Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

CHAP. II.

Rom. xiv. 9.

ment hath been given unto Him. “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.'

Universal in the extent of its authority and power, as universal shall be the accomplishment of the purpose for which this kingdom was given to the Son of Man. The kingdom of Christ embraces within its scope and range the whole creation, animate and inanimate, and contemplates its entire restoration to order and beauty, to righteousness and blessedness. The result will be commensurate with the dominion. All a priori considerations, all the antecedent probabilities of the case, point to the same conclusion as that which the Inspired Word conducts us to, namely this, that the Lord Jesus, as the Christ, has been invested with universal dominion, with a view to, and to culminate in, the restitution of all things.

Let the witness of Holy Scripture on the point be first examined. And here, apart from direct and positive statements to that effect, the inferential evidence alone seems irresistible, that the mediatorial work and reign of Christ must eventuate in the salvation of all for whom He died, in the final subjection and reconciliation of all things to God. Is it true that the Son of God became incarnate and died for the whole world, did He give ‘Himself a ransom for all,' and shall He be disappointed of his object ? Shall He not obtain the dear purchase of his blood ? Shall the travail of his soul not be satisfied ? Was it his meat to do his Father's will, and to finish his work ; and is it the will of God,

[ocr errors]

Acts iii. 21.

1 Tim, ii, 6.

John ir. 34.

2 Pet. iii. 9.

CHAP. II.

Heb. ii. 14,

not that any should perish, but that all men should be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth ; did God in his love send his Son into the world John iii. 17. that the world through Him might be saved ; was this the work which God gave Him to do, even to redeem and save, and shall that will be thwarted, that work fall short of its full accomplishment ? Did Christ say, 'And I, if I be lifted up, will draw John xii. 32. all men unto me,' and shall not his prophecy be fulfilled ? Was the Son of God manifested that He 1 John iii. 8. might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil ; and shall Satan, after all, have the triumph of carrying with him into final, everlasting, irremediable perdition, millions of the souls that God made and that Christ died to redeem? According to the teaching of what is ordinarily counted orthodoxy, the number of the ultimately saved will be but as a handful compared to the number for ever lost. Has, then, all power in heaven and earth Matt. crviii. 18. been given to Christ, has He been invested with tleb. i. 2. power over all flesh, is He constituted heir of all things, and is the exercise of his authority and might to issue in only a partial deliverance of souls from sin and ruin, and is the Prince of Darkness to get the better of the contest with the Prince of Light and Life, by ultimately destroying more souls than Christ shall save? Are his trophies of malignant might to outnumber the trophies of the redeeming love of God our Saviour ? I cannot think it. I must believe, were it a matter of inference only, that the reign and rule of Him, to whom all things in heaven and earth have been made subject, must ultimately issue in the complete

John rvii, 2.

CHAP. II.

Gen. xxii, 18.
Gal. iii. 16.

Phil. ii. 9-11.

Col. i. 19, 20.

victory of divine grace and goodness over satanic might and malice.

It is not, however, a matter of inference only, but of distinct and emphatic statement. Is it not said that in the seed of Abraham, that is, in Christ, all the kindreds of the world shall be blessed? Is it not said that God exalted Him, and gave Him the name which is above every name, in order that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father? Is it not said that it pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, having made peace by the blood of his cross, through Him, whether they be the things on the earth or the things in the heaven.

Has not St. Paul declared it as a mystery now made Eph. i. 9, 10. known, the mystery of God's will, according to his

good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself, with a view to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to gather up again together all things in

Christ, the things which are in the heavens and the Rom. viii. 19–21. things which are on the earth, even in Him? Is it

not said that the whole creation, which now groans and travails in pain under its subjection to vanity, shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God ? Is it not said, that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive ; that if by the tres

pass of the one the many died, much more did the Rom. v. 15–21. grace of God and his free gift abound unto the

many by the grace of the One Man Jesus Christ;

1 Cor', xv. 22.

CHAP. II.

that as through one trespass the issue was unto all men unto condemnation, even so through one righteous act the issue was unto all men to justification of life? Finally, is it not said that Christ 1 Cor. xv. 24– 28. must reign till He hath put all enemies under his feet ; and that when all things shall be subjected unto Him, then will He deliver up the kingdom to God, and become Himself subject unto the Father, that God may be all in all ?

To my own mind nothing can be more clear and decided than the testimony which these passages afford, that the effects of divine grace will be coextensive with the effects of human sin, that the results of Christ's atonement will be commensurate with the results of Adam's fall ; in a word, that the final issue, that the ultimate achievement of Christ's redemptive work and mediatorial reign will be the restitution of all things, the recovery and reconciliation of all that had been marred and alienated by sin, the restoration and reinstatement of the whole world in righteousness, truth, and blessedness.

But if the foregoing passages speak strongly in one direction, are there not others, it may be asked, which seem quite as strongly to speak in an opposite direction ? For instance, does not our Lord Himself intimate the fewness of the saved in utterances such as these : ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Luke. xii. 32. Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom”; * Many are called, but few chosen’; Strait is the Matt. xxii. 14. gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto life, and Matt. vii. 14. few are they finding it'; 'Strive to enter through Luke xiii. 24. the strait gate, for many shall seek to enter and shall not be able’? Does He not also speak of 'a John v. 29.

CHAP. II.

Matt. xxv, 46.

John iii, 36.

6

Phil. iii. 19.

Rom. ix. 22.

resurrection of judgment' as well as of a resurrecMat. xii. 33. tion of life'; of the judgment of the Gehenna'; of Nark ix, 43, 44, a going away into the Gehenna, into the fire, the

unquenchable, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched'; and of some who shall go away into punishment eternal, but the righteous into life eternal”?

Observe next what St. John the Baptist says, He that believeth on the Son hath life eternal, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.' Then mark the language of the Apostles likewise. Does not St. Paul speak of some 'whose end is destruction,' and of others as vessels of wrath fitted for destruction'?

Does he not say of them who do certain things, that 1 Cor. ri. 9, 10. they shall not `inherit the kingdom of God’; and

that because of such things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience'? Does

he not say that the wages of sin is death,' and that 2 These. i. 7–9. “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with

the angels of his might, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and on them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the which shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power?? Is it not also said, by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that if we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour

the adversaries'? Does not St. Peter speak of some 2 Pdii, 1–12. as 'bringing upon themselves swift destruction,

Eph. v, 6.

Rom. vi. 23.

Heb. 1. 26, 27.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »