« AnteriorContinuar »
in behalf of all mankind, but using such narrow pronouns as might make the glories of this resurrection the special privilege of those that “ by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality” (or incorruption, the aphtharsia, of vs. 42, 50, 53, 54). He says: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (ver. 51). " Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (vs. 57, 58). And he next speaks about a “collection for the saints." (xvi. 1.)*
Rom. v. 18: “ Therefore, as by the offence 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.”
It is in this one verse of the whole passage (vs. 12–21) that the word “all” is used in the second member of the compari
And it is used with the word “men.” This apparently denotes all mankind, and their salvation. It seems to me the strongest passage that is or can be adduced in support of that view. And if this interpretation at all agreed with the general tone of scriptural language, if it were not an apparent exception from the usual style of the Bible, I should joyfully and without hesitation accept it as proving the final holiness and blessedness of all.
But the very frequent distinction made between the “saved” and the “ lost” compels me to hesitate and examine the passage more narrowly. And I can not rest so fond a hope upon it for the following reasons : –
1. The passage is indisputably valid against all theories of a
* I should here say that while I regard the resurrection as yet future, I do not regard it as bringing back the identical dying body. " That which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be.” The immortal life is in a spiritual body; not pure spirit, but an embodiment suited to the higher nature of spirit (pneuma) as compared with soul (psuche). Of the interval between death and the resurrection the Scriptures say little. The early Christians spoke of it as a “ detention.”
limited atonement. And even more; it seems to assert that in Christ's name the sentence of death for sin is annulled in behalf of all. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them (2 Cor. v. 19). In this view the relation of persons unconverted to God is this: they have not to ask for the pardon of past sins, so much as to accept the pardon already made out. But this is all I can prove from the passage in hand. Comparing it with passages parallel, I at once find a plain distinction between pardon granted, and pardon accepted and received. In ch. i. 16, I read of the gospel as “ the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” Jew or Greek. In ch. iii. 22, I read of God's righteousness, or plan of justification, which is “ by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe,” Jew or Gentile. Here the distinction seems to be fairly made by two prepositions, “unto" (eis), and "upon” (epi). In the passage in hand the first of these only is used. The phrase might therefore be rendered, “ by the righteousness of one the free gift came unto (eis) all men, unto justification of life.” In this view all men are virtually justified or pardoned, though by unbelief they may not be actually saved.
But it will be said the same preposition is used in the first clause," upon (or unto, eis) all men to condemnation;" and if all actually die, why are not all actually saved? I answer, the sentence of physical death, even, is only virtual, not actual against all. Enoch and Elijah did not die. And Paul believed and taught that a whole generation of Christians would never die, but be “ changed,” at Christ's coming. All these are born mortal as others; the sentence was upon” or against (eis) them, but it fails to reach them. So there may be those within the range and reach of the great salvation, who yet fail of it.
2. In ver. 17, it is said, “ they which receive abundance of grace, etc., shall reign in life.” But the word rendered “ ceive” (lambanontes) is slightly ambiguous. It may also mean accept or embrace. It is often used in the active sense, as well as in the passive sense. Its original sense is to take ,
and it is used in the common phrase "respect of persons acceptance of persons. It is also the root of the word used 1 Tim. vi. 12, 10, “ lay hold on (epilabou) eternal life.”
3. In vs. 14, 15, 16, 19, the distinction is made, not between “ all” as dead and alive again, but between “ many “ many." The main argument may then rest on the comparison of the children of Adam with the children of God in Christ, which agrees so well with the general tenor of Scripture, and with which the 18th verse, as above explained, does not at all conflict.
4. The whole passage shows that what is gained in Christ has once been lost. This is something more than bodily immortality. It is salvation, in the broadest sense of the word. And the “free gift” or gratuity is said to superabound, or to cover more space than the condemnation could, not because it gives more than was lost, but because one divine act of justification avails against “ many offences.” Thus salvation is exceedingly gratuitous.
But it inevitably follows that the salvation has been once forfeit. In other words, eternal death was not an unjust sentence to be pronounced upon sin ; and Adam might have perished, and the whole race in and with him, without wrong to
The passage confirms what I have before remarked,that annihilation has been invited and confronted. That God interposes to save is doubtless in keeping with His nature as Love. We may even say that in saving man God is simply just to Himself. But to man he is more than just. It is strictly true: “ By grace are ye saved, through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gratuity of God.” The
of sin is death; but the amnesty of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I dismiss this passage by remarking that Tholuck, a learned Restorationist, of whom hereafter, in his Commentary on the Epistle, finds no proof here of the final salvation of all.
There are several other passages on which Universalists more or less rely, all of which I have not time to examine. Of the whole class given at the close of my“ general tenor of
Scriptural language,” I will say that while they show a final universality of holiness and blessedness, or an end of evil, and are thus valid against the orthodox view, very few can even be offered as applying to all individual beings now living. And one or two might be applied to all brute creatures, as well as to all human beings (Rev. v. 13). I may
hereafter consider such as my affable opponent shall offer. But I will here say a word respecting two or three.
Acts xxiv. 15: “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”
The word “hope” here used is frequently insisted on as showing that the resurrection of "the unjust” is a blessing, a resurrection of salvation. But I think this does not follow for three reasons:
1. It was natural that Paul, quoting that Jewish faith which he accepted, should name the whole of it; and that he should name it as his hope, if it were on the whole desirable. Now Christ very strongly asserted some sort of twofold resurrection, of well doers to life, and of evil doers to condemnation. Does the latter sound like a thing desirable ? No more so than a thousand calamitous events that have actually occurred. I should never have hoped for the Lisbon earthquake. Yet it did happen, and the existence of all Portugal was desirable nevertheless. So the complex resurrection Christ named was desirable ; and no less to be hoped for was that which Paul named, though it were the same ; especially if it ends in an immortality of goodness, and a universality of righteousness.
2. The Scriptures elsewhere speak of things partly good and partly evil as matter of thanks. There is an apparent instance in Rom. vi. 17: “God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin ; but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” A plainer example occurs in the 136th Psalm : 66 Oh, give thanks ... to him that smote Egypt in their first-born; ... and slew famous kings; for his mercy endureth for ever.” Such thanksgiving seems at least as misanthropic as Paul's "hope" in question. Yet the whole Psalm means doubtless well enough. But
3. The resurrection of the unjust, though it be unto condemnation, and to the “ second death,” yet may not be for that purpose, as if God were vindictive, or as if the claim of his law for so much penal suffering were inexorable. The Orthodox, regarding annihilation as better than the lost deserve, sometimes represent it as a “coup de grâce” to end their woes. Not thus do I“ hope” for it. But if their resurrection be itself the overflowing of the fountain of life, if they who “ will not come to Christ that they may have life” do yet in spite of themselves get more than they wish, so that they die by instalments and even die hard, I can rejoice in all the preternatural life they have. In all God's realm no vitality is wholly lost that is lived, though it come to an end. So I can very comfortably "hope" as I think Paul did.
1 Tim. iv. 10: “The living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."
It is noticeable that the only instance in which God is said in so many words to be “the Savior of all” is with such an immediate qualification. I simply remark: 1. In the Universalist view, of the final fa'th and salvation of all, the more natural phraseology would have been, “especially when they believe.” 2. This is one of the few instances in which God is called a Savior, rather than Christ. The word (Sotēr) has in the classic Greek the more general sense also of Preserver, which it may have here, in obvious harmony with the specitication named. 3. Waiving this, the distinction between salvation in the reach of all, and salvation “ laid hold on” by all, will allow the especial deliverance here indicated.
$ 7. The Two Theodores. Change for Authorities. In the late discussion between my opponent and the Rev. Dr. Adams, the concession of the Rev. Theodore Parker that the Scriptures teach the doctrine of eternal punishment was adduced, against which was offset the Rev. Theodore Clapp's recantation of that view after an independent examination. In a grave question of this kind no one should, or honestly can, rest his belief on any other man's opinion. Neither Dr. A.