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Aion, you admit is derived from aei, and on. On,' you remark 'signifies being, but does not fix its duration.' But, why did you not tell us that on was twice employed to express the being or existence of Christ? Rev. i. 4, 8, and twice to denote the being of the ever blessed God. Rev. iv. 8; xi. 17. This use of the word to say the least, is no proof that it has a limited signification. You say that on is derived from eimi, to be. This is admitted. Let us now see how eimi is generally applied in the New Testament, and the object of its common application, and it will probably cast some more light on this point. We read, 'And Jesus said unto them, I am (eimi) the bread of life.' John vi. 35. I am (eimi) the light of the world.' John viii. 12. Before Abraham was I am (eimi.') John viii. 58. I am (eim) the door.' John x. 9. I am (eimi) the good shepherd.' John x. 11. 'Where I am (eimi) there shall also my servant be.' John xii. 26. 'I am (eimi) Alpha and Omega" Rev i. 8. I am (eimi) alive forevermore.' Rev. i. 18. I ask, is this use of the word any proof that it has a limited signification.
‘Aei,' you say ‘is from a, intensitive, and eo, to be, which I readily admit. But I absolutely deny that aei has a limited signification in all the five places you have cited from Rose's Parkhust. I deny that it has a limited meaning in Acts vii. 51, where it is said, 'Ye do always (aei) resist the Holy Ghost.' They never did any thing else but resist. There is not the least shadow of proof that they ever at any time, yielded in the least degree to the influence of the Holy Spirit. 'Yet always (aei) rejoicing.'
2 Cor. vi. 10, must necessarily be understood in an endless sense. What! the joy of the saints not endless!! Away with such absurdity and falsehood. What are the causes of the saints' joy? Are they not the atonement of Christ, the promises of God, their regeneration by the Divine Spirit, and the fact that, their names are written in heaven. When these causes shall be removed, or be annihilated by a superior power, the joy of the saints which is the effect, shall cease, and not till then. I say without hesitation that oei has properly an endless or unlimited signification, and in this, which is its proper sense, it is used in the two places just quoted. It has a limited, or "restricted sense" as Parkhurst remarks in Mark xv. 8; 2 Cor. iv. 11; 2 Pet. i. 12, which the reader may examine at his leisure. Hence, aion, coming from aei, always, and on, being, must in its grammatical meaning, signify endless duration; therefore, I perfectly agree with Dr. Clarke, when he says "there is no word which more forcibly points out the grand characteristics of eternity."
Your play upon the phrases, "since the world began," "from the beginning of the world," "whilst the world standeth," &c. and your question if the word in the singular means endless, how could it be used in the plural? and how the inspired writers could say, forever and ever? &c. I consider to be mere quibbles, unworthy of a profound scholar, miserable subterfuges, to which you in common with other Universalists, resort as the last place of retreat, in a desperate case; like a drowning man, grasping at the bubbles on the water. Did I take it upon me to
vindicate the propriety of the English phrases above mentioned? No. But I said the Greek word in those places must be taken in an endless or unlimited signification Parkhurst says aion "both in the singular and the plural signifies eternity, whether past or to come." Such questions as you have asked on this subject, should not have come from a sensible man, who professes to know and to teach truth.
You should have known that the phrase, “day and night," coupled with 'forever and ever,' was a metaphorical expression to signify the perpetu›ity of the misery of the damned. If you look at Rev. iv. 8, you will find the same phrase connected with the celestial exercises of the glorious throng, before the throne of God.And if you will turn to Rev. vii. 15, you will find that, the redeemed, who have come up out of great tribulation, and washed their robes in the blood of the lamb, are now before the throne of God, and there serve him "day and night." Now, there is as much reason to believe that the glory of heaven is on this earth, as there is to believe the torment of the damned is upon it. If you read the discourse of Josephus concerning Hades, yon will find that he uses the phrase "day and night," in relation to eternity. So that your objection tothe phrase day and night is nothing but a mere quibble, which can have no weight.
You were a little too hasty in denouncing, as false, my statement, concerning the preposition eis. I hope it was through inadvertency, rather than from mature consideration of the subject. This part of the subject requires a full investigation, and must not be covered up. My
sentiments regarding it, are not in the least degree changed. The substance of my former statement, as you may see, by a reference to my second letter, is nearly as follows:-The word aion occurs 104 times, in the New Testament. It is 33 times employ ed to signify a temporary duration. And it is 71 times used to denote endless duration; in 6 of which cases it expresses the misery of the damned. The word is governed by the preposition eis 61 times, in which construction it invariably, necessarily, and absolutely, means endless duration; the six cases of future punishment are placed in this aw ful predicament! For the truth of this whole'statement, I appeal to any scholar whose mind is not warped or blinded by the false creed of Universalists. Let it be recollected I stated that the word, in 71 places means endless duration. In 61 of these places it is governed by eis, consequently the word in 10 places has an endless signification where it is not governed by this preposition. They are as follows:-Mark x. 30; Luke xviii. 30; John ix. 32; Acts xv. 18; Eph. iii. 9, 11, 21; Col. i. 26; 1 Tim. i. 17; 2 Pet. iii. 18. I have given these references to enable the reader to examine these places and judge for himself; as there has been some slight disagreement among the learned, whether they should be understood in a limited, or an unlimited sense. I believe they require to be under stood, in an unlimited sense; therefore, I have added them to the places about which the learned are agreed, making in all 71 places where the noun aion means endless duration. If this is denied I wish to see proofs, to convince the judgment, and not naked, dogmatical assertions,
which must go for nothing with every enquiring mind.
I cannot admit that eis ton aiona, forever in John viii. 35, has a limited signification. To say that a servant i. e. a sinner ver. 34, shall not abide in the house forever, or to endless duration, is very correct and proper. To say that a child or son of God, as the sense of our Lord requires it to be understood, ver. 34, shall abide in the house forever, or to eternity, is absolutely correct and true. If you say that the son shall not continue in the house or church of God to eternity, but be cast out it is a giving up of the doctrine of Universalism at once: therefore, I hope it will not be said in future, that aion in this text has not an endless signification.
Regarding eti being connected with aion, in Exod. xv. 18; and in Dan. xii. 3, and epekeina in the same construction in Mich. iv. 5, I would observe that, first. These are not the only cases in which the Septuagint made bad Greek for the purpose of making their version appear exactly literal. Second. It was not for the purpose of defining the exact signification of aion that such particles are a few times added to it. Third. The classical Greek writers and the inspired writers of the New Testament, never felt the need of such additional particles when they wanted to express eternity. Fourth. It was to give what appeared a litteral rendering of the Hebrew phrase, literally in England, for ever and ever, that they addedeti and epekeina. Both signifying ever, or eternity, by themselves when applied to things capable of eternal dura