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frequently called a reward (Col. iii 24; Heb. xi. 26; Rev. xxii. 12.) by the inspired writers, though, in strict propriety no good thing can be a reward, but must be a free gift, as no man can merit any good thing at the hand of God.
You refer me to certain texts where, you say eternal life means endless life. By your method of treating this subject, one man may have at least three everlasting lives, i. e. 'the life of faith,' 'the reward of the primitive christians' and endless life,' I might, on this plan, prove that one man might have fifty everlasting lives. The absurdity of these sentiments is a sufficient antidote to their baneful effects.
Your quotation from Clarke is a perversion of his views. He intended to refute the doctrine of reprobation as held by the predestinarians, and not to defend Universalism by the words which you have cited.
You have, perhaps taken the easiest way of passing the unanswerable argument deducible from Dan. xii. 2. I deny that our Lord ever applied these words to the destruction of Jerusalem, or that he, or any writer of the New Testament, ever quoted them under any circumstance whatever.
I find you have turned predestinarian on my hand. You say, 'you cannot admit that or dained to life, means disposed to life, because, ordained (tetagmenoi) is from a Hebrew word, which signifies to place, to sit, to appoint.' I do not admit myself that the English word 'ordained' means 'disposed;' but I do say that the Greek word tetagmenoi does mean 'disposed,' 'adapted' to eternal life, and not fore-ordained
or predestinated to life, and in this I am fully sustained by Parkhurst. You say 'other texts speak of fore-ordination to life. See Eph. i. 4, 5, 11; ii. 10; Rom. viii. 29, 30.' Now, if you believe in the doctrine of the fore-ordination of some to everlasting life, (for those texts speak only of a part) the rest must be reprobated to everlasting misery. How these sentiments can be reconciled with the doctrine ef Universalism is for you to explain.
I perceive you have made another pitiful attempt to explain away the endless signification of aionios in Mark. iii. 29. Now, I can prove by your own rule of interpretation that aionios, in this passage means endless. The account of the unpardonable sin, as it is called, is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Matth. xii. 31, we are told in the most unequivocal manner that the sin against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. This is spoken in contrast with the sin against the son of man, which shall be forgiven. This negative form of speech shews incontrovertibly, that there is no forgiveness for this sin, at any future period whatever; for, if it shall be forgiven at any period included in the unlimited bounds of eternity, it would not be true, to say it shall not be forgiven. Now, if aionios be explained agreeably to the sense of the passage, it must mean unlimited duration. The same argument may be drawn from Luke xii. 10, if it were necessary, where the two sins are contrasted with each other. It is said of the sin against the Son of man, that it shall be forgiven, and of the sin against the Holy Ghost, that it shall not be forgiven. To say
that both shall be forgiven, would be to overturn and destroy the use and propriety of language, and turn the whole scriptures into one mass of confusion. But such are the absurdities into which the Universalists are driven, in order to render plausible an erroneous system.
Your answers to my six questions, I consider to be nothing but mere evasions. To my ques tion concerning the duration of future misery, you answer, 'that you pretend not to be wise above what is written.' What is written concerning its limitation? Its duration is expressed by the same word whereby the duration of the happiness of the righteous is expressed; and, not one word can be found in all the Holy Scriptures which goes to say, in clear terms, that either the one or the other shall ever come to an end! To the second question, how can you prove that misery is not endless, you an swer 'by showing that there is no proof of endless misery.' I deny that this would afford any proof that misery is not endless, inasmuch as it would prove nothing on the subject. You can.. not prove that there are any inhabitants in the moon; but, this is not proof that she is uninhabited; for, the thing remains undetermined. So it is with respect to the proof of future misery, should I fail to demonstrate (which will be seen to be far otherwise) the eternity of hell's torments, the failure in evidence to support the doctrine would be no proof that the contrary doctrine is true; for it would only leave the thing undetermined. To my third question, what influence the atonement of Christ will have on the condition of the damned, you
say by way of answer, that it shall be the same as in this life. That the atonement will have any good effect on the damned, in a future state, is unknown to us, as it has no support from Revelation. I cannot regard such a sentiment in any other light than as a human invention to support a bad cause. To my third and fourth question you answer, you reject the common doctrine of the devil, and of course his salvation. The word diabolos in the plural form occurs only three times in the New Testament, where it is applied metaphorically to human beings. 1 Tim. iii. 11, 2 Tim. iii. 3; Tit. ii. 3. In the singular, the word generally means the arch apostate, the chief enemy of God and man, the devil. In this application of it, the article is generally added. Possessions are never attributed to the being termed ho diabolos. He is always spoken of as only one; and other beings, however bad, are never confounded with him. He is termed 'the devil,' ‘the evil one,' 'the tempter' 'the adversary,' 'the dragon,' 'the serpent,' 'the prince of this world,' 'prince of the power of the air,' 'god of this world.' To my sixth question, is Christ, as to his divine nature, truly and really God? You say, I believe Christ is the Son of God. Now this is manifest evasion. The phrase Son of God is extremely ambiguous, inasmuch as it is applied to a variety of beings. Adam is called the son of God. Angels are called sons of God. Believers in Christ are called sons of God. Jesus, as to his human nature, is called the Son of God, the only begotten Son of God, God's beloved Son, and the Son of Man.
And all this without relation to his divine nature. That Jesus Christ is both God and man is manifest from all those scriptures which relate to him. There is one class of scriptures which describe him as a servant, and inferior to the Father. Now all these may be fairly understood in relation to his human nature, and his office as mediator. But there is another class of scriptures which represent him as equal in all respects to the Father, which may be fairly understood in reference to his divine nature. In this latter class of scriptures, all the incommunicable names of the infinite Jehovah are ascribed to him. All the incominunicable perfections of the Supreme Being are ascribed to Christ. The work of creation is ascribed to our blessed Savior. Divine worship by angels and men, in earth and heaven, must be given to Christ, and has been given to him. Therefore, he is truly and properly God; or, all the inhabitants of heaven are idolaters. When these arguments are summed up, they will prove incontestibly that the Redeemer of mankind is God, in opposition to the Universalists, who 'deny the Lord that brought them' by saying he is not the true God.
I shall now proceed to consider your positive proofs of the final salvation of all men.
You say, 'to give endless life to all, would be the highest glory of God, and cause grace to reign as universally, unto eternal life, as sin had reigned unto death.' In these words I find nothing but your opinion of the matter, which is no proof of any thing. Another man might be a very different opinion from you, regarding