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goes on to describe the prosperity of Jerusalem ; a fact which utterly excludes Mr. B.'s interpretation. This passage, then, must be taken as a proof of everlasting punishment, notwithstanding anything which he has shown to the contrary. It is the language of sinners in Zion, inferring the 'terribleness of everlasting fire, from the terrors of God's anger exerted for one night.
Dan. 12: 2. And many of them, (or the multitude of them) that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. that Mr. B. has to say upon this passage has been replied to, except so far as respects the word everlasting, in the chapter on the judgment. We have shown the fallacy of his application of it to Jerusalem's destruction. And now this resurrection is said to be to shame and everlasting contempt, and we call for reasons why the everlasting is not to be understood in its proper sense. The burden of proof is now on Mr B. to show that there will be a limit to an everlasting, that commences after the resurrection, after all earthly, metaphorical everlastings have passed away.
Matt. 18: 8. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off,—it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire, The absurdity of Mr. B.'s reference of this passage, to the destruction of Jerusalem, has been shown in another part of this book, and we wait for other reasons for believing that everlasting fire means any limited punishment. It remains for Mr. B. to show cause why it is not to be understood as it reads. And the same remark will apply to the other instances, where this passage occurs in the evangelists.
Matt. 25: 41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels : in connexion with verse 46. These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. The consideration of this passage will form the subject of the next chapter, and it need not here be considered.
Mark 3: 29. But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy
Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. This has been considered in the chapter upon the judgment. But I cannot here omit to notice the unusual strength of the expression. The Greek is, Shall not have forgiveness to all eternity, but is obnoxious to eternal damnation.
2 Thes. 1: 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power. Mr. B.'s objections in relation to this passage have been met, and his failure to show that everlasting applies to any thing in this life, has been made sufficiently manifest in the chapter upon the judgment.
Heb. 6: 2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, of the laying on of hands, of the resurrection, and of the eternal judgment. This is one of the cases where Mr. B. uses indecent violence to the plain language of scripture. Contrary to the express language of the passage, he says, the “principles of the doctrine” in the preceding verse does not mean anything in the gospel, but in the Old Testament institutions. But it is expressly said, the principles of the doctrine of Christ. With as much reason, he says the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, does not mean the christian doctrine of resurrection, but refers to some resurrections which took place under the Jewish economy, But how such resurrections made the doctrine of the resurrection, does not appear. And he says that cternal judgment refers to some temporal judgments which took place under the Jewish dispensation. But how could that make the doctrine of the eternal judgment ? And generally, that these phrases thus put together, are to be understood, as covering so remote and incongruous particulars, is incredible. The whole phraseology of text and context, is the peculiar costume of gospel ideas, and bearing no reference to Jewish institutions. The reason for believing that the phrase, “the doctrine of the resurrection of the lead” refers to the general resurrection, and that eternal judgment means eternal judgment, is as good as that Jesus Christ refers to that person whom we call the Saviour, and not to one of the Old Testament prophets.
2 Peter 2: 17. To whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. As I have not access to any comments of Mr. B. upon this passage, I shall not multiply remarks of my own. The persons spoken of in the context, are false teachers, who bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought them-. who bring upon themselves swift destruction-whose judgment lingereth not, and whose damnation slumbereth notwhom the Lord knoweth how to reserve unto the day of judgment, to be punished-as he spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell. They are compared to Baalam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; and after heaping harsh epithets upon them, it is added, for whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. Surely, there is nothing in these epithets that would lead us to conclude, that their punishment was only some temporal calamity. The frequent use of the words, judgment and damnation, and the comparison with the destruction of the angels that sinned and were cast down to hell, are at least presumptive evidence that the damnation in hell is intended by the mist of darkness forever. And then our opponents are required to show, in what historical fact these false teachers were known to have experienced in this world the mist of darkness forever-wherein temporal calamities came upon them, like to the casting down to hell the angels that sinned.
Jude 13. Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. This is similar to the last, and I cannot discover that its evidence has been gainsayed by Mr. B, and I shall offer no remarks upon it.
Jude 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner, are set forth as examples, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Mr. B.'s reasons for believing that the fire of hell, or eternal fire, is not here meant are the following. First, Peter mentions the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, but says nothing about their going to hell. But the fact, that Peter has not said it, proves no more than that Paul has not said it, and neither proves that Jude has not. His second reason is, “that by comparing verses 5, 6 and 7, we find that Jude
says, that the people to whom he wrote knew that Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. But they could not know that they suffered it in a future state of existence.” Jude does not say that they knew it, as the reader will see for himself. And if he had said it, who is able to gainsay it ? For the readers of this epistle had doubtless read the intimation which Christ had given of the fact, in speaking of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment. Thirdly, Mr. B. objects, that they are set forth as an example, which could not be, if the example were in a future state ; for an example must be visible, to be of any effect. This surely is a new doctrine. Cannot a fact, though known by sufficient testimony, affect us as an example, unless seen by our own eyes? Then the example of Christ is no example for us. That comes to us through sufficient testimony, and so does the example of Sodor's suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. The force of this passage then, remains unbroken.
Rev. 14: 11. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image. And Rev. 19: 1. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, alleluiah, salvation and glory and honor and power, unto the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judgments; and again they said alleluiah, and her smoke rose up forever and ever. So also Rev. 20:10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night, forever and ever. Here follows every word Mr. B. has to say in relation to these passages—“It would be idle to show that these
passages have no respect to punishment in a future state of existence. No well informed man would urge this as a proof of such a doctrine, for it is plain that their punishments were in this world, where time is measured by day and night.” This is the way in which he chooses to dispose of testimony so incontrovertible. Though I should hazard the loss of his estimation of being a well informed man, I should be able to bear it, since I should have the help of such names as Edwards,
Saurin, Dwight, Scott, Rosenmüller, Fuller and Stuart, men generally esteemed not altogether destitute of information on such subjects. This, then, is the kind of dealing by which men are to be brought into the persuasion that there is no future punishment. When the most strong assertions of such punishment come under notice, they are to be set aside with the passing remark, that no well informed man makes use of them to prove the doctrine. This is an easy method of argument, and for thousands of his more confiding readers, who have not the means of knowing better, it is, doubtless, satisfactory. But what a tremendous responsibility does he assume, who convinces men of such an error by such means. The only reason which he gives to makes us see, what to him is so plain, is, that when this punishment is inflicted, time is measured by day and night. But this is equally good to prove that there is no heaven but in this world. In chap. 7: 15. we read, Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. The same principle would also require that the present national distinctions be preserved in heaven, since it is said, chap. 22: 24. The nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of the New Jerusalem. The adoption of such frigid and puerile evidence may fairly be taken as proof of the scarcity of that commodity. The reader will see that our author has given us no reason why we must not understand these three passages as proofs of everlasting punishment, in the world to come; and any comments of mine, designed to set clear evidence in a stronger light, would be holding “a farthing candle to the sun.”
I have now finished the examination of the particular passages, in which the words in question occur in application to punishment. And here I cannot forbear to give a quotation from Andrew Fuller. “It has long been the practice of writers your
side of the question to ring changes upon the words aion, and aionios-pretty words, no doubt, and could they be proved to be less expressive than the English words, everlasting and eternal, they might be something to the purpose. But if not, the continual recurrence to them, is a mere affectation