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duct; doctrines that mocked reason and the heart, confusing the one by a certain specious plausibility, and crushing and petrifying the other. The peculiarity of the doctrine of penalty, as held for ages by the Church, was that the law of cause and effect, so imperatively taught by Christ, was lost sight of, and a heathen Tartarus substituted, in which punishment bore no relation to the evil done, and the non-elect were everlastingly tortured for the glory of God. The Church rebelled, first, against its cruelty; then against its injustice, and, finally, against its absurdity. It is, indeed, held as nominal orthodoxy in some quarters, but it is the thinnest of departing ghosts. It is difficult to say how far the reaction against the doctrine of penalty might go if it were not met by Science, which actually reinforces essential and substantial orthodoxy, by itself teaching a stringent doctrine of penalty. In no respejt has religion so eagerly availed itself of the service of Science as just here, by teaching us to think of penalty under the law of cause and effect, and insisting on its certainty and severity.
To this we would add, also, immediacy. The doctrine of a remote judgment-day, when some thousands of years hence the sinner will be raised to meet his reward, has been one of the chief causes of the confusion of this whole subject of penalty, Science teaches, as does Scripture, that retribution is but the reaping what a man sows. And Scripture connects this penalty with the death of man, and not with his recovery to life at some distant judgment day. The complete correction of the old idea of future punishment must be sought in a right idea of the nature and purpose of resurrection.
We expect to make definite announcement in the next number as to the continuance of the magazine. Several of Our friends have written strongly deprecating its loss. A few have sent contributions and offers of help. Meanwhile we ask it as a favor that all who are in arrears will forward the amount due. A blue cross on the wrapper is a reminder to delinquents.
Words Of Reconciliation.
Vol. IV.] NOVEMBER, 1888. [No. 11.
Some new circumstances have arisen by reason of which it seems right that we should defer for another month the announcement we expected to make in this number with reference to the continuance of this magazine. As will be seen from the extracts from letters given on another page, several of our subscribers have sent urgent appeals that we should go on, and a few have offered to take some share in the burden. These pledges are only sufficient to provide for about one-fourth of what has been the average deficit in the cost of the work. But they are made by those who appreciate its importance and who believe it to be a much needed service to the church and its Divine Head.
The hesitation we have just now in deciding is due to the fact that we are about engaging in a business venture to which the Lord seems to have opened the door. We hope, but we do not know that it will be His pleasure to give success, and we are also uncertain how exacting will be its demands, and whether we shall find time and strength to do full justice to this work. By another month we shall be better prepared to decide whether we shall be justified in assuming for another year both the pecuniary and the intellectual burden. Meanwhile we trust that the will of God concerning this work will, under these new circumstances, be made quite clear to us, and that we shall have grace and strength to do and to bear whatever He appoints.
RANSOM FOE, ALL.
In 1st Timothy ii. 4-6, we read, as given in the new version:
Who willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times.
This statement is made in connection with St. Paul's exhortation, that in the Christian assemblies thanksgivings, as well as intercessions, be made for all men. It is virtually repeated in Chapter iv. 10: "Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe." So also in Titus ii. 11, we read that the "grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men."
The two prevalent interpretations of these passages are:
1. That of the Universalists. They make the universal salvation spoken of to be to eternal life and glory.
2. The orthodox, which defines the salvation in the same way, but limits it to those who believe. The only universal blessing it admits as secured by the rausom for all is an opportunity to all to accept it and lay hold on eternal life. And this blessing it makes dependent upon their hearing of it. The older Calvinism denies even a universal atonement.
The true interpretation we believe to be that the ransom referred to is that ransom of all men from death which the Old Testament everywhere adumbrates, and to which the New (Rom. v. 12-20, 1 Cor.xv. 22) plainly testifies. Our reasons for this are:
1. The inconsistencies of the orthodox interpretation. Abandoning its former tenet of a limited atonement, it is driven to Jay a burden upon the doctrine of man's free agency far greater than it can bear. It assumes that, under the favorable conditions brought in with the gift of Christ, all men in this life are given sufficient light and opportunity to put them upon probation for eternal life. And yet the Scriptures teach, and experience confirms, that men are born into the world under the sentence of death, and with such inborn proclivity to sin as makes it sure that, without the knowledge and experience of Christ as a Saviour, they will go down to death. What kind of a probation is that under which an almost universal failure is assured beforehand? The fact is that men, whom the Scriptures describe as " by nature children of wrath," and under the dominion of the prince of evil (Eph. ii. 2, 3), are not properly free. They cannot shake off this bondage until quickened out of death in trespasses and sins.
2. It is here declared, however, that it is God's purpose that all men shall come to the knowledge of the truth which saves, and that, to this end, a ransom has been given for all. A large proportion of the human race died before Christ came, and in ignorance of His salvation. The majority since His advent have not heard His gospel. If the "all men" refers only to a future generation in millenial times, then what becomes of the countless millions of the dead who never heard of Christ? And where the benevolence, or even the justice of the provision to raise them from the dead? Is then the resurrection of all but the elect an unutterable curse? So the Westminister Standards describe it.
3. But this ransom for all is evidently here assumed to be a blessing in store for all. For it the church, in her representative character, was to "give thanks for all men." Moreover the testimony to it was to be borne in due time, or in "its own times." All in their own time and order should be reached by it. How can this be, unless all are to be redeemed from death? And how can this redemption be otherwise than a blessing?
The fact is that Calvinism and Universalism have each borne testimony to important sides of truth, but neither to the whole truth. Calvinism has conserved the truth of election—of a chosen seed of which Christ is the special Saviour;—but it has not seen the connection between their special blessing, and the future wider blessing of all mankind of which they are the selected channels.
Universalism has testified to this broad salvation, as the purchase of the ransom given for all; but it has gone beyond Scripture in asserting that this salvation is to eternal life. Only the church is now saved unto life everlasting. But all men have been redeemed to another life, with its opportunities to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. We might indeed conclude that, under this merciful provision, all would be finally and eternally saved. But our Lord warns us that men may so sin against His grace as to shut themselves out from forgiveness in the world to come. And Scripture speaks of a