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maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” Of Judas it is said, “It were good for that man, if he had never been born.” But if he shall at any future period, however distant, be made a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, to have been born will be inconceivably for his benefit. Abraham said to the rich man in torments, “ Between us and you there is a great gulph fixed : so that they, who would pass from hence to you cannot ; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” At the last day, many will be placed on the left hand of the Judge, to whom he will say, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” “ And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.” They, who shall
, at the final judgment, be placed with the wicked, will for ever remain of the same character. For it was said unto John, “ The time is at hand.He that is unjust, let him be unjust still ; and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still.” It is certain, then, that all mankind will not be admitted into heaven at the day of judgment; but that many will then be sentenced to suffer the torments of hell. And it is equally certain that those persons, who shall then be sentenced to suffer the torments of hell, will never be raised to a state of holiness and happiness ; but that their punishment will be endless.
It is therefore evident that God does not in. tend that every one of the human race shall be saved. Nor,
2. Does God design to do whatever he is able to do, for the salvation of all mankind.
Every human “ heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water : he turneth it whithersoever he will.” He has converted and saved some of the greatest and most hardened sinners. And he can, and will cause every person, whom he designs to save, to experience the salvation of the gospel. The same almigh. ty power and invincible grace, which humbled the heart of Manasseh, purified Mary Magdalene, fitted the penitent thief for heaven, and caused the persecuting Saul to become a preacher of the faith he once labored to destroy, are sufficient to renew and sanctify the whole human race. But since many will perish, it is evident that God does not design to do what he has power to do, for the salvation of all mankind. From what is declared in the scriptures, there is reason to believe that God has determined that a part of mankind shall perish ; and that he intends they shall be fitted for destruction. God said to the prophet Isaiah, " Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not ; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make
their ears heavy, and shut their eyes : lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed.” Again he says by the same prophet, “ Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself ; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary ; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of of. fence to both the houses of Israel ; for a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared and be taken.” And again, “ The word of the Lord was unto them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line ; here a little and there a little ; that they might go and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” From these declarations it appears, that God did not intend that the instructions he gave
the Jews should be the means of their conversion and salvation ; but that by these instructions, he intended they should be hardened and fitted for perdition. Though the Lord Jesus Christ preached, and wrought many miracles among the Jews, “ yet they believed not on him : that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake ; Lord, who hath believed our report ? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ? Therefore they could not believe because that Esaias had said again, He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart; that they should
not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” The apostle says to the saints at Rome, “ Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for ; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded : According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” Again he says, “ Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” The apostle Peter says to his Christian brethrén, “Unto you therefore who believe, he is precious ; but unto them who be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them who stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed.” If then we believe what God has declared, we must believe, that he has determined that a part of mankind should be vessels of wrath ; and that he intends they shall be fitted for des. truction
It may then be asked, How can it be true that God desires the salvation of every one of mankind ? To this it may be answered,
3. God desires the salvation of every human being, in itself considered.
Notwithstanding the preceding observations, God may, in this sense, desire the salvation of every one of mankind. And it is easy to see that the text, and similar declarations in the bible may be truly and fairly understood, and explained in this sense. In any contrary sense, it is certain that they cannot be consistent with other declarations of the scriptures, nor with the most evident facts. God may be, not only willing that every one of the human race should be saved, but he may greatly desire the salvation of every one, in itself considered; although he determine that a part of mankind shall perish, and although he fit them for destruction. The eternal happiness of an immortal soul is ex
eedingly important and desirable. The eternal happiness of one soul, is, in itself, as truly valuable as the eternal happiness of another soul. The salvation of Cain, and Pharaoh, and Judas, was, in itself, important and desirable, as well as the salvation of Abel, and Moses, and Peter. Therefore, God must have desired the salvation of the former persons, simply considered, as really as the salvation of the others. Many things, which in themselves are highly desira. ble, are not best, all things being considered. And many things, which it is best should exist, all things being considered, are, in themselves, very great evils. A tender father may desire that an undutiful child should be freed from the pain of correction, in itself considered ; and yet, all things being considered, he may very painfully correct his undutiful child. A com