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mankind. 3. The goods or talents, which were distributed, signify the spiritual and tem-poral gifts, ecclesiastical ordinances, and all the other means of improvement that a beneficent Creator has given us. 4. The return of the Lord, or time of reckoning with the servants, means the day of judgment. 5. He that was admitted to the confidence and joy of his master, as a reward for improving the five talents, may signify such christians as suffered most in their master's cause, and done most for his honour in this world. 6. Those who were honoured for improving on the two talents, may signify such christians as had not many opportunities of doing good, but improved the opportunities which they had. 7. He that had the one talent taken from him, and given to him that had the five, may represent those sinners, at the last day, who never made any improvement on the opportunities and means of doing good, which God had given them. This man was called a "wicked," "slothful," "unprofitable servant," and was cast into outer darkness, where there Is weeping and gnashing of teeth; all which, in the most striking manner, point out the utter destruction of ungodly men, at the last day.
9. The parable of the feast, Luke xiv. 15, 24, presents an insuperable objection to the final salvation of all men. Let us examine the principal features of the parable, and see how it stands. The certain man is the Almighty God. The supper is the blessings and benefits of the gospel. Those that were bidden were the Jews, who, when they were
invited to attend the feast, preferred their lands, their oxen, &c. to the benefits of the gospel. This dispieased the ruler of the feast. The "poor, the maimed, the half" and "the blind" that were invited to come in, from "the streets, lanes, highways" and "hedges," were the Gentiles, who have ever since enjoyed the privileges of the gospel of our Saviour. Now what I wish to note here particularly is this: when the master of the feast heard that those who were bidden, made light of the invitation, he was angry, and among other things said, "that none of those men that were bidden should taste of the supper." If this teaches any thing, it is this: those who absolutely refuse to comply with the invitations of the gospel, during their probationary state, shall finally be excluded from any part or share in its blessings and invaluable benefits.
10. The parable or history of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvI. 18, 31, is utterly irreconcilable with Universalism. We have no intimation, in any part of the chapter, that this is a parable Our Lord introduces the subject as a history, by saying, "there was a certain rich man," &c. To say it is not a history, but a parable, is the same as to say there was no such rich man, and therefore directly contradict our Lord. There is a proper name (Lazarus) in this passage, which is never the case with any parable. However, whether it be a parable or a history, the general features in it, are the same. But let us see what they are. In the character of the rich man and Lazarus, we have represented in general the character of the righteous and
the wicked, both in this world, and in that which is to come. They both lived in this world a certain time, which points out the probationary state of man. They both died and were buried, and their spirits entered into the invisible world; as shall be the case with all mankind. The rich man was in a state of misery, as is manifest from the metaphorical language used on that occasion; while the beggar was in a state of felicity, which is also manifest by the metaphorical expression, "Abraham's bosom," a phrase understood among the Jews, to mean the state of celestial bliss. Between the states of these two men, is placed, what is called, "a great gulph." Now whatever the great gulph may mean, it is certain that no one can pass over it, from one condition to the other. This was affirmed by Abraham. It is probable that the "great gulph" means, simply, the unchangable decree of the immutable and incomprehensible Jehovah, who has fixed unalterably, the states of departed spirits. How the doctrine of Universalism can be reconciled, with the doctrine of this passage, I know not.
11. The parable or metaphor of the vine and its branches, presents a strong objection to the doctrine of the Universalists, John xv. 5, 6. A very few remarks, will illustrate this parable. God is the husbandman. Christ is the vine. His disciples, or believers in gene ral, are the branches. To abide in the vine, is to continue in the faith of the gospel; the consequence of which is, much fruit shall be brought forth. Those apostates, or branches that do not abide in him, are "taken away,"
or "cast forth," and "cast into the fire, and How can the doctrine of they are burned." this text agree with the salvation of all men? 12. In Jude 12, the wicked are likened to trees. And to represent their endless destruction, in the most striking manner, the apostle says, they are "trees whose (untimely) fruit withereth, without (mature) fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." The propriety of this phraseology will appear, if we consider that, man is dead spiritually, in his natural state; that he may be quickened by divine grace, may lose his spiritual life, and be so lost to all sense of moral good that no more hope of his recovery remains, than there is of the foliage and verdure of a rotten tree, that is plucked up out of the soil, by the roots.
Now, sir, I leave these things with you, for your consideration. If you can prove, by fair criticism, and sound reason, that the chaff, after being burned, shall become wheat; the tree, after being burned, shall produce fruit; that the salt, after losing its savour, is good for something; the last state of the man is not worse than the first; that the rotten fish shall become sound; that the tares, after being burned, shall become wheat; that the foolish virgins shall be admitted to the marriage; that those who were bidden shall eat of the supper; if you can prove, in a satisfactory manner, that men can, and will pass the great gulph; that the branches of a vine, after being burned in the fire, shall bring forth fruit; and that a rotten tree, plucked up by the roots, shall grow and flourish most luxuriantly, I will say you are the greatest champion for Universa