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. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit would fail before me, and the souls which I have made.' Isa. lvii. 16. Till it can be proved, that there are souls which God did not make, we shall consider the true meaning of the text to be this : I will not inflict pain on any man for ever ; for I am his Creator. Here is an argument truly parental : it extends equally to all his offspring-to this life, and to that which is to come.
To the same purpose is the following passage. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim ; for I am God, and not man ; the Holy One in the midst of thee'. Hosea xi. 9.
2. Man is commanded to exercise universal benevolence.
• And he, answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thy self.? . But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour ?' Whatever our practice, there are few, it is presumed, who have any occasion to propose a similar question. Could there be any doubt, it must be completely dissipated, by Scriptures like the following.-- Ye have heard that it bath been said, Thuu shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy:
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.'
It may safely be assumed, therefore, as incontestable, that God coinmands every man to exercise universal benevolence towards his fellow
But I say
S. Jehovah loves all whom he commands his children to love. For,
First. We are commanded to love all mankind, that we may be perfect, even as our Father who is in heaven is perfect.'
unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.' Matt. v. 44. 45. But lest any should innagine, (as many have done,) that the paternal benefits of God, to the greatest part of his children, far from being tender mercies, or tokens of his love, are cruelties in disguise, intended only to enhance their everlasting condemnation-it is added,~ Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matt. v. 48. • God loveth the stranger in giving him food and raiment. The gifts of food and raiment-of that rain, which is the water of lifeof that .sun, of this great world both eye and soul-are consequently indications of the love of our Father who is in heaven.
• But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again: and your reward sbalí be great, and ye shall be called the children of the Highest : for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your father is merciful.” Jesus Christ. • Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.' Ephes. v. 1.
Now let the reader judge, with what propriety a son can be required to love those whom his
father hates, that he may be a follower of his father-merciful as his father-a dear child of his father-and above all, that he may be perfect, even as his father is perfect. When such frail perfection is ascribed to our heavenly Father, well may his children exclaim, Shall mortal man be more pure than his Maker !!
Thirdly. The reciprocal unity between the Father, the Son, and the Saints, includes this community of affection.
It has already been shown, in speaking of the divine glory, that this unity implies mutual love. It remains to discover, whether it does not also imply, that Jehovah loves all whom his children are commanded to love. This will be rendered evident, first, by quoting Scriptures in which such expressions are used, as we employ to denote personal unity: secondly, some of those texts which represent God and the saints, as performing the same, or similar works.
• I and my Father are one.:- That they also may be one, thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us.' John xvii. 21.– But he that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.' 1. Cor. vi. 17.-. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.' 1. Cor. xii. 26. 27.—. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Ephes. v. 30. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.' Gala. 11. 20.
• That we might work the works of God.' John vi. 28.-We, then, as workers together with hiin.? 2. Cor. vi. 1.-I must work the works of him that sent me. Jolin ix. 4,-- The Father that
dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.' John xiv. 10.-—• The Son can do nothing but what he seeth the Father do."
The foregoing extracts are more than sufficient to establish the unity of affection which they are intended to prove. We shall therefore only inquire : If that Beirg in wbom we live, who is one spirit with us, and whose life and works are the only life and works that we possess—does not participate all our benevolent affections—how is it possible, that a participation of sentiments should in any instance exist ?
II. God will accomplish the Salvation of All whom he loves.
Having now proved, by several independent, and irresistible arguments, that the love of the God of love' is strictly universal ; it is our next object, to evince, that this love is not of that unproductive kind, which he has condemned in his servants.
Man, we are informed, is made in the image of God. In man, love, and a desire of the happiness of the beloved object, we know to be inseparable. There is a high degree of probability, on this account, that such also is the character of our heavenly Father. And if so, doubtless it is not consistent with our ideas of a perfect Being, that he should desire what he will never obtain. . If the desire of the righteous shall be granted' -the desire of the unprofitable servant-hard indeed must it be, if the Master, the sovereign Lord of the universe, cannot obtain his wishes. But we are not left to form our conclusions merely from ideal perfection. Abundantly explicit are the inspired writers on this subject.
1. Therefore, God desires the salvation of all whom he loves.
The texts lately quoted from Ezekiel declare this. Is it not my pleasure, says Jehovah, that he shoulıl turn from his ways and live ? Wherefore turn yourselves and live'. • Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wickel, but that the wicked turn from his ways and live. It is consequently the pleasure, or the desire of the Lord God, that the wicke'i turn from his ways and live. Indeed, the greatest part of the arguments adduced, to prove the riversal happiness of the Deity, equally evince his desire of universal happiness.
2. God will accomplish all his desires.
• Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.' Isa. xlvi. 9. 10. These words require no comment, no addition.
3. God will effect the salvation of all whom he loves, (that is, of the whole human race,) by chastisements.
It is obvious from the Scriptures, that chastisements, (either in this world or the next,) though not the efficient causes of salvation, are yet instruments of universal necessity in the hands of grace. • As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.' Rev. iii. 19. My Son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him : For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not.' •For they verily for a few days chastened us for their own pleasure; but he for