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WHEREAS, in going through with the work which I had proposed, I have, in several instances, dispensed with satisfying my own mind lest I should not have room; and now, having a little room left, I offer the following Supplement :
A principle point which I have but sketched in the foregoing work, is that of rewards and punishments ; and as the “ Apology" is offered to those who dispute the truth of Universal Reconciliation, I know that such, especially Arminians, consider rewards and punishments of such importance that they suppose eternal life is the reward of well-doing, and eternal damnation the punishment for evildoing; and I know furthermore, that such persons are, generally, quite inquisitive with regard to this point, and will, probably, after reading all the foregoing work, wish to know what I say about rewards and punishments. I will, therefore, now attempt to give a Scriptural view of this point :
It will probably be remembered that I have already shown that the motive of our Creator in punishing man for sin, is to reform him, to bring him back from his wanderings, and to make him hate his own wickedness by means of causing the fruit of his wickedness to become bitter and hateful, as it is written: "When thy judgments are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isaiah XXVI, 9.
I have also shown (I hope to satisfaction) that whereas God knows how to reform the wicked, and will, sooner or later, reform them all, therefore punishment will come to an end as soon as the purpose is accomplished for which it was intended. And as I have argued that the gospel has nothing to do with punishment, but is the
proclamation of good, tidings, it will probably be asked: By what law does God punish the wicked?
I Answer, By his own unchangeable law, that immutable rule of right which requires us to love God supremely, and to love our fellow-men as ourselves; that law which was given in form to Israel by Moses; that law, the work of which is written on every man's heart, both Jew and gentile. As it is written, Rom. 11, 14, 15, "The gentiles which have not the law, (that is, have not the form of it on paper,] do by nature the things contain ed in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts," &c. This is that unchangeable law of God by which all men are punished according to their degree of knowledge of right and wrong, and according to the degree of their
I am aware that it may be objected that St. Paul saith, while speaking of the priesthood of Aaron under the law of Moses, and of the priesthood of Christ succeeding it, Heb. VII, 12, "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessi ty also a change of the law."
But I Answer, Only search the context and you may perceive that he did not mean a change of the moral precepts of the law, nor of its rewards and punishments; but he meant that there was a change of the law relative to the gifts and sacrifices which the priest would offer for the people; for as the priests of the house of Aaron were made priests after the law of an outward, or carnal commandment, therefore they had gifts and sacrifices to offer for the people, which were only figures of heavenly things; but that Christ being made a priest after the power of an endless life, therefore the law was changed with regard to offerings for the people, because he, in the room of offering only figurative sacrifices which could not
take away sins, was to offer himself without spot to God, so as to take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ himself showed that he would not change the moral precepts of the law, MATTH. v12 17, 18, 19, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do, and teach Them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." He therefore shows plainly that those who should do the commandments of the law, which was to love God and men, and teach others so, should be highly esteemed in the time of his spiritual reign, which is called the kingdom of heaven, but that those who should do, and teach to the contrary, should be lightly esteemed in his reign or kingdom.
Hence, we see that Jesus Christ was a teacher of the law, as well as a preacher of the gospel, and that the just law of God was to be in force in the time of his reign, or in his kingdom, which now rules over all men. I have before showed that the great work which Jesus Christ wrought by his death and resurrection, was to destroy sin and abolish death; so as to give all men a release from death and hell in due time. But you must remember that Jesus Christ did not destroy the law which condemned man to death, if he had, man would not die; but as the law follows all men with its just penalties until they are dead, which is all that the law demands, therefore it is obvious that the law of God is still in force upon all men, and as it condemns us all to death for the first transgression, so its penalties require due punishment for every offence which we commit. I know that some have thought that Christ suffer.
ed for us as a substitute in our place, that is, that he bore the penalty of the law for us, so that we might be acquitted, and not Suffer the penalty of the law at all.
But both our daily experience and the testimony of Holy Scripture contradicts this notion. As we see daily that our fellow-men die, which is suffering the penalty of the law, and St. Paul saith, Rom. VII, 1," That the law hath dominion over a man at long as he liveth." Therefore Jesus did not die as a substitute for man, to save man from the due reward of his deeds, but he died (as I have shewed before) to destroy sin, so to bring man's re bellion to an end, that man may no more deserve to be punished; buy he did not die to save man from being punished as much as he deserves; therefore, as the just law of God is still in force with all men, as much as it ever was with any man; we way readily perceive why the Holy Scriptures of both Testaments are so unanimous in their declarations that God will render to every man according to his works: as for instance, Psalm Lviii, 11, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth." ISAIAH III, 10, 11, "Say ye to the righteous That It Shall Be well With Him, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Wo unto the wicked, It Shall Be Ill WITH Him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him." Rom. 11, 6, on to 9, "Who will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who by patient continuance in well-doing, &c. eternal life, but unto them that do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, trib ulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; but glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good.n Eph. Vi, 8, "Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." COL. III, 25, "But he that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no re