« AnteriorContinuar »
was ever applied by the N. T. writers, to a place of
Under all these circumstances, shall we say, on mere conjecture, that the use of this word justifies us in its common acceptation ? We think no analogy justifies this course ; and besides this, the immense importance of the tenet forbids the idea, that
it would so long be left in darkness. That false doctrines may grow out of true, and that false glosses may accumulate until the true meaning is obscured, will not be denied by those who are at all acquainted with history. But the charge of Protestants against the Catholic church is sufficient proof of this, as is also the reproof of Jesus to the Pharisees, who had made void the law of God by their traditions. But the labouring oar is in the hand of our opponents. Let them show that the terms which we have examined did originally signify as the moderns assert, and the victory is theirs. But we shall not yield the palm without due PROOF.
LIGHT OF TRUNE.
Containing arguments to show that all souls of men are allered for the better beyond the grave,-made holy and endlessly happy.
Statement of the argument-Home-made Scripture-No soul
fit for heaven while in the body-The Almighty knew, of course decreed the destiny of all souls before he created them.
We have, we think, already refuted the doctrine, taught by some people, that justice requires the endless misery, or punishment, of any intelligent being, but there is another doctrinal notion held by many, which we have not yet considered, in this work, which is, that, as many souls are going out of the body, and world daily, in a state of sinfulness, and unreconciliation to their Maker, and as there is no alteration in the soul for the better, beyond the grave, millions of millions of such must be miserable as long as God exists.
The conclusion to be inferred from the above named doctrines, on the supposition of its truth, is of serious consideration, and is the source of much misery, to thousands of men in this life, particularly of parents; we will, therefore, bestow some serious attention, on the subject, for the benefit of man generally-and with much propriety the writer can say,
“ Homo sum, et humana a me nil alinum puto."I am a man, and nothing which relates to man, can be foreign to my bosom.
In the first place, we must remark, that the suppostion, that souls do not undergo any alteration for the better, after the death of the body, is only a supposition. Should the supposition however, be şupported by the testimony of divine scripture, we grant it would substantiate a very formidable, and perhaps, an unanswerable objection against the final holiness and happiness of all men. We have often heard the objection made, but have never discovered any evidence from scripture to support it. The opposers of the doctrine of universal salvation, being sensible of the want of scripture testimony to support their supposition, have very liberally, been at the expense of making some. The notable passage which they have coined and brought into very common use, is not to be found in the divine scriptures, but is often to be heard from the pulpit, is recited in their writings, and used in the arguments of the ignorant. It is as follows: " As the tree falls, so it lies--As death leaves us, so judgment will find us." We will not, here, contend about a different explanation of this alteration of scripture, but will only say; that if the thing be true, according to the views of those who make the scripture, and its inference, viz. that souls cannot be altered for the better after death, all christian people must remaineternally as unsanctified, as they are in this world of carnality and infirmity, and of course be eternally miserable, as there can be no happiness without holiness.
This unavoidable consequence is a circumstance of which, perhaps, the reader has never before thought, and we are sure, that those who make objections to the doctrine of universal holiness and happiness, and particularly, the part we are now about illustrating;
are not aware. It is true, some christian professors believe in the existence of earthly perfection, to whom the arguments of scripture and reason would be of no value, their ignorance of the spiritual perfection of the moral law, and of their own hearts, is so great ; but most christians believe and feel, that the spirit, while connected with the body, is carnally affected, very wickedly inclined, and like the soul of the Apostle Paul, subjected to sin and death, and they know that “to be carnally minded is death,” and that they cannot do the things that they would, but do those which they abhor. And yet those same people will believe, that, as they fall so they will lie, as death leaves them so judgment will find them : that there is no chance of an alteration of the soul for the better beyond the grave.
We know that many of such believers have been taken out of the present state of existence, without a moment's warning, or time for preparation, with all their imperfections, of ignorance of the nature and character of God--of carnality-of their hearts full of the love of created and sensual objects—of selfwill, and pride; and if no alteration can be effected, dreadful, indeed, will be the consequences to such souls. No situation in the universe can afford them a heaven-there is no happiness for unholy souls ; God himself cannot make them happy, until he makes them holy.
It may be suggested, by some, that, although all souls are not made holy during their present life, yet all whom God has ordained for eternal glory, in their next state of existence, he will sanctify, even in the hour or moment of their death, but cannot, or will not, after they have left the body. To this view of the subject, we object, and could assign many reasons why we dispute the hypothesis, but one or two will answer.