Page images
PDF
EPUB

your creed.

for as they were without a divine revelation, or deists from necessity, they neither believed in the unity of God, or a resurrection from the dead. Like you, they believed in the immortality of the soul and its existence in a disembodied state, but this had nothing to do with a divine revelation, but was a nursery notion, or tradition received from their fathers. If you will still continue to hope for future life, do it, but let it be understood that heathenism, not Christianity furnished you with this article of

Were I to reject divine revelation, I should not like you, stop short at the half-way house of deism, and patch up a creed from heathenism and the Bible, after having rejected it. No; I should become an atheist, and at least have the merit of consistency. But you believe in the unity of God, and profess great admiration of his Almighty power and wisdom in creating the universe. But who informed you that one God created the universe; or that it was ever created ? How can you be certain, without a divine revelation, but as many Gods were employed in creating the universe, as there were men in building Solomon's temple, or St. Peter's at Rome? If even twelve men, of sound minds, had seen one God create the universe, you ought not to believe it ever was created. Do you ask me why not? I answer, the creation of the universe is something which looks very like a miracle, and you know your creed rejects all miracles. You should remember that the world was not pestered with a written revelation, as you deem it, until the unity of God was nearly lost among men by gods many and lords many. It belonged, not to deists, but believers in a divine revelation, to say,

66 to us there is but one God the Father." Can you name the wonderful genius, who ever arose in the heathen world and made the discovery that there is but one God, without aid from divine revelation? Are you wiser now than all wise men among the heathen nations? It may be so, but I have a right to ask, how came you by your superior knowledge? It is useless for you to urge, that the unity of God, his Almighty power, wisdom, and goodness are seen from the universe he created. All these were as manifest in ancient times to the heathen, as they now are to you, yet polytheism abounded. Why then did not they make the discovery, that there is but one God, and that he created the universe ? But you take the credit of being wiser than the wisest of the heathen, have derived your superior wisdom from divine revelation, which you have discarded, and deny the plagiarism.

To conclude. Whether Christianity be true or false, the weapons with which you assail it, are not honorable to you, nor can they be approved by any candid, sober-minded man. They are generally wit, ridicule, sarcasm, misrepresentation, the faults of Christians, holding up the corruptions of Cbristianity for Christianity itself, and the persecutions and bloodshed it has produced. But what have these things to do with the Christianity taught in the New Testament? Or how do they invalidate the truth of the fact on which it rests—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? Only prove this fact a falsehood and I renounce Christianity. But you must alter your creed before 1 become a deist, for I should become more irrational and inconsistent by the change.

ESSAY III.

ON THE GREEK TERMS KRINO, KRISES, KRIMA, &c. RENDERED JUDGE, JUDGMENT, CONDEMNED, CONDEMNATION, DAMNED, DAMNATION, &c. IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

In this Essay we shall refer to all the places where these words are used in the New Testament, according to their renderings in the common version, which the reader may consult. Under each word, we shall particularly consider the passages which are supposed to teach a retribution or punishment after death. Let us begin with the word

Krino. This word occurs in the following places, and is, 1st, rendered determined, Tit. 3: 12. Acts 3;

2d, decreed, 1 Cor. 3: 37. 3d, ordained, Acts 16: 4. 4th, concluded, Acts 21: 25. 5th, esteemeth, Rom. 14: 5.

6th, called in question, - Acts 23: 6. 24: 21. 7th, sentence, Acts 15: 19. 8th, condemneth, Rom. 14: 22.

9th, condemning, Acts 13: 27. 10th, law, or to sue at law, Matt. 5:40. 1 Cor. 6:1, 6. 11th, judge, judged, and judging, 1 Cor. 5: 3. Acts 16: 15. John 16: 11. Matt. 7: 1, 2. Luke 6: 37. 1 Peter 4: 6. Acts 24: 6. 25: 9, 10. 1 Cor. 10: 29. Acts 26: 6. 2 Cor. 5: 14. John 7: 24, 51. 18: 31. Acts 4: 19, Rom. 14: 13. 1. Cor. 10: 15. 11: 13. Rev. 19: 11. Rom. 2: 27. John 8; 26. Rey. 6: 10. Luke 6; 37, 12: 57. John 8: 15. Acts 13: 46, Rom. 14; 3. Col.

2: 16. John 12: 47. Luke 19: 22. John 5: 30. 8: 15, 16. Acts 7: 7. Rom. 14: 13. Acts 23: 3. James 4: 11, 12. 1 Peter 2: 23. John 8: 50. Rev. 18: 8. Rom. 14: 4. Luke 22: 30. Rom. 3: 4. 1 Peter 1:17. John 5: 22. Rev. 11: 18. Numerous as these texts are, none of them teach the doctrine of punishment after death. But the following are supposed to teach this, which we shall now consider.

Acts 17: 31, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." This is one of the principal texts, on which Mr. Hudson relies, in proving a future judgment and retribution. See his Letters, p. 131-133.

Whom then was Paul here addressing? The Athenians who were heathens. For what purpose did he introduce these words ? To enforce repentance or a change of mind on them. God had winked at their former ignorance and idolatry, but now commanded all men every where to repent, verses 22—31. By whom does Paul say God was to judge the world? By " that man,” evidently referring to Jesus Christ. These things are so obvious they need not be dwelt

The following questions demand a more enlarged consideration :

1st. What world was God to judge by Jesus Christ? The Greek word here for world, is not kosmos, nor pion, but oikoumene. All the places where it occurs in the New Testament we shall introduce in the çourse of our remarks.

In Luke 21: 26, it is rendered earth, and in all the other places by the term world. In Luke 2: 1. 4: 5. Acts 24: 5. 19: 27. 11: 28, it refers to the Roman empire which included Judea, and most of the then known world. ticularly referred to the beathen or Gentile nations,

on.

It par.

whom the great dragon called the devil and satan de. ceived, Rev. 12: 9. comp. 16: 14. The other texts where oikoumene occurs, will be more appropriately introduced afterwards.

2d. What is the nature of this judging of the world by Jesus Christ, of which Paul speaks ? God by him was to judge the oikoumene, or world, in righteousness. Is it correct to assume it here as true, tbat the term judge, means to determine the everlasting destinies of men in a day of general judgment? It would be a waste of time to show that krino, here rendered judge, in the Seventy version, means to rule and govern. Parkhurst gives us no less than eleven different senses to this word. Nor do I find a single instance where it means to condemn to future punishment in another state of existence, though it is used in reference to temporal punishments. It will then be asked, do the Scriptures say, God was to judge the world by Jesus Christ in righteousness, meaning, he should rule and govern it, and punish with temporal judgments ? I answer, nothing can be more certain. 1st. The following, with many other texts, predicted that God was to rule or govern the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, and Paul in this very text, borrows his language from them, which shows he pointed out their fulfilment. 66 But the Lord shall endure forever; he hath prepared his throne for judgment; and he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. Arise, O! God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. O! worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him all the earth. Say among the heathen, that the Lord reigneth : the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved. He shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness

« PreviousContinue »