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eternal life, I confess, I do not understand what he means. If then, we have the oath of God, to assure us, that unbelievers, shall not enter the heavenly felicity, it clearly follows, we have his oath, in favour of endless misery.
3. The will of God. The will of the eternal Being, as it stands unconnected with the moral actions of his creatures, in relation to his own works and designs, must, undoubtedly, be considered as absolute, and infinitely beyond the control of future contingencies. That it is the will of God that "all men should be saved"-"be sanctified," and "come to the knowledge of the truth," is manifest, both from the Scripture and his benevolent nature. But that his will, in these respects, is not accomplished, is also manifest, both from Scripture and woful experience. The will of God in relation to the morality of his people, and its consequences, is contingent, or depending on contingent circumstances, respecting its accomplishments; otherwise, the freedom of the will is destroyed, and with it, all distinction between sin and virtue, as there can be no sin in the world, if the human will is not free. That some things happen, which are contrary to the will of God, none can deny. To illustrate this, it may be remarked, that the assassinations end murders that frequently happen, cannot be in accordance with the will of God, because he has expressly said "thou shalt not kill." If, then, the temporal life of a man may be taken away, contrary to the will of God, why not the spiritual and eternal life?
4. The decree of God. "The decrees of God' is a phrase that does not occur in the Scriptures' The decree mentioned in the second Psalm,.
not called the decree of God; nor am I certain, it has any relation to mankind at all, but merely to the appointment of Christ, to the office of Mediator. He must be very sharp_sighted indeed, that can see any thing in this Psalm, to favour the doctrine of Universalism. I confess it is too obscure for me to detect it. Christ being heir of all things, as mentioned in Heb. I. furnishes no proof of the final restoration of the damned. Christ may be said to be heir of all things.-1. Because he created all things Col. I. 14-16. 2. Because the Father appointed him to be the heir of all things. Heb. I. 2. 3. Because he has laid down his life to purchase all things for his church, Heb. II. 9. The phrase "all things" has several significations, as may be seen in my last letter, consequently it is, in itself, no proof of Universalism. The unchangeable decree, or determination of God is, that the wicked shall be punished and the righteous rewarded; but no decree can be found in the Scriptures, to say all mankind shall infallibly obtain everlasting felicity.
As this is the concluding letter on the subject of endless misery, I now propose to discuss with you at some future opportunity, through the columns of the "Pioneer," all the errors of the Universalists. Most of these dangerous doctrines have been kept behind the scenery,so that the public are little acquainted, either with them or their dangerous tendency. The following doctrines aredenied by most Universalists:
1. The fall of man, or human depravity. 2. The doctrine of the Trinity. 3. The Divinity of Christ, the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit. 4. The vicarious sacrifice of Christ. 5. The regeneration of the human
heart by the Spirit of God. 6. The existence of devils, and 7. The eternity of hell's torments.
Having concluded the discussion on the subject of future misery, and having entered into some engagements that will occupy all my time for the present, I hope to discuss, in the course of a fewmonths, perhaps weeks, the six remaining points of difference, between your creed and mine, if, indeed, you do differ with me upon each of the particulars already mentioned. In the mean time, I wish to assure you,that I am your sincere friend and brother in the gospel o Jesus Christ, our common Saviour.
LETTER No. XVI.
Baltimore, May 27th, 1835.
To Rev. Joseph M'Kee:
DEAR SIR-In letter No. 14 you charge me with two literary frauds or falsehoods,for saying, that "Kuinoel relies on Eichhorn as authority, and quotes the Targums as the work of the 3d or 4th century." And in proof of this charge, you say, "first, Kuinoel does not rely on Eich"horn as authority concerning the dates of the "Targums at all, nor does he, second, quote the "Targums as the work of the 3d or 4th century. "But I will state what Kuinoel does say on this "subject,and then it will be seen, that he decided"ly establishes my side of the question. Kuino,,el in his prolegomena,gives us a dissertation on "the Logos, and in page 109 he cites the Tar"gums to show what were the Jews' opinion "upon this subject at the time of Christ. He then "goes on to say, that admitting the Targums "were (which he by no means admits) not writ
"ten till the second or third century, it made no "difference, as the Jews were extremely tena"cious of their opinions, so that whatever senti"ments or opinions they once held, they always "held. In a note, at the bottom of the page, he "refers to Eichhorn as one who had offered "some trifling reasons to show,that the Targums "were not written till the 3d or 4th century. "Hence Kuinoel is decidedly in favour of the no
tion that the Targums were written before "Christ; at all events, that they contain the no"tions which the Jews always had.
In reply to this, I merely called for proof, to sustain your charges. But as this call has not been answered, and as you have concluded the discussion, it becomes requisite for me to speak in self defence. I will therefore, give a literal translation of the passage in Kuinoel, together with his note, both of which have been reterred to. Let it be observed, that Kuinoel had been speaking of the Jewish opinion, in the time of Christ, concerning the Logos. Now for the passage and note in question:
"That this was the opinion of the Jews of that "age maybe proved by many passages of the Chal"dee versions, [i. e. Targums,]which,even if they "are of a much later age,* may nevertheless, be ,,properly used for ascertaining the sentiments "of the earlier Jews also, since the Jews were "always very tenacious of their opinions, as, "Keil (De Doctoribus &c. &c.) and Bertholdt "(loc. cit. &c. &c.) have truly asserted.
*Note-See Eichhorn's Einleit in d. A. F. "Their. 1 i §213. 222,coll. 210. who there shows, "that the Pharaphrase [i. e. Targum] of Onkelos, the oldest of those remaining, was composed
"about the year 300, after the birth of Christ. "Kuincel comment in Johan Prolegom. pp. 108, 109.
Such are the passage and note in Kuinoel.— Now you say, here Kuinoel does by no means admit, that the Targums were not written till the 2d or 3d century. Why Sir, did you not point out the expression, or intimation, in which Kuincel does by no means admit the later date of the Targums? Again you say, "until the 2d or 3d century." What do you mean by this?Kuinoel says nothing about the 2d or 3d_century; he quotes Eichhorn for the date A. D. 300; and do you take that for the end of the second century or the third? I should judge Sir, that in reckoning centuries, you make the first century begin with the year 100, and end at the year 200 &c. Again, you say, Kuinoel in a note at the bottom of the page, [which note we have given entire above] refers to Eichhorn, as one who had offered some trifling reasons to show, that the Targums were not written till the 3d or 4th century. But sir, Kuinoel says not a word about the "trifling reasons;" therefore, you must father this invention yourself. We remember a word respecting literary frauds or falsehoods. Again, you say, Kuinoel is decidedly in favour of the notion, that the Targums were written before Christ. Really, I cannot see how you can extract any idea of this, from Kuinoel's words. The facts as any body may see, by looking back to the passage from Kuinoel are these, viz: Kuinoel does not pretend to decide for himself the age of the Targums; but he admits, that they were of a much later age, than that of Christ,without saying a word of their hav