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hear my explanation-God is not R. I have often considered willing that any should perish that passage, and it does not the apostle was writing to those, stumble me. My minister has who had obtained like precious frequently told me that though faith with himself. Towards the word will occurs here in our them (to us ward) God is long Bible as it does in the passage suffering, not willing, not deter- you before quoted, yet that in mining, that any of them should the Greek the words are differperish, but that all of them ept, and have a difference of im. should come to repentance, or port. The Greek word trans, to that perfect change of charac-lated will, in this last place, does ter, which is necessary to salva- not mean determination, as in the tion. Thus. I am even content former place, but merely the di. to use the word will in its plain vine pleasure or permission. So it obvious meaning.
is used i Cor. iv. 19, where Paul M. You have indeed got me
declares his resolution to visit at some disadvantage ; but I his brethren, if the Lord will. shall soon extricate myself, or Thus then, when God will have bring you into as great difficulty. all men to be saved, the meaning In your exposition you restrict is, that it is his command, or the word all to the righteous. else that he has made adequate R. So I do indeed, but is not provision ; for in these
ways every word to be restricted ac. only can his pleasure be known cording to the connexion, in in this world.
That the everwhich it is used ? Suppose ten lasting salvation of all men is universal ministers were here not here intended is confirmed present, and I should inquire by the declaration in the same whether they agreed in senti. epistle, that certain men ment, and you should say, drowned in destruction and per. “ Yes, all fully believe the doc- dition. trine of restoration”–Must I M. But may not the word think you meant, that all man- will mean desire in this place ? kind believed that doctrine? If R. Suppose that it should, as not why must we suppose the is very possible, yet what do you apostle Peter, who was speaking understand by desire, when ap. to and of his beloved brethren in plied to Him, who is susceptible Christ Jesus, to have meant by of no want, and whose knowl. the word all the whole human edge or happiness cannot be inrace?
creased ? It must be used in conM. Let this verse then be descension to human weakness; taken from me, but I have it must be applied to God mereanother one, which will puzzle ly because his dealings towards you-For this is good and ac- us are such, as among men would ceptable in the sight of God our
indicate the existence of desire, Savior, who will have all men merely because he gives us the to be saved and to come unto the means of salvation, and requires knowledge of the truth.* What us to receive the truth. say you to this?
M. You must be wrong,
in. deed you must be wrong ; for * 1 Tim. ii. 4.
in the next verse but one Jesus
Christ is said to have given him. to add the testimony or proof of self a ransom for all to be tes- this was given at the proper tified in due time. This is anoth. time, that is soon after his death, er decisive proof of my doctrine. than to say, this fact shall here
Not quite so fast, rever- after he proved. The former end Sir ; for if you take the must be his meaning, for he was words as they now stand, they writing to Timothy then in a amount only to this, that in heathen country, where he had proper season it will be testified made many converts. that Christ died for all ; which
M. But let us take our Bi. is no more than saying that it will ble as we find it, and not have appear that he is the propitiation recourse to the Greek, which so for the sins of the whole world, few know and which may be for Gentiles as well as Jews; that differently understood. his death made atonement suffi. R. I am content if you will cient for all. That this is the will take the strain of the Scripmeaning appears from the pre- tures, for that is against you; ceding verse, where Christ is but if you build on single, desaid to be a Mediator between tached passages, then it is right God and man,” and from the to examine into the original lan. following verse, in which Paul guages. says he was ordained a preacher
But perhaps your minis. to testify to that great truth“ ter may mislead you ; it is on "a teacher of the Gentiles."
faith. He was to declare to them, as R. Do we not rest on men, well as to the Jews, the glad ti. when we take king James' Eng. dings of pardon to the penitent lish Bible. Besides I only tell and believing through Jesus you the plain fact, that in the Christ.
Greek it is not to be testified, M. I see you are ready at but the noun testimony occurs explanation; but you intimated without any verb ; now what that the words were not translat. verb should be supplied whether cd correctly, for you said " was, is, or will be, must depend they now stand.”
on the connexion and sense. You R. I don't know for myself, sometimes look into Greek, I but my minister tells me, that am told, please to examine your to be testified in due time is in Greek Testament. the Greek precisely this, the tes- M. Here we have it-truly timony in proper season, so that just as you said. But I will as there is no verb in the place, bring you another verse, which it may refer to past time with as I think you will not be able to much propriety as to the future, escape-Rom. v. 18. There. and perhaps with more proprie- fore us by the offence of one man ty ; for the apostle was writing judgment came upon all men to 30 or 40 years after the death of condemnation, even $0 by the Jesus Christ, and when he said righteousness of one the free gift that he died for all, that he ex. came upon all men unto justifi. pired on the cross to make atone. cation of life. Here is universal ment for Gentiles as well as Jews, salvation clear as the light ; for it would be more natural for him if all were exposed to eternal
damnation by the sin of Adam, brought you a passage of scripall will be saved by Jesus Christ. ture.
R. That is not said ; and as R. That passage I admit is to the verse you quote, it is a. a difficult one. It is disputed gainst you ; for the free gift, it by different persons whether all is said, came upon men, not will men means literally all mankind, come at the period of restoration. and whether the judgment is
M. That is a circumstance I temporal or eternal death, and never thought of before—the whether the gift has already gift already bestowed—what can come or is yet future; but what. this mean? - Excellent! here is ever be the right explanation, I the Greek, and the word came is think I can show it does not supnot to be found, and so I may port your doctrine. put it will come, if the sense will M. If you will do that you bear it.
will do enough; for the point R. Very well-you must be before us is universal salvation. correct ; but what say you now R. Now, then, attend to my about confining yourself to your argument.
In the 9th verse, English Bible ?
Paul speaks of being already M. Why, there is no harm justified by the blood of Christ, in a little Greek, and as it will and of the consequence, namely, help me as well as you, I am con. being saved from wrath ; so tent to use it.
that it is plain those, who will R.
Let us return to the pas. suffer any future punishment, sage-the question comes, what who experience wrath, are not is the meaning of judgment and justified, are not those, who at. free gift? Do they relate to the tain" justification unto life.” death and resurrection of the M. What would
infer body, to the liability to sin and from this ? the promise of pardon ? or to R. Nothing more than, that the actual condemnation of all you were wrong in your intermen as sinners to everlasting pun. pretation, and in substituting the ishment and the removal of this future for the past, will come sentence and the salvation of for came. all ?
M. Let it bė, if you will, that M. To the latter it must re. the free gift has already come fer without doubt.
upon men. R. Then you must admit, R. You then abandon the that the sentence of punishment passage, for in this way
it makes once passed upon all by a holy nothing in your favor, since if it God, was perfectly just.
relates to something present it M. Yes, but then his mercy cannot relate to future restora. was evinced by remitting it. tion.
As it would be just to M. Be pleased to tell me, punish for ever, as it would be no what
you understand by this in peachment of divine holiness, we must look only to revelation R. I am attempting to prove to find evidence of the final res. what it does not mean. Howev. toration of men.
er, I am ready to give you my M. I admit it, and I have interpretation. In the preced. VOL. II. Nero Series.
ing verse, a particular, class of
particular, class of came to Christ, John iii. 26. men, it is said, will reign in life, the word must necessarily be renamely, those who " receive, stricted. (and not reject) the abundance M. I will bring you a simi. of grace,” " &c. Now these must
and I suppose you be true believers. The apostle will explain it the same way. immediately infers in the verse, Col. i. 20. By him to reconcile which you adduced, that as the all things unto himself. judgment came by Adam upon R. Undoubtedly it must be all men ; so the free gift or the understood in some qualified promise of pardon, is come to sense ;
will not suppose all men unto justification of life, that every created being, irra. that is in order that those, who tional as well as rational, were receive the gospel, may reign to be reconciled to Christ, in the unto life.
same sense that believers are. Io M. I am not content with the case of the holy angels there your explanation ; there is a dia was no occasion for such a re. rect antithesis, and the gift is as conciliation ; and in regard to wide as the judgment.
irrational " things,” the idea of R. So say I also ; but then such a reconciliation is utterly you must remember, that by the absurd. 17th verse, this gift is to be rc. M. What say you to i Cor. ceived, so it can only mean the xv. 22. As in Adam all die, so blessed promises, or proposals of in Christ shall all be made athe gospel, which are made to live. all. What other text can you
R. Read the whole chapter, bring for your doctrine?
and you will have no doubt but M. One, which is an irresist. · that it relates solely to the death ible argument for the salvation and resurrection of the body. of the whole human race: Eph. Be pleased to produce your othi. 10. where it is said, that all er proofs of the doctrine, which things in heaven and earth shall you support, and which you be gathered together in Christ. think so much more worthy of
R. Be plcased to look into our belief than the gloomy docthe Greek Testament, and tell me trines of Calvinism. the precise meaning of the verb, M. I can produce other pas. which is translated gather to- sages, but as you find means of gether.
avoiding the stronger, I do not M. It means to bring to. think it necessary to bring for. gether under one head.
ward the weaker. But don't R. If so, will it follow, that you know, my good friend, that because all things are to be sub. ihe scripture is rather a perplex. jected to the authority of Christ, ed book ; that is, it seems to because He is to be the head over support different doctrines, and all, that all men will be saved ? therefore to find out the truth Besides, the words all things we must have recourse to our may as well be restricted to be.
When a doctrine lievers, as be considered as ex. seems reasonable, then we may tending to universal existence. admit it. When it is said, that all men R. So you would reject a
any pain ?
plain text, if your poor reason R. I will give you a demon. did not like the doctrine ?
stration equally good. Wheu M. No, no. But the doc. you had the rheumatism last win. trine of punishment and salva. did
suffer tion is involved in clouds, and so M. Pain? Yes, indeed, pain I will follow reason.
the most exquisite. R. The scripture, sir, and R. That is impossible. the scripture alone must be our M. Impossible? Why, sir, do guide. If a passage has a plain you doubt
word? meaning, especially if it matches R. Yes, I must doubt some with the scope of the book, we of your words, for they do not must admit it, though our reason hang together. Is not God per. should not approve of it. Now fectly benevolent? Must he not I am going in my turn to bring then design the perfect happiness passages against universal salva. of all creatures ? And are not his tion, and if you prefer scripture wisdom and power infinite ? to your reason, I think you will How then could you ever suffer be convinced, that you are in pain ?
M. But-but these pains were M. Please to stop a moment. disciplinary, and designed for my Why should you wish to prove good. the most horrible doctrine in the R. You do not come to the world? Where is your benevo. point.
point. God must have designed lence ?
your perfect happiness, to the Truth is truth, whether entire exclusion of suffering. we believe it or not, and I am M. That can't be, for I do only going to show you the plain suffer. truth of scripture. To vindi. R. Cau he then be perfectly cate this truth and to persuade benevolent? men to receive it, is the highest M. Yes, for greater good may act of benevolence; for it is thus be produced by these parbringing men into a resemblance tial evils, which I endure, Be. to God, the Father of goodness. nevolence seeks the highest good,
Do you then think it and sufferiog is the means to possible, that any should finally this end. be subjected to never ending R. But how is suffering ne. wrath ? Consider that God is
? infinitely benevolent, and must
M. I do not know; but it therefore will the happiness of is so, for it exists, and infinite all; that he is infinitely wise, wisdom has appointed it. and therefore must find ways
R. What then has become of and means for saving all; that your unanswerable demonstra. he is infinitely powerful, and tion? Suppose I should say, as therefore is able to accomplish is undoubtedly true, that infinite all his designs. ' Now is not this wisdom sees that the everlasting an unanswerable demonstration, suffering of some sinful men will that the whole human race, even
conduce to the greater good of the the wicked, and devils too, must whole ? in the end be saved ?