Images de page
PDF
ePub

cuildren of inen. They were also encouraged to "hold fast" the great and precious blessings bestowed upon us by our Creator, in his dear Son. While the love of God, wbich is infinite and unchangeable, from which nothing in heaven or earth, in time or eternity can separate us, was enforced as the moral cause of supreme love to him, obedience to his commandments, and charity to all mankind. As the sun imparts light and heat to all the objects within the sphere of its influence, so were our eyes directed to the spiritual Sun of Righteousness, as the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world ; while we were encouraged by his luminous example to “let our light shine before men." Our souls were enraptured at the vision of an angel, bearing to earth's remotest' bounds the "everlasting gospel.” We heard the glad tidings of peace and salvation, echoing from the mountain's top to the distant plain; from the interior to the ocean ; while a ransomed world shouted victor

to God and the Lamb, as they returned and came to Zion, "with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.”

Such, dear Brethren, were the provisions upon which our souls feasted as we sat together “in heavenly places.” No. root of bitterness sprang up to mar our joys, or disturb the tranquility of the scene. We could verily say, “How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Brethren in the ministry of reconciliation : Let us be encouraged to greater vigilance and faithfulness in the discharge of the impartial duties that devolve upon us. Remember that our cause is the cause of humanity. That it has enlisted in its favor, all the good feelings and wishes of every philanphropist, and true lover of Zion. See then that

you

have on 'the whote armor of God;" such as “truth,” “righteousness, 4peace," and the sword of the spirit.” Clad in this firm panoply, you will "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." But remember, “that the servant of the Lord should not strive, but be gentle in all things; apt to teach,” &c. Therefore while you preach “Jesus, the resurrection and the life,” you will be careful to “maintain good works, for these things are both good and profitable unto men.” Thus your life will be the best pomment upon your

[ocr errors]

ministry; and the world will approve of your good conversation in the gospel of Christ.

Brethren of the apostolic faith : While you profess to embrace the religion of Jesus, you will permit me to point out to you some of its requirements.. ", Love to enemies, pity to the afflicted, benignity to the destitute, compassion on the ignorant, and charity and good will to all mankind, are among the most important duties it inculcates. Be exhorted then, to “add to your faith, virtue'; to virtue, knowledge; to knowledge, temperance; to temperance, godliness; to god. liness, brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness, charity." Be attentive to the ministry of the word, not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, “that you may grow in grace and in the kpowledge of God." The apostle assures you that your religion conducts to the path of virtue and consequent happiness. He says, “The grace of God, that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appear. ed, teaching us that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world.”

Finally, may we all be prepared for that immortal kingdom of glory, where no cloud of darkness, sin, or misery shall ever intercept the rays of divine truth, love, mercy, and goodniese, that will beam upon the ransomed soul forever.

KITTREDGE HAVEN, Clerk.

For the Repository. REMARKS OX REV. JOSIAJI HOPKINS'S VIEWS OF FUTURE

ENDLESS PUNISHMENT. Previous to noticing the views of this Rev. gentleman, I would just observe that an aged gentleman, for whom I entertain good personal feelings, brought me Mr. Hopkins's book, and pressed it upon me to read it with candor, and especially to read that part of it which treated upon future endless punislıment. I have accordingly. so done, and now am ready to offer my sentiments on this part of Mr. H.'s book to my friend, to

[ocr errors]

Mr. H., and to the public, hoping however, that these remarks may be received with friendship, as they are made with that feeling, and with that only.

On page 200, Mr. H. asks this important question, “Will the punishment of the wicked be endlessp. In answer to this question, Mr. H. says “the Bible is our only guide.? This is all very well. I am willing to abide by the decision of this good book on this most momentous and important subject, tho I may differ ever 80 widely from Mr. H. But, how does Mr. H.

prove to us that the bible threatens the wicked with endless pun. ishment ? Answer, He asserts that "endless punish, ment is threatened by the divine law.” And further informs us, that "by turning to what has been said on the penalty of the law, the reader will see that this point has already been established.” The reader will find Mr. H.'s remarks upon the penalty of the divine law between pages 79 and 88. On page 81, Mr. H. inquires, “What is the penalty of the law p" In answer to this inquiry, Mr. H. proceeds in the first place, to notice the different opinions which have been entertained in the world on this point; but as my limits will not admit of noticing all these things, or of going with the gentleman through all these winding paths, so I shall confine my remarks to Mr. H.'s opinion only. On page 86, Mr. H. gives his own views of the penalty of the divine law. He says, “A violation of the law of God, if it be not counteracted, will produce an infinite evil.Does this prove to us that sin or evil is infinite? No, it does nothing at all towards it. The reader will keep in mind that Mr. H. remarks that sin will be infinite, if God does not counteract it. Ah ! here is the rub. Universalists, themselves, would believe in eternal death or endless misery, if they did not believe something which prevents this belief: viz. that God will counteract sin and destroy

it. On the same page Mr. A. again observes, that "nothing short of eternal death, will express the opposition of an infinitely holy being towards sin.” How shall we understand the gentleman in these expressions ? I conclude there must be some exceptions existing in his own mind to this rule of God's opposition to sin. St. Paul was a sinner, and he called hiinself the chief of sinners ; yet he did not suffer eternal death. How shall this case be managed ? Why, we will say, St. Paul's sin would have been infinite, if God had not counteracted it. Who knows but what Jehovah will counteract the sin of every creature, and prove his 'mercy as great to them as he did to Paul ? “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. If Christ should take

away the sin of the world and destroy death, I ask, would they remain ? Assuredly they would not. All this is promised in the New Testament, and Universalists look forward, by faith, with great joy, when "death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed,” and all be made alive in Christ.

Mr. H. next observes, "If the sufferings of no other being but Jesus Christ, would so far manifest the displeasure of God against sin, as to render it just for him to pardon it, then it must be viewed by him as an infinite evil.” What this proves, or what it means, in this place, I could not guess, if I had not previously read other Calvinistic books. I now suppose Mr. H. meant that God had sent his infinite Son, to make an infinite atonement for infinite offences, and, if I am correct, in this, then however much God might have been displeased with sin, he still loved the sinner, and sent his Son, fully qualified to save him. Mr. H. further states, “To be saved from any thing short of eternal death, cannot be called eternal salvation.” This is the climax of absurdity, according to this statement, compared with a note which the reader will find on page 85, there are none who will be saved with an eternal salvation. For eterpal death does not begin till we reach eternity. The trials and troubles which are experienced in this life, are not this eternal death, as may be seen in the note alluded to. Therefore, all who are saved, are only saved from temporary trials, and of course will only experience a temporary salvation. This is certainly such reasoning as Mr. H., I think, cannot object to, when he looks over what he has written on page 46, respecting God's omniscience. The scripture quoted on this subject is as follows. «He is mighty in wisdom," Job xxxvi. 5. "He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee,” ver. 4. “I know that no thought can be withholden from thee,” chap. xlii. 2. “Great is the Lord, and of great power, his understanding is infinite," Jer. xxxii. 19. Now according to this scripture, which Mr. H. has quoted in support of God's omniscience, it inust appear clear to every person that Jehovah ha's as plain a view of the eternal state of his creatures, as of their temporal condition, because his knowledge is asserted to be infinite. I would ask Mr. H. on the principle of God's possessing infinite knowledge, whether any one of his creatures, in reality, was ever in any

danger of suffering this eternal death, except those poor souls who will have to endure it? And if not, how does Christ save any from eternal death? If God's knowledge is infinite, which none can doubt, then he must have embraced, in his own mind, the very number who will be converted in this life, and those who are not converted here, must go to endless misery according to Mr. H.'s notion; of course, none are saved from eternal death who are in any way exposed to it.

On page 201 Mr. H. asks this question : "Can a finite being, in a finite period of time, incur sufficient crimi

« PrécédentContinuer »