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A DISCOURSE ON THE
“ And Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the Secnd Death."-Rev. xx: 14.
The Second Death is generally supposcd to be something that is still to take place, in the world of spirits. At that time, it is imagined, of all who are so unhappy as not to have a part in the first resurrection,' or whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life,' will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,' and there remain throughout a boundless eternity, beneath the scalding drops of Almighty wrath. This is a most shocking thought—that the 'Father of the spirits of all flesh,' should so deal with any of his creatures. I haye been greatly
agitated in my mind, concerning the meaning of the Second Death—but by a candid study of the Scriptures, as I trust, my mind has been freed from the gloom with which it was overspread by wrong views of this subject.
In the beginning of my subject, I feel obliged to bespeak the patience of my readers. The nature of my undertaking is such, that much needs be said to clearly unfold my ideas, and exhibit the evidence upon which they rest.– This is drawn principally from the Scriptures themselves.
We are told, death and hell were judged out of the things which were written in the books.' These books, were the books of the law and prophets. So that my first inquiry will be, what people received the law of the Deity, and alone covenanted to observe and keep them? This was the Mount Sinai law.
The law by which death and hell were judged, was given alone to the Jews. This people, who descended from Jacob, afterward named Israel, were selected from the families of the earth, and were called the people of God.With this people, God entered into a covenant of works which they were to obey; and if they
disobeyed it, they were to be judged out of the books of the law. Now if the reader will keep in mind the fact that the world is divided into two classes, Jews and Gentiles, he will readily perceive on whom it was, the second death fell.
The covenant between Jehovah and Israel is thus described-Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice. And the Lord hath avouched thee this day, to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee; and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; and to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.'-Deut. xxvi: 17–19. This covenant was made only with Israel, and is exclusively binding on them.
To the same purpose are the following—'He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them.—Ps. cxlvii; 19– 20.-Other nations had not heard of these
statutes—they were known to Israel alone. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children.'-Ps lxxviii: 5.
David was king in Israel, and knew these commandments, and laws were given to Israel alone, who had not kept their covenant with God, but refused to walk by his law. This was a complaint brought against the people of God. St. Paul had this subject in view when he said, Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.'—Rom. ix: 4.
Israel had two covenants; but we who are Gentiles have only one. Israel had one from Sinai, which was an outward, national law, for that nation to walk by until the promised seed should come. This covenant or law, no other nation on earth was ever commanded of God to walk by. The other law or covenant, is the law of God which proceeded from mount Sion, which all nations are commanded to obey.This law is written on the fleshy tables of the hearts of all men, both Jews and Gentiles.