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men, and which they presume is impregnable, is the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. In this they glory and from its high tower they espy the result of a world's salvation, without the possibility of a failure in consequence of what the world now is, its character, its conduct and morals. The resurrection of the dead will blot out and throw the curtain of oblivion over all the deeds of man, purify and fit our race for God's eternal presence. This position we shall sist in the chapter on the Resurrection of the Dead.
2. They say, that it is the will of God..
The passage upon which they rely to prove this point, may be found recorded in 1 Tim. ii. 3, 4. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” We readily admit that the phrase, “ all men,” includes the human family, and that it is just as unlimited as Universalism, would have it; and that it is God's will, in a Scriptural sense, that all men should be saved—yet we cannot perceive that it is a necessary consequence, that all will inevitably be saved. For Universalists, to prove their conclusion from this passage, must either deny that man is a moral agent, or else declare that the voluntary agency of every rational and accountable creature will always chime in with the will of God—they must deny that the salvation of man is conditional, and admit that it is unconditional. We think that we have elsewhere triumphantly proven, that the grace and salvation of God are proffered to men conditionally, therefore it need not be discussed again. That man is a moral agent and wields à control over himself according to his own determination, is a position quite tenable, and there are but few found who record their denial of it. It is the basis of all moral government of the promises and requirements of the gospel-it lays the foundation of all accountableness to man and to God. Nothing but the blind influence of fatalism, and unpardonable stupidity will reject such an obvious and essential doctrine.
God will have all men to be saved. What is meant by being saved? Does it mean salvation from sin in this world, or final salvation in the world to come? The Universalist -says, it means to be saved in heaven, otherwise he would not adduce this passage as proof of such an event. But what right have they to do so ?. Can man not be saved from sin in this life; and if this is all the passage means, then it is no proof of the happiness of the future state. Their mode of procedure is, whenever a passage would prove any condition or lot of ‘man in the future world, which does not accord with their scheme, to deny that it has any such application; and to apply all passages which seem to favor their position to the present or future world, whether they really have such application or not. Who has ever read Walter Balfour and others, and is not con
vinced of this ? Let them prove the application of the text .as used by them, and that it has no reference to this life.
We think it is evident, that it applies to this life, and to the world to come. God desires to see every man, wo-man and child saved from sin in this life, and to effect this he has made ample provision; as well as to see them outride the storms and gain heaven's blissful shores. Though facts testify that a great proportion of the human race live in sin and riot in foul rebellion against God, spurn and dash to the ground the cup of salvation, yet the fault is not in the provision nor will of God. So in the future world, facts may then exist as incontestable arguments that many have made shipwreck of their soul and lost heaven, though the ample provisions of grace and the will of God would have crowned them with perennial glory.
God will have all men, &c. What should we understand by the will of God? Mr. Grosh of Utica says, that it is God's determination, and is positive. By this we understand that God has decreed the salvation of all men unconditionally. If so, we should be pleased to see Mr. Grosh or his coadjutors prove that God has made any such decrees affecting the salvation of mankind. Let them prove and not feed the world with dogmatical assertions. Here is a task; up to the work!
If the will of God, as used in the text, includes the decree of God, it must be a conditional one; for the following reasons. It is inconsistent for God to make any other decree, without destroying his own work, or else, first materially altering the nature of man in his physical and moral structure. So long as man continues to be a moral agent, his whole moral and responsible character being based on this fundamental attribute, so long God cannot and will not, issue any absolute decree, involving his moral being and overriding the freedom of will. God may issue positive decrees, which for their execution depend solely on his own agency; but whenever they involve the agency of man, they must necessarily be contingent. This is clear and Scriptural. Every absolute decree of God is dependent on his sole agency, and will be carried out in effecting the thing decreed, and at the time decreed. If the will of God, as used in the text, teaches an absolute decree, then it must be fulfilled now and not at some future time, for it is his will to have all men saved now, therefore, since all men are not now saved from sin, nor brought to the enjoyment of heaven, the will of God in the text is not a positive decree. But if it only implies a contingent decree, depending on the agency of man for fulfillment, then as many as shall comply, and so soon as they shall comply with God's appointments and conditions of salvation, shall be saved from sin in this life, shall come to the knowledge of the truth, and by persevering to the end of life, shall secure the glorious rest of heaven and undying consolation. Then all may be saved, provided they come to God through Christ-come to the knowledge of the truth now, saved from sin and condemnation now, and at death saved and conveyed to the unfading glories of the upper and better world. But if man will not come to the knowledge of the truth, he shall remain in ignorance ; if he will not come to Christ as the only way of salvation, (Acts iv. 12.) he must remain in condemnation, sin and ruin ; and if he will not walk in the highway of holiness, he shall not have life, nor arrive at the Father's house, eternal in the heavens.
Has man the power and privilege, though at his own peril, to rebel against the will of God and tread it beneath his feet? Most assuredly. In this way only can we account for all the sin and misery in the world, and vindicate the character of God from all reproach. God's law is his will, and every sin is a violation of that law; therefore, if man could not spurn, and do contrary to the will of God, there could be no sin in the world. Adam could not have sinned, and the millions of our race could not have committed sin. The Savior could not have said to the wicked Jews, “ How often would I have gathered you togetherand ye would not.” “YE WILL not come to me, that ye might have life." Nor would the Lord of hosts have declared to rebellious Israel by the mouth of his inspired prophet, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn and live.”
Then it is very evident, that it is perfectly true and honorable to the character of God for him to say, “ I will have all men to be saved,” and yet, equally true, that millions may fail of glory forever.
3. “ It is God's purpose to save all men."
Eph. i. 9, 10. “ Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath 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.” It will not be necessary to give an elaborate discussion of the purposes of God, for this is not the object for which these passages are quoted ; but they
are quoted to prove the following position, as stated by Mr. · Grosh : “ the text must include those out of Christ, as well
as those in Christ—literally all things '-all intelligent beings in heaven and in earth.” Let it suffice to say, that the purpose, or decree of God, as referred to in the text, is designed to express, that in the omniscient mind of God there was an intention, planned and arranged, perfectly agreeable to the deep consciousness of his soul, that at a certain time, he would gather together into one family and heavenly society, all those who were in Christ, by having become new creatures according to the plan of God all these should be gathered under one head at that time, whether before that time they were scattered to the four winds of the earth, or had died and gone to heaven. God's plan and purpose was, as stated in the text, to bring together into one, (or as elsewhere said, into the new heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness,) all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things in the earth, even the things which are in Christ, into whom they were called by God, according to his own purpose and grace, and not according to any human works, or plan, by the gospel; and after believing this gospel, they were sealed with the holy spirit of promise, as belonging unto Christ; at which time they received a pledge of a purchased possession, of being gathered to heaven at the end of time. It does not read, that God will gather together all things into Christ, wheth