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fects from the morning of eternity onward being only subsidiary adjuncts of this-in short, that here is the original point from which go out all the divine counsels and influences, and to which returns the whole revenue of divine glory.
Again, the Universalists make the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead to be the leading doctrine of the gospel. And there is a sense in which it is truly so. But they exalt this doctrine more than any other class of religionists, in that they find in it the restoration not only of the life of the body, but also of the soul. And not only this, they find in the resurrection of the body, a substitute for holiness of life and conversion to God in this life, making it work such transformations of character as to save all necessity of a man's preparing for heaven before he dies. And yet they pretend that they can believe that a doctrine so important to them, as that of the resurrection, it but seldom mentioned in the discourses of Christ, while the destruction of Jerusalem is on all occasions the theme of remark. My memory now does not fix upon more than one instance in all the gospels, where they will allow that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is taught. And yet they will have us believe that an event of no more importance in the history of the world, which he came to save, than that of Jerusalem's destruction, can occupy the greater part of his discourses, recorded in the evangelists. They ask us to believe that the whole gospels are a perpetual sing-song of Jerusalem's destruction, and yet so important a doctrine as that of the resurrection comes near to being overlooked, and forgotten. It requires some credulity to admit such an idea.
If I would be a Universalist after the model of these writers, I must furthermore believe that Paul being now ready to be offered, and the time of his departure at hand, had his soul filled with emotions unutterable, in anticipation of a crown that he was to receive at the time of Jerusalem's destruction-20 years after he was dead, soul and body; and to come at this edifying doctrine, I must believe that Grecian games were duels where men contended unto death, instead of wrestling and racing, as they are represented in the classics, and that the party kill
ed in these duels, was sometimes the victor. And I must believe, because Mr. B. has somewhere read "in the course of his reading," he cannot tell us where that a dead victor in such duels was crowned for his valor after his death. And that Paul was anxiously aspiring for the post mortem crown that was to be awarded to him as an apostle of the Gentiles when the Jews should be overthrown.
I am furthermore asked to believe, contrary to the testimony of prophecy, and history, that the time of Jerusalem's destruction was to Christians throughout the world, a season of grand and glorious jubilec. That instead of their being in a condition of "fleeing to the mountains," as Christ taught them to expect, and instead of the Gentile churches being in a state of severe persecution, and under the full pressure of heathen hostility, as historians have led us to suppose, they were enjoying that glorious rest with the apostles then dead, i. e. annihilated, which was to take place when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven, to be glorified of his saints, and admired in all them that believe. I must also give my faith to the notion, that all the passages of Scripture which speak of eternal, or everlasting life, refer to something in this life, and do not mean that blessedness enjoyed by the saints in heaven, and yet that the Bible somehow reveals an everlasting life in heaven, i. e. that the Bible reveals everlasting life, yet when it speaks of it, it means no such thing. I must also believe, that in all the passages which speak of the resurrection, not a word is said about any coming forth to damnation. I must believe, that the resurrection to damnation is a moral resurrection-that a man is first raised by it to spiritual life, and then finds his damnation in reward for his spiritual life in Jerusalem's destruction. I must believe, that when the word everlasting is found in connexion with punishment, that itself is an intimation that it is a punishment limited to this world, i. e. the word everlasting applied to punishment is prima facie proof that everlasting punishment is not meant that "this very application of the word everlasting is a strong confirming circumstance, in proof of the views he has advanced." See his comments on 2 Thes. 1: 6.
I must furthermore believe that man has not an immortal soul. That death is annihilation of both body and soul, a passing into unconscious nothingness, there to remain till the resurrection. And to sustain this important pillar of the system, I must believe that when God appeared to Moses in the bush, after the death of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and asserted himself to be the God of these Patriarchs, it was not true as Christ supposed, that He was therefore at that time, and in respect to them, the God of the living. And for the same reason I must believe, that when we are commanded to fear not them which kill the body, but him who can destroy both soul and body in hell-though the death of the body is the extinction of the soul, yet man has a life capable of being killed after both body and soul is extinct, and this life God and not man can kill, and the killing of this mysterious indefinable life is the matter to be dreaded and provided against.
I must furthermore believe, if I would attain to the exalted blessedness of Universalism, taste its fruits, and exhibit its practical results, that the souls' condition in the future state, is not at all affected by conduct and character here. Or in the language of Mr. W. that "the future state of immortality and incorruption, cannot in the nature of things be affected by the conduct of men in this life, but that whatever men there enjoy, will be the effect of the constitution in which they are raised from the dead." The same idea is put out in a more practical form, in the following quotation from the Trumpet, a periodical edited by Mr. W. It is from the number dated, August 3, 1833, as follows:-" Many people profess religion for the purpose of pleasing God. This we must be permitted to think is not the design of religion. If we rightly understand it, its design is to please and benefit man. If we do not err in judgment very much, it is great folly to suppose that the Almighty is pleased or angry, just as far as man is religious or irreligious." So we must believe, not only that our good conduct can do nothing as to bettering our condition in the future world, but also that God is no better pleased with us on account of it. That to please man is the leading purpose
of the religion of Christ, and of course, that this religion is to be received or rejected, or any way used, according to man's good pleasure. That if I am the best pleased to understand it as having higher and holier ends than the pleasure of man, it is well. Its end is answered, so far as I am concerned. Or if I please to understand it as a licence to sin, it is well, or if I am pleased to treat it with utter contempt it is well. If I please to say it is vain to serve God, and what profit shall we have if we pray unto him, and that I canfind no pleasure in his religion, that religion having come for my pleasure and found that I have no pleasure in it, will of course urge no demands upon my acceptance. In short, I must believe that as the whole design of religion is not to please God, but men, it is incumbent on God to shape it so as best to suit the pleasure of men. If men find pleasure in wickedness, he must adapt religion to encourage them in wickedness. Do you say that the pleasure and benefit of man are the same? Not always. But be it so. On your hypothesis religion can never seek the benefit of man by crossing his will. For if you require a man to conform to the will and pleasure of God, contrary to his own inclination, then is your religion for the pleasure of God, rather than of man. It is then no longer true that God is not pleased or displeased, according as man is religious or irreligious.
Further I must believe, that when the apostle says, It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment, he means-It is appointed unto men to die, and after death the decomposition of the body. I must see my way clear to believe that man can lose his life as a martyr, and then receive as the reward of his martyrdom, his life in this world by the loss. I must believe that Christ, when he made to the penitent thief an answer to his dying request to be remembered when he came into his kingdom, said to-day shalt thou be with me inthe grave. I must believe that the souls which John in vision, saw under the altar interceding for the execution of justice on their murderers, were no souls, but the blood of those martyrs, praying that their, that is the blood's blood might be avenged. I must believe that Paul, knowing death to be the entrance upon un
conscious nothingness, had a desire rather to die than live, and serve Christ and his church on earth. And that this state of annihilation was being with Christ and better than living in this world in the full perfection of that enjoyment, which Mr. B. calls eternal life. Or in other words, that annihilation is better than eternal life. And in order to find the way to the conclusion, that the words translated hell means no such thing, I must believe that words have no meaning, but what were given by inspiration. And I must insist on admitting no meaning to any word until I find a-Thus saith the Lord-this word means so and so.
Further, if you will be a true Balfourean, you must believe that Christ was not compassionate enough for the occasion, provided there be an eternal hell, and you must build strong conclusions on his want of zeal for a dying world—that the apostles were not zealous enough, to prove that they apprehended any future punishment, for the unbelief of men. That though the belief of the future punishment of the wicked, should have wrought up the apostles to ten-fold greater exertions than they put forth in missionary enterprises; the whole business of missions now, for those who believe the same doctrine, is a contemptible affair. You must furthermore believe that there is no devil, and that the langurge of the Bible which speaks of such a being, means anything and everything, but what it seems to mean-now lust or desire-now Sabean and Chaldean free-booters-now the anger of Jehovah-now hunger, now flesh and blood, now the glory and grandeur of the world, now rigidity of the back-bone, now a secret purpose to betray Jesus, now a determination to execute this purpose, and last, though not least, the persecuting Jews. You must furthermore believe, that Universalism is the fruit of more thorough acquaintance with the Scriptures, of more patient examination, more abundant and better plied means of biblical instruction than exists in sects that are superstitious enough to believe there is a devil-in short, that the Universalists are the people and wisdom will die with them.
This system lays a grievous tax on our credulity in another