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lieveth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.' If the wrath of God abideth on him it is difficult to comprehend how he is to be saved.
21. Paul says, in addressing the Corinthians, 'Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Be not deceived, neither idolaters *** nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.' 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. Now, to say that the above characters who die in that condition, shall inherit the kingdom of God, is to contradict the apostle in as plain a manner as language will admit of. And to the man who can do so I have nothing to say, but shall leave it to the public to judge in the matter.
22. In the epistle to the Galatians, the apostle enumerates a number of crimes, and then, says that 'they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.' Gal. v. 21. See also Eph. v. 5. If those sinners who habitually commit such crimes as the apostle mentioned, should ever enter the kingdom of heaven, his declaration must be false; for, he has declared clearly and distinctly that they shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. This is affirmed without relation to any given period of time.
23. In Rom. vi. 22, the end of the righteous is said to be everlasting life. But in Phil. iii. 19, the end of the wicked is said to be destruction. On these texts it may be remarked that, the final state of the righteous and the wicked is called the end. Now as there is no state of existence after the end of a man, and
as the end of the one is everlasting life, and the end of the other destruction; the downfall of Universalism follows.
24. The following passages of scripture express the final states of men, and if final, then there is no possibility of another state succeeding it. Prov. iii. 35; x. 28; xi. 6, 9; xiv. 32; Dan xii, 2; Matt. iii. 12; vii. 13, 14; xiii. 30; John iii. 16; Rom. ix. 20-23; 2 Tim. ii. 20; Gal. vi. 7, 8.— That the above texts do speak of the final state of men is obvious; 1. The state of the righteous is allowed to be final, but the state of the wicked is all along put in contrast as to happiness. 2. These texts are totally silent as to any other state following that of destruction, damnation, &c. 3. The language of the greater part of them is inconsistent with any other state to follow.
Yours in the bonds of the gospel.
LETTER No. X.
Baltimore, Feb. 10, 1835.
To Rev. Joseph McKee:
Dear Sir-The receipt of your present letter has afforded me the highest satisfaction.It is free, almost entirely free, from all personal remarks and uncharitable allusions to the doctrine and denomination which you oppose. This is as it should be; for nothing can be more improper, than bitter, personal invective, when discussing that religion which is emphatically called, the ‘gospel of peace;' and nothing has given me more pain, than the necessity of noticing the personal charges
which you have dealt out in such great profusion. I now hope for better things.
That the scriptures teach that the ungodly shall be punished in proportion to their moral delinquency; and that there are the various grades of characters which you state is readily conceded, and of course, that there are various degrees of punishment. This is the very doctrine for which Universalists have always contended; and which their opposers have uniformly denied. We have been told, that sin is infinite, because against an infinite God, the violation of an infinite law, that it could not be forgiven without an infinite atonement, and that it deserved an infinite punishment, all of which it appears you reject. But in throwing aside these absurdities, you have been compelled to adopt one equally as great, viz. “that the degrees of punishment are not degrees of time, but of severity." By what course of reasoning, such a conclusion could be sustained, I am unable to conceive. 1. It could not be on the ground of justice; for there would be no proportion between an endless pain, and the sin of a few moments. Could you say, with the Rev. Wilbur Fisk, and Methodists in general, that the turpitude of an act is measured by the dignity of the being offended, you would, if able to sustain this, show the justice of endless wo. But since you measure sin by the light and knowledge of the sinner, I regard it as utterly impossible to show the justice of interminable punishment. 2. It could not be on the ground of utility; for as God does not afflict willingly, it could be no satisfaction to him, and as saints would be safely lodged in heaven, it could not be necessary to their virtue. 3. It
could not be on the principle of revenge or retaliation, as you say future punishment is; for this would be rousing the Governor of heaven to endless anger, for the sin of a moment. Not only so, God is immutable, and cannot be angry in the sense you say.
Besides, why should the Deity, who wills the salvation of all men, whose nature is love, and who sent his Son to save the world, perpetuate punishment eternally, when it destroys his purpose, and prevents the accomplishment of his will? Paul differs with you entirely on this subject. He declares that God chastens for our profit, not like some earthly fathers for his pleasure; and as there is no profit in endless punishment, it must be limited in time, as well as various in degree. Hence God says, he will not contend forever, Isa. 1. 16; that tears shall be wiped from all faces, Isa. xxv. 8; and that death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed, 1 Cor. 15. Punishment, therefore, is, beyond all doubt, limited in duration.
As it respects your 20 names of the place of future wo, I will only observe, that assertion will not, in this discussion, be admitted as argument. First prove that these twenty texts relate to the future world, before you talk of the names by which you suppose hell is designated. I will only add, several of these texts I have in this discussion proved, relate to this world, and the rest have been so explained by Pearce, Clarke, Hammond, Lightfoot, Kenrick, Cappe, Gilpin, &c.Thus do you contradict in your explanations, not only Clarke, but all distinguished commentators. I deny, sir, that a single text out of your twenty, has reference to the future world; and until you
prove that they have, they must go for what your assertion is worth.
I will now proceed to an examination of the twenty-four passages which you have brought against Universalism.
1. 1 Cor. xvi. 22. On this Clarke says: "Does not the apostle refer to the last verse in the Bible? "Lest I come and smite the land with a curse." And does he not intimate that the Lord was coming to smite the Jewish land with that curse, which took place a very few years after, and continues on that gainsaying and rebellious people to the present day? What the apostle has said was prophetic, and indicative of what was about to happen to that people. God was then coming to inflict punishment upon them. He came and they were broken and dispersed."Note in loc.
Hammond, Pyle, Wakefield and Rossenmuller, refer it simply to casting out of the Church. As it respects your definition of Maranatha, it is entirly unfounded. Parkhurst says, it means simply, "cursed art thou." Shall I take all these authorities, or your word?
2. 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. "We are unto God a sweet savour," &c. Here you assume that saved signifies endless happiness, and perish endless death. But the apostle says, "in them that are saved." The fact is, from the Roman custom of giving "grand triumphs" to those generals who obtained great victories, the apostle drew a figure to illustrate the effects of preaching. At these triumphs, the odor of the incense and smoke of the sacrifices, filled the whole city. And as these were a savour of life, to the conquerors, so they