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peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke xix. 41, 42. Now let any person, whose mind is unwarped by prejudice, read the above instances of providential visitation, and will not truth oblige him to acknowledge, that they are instances of inflicted punishment, but punishment inflicted upon the offenders in wrath and not in mercy-inflicted by a holy, indignant Deity; not as a Father, but as a moral Governor, not for the benefit of the transgressors, but as the just deservings of their crimes ?
If then, punishments, not corrective in :heir nature, have been visibly displayed before the eyes of the world-if they are left on record for mour admonition on whom the ends of the world have come;")—why, we ask, may not punishments of a similar character, reach the case of those in another world, who, in this, “fill up the measure” of their iniquities, who shave no hope in their death but are driven away in their wickedness,”—especially, as the Scriptures give us this representation, and only this representation, of them? “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
We read of some, to whom God, it was said, should send “strong delusion” and that for a specified purpose. Now what was this purpose ? On the Universalist -scheme, it must be for a gracious purpose, to promote their good; for according to this system, all judicial visi. tations, as well as others, have, and cannot but have, a beneficial, a gracious object in view-whether inflicted here or hereafter the good of the parties concerned is kept steadily in view. But with all due deference to the superior judgments of our opponents, we take the liberty of saying this was not the object; but the specified purpose of sending the “strong delusion” to those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" was their Damnation; and we form our belief of this upon the explicit testimony of St. Paul, an inspired Apostle, who, it is reasonable to suppose, without intend
ing any affront to our very learned friends,” was, at least, as well acquainted with his MASTER'S WILL, as any Universalist-Divine under the sun. For fear we might" be charged with being 'wise above that which is written,'' we quote the passage in full. “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighte. ousness.” 2 Thess. ii. 10–12. To reconcile this passage with the tenets of Universalism, we think, would be a difficult, if not a hopeless task.
Again:-if future punishments be corrective in their nature and designed for the spiritual benefit of the suffering parties, we should naturally suppose that God would ever be found” of those who "seek” him, and
near” to save those who "call upon him." But there is a time in this world, as well as in the future world, when we are informed, that God will not be near to them who call upon him, nor be found of those who seek him. In this world. “Because I called and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; &c. Then shall they call upon me, BUT I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my coun. sel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore, shall they eat of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” Prov. i. 24–32. In the world to come. "And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other (the foolish) virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said”-(what? wait-and after you have suffered for such a length of time, I will open
the door of heaven and admit you to myself:-10, but,) "verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Matt. xxv. 10 -12. "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are-depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” Luke xiii. 25–27. On this leading principle of the Bible, we are exhorted.--"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near.” Is. lv. 6.
Again :-" If the punishment of hell be a mere wholesome discipline, then what the Apostle says of the discipline of christians in this life, may be said with equal truth and propriety of the punishment of the damned: thus, We glory in damnation, knowing that damnation worketh repentance and repentance salvation."(9)
Lastly: &e. We are taught to ascribe our salvation to God and the Lamh, and that the ascription of this praise, will be the burden of the songs of the redeemed in heaven. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof : for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God By thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, &c. beard I saying, blessing, and honour and glory and power, bo unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Rev. v. 9–13.
But, if the punishment, inflicted upon the damned be corrective and should prove efficacious in purifying and saving their souls, and introducing them to the society of
(9) President Edward's Treatise.
the heavenly world, the burden of their song, amid the hallelujahs of the glorified saints, will be not unto the Lamlı, or hin that sitteth on the throne-But-unto HELL-FIRE be ALL the glory of OUR SALVATION ! Horrid ! Can the idea be ever entertained, that the Deity Himself, by emendatory sufferings in another world, will give occasion for notes, so harsh and discor. dant, to disturb the soft and holy symphonies, harmonious as the music of the spheres, which, raised in honour of Himself, and of the Lamb, swell through the lofty arches of Heaven? It is impossible; and yet this would follow, were future punishment merely corrective in its nature. Future punishment, therefore is not corrective, or designed for the good of those who suffer the veogeance of an infinitely holy and offended God.
A consideration of the other means will be found in the next Chapter.
OR PREACHED, NOT A MEANS USED FOR THE RECO-
ANSWERED. Having shown that the means for the salvation of the darnned, cannot be the punishnient itself, we come now to consider whether they are to be found in the particulars mentioned in a preceding page. (1)
The word of God read or preached, was stated to be one means of present salvation. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Rom. i. 15. " So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Id. x. 17. “In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation." Eph. i. 13. · It should also be remembered, that it is the gospel as it now is which is the power of God unto salvation, and not another. " But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let bim be accursed.” Gal. i. 8.
(1) See Page.