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conscious guilt, and feel the wretched out-goings of depraved affections. If it does not, the happiness of the soul after the resurrection is not our happiness, but of some beings then newly created. It must be confessed the theory, that all that men enjoy in the future world is the result of the new constitution to be had after the resurrection, has great merits as well as great defects. It solves a most difficult problem by showing how the most wicked and abominable of men, dying in their sins, become fit to fill a seat of equal honor, and wear a crown of equal splendor in heaven, with Paul and John and all those of whom the world was not worthy,-how the most wicked and impenitent may be free from all embarrassment and danger, resulting from sin as soon as they have done with life, how one touch of death's dark brush, can cancel all offences against God and man, and rectify all moral disorders,—how one may indulge every desire lawful and forbidden, form any character, in all the grades of difference between Gabriel and Satan, may fill out life even to the last moments with whatever is most offensive to God, and then feel no alarms, no remorse, no fearful looking for of judgment, on his dying bed. Nay, if he has been the veriest profligate, and combined in his character every feature of baseness and crime, that pollutes God's image, he may notwithstanding look forward in the prospect of death, with a hope full of immortality, and say with Paul I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, and there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day, and not to me only but to all who either love or hate his appearing,—and may be sure of being welcomed on his entrance to heaven, by a well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Be not startled; grant the premises and the conclusion is sound. Grant that a man is annihilated both body and soul at death, and that when he is restored to being again, he comes forth with a new constitution, which bears no impress of past experience, or of injuries inflicted in the present life, that he comes forth in all important respects wholly a new and another, and yet wholly the same being, and is made happy by a direct stroke of the power that makes him over, and the conclusion is good.
But then the theory has as great defects to balance its advantages. And they may all be resolved into this, that it is absurdity itself, and a mind needs to be strangely warped to be able to receive it. The whole scope of the Bible stands in the face of it. That the conduct in this life touches the well being in the future life, is the very basis of revelation, and that without which the Bible becomes a useless toy. All unperverted reason and conscience is against it. Speculate as much and wildly as we may, we have one of God's monitors within, proclaiming guilt and a judgment to come, and now and then the monition will be heard ; the majesty of God's law, the thunders of eternal justice will break out. And then the theory, beautiful and advantageous as it may be, is a prostrate fabric. In short, its great defect is, it is built on delusion, and serves a man no longer than the delusion lasts.
If the scripture testimony which has been adduced, has been properly apprehended, every mind will carry into the eternal world, just that moral and spiritural character which it had at the moment of death-death is but the separation of soul and body. All attributes of mind that are of a moral nature—the moral affections, the heart as it stands related to God, his law, his gospel, his kingdom, the character of holiness, or sin then possessed, remain unmodified by the passage from this to the world of spirits. We have no warrant to believe that he who dies impenitent, a blasphemer, a murderer, a hater of God-he who dies with an infinite pressure of guilt upon him, in the consciousness of having abused mercy, and worse than wasted probation's golden hours, will be in a different condition after death. And if eternity is to let all its light blaze upon this character, and this experience with which the impenitent die, giving keenness to all the perceptions, a thousand fold vigor and rapidity to all the movements of the mind, then all the fears that ever agitated a sinner's dying bed, are to be more than authenticated. Then too are all the brightest anticipations of the dying saint, to be immeasurably surpassed, by the reality. And death's dark passage is to the believer, a luminous and gilded porch to mansions of eternal blessedness.
MR. Balfour's second Essay is upon the resurrection of the dead. This so far as it is occupied with the proofs of the resurrection of Christ and of mankind, I shall have no occasion to controvert. And so far as it consists of a development of his views of the nature and consequences of the resurrection, it will find a sufficient answer in my remarks upon the other topics. If I mistake not, the chapter now before us, will afford a virtual refutation of his notion of a resurrection, which goes to obliterate all the consequences, and supersede the necessity of a judgment to come. In Mr. B.'s third Essay, he enters upon an examination of the passages in the New Testament, wherever occur the words judge, judgment, condemned, condemnation, damned, damnation, &c. for the purpose of showing that none of them give us reason to expect a judgment or punishment after death. In this he has taken upon him a great work, and we shall see how he has accomplished it. That some of these words often are applied to judgments in this life is obvious. But the burden of proof which he has assumed to himself is, that in no instance, are they applied to a judgment in the future world. My task then will not be to follow him through, and weigh the correctness or incorrectness of every interpretation which he has given; but to show that there is at least one instance, where the word is used of judgment after death.
The first passage which I shall notice, is Matt. 12:36. But I say unto you, that every idle word which men speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Mr. B.'s reason for believing that the day of judgment here spoken of is in this world, is in substance this: That Nineveh and the queen of the South are predicted to rise in judgment with this generation, and of course it must be while they were living upon the earth. And he asserts that they rose in judgment only by their history and conduct given in the Old Testament. But I see no necessity of its being in this world, because of its being with that generation; that generation and all others will have a place in the future world. And then Christ says they shall rise, not they have risen, as should be said if the record of their past conduct were all the testimony they were to bring for condemnation. Then the proposition in the text happens to be general. Every idle word that men, (that is any man, not the men of that generation) shall speak, &c. The accountability here is made as broad as the race of man.
And this day of judgment is a day when every man will give account of every idle word. But such a day as that did not occur in that generation. This rendering the account of every idle word, spoken by every man, cannot take place in one day unless that day be such a day of general judgment as we are expecting after death. And then the phrase, give account, forbids Mr. B.'s application of the passage to Jerusalem's destruction, being never used for the experience of punishment, but always for a formal rendering of an account of a trust or responsibility, as you may see by the following quotation of all the other instances in which it occurs. Give an account of thy stewardship. Whereby we may give account of this day's concourse. For they watch for your souls as they that must give account. Who give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. Is it not then an unauthorized interpretation to apply this giving of account to anything which took place at the time of Jerusalem's destruction.
Mark 3: 28, 29. Verily I say unto you all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men and blasphemies wherewithsoever they shall blaspheme; but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Mr. B.'s labor upon this passage is chiefly employed in an attempt to show that the word rendered eternal, does not mean eternal, but that it should be rendered judgment of