67. Paul represented the free gift of life as extending equally with sin. "As, by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18) This is a very important passage. It teaches us, that the free gift of eternal life shall extend equally with sin. On the one hand we are told, judgment came upon all men by sin; on the other we find, that "the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." This free gift is eternal life, see Rom. 6:23. But, for a further view of the argument of the apostle in this place, see section 68.
68. Paul also says, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." The same many that were made sinners, Paul declares "shall be made righteous." This certainly asserts the salvation of all sinners. Parkhurst in his Greek Lexicon, says, Oi polloi, the many, i.e. the multitude, or whole bulk of mankind, Rom. 5:15,19, in which texts oi polloi are plainly equivalent to Pantas anthropous, all men, verses 12,18." The learned Dr. Macknight is to the same purport. "For as oi polloi, the many, in the first part of the verse, does not mean some of mankind only, but all mankind, from first to last, who without exception, are constituted sinners, so the many in the latter part of the verse, who are said to be constituted righteous, through the obedience of Christ, must mean ALL MANKIND, from the beginning to the end of the world, without exception." See his commentary on the place. The evident sense of the passage is this: For as the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind were made sinners, so shall the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind, be made righteous. What can be plainer than this fact? We agree with the authors of the Improved Version, who say, "Nothing can be more obvious than this, that it is the apostle's intention to represent all mankind, without exception, as deriving greater benefit from the mission of Christ, than they suffered injury from the fall of Adam. The universality of the apostle's expression is very remarkable. The same "many" who were made sinners by the disobedience of one, are made righteous by the obedience of the other. If all men are condemned by the offense of one, the same all are justified by the righteousness of the other. These universal terms, so frequently repeated, and so variously diversified, cannot be reconciled to the limitation of the blessings of the Gospel, to the elect alone, or to a part only of the human race." (Note of Rom. 5:19)
69. Grace shall abound more than sin, and reign more potently, so that at last all shall end in everlasting life. "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 5:20,21) What a blessed assurance! Grace shall conquer sin? In every heart where sin has reigned, grace shall set up its empire. Grace shall reign triumphantly and successfully. We see not yet all this done; but it shall be done at last.
70. Paul teaches, that the same creature which was made subject to vanity, "shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Rom. 8:21) It is worthy of remark, that it is the same "creature," or creation, which was made subject to vanity, that is to be delivered. Rev. Thomas White, in his sermons preached at Welbeck Chapel, translates the passage thus: "For THE CREATION was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it; in hope that THE CREATION ITSELF also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." (Horne's Intro. II. 540) Dr. Macknight decides, that creature, in the passage, signifies, "every human creature," "all mankind." Let us read the passage with such a rendering, as it undoubtedly gives it its just sense. For every human creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who had subjected the same in hope; because every human creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
71. Paul teaches the eventual salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in ; and so "ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED." Rom. 11: 25,26. The terms, Jews and Gentiles, comprehend all mankind. Paul asserts the ultimate salvation of both Jews and Gentiles, that is, all men. What serious man can pretend, that by the fulness of the Gentiles he meant only a portion of them, and by all Israel, he meant only a small part of Israel? Was it such a view, that led Paul to exclaim, at the conclusion of his luminous argument on this subject, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God?" If God sought to save the whole, and succeeded in saving only a fraction, was the depth of his wisdom so surpassingly great? And remark what he says at the conclusion of the 11th chapter. "For of him (God) and through him, and TO HIM are all things," (Gr. ta panta) the universe ; as Dr. Whitby says, "For of him (as the donor) and through him (as the director and providential orderer) and to him (as the end) be all things." The argument is complete.
72. Paul teaches, that whether living or dying we are the Lord's. "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live we live unto the Lord; and whether we die we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." Rom. 14:7, 8. Does Paul here mean to include all mankind? Does he here mean to assert, that all without exception, are the Lord's? We can come to no other conclusion. He adds, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living," verse 9. The terms "dead and living," evidently signify all the human race. Of course, all the human race are Christ's for ever.
73. Paul saith, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. 15: 22. "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. 5: 17. Hence, if all shall be made alive in Christ, they shall all be new creatures in the resurrection of the dead. Belsham says, "The apostle's language is so clear and full with respect to the final happiness of those who are thus raised, and that their resurrection to life will be ultimately a blessing, that the generality of Christians have supposed, that he is here treating of the resurrection of the virtuous only. But that is not the fact. He evidently speaks of the restoration of the whole human race. All who die by Adam shall be raised by Christ; otherwise the apostle's assertion would be untrue. The case then would have been this, as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall a select number, a small proportion, be made alive. But this is not the apostle's doctrine. His expressions are equally universal in each clause. ALL die in Adam. The same ALL, without any exception, without any restriction, shall by Christ be restored to life, and ultimately to holiness and everlasting happiness."
74. Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. 1 Cor. 15. 26. If death be the last enemy, and if that shall be destroyed, there will be no enemies to the happiness of man remaining after the resurrection.
75. Paul, in his account of the resurrection, does not admit of the existence of sin in the immortal state. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised incorruption ; ***** it is raised in glory. ***** it is raised in power; ***** it is raised a spiritual body." 1 Cor. 15. 42-44. When the apostle cries out triumphantly, "O death ! where is thy sting?" he certainly means, that sin was absent, for "the sting of death is sin."
76. Paul saith, "that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." 2 Cor. 5:19. It is not said, that God was in Christ reconciling himself to the world, for he was never unreconciled to the world; but God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. By "the world" in this place is undoubtedly intended all for whom Christ died. God was engaged in this work ; he had appointed the means for its accomplishment ; and we believe, under his wise direction, it will be done.
77. Paul saith to the Galatians, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3. 28,29. According to what promise? Answer. According to the promise of God to Abraham, that in him, and his seed [Christ], all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth shall be blessed. In Christ, therefore, none of the distinctions are known of which Paul there speaks. "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus." That point being settled, he adds, "and if ye be Christ's [as he had proved] then are ye Abraham's seed, [that is, not by lineal descent, but spiritually], and heirs according to the promise."
78. He saith, that to Jesus was given "a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philip. 2:9-11. Professor Stuart, of Andover, says, in his "Letters to Dr. Channing," "Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth, is a common periphrasis of the Hebrew and New Testament writers, for the universe. What can be meant by things in heaven, that is, beings in heaven, bowing the knee to Jesus, if spiritual worship be not meant?" So much from Professor Stuart. Now if the universe [that is, all men without exception] are to render spiritual and divine worship to Christ, will they not all be holy and happy ?
79. The foregoing reason is confirmed by the fact, that "if we confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in the heart that God hath raised him from the dead, we shall be saved." Rom. 10:9.
80. It pleased the Father, by his son Jesus, "TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Col. 1:19-20) This is a similar periphrasis to that spoken of by Professor Stuart, [see section 78] which signifies the universe. The phrase, "all things," as Archbishop Newcome observes, signifies all intelligent beings. It is God's pleasure "to reconcile all things unto himself", — an irrefutable argument in proof of the final holiness and happiness of all men.
81. Paul directed Timothy to pray and give thanks for all men, which was agreeable to the will of God to "have all men to be save," who had appointed a mediator to give himself "a ransom for all." (1 Tim. 2:1-6) Paul's argument in this place is as follows: I exhort first, that supplication, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. None are excluded from the divine favor; all have something to be grateful for; for God is kind and good to ALL. He will have all men to be saved, which is the highest proof of his regard for all men, in execution of the divine purpose to bring all to the enjoyment of salvation.
82. God is called "the Saviour of all men." (1 Tim. 4:10) This title is applied to Jehovah, because he is the source of salvation. He wills the salvation of all; he has purposed the salvation of all; he has promised salvation to all; and has confirmed that promise by an oath. Hence, he is originally the Saviour of all men.
83. The "grace of God bringeth salvation to all men, and teacheth us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." (Titus 2:11,12) Adam Clarke remarks, "It cannot be said, except in a very refined and spiritual sense, that this Gospel had then appeared to all men ; but it may be well said, that it bringeth salvation to all men ; this is its design ; and it was to taste death for every man, that its author came into the world." Again, he adds ; "As the light and heat of the sun are denied to no nation nor individual, so the grace of the Lord Jesus; this also shines out upon all ; and God designs that all mankind shall be as equally benefited by it, in reference to their souls, as they are in respect to their bodies, by the sun that shines in the firmament of heaven."
84. Christ is to "destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." (Heb. 2:14) Christ will destroy all evil, and banish it entirely from the universe.
85. Paul says, "we which have believed do enter into rest;" which could not be true, if they believed in the doctrine of endless misery. (Heb. 4:3)
86. "It is impossible for God to lie," who has sworn to Abraham to bless all the kindreds of the earth, in his seed, which is Christ. (Heb. 6:18) If God could be false to his own promise, then the world might not be saved ; but "it is impossible for God to lie." Therefore, all men, without exception, shall at last be blessed in Christ Jesus.
87. Paul has repeated the testimony of Jeremiah, concerning God's covenant with the house of Israel ; "all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." (Heb. 8:11) This is a pledge of the previous salvation of the Gentile world. The word of God assures us, that the Gentiles shall be fellow-heirs with the Jews, of the blessings of the Gospel. God says, "all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." All the children of Israel, all the descendants of Abraham ; not those who may happen to be upon the earth at any particular time, but the whole posterity of the patriarch, without exception. This is similar to what Paul declares. (see Rom. 11:26)
88. God never chastens us but "for our profit," causing all chastisement "afterward to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Heb. 12:10,11) How, then, can the doctrine of endless punishment be true? If God's chastisements afterward yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, how can they be endless?
89. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from ALL sin." (1 John 1:7) There is no sin, that the blood of Christ will not wash away. Though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Jesus can save the chief of sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15) He has the will, no less than the power; therefore, all men will be saved by his grace.
90. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8) Sin is the work of the devil, and will be destroyed; but men are the workmanship of God, and will not be ultimately destroyed. Jesus shall destroy all sin ; he came into the world for that special purpose ; and, having begun the work, he will not give over, until it is completely accomplished.
91. The record, which God has given of his Son, is this; "That God hath given to us eternal life ; and this life is in his Son." (1 John 5:11) Is this record true? it surely is. Who are called on to believe it? all mankind. If any man believe it not, he makes God a liar, by saying, that God's record is not true. God, then, has certainly given eternal life to all men in his divine purpose.
92. John, the revelator, said: "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever." (Rev. 5:13) Here is another instance of the "common periphrasis" of the Hebrew and New Testament writers for the universe. Every creature shall at last pay divine honors to God and the Lamb. "If this be not spiritual worship," saith Prof. Stuart, "I am unable to produce a case, where worship can be called spiritual and divine."
93. The same illustrious writer says: "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy ; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Rev.15:4) Does this mean only all those nations who may happen to be upon the earth at a certain time? or, does it mean "all nations," in the sense of the divine promise to Abraham? Judge ye.
94. He also says: "The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev. 21:3) When this is fulfilled, all men will be reconciled to God. The Gospel is designed to make every heart the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit; and, when the purpose of the Gospel shall be fully accomplished, God shall reign in the hearts of all men.
95. He furthermore declares, that "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. 21:4) Thus, we see the doctrine of eternal weeping, eternal sighing, eternal sorrow, eternal pain, is false; false as the Bible is true. And, although we read, in the Scriptures, of the second death, yet, if we read of thirty deaths, it would be no argument against Universalism, since the time is to come, when "THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH."
96. God induces all good people to pray for the salvation of all men, which he could not do, if it were opposed to his will; because, "if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us," (1 John 5:14) and because "the desire of the righteous shall be granted." (Prov. 10:24)
97. Peter said; "Believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and FULL OF GLORY." Can it be possible that they believed in the doctrine of endless sin and misery? Would this have made them rejoice with unspeakable joy? Not unless they were demons in human form.
98. All the threatenings of the word of God, when properly understood, harmonize with the doctrine of Universalism ; the punishments spoken of being limited punishments only, and no threatening or law extending sin, or its consequences, beyond the resurrection.
99. Universalism is the only hypothesis in which the perfections of God can harmonize, -since, if men are lost forever by God's decree or permission, it impeaches his goodness; if, by his neglect or want of foreknowledge, it impeaches his wisdom; or, if sin be too mighty for him, and rebels too stubborn for him to subdue, it impeaches his power.
100. Lastly; "All things shall be subdued unto Christ, -Christ shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL." (1 Cor. 15:28)
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