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for the glory of God, and the bliss of the saints; and that the ceaseless groans and agonies of the damned, are as promotive of the honor of Jehovah, as the songs of the redeemed. Then why does he pretend that our belief is the cause of our woe? And if it be, is it not of divine appointment, as a mean to ripen us for exquisite, ceaseless torture ? And according to his creed, will not this torture promote the glory of God, Mr. Lathrop and the saints ? Then why does he complain ? Is be afraid an elect person will be damned? No. Is he alarmed lest a reprobate should be saved? Surely not. Is he concerned Jest their future misery should not heighten the felicity of his heaven? Im-' possible. Why then does he exhort and warn? If all the elect are sure to be saved from his imaginary endless woe, and if none of the non-elect can be, his Jabors are as useless, as to exhort calms to continue, and warn tempests to be still. If he contended that the shrieks and groans of the wretched, would excite sympathetic and painful feelings in the blest, his lamentation would be more plausible. If he really supposed that the future cries of his departed child would produce a discord in his own song of rejoicing, in the paradise of God, we should not be surprised to see him zealous, even in a fruitless cause. But now he is seemingly inexcusable. He would induce those to be saved whom his God designs for damnation. Were it done, the joys of bis heaven would be spoiled forever. Sbould Satan's fiery and screaming company have an hour's reprieve from their torture, the glory of God would be essentially ivjured, the songs of the NewJerusalem be suspended, and the blessedness of the saints proportionably diminished !! Henct, if Mr. Lathrop be sincere in his profession, what can we make of his conduct ? He manifested no concern for the miserable. Not a tear stole from his eye. Not a sigh heightened the value of his breath. He stuod perfectly composed. His bosom beaved no espres.
sion of pity. His countenance bespake not the active compassion, which distinguished the Son of Samaria. Can we imagine he realized the doctrine he inculcated? Could he stand on the brink of the bottomless, boundless pit, and, with the mind's eye, gaze on the rising, smoking flames rolling before him, and not shrink back with horror ? Could he behold, in mental vision, the damned ghosts of countless, rational immortals, and not eagerly stretch forth his hand, if possible, to grasp them, red hot with quenchless burnings, and save them from furtber indignation ? Surely he must, unless he expected to be benefited by their sufferings. According to this plan,
“Eternal plagues and heavy chains,
“Dy'd in the blood of damned souls," are the means by which friend Lathrop and his fellorr church members, expect to be perfected in biiss !!
Lord God of eternal compassion! Look down from thy throne in beaven, and with a benignant smile, soften our heart, forgive our sins, teach us all thy truth, reconcile us to each other and to thee, and save us by grace divine, in thy kingdom forever.
FOR TAE CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY. Mart. v. 25, 28. Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him, &c.
Having frequently heard this portion of divine instruction referred to, as containing an agreement, which is supposed to be necessary to take place between man and his Maker, I have thought to submit the following observations, to the perusal of the candid and judicious.
That man has sinned, is a truth believed, and disinctly understood by all ; but, that he has thereby incurred the displeasure of heaven, is very much doubted, since the idea is found to derive no support from The scriptures of truth. In the record which God has given of his Son, we are informed, that "he commendeth his love toward us. in that, while we were yet sinners Cbrist died for us." Had uot God possessed this love, he could not have commended it toward us. Since he is therefore considered our Father and our God, whose name and nature is love, to consider him as our adversary, would not only he highly derogatory to his character, but would, if established uppeople earth of worshippers. Our text says, “Agree with thy adversary, while thou art in the way with bim.” God is infinitely holy; man is altogether sinful; therefore, can it be said that he is in the way with him? It is evident, that man, while in a state of sin and rebellion, is altogether out of the way : and all the agreement to be made, is for him to reform and become virtuous and boly; and this, not because God is his adversary, but because he is bis friend.
Should it be urged that Jesus Christ is to be understood as the adversary, of wbich mention is made in our text, it is denied, for reasons above mentioned, viz. that he is our friend, and the appointed agent to effect our salvation, from a state of sin and rebellion. In considering bis public ministry, we learn his real character. Behold him giving eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf legs to the lame, and life to the dead, and judge, whether he is the friend or enemy of man. But sbould it be contended that the devil is an enemy or adversary to man, it is granted ; but that we should agree witb him, is denied ; for we are commanded to resist bim, and he will flee from us. Should Christ be considered as the judge, we reply in the language of scripture. that Jesus came not to judge the world, but to save the world. And should this he admitted the inquiry might be made, who is the officer ? This would naturally place it upon Saian, which would favor ans agreement between the Savior and the great adversary of man, but this, to be admitted, would be too shocking
We will therefore, endeavor to learn the real doctrine of the text. From an impartial view, in connection with the context.it will appear to have no allusiop to a future state of existence; but is confined wholly to the duty of man in this life. “Therefore, if thou bring tby gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, then come and offer thy gift.” Here we are presented with the adversary, viz. the brother who hail aught against bim, and with whom lhe agreement is to be made.
In this we are furnished with instructions relative to our conduct towards our fellow men, and this important lesson in our devotions, that whenever we appear before the throne of the Most High, we should be divested of all animosity and hardness. Under the Jewish theocracy, it was considered unjust to deprive the poor of the implements of husbandry ; but they were liable to be cast ioto prison. and there permitted to work until they had paid their debts.* To this custom, undoubtedly, the Savior ailuded in the 26th verse, "Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."
* Butler's Universal History..
FOR THE CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.
Mr. Editor,-In my last, I endeavored to point ont some of the absurdities in a certain system of theology; and in this communication; I will add a few more to the number, and also notice some of the arguments alleged in support of that scheme Το' avoid the idea of future punishment, it is asserted that the righteous and the wicked, spoken of in scripture, are not two classes of men but ihe two principles in man.
The righteous and thr wick”d are in the same man, at the same time !--Let:13 ply this interpretation of the righteous and wicked, to the passages of scripture, where these two characters are spoken of.
In the twenty-fifth of Matthew, we have an account of the separation of these two classes. The wicked were commanded to depart, because they had not visited the needy and siistressed. Now if those on the left hand mean the evil principle in man, then we must absurdly suppose, that this principle can suffer, when separated from the person in whom it resides ;' and that Jesus-sentenced this evil propensity to a state of punishment, because it had not taken him in," and "visited him !!! See Matthew xxv. 43.
Again; we are told that all passages whirh speak of salvation, a resurrection, or judgement, where works are taken into view, must apply to this state of existence ; but all texts which treat of a resurrection or salvation, not according to works," are to be applied to the "future eternal world." Then to prove that there is a salvation spoken of in scripture, which is not according to' works, Eph ij. 8, 9, 2 Tim. i. 9, and Titus iij. 5, are quoted. But unfortunately for this scheme, these passages all apply to this state of existence. See the connexion in which they stand.
We will now examine some of the arguments, which are brought in support of this system. . In the sentence passed upon our first parents, and in the male