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infinite indulgence and love of their CREATOR, this boundless and inexhaustible goodness, in the salvation of all men, is exercised through CHRIST only, and for his sake. " JESUS CHRIST is the person through whom and upon
whose account, happiness is attainable by any of the human race."* " The obedience of CHRIST, and eminently his obedience unto death, is the ground or reason, upon which it hath pleased God to make happiness attainable by any of the buman race.”+ " It was with a view to the obedience and death of CHRIST, upon this account, upon this ground, for this reason, that God was pleased to make the gospel promise of a glorious immortality to the sons of men.”† “ CHRIST died not for a select number of men only, but for mankind universally and without exception or limitation."
Now, how can this part of Dr. C's system be reconciled with that part, in which he holds, that all the damned will be punished according to their deserts ? Can those who are punished according to their deserts, after that be saved on the foot of grace through CHRIST? Can those who are punished according to the nature and number of their evil deeds ; in degree and continuance, in proportion to the number and greatness of their crimes ; in whose punishment the divine law takes its course, and the threatened penalty is fully executed: can these persons be saved by a gift? by a gift taken in the abounding sense ? by the free gift of God through Christ? by rich mercy? by pity, tender compassion and grace? by mercy extensively benevolent ? by a wonderful design of mercy ? by boundless and inexhaustible goodness ? by the utmost bowels of the divine compassion ? by the infinite indulgence and love of their CREATOR ? Is the man who by his crimes has, according to law, exposed himself to the pillory, or to be cropt and branded, and on whom the law has taken its course, and the threatened penalty has been fully executed; is he after all delivered from further suffering by grace, by pity, by tender compassion, by indulgence and love, by the utmost bowels of compassion ?-No; he has a right on the foot of mere law, and of the most rigorous justice, to subsequent impunity, with respect to the crime or crimes, for which he has been thus punished : and to tell him after he is thus punished, that he is now released by grace, by pity, by utmost compassion, by indulgence and love, would be the grossest insult.
* P. 17. + P. 19. I P. 20. • P. 20.
Again; how can those who have been punished according to their deserts, be saved through CHRIST, or on his account? How can the obedience and death of CHRIST be the ground or reason of their salvation ? Having suffered the full penalty threatened in the law, they have a right to demand future impunity, on account of their own sufferings. What need then have they of CHRIST, of his obedience and death, or of his mediatory intervention, to be brought into the account ? Dr. C. speaks of the 66 deliverance” or " the redemption which CHRIST has purchased” for all med.* But what need is there, that Christ should purchase deliverance for those, who purchase it for themselves, by their own personal sufferings? Nay, what justice would there be in refusing deliverance to a man, unless it be purchased for him by another, when he hath fully purchased it for himself? What if the person before described to have suffered some corporeal punishment according to the strictness of law, should be told at his release, that he is delivered from further punishment, not on account of his own suffering ; but on account of some other person ? on the ground, and for the reason of the obedience or merit of that other person! Might he not with just indignation reply; Wherein hath that other person afforded me any
* P. 153, 154.
relief? I have suffered all that could be inflicted on me consistently with law and justice; and let the merit of that other person be what it may, I thank him for nothing : his merit hath benefitted me nothing. As little benefit from CHRIST does he derive towards his deliverance, who suffers according to his deserts; and with as little propriety can it be said, that he is redeemed or delivered through CHRIST or on his account.
On the whole, Dr. C's scheme comes to this ; That not bare goodness, but that goodness, which is boundless and inexhaustible; not bare compassion but the utmost bowels of the divine compassion; not bare indulgence and love, but the infinite indulgence and love of our creator; will grant to his creatures of mankind, just so much relief from misery, as they are entitled to, by the most rigorous justice.
Nor did Dr. C. fall into these inconsistences, by mere inattention; he was driven to them by dire 'necessity, provided it was necessary for him, to adopt his favorite doctrine of the salvation of all men. Every one of the forementioned principles is essential to his system, and can by no means be spared.
1. That the damned are punished according to their deserts, is manifestly essential to his system. For if in ages of ages they do not suffer a punishment which is according to their deserts, they do not suffer that which might justly be inflicted upon them; or, which is the same thing, that punishment which is denounced in the divine law : and according both to justice and the divine law, the damned might be made to suffer a greater punishment, than that which is for ages of ages; or than the longest punishment, which any of them will in fact suffer. But as nobody pretends there is any greater punishment threatened in the law, or in any part of scripture, than that which in scriptural language is said to be for ever and ever, which Dr. C. supposes to be for ages of ages only, and to be actually suffered by some men at least; he was necessitated to hold, that some suffer the utmost punishment threatened in the law, and of course the utmost which they deserve.
Beside; if he had allowed, that the damned do not suffer so long a punishment, as they deserve, or as is threatened in the law; be might have been asked, how much longer that punishment is, which is threatened in the law, than that which they actually suffer. And the answer must have been, either that it is a longer tem, porary punishment; or that it is an endless punishment. But which ever answer should have been given, inexpli. cable difficulties would have followed. If he should have answered, that the punishment threatened in the law, and which the sinner justly deserves, is a longer temporary punishment, than that which the damned actually suffer, be might have been challenged, to point it out, as contained in the law, or in any part of scripture : and it is presumed, that he would not have been able to do it.
But if he should have answered, that the punishment threatened in the law, and which the sinner justly deserves, is an endless punishment, he must at once have given up all arguments in favour of universal salvation, and against endless punishment, drawn from the justice of God. Surely the justice of God does not oppose that which is just, and which the sinner deserves; or that which the just law of God threatens. He must also have acknowledged the infinite evil of sin, which seems to have been a most grievous eye-sore to him. For nothing more is meant by the infinite evil of sin, than that on the account of sin, the sinner deserves an endless punish. ment.
Again ; Dr. C. could not assert, that the damned do not suffer all the punishment, which they deserve, without contradicting apparently at least, many clear and · positive declarations of scripture : such as, That God will render to every man according to his deeds, and according as his work shall be; That every one shall receive according to the things done in the body; That the wicked shall not come out of the place of punishment, till they shall have paid the uttermost farthing, and the very last mite; That he shall have judgment without mercy, that shewed no mercy, &c. &c.
2. It was equally necessary, that he should hold that the punishment of the danıned is a discipline, necessary and happily conducive to lead them to repentance, and to promote their good.--Otherwise he must have holden, that future punishment is vindictive and intended to satisfy the justice of God; which kind of punishment is, according to his own account, inconsistent with the salvation of all men.* And otherwise he must have given op all his arguments from the divine goodness, mercy, compassion and grace, which are the chief arguments, on which he himself depended most, for the support of his cause, and which are the most popular, and the most persuasive to the majority of his readers. Otherwise too, he could not have pretended, that his scheme of universal salvation is a scheme of such benevolence, of such boundless and inexhaustible goodness, of such tender compassion and grace, of such infinite indulgence and love: and must have given up all the principal texts of scripture, from which he argues universal salvation; as they are inconsistent with the idea, that the damned will be finally admitted to happiness, having previously suffered the whole punishment, which they deserve.
3. Nor could he make out his scheme of universal salvation, upless he held, that all men are sayed in the