« 上一頁繼續 »
all the works of this able and indefatigable ministering brother before me, and being determined to state nothing but what I knew to be correct, I let the statement pass, intending to write Brother Whittemore, and ascertain whether he had ever advanced such a sentiment, and if he had not, to contradict your assertion. But while preparing a letter to him, I received the following, addressed to me, through the "Trumpet and Magazine," of which Mr. W. is the editor. Justice to the falsely accused, requires its insertion: and let me here say, if you wish to continue this discussion, you must pay some little regard to truth in your statements respecting Universalism and Universalists. Here follows the letter :
To Rev. Otis A. Skinner:
Dear Brother-I perceive you are now engaged in a controversy with Rev. Joseph M'Kee, on the subject of the final restoration of all things to God. I have perused it with much pleasure, and I hope no small profit; and I doubt not it is deeply interesting to the numerous readers of your very valuable paper, the "Pioneer." But will you do me the favour to ask of your reverend correspondent, how he knows I deny the existence of angels. He says in his 8th letter, "Mr. Whittemore denies the existence of good and evil angels." How does he know this statement to be correct? I have never denied the existence of a superior order of beings called angels, and never expect to. I read of them frequently in the scriptures. They sang at the Saviour's birth, "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to men." I frequently mention them in my public services; and if I permitted the statement
of the Rev. gentlemen to go uncontradicted, I should subject myself to the charge of gross hypocrisy. Permit me to say, in closing this article, that there are many of your correspondent's statements as utterly destitute of truth, as the one above mentioned; but as I find him in the care of one so well able to detect his fallacies, I shall contradict only what he has said in gard to myself. Yours respectfully,
LETTER, No. XII.
BELL AIR, March 4, 1835.
To Rev. O. A. Skinner,
Dear Sir-In reviewing your seventh letter with the deepest solicitude, I can find nothing against my twelve objections, worthy the name of argument or acute criticism. It contains a large proportion of extraneous matter, well interlarded with bold assertions, and self-confident declamation, which can have no weight with the considerate part of the community. You appear to think that positive assertions, if given in sufficient quantity, will very well supply the deficiency of sound argument. This is manifest by the liberal use you have made of the word assume, in replying to my objections. In looking over your letter I find the word "assumed," occurs once; "assumption," four times; assumptions," five times; and "assume," nine times, making in all, NINETEEN times in the compass of one letter! The reflecting part of man
kind are not such stupid blockheads as to receive these reiterated assertions for logical reasoning, or scripture proof. I might, with as much propriety, call every sentiment contained in your creed, mere assumption; but I choose to shew their fallacy and dangerous tendency by sound and incontrovertible arguments. You have given no satisfactory answer to any one of the twelve objections; much less to the whole; and, if any one of them cannot be fairly met and legitimately answered, Universalism is overthrown. The several metaphors of the wheat and the chaff, barren and fruitful tree, savoury and unsavoury salt, good and bad fish, &c. have not had any thing in the shape of an answer. My application of them, to a future state, you call assumption, and so pass them over. That the inspired 'writers intended to point out by them, the final state of mankind in the eternal world, is manifest from the following considerations: 1. The character of the righteous and that of the wicked in this life, are contrasted with each other; the former represented by the wheat, fruitful trees, &c. the latter by the chaff, unfruitful trees, &c.2. The final states of these respective characters are also contrasted by the dispositions of these metaphors; the chaff and the wheat, &c. are separated from each other. 3. The final safety of the righteous, and the final and irrecoverable ruin. of the wicked, are, in like manner, contrasted; the wheat is gathered into the garne but the chaff is burned up. 4. To apply these metaphors to temporal death, or the destruction of the body in this world, would not only confuse and destroy all force, beauty, propriety, and meaning
of language, but palpably contradict both the letter and the spirit of the expressions used by the inspired writers. I will not, I cannot admit of any explanation that palpably contradicts the sacred text. A doctrine which stands in direct contradiction to the language of Holy Scripture, as Universalism unquestionably does, must necessarily be false.
As you appear to lay great stress upon the opinions of "orthodox critics," I shall lay before you ́ some of their sentiments concerning the metaphors on which my twelve objections are founded. And as you have appealed to Clarke, to Clarke you shall go, and I will abide by his de
I am greatly astonished that you gave the names of commentators by wholesale, as being in favor of the doctrine of Universalism, when it is well known to every well informed man, that every commentator who wrote on the Scriptures in the English language, is opposed to Universalism as an injurious heresy.
The quotations which I shall make, are from Henry, Wesley and Clarke.
Objection 1. Wheat and chaff. Matt. iii:
Mr. Henry says, "Hell is the unquenchaable fore, which will burn up the chaff, which will certainly be the portion and punishment, and everlasting destruction of hypocrites and unbelievers." Com. in loc.
Obj. 2. Fruitful and unfruitful tree. Matt. iii. 10.
On these metaphors, Henry observes"Fruitless trees will be cut down by death and
east into the fire of hell, a fire blown by the bellows of God's wrath, and fed with the wood of barren trees. "" Com. in loc.
Obj. 3. The salt having lost its savour. Matt.
Our Lord says of this salt, it is thenceforth good for nothing. If the finally impenitent or apostates, who are represented by the salt, should, at any future time, enjoy eternal life in heaven, these words of our blessed Savior must not only be void of meaning, but absolutely false.
Obj. 4. The last state of the man is worse than the first. Matt. xii. 43–44.
On these words, Mr. Wesley remarks, "They (the seven spirits) enter in and dwell-Forever, in him who is forsaken of God. So shall it be to this wicked generation-Yea, and to all apostates in all ages." Notes in loc.
Obj. 5. The good and bad fish. Matt. xiii.
On this text you have given a distorted view of Clarke's comment, for, in his exposition, I find the following comment: "By picking out the good and throwing away the bad, ver. 48, is meant that separation which God shall make be tween false and true professors, casting the former into hell, and bringing the latter to heaven." Notes in loc.
Obj. 6, The wheat and the tares. Matt. xiii. 24-30.
On these words Mr. Henry says, "Helbis the furnace of fire, kindled by the wrath of God, and kept burning by the bundles of tares cast into it, who will be ever in the consuming, but never consumed." Com. in loc.