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consumed with terrors." Note, this is their end which the Psalmist learned in the sanctuary of God, and if their end is to be cast down into destruction, and to be utterly consumed with terrors, they cannot be saved. Universalism says, the end of every man shall be salvation or eternal life; but the Bible says, the end of the wicked is to be destroyed and consumed with terror. If they are eternally saved, then salvation must be their end; hence, as their end is to be destroyed, they can never be saved. Psa. xvii. 14. “Men of the world which have their portion in this life.” If then certain of the wicked have their portion in this life, in distinction from others who do not have their portion in this life, they can have no part in the inheritance that is incorruptible. If these persons are to have eternal life, then, that would be their portion, in which case they would not have their portion in this world; hence, as they have their portion in this life they cannot have eternal life. Of these characters Dr. Clark remarks in his notes on this text, “ who never seek any thing spiritual—who have bartered heaven for earth and have got the portion they desired.” Jer. xvii. 11. “He that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool." If he is saved at last he will not be a fool at his end, but will be “ wise unto salvation.” It might be said of such an one that he was a fool; but now in his end or last state he has become wise ; but the text says, “at his end, he shall be a fool,” which cannot be said of any one whose end is salvation. On this text Dr. Chark remarks thus : “ And at his end shall be a fool; shall be reputed as such. He was a fool all the way through: he lost his soul to get wealth, and this wealth he never enjoyed. To him are applicable those strong words of the poet:
“O cursed lust of gold, when for thy sake
First starved in this, then damned in that to come.” Matt. xxiv. 51. “And shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.” Luke xii. 46. “And will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” Here the punishment of the unfaithful is said to be their portion; and hence they cannot be heir to eternal life. 2 Cor. xi. 13. 15. “ For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, whose end shall be according
to their works." This text certainly predicts no good of these false teachers, but evil. Their works are bad, and their end is to be according to their works; their end therefore must be bad, hence, they cannot be saved, for salvation would be a good and glorious end. Their end is to be according to their works, but there can be no agreement between their works and salvation; hence, their end cannot be salvation. Phil. iii. 18. 19. “ Enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction." No man, made finally holy and happy, can have his end in destruction. Heb. vi. 8.“ But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.” This was spoken of apostates, who should fall away after they had been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, &c. and if their end is to be burned, salvation cannot be their end.
X. The punishment of such as shall be judged at the last day and sentenced to a punishment in hell, is shown to be endless, from a consideration of the nature of the divine penalty, and the immutability of God, the Judge, by whose sentence it will be inflicted. If it can be shown that the
penalty is, in itself
, endless, and that the sentence of the judge is irrevocable, the endless punishment of the condemned will follow as an unavoidable consequence. These points we propose to establish. 1. The penalty of tbe divine law is, in itself, an endless
To establish this point, it is only necessary to repeat what lias been said in Chapter III, when arguing the necessity of an atonement. It was there stated that the penalty of God's law is death. Death was the penal sanction of the first precept given to man, Gen. ii. 17. “ In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Ezek. xviii. 20. “ The soul that sinneth it shall die." Rom. vi. 23. “ The wages of sin is death." Rom. viii. 6. “ To be carnally minded is death." James i. 15. “ Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” Now death, whether natural or moral, must be in its own nature endless. What is death? It is the negation of life, the absence of that life to which its stands opposed. If death is made to consist in moral depravity, it is the negation of that holiness, that conformity to the divine will and likeness, which constitutes moral or spiritual life. If death is
made to consist in the dissolution of the body, it is the negation of those vital energies which constitute natural or animal life. When a person dies morally or naturally, it is the principle or power of the opposite life that is overcome; life becomes extinct and death reigns. Now, when a person is dead, on this principle, self resuscitation is utterly impossible ; life has become extinct and nothing but death reigns and pervades the whole system; hence, death left to the tendency of its own nature, must hold on to its subjects with an eternal grasp,
unless it be said that death can produce life, or that inertia can produce animation ; for as there is nothing but death now pervading the once animated sphere of the fallen, the energies of life can move there no more forever, unless they can spring from death, or out of nothing rise ! It is certain then, so far as moral or spiritual death is concerned, on which this argument is predicated, that persons once dead, must remain dead forever, unless God, who said “ thou shalt die,” speak to the dead, and say, thou shalt live, and thereby revoke the sentence of his righteous law. We see then, that there is no way of being delivered from the penalty of the law, but by a pardon ; for when the penalty of the law takes effect in the death of the sinner, as death is in its own nature endless, holding the criminal under its dominion, any subsequent deliverance by the communication of life by God, from whom it must proceed, must be regarded in the light of a pardon, since in such case the offender does not endure all that the sentence imports; death being endless of itself.
2. The sentence which will be passed upon sinners, by the righteous judgment of God, at the last day, will be irrevocable. This must appear from a consideration of the immutability of God, the judge. Immutability is that perfection of God, which renders him eternally unchangeable. “ He is immutable,” says Mr. Buck, “ in his essence, in his attributes, in his purposes, in his promises, and in his threatenings.” “We are not however,” says Mr. Watson, “so to interpret the immutability of God, as though his operations admit no change, and even no contrariety, or that his mind was incapable of different ards and affections towards the same creatures under different circumstances. He creates and he destroys, he wounds and he heals, he works and he
ceases from his works, he loves and he hates, but these as being under the direction of the same immutable wisdom, holiness, goodness and justice, are the proofs, not of changing, but of unchanging principles.” We will illustrate the principle, here laid down, by supposing a case. It is said in the gospel, “ he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” This is an immutable principle in God, that saves the believer and damns the unbeliev
Now, suppose two persons, A and B: A is a believer, and B is an unbeliever ; A has the promise of salvation, and B is threatened with damnation ; it is also in accordance with the immutable principles of God, to save A, as a believer, and to damn B, as an unbeliever. Now, suppose A makes shipwreck of his faith and beccmes an unbeliever, and B repents and believes the gospel, and it is in accordance with the immutable principles of God to damn A, on whom the threatening now rests, and to save B, to whom the promise now relates.
In all this, it is clear that God has not changed but the change is in A and B, his creatures. But if when A, who first had the promise of salvation as a believer, becomes an unbeliever, God should still save him, it would imply change or mutability ; for he has sworn to save the believer only, and to damn the unbeliever.
We have given this illustration, lest our reasoning from the immutability of God, which follows, should be misunderstood or perverted. The above view amounts to this, that the immutability of God must render his administration unchangeable in view of moral principles; that is, what God does or sanctions at one time, he must do or sanction at all times, under circumstances involving the same moral principles. If God condemns a sinner to day, he must always condemn him, so long as he possesses the same moral character ; but if the sinner reform and become a different moral being from what he was when God condemned him, we admit God may deal differently with him, and still be immutable; but such a change we purpose to show impossible with sinners in hell. Suppose a sinner arraigned at the bar of God, at the last day, and sentenced and sent to hell, and if God be immutable he must forever remain under the sentence. To suppose that God may sentence a sinner to hell, at one time, and then revoke the sen.
1 Cor. xv.
tence and take him out of hell, at another time, most clearly implies mutability in God. To this it may be replied that the sinner may be delivered from hell by first becoming morally reformed. This we will now show to be impossible.
The atonement or merits of Christ's death, and advantages of his intercession, will, after the day of Judgment, no lon
be available, and hence, all the benefits of the same, including the efficacy of prayer, and the agency of the Holy Ghost, will be forever lost. It has been already shown, in the preceding chapter, in proof of a general judgment, that Jesus Christ is to be the Judge, and tñat God is to judge the world by Jesus Christ. Now, when Jesus Christ becomes our judge, he will no longer be our mediator and intercessor with the Father. Christ is now our mediator, and as such administers a mediatorial government, prays the Father, obtains and sends the Holy Ghost into the world. 24. “ Then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom of God.” This text shows that the present state of things will not always continue, that Christ will not always, as Messiah and mediator, administer the government, and then, “ when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God,” cease to be mediator and advocate with the Father, and become the judge of " quick and dead,” the benefits of his atonement will be no longer available. Now, as we have shown, in Chap. III, that the atonement of Christ is the only ground of salvation, it follows that those who reject this atonement, and are sent to hell for having rejected it, will then have no means of moral reformation, and must be as effectually lost as though Christ had never died for their redemption. To suppose that Christ can act as the sinner's judge, and can sentence him to hell, and at the same time be the sinner's mediator and advocate, to procure his deliverance from hell, is palpably absurd. When therefore, Christ shall judge the sinner; and sentence him to hell, his gospel will no longer offer salvation--the blood of sprinkling will no longer plead, and the Holy Ghost will no longer strive with him or operate for the renewal of his heart; it is, therefore, clear that no moral reformation can take place with the inhabitants of hell, unless it be self-wrought. Now, no self-change can be wrought independent of the benefits of the atonement, in