, printed in 1766, says, page 175,-"As for the purification of all human nature, either in this world or some after ages, I fully believe it."
I beg leave particularly to address myself to those readers, who believe in God's revealing himself to his creatures now, as well as heretofore, and that do not agree to that generally adopted theory, that, "Revelation is ceased;" to such I will quote a passage from Mr. MARSAY, a German; a small part of his works has been translated into English, and printed in Scotland, 1749, and is entitled, Dis courses on Subjects relating to a Spiritual Life. Page, 165, speaking of the Restoration, he says:-"Esau and Pharaoh shall not be excluded from this act of grace, glory be to God in the highest! For all the kingdoms of the earth, even unto the most unfathomable depths, shall be subjected unto our God, and to his Christ: Thou wilt bring back all into thy sheep-fold, there shall not one be want ing."
Mr. MARSAY, in different parts of his works, speaks of his having several revelations made to him of spiritual things, and in particular mentions, that he was under a necessity to assert the universal restoration of all things. In his Comment on the Revelations, 2 vols. 12mo, in French, he has asserted many wonderful and extraordinary things, which he says were manifested to him by revelation. The first treatise that was printed of his, was not wrote till the year 1735. The late Count Zinzindorf was with him some time where he resided: and 'tis but a few years since Mr. Marsay died.-There are many other authors besides the above, who have wrote on the restoration of all men; and great numbers of Protestants, have and do hold the doctrine of a middle state. [See Campbell's Doctrine of a Middle State, folio, printed anno, 1721.] I doubt not, but the late reverend and pious Mr. HERVEY, was he alive, and charged with holding the doctrine of a middle state, would be ready to oppose it, lest it should have any the least tendency towards the Romish doctrine of Purgatory, or a state of purification. Yet Mr. HERVEY, in his Letters,
, page 240, speaking of souls departed, says, They rejoice in the prospect, the assuring and refreshing prospect of receiving all the fulness of their everlasting felicity. I said fulness; for though the felicity of the soul is great, yet it will not be complete till the body is re-united into it."-If Mr. Hervey's words are true, it certainly must be allowed they are placed in a middle state, beyond this mortal world, but not arrived to fulness of bliss. Now what I would desire is this, that those Christians that have so great an aversion to the word purgatory would only change it to purification, and admit it possible that a soul in that middle state may, for ought we know, have a growth in the spiritual life, as well there as in this world, if not more so, if they are better acquainted with the certainty of rewards and punishments than in this life. It is certain, the doctrine of purgatory as held by the Romish Church ought justly to be exploded, especially that part of it by which they reap a temporal profit from the gifts they receive for praying souls out of it. But on the other hand it is also certain, that praying for the dead was the constant practice of the Church for many ages, it was allowed and practiced by our first reformers, and has been approved of by many sincere Protestants.
As to those that assert, "That this world is the only place of probation," they assert more than they know, and if they are really sincere and pious Christians, more than they ought; for, as every real Christian allows the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and as some Christians have said, that they from that Spirit assert the Restoration, those that oppose it so strenuously, might do well to consider, whether or not it is not possible for another person's spiritual knowledge to exceed their's; and, if so, whether the assertion may not be a truth, although not apparent to them? God is said in Scripture to be no respecter of persons," and with regard to his Almightiness need be no respecter of places and if Adam could be tempted in Paradise, which as they tell us, was a place of bliss and excellency, why should the state of souls be fixed in futurity, any more than it was in Paradise or on this earth? We find, in Luke xviii. 27, when the people said to JESUS CHRIST, "Who then can be saved?" Christ answered, "The things that are impossible with men are possible with God." If we believe Christ really spoke those words, why should any man so violently oppose this doctrine; more especially, as the Scriptures so often tell us, and all men naturally agree to it, that "Gon is love;" that "fury is not in him;" that "his tender mercies are over all his works;" that “he keepeth not his anger forever?" Yet, in direct opposition to these gracious characters of the Almighty, the doctrine of eternal damnation asserts the contrary. I would ask, can that power be merciful, that dooms a creature to eternal misery Can it be said, "He keepeth not his anger forever," whilst any souls are continually to feel it? Can his "tender mercies," be felt by those that are condemned to feel for ever
and ever the utmost pain and torment? No, certainly it cannot. There are many thousands would gladly embrace the doctrine of the Restoration, did they not read in Scripture that of everlasting punishment; although it is allowed by all the learned in the languages, that the word translated everlasting, is not so, but only ages. How long or short a time those ages last, is known to Gon only. And here I cannot but think the words of Mr. POPE, in his Universal Prayer, worthy the most cordial reception:
"Let not this weak and erring hand
"If I am right, thy grace impart
Would men but reflect a little on the above excellent lines, they would not be so hasty in their judgments.
The Rev. Mr. RICHARD CLARKE, in a book of his,published in 1763,entitled, “A voice of glad tidings to Jews and Gentiles," page 134,says,"Whatever those spurious saints may think, who write their own names in the book of life, with a creed in their mouths after babbling forth its blasphemies and lies against God and his Christ, they indeed make it one of the highest joys in heaven, to view the miseries, and to hear the deep groans and dreadful shrieks of the damned in the never-ending torments of hell-fire. It is of no moment whether they are their parents or children in this horrible situation, which would reserve heaven itself to any but themselves. They write upon this ground with that abundance out of which the heart speaketh, so rejoiced do they seem in the distant idea of being spectators of eternal wrath and vengeance, that it would darken their joys to be told, that the first in salvation are to be kind ministers and instruments of saving others who are lost; under the Lord, the eldest of the elders, who according to the royal law appointed for princes, (and they are also kings in the heavenly worlds) must be servants to the later born, though those are punished for a while, and are under a very just rod and chastisement for their wilful obstinacy and stiff neck in sin and disobedience."
I hope the candid reader will not be offended at the passages here quoted from these authors. I could easily have enlarged the number of them, but I think these are suffi cient to show, that eternal damnation is not an article of faith with all men. And indeed if those that oppose the doctrine of Restora tion will allow, that God can save all mankind, if he will, I am at a loss to know how they can make damnation an article of faith at all, unless they attribute the same or worse passions to God than man. I know many say, "The glory of God requires it;" but I am led to think, that God can neither be glorified nor debased by all the actions of men. Man may receive from God, but cannot give