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But we have a little more light upon this promise to Abraham from the pen of St. Paul. The great Apostle to the Gentiles, has a few annotations upon this precious promise which we shall do well to consider. Let us hear him. He will tell us who inherits this blessing, which is so liberally-provided for all nations.
The scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the GOSPEL UNTO ABRAHAM saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they that be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.? Gal. 3:8,9. ...
Here then we have an inspired commentary upon the text. It furnishes a key with which to unlock the whole subject. "THEY THAT BE OF FAITH ARE BLESSED with faithful Abraham,' but none others. To all others the blessing is proffered, but like all other blessings good in themselves they become a savor of death unto death when rejected or perverted. In the 22d verse of the same chapter the Apostle throws a flood of light upon the right application of this promise.
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given TO THEM THAT BELIEVE." See also verse 29. .
If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' Here then we learn that no one is ‘heir to, this promise given to Abraham, but those who are Christ's, and that the blessing is given to those of all nations, and families + THAT BELIEVE.
Another text which I understand your preachers and authors egregiously pervert ; to extract Universalism out of it, is Prov. 13:15. But the way of transgressors is hard.' This is a stereotyped text, to be found in almost every sermon of your preachers. It is brought forward to prove that the wicked, are always and fully punished in this world. But does it say or imply any such thing ? No, It simply affirms a general truth, believed by all Christians, that guilt involves pain and condemnation. Those who believe in a future and eternal judgment regard the
hath of your preped text, to way of tr
ways of the transgresssor as hard indeed, involved as those ways are in darkness here, and terminating as they do in 'everlasting destruction from the presenre of the Lord and the glory of his power.' But if Universalism be true, the ways of tie transgressor are not so very hard ; they are quite tolerable. A L'niversalist conscience, benumbed by fatality and seared with guilt, and case-hardened by an almost total absence of a sense of accountability, cannot be supposed to give the transgressor any very serious annoyance in his ways, especially if he be strong in the faith that a life of pleasure, infamy and guilt will inevitably terminate in glory. It will be a hard task to persuade such an one that all is (not well that ends well. .
There is a passage in Ps. 5:8,11, which I have noticed your preachers often.press into the servir es of Universalismı; . Verily he is a God that judgeth, in the earth. But what does this text prove ? Just what all Christians believe. All Christians fully believe that God rules or judges in the earth by a general and special providence, that he gives seed time and barvest, sends rain and sunshine, that he raiseth up one and casts down'another at his will, that by him kings rule and princes exercise dominion. To get Universalism out of this text you must be able to show that it teaches not only that God judges in the earth, but that he judges every sinner here, fully and equitably, and that he will not judge in the world to come. .
You do not, I presume, often, if ever, hear a Universalist sermon without hearing repeated in some part of it, Prov. 11:31 ; · Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth, much more the wicked and the sinner. What does this passage prove? That à full and perfect retribution in all cases, takes place in this world ? No; it neither affirms nor implies any such thing ;-so far from this, the passare as it now reads, indicates that while the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth, that the wicked and sinner shall be much inore than recompensed. -, The best of Hebrew scholars tell us that the literal rendering of this passage is thus ; “Behold the righteous in the earth, he
shall be recompensed; and surely the wicked and the sinner.” Yes--they shall be recompensed; a perfect retribution does not take place now with them ; but the time is coming when God will give both the righteous and the wicked according to the works of their hands.
Another passage which your preachers and authors frequently quote to prove your peculiar doctrine, is found in Ps. 22:27. “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.”. .
Does this passage prove that there is no judgment to come; Nothing of the kind is intimated here. This text is a practical declaration of the progress and triumphs of the gospel in the world. It says nothing of the present condition or final destruction of those who have gone out' of the world' before they remember and turn unto the Lord.” Do all men remember and turn unto the Lord before death, judging from your own observation ? This you will not pretend. Will all men in the future world remember and turn unto the Lord ? Admit this, and your doctrine of no-future punishment falls to the ground. For if you admit that any turn to the Lord in eternity, then it follows as a matter of course, that they enter the eternal world, laden with-guilt, and alienated from their Creator. And if guilt and consequent condemnation once pass into eternity, what becomes of your favorite doctrinel Yea-more; if sin- and condemnation pass the threshold of eternity, what fearful significance does the thought impart to those passages which assure us that they' who know not God, and obey not the gospel of his Son, shall- be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. The Lord willing, you shall hear from me again soon.
.. . Yours as ever.
LETTER X. My Dear Sir :
Having in my last examined the most important Scriptural evidences of your doctrine which your preachers and writers adduce from the Old Testament, I now propose to call your attention to an examination of those passages which are brought forward for the same purpose from the New. You are probably well aware that the most intelligent Universalists do not even protend that there is a single passage, which affirms in so many words, that all men are equitably and fully rewarded in this life, or that there is no judgment to come. But there are some passages which are supposed to imply your doctrine. Let us examine them. i.
Much dependence is placed on that class of texts which teach the universality of the atonement. As for instance. "Who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due tine.” 1 Tim. 2: 6. See also, 1 John, 2: 2. 4: 10...
But what does this class of texts prove? That all men are rewarded and punished in this world according to their character? No. That death will break down all distinctions between the righteous and the wicked?-between him that serveth God, and bim that serveth him not ? No; this class of texts simply affirms the fact, that in the sacrificial death of the Son of God, (a sacrifice in which, by the way, the Universalists have no faith at all,) provisions are made for all men. And if we believe the Word of God, this circumstance, so far from screening the sinner from condemnation, who lives and dies in rebellion against God, it will greatly aggravate his final ruin. The most bitter drug in the sioner's cup of condemnation, I apprehend, will be found in the solemn fact, that “light came into the world” and sbone around him, and that she loved darkyess rather than light, because his deeds were evil;"—"that he has transpled upon the atoning blood of the Lamb of God," done despite to the spirit of grace; that while God in all sincerie
ty, and with full provisions of grace, has called, he has refused. The Apostle Paul tells us that this gospel of the grace of God so richly and impartially provided for all, will prove to some "a savor of life unto life, and to others of
death unto death;” 2 Cor. 2: 15, 16. As to the design and final result of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, hear the Divine teacher himself. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be listed up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3: 14, 16. Here you learn from the lips of Christ, that universal provisions of grace are made, not that saints and sinners, Christians and Infidels, may. equally and unconditionally have eternal life, but that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in bim (none others, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The provisions are free and are for all, but they are conditional. They are rendered “a savor of life unto life to whosoever believeth.” This class of texts then, affords your systein no support.
You also place great dependence upon Matthew 22: 23 -30.
“The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection, and asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now, there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased; and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor, are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. . .. · Because our Savior, says that in the resurrection, they