Posted By Thomas Perez. September 10, 2010 at 9:17pm.
95. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21. Of course, this is the way God overcomes evil, or he would not require us to overcome it in that way. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us. He maketh his sun to shine on the evil and the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and the unjust. In God we live, move, and have our being. All these blessings and favors are for sinful men. Truly, he overcomes evil by good, blesses those who curse him, and loves those who hate him. But, according to partialism, he is trying to overcome evil with threatening an everlasting evil; and if the work is not done when death closes our eyes and freezes our hearts, he will instantly place our souls in such a condition that our sins cannot be overcome with either threatening or pleading, or evil or good! Can anything be farther from the truth? Instead of overcoming evil with good, he will, it is said, inflict an infinite series of unspeakable evils! For one evil, he will cause millions! For the evils of a few days, he will inflict an eternity of evils!
96. St. Peter tells us “not to render evil for evil, nor railing for railing; but, contrariwise, blessing.” I Peter 3:9. If the apostle believed that the administration of the divine government was conducted on the very opposite principle – the tooth for tooth principle – and that, for the evils of a moment he will render an eternity of most excruciating agony, would he have penned that sentence?
97. The Bible teaches: “Say not, I will do unto him as he hath done unto me.” Does this mean that God will do worse by us than we have done by him, or better? If better, will he cast us off in his anger to the mercy of the devil and his angels, to suffer the pains of hell for ever?
98. Jesus teaches: “I say unto thee, forgive thy brother that sinneth against thee, not until seven times (merely), but until seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21, 22. Will not our heavenly Father, then, forgive his children – all his children? Will eternity ever reveal the time when God will not forgive the penitent? He is, ever has been, and ever will be, “a sin forgiving God.” Away, then, with the creed which says, “In a little while the door shall be shut, and the day of grace passed forever.”
99. We are explicitly commanded to “Bless and curse not.” Rom. 12:14. Why, then, will men profess to be commissioned by heaven to “deal damnation round the land on each they judge their foe?” Let them take this for a text, and think about it, and pray about it, and preach about it, until their souls become imbued with its benevolent spirit.
100. The spirit of the New Testament is, “Recompense no man evil for evil.” Rom. 12:17. And yet, we are told God will do precisely what the Gospel forbids! – will pour eternal torrents of lava, from the sea of damnation, on countless millions, as a recompense for doing what harmed only themselves, and did not “reach unto him.”
101. It was a moral precept of the disciples: “Avenge not yourselves.” Rom. 12:19. How, then, could they consistently preach eternal, unmitigating vengeance and retaliation on all the sons of folly and sin? Would not that be vengeance “with a vengeance?”
102. It is said: “If any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Gal. 6:1. The spiritual-minded, according to these words, evince the fruits of the divine spirit they possess, by cherishing charity for the erring, and by delighting to restore them to virtue’s ways. This spiritual-mindedness is of heaven – of God; and if it prompts mortals, who possess but a small degree of it, to such benevolence and mercy, what influence may we expect it must have with him who is the infinite source from whence it flows into the human heart! If a drop of this good spirit sanctifies the “soul, spirit, and body,” of mortals, and impels them to labor, “in season and out of season,” for erring men, may we not expect that the ocean of love which God possesses will induce him not to cease his work till every soul is purified, till the last wanderer is restored? But if the great Parent-spirit of the universe will forever abandon a large portion of his children to evil, misery, and despair, the boundless ocean of goodness he possesses will do infinitely less for mankind than the drop we possess would, were it aided by his power!
103. The Holy Spirit dictated the apostle James to write: “If ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9. God, then, cannot be a respecter of persons, or, in other words, partial, in his dealings with mankind. The same Spirit that dictated these words, also says: “The Lord is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works;” and as he is unchangeable, he always will be good to all, and his tender mercies will ever be over all his works. What a libel on God’s government is the doctrine which represents him as being partial in the distribution of his blessings – raising some to heaven, to associate with angels and feast on immortal bounties, and sinking others down, down, into a pit dedicated to every abomination, there to dwell in darkness and terror, for ever and ever! My God! What a faith!!! Infinite depravity could not invent a more monstrous falsehood!
104. “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee.” Prov. 3:3. As God tells us never to let mercyforsake us, the unavoidable inference is that that divine quality will never forsake him; but, according to the creeds of men, it will forsake the Eternal, or rather, he never had much of it.
Rev. John Wesley, in addressing the reprobates on the supposition of eternal predestination, says: “There is no help for you in God. Your God! No; he is not yours; he never was; he never will be. He that made you – he that called you into existence – has no pity upon you! He made you for this very end – to damn you – to cast you headlong into a lake of fire burning with brimstone! This was prepared for you, or ever the world began! And for this you are now reserved in chains of darkness, till the decree brings you forth – till, according to his unchangeable, irresistible will,
“ ‘You groan, you howel, you writhe in waves of fire,And pour forth blasphemies at his desire!’
O God, how long shall his doctrine stand?”
Wesley’s Works, vol. X, p. 145
Again, in Wesley’s letter to the Rev. Mr. Hervey, he says: “But what becomes of all other people? They must inevitably perish forever. The die was cast or ever they were in being. The doctrine to pass them by, has –
“ ‘Consigned heir unborn souls to hell,and damned them from their mothers’ womb!’
I could sooner be a Turk, a Deist, yea, an Atheist, than I could believe this. It is less absurd to deny the very being of a God, than to make him an Almighty Tyrant!”
Wesley’s Works, vol. X, p. 201.
Will anyone contend that God can have any mercy for victims of such wrath and vengeance? He can harbor nothing but infinite spite and hatred! Remember, mercy will never forsake the throne of God; and, therefore, he who sits thereon will ever be merciful to all the creatures of his power.
105. All men are required to repent. “But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30. There is no limitation with respect to number or place, but all men everywhere are commanded to repent, reform, and become virtuous. Why, then, is it said that in hell sinners are not permitted to repent? If hell is ANYWHERE in God’s universe, (yes, IF) and IF there are sinful men there, they are clearly commanded to repent? If they are commanded to repent of course they are permitted to; and if they are permitted to, who on earth is authorized to say they will not? I am happy to record that Mr. Shinn in the book before quoted [Nos. 10, 20 and 89], is of the opinion that sinners, even in hell, are not beyond the reach of divine mercy, but are permitted to forsake their sins and serve their Creator. He says,
“It is often said with great assurance, that there is no repentance in hell; and it seems to be taken for granted that this unqualified maxim is sufficiently authoritative to silence all further inquiry. This is a favorite hypothesis, which, far from having any foundation to rest upon, presumptuously assumes that God will punish his creatures for being wicked, and at the same time be unwilling that they should repent of their wickedness! It is either true that those sinners ought to repent, or they ought not. If they ought to repent, then to say our Maker forbids or hinders it is to say he is unwilling [that] his creatures should discharge their duty; but if they ought not to repent, it follows that, somehow or other, their obligation to do it is cancelled, and it is consequently right for them eternally to continue in a state of impenitency.”
This is a great deal for a Methodist to admit. May all his brethren grow with him in grace. Moreover, such citations in this instance are rather proof of an existing paradox of such a thought or belief. It is MY contention that God chooses to cleanse the sinner for the sake of His work on Calvery by which the sin of the sinner is thus purged for all eternity. It is God’s hatred for the sin itself that occupies His wrath rather than the actual sinner. But nevertheless, “Be not deceived whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap”
106. Eternal life is given to all men. John says, “He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:10, 11. According to this, God has given us eternal life IN CHRIST, and all who believe this truth have the witness in themselves of the fact; but those who do not credit this truth – do not believe that God has given them eternal life in Christ – make God a liar. The conclusion then is, that all are to receive eternal life through Jesus our Lord, as a gift from God. Rom. 6:22. Hence Christ is called the “Savior of the world,” John 4:42; I John 4:14, and it is said “that IN HIM doth all fullness dwell,” Col. 1:19, and “that God is IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto himself.” II Cor. 5:19.
Reader, do you believe this record, or do you make God a liar?
107. All shall know the Lord. “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least to the greatest.” Heb. 8:11. It is said in another place that to know the Lord “is eternal life;” and as all from the least to the greatest are to know the Lord, consequently all will finally enjoy eternal life.
108. “We which have believed do enter into rest.” Heb. 4:3. Says Peter, “Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:8. If those ancient saints had believed in the endless damnation of a portion of mankind for whom Christ died, would they have enjoyed rest in that belief? Would it have caused joy unspeakable, and filled them with glory? All who really believe in endless torments can testify that faith in it produces nought but doubt, despair and horror.
109. The whole creation is to be delivered. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8:21. It is generally admitted that creature in this verse means “every human creature,” “all mankind.” Let us read the passage with such a rendering, as it undoubtedly gives it its true sense. For every human creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason o him who hath 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. This is a strong passage in favor of the universal deliverance of our race from the imperfections of earth.
110. There will be no sin in the eternal world. “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:7. Prof. Stuart, a celebrated orthodox writer, in commenting on this passage, says: “This verse may be regarded as a kind of general maxim or truth, in regard to all such as die physically or naturally.” This passage forever refutes the doctrine that man will sin in the future state. Sin is the work of the flesh; and when the body dies, all sin must cease.
111. All the holy prophets have spoken of the restitution of all things. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS since the world began.” Acts 3:20, 21. Dr. Adam Clarke’s comments on this passage are so correct [that] I will transcribe them, and recommend them to the candid consideration of the reader:
“As the grace of the Gospel was intended to destroy the reign of sin, its energetic influence is represented as restoring all things, destroying the bad state and restoring the good; taking the kingdom out of the hands of sin and satan, and putting it into those of righteousness and truth. This is done in every believing soul: all things are restored to their primitive order, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God. The man loves God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself; and when such a work becomes universal, as the Scriptures seem to intimate that it will, then all things will be restored in the fullest sense of the term.”
112. Moses, one of the earliest prophets, represents God as saying: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15. The serpent represents sin, the seed of the woman is Christ, and the destruction of all evil is foretold; Christ is to bruise the serpent’s head, that is, destroy sin. A wound on the head of a serpent is fatal; so the wound that Jesus has given evil will totally destroy it. See Heb. 2:14; I John 3:8. Dr. Lightfoot says, “That all the prophets from Adam and upwards had their eye upon the promise in that garden and spoke of salvation and delivery by Christ by his breaking the head and destroying the kingdom of the devil.” Works, iv, 105.
113. God promised to Abraham that he would bless all mankind. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:3. “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 22:18. Remark, all nations, all families shall – not may – be blessed.
114. The same promise was revealed to Isaac. “I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 26:3, 4. Most blessed promise – all nations shall be blessed!
115. It was repeated to Jacob. “And in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 28:14. Not one family of the earth is excepted; all shall be blessed.
116. Peter considered this a promise of universal salvation from sin. “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, ‘And in they seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.’ Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:25, 26. As all kindreds of the earth shall be blessed, of course none will be cursed eternally.
117. This promise is called THE GOSPEL. “And the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.” Gal. 3:8.
Remarks On the Abrahamic Promise
1. The promise embraces all of Adam’s race – all nations, all families, and allthe kindreds of the earth. Each of these terms embrace all mankind, andthey are all employed to express the extent of the blessing.
2. All mankind SHALL be blessed. No “ifs and ands;” the promise is positive, absolute.
3. All are to be blessed in the “seed” of Abraham, and St. Paul informs us that Jesus Christ is that seed. He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy SEED, WHICH IS CHRIST.” Gal. 3:16. Hence the promise is that all mankind shall be blessed in Christ. The Apostle repeats the same promise when he says, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Cor. 15:22.
4. This promise is the Gospel; hence the Gospel is that all our race shall be blessed in Jesus Christ. Well might this glorious truth be called gospel or good news.
5. The blessing of the promise is communicated to mankind by and through Jesus, the promised seed, and as all the nations, families and kindreds are to receive the blessing, Christ is very properly called “The Savior of the world.” John 4:42.
118. David, an inspired prophet of the Most High, declares that “all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he is the governor among the nations.” Psalm 22:27, 28. “All the ends of the world” and “all the kindreds of the nations” certainly mean all the inhabitants of the earth. All of these are to “remember and turn unto the Lord,” and “worship before” him. Will they not then be saved? The reason given for this result is that “the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He is the Governor among the nations.” Had the kingdom been the devil’s, and he the governor among the nations, no such result could have been anticipated; and there would have been some plausible ground for the cruel dogma of endless damnation.
119. “All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him, and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.” Ps. 72:11,17. All kings, all nations, all men shall serve Christ and be blessed in him. This passage clearly teaches the salvation of all men.
120. “The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Ps. 145:9. Here it is taught that God is good to all mankind, and that his tender mercies are over them all. His goodness and mercy to all men will never fail.
121. God’s mercy will endure forever. In the 136th Psalm it is said no less than twenty-six times that “HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER.” His mercy and goodness are UNIVERSAL – extend to all mankind – and they are to endure FOREVER. Here is an argument against the unmerciful doctrine of endless woe, and in favor of that of universal salvation, which it is impossible to overthrow.
122. All God’s works shall praise him. “All thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord.” Psalm 145:10 Can ALL God’s works PRAISE HIM if a part are doomed to suffer, sin and blaspheme forever?
123. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” Psalm 145:8. Can a God of this character torment, without relief and without end, a large portion of his own workmanship? Impossible.
124. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will he keep his anger forever.” Psalm 103:8, 9. The doctrine of ceaseless wrath contradicts this passage; for it says he is not “slow to anger,” and that he will “keep his anger forever.” Who shall we believe? The inspired penman or human creeds?
125. All sin can be pardoned. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. 1:18. The greatest and blackest sin, then, can be removed from the human soul. Eternity will never reveal the time when this cannot be done. How false is the creed that says a large part of mankind will soon be placed beyond the reach of redeeming grace!
126. All nations shall flow into the mountain of the Lord’s house,” – a figurative representation of the covenant of the Gospel. Isa. 2:2.
127. In this mountain, the Lord God hath made for all people a feast of fat things. “And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” Isa. 25:6. As I have just remarked, “mountain” means the covenant of the Gospel. This feast, as Adam Clarke says, is “salvation by Jesus Christ.” It was made for all people. All will partake of it;
128. For the next verse says, “God will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” Isa. 25:7. The gospel feast was made for ALL PEOPLE. This refutes Calvinism, which says it was made for an elect portion. Well, “ALL PEOPLE,” ALL NATIONS” shall partake of this feast, for the “covering” and “veil” are to be removed from them all. This refutes Arminianism. Remember, the covering and veil of error and sin are to be removed from the “all people” the feast was made for.
129. “God will swallow up death in victory.” Isa. 25:8. This refers to the resurrection of the dead. A victory will then be achieved over this last enemy of man.
130. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.” Isa. 25:8. We are born heirs of tears and of death; but thank God, the time is promised, when there shall be no death endured, or tears shed, for
“His own soft hand shall wipe the tearFrom every weeping eye;And pains, and groans, and griefs, and fears,And death itself shall die.”
Remember, that when death shall be swallowed up in victory, that is, when death shall be destroyed by the resurrection of all the dead, then the veil and the covering will be removed from ALL PEOPLE, then tears will be wiped from all faces. Here is promised universal deliverance from death and all the other evils that man is heir to.
131. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isa. 40:5. As the Lord hath said that all flesh shall see his glory, why should any doubt?
132. Our Heavenly Father says, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa. 45:22. Why should God command all to look to him and be saved if he knew millions never would?
133. The Lord of heaven and earth says, “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, IN THE LORD HAVE I RIGHTEOUSNESS AND STRENGTH. Isa. 45:23, 24. This passage needs no comment. The Almighty has sworn by himself because he could swear by no greater, that every tongue shall confess that in him they have righteousness. One would think this was enough to make the most unbelieving heart trust and rejoice in God.
134. The Almighty says, “as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa. 55:10, 11. The word of God is the Gospel of our salvation, and it was designed by the Almighty to bless all mankind; hence Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach it to “every creature.” Mark 16:15. The passage says, “it (the Gospel) shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Surely God knows best what success will attend the means he, in his infinite wisdom, has adopted to save mankind. He informs us that the means shall fully accomplish the work he designed they should.
135. Isaiah, speaking in the name of Jehovah, said of Christ: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isa. 49:6. The prophet affirms that the blessing of the Gospel would not be confined to the Jews, but that it would be extended to the Gentiles, for this purpose, “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth;” and so Jews and Gentiles, which embrace all mankind, shall walk in its Light and enjoy its Salvation.
136. Our adorable Creator says: “I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” Isa. 57:16. Here God says he will not contend forever, and then gives an important reason why he will not: “for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” According to this declaration, it is impossible for a soul to endure endless misery; God has not made it immortal enough to live through endless pains.
137. Speaking of the covenant with the house of Israel, Jehovah says, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall ALL know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31:33-34. As God is no respecter of persons, what he will do for the Jews he will do also for the Gentiles, and so all of the latter as well as all of the former shall know the Lord, whom to know is life eternal.
138. Jeremiah says, “The Lord WILL NOT CAST OFF FOREVER. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his tender mercies, for he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” Lam. 3:31-33. God punishes the erring, not to gratify a revengeful spirit, but for their good, that they may cease doing evil, and learn to do well. But it will not be necessary to punish forever, and the prophet assures us that the Lord will not, for he “will have compassion according to the multitude of his tender mercies.”
139. “He (God) retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Micah 7:18. This declaration is altogether at variance with the doctrine of unending torments.
140. The angel told Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Dan. 9:24. This needs no comment. Sin is to end, and righteousness is to reign forever. Blessed assurance.
141. Paul teaches the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in;” “and so all Israel shall be saved.” Rom. 11:25, 26. Does the apostle mean by fullness of the Gentiles only a portion of them? And by all Israel only part of Israel? He means just what he says. He clearly teaches the salvation of all the Jews and all the Gentiles, and those two classes embrace all mankind.
142. Paul also 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; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end, Christ both died, and rose, and revived; that he might be the Lord both of the dead and living.” Rom. 14:7-9. Can anyone infer from this precious passage that a part for whom Christ died will be lost forever? Whether on earth or in eternity, whether alive or dead, all are the Lord’s, and no power will take them from him.
143. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world.” Titus 2:11, 12. Dr. Clarke on this passage 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.”
144. “For all (the house of Israel) shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” Heb. 8:11. If God will save all the Jews, will he not do the same by the Gentiles? The salvation of the former is a pledge of the salvation of the latter. The Bible teaches that the Gentiles are fellow heirs with the Jews in the covenant of grace.
145. Paul says, “that Christ came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” Eph. 2:17. He could not have preached peace had he preached an endless strife in hell!
146. Paul was a faithful minister nearly thirty years, and yet the word hell is not found in any of his sermons or epistles! Can this omission be accounted or on the supposition that he believed there was a place bearing that name in eternity, to which all are exposed? But he says, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27. An endless hell, then, can be no part of God’s counsel.
147. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, AFTERWARD, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11. This language shows that the punishments of God are limited; for if they are endless there can be no afterward, as the apostle declares.
148. “FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR; the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. A person may have faith in the doctrine of endless punishment, but he cannot hope for it; therefore that doctrine is no part of Christian faith. A person cannot only believe in the benign doctrine of Universal Salvation, but he CAN HOPE for its truth with all his heart; therefore that is the RIGHT FAITH.
149. In the first book of the Bible it I said, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was VERY GOOD.” Gen. 1:31.
150. In the last book of the Bible, the writer, in a vision, says, “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. In the beginning man was pronounced by his Creator VERY GOOD – every way adapted to the stage of action on which he was placed. The Revelator, by the help of God, saw all mankind raised to a higher state of existence, for which also they were created, and heard them blessing their creator for his infinite goodness, and adoring their Savior for redeeming love. Such was the beginning of our race, and such will be its glorious consummation. “For God’s pleasure we are and were created.”
Praise the Lord! all the ends of the Earth! Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord! Oh! speak good of his name, for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever.