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in the morning of the 'resurrection? They cannot rise from the dead, because they will not have died. The apostle answers, 'We shall not all sleep, (die) but we (Christians) shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (the saints) shall be changed.'- That is, the apostle here, grouping all christians together, says we shall not all die ; some will live down to the morning of the first resurrection, and they will pass through a change equivalent to death and the resurrection in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. .. The same sentiment is expressed in his episile to the
Thessalonians, wlere he says, " Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.'
Your preachers and authors I find make a great deal of capital out of that part of this chapter in which it is said, that the resurrection-body will be raised in glory and incorruption. But because the body is to be raised in glory and incorruptibility, are we hence to inser that the soul or spirit must be regenerate and fitied for the celestial employments of the heavenly world ? I can well conceive of a body's being beautiful, glorious, incorruptible, immortal, and yet the soul which inhabits it, being in the depths of sin, fitted only to dwell with the devil and his angels. In this world we'sometimes see the most beautiful, graceful, manly and glorious bodies, degraded as the habitation of the meanest and wickedest of spirits. How do you know that it will not be so in the resurrection ? But the apostle has not left us on these passages in the dark. In the preceding context he assures us there will a difference obtain even in the resurrection bodies of the dead, corresponding with their moral characters, as it would seera Hear him:
- There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for as one star differeth from another in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.' - How does your doctrine of no distinctions in the resurrection look by the side of this passage ?- Here the apostle tells us that there will be a difference in the resurrection of the dead; a difference as visible and marked, as the disparity between the sun, moon, and stars of heaven. There is as much difference in the moral condition of mankind in the resurrection, as there is in the size, offices, and splendor of the planetary world. So is the resurrection of the dead ; ' every man in his own order.'— In several parts of this chapter, which is so great a favorite with Universalists, we find distinct traces of the doctrine of future retribution. In the 1st and 2d verses, it is declared that we are saved by receiving and standing in the apostle's doctrine, and that without this steadfastness, we have believed in vain. This cannot be said, if all are on the direct road to the heavenly, world. The apostle implies a future retribution in the 19th verse when he says, : If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. This could not be said of a holy man, who is receiving the full reward of his obedience as he passes on from day to day.
In the 22d and 23d verses, we learn that there is to be a distinction in the resurrection, and that every one is to be made alive 'in his own order,' troop or company, the right eous in their troop or company, and the wicked in their troop or company. In the 25th verse we are told that Christ's enemies are to be placed, not upon his throne, but under his feet. In the 41st and 42d verses, we are told that there will be as marked and as evident a difference in the resurrection of the dead as there is in the sun, moon, and stars of heaven, which cannot be true if our present characters have nothing to do with our future destination. In the 58th verse, which is the closing up of the chapter, and the apostle's argument upon the resurrection, he intimátés a moral connection between our present characters and our future destination, by exhorting his brethren to stand fast in the Cliristian faith,' knowing that their labor is pot in vain in the Lord.' was
Please read over this chapter once more, and then say, as an honest man, who can have no interest in being deceived, if the 15th of the Ist. Cordoes not clearly and fully teach the doctrine of a marked distinction in the resurrection. Yours as ever.
My Dear Sir :
I will now proceed, according to your expectations and my promise, to consider the remaining proof-texts, upon which you depend for the support of your doctrine of no future punishment. We often find Eph. 1:9, 10. brought forward to sustain Universalism. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure which he bath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him.' .
Does this passage give any intimation that all are equitably and fully rewarded in this world according to their characters ? No. Does it teach that our moral characters will not go with us to the eternal world ? Or that our future condition will be in no respects affected by our present characters ? No. This you cannot pretend. Here then, we might dismiss the passage as having nothing to do with the controversy. But as you profess to regard this text as affording some proof of what you yourself do not believe in, a restoration of all mankind, it may be proper to give it a little more attention. What does it then declare as made known, and that God hath purposed ? That God will gather together in one glorious and happy family, all men, the righteous and the wicked, the malignant and blasphemous persecutor and the devoted saint ? No. Is there any intimation here that any will be gathered together in one, except those who are in Christ? The text promises that in the dispensation of the fulness of times ; that is, at the consummation of probationary time, God will gather together in one vast and immortal family, all things(beings) in Christ, which are in Christ, both which are in heaven, (the
angels and glorified saints) and which are on earth ? that is, those saints who shall be alive and remain till the coming of their Lord. That all are not now in ' in Christ,' you will hardly 'require me to prove. Paul says, ' If any man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature,' and again,
There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1. None are in Christ Jesus, then, but those who are regenerated and freed from condemnation. But the text tells us, (and fairl y construed tells us no ipore) that all in Christ' shall be gathered together in one.'- Where? When? (1) The gathering will be in the dispensation of the fulness of times,' or at the.coming of our Lord. “They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and he shall send bis angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather TOGETHER HIS ELECT FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER.'” Matt. 24:330,31 ; Luke 21:27; Mark 13:26,27; Matt. 16: 27 ; 14 : 41–43 ; 1 Thes. 4:16-18. (2) The gathering will be to Christ in the clouds of heaven, as he descends from the inost excellent glory,' to raise the righteous dead, and introduce the judgment. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shoul, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we (Christians) which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord in the air.' 1 Thes. 4:16,17 ; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Thes: 1:7 ; Rev. 20:4–6; Dan. 7: 13,14. . . . .
(3) At the same time there will be a gathering OUT of the glorified kingdom of God, as well as a gathering IN of all the elect from one end of the heaven to the other.' "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of the world, (age, or gospel dispensation.) The Son of Man shall send forth bis angels, and they shall GATHER OUT of his kingdom all things which offend, and them which do iniquity.' Matt. 14:40, 41. These passages taken in connection with Eph. 1:9, 10, give us distinctly to understand, when, where, and how
God will gather together in ONE all things in Christ. They teach us,
(1) That the promise is to be fulfilled when the dispensations of time shall be fully consummated,' when the Son of Man shall be SEEN coming in the clouds of heaven.' . .
(2) That the gathering will include all his mighty angels' — all his ELECT from one end of the heavens to the other,'' the dead in Christ and Christians that are alive and remain.
(3) That at the same time, God, by the efficient agency of his mighty angels,' will GATHER OUT of his kingdom all things that offend and do iniquity: I hope, my dear sir, it will be your happy lot not to be gathered Our' of the blissful kingdom of God in that day when he shall' gather together in one all things in Christ.' There will' then be a marked distinction between the righteous and the wicked.
Another text, which deserves attention as a proof-text of Universalism, is 1 Timothy 2:4. '
Who will have all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Perhaps you would be more willing to risk the whole controversy on this text than on any other passage which Universalists are in the habit of quoting to sustain their doctrine ; and I confess the argument which is predicated upon this text is more specious than any I have seen attempted from any other part of the Word of God. You will readily admit, if Universalism cannot be proved from 1 Tim. 2:4, it cannot be proved from the Scriptures. The argument, in all its strength from this text, is stated thus :
God is infinitely good and therefore wills the salvation of all men. He is infinitely wise, and therefore can devise all the means to save all men. He is infinitely powerful, and therefore can give universal efficacy to the means of bis grace ; therefore, all men will surely be saved...
This is the argument in its full strength, and it is the . most specious argument of which the system is capable. If any part or portion of your evidence will bear a careful,