ePub 版

present letter contains hardly anything which requires an answer, I shall devote a portion of my reply to those "arguments" which you are so reluctant to approach. Before proceeding to these, however, I will notice, 1. Your reply to the following statement of mine-"You adn.it that olam in Dan. xii. 2, and aionios in Matt. xxv. 46, are synonymous, though you denied this in Letter No. 1." To this you reply-"[ admitted nothing of the kind." Then sir, I know not the meaning of language, for in Letter No. VI. labouring to show that Dan. xii. 2, referred to the eternal world, and was descriptive of endless bliss and woe, you say: "It is worthy of remark, that the duration, both of the happiness of the righteous, and contempt of the wicked, are expressed by the word olam in the Hebrew, aionios in the Greek and everlasting in the English." Thus do you assert that olain and aionios are the same. 2. You deny saying anything of olam ir Letter No. I. To place this matter fairly before the reader, the following from my first communication must be inscrted: 'I am aware that Paul used aionios, everlasting, but, this is applied to hills, mountains, covenants, priesthoods and a great variety of things limited in their nature." To this you affect great astonishment, and accuse me of writing it to deceive the unlearned. Not suspecting that you were resting on a mere quibble, I replied by saying, that the learned admitted that aionios and olam are synonymous, when lo and behold! it turns out that I am accused of deceiving, because I did not use the precise word of the inspired writer, and not because


I did not convey his meaning. By this rule I can prove that the inspired writers say nothing of God or Christ, heaven or hell, life or death, for they did not use these very words. Olam in the Hebrew, aionios in the Greek, and everlasting in the English, are used as I said, and if the first two are synonymous, as the learned admit, and as you have admitted, my argument is good, and my assertion true.

It is a little amusing to hear you insinuate, that I have been guilty of some gross perversions of your language, and that it is painful for you to point these out. I beg that your tender feelings may not deter you from duty, and especially since I have not spared you in this respect: go on Sir, and give the instances.

2. In saying that the meaning of aionios must be determined by the noun to which it is applied, and the circumstances under which it is used, I asserted nothing contrary to the rules of language. As for instance, when we say a great man, a great house, and a great mountain, although the adjective qualifies the noun, we decide its extent of meaning in the three cases, from the nouns. So with aionios, and so all critics admit. My position then, is not 'absurd,' neither does it 'invert the established order of language.'

3. You say my various definitions of aionios are assumed, but by turning to Letter No. VI. the reader will see that such is not the case.

4. My assertion that the believer of to-day may be the infidel of to-morrow, is denied; and this denial is backed up by some foreign state ments respecting the indestructible nature of

Christ's kingdom. If your position here means anything, it is, that saints cannot fall from grace. When you will avow this doctrine, I am ready to discuss it. Till then, I will not allow you to shift from Metho lism to Calvinis.n, to evade the force of my arguments.

5. I deny that Col. iii. 24; Heb. xi. 26; Rev. xxii. 12, refer to the future state; and until you prove this, all you have said on that head, will weigh nothing. That the primitive Christians were rewarded, is certain, and I have shown that this reward is called 'zoen aionion.' You say by my rule, a man can have fifty everlasting lives; but all this is merely playing around the question, without attacking the main position-and such is the case with your whole letter.

6. You say, my quotation from Clarke is a perversion. Will you show this?

7. Your denial that our Lord applied Dan. xii. 2, to the destruction of Jerusalem, is like denying the existence of a God, when nature and revelation declare it in language that none can mistake. The atheist can deny the Divine existence, but he cannot sustain his denial, neither can you yours. If you can, why not do it?

8. On the text "ordained to life," I need only remark, that the life to which those were ordained, as mentioned in Eph. i. 4, 5, 11; ii. 10; Rom. viii. 29, 30, is not endless life. See Whit by and Clarke on these. Your inference, therefore, about reprobation is quite too fast.

9. All you have said on Matt. xii. 31, respecting the sin against the Holy Ghost, is refuted by the fact, that after the positive negation, comes the phrase "neither in this world, (age) neither

in the world (age) to come.” (See Letters No. III. and VI.) Clarke says: "Though I follow the common translation, I am satisfied the meaning of the words is, neither in this dispensation, (the Jewish) nor in that which is to come, (the Christian.)" He also says: "World to come' is a common phrase among Jewish writers

the times of the Messiah." Thus your negation is limited.

10. What you have said respecting my answers to your six questions, will not divert me from the main topic of this discussion. I cannot, however, refrain from making one remark: You say, "if I show that there is no proof of endless wo, it does not prove that there is no such wo." Now this, Sir, appears to be a very singular remark, and especially when we consider, that our inquiry is "whether the Bible teaches interminable suffering." What you have said in defence of a personal devil, and of Christ being his own father, is entitled to about as much consideration as this. But if it were ever so forcible, I would not reply to it, because it is foreign from our discussion. After we shall have settled the subject of this discussion, I will cheerfully buckle on the armour with you, in examining one or both of the other topics. Till then, I shall say nothing respecting them, even though, in the overflowings of your charity, you accuse Universalists of infidelity, because they differ with you respecting this. What aid you can expect from such observations, it is impossible to conceive. When will you learn to be candid?

11. If the reader can see any bearing or force in your remarks respecting Christ giving all

eternal life, or how that which God has given, which he gave in Christ before the world began, can be dependent on faith for its existence, he must be blest with a more penetrating mind than I can boast of. I will therefore pass to consider what you have said respecting my proofs, drawn from the life of Christ's priesthood, and from the testimony of Paul in 1. Cor. xv.

To bring this testimony fairly before the mind, let us consider first that he is teaching the resurrection of all men. "As in Adam all die, even sɔ in Christ shall all be made alive," (v. 22.) Taking it for granted (for this you admit,) the he was teaching the resurrection of all men, we ask,

12. To what state does he say they will be raised? This he expresses, 1. by three words, apthartos, athanasia, and aptharsia, which you admit are never applied to any thing impure.— Hence, according to your own showing, in the words used to express the unchangeable state, the idea of corruption, of mortality, or impurity is utterly excluded, and of course misery. 2. At the -resurrection, the song of victory, as I showed in Letter No. VI. is to be sung over death and hades and sin. Consequently, all must be freed from their dominion. This I also proved by Paul's allusion to Isai. xxv. 8; which, in direct contradiction to Paul, you refer to the church on earth. Let me add, 3. That at the resurrection, Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God, and God will be all in all. The apostle says, he shall reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet, till he hath subdued all; and then the end will come, when he will give up his mediatorial reign. It will not answer to say, his enemies will be sub

« 上一頁繼續 »