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must for instance believe that it is a universally allowed,” that the new heavens and the nerv earth, spoken of 2 Peter 3: 13, refer to the kingdom of Christ, in this world, and not any thing after death, when every author that I read on the subject such as Scott, Dwight, Chalmers, Rosenmeüller, Storr and Fuller, refer the passage to the new heavens and the new earth, which are to emerge from the ashes of the present system. So of the passages in the Apocalypse, that speak of the wicked being tormented forever and ever, I must believe that “no well informed man urges them as proof of eternal punishment," when I find writers as well informed as Edwards, Saurin, Scott, Dwight, Rosenmüller and Stuart, involved in the alleged absurdity. I must furthermore believe that Mr. B. has examined in a given essay, all the passages which are supposed to teach a retribution after death, when he has passed in silence the very passage whose language is of all the most full and unequivocal, i. e." I saw the dead small and great stand before God,&c." I must believe that the word daimon which occurs in scores of passages, “is well known to have no reference to that being which christians call the devil," and that all these passages are so irrelevant to the question of the existence of the devil, that they need no consideration by him who labors at disproof, though many of them are much relied on for proof. I must also believe that when he offers to bring under examination all the passages which are supposed to teach the separate conscious existence of the soul after death, and then leaves two of the most material passages out of his discussion of that subject, and then introduces them in another place incidentally but briefly, noticing their bearing on the first question just to save appearances-I must believe that such a method of breaking the force of scripture testimony, comports with fair and ingenuous reasoning, and with a proper treatment of the word of God.
This list of indigestible matter, might be much more extended, but this will serve as a specimen. The faith that can receive all this has digestive organs more powerful, than those of the ostrich. The rational mind that can call these things
reasonable, when distinctly set before it, or that can read with approbation works in which such things appear, and not discover any thing out of the way, must be subject to an alarming obliquity of moral vision. The fact that these books are read as oracles by men of some intelligence, goes to pro what a wreck can be made of the mind, of the habits of moral perception, and of the moral sentiments, by pursuing the dangerous enterprise of wresting the Scriptures into coincidence with depraved desire.
MISCELLANEOUS PROOFS OF FUTURE PUNISHMENT.
I PROPOSE in this chapter to adduce some disconnected and independent considerations, in proof of the punishment of the wicked, in the future world, such as it was not in my way éspecially to notice in any of the preceding chapters.
Conduct has, in many respects, a language more intelligible and impressive than words, written or spoken.
And the conduct of such a man as Paul, is capable of throwing much light on this subject. It is a proper subject of enquiry, whether the conduct of Paul harmonizes with the notion that universal salvation was the gospel which he spent his life in promulgating: And fortunately we have not only the history of Paul's conduct in the ministry, but the express reasons assigned for that conduct in various particulars. So that both his conduct and the reasons therefor assigned by himself, mutually confirm the testimony of each other, as to the real sentiments of his heart. In one instance he gives us a reason for his conduct in this shape-Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men, 2 Cor. 5: 11. Here we learn that the apprehension he had of the terror of the Lord, was the cause which impelled him to such efforts as he made in persuading men. Now let us look at this matter a moment.--Here was one of the most valuable of lives, with great exclusiveness of purpose, and with strenuousness unexampled, devoted to the business of persuading men. Prospects of worldly distinction had been relinquished, mental endowments and advantages of rank and influence, second to those of few, were counted as dross and as dung—the favor of the great ones of the world, was exchanged for their frowns,-poverty, perils, persecutions and toils unceasing, were encountered in the business of persuad
ing men. Such singleness of aim, such ceaseless driving to-
not wonder that his work of persuasion was so difficult. Persuasion in that case would have been a miracle, if Paul had told the world in the outset, that neither those who received nor those who rejected his message had anything to fear after death, and that the question of rejecting or receiving, was only one of securing the most happiness in this life, none but maniacs would ever have been persuaded by him. For all the terrors of a world in arms, a world influenced by sevenfold hostility to the gospel were against him, and such arguments had greater persuasive force than any found in such a gospel as his would have been. The terror was on the other side of the question. It was the receiving and not the rejecting of the gospel, which exposed a man to temporal dangers. Really, if Paul employed himself in persuading men that the easiest and most safe and comfortable way of spending this mortal life, was in a course of christian duties, when duty led to the rack and the stake, he had a work before him. If that were fact, the text above quoted might be paraphrased after this sort-Knowing the terror of the Lord, i. e. the terrors of enjoying unmolested the favor of the world, and of the powers that be, we persuade men to the safer and happier course of life, which confers bonds, imprisonments, and the privilege of being hunted like wild beasts, and the constant expectation of a violent death, overbalanced by no prospect of a reward in the future life.
On another occasion, giving explanations of the reasons of his conduct, he says, that he was made all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. But save some from what?- from trouble in this life. Were his converts wont to experience that kind of salvation ? Did he expect they would ? Did he not rather tell them that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution ? From what else then, did he save some, than the perdition beyond the grave ? Thus the conduct of Paul as interpreted by himself, is every way at war with the idea of no punishment in the world to come? If he was laboring to save men from hell, conscious of standing between a dying world and an undone eternity, his whole conduct was rational and consistent, having a fit proportion be