« ZurückWeiter »
To Rev. Joel Hawes, Hartford.
SIR-I shall now proceed to remark on some of your observations respecting certain passages of scripture, which, as you assert, are pressed into the service of Universalists. In letter 8th you say ;
“ Again it is said, he is the Saviour of all men. But here only a part of the text is quoted. He is the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe. The meaning is, Christ is offered as the Saviour of all, of all orders and classes of men, Gentiles as well as Jews; but he is actually the Saviour of those only who believe and obey his gospel."
Universalists are here accused of garbling a portion of scripture, the whole of which would much better answer their purpose than a part; and even in your attempt at correction, the same passage is misquoted and mutilated! The whole sentence, as it stands in 1 Tim. 4:10, reads thus ;
“ For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
Taking now the whole text, and fairly examining its import, not the least intimation is given, which will justify your commentary. If he is the Saviour of all men, the special salvation, which is the lot of beliey. ers, does not in the least militate against the salvation of all men. How is he, how can he be, the Saviour of those who are not saved ? To say that Christ is offered, is the most egregious absurdity. The scrip: tures know nothing about the offers of salvation, and similar expressions; these are coined by Arminians, to avoid the doctrine of Universal Salvation. When the prophets and apostles say that all have sinned, with what consummate arrogance must that man be filled,
who should say, the meaning is, that all orders and classes of men, Gentiles as well as Jews, was the fair import of their language ? You have already stated that the salvation of a single soul was not made certain by the atonement of Christ; how then do you assure more certainty of salvation to believers, than to unbelievers ? When you can make it appear that God is the Saviour of men, who are not actually saved by him, your assertion will demand more attention. While people are more willing to hear opinions respecting the scriptures, than to search the reasons of those opinions, it may truly be said they that lead them cause them to err, and destroy the way of their paths." I shall now examine the following quotation, the substance of which came under notice in the Inquirer more than a year ago.
" It is said again ; as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But the whole context shows that the Apostle in this passage is speaking of the resurrection of the body, and has no reference to the future condition, either of the righteous or the wicked. His meaning is, that as the first Adam was the cause of natural death, so Christ the second Adam, is the author of the resurrection."
You here assert, that making alive in Christ, merely alludes to the resurrection of the body. It is your only mode of elusion, and we shall soon see how much aid you are likely to derive from it. The words of Christ are “ye do therefore err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God; for in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven.” Exert all your ingenuity on the passage, and the labour must be futile. “ It is worse than idle to resort to the common sophistry used in similar cases. The import of the words is definite-it has not the most distant allusion to any portion of men, but, to the subjects of the resurrection. Disprove this, and I have done."
* The first inquiry is, how do men die in Adam? It is necessary to settle this point, before we can settle the latter clause---even so in Christ, shall all be made alive." 6 All men are not liable to a natural death... Enoch and Elijah were translated, and did not see death, if we may credit the scriptures. An apostle also tells us in this same chapter (1 Cor. 15.) that we shall not all sleep; beyond controversy, alluding to a natural death, or the dissolution of the body. All do not therefore, die temporally, in Adam, nor have all died in him, in this sense of the words." Therefore, a natural death is not the import of the passage. But let us look at the context.
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
It hardly seems possible, that one can be found, who will attempt to prove by the scriptures, that a natural death was caused by the lapse of Adam. I know it is said---and I know the force of the assertion depends on human authority---proof cannot be produced, nor any thing bordering on proof; and analogy is completely against it. "But to show the harmony of the scriptures in the use of the phrase in Christ, a few examples will be quoted. To the faithful in Christ. Eph. 1: 1, 3. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Eph. 2:10. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For ye are all one in Christ Jesus.----Gal. 3 : 26, 28. If any man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature. 2 Cor. 5:17. That will live godly in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 3:12. And in the chapter whence the text is taken, we read, verse 18, of those who had fallen asleep in Christ, evidently alluding to believers. But testimonies are abundant to show, that to be made alive in Christ, is to enjoy the blessings of the new covenant. But, to settle still more conclusively the general scope of the apostle's argument, and to show that to be made alive in Christ, is a spiritual renovation, let us quote the language in this chapter, and elsewhere.
" And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
After reading the above, I can hardly conceive how any man, having but a moderate comprehension of the language, will mistake the force of the apostle's paral. lel between Adam and Christ. The first Adam, was a living soul, an animal ; the last Adam is a quickening, life-giving spirit. The natural or first man, Adam, was of the earth, earthy, or earthly; the second Ad. am, was from heaven. And as we HAYE borne the image of the EARTHLY, we shall also bear the image of the HEAVENLY.' This is in perfect unison with other declarations in this chapter, that the body which is sown in corruption, in dishonour, in weakness, and an animal, or natural body-shall be raised incorrup. tible, in glory, in power, and spiritual. Incorruption and glory are co-extensive with corruption and dishonour. And again says the apostle, in the closing portion of the chapter;
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immmortality. So when this
** The comparison here is not between the body which is pat into the grave, and that which is to be raised—but between the state of man in the present frail and mortal life, and that in which he will be placed after his resurrection from the grave; when be will be made glorious, happy, and immortal.-Note to Imp. Ver. Or Obreę 42.
corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
This corruptible must put on incorruption---mortal MUST put on immortality. Those who have borne the image of the earthly, SHALL also bear the image of the heavenly man, the second Adam. Can words be more explicit---more universal ? At the time, to which the apostle here alludes, when mortal shall have put on inmortality," shall be brought to pass the saying that is written : (Isa. 25:) Death is swallowed up in victory." To what death does Paul allude ? Not to a natural death, most surely, for the import of his language, in view of this consummation, is utterly irreconcileable with such a conclusion---O death! where is thy sting? O grave, [hades, hell] where is thy victory ?" He concludes this enthusiastic strain, by thanking God for the victory over the last enemy, death, through Jesus Christ. Is it probable, that a man of his philanthropy, could utter such a strain of praise and thanksgiving, for a catastrophe, which should consign to remediless ruin a vast portion of his brethren according to the flesh? Impossible ! utterly impossible.
But the tenor of this chapter brings to mind other declarations of the same import. See Rom. 8:1, 2.
“ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death."