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the letter to the Ephesians. And we shall content ourselves with a solitary quotation. Speaking of the divine dealings, the apostle writes : “He (God) hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known to us the secret of bis will, according to his good pleasure, which he had 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 not this language teach that God has formed a definite purpose with regard to all intelligences, to unite them in one in Christ? The expression, both which are in heaven and which are on earth,--does it not comprehend every intelli. gent being ? What Christian, then, dare limit the Holy One of Israel? Who has the hardihood to say that God's plans shall be foiled ? And if they are accomplished, and all intelligences, whether of heavenly or earthly origin, are brought into one in Christ, what souls will people the realm of darkness ?
Some, perhaps, may deem the foregoing passage inconclusive. Let us, then, invite their attention to another quotation, whose force no fair mind can gainsay. It shall be drawn from the epistle to the Philippians. The Apostle is endeavoring to foster a lowly spirit among his brethren, and refers them to the voluntary humiliation of Christ. From this subject his mind passes by a law of association to a theme always dear to him, the exaltation the Saviour is to attain, and the final submission of all souls to him. “ Wherefore,” he writes, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 31 Weighty, im. pressive words, these! Comprehensive words, too! Is this testimony true ? Is every knee to bow of every intelligence in heaven, earth, and under the earth, before Jesus, and every tongue to confess that Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father ? So the apostle affirms with the utmost seriousness. Where, then, can those finally impenitent souls be found, of whom the popular
30 Ephesians, i. 9, 10. 31 Philippians, ii. 9, 10, 11.
theology sometimes speaks? Prof. Robinson, in his New Testament Lexicon, defines the word katachthonios as meaning the under world, and declares that in its plural form, in the passage under review, it is put for Hades and its inhabitants. Of course we dissent not from such a criticisin ; we simply ask, in event of all intelligences in heaven, earth, and hades, bowing in homage before Christ, who, there can be in the wide creation that with holds adoration from the Saviour ? An eminent Orthodox divine 32 has remarked substantially, in commenting on this
passage, that 66 if these words do not teach that the whole intelligent universe will finally render spiritual homage to Christ, he knows of no words that can." Now if the entire universe thus confess Christ Lord, to the glory of God, all that we understand by universal salvation is attained.
But we turn to still another letter of Paul. In an affectionate epistle to Timothy, he exhorts that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be offered for all men; " for this,” he writes, “is good, and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 33 Our version hardly expresses the full force of the original. In the New Testament, as in classical Greek, two different terms are used to express the significations of simple willingness, and positive determination. Boulomai is used to express the former notion; thelo, the latter. In the passage under examination, the latter word is employed; and the apostle manifestly thus intends to teach, that it is a deliberate purpose of God to save all mankind, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. And certainly we cannot question his ability to secure this result. Though we believe in the freedom of the human will, we yet maintain the supremacy of God. Confident that He has a thousand agencies at his control to sway the human soul, we believe that, if all others fail, he can interpenetrate man's spirit with his own mighty will, so that man will be made willing in the day of God's power. But we can hardly deem an extreme exercise of the divine energy requisite to secure man's reformation. Holiness
is a need of the soul; vice must always occasion unrest and agony; and unless man be repelled of God, and violently hindered from reforming, a conviction of his own necessities will lead him to bow in contrition before the Most High. And if the earthly parent, frail though he is, mock not with a stone his famishing child who supplicates for bread, how much less will our heavenly Father withhold his spirit from those that entreat for it! Enough for us to know that God's supreme will contemplates the salvation and enlightenment of all mankind. The solemn purpose was not formed without a knowledge of the means essential to success. The Almighty is not an architect who begins to build, but is unable to finish. And if this purpose is accomplished, who will remain enslaved by sin ?
But we are extending our article beyond the limits we originally proposed. We shall, therefore, refrain from extended comment on other passages of holy writ. Still, we cannot abstain from calling attention to one matter, and that is the striking harmony between the result which the texts already quoted foreshow, and the tenor of so many other declarations of the divine word. When, for instance, the Saviour exhorts his followers to be kind to the evil and unthankful, because God is thus merciful, does not the exhortation receive emphasis from the fact that the love of the Father lasts long as eternity, and will triumph over even the basest ingratitude and waywardness? When Christ, too, in foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and the prostration of the Hebrew nation, exclaims, “Behold your house is left unto you desolate; for I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ! " 34 does he not imply that they shall see him again, and welcome and reverence him? When he affirms, " And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them, also, must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd,” 35 are we not reminded of the parable of the man, who, having lost one sheep, goeth after it till he find it, and then rejoiceth more over that one, than over the ninetynine which went not astray? And can we reconcile the spirit of these passages with a consummation less broad than what Universalism contemplates ? Nay, as we recollect the explicit language of our Lord, “I say unto you, that likewise there shall be more joy in heaven over one sinner that reformeth, than over ninety-nine just persons that need no reformation," 36 is it not a necessary implication that the bliss of even the angels of God will be im. perfect, unless the last wayward soul shall be redeemed ? Space forbids that we should expand this argument; but even were it incapable of being drawn out in form, the sympathetic soul cannot but feel that there are affinities between the spirit of these passages, and the theory of universal salvation, which no argumentation can weaken, no sophistry annihilate.
34 Matt. xxiii. 38, 39.
35 John X.
And now let us say, in concluding, that we have not the vanity to suppose that we have exhausted our subject. We apprised our readers, in the outset, that we should content ourselves with the testimony of a few passages. Even if it is thought by any one that we have attached undue importance to one or two texts, we are confident that others have been adduced which furnish an impreg. nable basis for the doctrine of Universalism.
- If these fail,
We cannot conceive how the sacred writers could feel warranted to utter such emphatic words, unless it is God's deliberate purpose to redeem and sanctify our whole race. Thank God! their language is not deceptive. Eternity has unspeakable blessings in store for man.
The period will yet come when John's sublime vision shall become an actualized fact. "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, I heard saying, Blessing, honor, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever." 37
36 Luke xv. 7.
37 Rev. v. 13.
EVERY one is familiar with the distinction between character and conduct. Character is what a man is,- what he is in feeling, attainment, purpose, motive. Conduct is simply what a man does,—the term applying to his visible acts, and not necessarily to the inward desire or purpose which prompts him to act. Sometimes, perhaps generally, there is a harmony between a man's character and his conduct. He that loves his fellow-men will naturally conduct in a way to benefit his fellow-men; and if any man really hates another, he will naturally seek the injury of the one he hates. A good character, therefore, generally leads to good conduct, and a bad character to bad conduct.
The connection, however, between good character and good conduct, is not vital. In actual life we frequently find the connection broken. Sometimes we find good character in connection with bad conduct, and sometimes bad character in connection with good conduct. There may be peculiar inducements for a man to assist his neighbor, when, were he to consult his inclinations alone, he would much prefer to injure him. And on the other hand, a man sincerely desiring to do his neighbor a benefit, may, through ignorance or mistake, bring on him a serious calamity. Hence, in judging of individual instances, a man's character is not to be judged by his conduct.
Now it is clear that there is a line of conduct which, all things considered, must conduce to the welfare of human society. There are certain things which will add to the general prosperity and happiness, no matter from what motive a man may do those things. The spread of knowledge, for instance, will elevate human minds; it will do this without regard to the intentions or desires of the men who teach knowledge. They may teach, because they love knowledge, and so find a pleasure in teaching; or they may teach because they are paid for it,