« הקודםהמשך »
John, iii. 35.
JOHN, vi. 37 The Father loveth the son, and All that the Father giveth me. hath given all things into his hands. shall come to me.
EPHES. i, .
1 Tim. ii. 4. Who worketh all things after the 'Who will have all men to be: council of his own WIL.
Now, Sir, I think you, or the greatest critic in divinity, would findan insurmountable difficulty in this task: but if you could admit that future punishments will be limited, the difficulty vanishes at once, and these texts become plain and obvious, as well as many more which I might contrast.
9. Another reason why I cannot believe endles misery is, I think there are many promises made to the children of Israel which are unconditional, or absolute; which can never be accomplished, if endless misery be a truth: for instance; " This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise-Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation—Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But you may object, and say, this does not mean all Israel. But I add " in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." ;
Now, if these are not absolute promises, and made to all the children: of Israel, I confess I do not know what they mean; but you may object and say many of them died in their sins--be it so--but that does not invalidate the absolute promises of Godior his council shall stand, and he will fulfil all his pleasure, Isa. xlvi. 10. The gracious cleclaration of the Lord is towards them I have loved thee with an everlasting love and in Ezek. xxxvii. we have wonderfui discoveries of the designs of Jehovah towards the whole house of Israel. Please to read the whole chapter, with all the criticism you can, “ Thus saith the Lord Got; Bebold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” If there be any literal meaning in these words, they must be applicable to those who went down to the grave ignorant of the Lord. And the great apostle, when writing upon the subject, says, “ Blindness in part has happened unto Israel, until the fulness of the gentiles be come in, and so all Israel [literally the seed of Abraham it is evident) shall be saved." Well might the apostle, when treating on this subject, burst forth with wonder and rapture too great to express, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
I might enlarge upon this delightful subject, in proof of which Scripture is so very copious, but I pass to another consideration."
10. I cannot believe endless misery, because there are many absolute promises made to all mankind, of the gathering together, reheading, or reconciling all things to their divine original, by Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all men. 1. Tim. iv. 10.
Out of the abundance of Scriptures on this head, I shall transcribe a few passages, and leave them to the decision of your judgment.
" And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Gen. xii. 3. '“ He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from off all faces." Isa. xxv. 8. '“ I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isa xlv. 23. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke, ii. 10. " And all fiesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke, iii. 6. “ For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” . Cor. xv. 22. “ Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to the good purpose which he purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of the times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in hin: wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus' every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and things under the earth" See also Rev. v. 13. !
Thus, Sir, I have given you a few reasons why I cannot at present believe in endless misery: and I may also add, why I believe in a final Restoration of all fallen intelligences to holiness and happin ss. I think I might advance many more substantial reasons, but forbear. And thus the wickedness of the wicked shall come to an end : for all iniquity to stop her mouth, and for the whole creation to be delivered from the bondage of sin and corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God, will be, in the language of the amiable Dr. Watts* “ such a new, such an astonishing and universal jubilee both for devils and wicked men, as must till heaven, earth, and hell with hallelujah's of joy."'.
· I am,
Your humble servant in the Lord,
See Preface to Vol. ii. of the World to come. .
SIR, ZAVING but very lately become acquainted with your M'scellany, of
course I am ignorant of many of the subjecis which may have been treated ot in it. The following idea I have never met withi, either in reading or conversation; if it has already been discussed, I should be much obliged to you for a reference; if not, shall esteem it as a favour if you will insert the foliowing observations, in the hope that some more able pen will take up the subj_ct.
: I have ever considered the Jews as a most wonderful people, and the dispensations of providence towards them, as very mysterious. Their system of religion was highly figura.ive, and the land of Canaan is allow:d by all commentators to have been typical of heaven; and I humbly submit whether their destruction as a nation, and utter dispersion for sq many centuries, is not typical of the present destruction and future punishment of wicked men. But as we are assured of their restoration to their own land, from the unerring word of prophecy, I again submit whether that event will not be typical of the final restoration of all the guilty soos of Adam. . Though the Jews were destroyed as a nation, yet their seed has been wonderfully preserved in the earth, and their tuiure restoration will be for the fulfilment of those gracious promises which Almighty goodness was pieased to make to them, and not o account of any righteousness in them. So likewise wicked men wiu be preserved from annihilation through the ages of jud, ment, in order to their final restoration, which will be effected in their favour, for the fulfilment of those great and glorious promises, which God hath been pleased to make in je us Christ, to all his fallen creatures, and not on account of their having made satistaciion to divine justice by their sufferings; that satisfaction having been already made by the death of Christ.
I am persuaded that a very interesting parallel might be drawn between the dealings of God with the Jewish nation, and his conduct towards individuals in all ages; but this I must leave (at least for the present) to some of your correspondents, who may have more leisure and greater ability for the undertaking than myself, and remain,
CROYDON, SEPTEMBER 8, 1800.
THE following letter was originally intended to have been sent to a
mother who became a prey to excessive grief, on the loss of a much loved child: your Miscellany of that day presented your reader with an excellent letter of consolation upon the subject. If I recollect aright, you treated it chiefly in a religious point of view; the present offers reflections on the moral duties of parents, always regarding the indispensible necessity of submitting to the Divine will. If you consider it worthy of a place in your valuable repository, it will be highly gratifying to the author that his sentiments are approved by you. DULWICH COMMON,
Yours, &c. '
. .. M. C. Jun..
ALTHOUGH I am not called upon by the kindness of a ** correspondence to coinmisserate with you in your distresses, a monitor I dare not disobey bids me sympathize with the afflicted: ir bids me also try to check that disposition for excessive grief to which you are become a prey, to reason you into the duties you owe to a Creator, who gave all, and who takes and spares as best suits the final purpose he has to accomplish. - "Those who lrave experienced losses like yours have felt as you feel; and although I cannot be entirely competent, from any experimental proof, to participate in the more render feelings of a mother, yet such as nature has given to the susceptible heart of a father, I think I have felt. :
That violence of passion which is frequently an inhabitant of the most benevolent breast, would hurry us into strange extremes, but for that Blessing, reason, which providence has given to men to avert its consequences; to every other animal is given a parental anxiety, which a few hours absorps in forgetfulness; but in human nature, as providence, has implanted memory, sa has he also given reason to soften the otherwise too fatal effecis of excessive afilićtion. If these are blessings they should be used with gratitude.
I ain ilt calculated to cite from books of divinity claims which God has upon you for acquiescence in his will; indeed you have an honest and zealous teacher who, as your friend, will not be negligent in communicating the evidences which the gospel affords. Submitting, as th: pe Ico, to every dispensation of the Creator, (and surely I may say I have felt inany afflictions) I consider his will my law, and my submission aduty. -- To call to your mind the remembrance of your lost infant, must, I feet,
unavoidably give fresh anguish to the wound I would heal; but a painful operation frequently produces a more effectul cure. Heaven gave to your elder sisters children and has been pleased to take from each two of them, at periods in life when it is particularly painful to part. They hive feelings as sensible, although perhaps not so acute, as those you possess; but they are mothers, and consequently, as good mothers, the distinction cannot be very great. Time and a succession of events, has “ mellowed their grief into a tender remembrance;" reflecting, then, how that grief las subsided, probably you will see inucli reason to hope the very poignant sorrow you inclulge will gradually wear away.
Every animal in to which God has infused the breath of life, from the very nature of animal economy, inusi, at some period, dissolve into its native earth: froin the course of our nature, intant existence is extreinciy uncertain; the diseases to which that season of life is subject, renders it very precarious, as well as the uncertainty of a climate, in which hundred, of all ages daily die. Since death, then, must happen to all, and intancy is so peculiarly liable to its sudden influence, suiter me now to reason on the duty you are under to submit to the event, and thank God for the circumstances under which it happened.
Your child sunk into the arms of death in ono of the most frequent of infant maladies (convulsive fils); not by a lingering disease, where perpetual anguish augments anxiety-not in the absence of its parent not by your own negligence (which sometimes happens, even to tender mothers-not by the accidents of fire or water, or other numberless misfortunes that hourly shock us, but in the arms of its purent, and aided by every probable advantage human assistance could administer. It is true he is gone !—not to perpetual oblivion—but be assured, from me, who am neither a bigot or enthusiast, to eternal life!-to those blissful regions, where you shall again behold him.
When you have coolly refected that your child died according to the ordinary course of nature, and that none of those unfortunate accidents befel him, the recollection of which is a perpetual sting to a parent's mind although, indeed, these are by the will, or rather, by the permission of providence—you will, if you do well, look around, and observe the vicissitudes to which human nature is subjet, and the distresses, from which even the most exalted situations are not exempt. You liave seen the children of the dignified and the opulent, become vičtiins to riot and debauchery, degraded by every vice. You have seen those that were nursed in the lap of profusion, deprived of their parents by the power of death, left, helpless and unprotected, a prey to every necessity. Either compelled by want, or prompied by pride, others have become violators of the laws, and terminated their existence in ignominy and shaine. What havock has not war, and the ambition of princes, made among the children of the peasant! what nuinbers have become victims to the sword, or a prey to the waves! Look through human life at home; observe the necessities of youth and age; reflect into what hands your remaining child may fall, when you are bidden to eternity. The child you have lost, is taken from you, no doubt, for some good purpose; his existence here might, for aught we