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Ε Χ Α Μ Ι Ν Ε D.
231 the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing.” There can be no doubt that this text refers to eternal life in the future world, or to the final salvation of St. Paul. The expressions in the text, “ that day,” and “his appearing,” cannot be applied to the destruction of Jerusalem ; for St. Paul did not participate in the scenes of that event, but closed his career in Rome, from whence he wrote his epistle just before his death. Indeed it is clear that sentence of death had been pronounced upon him before he wrote this epistle, and that it was in view of this sentence, which was soon to be executed, he penned the text under consideration, exclaiming, “ I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand, I have fought a good fight,” &c. This clearly shows that the apostle had reference to a reward in the future world. Now, nothing can be more plain than that the apostle looked upon his fidelity in this world as a condition of the reward in the world to come.
I have fought a good fight," &c. “henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” This clearly implies that there would have been no crown laid up for him, if he had not fought a good fight, kept the faith, and finished his course. Now, if St. Paul's crown was secured by his fidelity, it follows that all those who do not, like him, fight the good fight, such as make shipwreck of faith, and run off the course of the christian race, must come short of a crown of righteousness in the future world ; that is, they will come short of heaven. In perfect agreement with this, is Rev. ii. 10. “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” That this text promises a reward in the future state there can be no doubt, for faithfulness unto death is stated as a condition. Now, as the condition extends up to death, and as the crown must be received after the time of complying with the condition, it follows that this crown of life must be received after death, and in the future state. Here, then, is a plain promise of a crown of life, in the future world, to all such as are faithful unto death, in this world, which implies, beyond all doubt, that such as are not faithful unto death, shall not have a crown of life in the future world. To
suppose that all are to have a crown of life, would make the scrip
tures speak the following absurd language; - Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life;" and I will give a crown of life also to all such as are not faithful unto death. Matt. x. 39. “ He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Mark viii. 35. “ For whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; but whosoever shall lose his life, for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.” Luke ix. 24. “ For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” John xii. 25. “ He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth bis life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” Here are two kinds of life and death referred to; the first is the life and death of the body, or natural life and death ; the second is the life and death of the soul, or moral or spiritual life and death. On no other plan can these texts be true ; "he that loseth his life shall save it,” cannot both be true of the same life, but it
be true that whosoever will save his natural life, by betraying the cause of truth, shall lose his moral life or life of his soul; and that he who shall lose his natural life, as a martyr, shall save the life of his soul, or "
preserve it unto life eternal.” Here then are two cases; one person
thinks more of this life than he does of the life to come, and the other thinks more of the life to come than he does of the pres. ent life. Now, it is said that he who seeks to preserve the present life shall lose the future life, and he who is willing to sacrifice the present, shall preserve the future ; which clearly implies that some will not enjoy spiritual life in the world to come.
One man is said to preserve his life unto life eternal, and another, in distinction from this, is said to lose his life, the same which the other preserves unto life eternal, by endeavoring to save his present life. Nothing can be more plain than that both kinds of life here spoken of, cannot be enjoyed, in the sense of the text, by the same person, and yet one is represented as saving the one, this life, and another as preserving the other, eternal life ; hence, it is clear that the person, who would have eternal life, cannot preserve or enjoy this life, in the sense of the text; and that he who does preserve this life in the sense of the text, cannot have eternal life in the future world. 1 Tim. vi. 12. “Fight the
good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” Here eternal life is represented as taken by the good fight of faith ; and yet it cannot be contended that all fight this good fight, for « all men have not faith.” This class of texts, which limits salvation to certain characters, is so numerous as to require a volume in order to give room to comment on them all ; what. has been said, therefore, must suffice. We will now examine some of the threatenings of God's word, which imply the doctrine in question. Matt. xxvi. 24. “Wo unto the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed; it had been good for that man if he had not been born.» We shall not bewilder the plain reader with an appeal to the original Greek on this very plain text. The expression, "it had been good for that man if he had not been born," mean nothing more nor less, than that it would have been better to have had no existence, than to exist under the circumstances of him by whom the Son of man was betrayed; which cannot be true of any one who shall be finally and eternally saved. Here then is an individual of whom it is said, “it had been good for that man if he had not been born;" but this could not be said of any who shall be finally and eternally saved ; therefore, here is an individual who cannot be finally and eternally saved; hence, the doctrine of universal salvation is false, and the doctrine of endless punishment is true. It will be no fair reply to this to say, as universalists often have said, that the argument if admitted, would prove the endless punishment of only one individual out of all the human family ; for if the endless punishment of one individual be proved, the principles which endless punishment involve are established, and as the ways of God are equal, or the moral principles of his goverment the same in every case, the endless punishment of one involves the endless punishment of all of similar moral character.
James ii. 13. “He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy.” If judgment without mercy implies the doctrine of endless punishment, then it is implied in this text. If men cannot be saved without mercy, then this text proves that some will never be saved. If men can be saved without mercy; be made forever happy and not have one drop of mercy mingled in the full cup of their blessing,
then we admit that the unmerciful can be saved; but until this strange hypothesis be proved, the gates of heaven must appear barred against them, so long as it is written " he that hath showed no mercy shall have judgment without mercy.” Prov. xxix. 1. “He that being often repoved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." If irremediable destruction implies endless punishment, then it is implied in this text. If men can be destroyed, with a destruction for which there can be no remedy, and be saved too, then all may be saved; but not without. Universalism says, in effect, there is no evil, no destruction to the wicked which shall not find a remedy in the final and eternal salvation of God; but the Bible says certain characters shall be destroyed without remedy, and the reader is left to judge which he is to believe, universalism or the Bible.
Matt. xiii. 47, 48, 49. “ Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away; so shall it be at the end of the world.” This certainly implies the doctrine in question. Note, some are good and others are bad, the good are saved and the bad cast away; and all this is to take place at the end of the world. Now, unless being cast away, and being saved, mean the same thing, all cannot be saved. Mark, universalism says all shall be saved, bad as well as good, or that the bad shall all become good ; but Christ
says, the good shall be saved and the bad
be cast away.
But universalists attempt to evade the force of this, by criticising upon the phrase, “ end of the world,” rendering it end of the age or dispensation ; but it will not bear this construction here, unless it be the end of the gospel dispensation. The end of the world in this case, is shown to be the end of time, by its being the time when the gospel net is to be drawn to land, by which must be meant the close of the gospel dispensation. While the commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, is in force, and while ministers are, in accordance with this commission, extending the field of their operations, and pushing the triumphs of the cross wider and wider through the world, the gospel net can
not be said to be drawn to land; but when time shall end, the gospel be preached no more, and all be called to give an account for the improvement they have made on the gospel and its privileges, then will the kingdom of heaven, or the gospel dispensation be like a net drawn to land full of fish, both good and bad, and then will the good be saved, and the bad be cast away. Rev. xxij. 19. “ And if shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." It must have been a possible case to “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,” or the individual who should do it would not have been threatened, It would be absurd to suppose that God would threaten men with the heaviest penalty, if they shall do what it is not possible for them to do. It is clear then that there must have been a possibility of taking from the words of the book, whether it be now possible to do it in the sense of the text or not. Now, the person who should do this, is threatened with three evils, either of which implies endless punishment.
1. “God shall take away his part out of the book of life.” An allusion is had here to the custom of keeping publick records; books in which the names of all the citizens were written, and from which the names of public offenders were blotted. So God is represented as having a book of life, in which the names of all his children are written, by which circumstance of having the name written or not written in this book, the future destinies of all will be determined. In chap. xx. 15, it is said, “ whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Now we ask, on what the hope of heaven can be based, of those whose names God blots from the Lamb's book of life?
2. “ God shall take his part out of the holy city.” The holy city here is the same as that mentioned, chap. xxi. 1, 2. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
And I, John saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven.” We will not here agitate the question whether or not, this subject relates to the present or future world; for, to make the least of it possible, it describes the christian church, either in this world or in its triumphant state;