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why did you try to limit it to a part? It makes your work all confusion.

In the beginning of your letter, for an apology for past neglect, you write; "To attempt to reason with a man, who assumes the sole point about which we contend, appears to me perfectly idle." You tell me towards the close of your letter, you "will try;" and when you come to introduce what has now been under consideration, you say; "I will endeavour to show you [by argument no doubt] that those texts of scripture do by no means lend you the support which you suppose." Now I find you engaged in attempting what in the beginning of the same letter you informed me appeared to you perfectly idle. And I submit it to the judgment of the candid, whether your success is not equal to what might be reasonably expected, even of a common man like yourself, when he undertakes to perform what appears to him perfectly idle.


Rev. JOSEPH Labérek.




Barnard, May 27, 1816,

You seem to express a doubt, whether you will be able to convince me that you make any attempts at reasoning, but say, "I will try." Sir, I hope I never shall be so ungrateful as to deny my opponent the just merit of his labours. To meet him on the ground of reason and scripture, was what I at first desired, and am now happy in being gratified. Should you now lose the object of your ar guments, I hope you would not say, it was for want of exertion on your part; or, should you gain it, that you at tained it without labour. I acknowledge you have argued, but do not acknowledge your reasoning altogether conclusive, and in many instances I think you have mistaken in your premises.

The inference that you draw from my saying, that "I did not believe an infinite atonement necessary in order for God to be just in the pardon of sin," I think, wants propriety. If it be my belief that the Son of God is not the eternal infinite God, still I think you have no right to declare it from any thing that I have written to you. You say, “that in order to support" my "favourite system," I "find it necessary." How so? If it require an infinite atonement made by an infinite God to save a part of the human family, is it necessary to have a finite atonement by a finite person to save the whole? Does it cost so much less to save all mankind than it does to save a part? If this be the case, and it be the will of God, who could complain if he adopted the cheapest and most salutary method?

What right had you to say, I "robbed the Son of God of his Divinity," from my not admitting an infinite atonement necessary in the pardon of sin? do a finite work if he please?

Cannot an infinite being
Cannot he make things


that are finite in their nature? Who made "the finite creatures of God" of which you speak? Did not an infinite Being? If so, you had no sure ground for your inferIt was nothing but a conjecture. But you state it as a fact, and then stigmatize me with adopting, to support my sentiments, "one of the most pernicious errours that ever disgraced the name of a christian." Would it not be bad enough for you to state this, after I had told you my sentiments on the subject?

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You state that "if an infinite atonement has not been made, then Christ is not a divine person." This reason ing is not admissible; for a divine person, if he can do an infinite work, he can do a work that is not infinite, according to the strict sense of the term. But according to your reasoning, when a Being works he must use the utmost of his power, whether it be superfluous or necessary. But, granting that Christ is not equal to the Father, still as a Son, from his sonship, he would be entitled to the appellation of "divine person." Whoever wrote the title of St. John's Revelation, gave the apostle this appellation, Saint John the Divine, doubtless without supposing him to be infinite as is the Supreme Creator. St. Peter speaks of God's "giving unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” 2 Peter, i. 4. Why are not those that partake of the divine nature divine persons? But if they be it would not argue they are infinite as God is.

We now come in our labours to the curse of the divine law, which I stated to be, "The pointing out to the transgressor the heinousness of sin, and that sentence of condemnation which its just demerit requires." This sentence of condemnation I think I might grant to be endless misery according to your ideas of atonement, which would afford me data to argue for the salvation of the whole upon the same principle that you could prove the salvation of a part. Then I should only have to invalidate what you have said of God's rendering to the wicked in the world to come according to their deeds, to maintain my argument. But for certain reasons, this is not my sentiment. If sin be infinite, it appears it will admit no degrees; it will neither admit addition, nor suffer diminution. All offences must

be alike heinous, yea they must coalese or form a junction, something like the mystery of Three in One, in Hopkintonian divinity, which all hold to be inconceivable. Again, God himself is no more than infinite; he fills no more than infinity; his attributes of mercy, justice, goodness, and truth, are no more than infinite, and if sin be infinite, the sinner must be his equal opponent. If to avoid this absurdity it be said sin is infinite in a subordinate sense, the concession is an acknowledgment that sin is not really infinite according to the first sense of the term. Furthermore, man is acknowledged to be a finite being; of course he possesses but a finite capacity by which to act; consequently, his actions must be finite. His acts of goodness are not conceived to be infinite, why then his acts of wickedness? The curse of the divine law I stated to be a sentence of condemnation. This condemnation we learn from the scriptures to be death. "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." "The wages of sin is death." Here divines have made a distinction of death temporal, death spiritual, and death eternal; but the last requires proof to be admitted. The second I conceive to be the natural consequence of sin. The apostle explains it in these words, "To be carnally minded is death." "For the carnal mind is enmity against God." This death or condemnation which is the curse of the divine law, I believe is neither disciplinary nor penal, but consequent. Neither is it the requisition of divine justice, but of that retributive justice that awards to the sinners the wages of sin. It follows and accompanies sin as naturally and unavoidably as a temporal death does a mortal state.

Now for a deliverance from the curse of the law. A salvation or deliverance presupposes one of two things; either a freedom from evils to which men are exposed, or from the continuance of evils in which they are involved. It appears to be your belief that the saved are delivered from evils to which they are exposed, and not involved; but others are plunged into those evils, and rewarded according to their works, whereas the saved are not. This to me, is both unscriptural and unreasonable. God will no more rescind from his threatenings, than he will fail to fulfil his promises. He will reward every one of the human

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family according to their works. You say, "But on your plan they are not punished according to strict justice;" because I said they are delivered from the curse of the law. You then add, "Now there appears to be some difficulty here. The scriptures most decidedly declare, that the wicked in hell are punished according to their works." Do they declare this? Then it seems the wicked in this world are not punished according to their works. Let us hear the testimony of the apostle; "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Rom. v. 12. This passage, if it mean any thing, means that death, the curse of the divine law and the end of sin, actually passes upon all men. See also 1 Cor. xv. 22. "For as in Adam all die;" which the apostle takes for a granted truth.

I will now consider your scripture testimony of the wicked being punished in hell. “Job xxxiv. 11, For the work of a man shall be rendered unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways." This you say is punishing the wicked in hell, but there is nothing said about hell in the text or context. The reward is not confined to character, time, nor place. When the text says "every man," why do you limit it to the wicked? When it says nothing of time, of place, why do you apply it to hell only? You believe there are some righteous that are not in hell, nor ever will be. Do you not think they also will find according to their work? If not, how can they be happy?

You quote Matt. xvi. 27, for the aforementioned purpose, where it says he will reward "every man," which I have shown, in a former letter, from the following verse, was fulfilled in the then present generation. That you may see that I am not alone in this sentiment, I will refer you to Bishop Newton's Dissertation on the Prophecies. See page 286. "The coming of Christ is also the same period with the destruction of Jerusalem, as may appear from several places in the gospels, and particularly from these two passages: "There are some standing here," says our blessed Lord, Matt. xvi. 28, "that shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom;" that is, evidently, there are some standing here, who shall live,

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