Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Ghost," setting his eyes on him who withstands him and who seeks to turn away the people from the faith,-and addressing him as he did Elymas the sorcerer—"O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord ?"Acts xiii. 8-10. Well; --we leave the present matter between Paul and the Universalist. If we believe the latter, we must reject the testimony of the former, and the Scriptures as a fable and a falsehood; but if we credit Paul, we must regard the Universalist doctrine as the most abominable piece of effrontery and blasphemy ever invented by the Devil to accomplish his he!lish purposes.

“ For this ye know"-(do the Universalists know?) “that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Now we ask, is this "the truth as it is in Jesus? Do not many believe, or pretend to believe, and teach another and an opposite doctrine ? Is there not a danger of incautiously opening the ear to their enticing words, and allowing them to steal softly like honey into the heart? There is, and hence to the last quoted words St. Paul immediately adds,_"Let no man" (not even an Universalist, with all his plausibility) " deceive you with vain words for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Eph. v. 5. 6. If then there be a future probationary state, and means are there used with a certain design to bring the children of disobedience to the kingdom of heaven, not the wrath, but the loving kindness, the tender mercy of God cometh upom them. All, then, that, in this particular, teach differently from the Apostle, viz. that it is the design of future discipline to bring whoremongers &c. to a participation of the heavenly inheritance, are deceived; they are nothing more or less, according to the Apostle's decision, than positive, unblushing deceivers,

and their words are vain, having no truth whatever in them.

"But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. And there shall in no wise" (tho' ten thousand Universalists say to the contrary) enter into it, (the new Jerusalem) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Rev. xxi, 8. 27.

" Without are dogs, and sorcerers and whoremongers, and muderers, and idolaters, and whoso loveth and inaketh a lie." Ib. xxii. 15.

In many of the previously quoted passages, it is stated plainly, without disguise or reserve, that certain specified wicked characters SHALL NOT, and NEVER SHALL, enter into heaven. If, therefore, the Supreme Being declares they never shall be admitted into heaven, no person, not under the most in veterate prejudice, and obliquity of moral perception and obduration of heart, can, for a moment, suppose, that, if the characters alluded to, enter into eternity in the state mentioned, they can or will, at any future time, whether longer or shorter it matters not, be received into heaven, and that God himself uses means with them for this very purpose. The person asserts, that they can and will be thus received, impugns the word of the Almighty and most blasphemously impeaches the veracity of Jehovah. Let such an individual tremble Jest he be found contending against his Maker ! " Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.Prov. xxx. 6.

In the following passage, Our Lord asserts the doctrine we are advocating, as strongly as words can possibly do-" Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whilher I go

ve CASSOT come." John viii. 21. Here is not a hypothetical case stated, but a real one, which was subsequently realized by the persons concerned. “Ye shall die in your sins"—this sets the question at rest whether or not persons can die in their sins, and leave the world unprepared to meet God,-a fact denied by that portion of the lpirersalists who believe in no future punishment at all-and it is unequivocally declared, that, they who thus die in their sins, cannot go to heaven, into which, Christ, as a triumphant conqueror, bas entered. But, if at any future period, however distant, they were delivered from the place of future punishment, and admitted to heaven, where Christ is, thro' means used with a fixed design for that purpose,-quere-would the words of our Lord be true? Would, not the case of such liberated persons prove them to be utterly false? And would not the same arguments which are used to substantiate the affirmation that souls may and will be liberated from the prison house of hell, and will be actually brought into the glorious hippiness of the children of heaven, prove also that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is a Public LIAR? Let then the Universalist shudder at throwing the lie, yes, the lie, for it is nothing less, upon Christ, "the faithful and true witness," in whose lips was found no guile. Says Jesus, "whither I go,” that is to heaven, “dying in your sins, ye cannot come;" yet, says the Universalists, tho' you die in your sins, ye shall, sooner or later, go to heaven, and be for ever with the Lord! We are again reminded of the third chapter of Genesis, and almost fancy ourselves in the presence of Eve and the Old Serpent. “Father forgive them, they know not what they do!”

Other passages from the Sacred Writings might be adduced to show how utterly repugnant to their meaning, their letter and spirit, is the false notion we have been exposing, that means are used in the eternal world with a certain design of restoring the damned to the happiness of heaven; but the above will suffice.

Chapter XI.

IF MEANS ARE USED IN THE ETERNAL WORLD FOR SAV.

ING PURPOSES, THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE,
THAT, IN EVERY INSTANCE, THEY WILL PROVE EF-
FECTUAL-IN HELL, THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF THE

WILL TO GOOD. Question Fourth. Are the means, if any, to be used in the eternal world for saving purposes, in every instance effectual ? Answer No.

Here also we append our negative. The foregoing declarations of Scripture and inferences drawn therefrom, by destroying the very idea of a state of future trial, and of means to be used in the future world for salvable purposes,are, in themselves, sufficient to overthrow the affirmative side of this question; and were we so disposed, we might here on this present enquiry, close our remarks, under the full persuasion, that sufficient has been advanced to convince every person of the utter falsity of the system we have opposed. But it may not be a rewardless exercise to follow the Universalist doctrine thro' all its devious and darksome windings, and, by bringing its utmost fallacy to the light, leave its abettors without excuse, and under the influence of that sentence, which declares - This is the condemnation that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be reproved.” Johu ini. 19. 20.

Much of the supposed strength of the arguments of the Universalists, as to the certain efficacy of future means of salvation, is founded upon an obvious error, and that is, on the supposition that if means be employed, the damned will readily embrace them, or that the means by the direct interposition of Deity, will be made absolutely efficacious.

Admitting, in this stage of the discussion for the sake of argument, that the finally condemned have not lost their moral agency, or their capability of choosing good, yet, considering the place of confinement, the nature of their punishment, the company with which they must necessarily associate, and the accumulated strength of sinful habits, their entire case lies directly against the acquirement and perpetuity of virtuous habits; their opportunities of seeking and obtaining good will be immeasurably less than those they enjoyed in this world ; and the probability, that, under all the circumstances of their case, they will repent, allowing this to be possible, is so weak as not to sustain, in favour of their moral and spiritual improvement, the shadow of a hope.

“ If therefore, we grant that the gospel is preached in the intermediate state, the scheme of Universal Restoration is not helped by it, unless it can be proved, that every devil and every wicked spirit will improve the day of bis visitation; but this is impossible. The probability respecting men, is on the other side of the question. They are more depraved when they leave this world then they were when they came into it; there is, therefore, no likelihood that the same means which are ineffectual to their recovery here, will be quite suficient for that purpose hereafter. It is certainly the design of the Gospel to lead men to piety and righteousness in order to their happi

« AnteriorContinuar »