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that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom. viii. 17.). Christ prayed “glorify them with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” When the saints of God shall be glorified together with Christ, then shall the “Son of man come in the glory of the Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matt. xvi. 27.) The wicked shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord at the very time when the believer shall be glorified; there- . fore. this Scripture must refer to a punishment subsequent to the judgment... ... 5. The Scriptures represent the salvation of the children of men as conditional, and when not secured by complying with its conditions, that damnation will be the inevitable · consequence.
We shall advance a few passages to sustain the above proposition, for it is a strong link in the chain of arguments to prove a future punishment, and it affords but small room for a Universalist to quibble. In our view, they are the most unwelcome passages of Scripture to a teacher of Universalism, by which his system can be assailed. If there be no future punishment, and the whole human race must necessarily be finally holy and happy, why are the promi ses of the gospel conditional ? If men do not comply with the conditions of mercy, what will be the hazard ? The Universalist is compelled to declare, none at all-all is right, and all will be well. Thus making salvation and damnation, death and life, blessing and cursing, the same thing. If the holiness and happiness of the whole human race is absolutely certain, then there can be no possible failure in the attainment of this end, and therefore no propriety and necessity in making the blessings of the gospel and everlasting life conditional ; for whatever is given by promise with a condition expressed or understood is sus
ceptible of a failure. If so, then the joys of salvation and eternal life may be lost, provided they are promised to man upon certain conditions; that this is the case, we shall now prove.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John iii. 16. · In this passage we have brought to view in comparison, destruction and everlasting life; the one just opposite to the other in meaning and influence. As all the elements of bliss and glory, as well as their duration, are contained in eternal life; so all the opposite elements of deprivation and misery are comprised in destruction—while with the latter term in its literal meaning, independent of the force it derives from its standing as an antithesis, there is associated the idea of misery. The life promised, which must be secured in order to escape the destruction to which man is liable, can only be enjoyed by faith in Christ. Christ died to save the children of men, and has offered this salvation to them upon condition, “ that whosoever believeth in him.” The presence and exercise of faith secures salvation and its want will subject us to destruction. This is plainly taught in this same chapter, verse 36. “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see lise; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Faith entitles us to everlasting life, and unbelief draws down the wrath of God” upon us.
“He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark xvi. 16. Here Christ taught the world in the great commission, that whosoever believeth in Christ, and confessed the christian religion in obeying the ordinance of baptism, should be saved; but he that did not believe in Christ the Savior, should be damned. The opposites in this passage are, salvation and damnation, faith and unbelief. Faith is the condition of salvation, and unbelief of damnation; as men must either believe, or disbelieve, for there is no neutrality here, therefore they will either be saved or damned. There is no escape from this conclusion. To pretend that the application of this passage is confined strictly to the age of the apostles, and as having no reference to the duration of the gospel dispensation, is but a feeble evasion of its truths. The various circumstances, which should attend and follow the career and labors of the apostles, though they cease now to accompany the efforts of ministers, do not destroy and subvert the fundamental principles of the gospel nor the truth of the great commission. That truth is sustained by other passages beyond the power of successful assault or subversion.
“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathena maranatha.” 1 Cor. xvi. 22. Let any man be accursed, when the Lord cometh, if he love not the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the only way to avoid the curse of God, is to love the Savior, and when love is wanting, the curse cannot be avoided.
The spirit of the Lord came upon Azariah, the son of Oded, and he spake unto Asa, Judah and Benjamin, “The Lord is with you while ye be with him : and if ye seek him, he will be found of you : but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chron. xv. 2. This passage is so plain, that it needs no comments, for it clearly portrays the conditionality of divine mercies and blessings.
We shall find that the career of the christian in this life, is represented in the Scriptures, as demanding prayer, watchfulness and diligence, in order to secure the end of the gospel and the glory of God. If salvation is not conditional, and eternal life absolutely certain, then a failure of immortal blessedness is impossible; therefore the teaching
of the Bible, in this respect, is altogether unaccountable and void of propriety. But if such a charge seems malignant and hostile to the wisdom and character of God, then it can only be reconciled upon the ground of the conditionality of salvation. That this is the only Scriptural and defensible ground, we shall now illustrate by the character of Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles. We read in 1 Cor. ix. 27, “ But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Who does not understand that Paul deemed it of great importance to the attainment of eternal life for him to keep the mastery over himself, and to bring every thought into captivity to Christ, and that if these restraints were not observed, he would be considered a reprobate at the last day? If the attainment of heaven were not possible of failure, then such sentiments and language would be out of place and useless. The apostle represents the christian career as a race to be run, in which all should strive, and observe the regulations with fidelity and integrity; for only such as enter the race and strive lawfully shall reap the reward. In the Olympic games, but one could come off victorious, and be crowned with the fading garland, though many enter the course; but not so in the christian race, all may enter and all may succeed, provided they strive lawfully. Paul had cast in his lot with many others in this christian race from earth to glory. He was well satisfied, that there was a divine reality at the goal, which might be obtained with certainty, provided any one contended lawfully and persevered unto the end of the race. He was however, fully convinced, that there was a possibility of a failure, not resulting from any thing that God was, or that Christ had done, or from the plan of salvation ; but from the possibility of his not complying with the conditions of the race, by not
subjecting his body, all his desires, feelings and movements to the holy requirements of the gospel.: We learn from a subsequent history of this same man of God, that his soul greatly rejoiced and exulted in the Lord, that he had observed the rules and attained the desired end of his christian course. We read in 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. “ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." His journey had been a warfare, a race to be run, and he was the steward of a sacred and a responsible trust; in the struggle with principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in high · places he had come off victorious, the race was ended with fidelity and integrity, and the talents of truth, grace and mercy, he had kept; therefore with full assurance he could look up and expect a crown of righteousness, administered by Christ the righteous Judge. *Had he not thus fought, and run, and kept the faith, he would have failed of the heavenly crown; he knew, that there was a possibility of losing the benefits of the promise of life, therefore he contended manfully, and succeeded gloriously. Many like Paul, shall come up into the region of light, of bliss, and of glory through great tribulationthis the vision of heaven has disclosed to the world.
Now, if all the joys of grace and the glory of heaven were absolutely certain and not conditional, such instructions and language. as we have noticed, would be sheer mockery, and tantalizing the feelings of the children of men. But every candid reader of the Bible must be convinced, that we have given an exact portraiture in the foregoing pages. "If so, then Universalism cannot be from God, nor a safe foundation on which to trust, and build our hopes of future glory. He that builds on this system, will find, when perhaps too late, that he has built on the sand.