صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

death in victory; and Adonia Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces," &c. Isaiah xxv. 8.

I will ransom them (even such who perish in their iniquity and sin, as is evident from the context) from the power of the grave: (or hell) I will redeem them from death: O death I will be thy plagues: O grave (or hell) I will be thy destruction: repentence shall be hid from mine eyes." Hosea xiii. 14.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. xxi. 4.

The whole of this transaction was a wonderful type, and a most beautful illustration of the subject now upon.

Pharaoh set up Joseph over the land of Egypt because there was none so discreet and wise as he was, that understood the matter so well, was so competent to every part of the business, and that would be so faithful and diligent in the discharge of the same. Pharaoh in choosing Joseph, and placing him over all the land, shewed his own wisdom and discernment to be great. Even so the wisdom and goodness of God shone conspicuously in placing his dear Son in so glorious and important a situation. For where is there one in heaven or earth worthy to be named in comparison with Jesus? so prudent, so wise, so faithful, so just, so competent to every part of his work? The Father hath therefore entrusted him with all the concerns of the wide extended universe, as Pharaoh did Joseph with the land of Egypt, and all things therein.

Pharaoh gave Joseph full power, and unlimited and absolute authority over all his people, but excepted himself, in the same manner as the apostle declares the Father to be excepted. It is manifest that he is excepted who id put all things under him.

But this exception being expressly made (though it was evidently implied in the nature of the thing) plainly shews that none else can possibly be excepted, whether things in heaven, things on earth, or things under the crea-earth. Christ is truly and really over all, (the Father only excepted) God blessed forever. Rom. ix. 5.

Then shall the song of triumph be sung, "Death is swallowed up in victory!" And the great and mighty challenge shall be proclaimed through all the empire of Jehovah, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave (or hell) where is thy victory?" 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55. But surely while sin, which is the sting of death, is found in existence, and while pain, sorrow, crying, &c., continue in the universe, it can hardly be said, that death is swallowed up in victory; and while the second death lasts, which is certainly the most terrible kind of death, how can it be said, O death where is thy sting and, O grave (or hell) where is thy victory? But to me, scarce any thing appears more plain, than the certain annihilation or total destruction of all that ever bore the name of death. Then it may be truly said, "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so hath grace reigned through righteousness unto eternal life byJesusChrist our Lord." Rom. v. 20 21.

But prior to the total destruction of death, all other enemies, that is, all rebellious tures, shall be humbled, and shall willingly submit to Jesus, and be his enemies no longer: for certainly at the time when the last enemy shall be destroyed, no enemies can remain in the universe.

For he hath put all things under his feet: but when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted who did put all things under him.

This reasoning of the apostle seems almost self evident: for nothing can be more manifest, than that he (the eternal Father) who put all things under Christ the Son, is him self excepted. Even as Pharaoh said to Joseph, when he made him governor or ruler over all the land of Egypt.

"Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art! Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh saith unto Joseph, See I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had:

and they cried before him, Bow the knee; and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Gen. xli. 39-44.

*

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

The time, the glorious time will come, when all things shall be willingly subject to the Son of God, and shall submit to his control. When this event takes place, and there is not an enemy remaining in all the universe, then shall the Son of God deliver up the kingdom to the Father, in the most grand, glorious, and honourable manner, and be himself also subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

*

I have ventured far already, but cannot feel myself willing to quit the subject, without once more endeavouring to represent its beauties in the form of a speech, which I trust will not be altogether unworthy of the Son of God to utter in the presence of his Father, and all the heavenly host on that resplendent day.

Speech of the King of kings and Lord of lords, upon his resigning his Imperial dignity to God the Father, having forever put down all rule, and authority, and power.

"My Father and my God,behold me,and the numerous children which thou hast given me, as the reward of my labour, and the fruit of my pain. I have at length subdued all my enemies, and brought them freely and heartily to submit to my sceptre. Long and severe was the struggle, and many that loved me doubted whether I should ever so far prevail as to bring my greatest enemies to be my friends; but I have succeeded according to thy will, and thy glorious purposes. Thou didst create all to glorify thy name, to enjoy thy love, and to be happy in beholding the light of thy countenance, and when some of thy creatures fell from their first estate, thou didst appoint me to reclaim and restore them.

"Father, the long expected time is at last arrived, when thy Son having accomplished thy designs, approaches thy throne to resign his kingdom to thee. Thou didst give him power over all, and he hath given eternal life to all which thou gavest him. All that thou, O Father, gavest me, have at length willingly returned unto me,and behold I present them before thee this day, reconciled to thee, to me,and to each other. See, my Father, and behold throughout this mighty throng, there is not one knee but what bows in the most cordial manner, not a tongue but is ready to shout thy praise, nor an heart that doth not overflow with love to thee. All are thy willing and obedient subjects, reclaimed from all their evil ways, and forever confirmed in the purest habits of goodness. Look, my Father, through the wide extended universe, for thou beholdest all thy works in every situation with the utmost ease, see, there is not one rebellious creature to be found! Where sin once reigned and abounded, grace now reigns and abounds much more. All confusion and disorder now destroyed, the whole creation exhibits one great scene of peace, harmony, and divine order. All creatures are now wholly delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. All things in the universe are gathered together in one, are reconciled to thy government, and conformed to thine image and shall never more go astray. Sin, sorrow, crying, pain, and death shall never more be known in thy extensive empire. Thou shalt be all, and in all. Thy subjects no longer need a Mediator, they are all righteous and holy, and capable of beholding thy face with joy. I have seen the travail of my soul, and am forever satisfied. Thou hast fulfilled all thy promises to me in the completest manner, I have also performed my words to all my people, whom I have redeemed to thee, and from this

[blocks in formation]

"Thou didst entrust me with the execution of thy wonderous plan, and this I have completed. Henceforth I resign the kingdom to thee; be thou thyself the Lord over all.

"In my whole process I have always been an example to all my flock, of which I am still, and shall remain, the Shepherd and head; I will therefore shew an example to all thy creatures that shall never be forgotten, which shall forever confirm thy authority over them; behold, I lay my sceptre and my crown at thy feet, and profess before all the hosts of heaven, and the numerous armies that acknowledge my sway, that great and mighty as I am, I am subject unto thee. I bow myself before thine awful throne: I submit to thee as all thy creatures have voluntarily submitted to me. Behold me as the head of all principality and power, and with me behold all thy creatures submit and bow to thy sovereign sway."

Here the scene of divine revelation closes, GOD IS ALL IN ALL. I can go no further. The astonishing subject drinks up all my spirits! I am lost and swallowed up in the vast unbounded ocean of love!

O let my soul absorbed be,
While God doth me surround!
As a small drop in the vast sea
Is lost and can't be found!

"Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth;" and he shall reign forever and ever. Amen.

[graphic]

PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION.

THE reader of the following admirable trea- a livelihood, and by my labour to gather what tise will naturally feel a curiosity to know would suffice for my necessities the remainsomething of its author. That he was a good der of my days. In this it has pleased God man, a sincere Christian, gifted with a sound to prosper me beyond my expectations. And mind and clear discriminative powers, no one now, thanks to the divine Providence, I am it seems to me can reasonably doubt, but our free from worldly anxieties and at liberty to acquaintance with his life is extremely limit- speak the truth as I find it in his word, and I ed and imperfect. We know, indeed, that he employ the happy leisure which his goodness was a native of the canton of Neufchâtel, affords me in the preparation of this work Switzerland, but of the time of his birth, of upon the plan of God, that I may do my duty his family and connexions, we know nothing. in this respect, in the only way that is now He was a minister of the gospel at Chaux-de- left me, and finish my career in this world Fonds, formerly a small village, but now a as I began it, maintaining the word of the considerable town, eight or ten miles from the Lord." city of Neufchatel, the capital of the canton. This was probably about 1770. Here by a very careful and impartial study of the Bible, guided by an earnest desire to gain a knowledge of the truth, pure truth, he was brought at last to an unwavering faith in the infinite goodness of God, and in the final holiness and happiness of all men. Nor did he shun to avow and proclaim so great truths. But this frank and conscientious course soon involved him in very serious difficulties. A persecuting spirit has marked the history of the dogma of endless torments in every age and every place where it has existed; and Petit-fested it in nature and grace. It constitutes, pierre was left to experience the "tender mer- however, but a part of the design which its cies" of that harsh creed which he denied. author had formed, and which was to have been He was most unjustly and cruelly persecuted, filled up by three other treatises, thus: The was disgraced, deposed, deprived of the means first part, which we here present, treats of the of support at home, and virtually driven an infinite goodness of God. The second was to exile to other lands. But the reader must have treated of man, natural or animal, and hear him speak on this subject. I translate a spiritual. The third of the salvation of all men ; passage from the second edition of his treatise. and the knowledge of the truth necessary to their Speaking of the great advantages he gained being saved. And the fourth of the revelation of the by an impartial study of the scriptures, he truth in nature and in grace. In 1791, when addsa new edition of this treatise "carefully revised" was published in Amsterdam, the author expressed the hope that he should be able in a short time to give the second part of his work to the public, but added that if any unforeseen obstacle should prevent its appearance, this treatise which he had already sent forth might be regarded as complete in itself,

On leaving Switzerland, he took up his residence in London, where it seems he spent several years, but whether the treatise before us was written there or afterwards on the continent, I am unable to say. It is evident from the passage above, that it was not written till after he had been engaged in business sometime, and probably had retired. The following treatise first appeared in French at Amsterdam, in 1786, and under the title; "Le Plan de Dieu envers les Hommes, tel qu'il la manifesté dans la Nature et dans la Grace." The Plan of God towards men, as he has mani

"It is true that it has sometimes exposed me to some temporal inconveniences. I was a minister of the gospel. In assuming that office I took an oath at the hands of the clergy that I would sacrifice my body, my life and my estate to maintain the word of the Lord. I have consequently desired to proclaim the counsel or plan of God according to his words with-"a treatise," he says, on the infinite goodness out any farther regard to the received doctrine of God; and, strange to say, this sublime subthan prudence dictated. The clergy without ject is as new as it is interesting." We deciding upon the truth or falsehood of my know not that any other part of the work ever doctrine, forbid me to preach it, and imposed appeared. upon me a law of very rigorous silence. I could not submit to any law that violated my conscience, and was deposed. As I had no means of support but what my lost benefice afforded, I went to a foreign country to gain

The call for a new edition in the space of five years, is an evidence that it met with a very respectable sale. Indeed the English tr lator refers to the approbation it receiv the continent, the ardour with which

« السابقةمتابعة »