Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Mr. S.'s direct proof of eternal misery. One thing more Mr. S, mentions, and seems to consider as of weight, concerning the nature and constitution of man, as attended by the passions of hcpe and fear; which, be thinks, are far more advantageously addressed, on the system of eternal sin and misery, than on that of eternal virtue and happiness.

Page 105. "It ought further to be considered, that the minds of men are so constructed by their Creator, as to be powerfully moved by addressing the p flu n» of hope and fear. Those who deny this,, or who think it is a consideration of little weight in the present inquiry, betray great ignorance both of themselves and of human nature. Tim is one principal mean, by which God governs his universe of intelligent creatures. In order for this, there must be objects of hope and fear. And we sind them in the construction of nature ; in the special dispensations of providence; and we also sind them revealed in the holy scriptures." On p. 106. speaking of the Universalists, he fays, "Though they leave to us the objects of hope; they take away the objects of sear, and these, are necessary to be combined in the present state, both for self government and for a public order."

It (eems Mr. S. allows, that Universalists have left the motive entire, which is addressed to the hopes of the human heart; but that he charges them with taking away that which peculiarly as. sects the fears of men. And, in doing this he supposes.

[ocr errors]

poses, they have removed a principal inducement to self government, and injured the interests of society and of public order. A heavy charge. It ought -to have been substantially supported. But not one spark of evidence, in support of this heavy charge, do we sind; nor the least attempt to. wards producing any. But whether this be fair, ingenuous, and gentleman-like conduct in Mr. S, 1 freely submit to the reader to judge.

However, we will not be disheartened and saint in our minds, on account of an unsupported charge. We may possibly give some satisfaction to our sellow citizens, and to the world, by endeavoring -to show that she charge itself is unjust and unfounded. According to the system of Universalism, God is the Father and the friend of all his creatures. He loves the human race; and has so constructed his scheme of creation and moral government, as to admit the holiness and happiness of every (on and daughter of Adam. And, by the introduction of a mediatorial plan of providence, he hath insured the siaal virtue and happiness of all men, in perfect consistency with his own highest glory, and the greatest selicity of all virtuous beings.

On the opposite system, God is the father and thf friend of all virtuous beings, and of all the elect a. mongst mankind. He loves the elect; and hatb sn constructed his scheme of creation and moral g ,verament, as to admit the holiness and happiness of his elect. And, by the introduction of a mediatorial plan of providence, he hath insured the sinal virtue and happiness of all the elect; and, at the fame time, hath left a great, if not the greatest, part of mankind, to be eternally sinful and miserable, for his own greatest glory and blessedness, and the greatest glory and bltssedness of bis holy intelligent kingdom. to wickedminds, and hath a fatal tendency to fix them in the security of death. *

Now, I ask the reason and seelings of mankind, which scheme of creation and providence represents Cod in the best light, that which includes, and is designed to render virtuous and happy, the whole human race? or that scheme of creation and providence, which excludes, and never was designed to Tender virtuous and happy, a great part of the human race? I ask again, which scheme of creation and providence is best calculated, in its own nature, to induce mankind to love, and sear, and serve God?

That God, who hath excluded millions of millions of his rational creatures, in one single small province of his dominions, from virtue and happiness, to all eternity, cannot be loved. According to the best ideas mankind are capable of forming of justice, rectitude, and mercy; this is unjust, wrong, unmerciful. At the fame time that the mediatorial plan of providence holds out the certainty of the eventual salvation of. all men, it positively proclaims, that," he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved: and he that believeth not shall be damned." It is the invariable language, even of that "grace of

God

[ocr errors]

God which bringeth salvation to all men>" that we must " deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, and righteously, and godly in the world j" so that no man has the least right to expect to be happy, before he is virtuous and holy; but must be miserable, so long as he is vicious.

If we cannot consider God as dealing persectly Tight, and with kindness and'mercy towards all his creatures; we cannot love him; and if we cannot love him we shall not so sear him, as to be induced to obey him. If so, dissoluteness of manners, disorder, and every species of vice will presently prevail.

A reflection Mr. S. made, in the [ad part of his book, whilst treating on the divine benevolence, concerning a loose sense of that word benevolence, was then reserred to this part of my examination, to be considered as an objection against universal salvation. The reflection was this, " This loose sense of the word will be very agreeable to sinful minds, and hath a fatal tendency to six them in the security of death."

Mr. S. lets us know what he means by this loose fense of the word benevolence, p. 114. "Benevolence applied to the divine character, in the loose sense that many use the word, means the fame as that all creatures will be made happy." This is the loose sense of the word benevolence, when it is so explained, as to signify that God is so benevolent as to will and intend the salvation of all men. This is the composition of the word whkh is very agreeable

to

[ocr errors]

If any doctiine really tends to licentiousness, it is an objection against it. But those who use the word benevolence, in what Mr. S. is pleased to call the loose sense of it, are far from allowing that their sense os the word tends to licentiousness.

The reader, undoubtedly, recollects that, in the sirst part of this work, I presented him with two schemes of creation and moral government of men. The sirst of those schemes is that which Mr. S. espouses. The other, that which we consider to be the true one. I could almost be willing to reser the two schemes, without any comment, to the judgment of the reader; to determine which of them has the evil tendency. And, were I satissied of the good judgment and impartiality of the reader, I should have no hesitation at submitting them as they are. But as it would be a great stretch of charity, to suppose that every reader is both judicious and impartial, I am free to make a few observations on the bad tendency which is suggested. Aud here, Mr. S., I hope, will permit me to take into consid* eration the tendency of his scheme of divine benevolence, as well as the other.

The sirst inquiry, concerning any system of doctrine, ought to be, is it true? If it be true, we need not give ourselves great anxiety about its tendency, or consequences, as no truth has, in its nature, a bad tendency. Evil minds may pervert and abuse truths,

even

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »