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^ f doubt and disquietude , and it was some time before we felt any anxiety to explore the goodly land which we had reached , and to gather all the pleasant and exhilarating fruits which we now know by
experience that it yields . He that , educated amidst the rigours of Calvinism , embraces the destruction schenrerWias obtained a shelter ; the storm is over - the Supreme Power no longer does evil : but still , it may
be urged , is this enough ? Is any doctrine worthy of God that does not represent him as effecting all possible good to his own offspring ? If he does not will good to all , where is his goodness ? If he wills , and cannot effect , where is his wisdom or
power ? It is no reply to this argument that there is evil in the present world : should it be granted that there is real unmixed evil , this would indeed be a presumption in favour of the eternity of evil ; but £ 3 it for the honour of the highest , the only Good , to allow that under his reign , evil will be eternal ? This however is not
granted ; for it is contended that all the evil of life is temporary arid also remedial , and that the future and final happiness of intelligent beings will be increased by this arrangement of the Divine Providence . We have an
illustration of this supposition in sleep , which is a defect , but which promotes greatly the comfort of all animals ; and also , in corporeal pain , which in the wise and benevolent scheme of things is compensated by pleasure , and without which , perhaps , pleasure were not .
It may be granted that the letter of scripture is favourable to the doctrine of destruction , as it is to that of transubstantiation : a second death , however , does not any more than a first preclude a revival , and as Dr . Estlin justly insinuates ( p . I-I I ) a . first
resurrection implies a second . Mr . Locke has long ago proved that the human mind has no proper idea of eternity , and can have none ; divine revelation , therefore , cannot possibly teach any doctrine with regard to eternity ; the utmost that it undertakes to reveal is concerning ages of ages ,
beyond which , in fact , eternity lies : and therefore it might be admitted that the wicked will be punished ( but punishment may consist in the mere privation of a certain kind or degree of good ) to the utmost length that men ' s faculties can reach , and et be reasonably and successfully
contended that the end of all God ' s creatures will be happy . In the Jewish idiom , ages of ages are only definite periods ; of these the longest may be the Messiah ' s reign ; but when he has accomplished his work by the destruction of all enemies to man ,
arid especially death ( now death can be destroyed only by those that have fallen captive to death being set free by life ) , it is the doctrine of the apostle that he will resign the kingdom to God , who will be all and in all ,
** And where he vital breathes , there must [ be joy . Even the decided advocates of destiuction must , one should think , wish to be able to renounce their system 1 they must certainly wish this , if they desire the happiness of all mankind . But to desire this end is the characteristic of a good man ; and is it not the attribute of the infinitely
good God , whose all men are , and whose perfection consists in his being , not specuiatively but practically , their father , and whose perfections , wisdom and power , as well as benevolence , are all infinitely equal ?
According to present appearances and also to scriptural representations , the majority of mankind must suffer punishment in the world to come ( p . 83 ) y let that punishment be final and endless , and what a prospect is here for the philanthropist ! Without a resurrection , the destruction scheme
would be plausible enough : but the testimony of scripture is decisive as to the revivification of the wicked ; why then on this hypothesis are they to be dragged forth from their slumbers ?— only to be tormented—that their torments may end them . And this is the amount of the divine
promise , sealed by martyrdoms and miracles , that " as in Adam fill die 7 so in Christ shall //// he made alive /" In proportion to the improvement of human society , capital punishments have been exploded , and the avowed ends of penal justice have
been the security of society and the reformation of offenders ( p . 11 / 3 , < kc ) . This is the natural march of benevolence . Where there is more , where there is all wisdom and power , — -in the other world—will there be ] ess
benevolence nnd less happiness ? /\ nd will our Howards and lioniillys go into the future state , incapacitated by their goodness in the present , for admiring the measures of the divine government ?
Review . — Estlin s Discourses on Universal Restitution * 55
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1815, page 55, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1756/page/55/