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of learning, serving to mislead the ignorant. Be this as it may, this is an exercise which hardly becomes you or me. I shall only observe upon it, that by this method of proceeding, you may disprove almost anything you please. There are scarcely any terms in any language, but what, through the poverty of language, are sometimes used in an improper or figurative sense. Thus, if one attempt to prove the omniscience of God, from its being declared that his understanding is infinite, you might answer, the term infinite is sometimes used to express only a very great degree, as when the strength of Ethiopia and Egypt are said to have been infinite. Nahum 3:9. The question is, could stronger terms have been used than are used? To object against the words, everlasting, eternal, &c. as being too weak and indeterminate in their application, for the purpose, is idle, unless others could be named which are stronger, and more determinate. What expressions could have been used, that would have placed the subject beyond dispute? You ordinarily make use of the term, endless, to express our doctrine: it should seem then, that if we read of endless punishment, or punishment without end, you would believe; yet the same objections might then be made. It is common to say, of a loquacious person, he is an endless talker: it might, therefore, be pretended that the term, endless, is very indeterminate that it often means not more than three or four hours. Thus you may see, it is not in the power of language, to stand before such methods of criticising and reasoning."
As to the suggestions, that are repeatedly made in the course of Mr. B.'s reasonings on this subject, that the words rendered eternal, &c. are applied but seldom to punishment, (twelve, in all the instances in the New Testament) I would remark, that twelve times, out of ninety-six, is as large a proportion as the subject requires, since it is applied to nearly a score of different subjects. It is applied as often to the duration of punishment as to the duration of the existence of God. To refute such trifling is verily humiliating.
The eternity of the punishment of the wicked, is implied in some passages which I shall now quote, in which those words
do not occur. There is a sin unto death, I do not say he shall pray for it. It is impossible to renew them again to repentance. If we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go ye cannot come. Whose end is destruction. He that showeth no mercy shall have judgment without mercy.—Now if there be a sin for the pardon of which we may not pray, there is a sin, doubtless, which God never will pardon. If there be no more sacrifice for sin, in any case, but a fearful looking for of judgment ;-if there be some that die in their sins, who cannot go whither Christ has gone, there are some that will never get to heaven. If there be some whose end is destruction, there are some who, in the final period of their existence, will still be enduring destruction. If there be a man for whom it had been good never to have been born, there is one whose career will not be that of eternal glory; for such glory would infinitely outweigh all conceivable temporal punishments. If there be any on whom falls judgment without mercy, there are some who are never saved, for none can be saved without mercy. And we are told that many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Enter into what? Salvation, to be sure-for it was said in reply to the question, Are there few that be saved. If, then, there be many that shall not enter into salvation, all hopes of a universal salvation are groundless.
COMMENTS ON MATTHEW XXIV. AND XXV.
The testimony of the forty-first and forty-sixth verses of the the 25th chapter of Matthew, is unequivocal-and the Universalists have labored hard to dispose of it. Both Mr. B. and Mr Whittemore have given us an extended argument upon it; but as Mr. W. has considered the passage most at length, I shall most particularly notice his argument, having my eye upon anything material to be found in Mr. B.'s comment, which is not to found in Mr.W.'s. Mr., W. first finds in the clause, “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory," verse 31st, an indication that the passage refers to the destruction of Jerusalem. Because Christ in some instances is said to come in his glory, when said to come for the destruction of Jerusalem, it is inferred that this coming relates to that event. He quotes the following passage. Matt. 16: 27, 28. "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then shall be reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom:" and, first, labors to prove that this coming was at the destruetion of Jerusalem, and hence, makes an argument to show that the same is true of the passage before us. With regard to this last quoted passage, it appears to me to be a clear case, that that coming of Christ spoken of in the 28th verse, refers to his final coming to judgment; and that in the 29th, refers to something to take place during the life of some then present; a little specimen of the glory of which, he gave in his transfiguration, which is described in the same connexion. That his coming in his glory first spoken of, refers to the final judgment,
is clear, from the fact, that it immediately follows a remark, made to enforce the duty of laying down the life in his service, out of respect to retributions after death. He tells his hearers, whosoever shall save his life, shall lose it-and that nothing can be given in exchange for the soul. And then adds For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, and of his holy angels, and then shall he reward every man according to his works. Now why does he speak of the coming of the Son of Man, as an enforcement of the duty of laying down the life, if it was not a coming that was to affect us after death. Then it is a coming, in which he will render to every man according to his works. But every man was not then and there in Jerusalem, to receive according to his works; and those that were, especially the christians, had no adequate recompense in the destruction of Jerusalem. And then the phraseology in the 28th verse, intimates that there is a studied distinction between the two comings. In the latter case it is said, He shall come in his kingdom, and in the former, that he shall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels. If both clauses referred to the same thing,a pronoun would have naturally supplied the place of the last, and prevented the repetition. And then, there are no instances in the Evangelists, where the coming of Christ "with his holy angels," is plainly applicable to the destruction of Jerusalem. Or, if Mr. W. will have it, that this is a mere rhetorical flourish, descriptive of God's majesty and glory, then this passage is not parallel with that in chap. 25th. For there it is said, he shall come with all his holy angels, that is, (if we must so understand it) with all his glory; that is, with the highest and most intense display of his glory, that ever will be made. But is it true that his coming at the end of the world, and at the resurrection, will not be connected with more majesty and glory,than was that? If his train of angels is only a figure for the exhibition of glory, surely the coming spoken of chap. 25th, being the time when all his glory is displayed, must be his final coming. But read the passage according to that interpretation, and notice the tautology.
When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all his glory with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory.
But suppose we admit that chap. 16, verse 27, does refer to Christ coming at that age, and that there is a similarity in the phraseology, it is not proved that the passage before us refers to that; because the connexion, as we shall hereafter show, absolutely determines it to the final coming of Christ. Mr. W.'s next suggestion is, that the subject of discourse, in the 25th chapter, is the same as in the 24th, and that the 24th is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. But that the 24th does not also contain a prophecy of the final judgment, should be proved before the conclusion is drawn. If we should admit that there is a general oneness of design running through the two chapters, it would rather follow that the 24th treats of the general judgment because the 25th does, rather than that the 25th does not because the 24th does not: inasmuch as the 25th contains language, as we shall see, which cannot, without manifest violence, be understood of anything short of the general judgment. I have no wish to controvert any of Mr. W.'s proofs that the 24th chapter, so far as the 29th verse, speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem. But that he is mistaken in applying the remainder of the chapter to that event, I shall show in the sequel. And if I do this, what he says in referring the parable of the ten Virgins, and the parable that follows it, to that event, will be refuted without any further remarks. shall now proceed to give my views of the whole passage.
In the first place, as to the question, in the beginning of chap. 24th—When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world? I agree with Mr. W. that the phrase ought to be rendered, "end of the age," instead of, end of the world. Now let it be borne in mind what event, according to current Jewish notions, the disciples were expecting to take place at the end of the age, and the meaning of this inquiry will be evident. They were expecting the destruction of Jerusalem, for Christ had just told them. And according to current opinions, they were expecting the ap