« ForrigeFortsæt »
shall be publicly punished and tormented in the lake of fire, which is the earth in its melted or dissolved state.
Nevertheless, there shall be a new creation of the earth, and so the lake of fire shall cease.
Many instances of fires mentioned in Scripture, of which it was said, they shall not be quenched, which yet have ceased long ago.
And of those fires whose smoke is said to ascend up for emer.
Things contrary are often predicted of the same places and people, and must be understood as occurring at different times.
Our Lord's words of every one being salted with fire considered
OBJECTION.--- All the fres above mentioned were on earth, and in time ; but the fire of hell, being in eternity, can never go out, or cease to burn to all endless duration.
ANSWER.--Those fires on earth that were never to be quenched did not continue to burn as long as the earth remained ; and therefore there is no necessity of granting that the fire of hell shall burn to all eternity.
Punishments belong only to the ages of ages before Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father.
OBJECTION.—The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall never be forgiven. &c.
ANSWERED.-1. By shewing what this sin is, &c. 2. All that bears the name of death shall be destroyed, and all sorrow, crying, and pain, shall cease and be po
3. Where sin abounded grace shall much. more abound.
Objection. The deplorable case of Esau.
ANSWER.-He lost the birthright, and the peculiar privileges that belonged to the first born, but yet lie had a blessing from his father of a lower degree.
The great difference between them was more fulGlled in their posterity than in their own persons.
Love and hatred are sometimes only comparative, and not positive terms, and only imply a preference of one to the other,
OBJECTION.--The great golph between the region of happiness and misery is impassible. ..
ANSWER.--Christ has passed it, when he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were disobedient in the dave of Voah.
This proy sa state of conscious existence after the death of the body.
The rich man seems to have had compassion to wards his brethren.
The Scriptures constantly hold out punishment in proportion to the sins committed in the present life.
OBJECTION. The case of Judas, of wbom Jesus said, " Good were it for that man that he had never been born."
ANSWER.-1. This was a proverbial saying. 2. Both Job and Jeremiah cursed the day of their birth, and wished they had never been born. 3. Solomon declares an unlimely birth to be far better than the longest and most prosperous life of one whose soul is not filled with good, and who hath no burial. 4. If Judas bad died before he was born he would have escaped all earthly trouble, and future misery, and woold have been immediately happy. 5. The Jews as much rejected and doomed to woe as Judas,
OBJECTION.----That the doctrine of the Restoration tends to licentiousness, and is calculated to encourage the wicked to a continuance in their eyil ways, &c.
ASWERED. First, by shewing the principles upon which the doctrine of the Restoration is founded, 1. God is the Creator of all, 2. His benevolence is universal. 3. Christ died for all without excepting,
OBJECTION.-That Cbrist did not die for all, because
Answer — This objection is entirely groundless ;-
ing us from these things, enables us to perform them
All shall be restored at last by the blood of Christ.
Fourthly, It is proved. That the doctrine of the Reg-
cated from the charge of licentiousness, by an appeal
to facts, especially by the amiable conduct of the Tunkers, or German Baptists, in America, who universally hold these sentiments.
Reply to those who call this the doctrine which Satan taught Eve in the Garden.
Dr. Whitby's grand objection, That the unbeliever shall not see life, answered.
OBJECTION.- The doctrine of endless punishment said to be the strongest possible restraint upon sin.
ANSWERED.—1. By showing that God doth not always lay the greatest possible restraint upon sin. 2. The idea of limited punishment by appearing wore just and reasonable to the mind, is more calculated to restrain sin and iniquity than the doctrine of endless' misery. 3. That in fact, though the greater part have professed to believe endless damnation, yet their belief appears not to have much restrained them from sin. 4. The great number of heathen people that die without ever hearing the gospel, infants, ideots, persons born deaf, &c. render it probable that many are reclaimed in a future state. 5. That the intention of God is not so much to restrain sin, as to show its enormity; and finally to destroy it out of the universe. 6. If the doctrine of the restoration should be abused, that can be no argument against it, as the gospel itself has been perverted, yet is the greatest blessing to mankind ; therefore it is evident that this glorious
doctrine cannot justly be charged with the least ten\dency towards liceotiousness.
OBJECTION.-It would not be prudent in God, even if he intended finally to restore the wicked, to let them know his gracions designs heforehand ; it is time enough to let them know his gracious purposes towards them, when his former threatenings have failed of their effect, but not before.
ANSWERED.-God has thought it the abounding of his wisdom and prudence to make known to his saints this mystery of his will, even his promise to rehead all things in Christ. This discovery is chiefly intend.
ed for the comfort and satisfaction of the good, and not for the encouragement of the bad.
God has frequently mixed promises of great mercies with threatenings of terrible judgments; yet hiş threatenings are not thereby weakened.
OBJECTION.—The doctrine of the restoration seems not very plainly revealed in the Scripture, or it would not have been so long hidden from so many great and good meņ.
ANSWER. Things that have been plainly revealed, haye been still hidden from great and good men; as the death and resurrection of Christ.
QUESTION.-But how comes this man to know bel. ter than all the world ? &c.
ANSWER. The charge denied. Many have known, believed, preached and defended it.
The doctrine of endless misery is one principal çause of the disagreement among @hristians,
DIALOGUE IV. OBJECTION.Christ threatens the Jews that they should die in their sins, and that they could not come whither he went.
ANSWER.-Our Lord told his disciples themselves that whither he went, they could not come, that is, then, as afterwards explained.
2. There are blessings promised in scripture, to all Israel, without exception.
3. Those that have been rejected and cast off shall at last return and be received.
OBJECTON.-- That the blessings promised only respect to those that shall be found alive on the earth at a certain time.
Answer. The inhabitants of Sodom, Samaria, and Jerusalem, with their daughters, or neighboring cit. ies, shall all be restored, though destroyed long ago.
2. That all things are given to Christ, without exption ; and that all that are given shall at last com:
him in such a manner as not to be cast out. From hicb premises, the Universal restoration is inferred, and proved to be certainly true.