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ture testimony to the Pleasure of the Lord for Universal Redemption, than this. Yet, while the Calvinist repudiates the doctrine of all such passages, and the Arminian zealously contends for it, both agree that no such Pleasure of the Father of Mankind can ever be realized. We shall see in the next section how far the Universalist is in the wrong in believing in the Omnipotence of the Divine Pleasure.
"Is it A PLEASURE for Thee to Oppress, or to Des. pise the Work of Thy hands?'—Job x. 3. The Lord doth NOT afflict willingly, nor GRIEVE [aggravate, expand, beyond necessity, the evils of] the children of men. "God is great, and Despisest not any."
Thou art not a God that HATH PLEASURE in wickedness, neither shall Evil, [absolute, total, infinite, final,] dwell with Thee. The foolish shall not stand [endure] in Thy sight.'—Ps. v. 4.
“Nor life, nor death, from His rich love can sever,
Lord God Almighty !”
COMPLETION OF THE ARGUMENT. Shall the Pleasure of the Lord be Contsummated ? 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 WHEREUNTO I SENT IT.'-Isa. lv. 10.
*My Counsel shall STAND, and I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE.'-Isa. xlvi. 10.
THE PLEASURE of the Lord SHALL PROSPER IN HIS [Christ's] HANDS.'—Is. liii. 10.
Thus saith the Lord, that saith of Cyrus, [Christ, the Messiah,] he is My Shepherd,—HE SHALL PERFORM ALL MY PLEASURE ! -Isa. xliv. 28.
"GOD DOETH WHATSOEVER PLEASETH HIM.' -Eccl. viii. 3.
•WHATSOEVER THE LORD PLEASED, that DID He, in Heaven, and in Earth, and in the Sea, and in all deep places,'—Ps. cxxxv. 6; cxv. 3; Jonah, i. 14.
'I will REJOICE and JOY in My People.'-Is. lxv., 19. The Lord shall REJOICE in His Works.'-Ps. civ. 31.
"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is Mighty; He will Save. HE WILL REJOICE OVER THEE WITH JOY ; He will Rest in His love ; He will JOY over thee with singing.'-Zeph. iii. 17.
As the Bridegroom Rejoiceth over the Bride, so shall thy God REJOICE over thee,'—Isa. lxii. 5.
"Wherefore, [wrote the Apostle,] we pray always that our God would Fulfil ALL THE GOOD PLEASURE OF His GOODNESS, and the works of Faith with Power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be Glorified, and ye in him, according to the Grace of our God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ.'—2 Thess. i. 11, 12.
“Lord of Life and Glory,
Infinite in Pow'r,
Is full of truth and love,
Shall ultimately prove.
Author of Creation !
When the worlds were done,
Echo'd round thy throne.
Haste Thy glorious day
Bursts a universal lay !"
OBJECTION. God will not gratify His Pleasure at the expense of His Justice, which demands everlasting torment to the wicked ; neither can He, so long as the nature of man is as He has made it, free to go as far beyond His Pleasure as he chooses. But when we make ourselves fit to be saved, then He will have mercy upon us, and fulfils His Pleasure in us.
ANSWER. "God worketh in You, both to Will and to DO of HIS GOOD PLEASURE.'-Phil. ii. 13.
"The God of Peace Make you perfect in every good work, to do His Will, WORKING IN You that which is WELLPLEASING in His sight.'-Heb. xiii. 21.
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, and as the rivers of water are turned, He turneth it whithersoever He will.'-- Prov. xxi. 1.
The preparation of the heart in man is from the Lord.'Prov. xvi. 1.
The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord.”—Ps. Xxxvii. 23.
The Divine Omnipotence and Goodness are indeed the only solid grounds of our Hope of eternal happiness, and not anything in or beyond our own power to accomplish short of the mighty efficiency of those attributes. Can we alone, creatures of dust and nought, 'advance one single step towards the attainment of the heavenly throne ? Stand still in thy place, O Man, hold that ceaseless breath, and consider what thou art! Mark the incessancy of thy dependence upon some invisible sustaining Power, beyond the narrow limits of thy puny frame, and let the weighty truth cause thee to sink down beneath an overwhelmning flood of reverence, into the shallow insignificance of thy being! And yet it is thou, who of thyself cannot gratify one small desire, nor preserve for one instant thy existence, who boastest of thy self-invested power, and talkest of foiling the lofty Will and the omnipotent Pleasure of the God that fashioned thee, in whom thou livest and movest! What hast thou which thou didst not also receive ? And has the Most High resigned to thee His Superior power and received thine inferior, thy dependent, instead, that thou shouldst so valiantly prevail, and He so submissively yield? Go to, now ; determine thou in thy heart to lift up thy hand against a brother to take his life. Fix well thy purpose, let thy steel be keen and heavy, and ponder the deadly aim. But hark! The God of that man and of you has resolved that the life shall be prolonged, that the deed of violence shall not be done. This is His fixed Pleasure, His absolute, determinate Will, be thou forewarned,—now, thinkest thou to succeed in thy design,under circumstances like these? Is not thy breath and thy pulse in His hand, and could He not on the instant, to prevent the baffling of His Will, transfix ye a lifeless statue to the earth, an everlasting monument of desperate presumption? Yet be assured of this one fact, that thy life is not more entirely in the power of thy God, than thy affections, thy thoughts, and thy doings !
“Despite of sin,
PROPOSITION NINTH. It was the Express OBJECT OF CHRIST'S MISSION,
To commence the Work of Universal Regeneration and Destruction of Evil, To accomplish the Divine Will, and Fulfil the Promise of the Ancient Covenant.
PROOFS. "The Son of Man is come, To Save that which was Lost.' -Mat. xviii. 11.
•TO SEEK and to Save that which was Lost' [Mark the uniform expression, ‘WAS LOST,' not shall be, in eternity, as the Endless Misery Doctrine would have it.]—Luke, rix. 10; Ezekiel, xxxiv. 16.
*Not to Destroy men's lives, but to Save them.'---Luke ix. 56.
Not to condemn [damn] the world, but that THE WORLD through him might be Saved.'---John, iii. 17.
To SAVE THE WORLD. John xii. 47. TO BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.'— 1 John iv. 14. TO BE THE LIFE OF THE WORLD.'—John viii. 24. • To take away our Sins.'---1 John iii. 5. • To Save His People from [an endless hell ?] THEIR SINS.' --Mat. i. 21.
"To give himself for our Sins, and To deliver us from [a Future?] THIS PRESENT Evil World.'---Gal. i. 4.
To be a Propitiation, and to declare the righteousness of God for the remission of sins that are past.'-Rom. iv. 26.
• To make Reconciliation for the Sins of the People.'Heb. ii. 17.
To Bless You, by turning away Every One of You from his Iniquities.'---Acts iii. 26.
To save Sinners, and the very CHIEF of them.'---2 Tim. i. 15.
To call SINNERS, and not the Righteous, [if, indeed, there are such,] to Repentance, and To heal those who have need of a Physician.'—Mat. ix. 12, &c.
•TO GIVE [not sell, nor offer,] Repentance and Remission of Sins.'---Acts v. 31.
To Destroy Death, [the great moral death which was introduced by Adam, which all have died,] and him that hath the power of Death, that is, the DEVIL' [Temptation, the Evil Principle, personified.]---Heb. ii. 14.
To DestrOY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.'---1 John iii. 8. What are 'the works of the Devil,' the offspring of the farpervading spirit of evil ? Sin and temptation, sorrow and pain, ignorance and error.] "To Put AWAY Sın.'—Heb. ix. 26. To FINISH TRANSGRESSIONS.'---Dan. ix. 24. To MAKE AN END OF Sins.'---Dan. ix. 24. • To make Reconciliation for INIQUITY, and To bring in Everlasting Righteousness.'---Dan ix. 24.
• To Reconcile All Things to himself.'---Col. i. 20.