Page images
PDF
EPUB

OBJECTION.-That Christ did not die for all, because he did not pray for all.

ANSWER-This objection is entirely groundless ;for, though in one place he prays exclusively for his apostles, yet a little after he prays for all that should believe on him, through their word, &c. 4. Another of the first principles on which the doctrine of the Universal Restoration is founded, is the unchangeableness of God. 5. The immutability of his counsels; confirmed by his oath 6. That God hath given all things into the hands of Christ, and that nothing that is given to him shall be lost. 7. That the Scriptures must be fulfilled, and that none of them can be broken.

Secondly, It is proved that the doctrine of the Restoration cannot lead to licentiousness, because it is perfectly consistent with experimental religion.Queries asked upon this subject. A little sketch of the author's experience. Queries submitted to the consideration of all experienced Christians, Inference deduced thereform in favor of the doctrine of the Restoration.

Thirdly. It is proved, that the doctrine of the Restoration does not lead to licentiousness, by its tendency to practical religion. 1. We are commanded to love all mankind, even our enemies. 2. To do good to all. 3. To forgive all that trespass against us. 4. To pray for all men, that they may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth

The belief of the Restoration so far from preventing us from these things, enables us to perform them with pleasure and consistency.

All shall be restored at last by the blood of Christ. Fourthly, It is proved. That the doctrine of the Restoration is according to godliness, because the belief of it tends to fill our hearts with all amiable tempers, &c.

Fifthly, The doctrine of the Restoration is vindicated 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 more 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, ideòts, 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 tendency 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 beforehand; 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 his 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 men.

ANSWER.Things that have been plainly revealed, have been still hidden from great and good men; as the death and resurrection of Christ.

QUESTION.-But how comes this man to know bet 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 cause of the disagreement among Christians. 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.

OBJECTION. That the blessings promised only respect to those that shall be found aliye on the earth at a certain time.

[ocr errors]

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 come him in such a manner as not to be cast out. From hich premises, the Universal restoration is inferred, ad proved to be certainly true.

OBJECTION.-God sware in his wrath that the Israelites should not enter into his rest.

ANSWER. The rest was the land of Canaan, being typical of the time of the Millenium, or Christ's reign on earth, and not of the ultimate state of happiness.

OBJECTION. There are some of whom we read, That he that made them will not have mercy upon them, and he that formed them will shew them no favor.

ANSWER. These words must necessarily be understood with some limitation, and refer to a particular season, when they shall have judgment without mer cy, but finally mercy shall rejoice against judgment.

OBJECTION. That the wicked shall never see light. ANSWER. Not until subdued, or overcome, as the words ought to be rendered.

OBJECTION.A great ransom cannot deliver those who are taken away by the stroke of God.

ANSWER--The great ransom cannot intend the blood of Christ, the power of which is unlimited, but, gold, and all the forces of strength, riches, wisdom,&c. none of these can deliver their possessors from death.

OBJECTION. Solomon says, That there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave; and that in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

ANSWER.-The first part of this objection respects only the state of the body in the grave, but cannot be brought to disprove the consciousness of the soul in a separate state, the resurrection of the body, a future state of existence, or the final Restoration.

The second part of this objection has not the least relation to the subject; but belongs to quite another matter.

OBJECTION. The living have hope, but the dead have none, their love, hatred, envy, &c. are perished.

ANSWER.--This belongs to the present life, and to

the state of the body in the grave, but forms ño ob-
jection against the Restoration.

OBJECTION.–Our Saviour has said, The night com-
eth when no man can work.

ANSWER.–Our Lord was diligent in his work, and
we ought to be so in our labours on earth, to which
death will put an end.

OBJECTION --Many terrible passages of Scripture
brought to prove the destruction and future misery of
the wicked.

ANSWER.---The Scriptures are an unanswerable ob-
jection to those who deny a future state of retribution,
but not so to the scriptural doctrine of the general
Restoration.

QUESTION=-But does not punishment harden and
inflame, instead of softening and subduing the crim-
inals.

ANSWER,--Punishment to a certain degree produ-
ces the former effects, but in greater degrees and lon-
ger continued, produces the latter.

OBJECTION. --The deplorable state of wicked men,
their aversion to good, their love of vice, their hard-
ness of beart, and opposition to every method taken
to reclaim them, seems to render their Restoration an
event hardly to be hoped for.

ANSWER. --However difficult it may be for our rea-
son to admit the possibility of such monsters of iniqui-
quity being changed and restored, yet nothing is top
hard for God, and therefore faith may lay hold on his
promises, which he hath graciously given us for our
encouragement.

OBJECTION.--There will come a time when the
characters of all men will be so fixed and confirmed,
that no change can afterwards take place upon them.
He that is unjust let bim be unjust still, and he that is
filthy, let him be filthy still, &c.

ANSWERED,-1. By considering the words as belon-
ging to a certain period, and by the consideration of
many other scriptural passages of a like import. 2. By
comparison ; as even the most holy creatures are un-

« PreviousContinue »