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neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like unto the angels in heaven, your writers and preachers infer that all men, the just and the unjust, will be made not only immortal, but holy, consequently ineffably and equally happy, in the world to come. Let us examine this inference. Will it bear the touch of sound criticism ? I trow not.
1. I protest against the Universalist construction of this passage, because Christ did not say that all in the resurrection would be like unto the angels of God, in holiness or in happiness. He was not speaking upon the subject of holiness or happiness, but upon the subject of marri. age. The objection which labored in the minds of his Sadducean. auditors against the resurrection of the dead, was not a supposed difficulty as to moral character, but as to conjugal connections. The Savior, as an honest and faithful teacher, spoke to the point. He told then that they did err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God; for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but (on the subject of marriage, are as the angels in heaven. This is true of all the inhabi. tants of the spirtitual world, the good and the bad, the angels in heaven and the devils in hell. .
2. But I object to the Universalist exposition of this text again, because according to St. Luke, our Savior made such qualifications as most clearly indicate that he referred to the first resurrection,' the resurrection of the just, the resurrection of life. The language is so qualified as to imply conditions. But they which shall be ACCOUNTED WORTHY, &c. Here none are represented as obtaining that world which Christ had in mind where they are to be like unto the angels of God, except those who shall be accounted worthy. Do you say all men will be accounted worthy ? This would make the Savior utter nonsense. Why is this qualifying phrase thrown in, if there is to obtain no distinction in the resurrection ? If the most God-dishonoring, and heaven-daring guilt will not in the least degree disqualify the soul for the society and employment of the heavenly world, why do we hear the Savior talking about those who shall be accounted worthy.? Can you tell ? Did you ever bear your preachers use such qualifying expressions when iley speak of heaven? Never.
See Luke 20:27-39. 1 Thes. 4:14-17. Rev. 20: 4-6. Pbil. 3:9-11...
3. Another circumstance which, to my mind seriously militates against your exposition of Mait. 22:23—27, is this, -1be Sadducees raised a question in relation to the future conjugal condition of a family of pious Jews, as they uisderstood it, and not in relation to any of the wicked. - The wife and her seven. husbands were not Infidels nor Pagans, but pionis Jews. Moses has said, Ifany man's brother die, having a wite, and he die without chillien, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother."'. In this case the wife and her husbands obeyed Moses, and hence would be regarded both by the Saiiducees and Pharisees' as pious Jews, and bence be aecounted worthy to have a part in the “resurrection of the just," if ever raised from the dead. Well, now Christ took the case just as they presented -it, and r moved the difficulty which they supposed the case involved. They presented the case of a pious woman, a daughter of Abraham, who had seven pious Jewish husbands, and asked bow they could. · be united together in the “resurrection of the just." (lirist tuok up th. case as it was presented, and replied, “They that shall be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to obtain that world, &c.” .
4. If you contend that the word resurrection, means the resurrection of all men, the resurrection of the just and he unjust, and that the holiness and happiness of all are promised here because it is said in Luke, thev-are children of God, being the children of the r surrection," I an wer, Universalists believe that all men are the children of God in this world, and not unfrequently Jabor to prove this. But does the fact that all men are the children of God here, prove that all men in this world are holy and bappy ?.
5. I further deny that this passage teaches your doctrine
of no future retribution, because Christ was not so understood by those who were present and heard him. From the context it appears the audience was a mixed multitude of Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians and disciples. None of his hearers believed in the doctrine of. Universalism. The Sadducees did not believe in any future existence. The Pharisees, as you may learn from Josephus, believed in the resurrection of the dead, and eternal punishment of the wicked. They were now present, Luke tells us, that "they might TAKE HOLD OF HIS WORDS.” Now if Christ in answering the inquiry of the Sadducees, preached Universalism, his eagle-eyed opposers, the Pharisees, who were present to take hold of his words,” would have perceived it at once; and they would have raised an outcry against him for preaching this then unknown and unheard of doc rine. Did they raise this cry? Were they dissatisfied with what Christ taught upon the resurrection on this occasion ? No-on this point the Scribes and Pharisees, whọ your own authors freely admit, believed in a future, eternal judgment, fully accorded with what they heard from the Savior's lips. -Hear them. , :
o porThen certain of the scribes answering said, “MASTER, THOU HAST WELL SAID.” Luke 10: 39.Here then we learn what our Savior said on the subject of the resurrection in his reply to the Sadducees, so far accorded with the views of the Pharisees then present who heard it, that immediately after he finished his discourse, they advanced to him and pronounced their commendation, OroMASTER, THOÜ HAST WELL SAID.” If he had preached Universalism, why did they not understand it? and if they understood, how could they have commended a discourse, which directly overturned their long cher.. ished sentiments ?
Please to consider these facts and considerations, and believe me as ever,
My Dear Sir : :
I will now proceed to examine a few more of those pagsages which you regard as the proof texts of your system. Perhaps there is no text niore frequently quoted or more confidently relied-upon than Acts 3: 21..
“Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.” .. · That this text is perverted when pressed into the service of Universalism, will appear evident from the following considerations. 1. A restitution is to replace a thing in its former state, and it implies; if applied to men, an apostacy, or forfeiture. Do Universalists believe in this apostacy of our race ? Do they regard mankind as having forfeited salvation by reason of sin ? No. Universalists believe in no such doctrine. You very well know that they regard mankind now as occupying the same position as to their moral and physical natures with our first parents before they partook of the forbidden fruit. This question you will find discussed at large, and the views of Universalists stated fully in Mr. Balfour's Essays. If man is not fallen hè cannot be restored, and as Universalism' denies: the fall, so it has no right to appropriate to its own use a text of Scripture, which promises a restitution. · Whatever the RESTITUTION in the text may mean, we know it cannot mean that any are to be restored who have never been lost. 2. The restitution in the text does not necessarily apply to all men.
The promise is that all things (not men) which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, shall be restored ; that is, all things which God has promised to reinstate to their pristine holiness and glory, he will accomplish at the coming of Christ. He has not promised to restore all men by the mouth of all his holy prophets, but he has promised his grace and salvation to all that fear his name. 3. The restitution promised is to take place at the coming
of the Lord Jesus Christ.': “Whom the heavens must receive till the times of the restitution.” Well now, as you profess to believe that the coming of Christ took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, you are bound in consistency, with yourself and your whole system, to refer the restitution here spoken of, tu that all-important event. - 4. I understand the text just as it reads. To my mind it promises that at the coming of our Lord Jezus Christ, he will regenerate the earth and the visible heavens by fire, resnove from the earth the curse. ur der which it has groaned ever since sin entered the world, and thus literally and enphatically present bis sainis the new heavens and earth as their eternal inherilance. Peter speaks of this restitution again when he describes it as following the general conflagration. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; nevertheless, we according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleih righteousness." 2 Pet. 3: 12, 13. The same restitution of all things which God hath promised
for the firşt heaven and earth were passed away and there was no more sea; and I John saw the holy city, the New Jerusalein, coming down from God, out of heaven prepared as a bride for her husband.". Rev. 21: 1, 2. That all men are not admitted as inhabitants of that regenerated earth and heaven, is evident from what the faithful apostle says in the 8th verse. After describing the felicity of that happy world, where “God shall wipe all tears from their eyes," he adds, to prevent any misapplication, “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers and whore-mongers, and idolaters and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.". . '
- All things which God hath promised to restore will be fulfilled. He has promised to raise all men from the dead, Dan. 12: 3. John 5: 28, 29, and that will be done. He has promised to regenerate the earth with fire, and make