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As endless damnation appears to me to be against the promises, I cannot hold it as an article of my faith; but were there no promises or intimations to the contrary in Scripture, I should not require it to be threatened in any stronger terms than it is; I should believe it as a truth, though I might not be able at present, to see the propriety and equity thereof;

this subject, in many places; as, in St. Luke's gospel, Chap. xx. 35, 36, where he says, "But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the (first) resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the re

I should never suffer my weak reason to gain-surrection:" and in St. John, x. 27, 28, 29, we read thus: "my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." In Chap. xi. 25, 26, Christ says, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." And in chap. vi. 50, he says, "This is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." And he expresses the perpetuity of the heavenly bliss, and of our enjoyment of the same, by advising us, saying, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not; where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth," St. Matth. vi. 20, and St. Luke, xii. 32, 33. This is that which St. Paul calleth

Iremark in the first place, that the word aionion, rendered everlasting, or eternal, is used much oftener in St. John's gospel alone,

to express the continuance of the life, or well"a better and an enduring substance," Heb. being, of the righteous, than it is used in the xii. 34. But what shall I say of the apostle's whole Bible, to express the misery of the words, 2 Cor. iv. 7? "For our light afflic wicked; and this remark is strengthened by tion which is but for a moment, worketh for observing that he never once uses the word in us, kath hyperbolen eis hyperbolen aionion baros his whole gospel, nor in his epistles, to set doxes katergazetai emin: a glory exceeding forth the duration of punishment. See St. aionion, or eternal, to an excess." Here is John iii. 15, 16, 36, iv. 14, v. 24, vi. 27, 40, an hyperbole upon hyperbole; beyond eter47, 54, 68, x. 28, xii. 25, 50, xvii. 2, 3, in all nal; a far more exceeding eternal weight of which passages, the word aionion is used to glory. express the continuance of the well being of the righteous.

But not to insist on this: I observe, that there are many stronger expressions (even in our translation) to set forth the well being of the righteous, than any that are used as connected with the misery of the wicked. Isaiah xlv. 17, we read, "Israel shall be saved in JEHOVAH with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed, nor confounded, world without end." But where do we read, that the misery of the wicked shall have no end? The word endless, or world without end, is never once used by our translators, to express the eternity of punishment, in the whole Bible.

say Divine Revelation: but my difficulty arises from these express promises of God, which compose so great a part of that book which is given us as a rule of faith and practice; and which promises expressly assert a future state of things beyond sin, sorrow, pain, and death of every kind; when all things shall be made new; and death, the last enemy of God, Christ, and man, shal! be destroyed, swallowed up in victory; and sin, which is its sting, shall be no more in existence; and tears shall be all wiped away from all faces.

But, though I have acknowledged that I should not dare to dispute the doctrine of endless damnation, unless God had given inlimations, and even promises to the contrary; since I find several dreadful threatenings in the Scripture, in which the word aionion, or everlasting, is joined with the punishment of the wicked; yet a very little attention will shew us, that the felicity of the righteous is promised in much stronger language, than the misery of the wicked is threatened in the Scriptures.

We read, in I Pet. i. 4, of "an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled; and that fadeth nat away, reserved in heaven:" and in Chap. 7. 4, of a crown of glory, that fadeth not away" and, Heb. xii. 23, of a "kingdom, which cannot be moved:" and our blessed Saviour's words are remarkably strong upon

But it is not so much by the different words made use of to denote the permanency of the felicity of the righteous, from those which are used to express the duration of the misery of the wicked, that I judge of the continuance of the one beyond the other; so much as from the different sources from whence they flow, and of their different natures.

The happiness of those who are reconciled to God arises from their union to Christ; in which if they continue grounded and settled during this present life, wherein they pass through so many sore trials, the union will become so permanent, as that it will be impossible to dissolve it; and the very nature of things shews, that if we abide firm to the end, through all difficulties, and overcome all those things that would seek to separate us from Christ, when we come into that state where we shall meet with no more temptations, nor any thing that has the least tendency to draw our minds from God, we must, of consequence, remain attached, or united to

allegiance, as every civilian will tell you, implies pardon, reception and protection, on the part of the king; and a hearty renouncing of rebellion, truc subjection, and willing obedience," on the part of the rebels. Kings of the earth may be deceived, but God cannot; he will never accept of any feigned subjection; and, therefore, all that swear, shall swear in truth and righteousness;-so shall rebellion cease, and disobedience be no more.

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But, above all, there is one objection that may be brought against this idea, which is hard to answer; and that is, God hath said. For I have no pleasure in the death of hi that dieth, saith the Lord God. Say unto them, as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way, and live; turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezek. xviii. 23, The apostle St. Paul, seems to quote this xxxiii. 11. It is evident to me, that God passage of Scripture with some variation, in must take pleasure in what glorifies his name ; his epistle to the Phillippians, chap. ii. 9, 10, and as he hath sworn that he takes no plea11; where, speaking of the sufferings of sure in the death of the wicked, it must be set Christ, and the consequences of the same, he down for a truth, that punishment, without says, "Wherefore God also hath highly ex- having the reformation and subjection of realted him, and given him a name which is bels for its end, is unworthy of the Being we above every name; that at (or in) the name adore; and even now, it is called "his strange of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in work," and "his strange act." But to proheaven, and things in earth, and things under ceed: If endless misery were a truth, I should the earth; and that every tongue shall confess not expect that the mystery of the will of God, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God which he hath made known unto his chosen, the Father." Now this confession appears according to his good pleasure, which he hath to me to imply a willing subjection to the purposed in himself would be, "That, in the authority of the Saviour, brought about by the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might operation of the blessed Spirit; for the same gather together in one (or rehead) all things apostle saith, "Wherefore, I give you to un-in Christ, both which are in heaven, and derstand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit which are in earth," Ephes. i. 9, 10. Far less of God, calleth Jesus accursed; and no man should I expect to find, that "it pleased the can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. xii. 3. and, having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."-Col. i. 19, 20. And I am not able to imagine, how St. John's vision (Rev. v. 13.) could be just, if endless damnation is true, where he says, "And every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, all that are in them, heard I saying, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever!" In the nature of things, it appears impossible to me to believe these passages to be strictly and literally true, if endless misery be a truth: therefore I say, that I should not expect any intimation, far less absolute promises, that God would destroy death, the works of the devil, and make all things new, with many others of the like nature

Then the argument thrown into a syllogistical form, will run thus:

If every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; then shall all rebellion cease.

But the first is true; therefore also the last. If every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father; and no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost; then shall the Holy Ghost work effectually in every man. As the major is proved by Phil. ii. 11, and the minor by 1 Cor. xii. 3, the conclusion must be evident to a demonstration.

Friend. I acknowledge, that in the present state, no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost; but when they shall stand before his bar, they shall confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father by force.

Minister. But St. Paul speaks generally, "That no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." He does not mention time or place, but represents the matter impossible; beside every expression here used, implies a willing, and not a forced subjection; as bowing in the name of Jesus and confessing him to be Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father.

Friend. But we are sometimes told, that God is as much glorified by the eternal damnation of some, as by the eternal salvation of others.

Minister. I have, indeed, heard some assert the same. But as the glory of God is the ultimate end of all that he doth, we may properly ask, why he should take any pains to save mankind?

We find it promised, that every knee shall bow; and lest some might say, that every knee, meant only some knees, it is explained by the inspired apostle, to mean all things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth; and not only so, but every tongue shall swear, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father; which could not be, except all were reconciled to him, whether things in heaven, or things in earth: wherefore this is also promised; and, in consequence of their being subdued, humbled, made obedient, and reconciled, they shall be reheaded in Christ; never more to go astray, nor break that band of eternal union, which shall bind all together in one body, joined to one head; and all shall give never ceasing praise to God and to the Lamb, world without end.

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this subject, in many places; as, in St. Luke's gospel, Chap. xx. 35, 36, where he says, "But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the (first) resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the re

As endless damnation appears to me to be against the promises, I cannot hold it as an article of my faith; but were there no promises or intimations to the contrary in Scripture, I should not require it to be threatened in any stronger terms than it is; I should believe it as a truth, though I might not be able at present, to see the propriety and equity thereof; I should never suffer my weak reason to gain-surrection:" and in St. John, x. 27, 28, 29, say Divine Revelation: but my difficulty we read thus: "my sheep hear my voice, and arises from these express promises of God, I know them, and they follow me: and I give which compose so great a part of that book unto them eternal life; and they shall never which is given us as a rule of faith and prac- perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my tice; and which promises expressly assert a hand. My Father, who gave them me, is future state of things beyond sin, sorrow, pain, greater than all; and none is able to pluck and death of every kind; when all things them out of my Father's hand." In Chap. xi. shall be made new; and death, the last enemy 25, 26, Christ says, "I am the resurrection of God, Christ, and man, shall be destroyed, and the life; he that believeth in me, though swallowed up in victory; and sin, which is he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoits sting, shall be no more in existence; and ever liveth and believeth in me, shall never tears shall be all wiped away from all faces. die." And in chap. vi. 50, he says, "This is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." And he expresses the perpetuity of the heavenly bliss, and of our enjoyment of the same, by advising us, saying, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not; where no thief approacheth, neither mot corrupteth," St. Matth. vi. 20, and St. Luke, xii. 32, 33. This is that which St. Paul calleth

But, though I have acknowledged that I should not dare to dispute the doctrine of endless damnation, unless God had given inlimations, and even promises to the contrary; since I find several dreadful threatenings in the Scripture, in which the word aionion, or everlasting, is joined with the punishment of the wicked; yet a very little attention will shew us, that the felicity of the righteous is promised in much stronger language, than the misery of the wicked is threatened in the Scriptures.

Iremark in the first place, that word aionion, rendered everlasting, or eternal, is used much oftener in St. John's gospel alone,

to express the continuance of the life, or well"a better and an enduring substance," Heb. being, of the righteous, than it is used in the xii. 34. But what shall I say of the apostle's whole Bible, to express the misery of the words, 2 Cor. iv. 7? "For our light afflic wicked; and this remark is strengthened by tion which is but for a moment, worketh for observing that he never once uses the word in us, kath hyperbolen eis hyperbolen aionion baros his whole gospel, nor in his epistles, to set doxes kater gazetai emin: a glory exceeding forth the duration of punishment. See St. aionion, or eternal, to an excess.' Here is John iii. 15, 16, 36, iv. 14, v. 24, vi. 27, 40, an hyperbole upon hyperbole; beyond eter47, 54, 68, x. 28, xii. 25, 50, xvii. 2, 3, in all nal; a far more exceeding eternal weight of which passages, the word aionion is used to glory. express the continuance of the well being of the righteous.

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But not to insist on this: I observe, that there are many stronger expressions (even in our translation) to set forth the well being of the righteous, than any that are used as connected with the misery of the wicked. Isaiah xlv. 17, we read, "Israel shall be saved in JEHOVAH with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed, nor confounded, world without end." But where do we read, that the misery of the wicked shall have no end? The word endless, or world without end, is never once used by our translators, to express the eternity of punishment, in the whole Bible.

We read, in 1 Pet. i. 4, of "an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled; and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven:" and in Chap. v. 4, of a crown of glory, that fadeth not away;" and, Heb. xii. 23, of a "kingdom, which cannot be moved:" and our blessed Saviour's words are remarkably strong upon

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But it is not so much by the different words made use of to denote the permanency of the felicity of the righteous, from those which are used to express the duration of the misery of the wicked, that I judge of the continuance of the one beyond the other; so much as from the different sources from whence they flow, and of their different natures.

The happiness of those who are reconciled to God arises from their union to Christ; in which if they continue grounded and settled during this present life, wherein they pass through so many sore trials, the union will become so permanent, as that it will be impossible to dissolve it; and the very nature of things shews, that if we abide firm to the end, through all difficulties, and overcome all those things that would seek to separate us from Christ, when we come into that state where we shall meet with no more temptations, nor any thing that has the least tendency to draw our minds from God, we must, of consequence, remain attached, or united to

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him while we have an existence. This doctrine was known to David; and therefore, he said, "While I live, will I praise JEHOVAH; I will sing praises unto my God, while I have any being." Psal. exlvi. 2, civ. 33. It may be proved, that the union shall continue between Christ and his faithful ones after this life, and shall become indissoluble; and that neither "tribulation, nor distress, persecution nor famine, nor nakedness, nor peril, nor sword; neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us (who abide in him) from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." See Rom. viii. 35-39. See also St. John xv. 4, 5, 7, 9, 10. 1 John ii. 24, 28.

drawn by the Father, united to the Son, sealed by the Holy Ghost, willingly choose the Lord for their portion, and constantly adhere to him to the end, shall never be separated from him in the future ages; for he himself saith, "As the living father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me," St. John vi. 57. And as Christ is the great attracting loadstone, that shall finally draw all things to him; it is evident, that he will preserve for ever, those whom he hath thoroughly drawn to himself, and who have adhered to him through the time of trial. Thus is the life eternal of the righteous, or their endless state of well being, expressed in much stronger language than the misery of the wicked; and moreover, has its foundation in the union between Christ and his church, and in the nature of things.

Friend. But if the Spirit of God dwelling in us, and thereby causing us to adhere to Christ, and to follow him through all trials, makes our union to him so perfect, that nothing shall be able to separate us from him to all eternity; since we are confirmed in habits of goodness by free choice, and by oft repeated exercises; why, by the same rules, shall not the misery of the wicked be endless, seeing that they have chosen and adhered to evil through life, and by constant practice are confirmed therein? Evil is grown up to a body in them; and it appears to me as difficult to reform and bring them off from their vicious habits, as it would be to draw the saints in light from their adherence to virtue and goodness.

Minister. Your reasoning would be con

The never ending continuance of the life, or state of well being of the righteous, may be certainly inferred, with the greatest ease, from the continuance of the life of Christ; who is made an high priest, "not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life," Heb. vii. 16. And he hath expressly declared, "Because I live, ye shall live also," St. John xiv. 19. Thus as long as the cause remains, the effect must continue; but the cause, even the life of Christ, must undoubtedly continue to endless periods; therefore also, the effect, or the life of those who are joined to him in an indissoluble union, shall continue. The apostle Paul understood logic as well as any in our days: and he thus reasons upon this glorious truth; "The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we (who are led by the Spirit of God, and have received the spirit of adop-clusive, upon the supposition that there are tion, whereby we cry, Abba, Father) are the two eternal principles, viz.: good and evil; if children of God: and if children, then heirs; it can be proved, that evil is coexistent with heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if goodness, that it hath always been; then, the so be that we suffer with him, that we may absolute eternity of sin and misery may be be also glorified together." Rom. viii. 16, 17. easily inferred. This is the true foundation Now, as Christ, the principal heir, cannot of endless misery, and it came from the Pagan be disinherited; so, neither can those who are theology. The Heathens believed in two joint heirs with him. The Holy Spirit is eternal principles, ever warring against each given us as the earnest of our inheritance, and other, and neither fully prevailing; that men to seal us to the day of redemption, 2 Cor. v. had the liberty of enlisting under which they 5, Ephes. i. 13, 14, and iv. 20.-Christ is the pleased; and that those who in life choose head, and the overcomers through the blood virtue should enjoy endless felicity; while of the Lamb, are the members of his body, those who chose and adhered to vice, would and shall inherit all things; he will be their eternally remain under its dominion, and of God, and they shall be his children; he is consequence be always miserable. Thus, the their life, and he will make them pillars in infernal deities being judged by the poor Pathe temple of God, and they shall go no more gans to be as eternal as the good gods, and out," Rev. iii. 12. St. Paul says, "When more powerful; they sacrificed more to the Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then evil principle than to the good, out of fear, and shall ye also appear with him in glory," Col. to appease the anger of those abhorred, maleiii. 4.-And St. John says, "Behold what volent agents; hence the frequency of human manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon sacrifices. ns, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is," I John iii. 1, 2. Thus, we are sure, from the Scriptures, and from the nature of things, that those who are

Now, when the Christian Religion triumphed over Paganism in the Roman empire, many of the philosophers embraced and professed it, but withal, retained many of their Pagan notions; among which was the eternity of these two opposite principles; hence arose the ancient sect of the Manichees, who believe not only the eternal existence of two contrary eternal Gods, one good and the other evil; "but

also, that all visible things are created by the devil; and upon this principle, they might argue the universality of damnation, with as much ease and certainty, as we, upon the contrary, may argue the certainty of the Universal Restoration, according to that glorious promise of God, Isaiah Ivii. 16, 17, 18, 19, for I will not contend forever, neither will I always be wroth; for the Spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me and was wroth; and he went on frowardly, in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him, and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith JEHOVAH; and I will heal him."

the subject, called The Everlasting Gospel, &c., and is there thus expressed.

"It is as impossible that there should be two endless contrary things, as that there should be two real contrary Deities, a good God and a bad one, or two sorts of contrary creatures, both of truly divine original, some being made good by God, and others had. For an absolute and merely infinite duration, which has neither beginning nor end, is, according to the confessions of all divines, yea, of every reasonable man, a property peculiar to the uncreated Being only. But such an infinite duration, which, although it has a beginning, yet shall have no end, can only be the property of those creatures that are of divine original. For as these, according to the language of the scripture, are of divine origin, and therefore are rooted in God, or in his almighty creating power, which has no beginning, they can also be everlasting, their exist

Those who venture to contradict their Maker, and say, that he will contend for ever, and be always wroth; ought to give as goodence or duration can also be without end in a reason, at least, why he will, as he hath God. But whatsoever has not its eternal root given why he will not; and, consequently, in God, or in his eternal creating power, but must prove him not to be the Father of all is sprung up in the creature in this world, by spirits, and the Creator of all souls. If, there- its voluntary turning away from God, and fore, it can be demonstrated, that Satan is an against his holy will, and consequently is an eternal, self-existent, immutable, evil being, admonition and displeasure to the Most High, and that he hath created all, or a part of man- and is only suffered by him, such as sin, and kind, (as some asserted formerly, and as I the punishment depending thereon, these myself have heard lately) or that he hath things cannot possibly be of an absolute enddrawn some of God's creatures into such a less existence and duration, or remain so long union with himself, that they cannot be sepa- as God shall exist; but must of necessity once rated from him; and that he will maintain his cease and be annihilated. For as God is a crown, throne and kingdom, in opposition to Being to those creatures which he created God, to all endless duration; then, and not till good, and which exists through his will, then, may the cternity of sin and misery, be wherein they may subsist and be preserved concluded from the nature of things, with without end; so he on the contrary, to iniqui equal ease and certainty, as the perfection and ty and sin, (which against his will, is sprung happiness of the saints. up in and sticks to the creatures) is a consuming fire, whereby all sin and perverseness in the creatures must be at last consumed, annihilated, and separated from them in the highest degree, in order to restore them to their primitive purity; in the same manner as the fire doth not consume and destroy the gold, but only the dross, and that which is impure,"

We will now state some of the arguments in favour of the endless continuance of the happiness of the saints, in the kingdom of their Father: and those which prove that the state of misery shall come to an end.

Christ hath promised, that the happiness of the saints shall have no end; because his life shall have no end, and he is their life.

The misery of the wicked shall end, because the kingdom of evil shall end.

The power of God stands engaged to preserve and keep those who commit themselves to him; and thus, their union with him shall always continue.

The same is engaged to destroy that covenant with death, and the argument with hell, whereby sinners are held in subjection to Satan, and thus to take the prey from the mighty, and the captives from the terrible.

The subjects of Christ are his natural subjects; he is their rightful sovereign :

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But if the kingdom of evil, and all the works of sin, Satan and darkness, shall be totally destroyed by Christ, and all things shall be reheaded in him, who is the head of all principality and power, as well as of every nan, (See Ephes. i. 10, Col. ii. 10, 1 Cor. xi. 3.)—if every knee shall bow, and tongue shall swear, and all things, whether in heaven or in earth, or under the earth, shall confess that he is Lord; and all things whether in heaven or in earth, shall be reconciled to him,-(See Isaiah xlv. 23, Phil. ii. 10, Col. i. 20,)—and all kingdoms (not excepting that of the prince of the power of the air) shall be broken and destroyed by the kingdom of Christ, which shall itself be yielded up into the kingdom of boundless love, where judgment shall be no more, what shall we say of that doctrine, that teaches us the endless duration of evil? So far is the endless sin and misery of the wicked from being inferred from the endless holiness and felicity of the righteous, in the kingdom of the Father, that every proof and demonstration of the latter, concludes equally against the former.

One of the first arguments that ever began to take hold of my mind, and to bring me to think seriously of the system of the Restoration, was. what I read in a little book upon

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