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« is laid to the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that " bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the
fire." “ He will gather bis wheat into the garner, but He will “ burn up the chaff, with unquenchable fire.” “ The tares
are the children of the wicked one : as, therefore, the tares are
gath:re's and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of 66 the world." " If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth
as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast “ them into the fire, and they are burned." “ They gathered “ the goou into vessels, but cust the bud away.”.
“ Those “ mine enemies, bring them hither, and slay them before me.” " He will miserably destroy (xoxwS AWON:CES) those wicked men.”, « On whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to “ powder.” Nor, as we may remark in this place, must it be considered as an insignificant circumstance, that the specific pathologic symptom of despair, that ultimate condition of the mind which results from the dominance of an unmixed emotion, is the one uniforınly attached by our Lord, in his brief descriptions of future wo: “ There shall be weeping and gnashing “ of teeth.” This phrase is not appropriate, if the thing it is intended to signify, be the pungent sorrow of bopeful correction ; but it perfectly accords with the import of the above cited pasa sages, if it be considered as designed to express the consciousness of having sustained an irremediable loss.
There is a branch of Scripture evidence, bearing upon the question in debate, to which we find not even an allusion, in the volume before us. It is, perhaps, the more deserving of attention, from the very, circumstance of its having an indirect, although an inseparable connexion with the subject. Those of our readers whose thoughts bave frequently rested upon the painful consideration of human perdition, will remember, we doubt not, to have had, at times, a train of ideas similar to the following, pass through their minds.
Unha py Map! he enters upon the unalienable gift of ' existence, as though he were the inheritor alone of a day, and of
its trifles. He is born blind to his own incalculable destiny-
blind to his relation to the Infinite Being. Almost all the • circumstances of his condition, seem contrived to aggravate • the incredible fatuity, which impels him to balance the transient • good of animal life, against the interests of an endless duration. • The ceaseless voice and solicitation of grovelling wishes
even the vulgar familiarity with existence, produced by the
degrading conditions of the body, and the uniform repetition ' of minute events, all seem burdened with the same fatal advice: • " Forget God-forget thyself.” The thousand enticements of • this painted scene, are leagued to ensure the oblivion of a futurity • beyond the grave.'-- The grave! This mound of earth, what is
• it but a grave? Yet he forgets, that the gay hillock on which be
sports and dreams, is truly the tottering crust of a fathomless abyss. Nor bave counteracting realities ever the force of
these delusive impressions. That first of truths, wbich it - makes the heaven or the hell of the intelligent universe • around him to know, Man only believes, with a variable con• viction. Alas, the amazing anomaly! he does but believe « that there is a God. Here then, surely, is the sole cause of . bis error, bis crime, and bis misery. May it not be imagined, " that the moment of his awaking in the sensible presence of • Almighty God,- the moment which brings home to his con
sciousness the Great Truth, will work the instantaneous, at ' least the incipient rectification of his abused atfections ? How
ever unworthily these affections may have wandered, will they
not then, by an impulse involuntary and irresistible, revert • towards the incomparable object of love? It may even be • conceived, that he will offer himself the willing sacrifice to
offended law. But if we may not go thus far, is it credible " that rebellion will survive the full apprehension of unbounded
power? Will there be sin wben there is no more delusion? • Will not the entire passiveness of submission, succeed the first
glimpse of the appalling apparatus of punishment, or the first - proof of its omnipotent efficiency?'
We need not determine abstractedly to how great a degree of attention such a view of the subject might have been entitled; it is enough that the principle on which it proceeds, receives a full reply in that branch of revealed truth, which we wish here to introduce.
It is, indeed, admitted, that the 'evidence here referred to, does not immediately relate to the future condition of the human system ; but it is nevertheless directly conclusive against the whole of the argument in favour of Universal Restoration. That this is the case, we have the virtual acknowledgement of its advocates, inasmuch as they find it indispensable roundly to deny the facts which this evidence substantiates. We enter into no contest with Sadducean effrontery. It is the doctrine of the Bible, that there exists a permanent revolt among creatures who are subjected to no delusion ; who lie beneath the iminediate perception of the Divine Presence; who are fully coinpetent, both by original knowledge and by experience, to es.. timate the madness, and to predict the consequence, of their opposition to Omnipotence. God is love :--but He is hated by an unnumbered company of His creatures, who have seep Him as He is. God is perfectly beneficent :- but this beneficence consists with a defection, which, as it is palliated neither by ignorance, nor by physical disadvantage, leaves no resource among the moral means of restoration. All that is revealed on this subject, tends to establish the opinion, (on other grounds pro
bable,) that in the presence of God, moral being is necessarily final, and that, therefore, the apparent disadvantage to which Man is at present subjected, is truly the essential condition of a state, in wbich chunge shall be possible.
Hell, we are told, is a reformatory, dressed and furnished for the willing subjects of a painful cure; but Hell, the Bible assures us, is the appointed prison of beings, of whose unchanged malevolence and maleficence it records the proofs, froin age to age. A little effort of the mind, perhaps, is needful to bring home to our thoughts the plain fact of the case. It is nothing but a feebleness of the understanding, which disposes us to think of an intelligible matter of history, as though it were a mere abstraction. If Satan be an abstraction, so is Hannibal. Will any one dare go through the proof in detail, and affirm that the existence and proper personality of the latter, is better attested than those of tbe former? “ The Devil was a murderer “ from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there “ is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of “ bis own, for He is a liar, and the father of it.” He is by eminence, “ The Enemy;" and the designation he acquired in the first scene of human history, it is predicted he will sustain to the period of its consummation. He is “ that old “ Serpent;the Devil ;” The Deceiver, and Destroyer of men; 66 The Ruler of the darkness of the present age.
He is the ADVERSARY, upon whose head the Deliverer has already trodden, and whom the God of peace shall bruise shortly beneath the Christian's foot.
Were we then left to gather our opinion on the subject of Future Punishment, alone from the indirect intimations which abound in the inspired volume, and especially from the testimony. it bears to the permanent character of the being into whose arms it is expressly declared impenitent men shall fall, we should be justified in rejecting the doctrine of Universal Restoration, as irreconcileable with these intimations. They would, indeed, afford ground for an apprehension, in the terror of which thought is lost, that the world in which we move, has passed within the precincts—within the empire of Infinite Evil; and this Evil, not a mere metaphysical liability, but Evil positive, and imbodied in the person and purpose of an Enemy of unknown power, and unmixed malevolence. He who mocks, may mock-he who doubts, may doubt, till the day of proof: but the Christian will “ pass the time of his sojourning here in
fear;" apprized, as he is, that “ bis Adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
We cannot conclude, without suggesting the eminent propriety of observing the bounds of a Christian--we might add, of a philosophical modesty, upon this subject. It is the first office of this modesty to remind us, that Testimony is our inheritance, while speculation is a profession of ever qilestionable title. His own intellectual and moral competency, is the object of a Christian's scepticism. The sceptic doubis of every thing, but his powers. The former lightly esteerns the uncertain, but cleaves to the certain : the latter contemos the certain, and idolizes the uncertain ; he sacrifices his comfort, his usefulness, perhaps his soul, to the impatient wilfulness of thought.
It is a further and not less important dictate of this modesty, addressed indeed to a different order of persons, that we suffer not the specious zeal of forward credence, to carry us beyond the limits of the inspired testimony. The threatenings of revealed religion, be it ever remembered, are the sanction of its promises : charged with this sanction, the promise becomes a message of “ death unto death,” to the disobedient. The Gospel offers to men a positive good. The mere destitution of the Gospel involves an irreinediable loss; but the rejection of the Gospel, is a crime which entails the endless punishment of endless remorse. Thus, while the Preachers of Mercy are authorized to say, “ Whosoever will, let him come, and take the waters of “ life freely," they are bound to affirm, and the affirioation is the bighest work of charity, that the man who hears the invitation of the Gospel, and rejects it, either by a formal contempt, or by the base preference of present pleasures, passes froin the season of bis probation, beneath the infinite burden of bopeless immortality.
Art. V. The Case of Eusebius of Cæsarea, Bishop, and Historian,
who is said by Mr. Nolan, to have mutilated Fifty Copies of the Scriptures sent to Constantine the Great; examined. By Thomas Falconer, A. M. Formerly Fellow of Corpus Christi College,
Oxford. 8vo. pp. 15. Oxford University Press, 1818. THE subject discussed in this well written tract, is the asser
tion of Mr. Nolan, the author of an elaborate work “ On the “ integrity of the Greek Vulgate," who, in support of the hypothesis which he has attempted to establish, athrms, that Eusebius of Cæsarea erased certain passages from certain copies of the Gospels and Epistles, having availed himself of the opportunity wbich presented itself when he was commanded by Constantine the Great, to provide transcripts from the MSS. of the books of the New Testament preserved at Casarea, for the use of the new churches at Constantinople. This bold assertion Mr. Falconer examines with tbe most patient attention, and establishes, completely to our satisfaction, the inconclusive nature of the arguments by which its author endeavours to substantiate what is, in fact, a mere creation of fancy.'
An assertion of so sweeping a description, which attributes the alteration of the Scriptures, the erasure of parts of the sacred text from ancient codices, and the consequent corruption of the records of our faith, to an individual by name, as a specific charge, should be hazarded only on the strongest evidence. From inconsideration and ignorance in some cases, and from the heated temper of theological controvertists in others, general imputations of this kind of proceedings, bave been not unfrequently insinuated against different parties. The impro. bability, however, that such a course could be adopted without being detected and exposed, and the absence of the proofs requisite to support the assumed fact, have, in the estimation of all competent judges of such matters, obviated any supposed difficulties of this nature. Charges of this general description are indeed too vague and indefinite to be considered as of much consequence. But the case is very different when a particular accusation is fixed on an individual : such a case deserves our most serious attention, and only on evidence absolutely conclusive should we pronounce a verdict which is to consign the accused to the loss of reputation in a point, where above all others, one would wish to see the character of every Christian writer free from blame.«
Mr. Nolan's charge against Eusebius is not founded on the testimony of facts adduced by any of ponents of the Historian of Cæ. sarea, but is derived from the supposed evidence which, it is imagined, is to be found in a letter addressed by Constantine to Eusebius, which the latter has preserved in his life of that emperor, and particularly from the following passage of it.
πρέπον γάρ κατεφάνη το δηλωσαι τη ση συνέσει, όπως αν πεντήκοντα σωμάτια 'εν διφθέραις εγκατασκέυοις ευανάγνωστά τε, και προς την χρησι, ευμετακόμιστα υπό τεχνιτών καλλιγράφων και ακριβως την τέχνην επισταμένων γραφηναι κελεύσειας των θείων δηλαδη γραφών, ών μάλιστα την τ επισκευη ο και την χρησιν τω της εκκλησίας λόγω αναγκαίαν ειναι γινώσκεις.'
Euseb. Vita Const. Lib iv. c. 36. P. 646. ed. Reading. "“ The authority with which Eusebius was vested,” says
Mr. Nolan, " to prepare this edition, was conveyed in the following terms, as nearly as the original can be literally expressed." ;
"" It seemeth good unto us to submit to your consideration, that you
would order to be written on parchment prepared for the purpose by able scribes, and accurately skilled in their art, fifty codices, “both legible and portable, so as to be useful; namely, of the sacred “ Scriptures, whereot chiefly you know, the preparation and use to be necessary to the doctrine of the church.” p. 26. pp. 4, 5.
Such is Mr. Nolan's translation of the preceding passage, and from this passage, so translated, he draws the following conclusions.
• " If we now compare the authority thus committed to Eusebius