History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​April 15​> However orthodox this principle may be, we shall find that it is at variance with the testimony of holy writ; for our Savior says, “that all manner of sin, and blasphemy shall be forgiven men wherewith they shall blaspheme; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come”; evidently shewing that there are sins which may be forgiven in the world to come; although the sin of blasphemy cannot be forgiven, Peter also in speaking concerning our Savior says, that “he went and preached unto the Spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah” 1 Peter 3 ch. 19. 20. v. Here then we have an account of our Savior preaching to the Spirits in Prison; to Spirits that had been imprisoned from the days of Noah; and what did he preach to them? that they were to stay there? certainly not: let his own declaration testify “he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the Captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” Luke iv ch. 18 v. Isaiah has it— “To bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness from the prison house” Is: 42 ch. 7 v. It is very evident from this that he not only went to preach to them, but to deliver, or bring them out of the prison house. Isaiah in testi[HC 4:596]fying concerning the calamities that will overtake the inhabitants of the earth says, “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgressions thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day; that the Lord shall punish the hosts of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the Earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in prison and after many days shall they be visited”— Thus we find that God will deal with all the human family equally; and that as the ante-diluvians had their day of visitation; so will those characters referred to by Isaiah, have their time of visitation, and deliverance, after having been many days in prison— The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever “the morning stars sung together for joy”, the past, the present, and the future, were, and are with him one eternal now; he knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the ante-diluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family; their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostacies, their crimes, their righteousness and iniquity; he comprehended the fall of man, and their redemption; he knew the plan of salvation, and pointed it out; he was acquainted with the situation of all nations; and with their destiny; he ordered all things according to the council of his own will, he knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come. The idea that some men form of the justice, judgment, and mercy of God, is too foolish for an intelligent man to think of; for instance it is common for many of our orthodox preachers to suppose; that if a man is not what they call converted, if he dies in that state, he must remain eternally in hell without any hope:— “Infinite years in torment must he spend; And [p. 1322]
April 15 However orthodox this principle may be, we shall find that it is at variance with the testimony of holy writ; for our Savior says, “that all manner of sin, and blasphemy shall be forgiven men wherewith they shall blaspheme; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come”; evidently shewing that there are sins which may be forgiven in the world to come; although the sin of blasphemy cannot be forgiven, Peter also in speaking concerning our Savior says, that “he went and preached unto the Spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah” 1 Peter 3 ch. 19. 20. v. Here then we have an account of our Savior preaching to the Spirits in Prison; to Spirits that had been imprisoned from the days of Noah; and what did he preach to them? that they were to stay there? certainly not: let his own declaration testify “he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the Captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” Luke iv ch. 18 v. Isaiah has it— “To bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness from the prison house” Is: 42 ch. 7 v. It is very evident from this that he not only went to preach to them, but to deliver, or bring them out of the prison house. Isaiah in testi[HC 4:596]fying concerning the calamities that will overtake the inhabitants of the earth says, “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgressions thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day; that the Lord shall punish the hosts of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the Earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in prison and after many days shall they be visited”— Thus we find that God will deal with all the human family equally; and that as the ante-diluvians had their day of visitation; so will those characters referred to by Isaiah, have their time of visitation, and deliverance, after having been many days in prison— The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever “the morning stars sung together for joy”, the past, the present, and the future, were, and are with him one eternal now; he knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the ante-diluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family; their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostacies, their crimes, their righteousness and iniquity; he comprehended the fall of man, and their redemption; he knew the plan of salvation, and pointed it out; he was acquainted with the situation of all nations; and with their destiny; he ordered all things according to the council of his own will, he knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come. The idea that some men form of the justice, judgment, and mercy of God, is too foolish for an intelligent man to think of; for instance it is common for many of our orthodox preachers to suppose; that if a man is not what they call converted, if he dies in that state, he must remain eternally in hell without any hope:— “Infinite years in torment must he spend; And [p. 1322]
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