« EelmineJätka »
I think we shall find it so and sundry passages, it is very probable, that many readers have not particularly noticed before.*
Though it is a scriptural doctrine, (which no person can deny when they examine the numerous passages I shall produce,) yet most people in Christendom have, for centuries past, been such strangers to it, that it may be said to be * The mystery hid from ages, and from generations, but now made manifest." Though so far from being a new doctrine, as many people ignorantly imagine, it is the first that ever was preached, and that by God himself, to our first parents, in the garden of Eden. It may now be seen, that the preaching of the same, with a gradual increase of light on the subject, has been continued from age to age, “ by all God's holy prophets since the world began,” by Christ and his apostles, and by other believers to the
I now proceed: and if we find that the plain sense of prophecy authorizes us to expect the restoration of all mankind at last, to a state of subjection to God, and deliverance from all evil, and its consequences, and to holiness and happiness, let no one reject the doctrine because it has not been generally believed by mankind; but if it is proved to be a scriptural doctrine, all men surely have an interest, and cause to rejoice in it.
The first intimations of mercy to the first pa
* When texts of scripture are sometimes cited in support of this doctrine, it is not uncommon for unbelievers to say, they don't recollect ever reading such a text; and the Bible is often produced to convince them that it coniains such passages as are quoted in support of universal salvation.
rents of the human family, after their transgres. sion, was by way of promise, that there should be one who would destroy that which had led them into evil, called the serpent.
“ I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed, and her seed: It (or he) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. iii. 15.)
This is short, but very comprehensive; and it may be called the foundation on which is built all that follows, relating to man's salvation. It is generally agreed that Christ is the very person intended by the seed of the woman. A bruise of the heel is painful, (and much pain has evil caused all mankind since, but a bruise of the head is mortal; and implies, that however great the evil caused by Satan to mankind might be, evil should finally be destrroyed, and they restored. If by bruising the serpent's head, which means Satan, is certain death to him, then there must be an end to his power, and consequently to the misery of all mankind.
Exactly according to what is said by the apostle, (1 John iii. 8.) ^ For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." And again, (Heb. ii. 4,) " That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.”
Thus we are clearly taught, that “the seed of the woman (Christ) shall bruise the serpent's head." Do not those who advocate the heartappalling doctrine of endless wo, teach that Christ's errand was to save the world? Do they not also teach that it is the object of Satan to damn the world, and bring ruin on all he can? Who then will gain the victory, Christ or the adversary? Do they not acknowledge that it is the design of Christ to bruise the serpent's head? And will he never be able to accomplish it? No. Why? Because of the stubbornness of many men, they will not be obedient. May not that stubbornness and disobedience be called Satan's, as it is caused by him? And is it not the object of Satan to bruise or afflict forever the members of Christ, or those whom he came to save? And will Satan not accomplish it, if he be permitted to exercise his endless ire over many, or even one of Christ's members; for if one member suffer, all the members, (or the whole body,) suffer with it? Instead of Christ's effect ing his design and bruising the serpent's head, we are taught by this horrid doctrine, that the reverse will be effected”—that a great part of mankind will be bruised and afflicted forever; and the accursed head of Satan shall not be bruised, but be crowned with being conqueror of millions of souls, whom he, in his den, will rage and reign over forever. Is it not the most stupid nonsense to believe this, and at the same time to talk about Christ's bruising the serpent's head ? How, in the name of common sense, is his head bruised, if he thus lives and reigns forever? Why, it may be said, it is only bruised a little, not more, nor indeed so much, as he has bruised the heel of Christ.
But we will proceed, and follow on the blessed doctrine of the salvation of all men, as it
progresses in the scriptures; and we will see more and more, how the serpent's head will be effectually bruised, and the destruction of evil, and its onsequent misery
Some time after our heavenly Father had promised the parents of mankind, that the serpent, or Satan, should be destroyed, and consequently they, and their posterity finally restored, probably, to a much better state, than if they had never known evil, he renewed his promises to Abraham, a godly man, to whom he had chosen to reveal his will
concerning mankind, more fully and plainly, in these gracious words, (after telling him he should become a great nation, &c.)
56 And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xii. 3.) And again in chapter 18, “ And all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him." And again, (xxii. 16, 18.) “ By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,"—that “ in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” In about fifty years after, the same gracious promise was renewed to Isaac_" And I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham, thy father,” &c.“ And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xxvi. 3, &c.)
And again, the same promise (about forty years after) was confirmed to Jacob_6 And in ihee, and thy seed shall all the families (before it was nations, it is now and families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. xxviii. 14.) And St. Peter applies these promises (Acts iii. 25) to “ all the kindreds of the earth.” Thus it has been six times repeated that “all the nations, and lastly all the kindreds and families of the earth, shall be blessed.” Positively, and unconditionally blessed, without any ifs, or any conditions on the part of man; and, most astonishing, that God should condescend to swear that he would fulfil his promises. Now what can all this mean, if all are not finally
blessed. For certainly all nations, and all fàmilies includes every individual of the human race. But how can all be blessed, unconditionally blessed, if millions of mankind are to lie under an endless curse and suffer eternal pain.
According to Calvinism and Arminianism, all these promised blessings should have read almost altogether the reverse, i. e. the greatest part of the nations, and families, and kindreds of the earth shall be cursed: then, according to their doctrine, it would be true, as they believe many will be cursed, and that forever.
If a father of a large family of children, and one who is abundantly able, should repeatedly and unconditionally promise that he would bless all his children, with all the necessary and comfortable things of this life, and once swear to them that he would fulfil this promise; then, sometime after, leave several of them to suffer in want and poverty, what would his children, and his neighbours, think of his promises ?
What would be thought of a king who should unconditionally promise that he would bless all his subjects, every family of them, with all the comfortable things of this life, or that they should all be placed in easy and comfortable circumstances, and afterwards cast great numbers of them into prison, to be tormented, or deliver them over to a tyrant, his greatest adversary, for that purpose, because they had done something to offend him, when his promise was unconditional ? Certainly he would be considered as deceiving his subjects, or that he only meant to tantalize them.