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riches of his grace in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus: for by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, least any man should boast; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walks in them."
But as there are many who disdain this mendicant scheme of salvation, and scorn to be dependent on free grace alone, let them spin and weave a handsome web of self-righteousness, and appear at the general court of Oyer and Terminer, clad in a decent suit of homespun; for if the Judge should chance to dislike the garb, and order it to be burnt, the wearer must sustain the loss, but the Judge has promised that the owner shall escape, and not be consumed in the fire with the cloths.†
From the passages of scripture which have been quoted, and the observations that have been made, it appears, evidently, that the Father sent his beloved Son to be the Saviour of the world.... that he has accepted the appointment, and has actually performed the most arduous part of the
• Ephes. ii. 4, 5, 7, 9, 10. † 1 Cor. iii. 14, 15.
business, having been wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, and thereby became the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, by which means God was reconciled to the world, and is now in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their sins; and as it is the will and merciful design of our Father that all men should be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth, it is impossible that his purposes should be frustrated. We therefore conclude, that the universal restitution of all things, or salvation of all men, depends entirely upon the immutable attributes of the Deity, and not on our own works, least any man should boast. Therefore the doctrine of eternal punishment cannot be supported by any other means than by flatly denying the benevolence, wisdom, or power of God: for if he wishes that all men may be saved, he has certainly wisdom and power sufficient to convince, convert, and reform the most hardened sinner; of which we have had the most ample evidence. To acknowledge this truth, and at the same time to deny that he wishes all men to be saved, is not only denying his express declaration, but impeaching his infinite goodness and benignity; and more than merely insinuating that he prefers the eternal duration of vice and misery to
the reign of virtue and happiness; for it is evident that no power can resist his will.
If this is a good moral character, we will thank our opponents to delineate what they would denominate a bad character, that we may contrast them; that thereby we may discover the extremes of infinite goodness and benignity, and vindictive malevolence and cruelty.
As we have in the first part endeavoured to prove that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour or restorer of the whole world, and not only of a few individuals (as many have believ◄ ed) let us now proceed to consider the second purpose for which Christ was manifested, to wit, to destroy the works of the devil. But as there are a variety of opinions entertained on this interesting subject, it is in the first place necessary to enquire, and endeavour to ascer tain, first, What may with propriety be deno minated the works of the devil?
Secondly, To what extent are they to be destroyed, so as to comport with the gracious design of our heavenly Father?
Thirdly, Whether Christ has sufficient power given to him to fulfil this purpose?
And first, negatively. It cannot be the souls of mankind which Christ was manifested to destroy (as many people have imagined) for these are all the workmanship of God, who declares that he made them for himself. "Who hath
delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. For by him were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or pow. ers, all things were created by him and for him." If this be true, then it is evident that he created nothing on purpose for the devil. We therefore conclude, that as nothing was created on purpose for the devil, he never will be permit ted to hold an everlasting possession of any thing that was not created on purpose for him: and we are confident that a God of infinite goodness and mercy, whose very essence is love, never made one soul on purpose for the devil, and as confident that the devil never can retain one soul contrary to the eternal purpose of our heav enly Father.
Col. i. 13, 14, 15, 16.
The opinion that the ever-merciful Jehovah should ever have made even one soul, which he positively knew the devil would torment throughout eternal ages, is monstrously absurd and blasphemous, and so derogatory to the moral character of the Deity, that it is fraught with more malignity than the unpardonable sin of which the Jews were guilty, by insinuating that Christ was in league with the devil, and saying, "that he cast out devils through Beelzebub the prince of devils."*
But are not those far more criminal who are forced, by the clearest conviction, to acknowledge, that God is possessed of infinite wlsdom and almighty power; and could, with the greatest facility, render every individual human being virtuous and happy; but alledge, that he is so devoid of compassion, as to abandon num bers of the souls which he has made, to the permanent dominion of the devil, to be tormented by him throughout eternal ages.
It is revealed as the will of God our Saviour, that all men should be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth ; and that Christ has given himself a ransom for all, which will