Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ix

“ Let no on

take offence at the opening of this mystery as though it brought anything new into religion ; for it has nothing new in it ; it alters no point of gospel doctrine, but only sets each article of the old Christian faith upon its true ground.”—W. LAW, Way to Divine Knowledge, p. 255.

“ Rabbi Ishmael Ben Elisha said, Once, I entered into the Holy of Holies (as High Priest] to burn incense, when I saw Aktriel [the Divine Crown] Jah, Lord of Hosts, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, who said unto me, 'Ishmael, my son, bless me.' I answered, May it please Thee to make Thy compassion prevail over Thine anger ; may it be revealed above Thy other attributes ; majest Thou deal with Thy children according to it, and not according to the strict measure of judgment.' It seemed to me that He bowed His head, as though to answer Amen to my blessing."-- Talmud (Berachôth, i. f. 6. b.)

[ocr errors]

“St. John uses a very broad expression. “Jesus Christ,' he says, ‘is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.' The whole world.'--'Ah !' some would say, 'that is dangerous language.' It is God's languageJohn speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. It throws a zone of mercy around the world. Perish the hand that would narrow it by a hairsbreadth."--Rev. Dr. GUTHRIE, Life, p. 511.

My belief is that in the end there will be a vastly larger number saved than we have any conception of. What sort of earthly government would that be where more than half the subjects were in prison? I cannot believe that the government of God will be like that." -Id. p. 773.

PREFACE.

The complaint of Origen as to the misrepresentation of his real views alike by friends and opponents, which stands on the title-page of this volume, will exactly express my reason for publishing it. Most unexpectedly, most reluctantly, I find myself entangled in a controversy into which I should not have voluntarily entered without buckling on armour of stronger temper and securer rivets than I can, at this sudden call, find ready to hand. These sermons were never intended for publication. They were preached in the ordinary course of my duties, and I refused multitudes of requests to give them a wider publicity, until it became necessary to do so in simple self-defence against the many perversions of my real views, which were prevalent among those who had not heard the sermons,

errone

or those who reported them imperfectly and ously. The notes and appendices were not prepared beforehand, but written in the very brief and in. cessantly occupied space of time which intervened between my decision to publish them and their actual appearance. Of the truths here propounded I have never since my early youth had the slightest doubt; but had I intended any controversial defence of them, it would have been far fuller and more impregnable than I now can make it.

If, in mere collateral matters, I have made any slips, the candid reader (and to such only I

! In drawing them up I have received some assistance from books which have since been kindly sent me, mostly by their authors, but not one of which I had previously read. Of the arguments of these writers I have made little or no use, but I have borrowed some of their quotations. Among these I may mention especially Mr. Jukes's Restitution of All Things, a singularly calm, devout, and thoughtful treatise ; Dr. Dewes's Plea for a Rational Translation ; the Rev. H. N. Oxenham's Catholic Eschatology; and the Rev. C. Clemance's Future Punishment. The Rev. S. Minton kindly sent me his Glory of Christ, and other publications; the Rev. E. White his Life in Christ; and I have also had lent to me The Perishing Soul, by Mr. Dennistoun; the Rev. Prebendary Constable's Duration of Future Punishment ; and numerous pamphlets, for which my best thanks are due to the authors.

appeal) will make every allowance for one who, amid many occupations, has been' unexpectedly called upon to defend opinions which have been incessantly assailed, but which, in the only forn in which he holds them, he believes to be not only tenable and permissible—(this they are beyond all question)—but to be also Scriptural, necessary, and true. In a very high sense also he believes them to be Catholic. An'opinion’indeed, can never be • Catholic' in the same sense as a matter of faith ; but my views on the subject are in agreement with Catholic theology-both before and after the Reformation-to an extent of which I believe that few are aware. And this will I hope appear when I have endeavoured to state with all possible clearness what my opinions really are.

Among innumerable varieties of detail into which it is impossible to enter, it may be said that four main views of Eschatology are now prevalent, namely

1. Universalism, or, as it is now sometimes termed Restorationism : the opinion that all men will be ultimately saved.

2. Annihilationism, or, as its supporters prefer to

« AnteriorContinuar »