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where to find the bastards, is uot for me to determine. No where can you find I believe, in the word of truth, the saints threatened with fiery indignation, the vengeance, the fury, the wrath, &c. of God. He will, he says, visit their iniquities with stripes; but his loving kindness will he not take from them, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. But dreadful indeed are the denunciations of woe against his enemies, or the despisers of his Son and the gospel. Isaiah, lix. 18. "According to their deeds, accordingly be will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies.' St. Paul says, "God will render indignation and "ath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil. "Vengeance is mine and I will repay, saith the Lord." "The Lord will be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude speaks of some who are set forth as an example, “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." I should find no difficulty in filling my paper with similar quotations, both from the old and new testaments. But sufficient has been adduced to show the different manner in which the sacred writers speak of the children of God, and the impenitent despisers of his Son; a difference wholly unintelligible on your plan of disciplinary punishment in hell. But again, The scriptures uniformly speak of God's peculiar and distinguishing mercy to his saints. He keeps them as the apple of his eye. He is their God, and no good thing will he withhold from them; while he sends wrath upon his enemies. But on the supposition that future punishment is inflicted to make those who suffer it better, I cannot understand why God is not equally merciful to all. Beyond all controversy he is infinitely merciful to those he punishes in a future world, merely for their own good. They would be infinite losers if not sent there; because we must go on the supposition that no other means could produce the desired effect. These are, of course, the best possible means which could be applied. Because if you suppose that milder means would effect the object; would bring these unhappy sufferers to repentance, you charge God with cruelty; charge him with inflicting unnecessary punishment without any good object. Possibly you may say that
Bilder means might have brought them to repentance în this life; but because they continued impenitent while in this world, God sends them to hell, and inflicts there more severe punishments. But this would be giving up the argu ment; would be granting that hell torments are inflicted for other purposes than merely the good of the sufferer. This would be punishing them for their crimes instead of training them up for heaven.
I might pursue this argument much further; but it was my object merely to hint at some things, just to let you sce that the ground you have taken is by no means tenable. On the supposition which you have made in this answer, that future punishment is inflicted to make those who are subject to it better and bring them to repentance, no one is punished for his sins; can in no sense be said to have judgment without mercy; for his punishment is mercy, rich mercy, the greatest mercy God could bestow upon him. He is not confined, then, till he has paid the very last mite. This you see, then, leaves you equally with the first answer, at war with the word of God.
Now, sir, I think I might fairly dismiss this subject, and rest till you have cleared up the difficulties which I have already mentioned; and should I rest till then, I apprehend my quiet would not very soon be disturbed. But as in what you call the main argument, you have taken your stand, and appear to think you stand strong, upon only two texts of scripture, I will endeavour to show you that those texts of scripture do by no means lend you that support which you suppose. John iii. 17; "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." I. John, ii. 2; “He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only; but also for the sins of the whole world.” From the first of these texts. you infer, it is the design of God to raise all mankind from their defectible state; or, you learn the design of God is the salvation of the world. You suppose by the world, in this text, is meant numerically every individual of the human race; and that Christ was speaking to Nichodemus of the universality of salvation. Now I suspect that it will be No difficult task to prove that you are mistaken in both these conclusions. The words world, all the world, the
whole world, as they are used in scripture, do not necessarily mean every individual of the human race. I will just quote a few texts to illustrate this. John xii. 19. "Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing. Behold the world has gone after him.' John vii. 7. "The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth." But had not Christ some disciples when he spake this, who did not hate him? Were there none in the world who looked for the consolation of Israel, and the Saviour thereof? Christ surely would not charge such with hating him. John xvi. 20. "Verily I say unto you, ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice." And in the 17th chapter, where Christ prays particularly for his disciples and says, he does not pray for the world. He says, verse 14th, "The world hath hated them, because they are not of the world." These passages which I have taken from the same John, whom you quoted to prove youfirst statement, are sufficient to show you, that as that A postle frequently used the term world, it cannot mean nu merically every individual of the human race. But the universality of salvation was not the subject of discourse, nor how extensive this salvation should be.
You will allow I hope that our Saviour in the same dis course would be consistent with himself. But he tells Nichodemus in the next verse, "he that believeth not is condemned already." It is very easy to understand this chapter, and make it consistent with itself, if we are dispos ed. The Jews you know expected a powerful. temporal Prince in the promised Messiah. They misunderstood the prophecies which predicted a Saviour, and supposed it should have been he who would restore the kingdom to Israel. They expected the other nations would have no share in the salvation which would be brought in by the Messiah. All except the Jews would be condemned. ... Nichodemus was a Pharisee, proud and conceited, yet ignorant, grossly so, of the "design" of God in sending his Son into the world. Christ endeavours to rectify his mistake, and tells him, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that nhosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life." You are mistaken, says he, in thinking that God will send his Son into the world, to condemn the whole,
except the Jews, for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that salvation might be free to all the human family, whether Jew or Gentile; that whosoever believeth, or will believe in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This I believe is plain. If you can bring any scripture which says all men shall be born again, you may with some propriety make the statement, that all men will be raised to felicity, but not till then. Till justice was satisfied, or till the law was magnified and made honourable by the great atoning sacrifice, God could not consistent with his justice pardon the sinner. But this great obstruction to the salvation of men, has been removed by Christ, by his being made a curse for us. He is the propitiation for our sins; that is, he has made an atonement; he has satisfiedthe demands of the law; and he is not the propitiation of a few, but his sacrificing himself, is a sacrifice, or propitiation, sufficient for the whole world. I believe the scriptures represent this atonement of infinite value; you do not believe this. One thing you believe, I presume, that Christ's atonement was such as to answer all the demands of the law, and was equally valuable as the law, whether you suppose that law worth ten thousand talents, or not so much. Every difficulty as it respects the law was entirely removed. There remains yet but one obstruction to the salvation of sinners, and that is their corrupt temper of mind. Were their temper right; did they all believe in Jesus Christ, they would, without doubt, alt be saved and enjoy endless felicity. But the great question is, do they, or will they all ever possess this faith? Prove this, and you have established your statement. Prove that all men will absolutely exercise true faith in the Redeemer, either in this world or in that which is to come, and I will embrace the doctrine of universal salvation; but till you have done that I cannot subscribe to it; and till you hav another Bible, you will never do that. And now, sir, I must take my leave for the present, after a few miscellaneous remarks.
As to your exposition of part of the 25th chapter of Matthew, I will just observe, that a greater disregard of plain scripture truth, and even a more studied contempt of emmon decency, I never saw manifested by any man. I
speak soberly when I say, had I seen that comment and had not known from wliom it came, I should have supposed, either that the writer was not serious, and intended his piece as a burlesque on the language of the Saviour; or, that he had not been gifted by his benevolent Creator with a common share of intellect. I shall not spend my time in attempting to prove your sentiments false; for to do so, would in my opinion be as ridiculous as to write a volume to prove the Koran was not the gospel of Jesús Christ. I will further observe, if you see proper to give me an answer to this, I shall expect sober reasoning, without any quibbling, or misrepresentation of my sentiments, or essays at wit. And I would be glad to see a plain an swer to the difficulties, or rather the unscriptural sentiments which I have pointed out in this stricture on your answers. Also how great a punishment you suppose might justly be inflicted on the sinner; or, the violater of the divine law; and in fact, how you can reconcile your sentiments that all men will be delivered from their deserved punishment, with the positive declarations of scripture; what you will do with the blasphemer against the Holy Ghost; and how you will reconcile your idea of disciplinary punishment with the language of the Bible, &c. I am, sir, your well wisher,
Mr. SAMUEL C. LOVELAND?