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by Dr. John Thomas
It is assumed by that shallow system of speculative theology that His intention was "the greatest possible good to the whole creation".
This certainly was not His design; for the principle I have demonstrated is utterly subversive of it.
The voluntary obedience of free men implies the possibility, as well as the probability, of their voluntary disobedience predicted upon the known capriciousness of human nature.
Now, as the very existence of God upon His throne depends upon the suppression, and therefore punishment, of sin (which is sorrow and pain so long as life lasts), the greatest possible good to all men, in the universal sense of the word, was no part of His design, being incompatible with the principle and end in view.
"The greatest possible good of the whole creation," then, being no part of His purpose, it is a mere conceit, the idea that God wills the immortalization and glorification of every member of the human family.
He has purposed no such thing.
His design requires only the separation from the nations of a sufficient number of men and women to occupy the globe when constituted on an eternal basis, without sea, be that many or few.
"What a paltry, contemptible few," exclaims one, "compared with the immense mass of human flesh and blood which will have existed on the earth for 7,000 years!
" Granted; but what is needed more than a sufficient population for the renovated earth?
If this immense mass of corruption and sin, living and dead, had listened to the voice of reason, if it would have believed God and obeyed Him, an adequate provision would have been made for them; but they would not, and the consequences inevitably follow.
The principle is an eternal one.
It is persistent as God Himself; a principle without an exception, and as uncompromising as the truth.
The case of the thief on the cross only establishes the rule.
He believed in the kingdom of God, and acknowledged Jesus while in his lowest estate as "King of the Jews," and therefore future monarch of the nation.
He was by constitution one of "the children of the kingdom, though he had proved himself a very disreputable citizen.
It was only necessary in his case that his faith and change of mind and disposition should be counted to him for repentance and remission of sins; for without this he could not enter the kingdom of God.
The Lord Jesus, who then alone upon the earth had power to forgive sins, granted his petition, and so constituted him an heir of the righteousness which is by faith in the gospel of the kingdom.
The case of the thief was unique, and one to which there has been none like, before or since.
It is proved, that the revealed mystery of God's will, which He has purposed in His own mind, is first to found a kingdom and empire of nations, which He will bestow on the crucified and resurrected King of the Jews, and upon all those who believe the doctrine, or word, concerning it, and become obedient to the faith; and secondly, at the end of 7,000 years from the foundation of the world, to renovate the globe, and to people it with immortal men "equal to the angels," who shall all have attained to the eternal state and to the possession of all its transcendent glories, on the principle of believing His "exceeding great and precious promises," and of lovingly and voluntarily obeying His laws.
Behold, then, the conclusion of the matter.
There are two systems, or worlds -- the one the animal and natural; the other the spiritual and incorruptible; and between these a mixed state, being partly animal and partly spiritual, which may be termed the transition state.
Out of the natural system, as the materials and scaffolding of the building, God purposes to elaborate "the ages of the ages" with all that shall pertain to them.
Thus constituted, the globe will become a glorious province of the universe, and a new imperial abode of the Divine Majesty.