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evil doer be punished, if the magistrate should, by means of a hot iron, cure his tooth-ache, or by opening his skull remove the headache? According to this, there is no punishment of hell, and in God is there no justice whatever. Can we call that the operation of wrath or justice, by which God only frees men from their miseries? I should call it love. I think he would deem himself deserving well, who should cure a lame man unable to walk in a splendid garden, although the cure was effected by a painful process. In a similar manner would the condition of the damned become daily more and more tolerable. The more they were relieved of their impurity, the lighter, better and more tolerable would their condition daily be come. Yea, and what is still more absurd, they would begin to love God in hell! I say nothing here how I can not understand why so long a process of purification is necessary. Is not God powerful enough to accomplish it in a moment? Or is something more than a word from the Almighty necessary to this work?

After having sufficiently proved a truth, it is not necessary to take much trouble in considering objections. I think little can be said in reply to what has here been offered, and hence I may well pass objections in silence. A few conceits of weak man, are of no force against a clearly proved and revealed truth. Meanwhile I will give to the friends of this doctrine, two things to reflect upon, by means of which one can easily refute all objections.

The first is this: We are men. Our understanding does not reach far. But God's attributes and perfections are infinite. Hence it follows that we can not comprehend them. What then are we doing, fools that we are, when we judge of these attributes aside from the Scriptures. What are we doing when we say so freely: This is contrary to the goodness or the justice of God. Let us wait till eternity gives us more light, and remember meanwhile that we are but dust.

The second consideration is: That the punishments of hell, although they have no end, will still not be equally severe upon all, but more tolerable upon one and less so upon another. Jesus has clearly revealed this truth to us. Luke xii: 48. Matt. xi: 24, 25. The justice of God also

demands it. All do not sin alike, and hence all will not be punished alike. These two considerations will prepare us to answer every thing else. How happy should we be, if we took more pains to escape hell, and less to fathom its nature and condition!"

Thus ends this famous Tract. Of its merits men will judge differently, at the present day, as they did a century and a quarter ago. It is a plausible, well written article in defence of a very bad cause. The Scripture argument here introduced with so much confidence is the same that has been repeated again and again since the time of Augustine. The words "everlasting" and "eternal" are applied to punishment, and therefore punishment is absolutely endless! This constitutes the bone and sinew of the whole argument. Our learned author indulges in no criticism on these words, and introduces no considerations to show that when applied to punishment they necessarily bear the sense in which he employs them. All this is generously assumed, and the conclusion drawn as from the best established premises. In this field of argument the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation and several other little absurdities, would be triumphant. Every one at all conversant with the Bible, is well aware that the words " everlasting" and "eternal" are applied to a great variety of subjects, and express periods as different as very brief tires. and eternity itself. It is not a little remarkable that the advocates of endless punishment have not discovered that the words here referred to, are used in the Old Testament in relation to punishments obviously temporal, as frequently as they are in the New, in reference to what they allege to be endless.

The other considerations upon which Mosheim dwells may have had great weight at the time this tract appeared, but I flatter myself will be looked upon with less favor at the present day. They are sheer subtleties and hair-splittings, which we should hardly expect from so eminent a man as our author. What shall we think of such propositions as these: If punishment is not endless, then the divine justice is not equal to the divine benevolence or mercy. If the punishment of the wicked is not endless, then the happiness of the righteous cannot be so. The

reward of our imperfect services is, endless felicity, therefore the punishment of our sins must be endless torment' ?

It is gratifying to see that Mosheim was not altogether insensible to the abhorrent character of the doctrine he labored to defend. He clearly perceived that any human ruler who should act on such principles as this doctrine ascribes to God, would be justly regarded as a tyrant, whose government all men would instinctively shun. He therefore denied all consequence to reasonings from human affairs to the divine, and recognized something in the simple fact that God is infinite, that throws him entirely beyond the reach of our faculties, and leaves us, if we will consider it, without the power of judging of his attributes and perfections at all. If infinite justice and goodness be something so unlike what we call justice or goodness among men, that we can form no just conception of what they require or will do, then there is an end to all our religious knowledge, and no man can say whether God be a being of infinite love, or a monster of cruelty and hate.

It will be observed that our learned author found a variety of reasons why men rejected the doctrine of endless torment and believed in the final salvation of all. The principal of these turned upon the weakness or depravity of man, that is, upon the simple fact that they were either fools or knaves. Others were somewhat more flattering. He thought God had made some men with so much sympathy and compassion, that they could not believe in infinite punishment; but then to counterbalance this, he had made others so hard and brutal that they could believe nothing else.

But I did not design to offer any extended remarks on the tract before us, and I will therefore close with a very brief sketch of the controversy to which it gave rise.

Whether Petersen's Alethea Victrix, which was publish. ed in 1726, contained any allusion to Mosheim's tract I am unable to say. But it seems that he wrote two works in reply to it, or that embraced some criticisms upon it, for in 1727 Mosheim says "Petersen's two works, which he has written in opposition to me, may lie in Hamburg or finally be published. I shall regard them as if they had never been prepared. If he has so much confidence

in the correctness of his opinion, what is the use of sending book after book upon it into the world?" It is singular that Mosheim did see that this sharp reflection would apply with equal force to himself and his friends, as to his

opposers.

But another work presently appeared in which the tract before us seems to have been reviewed. This was, "A fundamental exposition of the eternal love of God in Christ towards all fallen creatures; or an express proof that the doctrine of the restitution of all things is incontestibly founded in nature and revelation, and is an ancient apostolic doctrine, and no opinion misleading to security. By Christian Pagenkop. Freystadt, 1726." 8 vo. Of this work and its author I have no definite knowledge. Mosheim calls Pagenkop "a friend of the well known Dippel," and deemed his work worthy of an extended notice, but not in the form of either review or reply, but in a long letter to his friend Goenner, which appeared as an appendix to the second part of his sermons. What particularly stung Mosheim was a remark of Pagenkop implying that it would be well for the learned advocate of endless misery to examine himself a little more in the light of the gospel, to practise himself in the way of self-denial and of the cross, and to offer up his own life to Christ in simple obedience of faith. "That is to say," replies Mosheim, "that the author of the thoughts on hell punishments is an . unconverted and an unenlightened man. He knows nothing of the power of God, and has not been born again. The proof of this is, that he does not believe in the restoration." It is refreshing to see how tender of his own Christian character Mosheim is, while he denies to almost the whole race of Universalists either common sense or common honesty. But Mosheim is not alone in this. Every advocate of endless torments seems to regard faith in that purifying doctrine as conclusive proof of his piety and orthodoxy, and while it should completely shield him from every unfavorable insinuation, it gives him full warrant to assail the character of every man that does not chance to possess so cardinal a virtue, so distinguishing a grace. Mosheim's letter to Goenner is bitter and abusive, and yet he boasts throughout of his mildness and charity. The world has been largely blessed with such mercies.

But the year 1727 brought forth another examination of Mosheim's tract, or rather the work seems to have contained a notice of it. This was Ludwig Gerhard's "Systema ɑлokaтaσтaσews: that is, a complete system of the everlasting gospel of the restoration of all things; together with the unfounded opposite doctrine of endless damnation; with an appendix consisting of a Christmas sermon, on the spiritual birth of Christ within us, preached in St. James' Church at Rostock," etc., etc. Gerhard seems to have been a Professor of Theology in the University of Rostock. He was a man of learning and talents, but exposed himself to the censure of the Theological Faculty there, by advancing sentiments in that Christmas sermon in 1718, which were regarded as heretical. Walch says that he introduced the principles of the fanatics on the subject of Christ within us. He also gave great offence subsequently, by dividing the orthodox into two classes, "the orthodox in the vulgar, and the orthodox in a more excellent sense.'

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Of Gerhard's work, which may be regarded as an important contribution to the doctrine of the final salvation of all men, Mosheim took particular notice in a special preface to the second edition of the second part of his sermons which appeared in the autumn of 1727. But he was more vigorously attacked on other sides. His work excited a good deal of attention. Walch in his "Introduction to the religious controversies in the Lutheran Church," mentions no less than fourteen volumes which it called forth in a short time.

In 1729, George Klein-Nicolai, better known to us as George Paul Seigvolck, published a volume entitled, "Solid but modest Thoughts on Mosheim's unfounded Thoughts on the eternity of hell-punishments." It took up not only the tract before us, but also Mosheim's letter to Goenner, and grouping his positions together, under various distinct heads, replied to them at large. KleinNicolai's style is unfortunately clumsy and often obscure, but his views are generally sound and clear. As a logician he is far superior to his graceful opponent, and in the domain of Scripture there seems to me to be no comparison between them. As a scholar, too, if we may fairly judge of the men by these portions of their labors, Klein

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