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PROPOSITION THIRTY-FOURTH. The Transitory Existence of EVIL was Fore-Known and
Fore- Appointed of the Lord, and thus is not an Irreme.
1st. That the Evil Principle is a Divine Agent.
PROOFS. Behold I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth the instrument for his work : and I have Created the Waster to Destroy.'-Isa. liv. 16.
'I am the Lord, and there is none else! I form the Light, and Create Darkness; I make Peace, [Good,] AND CREATE Evil. I, the Lord, do all these things. - Isa. xlv. 6, 7.
"Shall we receive Good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive Evil ?'—Job ii. 13.
Shall there be Evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it ?'- Amos iii. 6. • The Lord hath Created even the Wicked for the day of Evil.'-Prov. xvi. 4. "God, in whose hand is our breath and whose are all our ways.'— Dan. v. 23. For, 'In Him we live, AND MOVE, and have our being.'-Acts xvii. 23. ,
Affliction cometh not forth from the dust, neither doth Trouble spring out of the ground.'-Job v. 6. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.'—Job i. 22. Yet all the sore afflictions which it was the misfortune of this good man to suffer, are in other places, ascribed to a personification called Satan, (i. 6--12; ii. 1--8; xxiii. 14, &c.) Granting the actual existence of a
spiritual being or beings who are messengers of evil doing, it must be admitted, if its believer acknowledges the Sove. reignty of God and Good, that such beings are as much dependent and subordinale creatures as we are, and are therefore ordained by Him, for wise and benign purposes, although they cause temptation, sinning, delusion, and suffering, and can do nothing except by permission and commission. See 1 Sam. xix. 9; Judges ix. 23.
The law entered ihat the offence might abound.'-Rom. v. 20. The Creation was made subject to vanity; --- God hath subjected the Creation to the Bondage of Corruption.Rom. viii. 22. The spirit of man is sown in Dishonour.1 Cor. xv. 51.
"I find then,' says Paul, 'A LAW ['in the flesh,') that when I would do good, [that is, when he would obey the natural impulses of the soul,] evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the (promptings of ] the inner man, (the soul.] But I see another law, in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to THE LAW OF SIN, which is in my members. [The apostle here represents sinning to be a natural, fixed Law of this weak, mortal bo:ly.] Who shall deliver me, (exclaims he,) from the body of this death ? God, I thank, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, then, with the mind, I serve the law of God; but with the flesh, THE LAW OF Sin.'-Rom. vii. 21--25.
When Jesus dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, after which Satan (the temptation) entered into him.'-John xiii. 26. None of them is lost from his apostleship) but the son of perdition, that the Scriptures might be Fulfilled.'
-xvii. 8. "Those things which God had shown by the mouth of all His Prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so Fulfilled.'-Acts iii. 18. "Him being delivered by THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL and Foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.'-Acts ii. 23. 'Against thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the People of Israel, were gathered together not a reward for the virtues of this world, but a Free Gift. Either endless happiness is a Reward, and endless misery a Punishment, for the actions of time, and there is no such thing as reward and punishment in this life; or, if virtue and crime entail upon man happiness and misery respectively here, then the future life is not a dispensation of rewards and punishments, and if there be a state of exaltation for the soul in the next world, it is not purchasable at all as a reward, but an unmerited, and therefore Universal, Gift, of the Divine Beneficence. Universalists are always free to admit that punishment will exist as long as sin; for it is a maxim with them, that all sin itself is misery. But, for the most convincing reasons, they as strenuously insist that when sin ceases, Punishment also ceases. See on this point Ezek. xviii. 21--29. And while they agree with the Prophet, that iniquity is not purged till we die,---Isa. xxii. 14, they also maintain that he that hath suffered in the flesh hath CEASED FROM SIN,'---1 Pet. iv. 1, and therefore cannot countenance the doctrine of future punishment until they are convinced that the spirit is travelling to a region of like temptations and imperfections with those of this world.--The disposition, capacity, motives, means, and permission of the unencumbered soul for sinping in the strange life upon which it emerges from this, is the only rational ground whatever for the belief of future penal unhappiness, a ground which we have a great confidence, cannot be derived from the Scriptures, but is opposed by them. (It is sufficient to mention here only the viith of Romans.) And were even that position to be sustained, it would afford not the slightest support to endless misery, in the light of such an amount of evidence as we have already exhibited, to prove the ultimate annihilation of sin, pain, sorrow, ignorance, error, the devil, death, and hell, the universal triumph and prevalence of good, the complete victory which Christ shall achieve, and the thorough accomplishment of the Divine Pleasure and Purposes, which the might of Jehovah is working out. - The wicked and the sinner are recompensed in the earth.!.--Prov. xi. 31. - Verily, He is a God that judgeth in the earth.'---Ps.
dviii. 11. His judgments are in all the earth.'---1 Chron. xvi. 14; Ps. cv. 7. He exerciseth loving-kindness, judg. ment, and righteousness in the earth.'---Jer. ix. 24. See also John ix. 39; Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 15, &c.
The Bible records about a hundred instances of divine punishments executed in the earth, and is filled with threatenings of every kind of earthly evils, as the reward of transgression; but in no single instance does it ever denounce, the penalty of suffering upon the soul, in the immortal world, for the commission of any sin, or for the disobedience of any law or commandment that is therein declared.
""But sometimes Virtue starves, while Vice is fed.'
Then shall they claim that plenty must be sent ?"
Divine Punishments are always Just,-equitably proportionate to offences. . Unto Thee, O Lord belongeth Mercy: for Thou renderest to every man according to his work.'---Ps. lxii. 12.
Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors, (motives ;) give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.'---Ps.
xxviii. 4. ! “According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay.'--: Isa. lix. 18. Shall not He render to every man according * to his work ?'---Prov. xxiv. 12. "Who will render to every , man according to his deeds.'---Rom. ii. 6; 2 Cor. v. 10. b. That servant which knew his lord's will, and prepared
not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten - with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.' ---Luke xiii. 47, 48.
If such a recompence would not dismatch
Divine Punishments are FOR HUMAN SAKE, and not for the purpose of
pacifying any imaginary satisfaction which the Broken Law is supposed to demand, -because ibe evils of men are only self-injurious, they
cannot work out any harm to Dcity, or to the things of Heaven. "Do they provoke Me to anger ? saith the Lord; do they not (rather provoke] themselves, to the confusion of their own faces ?'---Jer. vii. 19. .
Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure [benefit] to the Almighty that thou art righteous ? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for FEAR of thee?'---Job xxii. 2--4.
"If thou sinnest dost thou injure Him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what hurt dost thou unto Him? If thou be righteous, what givest Thou Him? or what receiv. eth He at thine hand? Thy wickedness may harm only a man, as thou art, and thy righteousness profit only the son of man.'---Job xxxv, 6--8.
Thou art my Lord, my goodness extendeth not to Thee, but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent.' --Ps. xvi. 2, 3.
“ Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,