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thereby indicating that they charged him with offences against the state, and not against the church. This accorded with the saying of Jesus, signifying what death he should die, when he said they would deliver him to the Gentiles to crucify him, Matth. xx. 19. That the Jews still retained the power of killing for ecclesiastical offences is evident from the fact of their killing several persons. They stoned Stephen to death, not in a riotous outrage, as some suppose, but by a regular mode of procedure, Acts vii. They stoned Ben Sarda at Lydda. Hieros, Sanhed, fol. 25, 4. They burned the priest's daughter alive that had been taken in the act of adultery, Rab. Sanhed, fol. 52, 1. These historical facts show that the Jews retained the power of punishing ecclesiastical offences with burning and stoning. For a more detailed account of this matter the reader is referred to Dr. Clarke and Dr. Lightfoot, on John, XVIII. 32.
I wish it to be distinctly understood that I consider the use of Gehenna in the twelve 'places where it occurs in the New Testament, as an unanswerable argument against the doctrine of Universalism; however, I leave the reader to judge in this case.
Your saying that Gehenna was a place of punishment to which the Jews, and not the Gentiles, were exposed, reminds me of the law of retaliation. The Jews considered themselves the children of heaven, while they devoted the Gentiles to a total destruction.You being a Gentile, by way of retaliation, say the punishment of Gehenna was for Jews, and not for Gentiles. It was remarked, that the Europeans paint the devil black, while
the Ethiopeans, in return, paint him white.— The Jews believe in the endless punishment of the wicked. Whence had they this information? Certainly from the prophets and the holy scriptures.
There is one palpable contradiction in your fourth letter. You say the Jews had no power to take away life; and you say the destruction in Gehenna is for Jews only. Now, I will give you your choice of two things; if you say the Jews had no power to kill, it is certain they could not burn any person in Gehenna-therefore the destruction in Gehenna is in a future state. If you say they had power to kill, then they are not to be feared as they can only kill the body; but God can cast both into Gehenna or endless misery in a future state. Take which side you please. I am, your's, &c.
LETTER No. VIII.
BALTIMORE, Jan. 17, 1835.
To Rev. Joseph McKee:
DEAR SIR,-Whitfield once remarked, while preaching, that if sinners would wander to the devil, he must wander after them. And as you in your historical remarks, have entirely wandered from the great point in dispute, I am compelled to wander after you, in order to correct some of your erroneous statements.
1. You say Origen was the first Universalist. This is a great mistake. The Basilidians, Carpocratians and Valentinians, held the sentiment; and though they were styled heretics, and their systems were often attacked by the orthodox, their sentiments respecting the restoration were never called in question. Universalism is advocated in the Sibyline Oracles, a work published about the year 150, to convert heathens to the Gospel. The renowned and illustrious Clemens Alexandrinus, the teacher of Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, and of the celebrated Origen, was a Universalist. He was distinguished for his extensive acquaintance with history, poetry, philosophy, mythology and the scriptures. He died in the year 217. Thus we find Universalism very prevalent, before the days of Origen; and before we find the eternity of misery advocated by a single writer. Tertullian, a man'severe, morose, superstitious and fanatical-a man who said he should admire, laugh, exult and rejoice, when he saw kings groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness, is supposed to have been the first christian who asserted that misery will be of equal duration with happiness. The first censure ever passed upon Universalism was in the year 394. And even this related not to the salvation of man, but of devils; and after it many advocated with impunity the salvation of all men. Indeed the doctrine continued to spread and to receive the undivided support of many of the bishops and ministers, and a large portion of the laity, until crushed by the bulls of popes. Controversy could not check
its onward course; learning and criticism could not put it to flight. No! These were the elements in which it flourished, the means by which it achieved its conquests. Nothing but banishing its advocates and burning their productions could put it down.
2. Your remarks on Origen are illiberal and unjust in the extreme; for instead of being an extravagant fanatic, he stood unrivalled as an interpreter of the Bible, as a defender of christianity, as a scholar, a christian and a philosopher. Like all of the christian fathers, he was in some respects visionary; but for one, I would as soon believe with him in the transmigration of souls, as with Wesley in the salvation of beasts, or with Clarke, that the ghost of Samuel appeared to Saul. Mosheim says, "Origen surpassed all others in dilligence and assiduity, and that his famous Hexapla, though almost entirely destroyed by the waste of time, will even in its fragments, remain an eternal monument of the incredible application with which that great man, laboured to remove those obstacles, which retarded the progress of the Gospel." He also says, "Origen had an undoubted right, to the first place among the interpreters of the Scriptures in his age." Such was Origen with all his errors, according to Mosheim.
Eusebius gives him the same character, represents him as the most learned and pious, as the greatest and most industrious man of his age; and as having exerted an unbounded influence in the Church. Ministers and people flocked to his meetings; Bishops attended him wherever he went; and some of the most
distinguished were his pupils. Could he then have been that wretched fanatic which you represent? So far from this, his name is a monument of glory to our faith—a monument which will stand in undiminished strength, ages after the last fragment of our productions shall have been consigned to oblivion.
3. You say, that he was excommunicated as an "egregious heretic," by the Council at Alexandria. Such is not the fact. Eusebius and Mosheim both certify, that Demetrius obtained his degradation from the sacerdotal office to appease his resentment and gratify his envy and hatred; and that he urged against him an act, which for years he had applauded, and which was done while Origen was but a youth. Besides, Origen's excommunication met the highest displeasure of the bishops of Achaia, Palestine, Phonecia and Arabia. So much for his "egregious heresy."
4. You say, the serpent was the first preacher of Universalism. This is a vulgar saying, unworthy a place in an honorable discussion. To test its truth, let us compare the serpent's preaching with partialism and universalism. The former teaches, that God threatened Adam with endless punishment, but that the threatening was not executed; the latter teaches, that he threatened him with spiritual death, and that he did die on the day he transgressed. Now which agrees with the serpent's preaching.Did Adam, in the day he transgressed, go to an endless hell? Did he ever go to such a hell? If not, and partialists rightly define the