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the endless duration of the life of the redeemed. I suppose no Universalist will deny that the life of the righteous is eternal, or will say the word has not an endless signification in this application of it. The following are the places where aionios is thus used:-Matt. xix. 16, 29; xxv. 46; Mark x. 17, 30; Luke x. 25; xviii. 18, 30; John iii. 15, 16, 36; iv. 14, 36; v. 24, 39; vi; 27, 40, 47, 54, 68; x. 28; xii. 25, 50; xvii. 2, 3; Acts xiii. 46, 48; Rom. ii. 7; v. 21; vi. 22, 23. Gal. vi. 8; 1 Tim. i. 16; vi. 12, 19; Tit. i. 2; iii. 7; 1 John i. 2; ii. 25; iii. 15; v. 11, 13, 20. Jud. 21. The word aionios is three times applied to the purpose of God, as I understand it, and, of course, must mean endless duration; as I suppose no Univsrsalist will say the divine purpose is changeable, or fluctuating in its nature; 2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. i. 2; Rom. xvi. 25. The word is three times employed to express the endless duration of the glory of the saints. There can be no dispute concerning the meaning of the word here, as all christians admit the glory of heaven to be eternal; 2 Cor. iv. 17; 2 Tim. ii. 10; 1 Pet. v. 10. Thus we see the word in fifty instances must, unquestionably, be understood as having an unlimited signification; as no one denies the endless duration of God's purpose, or the saints glory and happi
But let us see how aionios is applied in the remaining twenty-one places The best way to ascertain this point is, to quote the phrases where the word is used. Thus we read::"The everlasting (aioniou) God.' "Rom. xvi. "The eternal (aioniou) Spirit." Heb. ix. "To whom be honour and power everlast
ing" (aionion.) 1 Tim. vi. 16. "The blood of the everlasting (aioniou) covenant." Heb. xiii. 20. "Eternal (aionion) redemption." Heb. ix. 12. Eternal (aioniou) salvation." Heb. v. 9. "Everlasting (aronion) Gospel." Rev. xiv. 6. "The everlasting (aionion) kingdom of our Lord." 2 Pet. i. 11. "The promise of eternal (aioniou) inheritance." Heb. ix. 15. "A house not made with hands, eternal (aionion) in the heavens." 2 Cor. v. 1. "They may receive you into everlasting (aionious) habitations." Luke xvi. 9. "Hath given us everlasting (aionion) consolation." 2 Thes. ii. The word aionios is used in Phil. 15 to express the duration of that brotherly affection which ought to exist among all true Christians. And it is once used in 2 Cor. iv. 18, to designate the endless duration of all invisible objects. In these fourteen cases, it cannot be denied that, the word has an unlimited signification. For I presume, no christian will say the existence of God, his Spirit, his Glory, his Honor, his Power, or his Kingdom will ever come to an end. Nor will any Universalist take it upon him to affirm that, "The covenant of grace," "The consolation of the righteous," "The inheritence of saints," "The house in the heavens," or "The habitation of glorified spirits," will, at any future period come to an end; so as to have no existence. Hence we have fourteen cases to add to the fifty, which makes sixty-four, leaving only seven, of all the places in the New
Now, the Greek adjective aionios occurs seventy-one times only in the inspired writings. It is sixty-four times applied to cbjects which
are eternal in their nature, and, consequently, unquestionably have an unlimited signification. It is seven times employed to point out the interminable duration of future punishment. I shall cite all the phrases where the word is thus applied, that the reader may examine the matter for himself, and form his own conclusions.They are as follow:-"Everlasting (aionion) fire." Matt. xviii. 8. "Everlasting (aionion) fire." Matt. xxv. 41. "Everlasting (aionion) punishment." Matt. xxv. 46. "Eternal (aioniou) damnation." Mark iii. 29. "Everlasting (aionion) destruction." 2 Thes. i. 9. "Eternal (aioniou) judgment." Heb. vi. 2. "Eternal (aioniou) fire." Jude 7. I believe the generality of well informed Universalists admit that, the future punishment of the wicked is intended in all these places; however, we may make a remark or two on each of them, in order to set the subject in a more luminous point of view.
With regard to the text in Matt. xviii. 8, it may be observed that, if our Lord's admonitions in the eighth and preceding verse, be properly considered, it must be manifest that, he intended future punishment by the expressions under consideration. And, as Dr. Chauncy, an eminent Universalist, late of Boston, admits that aionios in this place relates to the future punishment of the wicked, it is unnecessary to say any thing more on the subject.
In order to set Matt. xxv. 41, in a proper point of light, it is necessary to remark that the paragraph, from the commencement of the 31 verse to the end of the chapter, is not a parable, as the Universalists generally hold, but a pro
phetic description of the day of Judgment.This is manifest from the following considerations. 1. We have no indication, directly or indirectly, in any part of the chapter, that this paragraph is a parable. 2. The true characte ristic of a parable, which is a continuation of metaphors, is wanting in this passage. 3. Several phrases in the paragraph cannot be applied to any thing but the day of judgment, without doing violence to the passage. To what circumstance but the last day could the following expressions relate? "The Son of man shall come in his glory,"-"All the holy angels with him, "Before him shall be gathered all nutions," "Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." If any one will have the goodness to tell me, what time, besides the day of judgment "all nations" shall be gathered before Christ on his throne, I am ready to give up the argument concerning this text, but if this is not done I must hold to the obvious meaning of the passage. 4. The best, and most learned commentators that I have consulted on this passage, refer it to the future judgment of the great day. Dr. Chauncy says the word in this passage relates to the punishment of sinners. From all these considerations I am induced to believe firmly that aionios, in this place, must be taken to express the endless punishment of the damned in a future state of existence.
All the above arguments will apply with equal force, to the use of the word in the 46 verse, so that nothing further need he added.
The passage in Mark iii. 29, needs no illustration. Nothing in all the world can be clear
er, or more definite, as it stands without note or comment. The endless punishment of the transgressor is expressed two ways, by two different forms of speech. 1. Negatively, "hath never forgiveness. 2. Positively, "eternal damnation." This I conceive to be amply sufficient to satisfy any reasonable man.
Concerning the passage in 2 Thes. i. 9, I must say that, I can see no propriety in applying it to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army. When I consider the general design of the epistle, the phraseology contained in it, and various other circumstances connected with the people to whom it was written, I must say that, truth obliges me to apply the coming of Christ, therein mentioned, to the day of judgment, and not to any partial, or local execution of Divine justice whatever. Therefore
I must consider aionios, in this place, as intended, by the Apostle, to signify the endless punishment of the ungodly. Dr. Chauncy admits that the word is so applied in this place.
The phrase "eternal judgment in Heb. vi. 2, cannot be applied, with any show of propriety, to any thing but the future punishment of the wicked. This is evident from two considerations. 1. The order in which the phrase is placed, i. e. after "the resurrection of the dead" is mentioned. There is a beautiful gradation observable in the enumeration of the several particulars mentioned in these verses. We have them mentioned in the order, in which they are experienced by christians, as follows:repentence, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and lastly, eternal judgment. 2. The original word krima, here