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standeth," and 1 time "forevermore." The places are as follows:-Matt. xxi. 19; Mark x. 30; xi. 14; Luke i. 55; xviii. 30; John iv. 14; vi. 51, 58; viii. 35 twice; 51, 52; ix. 32; x. 28; xi. 26; xii 34; xiii. 8; xiv. 16; Acts xv. 18; 1 Cor. viii. 13; 2 Cor. ix. 9; Heb. v. 6; vi. 5, 20; vii. 17, 21, 22, 28; 1 Pet. i. 23, 25; 2 Pet. iii 18; 1 John ii. 17; 2 John 2. In the following three places the word is employed to express the illimitable duration of the punishment of the wicked. Mark iii. 29; 2 Pet. ii. 17; Jud. 13.
The word aion occurs 18 times in the plural form, and in the 6 following places it has a figurative and limited signification where it is three times translated "the world," twice "the worlds," and 1 time "the ages." 1 Cor. ii. 7; x. 11; Eph. ii. 7; Heb. i. 2; ix. 26; xi. 3.
The word in the plural form signifies endless duration in the 12 following places, and is 7 times rendered "forever," twice "eternal," 1 time "forevermore," 1 time "from the beginning of the world," and 1 time "ages.' Matt. vi. 13; Luke i. 33; Rom. i. 25; ix. 5; xi. 36; xvi. 27; 2 Cor. xi. 31; Eph. iii. 9; 11; Col. i. 26; 1 Tim. i. 17; Heb. xiii. 8.
The word aion in a doubled or reduplicate form as, oi aiones ton aionon occurs 23 times only in the New Testament, and is invariably employed to express endless duration. It is 21 times translated "forever and ever," 1 tiine "forevermore," and 1 time "throughout all ages, world without end." This phrase is employed 10 times to express the interminable duration of the glory of the ever blessed God; as follows: Gal. i. 5; Eph. iii. 21; Phil. iv. 20; 1 Tim. i.
17; 2 Tim. iv. 18; Heb xiii. 21; 1 Pet. iv. 11;
on all hands, to signify endless duration, and 6 relate to the endless punishment of the damned. The word aion is governed by the preposition eis sixty-one times in the New Testament. It is never used in this construction in any one of the 33 cases of temporary duration. In the six cases of endless punishment the word is used in this construction; and in the other fifty-five cases it is readily acknowledged to have an endless signification. What then, I ask, would any sensible, unprejudiced man conclude concerning the six cases of future punishment, but that they signified endless duration as well as the other fifty-five cases of the same construction. For the truth of these matters I appeal to the candid reader who understands the Greek Testament. I am well aware that the Universalists endeavor to raise as many quibbles as possible concerning the singular and the plural of this word, and its doubled form, and the particles connected with it in the Septuagint 'version of the Bible, evidently through ignorance, or design to deceive the unlearned. For I never saw any thing of this kind but what a scholar would despise. I assert, once for all, without fear of successful contradiction, that no profound scholar but an impostor would say that aion in the six places under consideration did not mean endless punishment.
You may expect to hear from me bye and bye respecting the adjective aionios.
As early an insertion of this article as possible will much oblige me as it is likely I will have to leave this city before long.
Believe me to be yours in the best of bonds, JOSEPH MCKEE.
LETTER NO. II.
BALTIMORE, Nov. 1, 1834.
To Rev. Joseph McKee:
Dear Sir:-Your letter embraces the substance of all the arguments, drawn from aion, against our faith; and I am pleased, that you have succeeded in presenting their whole strength, in so few words. As much depends upon a correct understanding of the word, it is important that it should be critically and carefully examined. I believe you right in your derivation of it, but wrong in your definition.
I object in toto to your manner of quoting authorities. They should be given in full, or not at all. Besides, Aristotle and Philo are second hand; and if what you have quoted is their whole definition, they differ from all other Lexicographers. But I have reason to believe your quotations imperfect; for Rev. E. S. Goodwin, after a minute and critical examination of Aristotle's writings-an examination aided by three sources of evidence, etymology, lexicography and the actual usage of aion, says, that he never uses it as signifying eternity, but as denoting being, life, existence, without denoting their duration. He says this also, of Homer, Hesiod, Eschylus, Pindar, Sophocles, Hippocrates, Euripides, and Plato.
Your quotation from Dr. Clarke will have but little weight, when it is considered, that what he wrote, was to defend his favorite theory, and not to inquire after the true meaning of
aion. His attempt to strain an argument from Eccl. iii. 14. is in perfect keeping with his monkey exposition. You might as well say, the earth is endless, because the work of God, as punishment, because inflicted by him. That olam and aion are endless, when applied to God, none deny; but does this prove them endless, when applied to things temporal? The Dr's position here is a perfect sophism. Prove that punishment is endless, or that Solomon was speaking of punishment in Eccl. iii. 14, and then, it will be time to say, that olam and aion are endless, when connected with it. play upon the phrase unquenchable fire, is at the expense of truth; for if you will turn to Isa. xxxiv. 9--11; Isai. 66. 24; Jer. xvii. 27; Eze. xx. 45-48, you will find, that an unqnenchable fire is not endless, and an undying worm not immortal. These are expressive phrases; but they are fully explained, by the references which I have made.
You accuse me, in common with Universalists, of wishing to divert the public mind, from the etymology of aion. Such is not the fact. The admissions of our opposers, have rendered it unnecessary to investigate its etymology. Why need we do this, when they have unitedly said, we must determine its sense from its use? When we have met it therefore, our inquiry has been, does the scope of the subject require us to understand it as endless? And such I consider is the question which claims our attention in this discussion. Do not misunderstand me-I fear nothing from an inquiry into the etymology of aion.
You say, that the best critics, who have