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At any rate, nothing is said of another world.Your assertion, therefore, is unfounded.
10. Rom. xiv. 15. "Destroy not him with thy meat," &c. Here you assume that destroy means endless punishment, but as there are so many destructions mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, proof is requisite to sustain your assumption. The words, it seems, were spoken, in consequence of a div on respecting the use of meat; some being for and some against it. The word destroy is used to express the effect which eating meat might have on those who considered it wrong; and is synonymous with stumble and fall, (v. 13.) with 'offended' and 'made weak' (v. 21.) He that can discover the doctrine of endless wo in any of these words, must have a remarkably penetrating mind. They certainly say nothing of another world, but simply relate to some being offended, because others ate what they considered unclean and forbidden of God.
11. 1 Cor. viii. 10, 11. 'Perish.' This word is used in a variety of senses; but the most frequent is death. As the apostle is here discussing the same subject as in Rom. xiv. 15, and as he uses the same figures, we will only add in the language of Gill: The perishing of this weak brother is to be understood of his peace and comfort, and is explained by defiling his conscience, ver. 7, by wounding it, ver. 12, and making him to offend, v. 13, through an imprudent use of christian liberty in those who had the greater knowledge, and by a participation of things offered unto idols in an idol's temple, and not of his eternal damnation in hell, which could never enter into the apostle's thought, as to be brought about hereby, as appears from ver. 8," &c. Expos. in loc,
12. 2 Cor. iv. 3." Hid to them that are lost." The only thing on which you rely here is the word lost. Now as Christ came to seek and save the lost, and as the prodigal son was lost and found again, no argument can be drawn from this word against Universalism. The meaning of the text is thus expressed by Pyle: " Nor can what I have preached and written to you be denied to be the sincere gospel truth, unless by such sensual and profligate men, whose affections are sɔ wedded to their temporal ends and advantages, that they have no relish of the wise and glorious purposes of the religion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the image of the Father, and the revealer of his true and last will to mankind.”— Par. in loc.
13. Heb. x. 39. “Draw back to perdition."— As though not satisfied with the arguments, by which you sustain your application of this text, you must cry out, in relation to our views of it, miserable subterfuge.' O when will men men learn to be candid and charitable! That this means temporal destruction, at the siege of Jerusa lem, is evident, 1. Because the Christians were then suffering great persecution and many in consequence were slinking away from Christ and his cause. Of these, the apostle says, "We are not." 2. In verse 27 it is said "Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come," &c. which Clarke refers to Christ's coming to execute judgment upon the Jews. 3. They had need of patience because they could not receive the promise until Christ's coming. Hence they had need of patience to endure their trials. 4. "To the saving of the soul," Clarke explains, to the "preservation of the life," thus showing that both the sal
vation and perdition were temporal. Your three arguments therefore have no foundation.
14. Matt. xvi. 26. “ Lose his soul." On this Clarke says: “By what authority our translators rendered psuche, soul, I know not; for it is the same word which, in the verse preceding, is twice rendered life." That it simply means animal life is evident from the situation of the christians. They were in a state of great persecution, from which they were to be delivered at Christ's coming. At this time the persecutors were to be destroyed. Hence the declaration, if they sought to save their lives, that is, if they renounced Christ for safety, they should lose their lives. But if they would lose, or live as though they would lose their lives, that is, give up all for Christ, they should save them. These words proved true, for not a single christian suffered in the siege of Jerusalem. To render this the more impressive, Christ adds, "What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul, (life) or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (life.) This explanation is unquestionable, because the text refers to Christ's second coming. Hence the verse following (27) says, the Son of man shall come before that generation shall pass away. Your paraphrase therefore is fallacious. That a person who reads Greek should refer this text to the future world, seems incredible! Why sir, you are a century behind the age, and a dozen, I was about to say, behind Clarke.
15. James ii. 13. "Judgment without mercy." To show your entire misrepresentation of this text, it is only necessary to observe 1. That the
epistle of James was addressed to the twelve tribes, which were "scattered abroad"-that is, the twelve tribes of the Jews. 2. The epistle is chiefly occupied to the commencement of the fifth chapter, in giving advice to the brethren scattered abroad, in instructing them how to conduct themselves under their trials, in encouraging them to persevere, and in assuring them of their reward. 3. The fifth chapter begins by denouncing in prophetic style, judgments upon the rich, those who had defrauded the labourer, and killed the just; which judgment Clarke refers, to the destruction of Jerusalem. And that he is right is evident from the declaration, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." Thus sir, the judgment without mercy is seen, not to be endless wo, but that awful calamity which came upon the Jews, at the destruction of their city. The circumstances and facts we have noticed, place this beyond dispute. Your sneer, therefore, and assertion that Universalists will make the judg ment all mercy, is quite foreign from the truth.
16. Prov. vi. 15. "Broken without remedy." As this breaking is called a sudden calamity, I should think it an insult to the reader to offer any argument to show that it signified any more than cutting off from the earth, if even this. A man guilty of the vices mentioned here,is suddenly bro ken; and he is rendered so odious and contemptible in the eyes of the people, that there is no restoring him to his former standing. He is broken without remedy. This is especially the case with a man who has shed innocent blood, (v. 20) he can have no mitigation of his punishment; for his case there is no remedy.
17. Matt. xviii. 3. As the kingdom of heavenhere means the gospel kingdom on earth, according to nearly all commentators, this can prove nothing concerning the future world. Besides, if it referred to the kingdom above, it would be no argument against Universalism; for the Psalmist says, (Psal. 22, 27) all the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn unto the Lord; Isaiah (xlv. 23,) every knee shall bow and tongue confess that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength; the Saviour that he will draw all men unto him, (John xii. 32.) St. Paul, that God shall gather together all things in heaven and on earth, (Eph. i. 10;) and the Revelator (Rev. v. 13.) that every creature in heaven and on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that in them are, shall sing the song of redeeming grace. Reformatiion, therefore, will be universal.
18. John iii. 3. This is answered under the above head.
19. Mark xvi. 15, 16. "He that believeth not shall be damned." The word damned is no proof of endless wo, because it is synonymous with condemned. "He that believeth not is condemned already." It simply, therefore, expresses the consequence of unbelief, withont any regard to its duration. So with the word saved; it is synonymous with life, peace, rest, joy. Thus, he that believeth hath life. The text then, simply expresses the effects of receiving and of refusing the gospel, and has not the remotest reference to man's final state. Should it be said the tense, shall be damned, disproves this, I answer, the preaching of the gospel was future; and the future tense was of necessity used. Go ye and