“Having premised thus much, I shall proceed, in the first place, to offer a few observations in proof that there is nothing in the scripture DOCTRINE OF REDEMPTION WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE MODERN OPINION OF THE MAGNITUDE OF CREATION.
1. Let creation he as extensive as it may, and the number of worlds be multiplied to the utmost boundary to which imagination can reach, there is no proof that any of them, except men and angels, have apostatized from God. If our world be only a small province, so to speak, of God’s vast empire, there is reason to hope that it is the only part of it where sin has entered, except among the fallen angels, and that the endless myriads of intelligent beings, in other worlds, are all the hearty friends of virtue, of order, and of God.
If this be true, (and there is nothing in philosophy or divinity I believe to discredit it,) then Mr. Paine need not have supposed, if he could have suppressed the pleasure of the witticism, that the Son of God would have to travel from world to world in the character of a Redeemer.
2. Let creation be ever so extensive, there is nothing inconsistent with reason in supposing that some one particular part of it should be chosen out from the rest, as a theatre on which the great Author of all things would perform his most glorious works. Every empire that has been founded in this world has had some one particular spot where those actions were performed from which its glory has arisen. The glory of the Caesars was founded on the event of a battle fought near a very inconsiderable city: and why might not this world, though less than “twenty-five thousand miles in circumference,” be chosen as the theatre on which God would bring about events that should fill his whole empire with glory and joy? It would be as reasonable to plead the insignificance of Actium or Agincourt, in objection to the competency of the victories there obtained (supposing them to have been on the side of righteousness) to fill the respective empires of Rome and Britain with glory, as that of our world to fill the whole empire of God with matter of joy and everlasting praise. The truth is, the comparative dimension of our world is of no account. If it be large enough for the accomplishment of events which are sufficient to occupy the minds of all intelligences, that is all that is required.”
Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.