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quivocal assurrance of Holy Writ, respecting the eternal perpetuity of heavenly happiness? The future state can. not be probationary.
Finally-If the present be not the last dispensation of mercy, in which salvation can be obtained; the commands warnings, and threatenings exhibited in the Word of God, and employed to induce men now to "repent”—now to “believe on Christ”-now to "consecrate their service to God”—now to "strive to enter in at the strait gate,"—to cut off the right hand sin" and "pluck out the right eye sin,”—that they may be "saved,”—that “iniquity prove not their ruin,”—that they be not "cast into the fire whose flames are quenched not and where the worn never dies,” that they avoid His "anger who has power to destroy both soul and body in hell,” that they come not into condemnation," have their portion with hypocrites and unbelievers” and be “cast into outer darkness," where is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth,”-are all senseless jargon, without foundation, without meaning, merely intended to excite fear where no fear is, real deceptions, positive untruths. Nor is this all-The MINISTERS of the Sanctuary, who urge their flocks, by the above truly awful sanctions to seek the Lord now while He is to be found and call upon Him while He is near’-to "flee from the wrath to come”-iescape the damnation of hell"_to work out the salvation of their souls with fear and trembling,". so that they may not "perish," "oose their souls,” “become cast away,” fall under the “power of the second death” and “be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of God and from the glory of his power,”— APPEAR WITH A LIE IN THEIR MOUTHS, tho'for these sanctions and expressions they plead, “Thus saith the Lord,” and tho’ by these lies, or by God's blessing upon the delivery of these lies, they "turn many to righteousness” and "save souls from death;" and, to complete the climax, Our Saviour and his APOSTLES take the “pre-eminence”
among the number of False WITNESSES !!! From such a system of Christianity,-a system productive of such results—"Good LORD DELIVER Us !"
If Universalism, either Ancient or Modern, can confront, and wage war with the passages of Scripture, adduced in this Chapter,-and, if, in opposition to their plain, undeniable import, it can hold out the assurance of a state of future probation, or deny a state of future punishment in toto,--all we can say, is, Universalism is possessed of unparrelled effrontery, and displays the most daring and blasphemous presumption. It shows that it is the legitimate offspring of him, who "said unto the Woman, ye shall not surely die.” The plain matter of fact is
His Imperial SATANNIC MAJESTY PREACHED UNIVERSALISM TO Eve! She believed it-was deceived-induced her husband to disobey-and thus
“ Brought death into the world, and all our woe.”
From the wide-spreading, age-continuing, and souldestroying effects on MANKIND of the first embracement of Universalism, men should be extremely jealous of that soft, smooth phrase, "ye shall not surely die" eternally, from whatever quarter it may proceed, whether immediately from the Devil bimself, or mediately from any of his human emissaries; and when presented for their reception, they should spurn it from them with utter abhorrence and holy indignation, saying, “Get thee behind me Satan : thou savourest not the things that be of God.”
To any, who are inclined to admit the shining, insidious
sent is the last dispensation, in which mercy can be obtained, it follows as a necessary consequence, that the future state, to condemned spirits, CANNOT be a state of discipline or probation.
PURIFICATION OF DAMNED SPIRITS AND FOR THEIR
NOT CORRECTIVE BUT THE CONTRARY. Second Point. Are MEANS employed in the future state for the purification of damned spirits, and for their restoration to the favour and image of God ? Answer No.
The negative of this question, we feel ourselves in duty bound to advocate:-Our belief is, the Scriptures, when considered in their textual and contextual meaning, are perfectly silent as it respects means to be hereafter used for the purposes mentioned in the question, and contain passages at utter variance with the opposite belief.
The discipline, or means used, if any, must be either, 1. The punishment itself. 2. The Word of God read or preached. 3. The sanctified efforts of the righteous. 4. The mediatorial and Intercessory offices of Christ. Or 5. The influence of the Holy Spirit leading to repentance und faith in Christ, and promotive of holiness and obedience.
Except the first particular, the means specified, are the means, which we know are appointed by the “Head of the Church” to be used for the obtainment of salvation in this life; and as God is a being that changes not, and
as his plan of salvation is as immutable as bimself, the only fair conclusion is,-if means are indeed employed hereafter for salvable purposes and unless he has informed us to the contrary-that the means in the future world will be the same as those in the present. But the Scriptures are silent as the grave as to other means;-therefore, if any be employed, they must be the same as those already specified, with the one exception. All present means, tho' there may be others, of a strictly instrumental nature, besides those to which we have just referred, such as providential circumstances, &c. do, in point of fact, resolve themselves into the four last general ones above mentioned; but to meet the Univeralists we have include ed the punishment itself :-if, in our examination of the Scriptures, we find these wanting, we may justly conclude that the absence of these implies the absence of all other means.
Quere;-Can the disciplinary means be the punishment itself ? Answer No.
In replying negatively to this question we quote the observations of a distinguished Divine ;
“I presume it will be taken for granted that there was no suffering in the world previously to the introduction of sin: suffering is an imperfection in nature; and a creature, in a state of suffering, is imperfect, because a miserable creature. If an intelligent creature be found in a state of suffering, and of suffering evidently proceeding from the abuse of its powers; it necessarily supposes that such creature has offended God, and that its sufferings are the consequence of its offence, whether springing immediately from the crime itself, or whether by Divine Justice as a punishment for that crime. As sufferings in the aniinal being are the consequence of derangement or disease in the bodily organs, they argue a state of mortality; and experience shows that they are predisposing causes of death and dissolution. Derangement and disease, by