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to him: again as Mr. Pops well expresses, say if they can, they really think those peo
"What blessings thy free bounty gives
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives:
To enjoy is to obey."
ple acting in that manner do believe even a future state! Sorry I am to say it, but I have observed in general, amongst those that make little or no profession of religion, more affability, generosity, and humanity than in I beg the reader's pardon for detaining him the others. If this is really the case, what so long; but knowing many people are un-harm can proceed from adopting the belie acquainted, that this doctrine of the Restora- of a general restoration, when all those that tion is believed in and espoused by such a do believe it unanimously agree, that in provariety of authors, and at so many different portion to the wickedness of their lives will periods of time, was the reason, why I added another preface to this edition. I know I shall be condemned by those that oppose the Restoration, and censured by many others that do believe in it. The first will call it "a damnable doctrine;" the others will say, that "publishing of it, opens a door to all manner of licentiousness; for if they are sure they shall go to heaven, it is no matter how they live!"-Of the first I would only desire, whenever they go about to condemn me, that they would only bear in mind the words of Christ, I JUDGE NO MAN :-if they regard this, I am sure they will not proceed to condemnation. As for the last, I would beg of them to look around, and see if the doctrine of eternal damnation has that effect, to make mankind act as if they believed it true; let them only consider the general actions of men, from the prince to the peasant,-how pride, avarice, and cruelty, is the spring of almost all their actions; and then let them
be their punishment both as to pain and duration? For myself I can only say, that as I do believe God has the power to restore all mankind from their fallen state to a state of happiness, I cannot avoid believing he has the will (if I dare to say will, when I mention Gon) to do it; and that in Gon is neither anger, resentment, or any of those passions attributed by man to him. I allow, man, by his evil ways may bring on himself those racks and pains that he calls anger from God, but surely it is no more so in itself as to the creature, than the surgeon's instrument is to the body in particular cases. I could rather believe, there were no God at allthan to say he cannot perfect his work, or that he could designedly bring into existence millions of beings to be in pains and agonies to all eternity: I must say, I detest the thought.-I hope the readers will pardon this digression, and am their sincere well-wisher. J. D.
PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION.*
WHEN Cromwell was elevated to the Pro-, tectorship, popular zeal ran highest against the Catholic religion, and that of the Church of England, then generally termed prelacy. It would be a most difficult task to give a true picture of the Protector's character. Nearly all historians have agreed in representing him to have been a canting hypocrite; and no one, perhaps, has done this more effectually than Mr. Hume. Bishop Burnet remarks, that he was for liberty, and the utmost latitude to all parties, so far as consisted with the peace and safety of his person and government; and therefore he was never jealous of any cause or sect, on the account of heresy or falsehood, but on his wiser accounts of political peace and quiet and even the prejudice he had for the Episcopal party, was more for their being royalists, than for being of the good old church." The historian of the Puritans gives him a similar character. "The Protector was a Protestant, but affected to go under no denomination or
This preface, which is as appropriate here as though prepared expressly for this publication, is copied entire from an excellent work by Rev. Thomas Whittemore, published in Boston in 1830, and entitled, "The Modern History of Universalism, from the era of the Reformation to the present time."
party: he had Chaplains of all persuasions; and though he was by principle an independent, he esteemed all reformed Churches as part of the Catholic Church and without aiming to establish any tenets by force or violence, he witnessed, on all occasions, an extreme zeal for liberty of conscience." The cruel laws of the Parliament if they had at first a little force, were soon abrogated both by the spirit of the times, and an express statute. The army, which at this time was not to be slighted in any of its requests, petitioned "that all penal statutes and ordinances whereby many conscientious people were molested, and the propagation of the gospel hindered, might be removed;" but from this liberty Papists, and the members of the Church of England were excluded. This petition not long after was passed into a law and thereby all the former laws against erro neous opinions were repealed. The same toleration was provided for in the Instrument of Government, which was drawn up at the time Cromwell was declared Protector. By this toleration, the inculcation of Universalism was permitted without restraint, while
*For the articles of this instrument, as well as similar articles of another provision made in 1657, the reader is referred to the work from which this preface is taken, pp. 73, 74.
to deny the doctrine of the Trinity was prohibited. Political motives probably had so great an influence in the framing of these articles, that we are not permitted to award to their authors that high praise to which they would otherwise have been entitled. For if this indulgence to the various sects, sprang from a true love of religious liberty, why was so dishonourable an exception made to Catholics and Episcopalians?
Cromwell lived but a few years, to exercise regal power, in the character of a Protector; and being vested with the privilege of appointing his successor, he nominated, in his last moments, his son Richard to that high office. Richard, however, possessed not his father's talents; he was humane, honest and unassuming; and on the breaking out of dissentions after his father's death, he preferred rather to retire into private life, than to bear the storm of opposition and war in maintaining his dignity. The nation remained for a short time without any fixed government whatever; and finally, by the assistance of General Monk, who commanded an army in Scotland at the Protector's death, Charles II. took the throne, and restored the ancient order of things. As all the acts of Parliament without the consent of the king are null in themselves, so power alone was needed to make Episcopacy the national form of church government, and the xxxix Articles the established doctrine. The Act of Uniformity, whereby all those who refused to conform to the Established Church and worship, were rejected from her communion and emoluments, drove from their livings the clergy to the number of two thousand, and exalted to ease and affluence those who, in the administration of Cromwell, had been coupled with Papists, and made the subjects of a particular proscription. From this time until the present, the government and faith of the Church of England have remained unchanged.
Among the clergy who were excluded by the Act of Uniformity, we may reckon Jeremy White, who had been chaplain to Cromwell, and preacher to the Council of State. He is said to have been a person of great facetiousness in his conversation; and his company, on that account, was much valued by persons of high rank. On one occasion, however, the Protector showed himself a match for his Chaplain in quickness of thought. White had paid a particular attention to one of Cromwell's daughters; and being once detected by the father on his knees before the young lady, he averted his indignation by saying that he was entreating her influence with her maid, to whom he had long paid his addresses without success. The father, knowing the artifice, upbraided the maid for her supposed neglect, and immediately ordered the marriage between her and the outwitted Chaplain to lake place.
It is probable his treatise on Universal Salvation was written before old age came on; for we are informed that he at first wrote voluminously, but towards the latter part of
his life, contracted the work, and prepared it for the press. Subsequently to the Restoration he preached occasionally, without undertaking any particular charge. With great pains and care he made a collection of the sufferings of the dissenters by the penal laws which were enacted in the reign of Charles II. wherein he gave an account of the ruin of several thousand families in different parts of the kingdom; but thinking it might subserve the cause of Popery, he rejected the importunity of some of King James' agents, and also large pecuniary rewards which were offered him to publish it. He died in the year 1707, aged 78.
"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,” was a posthumous work, and first printed five years after the author's death. As its title imports, its sole object is to set up and defend the doctrine of Universal Salvation, which is done entirely upon the ground of the Scriptures, according to the views he entertained of them. He had imbibed an aversion to the Arminian principles, which, previously to the Protectorship, had been the doctrine of many of the English prelates; hence he contends strenuously for predestination, election and reprobation; and he prized the views of the final happiness of all mankind, the more highly, because they enabled him to reconcile the decrees of God with his infinite benevolence. In the unchangeable plan of infinite wisdom, those who are elected and those who are reprobated will mutually benefit each other; the sanctification and salvation of the former are the pledge of the sanctification and salvation of the latter. He was a trinitarian, and held the doctrine of future punishment.
The pian of his work is as follows: in each chapter he produces the evidence on which he relies, and then anticipates and answers objections. His principal arguments are these: God will have all men to be saved. This is a will of authority, of supreme sovereignty; it is a fixed, determinate, irrevocable, purpose of him who ordains the means as well as the end. Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for all men without any exception; and God is the Saviour of all men, finally, in the world to come. Jesus preached to the spirits in prison, men that were gone off the stage of this world; and he was not unsuccessful like Noah, but reclaimed the disobedient, who lived afterward according to God in the spirit. Mercy is promised to the most rebellious of our race, and the gospel according to the divine command, is to be preached to every creature. That all things are to be restored, is evident from Paul's testimony both to the Ephesians, and Collossians: we have the assurance of this truth in the character of God, who is love, whose perfections are all love, and to which his very anger is subservient: and lastly, the Scriptures assure us of the complete abounding of grace over all sin and all death.
THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS.
THE great Apostle who lay in the bosom of his Lord, and partook of his intimate favours, as the disciple of Love, and consequently most nearly admitted into the secrets of God; and the revelation of his nature and goodwill towards men; and yet further grace and glories to be manifested in his Church, tells us, as in singular expression of the divine nature, that it is LOVE. 1 John, iv. 8. "He that loveth not, knoweth not GOD: for God is love." And again, ver. 16. "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." And this is indeed the greatest of all the revelations given through this great apostle. God in the expression of his nature is not said to be justice, to be wisdom, to be power, but to be just, wise, powerful, &c. Though yet in a more metaphysical sense it may be said, God is justice itself, wisdom itself, and power itself, i. e. in the abstract; but yet so as these and all his other attributes and per-vour of God again; and the outflowing anger fections concur together, and harmonize in unity, to make up the nature of God. And thus love is all: and "God is love." And love is a unity, the most perfect unity, which is all in one. And it is a variety, all variety displayed in that unity, in most perfect excellence and beauty. Yea, love is a Trinity in unity; this is involved in the very idea and nature of love, as we must here necessarily take it in its utmost perfection, and its eternally triumphant act. In God or Love, as the unity, there must be the eternal loving or Lover; the eternally loved, or beloved; and the eternal product, or fruit, of that love, or love in its manifestation, which as it is brought forth within the bosom of its Parent, i. e. love derivative in the bosom of Love original, which is infinite, cannot be excluded, or exist in a separate essence, but must abide forever in the womb of its conception, and consequently re-act eternally in love upon its original.
kind of co-equality and co-eternity with his love. His original justice is indeed co-eternal with himself, as the law of his divine nature, and the harmonious movements of it; and the glass or pattern of perfect righteousness and excellence exhibited for imitation and reflection of God in and from his creatures; but his strange work and movement in jus-. tice, i. e. in indignation against sin and sinners, as it was in accommodation to a movement of the creature, i. e. within the limits of time and accident; so as time and accident, and whatsoever implies a defect cannot be eternal, neither can this strange and acciden-, tal movement in God be so; but as his justice is subservient and acts to the end of his love which is supreme, the kindled fire in the severity of the Divine justice upon the hay and stubble, or the defect of sin, so hateful in the eye of God, must burn it up at last, and render the creature by such due chastisement and preparation capable of the grace and fa
And as this necessary truth of the glorious Trinity in unity in the perfect nature of God, has been perverted and denied by many, through the extravagant sallies and presumption of human reason in things above its line and capacity; so the general nature of God also as Love, has been by most of the schemes of later orthodoxy almost as much injured and misrepresented to the world; and a sort of confusion of the divine attributes introduced, derogatory to the unity, predominance and supremacy of love; which is the divine nature; in giving his justice as emanating or outflowing in its strange work, or anger, a
of God in strict vindictive justice, vindictive of the honour of the lese Majesty of God, and of his right to rule over, and in all his creatures according to his own eternal will and nature, i. e. in his love having done its work must be resumed itself at last into its primeval, eternal act, viz, of original justice, as moving in the unity of the eternal nature or love of God; and here according to its particular nature and office, maintaining and keeping all the works of God, viz. of the original and restored creation, in that eternal order and harmonious movement, in and for which he at first designed them, and in order to which his anger, or zeal of justice run out after them as rebels, to subdue and reduce them back again to their obedience to the Kingdom of Love.
I shall endeavour to make good this Hypo-. thesis in the following work; and that from the ground of Holy Scripture, which is pregnant of evidence to this great truth. And this design I shall pursue with all plainness imaginable, because all mankind is concerned in it, and therefore it is both reasonable and necessary my style should descend as low, and reach as far as my design, and be as universal in respect of the capacities of men, as it is for their interest.
The apostle saith in 1 Cor. xiii. 9, "We know but in part, and prophecy but in part." They that assume more than this, exalt themselves above that great apostle. I will, at present take it for granted, that God hath given forth what Scripture he intends, that the canon is perfect and sealed, but as God was
long and leisurely in giving it out, as the Greek speaks, Heb. i. 1. "So the mind of God therein is not understood but by portions, as He is pleased to give it forth." St. Peter tells us, the prophets themselves understood not the accents and imports of their own prophecies: God proportioning his discoveries with a kind of equality among his children and favourites, reserving some things for the last and youngest, that they who went before without us should not be made perfect. Heb. xi. 40.
That which occurs to me in my observation, as the Desiderandum, to loosen the hard knots and difficulties in the case, is the acknowledgment of a common, or rather universal grace and salvation, and the reconciling thereof, with special and peculiar grace and favour: which varieth not much from that which the apostle suggests to be wanting, as that, that would (when added) supply and perfect both our discovery, and our living in that forementioned love, 1 Cor. xiii.; which is ever spoken of with peculiar honour, as of a perfective nature, (1 John iv. 18.) and is called the bond of perfectness, Col. iii. 14. And, in John iv. 9. the apostle tells us, "We love God, because he first loved us." Until God's love in the heights and depths, and other the dimensions of it be known, the spring, the seed, the producing cause of our love to God, and our brother is wanting.
But this will appear plainly to our experience, in the instance of the controversy between the Orthodox, as they are vulgarly called, and the Arminians, in which so many learned and pious pens on both sides have sweat and tired themselves and their readers, but not satisfied them; for all that hath been hitherto suggested by the first, doth by no means salve those harsh phenomenas of an appearing harshness in God, in the exercise of that sovereign prerogative of his, which they most rightly allow to him, and which is necessarily vested in him as Supreme; but thus exercised with the irreparable damage of the creature, justly seems so disagreeable to his goodness, that from hence the latter, viz. Arminians, have with (it may be) a pure intention of mind, run into another most absurd extreme, and have taken occasion thereby to ascribe a power unto man, and a freedom of will absolute and independent as to those acts relating to a future state, setting him up in a capacity of a right conduct of himself, and by common grace, to the making void and needless the covenant of grace, and the blood of Christ himself in the high and glorious ends of it. And all this market for Satan hath been made, by not rightly discerning and stating the sovereign prerogative of God, and the qualified and righteous exercise thereof; wherein, although he fully displays the glory of his wisdom, holiness, justice, and severity in the suffering of man to make a full discovery of himself, his own defectibility, vertibility, mutability, vanity, and pride, and also punishes him for the same according to his works. Yet this not finally and irremediably so as to abandon and forget his grace and goodness forever: nay, he gives scope to those glories, those other glories of
his, to manifest themselves so fully, in order to that sweetest, fullest, and most triumphant glorious close he will make at last, when all shall meet and end in grace and love, as in a stately pyramid or top stone, they being all but steps to this throne, and guarders of it. And thus also, all the sin, vanity, and instability of the creature (which is the matter and occasion about which those subordinate glories are employed and exercised) shall at last issue and break up into the wonderful and glorious manifestation of the wisdom and goodness of God, into an admirable foil and set-off to his immutability and eternity. And if sin and punishment be but instrumental in God's design, and subordinate to an higher and more ultimate project and end, then it must be bounded and circumscribed within a certain space and limit of time, how great soever that be, be it for the whole course of time, which may be therefore termed for ever and everlasting, comprehending this world, and the world next to come, which are both of them but a double parenthesis in eternity; yet as it had a beginning, so it must have an end, and must lie down and yield up itself in that abyss of boundless and endless love and grace which was before it, and let it come forth for its own glory, and must shine forth in the perfect conquest and subduing of it to the harmony of the first all-comprehending design, as the sun without a cloud forever.
And here I do, in the fear of God, most humbly prostrate myself before his Divine Majesty, and in the deepest sense of my own darkness and distance from him, do with all my might beg of that infinite goodness I am endeavouring to represent to others, that if something like to this platform and prospect of things, be not agreeable to that revealed and natural light he hath given to us, that my undertaking may be interrupted, my design fall, and that the Lord would pardon my attempt: and I know he will do so, for he hath given me to have no further concern for this matter, than as I apprehend it to be a most glorious truth, witnessed to both by the Scriptures of truth, and by the most essential principles of our own reason, and which will be found so at the last opening of the everlasting Gospel, to recover in that opening a degenerate world. But if this be a true draught and representation of the glorious designment of the ever blessed goodness of the great God, who is goodness itself, and if the Holy Scriptures and right reason do bear witness unto it, how clear, how fair, how open lies the way before us to justify the sovereign power, and disposal of God, which he exercises by election and reprobation too, with all the methods he useth in his holy and glorious wisdom and prudence, in giving way to the entrance of sin, and then enflaming the anguish of it by the law, that he may thereby have occasion to glorify his justice and wrath against it, and so make his way to the more glorious illustration of his grace and love in the close. And how apposite, effectual, and justifiable a course of proceeding will the way of God now appear in humbling poor, proud man, in bringing him to his foot, making him to know himself, how frail and
foolish a thing he is, how unfit for the conduct | Amen to it, provided it be agreeable to God, of himself, will appear from the light which and what his word will countenance and the end and design of God therein reflects own; for under no other law or condition can upon it, which is but to make him a meet and we groundedly rejoice in any doctrine, than subject spouse for his own embraces at last, as it bears the impress and stamp of divine having no will, no wisdom, nothing of his authority, and tends to his glory, to which all own to rejoice or glory in, but to be wholly must bow: for heaven itself must pass away, given up as a passive subject for this all- rather than the gospel be innovated, or anoglorious and ever-pregnant fulness to empty ther gospel broached, how gratifying or acand pour forth himself into and upon to all ceptable soever to our fleshly minds. Upon eternity. this supposition then, I conclude this doctrine must be acceptable and welcome to every good man.
In a word, in this account and prospect there is, as we shall see in the sequel of this discourse, nothing omitted, nothing quarrelled, nothing excluded of all the ways and methods of God with men, which have been by good minds variously contended for.
Here his universal grace doth no longer thrust out his special and peculiar favour. Reprobation here will be found consisting with election, yea, damnation itself with salvation; here all those knots which the other systems of divinity have hitherto tyed faster, are in a great measure loosened.
It is a fond self-love which computes the riches of God's grace, from that respect it hath to a man's self; but wherever a true and generous spirit of love and goodness doth reside, it will account that most rich and free which is of the largest extent. It is certainly no argument of rejoicing to a good man, that he here enjoys more than others do, for he would be better pleased if they were as hap py as himself, if he did not see or believe some wise and good ends why it is not so; Here all those difficulties in the Christian but none such can be found out for such a religion, which have so long perplexed the difference of cases in that state hereafter, as more thinking and enquiring minds, are, if we shall see more at large in its proper not quite removed, at least made so easy, that place. It is the nature of every good man to we may with some contentment and pleasure rejoice in the good of others, to take pleasure wait for that state which can alone perfectly in being instrumental thereto, and this his satisfy us. And yet all this while, nothing temper of mind is a participation of God, a of moment in Christianity is any way assault-beam, a ray, a spark of the divine image and ed and shaken, but all is much better estab-nature, and the highest perfection that the lished and confirmed, being hereby made one entire piece, most pure and pleasant from the highest truth, and the highest good, meeting both in one throughout the whole contri
Here the freedom and peculiarity of God's grace is fully reconciled to the amplitude and extent of it. Here we may behold the sovereignty, the absoluteness of God, and his goodness embracing each other with the greatest delight to him, and to us, whilst we now see this sovereignty and absoluteness of God to be sovereignly and absolutely good, and his goodness alone thus absolute and sovereign. Here all those false, barbarous and monstrous representations of a God are taken away which have hitherto hindered so many minds (otherwise ingenious) from owning of him, for fear they should at the same time they acknowledge the supreme Being, reproach and blaspheme him, by leaving out the highest and most essential perfection of his Deity, which is goodness, or at least making it more narrow, limited, and contracted, than that of a finite and imperfect crea
soul of man is capable of. If then we will do honour to God, and pronounce, according to our faculties, and the best light that heaven hath given us, must we not conclude that God is infinitely better, more loving, more tender, more pitiful and compassionate in all degrees both of intention and extension, than the very best, yea, than all the sons of men put together?
Now in the trial of this great concern and cause, I shall first produce the evidence I have for this scheme, and then answer the several objections which may be brought against it, and so leave the impartial reader, when he hath perused and considered what can be said on both sides, to pass his judg ment upon the whole matter. And here I desire again, that if I have a truth of God to manage, and this be the due season for the publishing of it, that he would throughout this whole discourse, prepare and assist my mind with that humility, purity, spirituality, light, love, and strength from his Holy Spirit, as may enable me to manifest it, as I ought, to all persons interested in it, and to maintain it against all the opposition I expect to meet Here, in a word, all the scenes of time, and with from all sorts of persons that have alall things done therein, are with an unspeak-ready found their satisfaction, and taken up able pleasure discovered and seen to be environed, encompassed, enfolded in the arms and embraces of eternity, lying down and resting there, as in the end to which they were eternally ordained.
He is not a Christian, he is not a man, he hath put off the tenderness and bowels of a man, he hath lost humanity itself, he hath not so much charity as Dives expressed in hell, that cannot readily cry out, "This is good news if it be true;" that will not say
their rest in their present measures of understanding. But if otherwise it be a delusion, a dream, a fancy, or the vision of my own brain, I do unfeignedly beseech God mercifully to stop my pen, that I may neither create trouble to myself, or to the church of God, which ought to be, and is more dear to me than myself.
I do also sincerely declare to all those who are partakers of that spirit, which is a spirit of meekness and divine love, as well as of