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and the resurrection, yet after that it must necessarily cease.
3. For the kingdom of saving grace and the mediatorial reign of Christ shall cease and close up.
All who believe, that the plan of salvation is vitally dependent on Christ, and that without him a restitution to the favor of God would be impossible, that had Christ nerer come and died there would not have been a way of mercy, and that alone through the mediation of Christ the influences of grace are extended and perpetuated to man, must also believe, that when Christ shall cease to act as mediator, and when “God shall be all and in all,” then shall the kingdom of grace close up forever, and all those who are “ unjust and filthy” must necessarily remain “unjust and filthy." When Christ shall become judge, he shall be clothed with the sternness and unbending rectitude of the law of his moral government, and exercise his official duty in rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked, as though there had never been a system of mercy by faith ; and he shall then cease to be an intercessor for man. How can sinners then be saved any more than they could have been had Christ never died? This being the case, that salvation is impossible, the unsaved and the doomed must suffer the wrath of God and the distressing anguish inflicted for their sins to all eternity,
The apostle teaches us in 1 Cor. xv. 24-26. “ Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father ; when he shall put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” After the resurrection shall the end be—the end of the world, the end of the mediatorial system of grace, for then Christ shall have vanquished all his enemies, vindicated the grace of God, rendered honorable his law, and broken the power and wrested the sceptre of death. The righteous, who “are Christ's at his coming” shall stand forth in the beauty of the resurrection-morning, redeemed in soul and body. Here then Christ shall cease to be a mediator and a Savior-his work is done up, for which he came into this world; the obedient shall eat the good of the land, and the incorrigible shall lie at his feet like a vanquished foe. If the time for which the plan of salvation was instituted shall now have expired, then all the unsaved, after that time, must necessarily reap the unceasing misery of hell, and wail in anguish the long night of dreary, non-ending eternity.
4. The sentence which shall doom men to the misery of hell will be unchangeable and irrevocable. All the principles and laws of God are as unchangeable as his own eternal character. Even in this world, God could not save men from sin contrary to his law, but alone in consistency with his laws-a remedial system of grace, that should honor and vindicate all the requirements and precepts of the law, and yet bring the repentant sinner where God could justify, was alone available., Now, we have seen the reward of life given to the righteous, and everlasting destruction poured upon the wicked after death, after the resurrection, even at the judgment, when Christ's system of mercy by grace through faith shall have been closed up; yet we have not seen that God has devised, or even promised to execute another plan of salvation, adapted to deliver damned spirits from hell. They cannot be saved by Christ's mediation, for that has passed by; and how and when shall - they be saved from the immutable sentence that doomed them to hell ? · There are but two conceivable ways. God must either execute a plan by which to save the lost in hell consistently with the unchangeable principles of justice by which
they were doomed; or else the lost must change their own character. The first is improbable, for God has not even given an intimation to suspect any thing of the kind; and the latter is impracticable and impossible. Since the ungodly in this life are unable to restore themselves to the favor of God and to a justified relation with Him independently of Christ and grace; much less can this be done in hell. As death is the negative of life, and can never restore itself to life; as impurity is just the opposite of purity, and cannot render itself pure; and as vice is the antagonist of virtue and is incapable of ever becoming virtue of itself; so neither can unholy spirits in woe change themselves to holiness, the unrighteous to become righteous beings. “By the deeds of the law shall no man living be justified.” “ But Christ has become the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Thus we have proved the doctrine of future punishment to be eternal in its duration that it shall be a death that never dies, and miseries that never end. Reader, are these conclusions sound and Scriptural ? . Is hell the portion of the impenitent and incorrigible, just as certainly as heaven will be the happy abode of the saved and sanctified ? And are you forming a character which shall determine your destiny in the coming world, and unto which you are approaching with awful rapidity? Then arouse yourself and call upon the name of God, peradventure, his mercy is not yet quite gone, and your day of grace still lingering for the salvation of your soul. Sleep not on the pinnacle of such dangers—hark! the tumultuous noise of the storm and the roaring surges of endless woe break through the distant gloom in horrific sounds! Escape for your life to the strong-hold of God, and find safety from the violence of the dashing waves! There may still be hope in your case. Then try heartily the virtue of a Savior's blood; plead no merit of your own, but simply trust your soul to the all efficacious love and grace of God in Christ. You must come with a heart surrendered, a will submissive, and a soul moved with intense earnestness, and God will in no wise cast you out.
“ Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. v. 9.
We learn from the whole tenor of Scripture, that Christ has purchased our redemption by his precious blood, that we are justified and saved from sin through faith in Christ, and that we are delivered from wrath, or the punishment due to sin. If, while we were yet enemies to God, the Lord Jesus removed every obstacle and procured the means by which we might be justified; how much more, after becoming the friends of Christ and partakers of divine righteousness, shall we be saved from wrath and eternal anguish. It seems very evident, that Paul believed that Jesus Christ was set forth a propitiation for the “ remission of sins that are past,” and that all who should be made righteous, according to the gracious plan devised and rendered efficacious by God and his Spirit, would be necessarily saved from all punishment due to sin. This appears to be the doctrine taught in many places in the word of God, and which has abounded pretty extensively in every religious community in the habitable globe ; and mankind would hardly have suspected an error, or turned polemics in defending this fundamental doctrine of religion, had it not been for the speculative theory of Universalism ; even now many look upon the bold denial of this doctrine as so