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So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let such testimony speak for itself. If all are finally saved, there is no propriety in speaking of any as lost, perished, cast away, rejected, and cast at the end of the world into unquenchable fire.
To these may be added those passages which directly or indirectly express an exclusion of the wicked from heaven. John (Rev. 21) after describing the blessedness of the New Jerusalem, the holy city coming down from God out of heaven, says-But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, 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. Then after having given a particular description of the city and its glories, he adds, and there shall in no wise enter into it, any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Heb. 12: 14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. Gal. 5: 19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strifes, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like, of which I before tell you, as I have also told you, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. 6: 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of of God. Rev. 22: 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
I have now some unclassed texts to introduce. Rom. 2: 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of of the righteous judgment of God, who will render unto every man according to his deeds,-to them who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. Can the doctrine of eternal rewards and punishments, have a more unequivocal and tremendous assertion? And though it has such plain reference to the last judgment, Mr. B. in his Essay on that subject has not favored us with his comments upon it. Here an impenitent life is represented as treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, and it is asserted that in that day of wrath God will render to all the world, Jew and Gentile, according to their deeds. Such a day of course as the day of Jerusalem's destruction, was not a day when eternal life is awarded to those who by well-doing have sought for glory and honor and immortality—a day when will come upon the wicked from all the world, a retribution which requires such an accumulation of fearful epithets to express, as is hardly to be found elsewhere in the compass of written language-indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.
Rom. 9:22. What if God, willing to show his wrath, and make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory, on the vessels of mercy, which he hath before prepared unto glory, even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Can anything here be meant by glory, short of the glory of the heavenly world? And if not, what can be meant by the destruction with which the glory stands in contrast, but the destruction in hell? And if vessels of mercy are the objects of eternal salvation, the vessels of wrath are the objects of eter
nal wrath. Surely the force of the text cannot be evaded, by the sing-song of Jerusalem's destruction. For it respects not the Jews only but also the Gentiles.
Rev. 14: 13. And I heard a voice from heaven, sayingWrite-Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. Here we are told of a blessing on them who die in the Lord, attending them after death-from henceforth, implying their conscious existence, and happiness immediately after death. But the Universalist will tell yon this blessedness consists only in the remembrance and influence of their good works which live after them. But how this remembrance affects them as a blessing after they are dead and annihilated, does not appear. And then thousands, we trust, have died in the Lord, and gained a title to this blessedness, who have made no splendid achievements in this world to draw after them such a posthumous fame; thousands whose names and works are soon forgotten on earth-who moved in humble and contracted spheres; and who died no more missed by the world than if they never had lived, we trust now stand high in honor before the eternal throne. But if those who died in the Lord are blessed from henceforth, there must be retributions after death.
But I will not further multiply quotations. On every branch of the proofs given in this chapter, I have felt, that the field before me was exhaustless. And my greatest difficulty has been in determining what proofs to omit. It is worthy of remark, that most universalist arguments are employed in sustaining negative positions. The task of their writers is to show that this and that is not proof of future punishment. They find little in the Bible which has the appearance of positive proof of universal salvation. This one would think should stumble them. For if the gospel be a proclamation of universal salvation, it is strange that a doctrine of such transcendant importance, was not made the running title of every page. It is strange that so many expressions, which in the literal and obvious sense assert the contrary, and which appa
rently obscure the truth, if that be truth, and blind the eye of the reader, were permitted to stand on the inspired page,-especially if it be true that universal salvation be so glorious to God, the main object of the gospel, this of all doctrines ought to have been indisputably revealed, and not a hint given to the contrary.
Now let the reader go back with me and notice the main positions which I have endeavored to support, against the efforts of these writers. These must be seen in their connection as a system, if we would apprehend fully how difficult a matter it is to make out the proof of universal salvation. The man who undertakes the proof, is under the necessity of proving that man has no immortal soul, that exists in a state of consciousness after death and before the resurrection. And he must do away all scripture testimony to this point. He must prove that there is no judgment after death, and silence all the evidence from scripture, and every voice of Providence that hints of a judgment to come. He must satisfy us that the scores of passages, which speak of eternal life, mean no such thing; that everlasting punishment, and the words eternal and forever, &c. when applied to punishment, mean something very far from what they seem to mean. He must prove that there is no place of future punishment spoken of in the bible, and that all the passages which refer to that place under different names translated hell, refer to something experienced in this world. And finally, he must make it appear that there are no fallen angels now suffering eternal punishment, and dispose of more than an hundred texts which speak of such fallen angels. Now the task of the Universalist is not done till all these positions are made good. Should he prove all the rest and yet leave us to understand that there is a judgment to come; or should he prove all the rest, and leave us to believe that the bible speaks of a hell as a place of future punishment, and so of the rest, he would have lost his labor. For, give us one of these positions and the doctrine of universal salvation is overthrown. We see then what is the united force of the whole argument against the doctrine. The different
branches of the argument above alluded to, stand mutually related in some sense as the separate stones which form an arch -each giving strength to the whole, and what goes to sustain one goes to sustain the whole. All the texts which prove one of these positions, are so many proofs of the ultimate doctrine. He who will believe in universal salvation, must face the separate and united testimony of all the passages of holy writ, which go to prove either of these points. And no man fairly deals with his conscience, who admits such a belief without clearing the ground of the whole amount of this testimony. But where is the man who has explored the whole subject, and weighed the evidence impartially, and found the way on all these points open and clear of obstructions to the belief, that God has no judgments for his incorrigible enemies beyond the grave? Few will even pretend to have done it. And those who do thus pretend are in great danger, to say the least, of finding a judgment day, and in it a day of disappointment and terror unutterable.