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they would not admit a converted Paul into their company till he had brought a testimony of the fact of his conversion?
I know, Sir, as well as Mr. A. B. that a church scattered is not a model for order, but a church before it was scattered may be; nor does any idea founded upon the Acts of the Apostles that Christians, met in retired places and upper rooms of houses arise from my mistaking the singular for the plural, a distinction I believe I knew before he was born. With regard to my, assertion. That they had not any place large çnough to hold the whole body of Christians together ;” this assertion Sir, is not-made from an habit Mr. A. B. charitably insinuates that I have contracted of bending the New Testament to my system, hogy making use of assertions in place of arguments; no, Sir, please to present my best respects to Mr. A. B. and acquaint him that I have not been so taught nor so practised; but that I hope he will excuse ine for having made such an assertion; that I did not mean to offend his high authority; that I was indeed intirely ignorant of his thoughis upon the subject, but having been, from infancy, instructed that it was my duty, in all my conjectures, to go in some measure hand in hand with consistency and coinmon sense, I had inferred that since three thousand were at one time converted, and five thousand at ažother time, there could not be in the whole, every circumstance connected together considered, fewer Christians in Jerusalem than from nine to ten thousand, and, as none of our steeple houses would hold such a multitude, I did think myself justified in making the assertion; but having been so severly reprimanded, I retrart; I do not think they could ineet in any one room at Jerusalem; but since Mr. A. B. asserts that the assertion is totally unfounded, I call upon him to prove it; and I shall expect his proof to have a good foundation in exact dimensions, taken from actual survey. But now, Sir, we come to the grandest proof of critical acumen.
Upper room is in the nominative case, and therefore ought to be rendered the upper room."
2. St. Luke, who wrote this, had, Luke, xxiv. told us they were continually in the Temple; and therefore when he continues tris narration in the Acts, and says " they went up into the upper room, where abnde Peter, James, and John; it consequently was an upper room in the Temple." Wonderful! astonishing discovery! only lam fear ul that some ill natured critics may say that, had Mr. A. B. set upon Form I. at Merchant Taylor's School, if he had not made a fur her discovery that noininative homo, the inan, meant also bomo, a man, such orders might have been given as would have caused him to discover that which mest boys in such cases love to keep well covered.
But; Sir, Mr. A. B. has in this also made other wonderful and surprising discoveries; he has found out that the fisherinen of Galilee had lodgings in the temple of Jerusalem. This, Sir, was not only attacking the enemy in their sırongest bu warks, but even taking possession of the citadel--not only so, Sir, but that this upper room, where abode Peter, James, and John, could not only contain thein and the other disciples, but.eigbtuhou:and new.converts. Pray, Sir, request of Mr. A. B, that he be very exa&t in his dimensions of this roun* its situation in the Temple, and to account how the priests permitted these men, not only of a different tribe from that of Levi, to live in the Temple, but these reforming men, who only got into it to take away their craft. Let every particular be exactly set down, lest that il looking fellow, Common Sense, should endeavour to detract from the merits of this wonderful discovery!
But seriously, Sir, to conclude, the whole of the remainder of Mr. A. B.'s letter contains no argument in it, unless he first proves that the church of Jerusalem, consisting of so many thousands, could meet together at one place. If it is allowed they met but at two, (and perhaps it was two hundred) the argument falls to the ground, and the Christians at Jerusalem will then be, as Mr. A. B. allows, one church, and, as my former letter supposed, meeting together as convenient to themselves, or upon some settled plan, but connected by one government: though of various sentiments, yet having but one doctrine and one practice; none independent of the other, and the whole collectively dependent on God. I now,
Sir, leave the subject on the same ground it before stood upon: if any of your correspondents, or even Mr. A. B. will have the goodness to consider my letter, page 242. not as assertions, but merely as propositions drawn froin the general appearance of the evangelical and apostolical writings, and will give them that upright candid investigation the importance of the subject demands, the uniting in the investigation, which ever way the subject may take, will give the greatest pleasure to,
ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON NO UNIVERSALIST.
DEAR SIR, N the first volume of the Universalist's Miscellany you inserted a list
of such English writers on the restoration, whose works you had either read or heard of; among the number, you reckon Archbishop Tillotson as one. I am sorry you should have been so wrongly informed with respect to him: for instead of being a writer in favour of the Universal Restoration, he was an opposer of it. And, what is worthy of remark, the very sermon which is quoted in your Miscellany, (Vol. I. p. 106.) as a proof of his being an Universalist, was preached professedly against that doctrine.
But it may be expected that I should bring some proof of this assertion; in order so to do, I will briefly give you the substance of the discourse in question : which was preached before, the queen at Whitehall, March 7, 1689-90. and may be found in the folio volume of his works, page 491..
The text is one which is generally brought as an objection to the Universal Doctrine, viz. Matt. xxv. 46. after saying, that Clirist has clearly revealed the eternal state of rewards and punishment in another world, he observes, “ that every one gladly admits, that the righteous will be eternally happy. But many are loth to believe the eternal punishment of wicked men. And they therefore pretend, that it is contrary to the justice of God, to punish temporary crimes, with eternal torments." Having thus stated the objection to the eternity of future punishment, he proceeds to answer it, by endeavouring to prove two things.
“ First, that the eternal punishment of wicked men in another world is plainly threatened in Scripture.
Secondly, that this is not inconsistent either with the justice, or the goodness of God."
In order to prove that eternal punishment is threatened in Scripyure, he quotes Matt. xviii. 8.
--XXV. 41, 46. Mark ix, and 2 Thes. i. gi he acknowledges that the words for ever, and everlasting do not always signify endless duration; but he contends they must be understood so, when they relate to future punishment, “ because, the languages wherein the Scriptures are written, do hardly afford fuller and
more certain words, than those used in this case, whereby to express to us a duration without end; and likewise, which is almost a peremptory decision of the thing, because the duration of the punishment of wicked, men, is in the very saine sentence, expressed by the very same worden which is used for the duration of the happiness of the righteous."
Having thus established, or attempted to establish, his first position, he next endeavors to prove, that “ this is not inconsistent either with the justice or goodness of God." Which he does from the following consideration, viz. “ Because the measure of penalties is not taken froin any striet proportion between criines and punishments: but from one great end and design of government, which is to secure the observance of wholesome and necessary laws; and consequently whatever penalties are proper and necessary to this end are not unjust." He says that, “ This will yet appear more r -asonable when we consider, that after all, he that threatens hath still the power of execution in his own hands." Then follows the quotation inserted in your Miscellany. He concludes his argument by saying, “ Notwithstanding his (God's) threatening, he hath reserved power enough in his own hands to do right to all his perfections ; so that we may rest assured, that he will judge the world in righteousness; and if it be any wise inconsistent either with righteousness or goodness, (which he knows much better than we do), to make sinners miserable for ever, that he will not do it; nor is it credible, that he would threaten sinners with a punishment which he could not justly execute upon them. Therefore sinners ought always to be afraid of it, and reckon upon it: and always to remember, that there is great goodness and mercy in the severity of God's threatenings; and that nothing will more justify the infliction of eternal torments than
the foolish presumptions of sinners in venturing upon them, notwithstanding such plain and terrible threatenings."
I trust that these quotations will be deemed sufficient to prove, that Archbishop Tillotson was not a writer in favor of the restoration, but an opposer of it, and consequently, he ought not to be reckoned among the writers on that subject.
Permit me, Sir, to notice another error in the introduction to this quotation in the 106. page of the first volume of the Miscellany. It is there stated, that “ He (Archbishop Tillotson) did not seem to think that the perpetual preaching of endless damnation was the happiest, or most likely method of reclaiming sinners," This assertion is contradicted by the very first words of the sermon in question, which are as follows, Among all the arguments to repentance and a good life, those have the greatest force and power upon the minds of men, which are fetched from another world; and from the final state of good and bad men after this life.” And one of the reasons which he gives for engaging in the subject is, because he considers “ the belief of the threatenings of God in their utmost extent, to be of so great moment to a good life and so great a discouragement to sin." He adds, « If men were once set free from the fear and belief of eternal punishment, the most powerful restraint from sin would be taken away."
There are many more passages of the like pature in the course of his sermons, but these may serve to prove, that he not only believed the eternity of hell torments; but also that he considered that doctrine as the greatest barrier against sin: and the greatest stimulus to holiness and virtue.
Hoping that you will insert this in the Miscellany, for the information of our readers,
I remain yours,
QUESTIONS ON FUTURE PUNISHMENTS.
SEE PAGE 213.
'S'IR, IN reading the above piece I was pleased with the candour and openness
of your correspondent, and think, from the spirit which seems to flow through the same, he is not hostile to any branch of truth that can be
supported by arguments adapted to reason, and will stand the test of · rational investigation.
Tshould not have come forward at this time, had } not thought of proposing some questions on the above subject (though in a differvat way) previous to my reading the above questions.
Your correspondent introduces his questions by expressing his non-intention to engage in the “ cause of future punishment, whether, endless or limited," and assigns as his reason, his “ pot feeling any desire to be punished;" which mode of expression implies his disbelief thereof for the saine reason. But might not the first Christians have declared the same respecting the predicted overthrow of Jerusalem For they had no desire to participate of that awful destruction with which that guilty nation' was ihreatened; but, in that case, they might have'tarried regardless of Christ's admonition, and perished among their countrymen.
He saith, he “ supposes all will agree with him that punishment in a future state will not exceed the rules of strict justice; and that the person punished must of necessity be conscious he justly deserves it.” ) admit, the rules of justice will not be violated in the punishinent of the sinner; but think it doubtful whether “ He must of necessity be conscious hę justly deserves it)" and unless it can be proved, either by Scripture, od by that consciousness' manifested' by the punished in the present life, the above doubt will remain: Have we, when under affliction, always been conscious of deserving it? Have we not rather murmured, thinking ourselves severely dealt with ? Are children, when corrected, convinced of the justice of such correction? Were the Jewish Nation conscious thereof? Or is the whore of Babylon conscious she justly deserves 10 suffer those calamities which begin to come upon her for shedding the blood of martyrs, &c. ? We read of some, who would even curse their God for their afflictions. Whether or not the person punished “ Will think himself a martyr to caprice and despotism,” is not in point; for men in the present life do not entertain the most favourable ideas of God, although he has blest them with prosperity; and we are informed, that when sentence shall be passed on the wicked, and their crimes repeated to them, instead of acknowledging the justice of their sentence, they will call it in question, Matt. XXV. 44. I know the sinner will, in the end, be brought to own the justice of his suffering; but then the punishment will begin to answer is intended end.
That the “ sinner will be punished on the ground of free agency,” I readily admit; for upon what oiher ground can God judge the world? And that “ Christ died for all men,” must be acknowledged, or how ean any one be punished for rejecting a salvation founded on his death?
Your correspondent, after a few more observations and interrogations, comes to the point he had in view, and which his other arguments serve to introduce (viz.) “ if their is no other way to avoid being punished but through the death of Christ, and that he died for all, upon what ground is any man punished?"
It may appear strange to some, that Christ should suffer for the sins of the world, and yet the singer be punished for his own transgressions ;