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I pass to notice your remarks upon my second statement. You say my argument is, that "God would be unjust if all his rational creatures do not obey" his "law." You are informed, I have a copy of my letter; and by it I learn you have greatly misunderstood my argument. The statement was, "The justice of God requires the fulfilment of this design," alluding to the first statement; and the argument was to prove it. Not that God would be unjust if he did not fulfil it, or that any other being would be unjust if he did not fulfil it: but that justice required its fulfilment. One would think, by your suggesting that you had found novelty in a statement that contained no such novelty, that you have a remarkable taste for novels. He would be the more confirmed in this opinion by your noticing my statement, merely on that account.

To my third statement you accede, and say, "When you have established your first statement, your third must be acknowledged true; till then I think it worth nothing.' Strange! That a statement you acknowledge true, so far as in general terms it relates to the fulfilment of the designs of God, you think is worth nothing, till a statemeut you believe is false, is proved. When you find false things are proved true, then those which you now believe you will esteem to be valuable; till then you think they are worth nothing. Your thoughts and mine are very different. I think statements that I believe true, are worth something without proving statements true that I do not believe. Did I suppose you unskilful in the use of language, I should have concluded you meant, till I proved my first statement, my third effected little or nothing to my purpose. If this had been your meaning, you would have been incorrect; for your acknowledgement shows that it effects all to my purpose that I wished to have it effect; and saves any more labour on this part of the dispute.

I find no remarks relative to my fourth statement; but I find a sentence which I suppose was written as a reason why it was thought proper to make no remarks, which I am at a loss how to understand. You write, "Were a man to tell me the sun was made of sackcloth, I should not think it worth my trouble to bring arguments to convince him of his absurdity." I think you did not mean that my

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statement was so uncandid, that it did not deserve an answer; for you acknowledge, my "apparent candour" was such that you were "pleased." Did you mean to intimate that my statement was so erroneous, and indicated so much weakness in its author, that the trouble would be too great to convince him? If so, how much are you like our great High Priest, who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and hath compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way. Did you suppose the statement indicated so much weakness in its author, that you judged him incapable of receiving instruction? If so, the same reason might have spared you the trouble of writing that sentence; or even your whole letter. Or did you think it came so near the truth that it was no matter whether I was corrected or not? I think it becomes an astronomer as well to say, the sun was made of sackcloth, as to say, God has no design to save the world; and a minister of the gospel, much better. We have the works of nature and revelation against the latter; but against the former, we have the works of nature only. But I conclude you wrote the sentence under consideration, as a reason why you neglected my fourth statement, and meant nothing. I have two reasons why I understand it so. One is, my only statement that you acknowledge, you think is worth nothing. As you think a statement according to your faith is worth nothing, it is possible you may think your good reason, contained in the sentence about the sun's being made of sackcloth, is worth nothing; and consequently mean nothing. My other reason is, you were surprised, that I should rest my eternal all upon the mis-construction of scripture, that you hardly knew what you wrote, and meant nothing.

I close the present lengthy letter with sentiments of good will. All candid communications will be gratefully received.






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The object of this letter is to consider that part of the 25th chapter of St. Matthew, which yon term "Christ's description of the last judgement." This as it relates to my first statement, would require no more than a negative disquisition. For if I be able to show that it stands not opposed to the design of God to raise the whole human family, from defectibility to a state of permanent holiness, though I should not be able to give any account of its true meaning, it would be sufficient to maintain my statement. If I, therefore fail in my explanation, it argues not but what I may succeed in showing that it does not authorize a belief in the doctrine of endless misery. If it can be proved, as appears evident, God designed to save the world, you have no reason to expect that a judgment of condemnation would be admitted as the last judgment. Without proof I shall admit no judgment to be last, but the judgment according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which contains good tidings of great joy that shall be unto all people. A dispensation that purifies by the spirit of judg ment, and the spirit of burning, may be admitted to be the last judgment; because it agrees with the design of him who came not to judge the world, but to save the world. † Having read the scripture to which you referred me, I do not find that it is there called "the last judgment;" nor is there any mention of the last day. The propriety of the assertion being denied, it therefore remains for you to prove it, if you wish to have it maintained.

There are but two considerations, that I can think of which you could claim from the scripture, now in contemplation, that it opposes the doctrine of my first statement. One is from the term everlasting used twice; and the other, *Isaiah, i. 27. + John, xii. 47.

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from a supposition that it applies to a time, when an unalterable retribution is given and determined. If I mistake not, you have acknowledged in conversation the word everlasting to be an ambiguous term. It is frequently applied to times and things that have had an end; and to those that must end in a more or less remote period of time; as well as to those of an endless duration. It is, therefore evident, that this word decides not the precise meaning of any subject with respect to duration; but its duration, if determined at all, must be fixed from other considerations. We may argue that eternal or everlasting life is an endless principle, because it is the property of God, who ever possesses every attribute that he once possessed. But this source is wanting to prove everlasting punishment of endless duration. For though God enjoys eternal life, he suffers not endless punishment. An attempt to maintain that because everlasting punishment is inflicted by God, a being of immutable perfections, it must be endless, would be drawing conclusions manifestly absurd. This would be arguing on a principle, that because Deity is endless in his existence, all his works must be endless. ... Then man from the forming hand of God, must be endless in his earthy, mortal state; and all seen things eternal; because they are the work of his hands. A principle of divine love is everlasting life. This I believe is created in us by a genuine belief in the Son of God, and may be enjoyed in the present life; he that believeth on the Son hath coerlasting life. Although I would maintain that eternal life is an endless principle; yet man only enjoys it in the present life, while he continues to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. If he were to enjoy it but one day, it destroys not the endless duration of the life itself in its nature; for if it exist somewhere endlessly, though mau be deprived of it, it is an endless principle. There is a difference between everlasting life, and enjoying it everlastingly. The one expresses the duration of the life itself; and the other the time of possessing it. Though it be possible you may have some objection, yet I have none to all men's possessing everlasting life, everlastingly. I heartily wish them all this glorious blessing, and trust in the goodness of my Creator to bestow it.

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Having denied that the scripture under consideration is a description of the last judgment, I shall now proceed to give you my opinion concerning it. To ascertain its meaning with any tolerable degree of exactness, we shall be assisted in attaining the time in which it is fulfilled.... This is when "the Son of man shall come in his glory, and his holy angels with him." Does this point us to a state beyond the grave? It is a very common opinion that it does; but I am far from admitting this as proof. You will acknowledge that Christ's coming in his glory, is his coming in his kingdom. His kingdom is the kingdom of the gospel; it is the kingdom of heaven. And this kingdom is brought to men on earth, when by the gospel the glorious character of God is clearly made known. Christ says, "the kingdom of heaven is within you." See Luke xvii. 21. In other places he says, "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The parables of Jesus evince that the kingdom of heaven has allusion to the increase of gospel light among men. is compared to a grain of mustard seed sown in a field, and a little leaven hid in three measures of meal; which could not be used as similitudes, to represent the celestial mansions of unclouded glory.


In the 16th chapter of St. Matthew, at the 27th verse, we have these words: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then shall he reward every man according to his works." It appears evident this text points to the same time which the one in the 25th chapter does, expressed in almost the same words. But giving heed to your caution, to consider both in connexion with their contexts, we learn that it was to be fulfilled, before some that stood there should taste of death... Then the Son of man comes in his glory, with his angels, in the days of the apostles. When we consider the 25th chapter, from the 31st verse to the end, in counexion with the context and preceding chapter, all of which appear to be the subject of one discourse, we find the time in the 34th verse of the 24th chapter, fixed to the then present generation. This shows us that the time when the Son of man shall come in his glory is the time, when the glorious gospel, which contains the exceeding riches of his grace is preached. This day of glory we have reason to believe,

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