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or familiar circumstance, some prevailing opinion, or some supposeable case. See for instance, the parables of the sower, lost sheep, lost piece of silver, prodigal son, unjust steward, &c. Now I believe that from the opinions of the Jews concerning hades, our Lord supposed a case on which he founded a parable, designed to show the rich, haughty, proud, selfish pharisees, who oppressed and persecuted the poor and humble christians, that the period was approaching, when their condition would be reversed, when the former would be overwhelmed in judgment, and the latter elevated to freedom, peace and joy. My limits; do not permit a defence of this application, and as it has but little bearing on the question, whether the text teaches endless misery, I will admit, that it is a history, that a rich man died and went to torment. What then? His place of torment was hades—a place which no critic, of any note, believes to be a state of endless suffering. Besides, this is the only text, in the whole New Testament, where hades occurs, which is thought to teach endless wo. Not only so, Paul 1 Cor. xv. says, at the resurrection we shall sing the song of victory over hades. Hosea says, hades (sheol in the Hebrew) shall be destroyed. Then the text in question cannot teach endless misery. This is beyond dispute. Perhaps you will say, the great gulph teaches endless misery. This cannot be, for it is represented as being in hades; and therefore, cannot exist after the destruction of hades. We read of no such gulph of separation after the resurrection.
Should you say, the gulph must exist forever, for nothing is said in the text of its destruction;
I answer, then hades must exist forever, for nothing is said of its destruction. Then Lazarus will never be raised from hades; for nothing is said in the text of his resurrection. 3. There will be no resurrection of the rich man, for the text says nothing of this. Now we may as rea sonably assert all these, as assert that the misery of the rich man and the existence of the gulph are endless, because nothing is said of their limitation. He was speaking of hades, the state of man between death and the resurrection; and it was as unnecessary to say its misery was not endless as to say the pain of an eye or tooth is not endless. The nature of hades proved the limitation of its misery, the same as the nature of this world proves the limitation of its misery.
11. John xv. 5, 6. Being quite tired of replying to assumptions, I will dismiss this text, by giving an exposition from Kenrick. "If a man abide not in me, he is thrown away as a withered branch; that is, he will be treated as men treat withered branches, which they gather together and burn in the fire. This is generally, I believe, understood to refer to the punishment of the wicked in another life, which is usually represented by fire; but, as the rest of this discourse refers to the present life, perhaps Christ, by this language, only meant to express the useless and contemptible situation to which the apostles would be reduced, in the apprehension of the Divine Being, by deserting their christian profession. This is agreeable to what he says of them under a different figure: ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its savor, it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and
trodden under foot of men, Matt. v. 13. On the authority of these verses the papists have founded the cruel practice of burning heretics, rather than putting them to death any other way.' Epos. in loc.
12. Jude 12. Gilpin I believe has expressed the true sense of this text in the following words: 'They follow the examples of the very worst persons they find recorded in the bible history-the malice of Cain-the covetousness and seducing arts of Balaam, and the implacable opposition of Corah. A feast of charity they turn into wantonness. Like unwholesome air, they blast wherever they come-like with.. ered trees, they only encumber the groundlike waves they spend their rage only in foam, like uncertain meteors, their light soon sets in darkness.
"The text says, twice dead: the apostle may mean, that they were once wicked Jews, and, having apostatized, are now wicked christians. Or, perhaps, he only expresses more strongly their deadness, as Virgil, expressing happiness, says-terque, quaterque beati.' Expos in loc.
What is said of these men is, as apostates; and is descriptive of their v le and useless character. But it is all assumption to say, the text teaches their endless punishment, for not a word is said of a future world.
Thus, Dear Sir, Ihave briefly considered, your twelve arguments; and I find that they are twelve assumptions! You have not, in a single instance, proved your application of a text!
Your play upon certain phrases in your proof texts requires a passing notice. I have once in this discussion, (Letter, No. 2.) exposed the absurdity of
such a course, in reply to a quotation, from Clarke, whom you have unfortunately imitated. He says Universalists contradict our Lord, who speaks of an unquenchable fire, and a worm which dieth not. But Isaiah uses the same language, with respect to events in this world; so that if there be an absurdity in our arguments, there is in the language of the prophets. Tares and chaff, unsavory salt, bad fish, foolish virgins, and a dead tree, are figures to represent the moral condition of apostates and Jews; the burning and destruction of these, represent their destruction at the close of the Jewish polity. All this we have proved, by an appeal to scripture, and by the testimony of orthodox critics. Your play therefore, upon these figures, is absurd in the extreme, because it applies to our final state, figures employed to express a temporal judgment. As well might you say, prove that the worms which Isai. (chap. lxvi. 24.) called undying, are still living, and the fire which he calls unquenchable is still burning, and I will believe the Bible, as to make the request you have. One would be a no greater perversion of figures than the other. God says, (Ezek. xxii. 18.) that the house of Israel had become dross in the midst of the furnace, and that they should be melted in his wrath. He also says, (Mal. iv. 1.) that they should be burnt up root and branch. Paul says, (Rom. xi) that they were branches broken off from the true olive tree. Now here are figures, equally as expressive as those, in your proof texts; but they simply refer to events in this world. Until therefore, you can show, that this burning and destruction refer to future torment, your play upon these figures, must be regarded as
a mere superficial turn, having no bearing on the real question. The same is true of your remark on the great gulph. Prove its existence in the resurrection state or its endless existence, and then you will meet the point in dispute, and rot till then. I am quite tired of assumptions, and this playing around the question.
In conclusion, I will glance at the wide difference, between the nature of the proofs, on which partialisms rets and those on which Universalism rests. The former are ambiguous words, dark figurative expressions and parables, which some of the most noted orthodox writers explain in perfect accordance with Universalism. The latter are plain, unequivocal, literal declarations of holy writ, harmonizing with all the attributes of God. Of the former, we have a specimen in your letter, and for a specimen of the latter, see the following: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John xii. 32.) For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Rom. v. 20.) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1. John iv. 14.) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, hat in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth even in him. (Eph. 1. 9, 10.) Here are no parables, no ambiguous terms, no figura¬ tive expressions. The language is plain and lit-· · eral. Now if all men are drawn to Christ and made righteous, if Christ be the Savior of the