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preach, he that believes, &c. Hence when the Gospel was preached, then would be the life or salvation, and then the condemnation. The text therefore decides what future time was intended. When speaking of preaching and believing in the present tense, the present tense is used in expressing their effects. Thus, he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.' The same tense is used in expressing the effect sof unbelief. "This is the condemnation. The wrath of God abideth on the unbeliever. All these passages are of the same import; and they teach, as we see, not the final condition of men, but that to have the life of Christ, we must believe; and that condemnation and wo are upon all unbelievers.Hence he that believeth not, shall not see lifethat is, no man can see life in unbelief. Faith is the medium through which spiritual life enters the soul. That I am right, is evident, because many who first heard the Gospel and believed, afterwards fell back. Their salvation then was limited. While on the other hand, many who first rejected it, afterwards believed. Their condemnation then was limited. Besides, if we say the damnation and salvation express the final condition of mankind, we must say first, that all will be lost, who are not baptized, for the text makes this essential; second, we must say, that the heathen will be lost, for they do not believe. Are you prepared, Sir, to adopt such awful conclusions? If so, give us something besides assertion for their support. This is all you have given to prove your application of this text.
20. John iii. 36 is answered under the above head.
21. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10 teaches not the impossibility of idolitars, &c. being regenerated, but the impossibility of their entering the kingdom without regeneration. "Know ye not that the unrighteous, &c. shall not inherit the kingdom?" He then adds: “And such were some of you; but now ye are washed," &c. Having been washed, they had entered the kingdom. Paul therefore, explains subject satisfactorily and plainly.
22. Gal. v. 21 is the same as the above.
23. Rom. vi. 22. As I have explained the text which you quote (Phil. iii. 19,) in connexion with this, I need add nothing here, only to observe, that it remains to be proved, that the end of which the apostle was speaking in Rom. vi. 22, was endless life; and also if it were, that this is an argument in favour of your inference. The end of a man in the Bible, usually signifies his death. Why not give us direct testimony to sustain your doctrine, and not rest it on inference? At least, do not take for granted the premises, from which your inferences are drawn.
24. Under this head, you say, "The following passages express the final state of man; and if final," &c. Now as several of these have already been explained; and as you have given no answer to these explanations, I will not waste time in replying to texts thus assumed. Besides several commentator differs with you on these texts; not only so, some as you apply thern, teach old fashioned Calvinism. I deny that the texts refer to man's final state; and as all your inferences rest on the assumed position that they do, your argument falls to the ground.
Thus Sir, as in letter No. vii. I have repiled to
assumption after assumption. And if you are disposed to continue the controversy in this way, I shall not object, for my task is easy, and the reader cannot fail of seeing the sandy foundation on which your partial system is built. I am,
OTIS A. SKINNER.
LETTER No. XI.
BELL AIR, Feb. 14, 1835.
To Rev. Otis A. Skinner:
Dear Sir-On a careful review of your sixth letter, I find several particulars that require some critical remarks.
Your criticisın on olam is not only irrelevant but erroneous and absurd. The following are your own words: 'You admit that olam in Daniel is the same as aionios in Matth. (though you denied this in letter, No. 1.) It is morally certain then, that both refer to the same event the destruction of Jerusalem."" To this, I reply, 1. I did not at any time admit that olam in Dan. is the same as aionios in Matth. I said that olam in the Heb. of Dan. was rendered aionios, by the translators of the SeptuagintI deny that the seventy were inspired men, and always gave the true sense of the Hebrew in their translation. I deny that olam and aionios are, in all cases, synonymous. 3. Parkhurst says olam signifies 'time indefinite, unknown, or concealed from man, and is used in the Old Testament, both in a limited and unlimited
sense;' while aionios is never used, in the New Testament, in a limited sense, except in two places (2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. i. 2.) which are violently disputed. 2. I did not say one syllable concerning olam, in my first letter, as any one may see, by a reference to that letter. Therefore, your saying, I denied any thing about olam, in my first letter, is a forgery, or false quotation. And if this is done with my own letters, before my face, what must I think of the quotations from unknown authors, where no reference to their works is given? It is a painful task for me to touch this subject. I do it unwillingly, I am compelled to notice it, and I perceive that I have not done with it. Flowever, I shall not deal in naked assertions, but shall demonstrate facts. 3. Your inferences drawn from olam are erroneous in consequence of the premises being unsound.
You say that 'the meaning of aionios must be determined by the noun to which it is applied, and the circumstances under which it is used.' This, to say the least, is absurd and contrary to the construction and the rules of language. I was taught, in my youth, to believe that the adjective qualified the noun, and defined its meaning; and not that the noun prescribed or defined the signification of the adjective. But in order to get along with your system you are obliged to run into the absurdity of inverting the established order of language. This will be sufficiently evident to every discerning reader, and duly estimated.
Your various definitions of aionios are mere assumptions, without any authority from lexi
cographers, or from reason, invented, as I believe, to make the best of a bad cause, and render it somewhat plausible.
You say, 'zoen aionion' signifies the life of faith is synonymous with life, entering Christ's kingdom, having rest, peace, joy and love.' You say, the phrase everlasting life does not mean endless life, because the believer of to day may be the infidel of to-morrow.' I deny that the believer of to day may be the infidel of to morrow. Believers are component parts of Christ's kingdom, as you have admitted; and, as his kingdom, in the aggregate, is indestructible, it must be so in its parts; for, whatever can be affirmed of a whole, can be affirmed, with equal truth and certainty, of all the constituent parts. Besides all this, Paul said (Rom. viii. 38, 39.) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heighth, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' But you say, we may be separated from the love of God. I leave the reader to judge, whether I am to believe the doctrine of an inspired apostle, or the erroneous interpretation of scripture which you have adopted to support a false system.
You say eternal life is used to express the reward of the primitive christians, after the destruction of Jerusalem. This also is mere assumption. It is as much the reward of all other christians as it is that of the primitive christians, as the endless happiness of heaven is