« 上一頁繼續 »
this subject. It is not your opinion, nor the opinion of any man I want; but I want truth.
You say, 'If all had not endless life in him, disbelieving the word would not make God a liar, for the word would be false.' This is an absurd conclusion; for eternal life is suspended on the condition of faith, as is manifest from our Lord's words in Mark, 'he that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved, and he that be. lieveth not shall be damned You say, this life exists independently of faith.' Where did you gain this information? Certainly not in the scriptures, for they teach the contrary doctrine.
After saying several things concerning Christ, which have no direct bearing on the subject at issue, you say, 'Add to all this, those words, strictly endless, which are used to ex press the result of his mission, words never applied to sin or misery, and the eternity of life is placed beyond dispute.' When you shall have the goodness to tell me what these words are, which you say are 'strictly endless' or where I may find them, I might say something concern ing them. But till you do this, I must be silent. The word akatalutou is no proof of the endless happiness of the saints, much less does it prove the salvation of all men. According to Parkhurst the word is derived from a negative, and katalutos, dissolved, and signifies indissoluble, or not to be dissolved. This word occurs only once in the New Testament, in Heb. vii. 16, and relates to the priesthood of Christ, where he is said to have been made a priest after the power of an endless life. This word can no more prove the endless happiness of man
kind than the omnipresence and omnipotence of Christ can prove the omnipresence and omnipotence of mankind.
The phrase, 'As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' Cor. xv. 22, has been very often misapplied by those who quote it without considering its connexion in the chapter. The apostle's object in the xvth chapter was to prove to the Corinthians the resurrection of the dead, a doctrine which some of them denied. And this being the subject of Paul's reasoning in this connexion, it is evident to the most superficial reader that the dying in Adam, and the being made alive in Christ must mean the death and resurrection of the body. The words may be thus paraphrased; as by the sin of Adam all his posterity became mortal, and subject to temporal death, so by the death -of Christ all men, both good and bad, shall be raised from their graves at the last day, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting condemnation.
That all shall be raised at the last day, is manifest; and that they shall be immortal, that is, not subject to the death of the body, any more is also manifest; but, that all mankind shall have endless happiness, is not manifest. Immortality and eternal life are two words coupled together in Rom. ii. 7, the former signifying the endless existence of the soul, and the latter signifying endless happiness.
All that shall be counted worthy to obtain the state of the blessed in heaven shall be like unto the angels; that is they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage; but they shall enjoy
a happy immortality. Our Lord spake of the church exclusively, as is evident from the phrase 'those that shall be counted worthy,' &c. Consequently, this text does not furnish us with the least shadow of proof of the final salvation of all men.
After applying to the resurrection state a passage in Isai. xxv. which relates to the church on earth, and saying that ignorance, death, tears, rebuke, &c. shall be unknown, you wind up the whole concern by saying, 'what is here proved of one man, is proved of the WHOLE WORLD.' This conclusion is erroneous. In order that such a conclusion should be sound, it would be necessary that all the world should be included in the one man you mention. Your conclusion is altogether illogical; for according to your mode of reasoning, whatever can le affirmed of a small part may be affirmed of the whole. To test this principle let us try it in another way. I could prove that one man has three thumbs; but, would you consider it good logic, were I to say what I have proved of this one man, I have proved of the whole world? I could prove that one man is six feet, four inches high; but would you think me correct were I to say this was proved of all men? You have proved that some men shall rise, at the last day to everlasting life; but this no more proves that all men shall rise in that condition, than I have proved that all men have three thumbs each, and are six feet four inches high. Whatever can be affirmed of the whole, may be affirmed of each of its parts, because each part is included in the whole. But what may be affirmed
of a part may not be affirmed of the whole, because the whole is not included in a part. Consequently, you will have to find some other proof for the salvation of all men, besides the proofs of the salvation of a few.
I have already observed, that by rejecting aionios as signifying endless life, you left the christian no proof of the endless duration of the saints' happiness.
The adjective aphthartos is variously translated in the New Testement, as, incorruptible, immortal, and occurs only six times. It is derived from a negative, and phthartos corruptible, and signifies incorruptible. It is twice applied to the Divine nature of God, Rom. i. 23; 1 Tim. i. 17; once to the resurrection body, 1 Cor. xv. 52; once to the saint's inheritance. 1 Pet. i. 4; once to the word of God, (1 Pet. i. 23.) to which when aion is applied, it does not mean endless duration, according to your last letter; and once to the saint's crown of glory, 1 Cor. ix. 25. There is no use made of this adjective whereby it proves the endless happiness of one single
The noun athanasia is derived from a negative, and thanatos death, and signifies immortality. This word occurs only three times in the New Testament, and is once applied to God, 1 Tim. vi. 16; and twice to the resurrection body of the saints. 1 Cor. xv. 53, 54. There is nothing in this word, to prove endless happiness, but merely endless existence.
The word aphtharsia occurs seven times in the New Testament, and is derived from a negative, and phtharsis corruption, and signifies in
corruption, incorruptibility. It is three times applied to the resurrection body of the saints. 1 Cor. xv. 50, 53, 54. Trice to doctrines. Eph. vi. 24; Tit. ii. 7. And twice applied to christian principle. Rom. ii. 7; 2 Tim. i. 10. Nothing appears in the use of this word to prove endless happiness, but only the unchangable state of things in the future world.
The adjective aidios is derived from aei always, according to Parkhurst, and signifies eternal, or endless. This word is employed to express the endless nature of the chains that bind the fallen angels. Jude 6. If the endless misery of devils is satisfactorily proved, which is undeniable in the present case, it affords a strong reason to induce us to believe in the endless nature of human misery, in a future state. This word occurs only in one other place, in the New Testament, and is employed to express the eter nity of God. Rom. i. 20.
I am, &c.
LETTER No. XI.
BALTIMORE, Feb. 24, 1835.
To Rev. Joseph M'Kee:
Dear Sir-In this discussion it is un. derstood, that I am acting on the defensive, as you made the attack on Universalism, and requested the privilege of offering your objections against it, and of refuting the arguments by which it is supported. It is my place then to examine what you advance-but since your