Elhanan Winchester.

The universal restoration. Exhibited in four dialogues between a minister and his friend ... chiefly designed fully to state, and fairly to answer the most common objections that are brought against it, from the Scriptures online

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dience as many other subjects.

6, The plan of this grand Restoration is so
vast, includes so many ditferent and seemingly
contradictory dispensations, that it cannot be
fairly stated, and fully defended, in one sermon,
and especially the objections answered; and
many persons are not capable of taking in and
digesting at once, so many subjects as are ne-
cessary to the understanding of this matter, and
have not patience to attend to a long series of
demonstrations, arguments, and proofs; and,
therefore, this doctrine should not be introduced
by any man, in any place, unless he has oppor-
tunity, to give it a fair investigation; and, there-
tore, I never mention it at all, at my first preach-
ing in any place; nor unless I have sufficient op-
portunities to discuss it.

7 Christ says to his disciples — ''I have yet
many things to say unto you; but ye cannot bear
them now," St. John, xvi. 12. And St. Paul
says — "And I, brethren, could not speak unto
you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal; even
as unto babes in Christ: I have fed you with
milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye are not
able to bear it; neither yet now are ye able."
1 Cor. iii. 1,2. "Strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age; even those who by reason
of use, have their senses exercised, to discern
both good and evil." Heb. v. 14. Therefore,
as the Saviour and his apostles adapted their sub-
jects and discourses to the circumstances of



276 DIALOGUES ON THE

their hearers, and treated them in a gentle man-
ner; so should we Prudence, patience, and
care, should always be used in disccursing on a
doctrine so deep and awful as this; and, espe-
cially, as it hath been so little known of late
ages.

8. I would wish to establish well the first
principles of Christianity, before I meddle with
any thing else; and as to the doctrine of the
Restoration, I would rather that it should seeni;.
to be naturally inferred from truths already
known, than delivered as an independent sys-
tem: I, therefore, seldom or ever make it a lead-
ing point in my discourses;^ but sometimes lead
to it, as a natural consequence of what has
been said. After all, I would choose that men
should discover it themselves, by carefully read-
ing the Scriptures, without prejudice, believ-
ing them to be strictly true; by living in love
towards God and man; by walking in humility,
often reflecting on their former estate; and con-
stantlv viewing the sufficiency of Christ, and the
boundless love of their great Creator; rather
than to learn it of any man, far less still, of such
an unworthy worm as I am.

9. As far as I know my own heart, truth, in
love is my constant aim. I am unconnected
with any party; and am not so prejudiced in fa-
vor of any thing that I hold, but that I would
willingly be convinced in any thing, by proper
evidence; and when so convinced, lam ready
to retract publicly. As, therefore, I do not feel
myself personally interested to support the sys-
tem, right or wrong; I have, therefore, dwelt



UNIVERSAL RESTORATION. 277

much less upon it, than most preachers do upon
their particular sentiments.

10. When I lirst embraced these views I was
obliged to give some account of my reasons; and
I chose rather to do it by writing than preach-
ing: Accordingly, I published my sentiments,
and answers to many objections; which publica-
tions being in the hands of those to whom I
preached, made it less necessary for me to dis-
course upon those matters in public, or even in
private, as I could refer to what I had writ-
ten; and with the same view, I am inclined to
publish these familiar discourses, which we have
had together; after which it will be less neces-
sary than ever for me to preach the Restoration
publicly; yet, I will not wholly avoid it at con-
venient times, and in proper circumstances.

1 1. Lastly, as I know so much of the nature
of man, as to be sensible that he turns, with
disgust and loathing, from what is perpetually
crammed down his throat; but rehshes that
which he falls upon, as it were accidentally,
and comes into by little and little; I have always
made it a rule never to introduce it, in public or
private, unless where it was earnestly desired,
nor ever to continue it long together; and, above
all, never to question people upon the subject,
after discoursiug upon it; asking them, saying.
Do you believe it ? &c. Nor would I ever
wish to press them with the arguments at once,
and oblige them immediately to yield; as this
kind of conduct, so far from answering any good
purposes, commonly sets them against what is
thus intruded upon them. It is the best way
to give time and leisure to persons, whom you

24



278 DIALOGUES ON THE

would wish to convince; and let tliem exercise
their own faculties.

Friend. 1 must confess that what vou have
advanced is highly satisfactory to me, and I
trust will be so to many others who may read
these conversations, which I hope to have the
pleasure of seeing in print before long; and in
the mean time, I wish for a blessing to attend
your labors, and that you may be an instrument
of much good to mankind in your day and gen-
eration, and that you may obtain a crown of
life from the Lord the righteous judge, in the
day of his appearing.

Minister. I thank you most kindly for your
benevolent wishes, I heartily wish the same
blessing may come to yourself And if I have
been an instrument of giving you any satisfac-
tion, let all the glory be to God, but let me have
an interest in your prayers.

END OF THE DTAI.OCrES,



The JoUowing is taken from a course of Lectures
on the Prophecies, by the Reverend Author of
the preceding Dialogues.

LECTURE XLII.

The grand and concludinjf Scene of Divine Rcvelationj the

End of the Mediatorial Kingdom. GOD ALL IN ALL
1 Cor. XV. 24—28.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have
ilehvered up the kingdom to God even the Fa-
tlier; when he shall have put down all rule and
all authority and power. For he must reign till
he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last
enemy that shall he destroyed is death. For he
hath p'ut all things under his feet. But when he
saith, all things are put under him, it is mani-
fest that he is excepted who did put all things
under him. And when all thmo-s shall he sub-
diicd unto him, then shall the Son also himself
be subject unto him that put all things under
him, that God mav be all in all.

I am now come in the course of these Lec-
tures, to the grand closing scene: our Saviour's
resio-nation of the kingdom delegated to him bv
the Father, after he shall have accomplished all
Lhe slorious desisrns for which it was committed
into his faithful hands.

This is a very deep, important and interesting
subject, and I feel myself incapable of doing
justice to it, but as the Lord has helped me
hitherto, even beyond my expectation, I trust he
will not forsake me at the close. The grandeur
of tlie subject is such as inspires my soul with a
r<'verential awe that language would fail to de-



280 LECTURE.

scribe. And having employed considerable
time and attention in the contemplation thereof,
I feel its consequence and weight in a manner
that I cannot express. But having the unerring
word of God for my directory here, as I have
had all along, I shall venture to tread this devi-
ous path, and endeavor to paint as well as I am
able, the glorious scene with which the book of
divine Revelation closts; when the blessed
and glorious Kedeemer, having subdued all
things to himself, shall resign the kingdom to
the Father, that God may be all in all.

This is the onlj passage of Scripture that
contains any intimation of Christ's delivering up
the kingdom to the Father, but as it was writtem
by divine inspiration, this grand event and clo-
sing scene is by no means to be disputed, or ex-
plained away.

In discoursing upon this glorious subject, I
shall follow the order of the words, and make
such remarks as may present themselves to my
mind as I pass along.

Then comeih the end, &c. These words teach us
the important truth that the Mediatorial dispen-
sation will as certainly come to a period or close,
as any other dispensation ever did; though it is
by no means of so short a duration as many take
it to be. Some make it to end at the second
coming of Christ; and others immediately after
the general Judgement: but I have in the course
of these Lectures given my thoughts so fully
upon these opinions and the reasons why I can-
not concur with them, is that I trust I have no
need to repeat them in this place, Wc may
here once more observe, that the word rendered



LECTURi:, 281

evcrlastingj does not signify cndlessj even when
applied to the kingdom of Christ; (as it fre-
quently is in the scriptures) since here it is pos-
itively asserted, that there shall be an end to the
glorious kingdom of the son of God, so often
called an everlasting kingdom in our translation:
but which 1 humbly apprehend, might better be
called a kingdom of ages.

Then cometk the tnd^ when he shall have deliv-
ered up the kingdom to God even the Father; when
ht shall have put down all rule and all authority
and power.

He shall deliver up the kingdorn to God, even
the Father; but not until he hath put down all
rule and authority, and all power. For the king-
dom was given to him lor this very purpose, and
this he will certainly accomplish, to the praise
and glory of his name. His engagements he
must fulfil, according to the nature and tenor of
the counsel of peace, Svhicli was between the
Father and his w'ell beloved Son; for (as the
prophet says) "The counsel of peace shall be
between them both." Zee. vi. 13. And ac-
cording to the inspired language of Isaiah, there
seems to have been the nature of a covenant
between the Father and the Son, which appears
in his being given tor a covenant to the people.
Chap. xlii. 6. xlix, 8, and the words in Chap,
liii. 10, 11, are fairly capable of being render-
ed in such a manner as to make a mutual agree-
ment evident. If he shall make his soul a sin
offering, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong
his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall pros-
' i)er in his hand. He shall see of the travail of

Ins soul, and shall be satisfied," &.c.

o 1*



282 LECTURE.

And the words of Christ himself in St. John,
vi. 37, 40, seem very plainly to imply that he
came down from heaven upon an errand of
great importance, and which he had engaged to
execute, nor can he leave any part of his work
unfinished.

God the Father having given him all things
without exception, according to those texts more
than once already quoted in this work (St. John,
iii. 35. xiii. 3. xvii. 2, compared with St. Mat-
thew xi. ^7, and St, Luke x. 22) expects that
the Son of his love will put a final and total end
to all rebellion, and bring all the rightful subjects
of the Almighty Sovereign back again to their
allegiance. And Jesus evidently considers him-
self under obligations to perform this great work
before he delivers up the kingdom to the Father.
And I cannot but think that he [» fully qualified
for the performance of all that he- hath engaged
to do, and that he will certainly accompfish it.

For he must reign till he hath put all enemies un-
der his feet.

It is of absolute necessity that his reign shall en-
dure until there is no more opposifion,no more re-
bellion, or disobedience, to be found in the wide
creation. '^Jehovah said unto my Adonai, or Lord,
Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine en-
emies thy footstool." Psal. ex. 1. This the
modern Jews apply to David, but it is certain
that in our Saviour's time they understood it to
relate to Christ, or the Messiah, the Son of Da-
vid, although they v/ere puzzled at our Lord's
question, and were not able to resolve him how
the Messiah could be born the son, and Lord of
David at the same time. See St. Matt. xxii.



LECTURE. 583

42, 43, 44, 45. St. Mark, xii. 35, 36, 37. St.
Luxe, XX. 41,42,43,44. '

And St. Peter applies those words of David
directly to Jesus, saying, "For David is not as-
cended into the heavens; but he saith himself.
The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right
hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. There-
fore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye
have cruciiied, both Lord and Christ." Acts, ii.
34, 35, 36.

When our blessed Saviour was exalted at the
Father's right hand according to the Scriptures, '
then this promise began to be fulfilled. He was
then set "Far above all principality and power,
and might, and dominion, and every name that
is named not only in this world (or age) but also
in that which is to come." And the Father "put
all things under his feet, and gave him to be the
head over ail things to the church." Ephes. i.
21, 22. Our Lord "is gone to heaven, and is on
the right hand of God, angels and authorities,
and pov/ers being made subject unto him." 1
Peter, iii. 22.

Thus all things were put under him in the
divine purpose, without exception, but all things
are not yet put under him in the sense of these
words in 1 Cor. xv. 25, because it is said that
he must reign iill he hath put all enemies ander
his feet: which plainly shews that it is not yet
the c'dT^e. And the words of the apostle in
this epistle to the Hebrews, Heb. ii 8, express
the same idea, "Thou hast put all things in
subjection under his feei. For in that he put
all in subjection under him, he left nothinjr tliat



^04 LECTURE.

iis not put under him; but now we see not yet all
things put under him." — Here it is evidentj that
in the purpose of God all things are put under
Christ, and subjected to -him in so universal
a manner, as there is not ihe least exception;
jet it is equally evident that ail things
are not yet actually put under him: the divine
counsels, respecting this important matter, arc
not iullilled before the eyes of creatures: but
they must hji. All the enemies of our Lord
must come to be subject to hin-i in a. sense far
different from what ever hath yet taken place;
and Christ must reign until this grand purpose
shall be fully accomplished. God says, "I have
sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my
mouth in righteousness, and shall not return.
That unto me every knee shall bow and every
tongue shall swear.^' Isai. xiv. 23. And the
apostle St. Paul, after speaking of our dear
Saviour's amazing humiliation even to the death o(
the cross, says, "Wherefore God also hatii higii-
]y exalted him, and given him a name which i-
above every name; that in the nam_e of Jesu-
every knee should bow, of things in heaven,
and things in earth, and things under the earth;
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'^'
Phil. ii. 9, 10, 11. When this comes to be ac-
tually fulfilled, then it may be truly said, that all
our Lord's enemies are in the strictest sense
put under his feet, but not betbre; and this is
spoken of by the Apostle as something luture,
and far rcmot-e.

The last enemy that shall he destroyed is Death; \
Of more properly, Dt'a//j, the last eiienvj shall hel
destroyed.



LECTURE. 285

There are some who would wish to confine
this destruction to the death of the body, or that
which is called the natural death; but to me it
appears, that every thing that bears the name of
death in the sacred Scriptures, must be included,
and is really intended here. Death and misery
of every kind shall be abolished, done away,
swallowed up in victory, &,c. and nothing but
life and happiness shall remain. I cannot help
considerino- this as the i^enuine sense and mean-
ing of the following glorious promises. He
will swallow up death in victory; and Adonia
Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all fa-
ces.". Stc. Isaiah, XXV. 8.

I will ransom them (even such who perish in
their iniquity and sin, as is evident from the con-
text) from the power of the grave: (or hell) I
will redeem them from death: O death I will be
thy plagues: O grave (or hell) I will be thy de-
struction: repentance shall be hid from mine
eyes." Hosea, xiii. 14.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes; and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be
any mare pain: for the former things are passed
away." Rev. xxi. 4.

Then shall the song of triumph be sung,
'^Death is swallov/ed up in victory!" And the
great and mighty challenge shall be proclaimed
through all the empire of Jehovah, "O death,
where is thy sting ? O grave (or hell) where is
thy victory?" 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55. But surely
while sin, which is the sting of death, is found in
existence, and while pain, sorrow, crying, &c.
continue in the universe, it can hardly be said,



i2g6 LECTURE.

that death is swallowed up in victory; and while
(he second death lasts, which is certainly the
most teirrible kind of death, how can it be said,
O death where is thy sting? and, O grave (or
hell) where is thy victory ? But to me, scarce
any thing appears more plain, than the certain
annihilation or total destruction of all that ever
bore the name of death. Then it may be truly'
said, ^'Where sin abounded, grace did much
more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death,
even so hath grace reigned through righteous-
ness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,
Horn. V. 20,21.

But prior to the total destruction of death,
all other enemies, that is, all rebellious crea-
tures, shall be humbled, and shall willingly submit
to Jesus, and be his enemies no longer: for cer-
tainly at the time when the last enemy shall be
destroyed, no enemies can remain in the uni-
verse. '

For he hath put all things; under his feel : but
when he saith^ All things are j)ut under him, it is
manifest thai he is excepted who did pid all things
under him.

This reasoning of the apostle seems almost
self evident: for nothing can be more manifest,
than that he (the eternal Father) who put all
things under Christ the Son, is himself except-
ed. Even as Pharaoh said to Joseph, \vhen he
made him governor or ruler over all the land of
Egypt.

^'Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this,
there is none so discreet and wise as thou art!
Thou shalt be over my house, and according to
thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in
the throne will I be greater than thou. And



LECTURE. 287

Piiaraoh saiJ unto Joseph. See I have set thee
(»ver all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took
ori' his ring from his hand, and put it upon Jo-
seph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine
linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and
he made him to ride in the second chariot which
he had: and they cried before him, Bow the
knee; and he made him ruler over all the land
of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I
am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man hft
up his hand or toot in all the land of Egvpt.'^
Gen. xU. 39—44.

The whole of this transaction was a wonderful
type, and a most beautiful illustration of the sub-
ject now upon.

Pharaoh set up Joseph over the land of Egypt
because there was none so discreet and wise as
he was, that understood the matter so w^ell, was
so competent to every part of the business, and
that would be so faithful and dilio;ent in the dis-
charo;e of the same. — Pharaoh in choosinjo; Jo-
seph, and placing him over all the land, shewed
his own wisdom and dis(ternment to be great
Even so the wisdom and goodness of God shone
conspicuously in placing his dear Son in so glo-
rious and important a situation. For where is
there one in heaven or earth worthy to be named
in comparison with Jesus? so prudent, so wise,
so faithful, so just, so competent to every part of
his work? The Father hath therefore entrusted
him with all the concerns of the vv ide extended
universe, as Pharaoh did Joseph with the land of
Egypt, and all things therein.

Pharaoh gave Joseph full power, and unlimit-
ed and absolute authority over all his people, but
excepted himself, in the same manner as the



288 LECTURE.

Apostle declares the Father to be excepted.
Jt is manijest that he is excepted ivho did put all
things under him.

But this exception being expressly made
(though it was evidently implied in the nature of
the thing) plainly shews that none else can pos-
sibly be excepted, whether things in heaven,
things on earth, or things under the earth.
Christ is truly and really over all, (the Father
only excepted) GocZ blessed forever. Rom. ix.
5.

All are put under him in the most absolute
and universal manner, and all are commanded to
bow the knee to him, as the Egyptians were
commanded to bow the knee before Joseph, To
Jesus Christ the Saviour, every knee shall
surely bow, and every tongue shall certainly
confess him Lord.

"When all the land of Egypt M'as famished,
the people cried to Phagaoh for bread; and
Pharaoh said unto all the Eoyptians, Go unto
Joseph, what he saith to you do." Gen. xli. 55.
So the Father, having given ail things into the
hands of Christ, and committed all authority
and judgement to him, directeth ah mankind to
look to him for salvation; his language is, "Go
to Jesus; whatsoever he saith to you do it. Be-
lieve on Jesus, see that ye refuse not him that
speaketh; if ye will hear his voice, harden not
your hearts." God requires all men to heark-
en to Jesus, and to do his v/ill without murmur-
ing or disputing, upon pain of his severe dis*^
pleasure. The Son of God is appointed to be
the universal Lord and ruler over all, and all
shall submit to him at last.



LECTURE. 23y

Joseph had the absolute disposal of all the
Egyptians and all their atfairs, both by the ap-
pointment of Pharaoh, and also by their own
consent, as appears by the story at large; so the
blessed Jesus has absolute authority over all ra-
tional creatures, by the Father's appointriient
and good pleasure, and shall faially have domin-
ion over all by their voluntary submission and
free consent. So that the administration of Jo-
seph over the land of Egypt, was one of the
most lively pictures of the universal government,
authority and dominion of Christ that can be
found, and applies beautifully in almost every
instance.

Jlnd when all things' shall be subdued unto hwiy
then shall the Son also himself be subject unto hi^n
that put all things under him, that God may -be alt
in all.

The time, the glorious time will come when all
thing shall be v/iliingiy subject to the Son of God,
and shall submit to his control : as has been, I
think, plainly proved in the foregoing course of
Lectures. When this event takes place, and
there is not an enemy remaining in all the uni-
verse, then shall the Son of God deliver up the
kingdom to the Father, in the most grand, glori-
ouSj and honorable manner, and be himself also
subject to him that put all things under nh^i,
that God may be all in all.

Some are apt to say, that if Christ should re-
sign the kingdom to the Father, and become
subject to him that put all things under him, that
his character would be thereby lowered arid
brought dov/n. But I must declare that I think
quite the reverse: even that his character v>'iil

25



290 LECTURE.

be exalted in the highest and most glorious man-
ner. For let me ask any one, when did Joseph
appear to most advantage ? whether when he had
the government of Egypt committed to his
hands, and went forth invested with absolute au-
thority over the whole land ? or when after sus-
taining that high office for twice seven years,
and doing all things well, to the full content of
both the king and the people, he came loaded
with honor and glory, and resigned the govern-
ment of Egypt again to Pharaoh, who had giv-
en it to him ?

When he went forth he was glorious, but when
he had finished his work hov/ much more glori-
ous and honorable did he appear? — or to men-
tion a recent instance, fresh in the memory of
man, when did General Washingi07i appear
most grand and exalted ? when the command of
the American army was given to him by the fiee
choice of the people? or when after eight years
enduring the fatigues of war, and taking pari
with his soldiers in all their dangers and suffer-
ings, and beholding his labors and designs crown-
ed with success he came amidst the acclamations
of the people, and resigned his great and weigh-
ty commission to that august body from whom he
received it? Was he less loved, honored and
esteemed by all the people when he laid down
than when he received the im.portant trust ?
Nay, was he not much more so? how much su-
perior did he appear in that awful day than he


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Online LibraryElhanan WinchesterThe universal restoration. Exhibited in four dialogues between a minister and his friend ... chiefly designed fully to state, and fairly to answer the most common objections that are brought against it, from the Scriptures → online text (page 19 of 20)